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China offers Africa financial aid including $10 billion in loans

  • Posted on March 30, 2019 at 2:18 am

Sunday, November 8, 2009

China has offered Africa concessional loans worth US$10 (€6.5) billion as part of a host of new measures aimed at improving the economy of African nations. The announcement was made at the opening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Leaders of nearly 50 African countries are attending the two-day conference.

China had already stated today at the 3rd Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs, held immediately before the FOCAC, that Chinese firms would be encouraged to invest in Africa, while both sides would work together to improve the tourism, telecommunications and finance industries. China also said that governments should work with businesses to ensure co-operation between China and Africa.

As well as the loans, made over three years, China will write off the debt of Africa’s poorest countries, build 100 African green energy facilities and systematically lower import duties on 95% of all African products exported to China. Another promise is a loan of one billion dollars aimed at small and medium sized businesses in Africa. There will also be efforts to promote each other’s culture and increased medical assistance to Africa. Medical assistance comes in the form of 500 million yuan (US$73.2 million) of goods for the 60 hospitals and malaria centers China has already built, as well as 3,000 doctors and nurses. Roads will also be improved.

China also plans to assist with satellite weather monitoring, to help combat desertification and work within the urban environment, all aimed at reducing global warming. The new energy facilities will focus on solar, biogas and small-scale hydroelectrical installations. Another new measure is a promise to aid African farmers to ensure the continent is fed, increasing the number of demonstrations of agricultural technology in Africa to 20 and sending 50 teams of agricultural technology experts to the continent. Training in agricultural technology will be provided to 2,000 people.

“The Chinese people cherish sincere friendship toward the African people, and China’s support to Africa’s development is concrete and real,” said co-chair Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao as the FOCAC opened up, adding “Whatever change that may take place in the world, our friendship with African people will not change.” He described this friendship as ‘unbreakable’. Two years ago China pledged US$5 (€3.37) billion at the last FOCAC in Beijing and now, according to Jiabao, “China is ready to deepen practical cooperation in Africa.”

We want more investment from China

China has fulfilled its 2006 pledge, investing a total of US$7.8 (€5.26) billion in Africa last year alone. 49 African countries are represented at the FOCAC, which was created in 2000, although Jiabao noted that relations between China and Africa go back fifty years. China had already forgiven or reduced the debt for thirty nations at that FOCAC summit.

According to Chinese state-owned paper China Daily, trade between China and Africa increased by 45% last year, to give a total value of US$107 (€72.1) billion, a tenfold increase since 2001 and up from US$491 (€331) million in 2003. The Chinese have a 9.8% market share, the largest of any nation, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. China has paid for schools, hospitals, malaria clinics and Chinese scholarships for African students. 50 more schools are to be built and 1,500 people trained to staff them.

Since 2006 Chinese energy firms have committed to spend at least US$16 (€10.8) billion securing African oil and gas. China’s Sinopec Group, an oil giant, bought up Addax Petroleum Corporation from its Swiss owners that year, gaining control of oilfields in Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon. China promised earlier this year to spend US$9 (€6) billion on infrastructure in the Congo in exchange for mineral deposits for mining operations.

Jean Ping, leader of the African Union, said the told those at the conference that the money is coming at an opportune time, because African growth was “totally compromised” by the global financial crisis. Ping said one of the lessons learned is that the world is paying for “the irresponsible and lax behavior” of large financial companies whose philosophy was to make short-term profits.

We thank China particularly for backing efforts by our countries to achieve peace and stability in Africa’s zones of conflict

Not all Africans are happy with China’s increasing involvement in their continent. Trade practices are a concern for some, with a view that China exploits Africa for raw materials before selling back finished goods. Among these are Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid. Egypt is the richest nation in the Middle East and is discussing this perceived issue with China. Rachid told Bloomberg “What is a worry for me is if competition is unfair. That is where we are unhappy.” Jiabao described the trade as being based on “win-win programmes… and transparency.”

Others in Africa are delighted with the situation. “We want more investment from China,” Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete told the forum. Egypt’s own President Hosni Mubarak talked of “peace, security and growth,” and of “boosting cooperation between China and Africa.”

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Jiabao also used his speech to respond to criticisms that China worked with nations regardless of their human rights record, such as Sudan, whose President Omar al-Beahir is wanted on a warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. “Africa is fully capable of solving its own problems, in an African way,” he said, adding that “China has never attached any political strings […] to assistance to Africa.”

Beshir thanked China in a speech for diplomatic work in Sudan, including working to defuse the Darfur conflict, which the United Nations says has left 300,000 dead. “We express our deep appreciation for China’s efforts in backing the comprehensive peace agreement in Sudan and its peace efforts in Darfur,” he said, referring to a peace deal between the northern and southern parts of his country. “We thank China particularly for backing efforts by our countries to achieve peace and stability in Africa’s zones of conflict.” Jiabao said China was willing to work towards “the settlement of issues of peace and security,” in Africa.

A further criticism has been that China has brought in Chinese workers and used their own knowledge, instead of training locals. Jiabao’s speech indicated an intention to co-operate better in the fields of science and technology, as well as improve training for African students on technical courses.

“Why do some only criticise China?” asked Jiabao. “Is this a view representing African countries, or rather the view of Western countries?”

China offers Africa financial aid including $10 billion in loans
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Latest trial of the One Laptop Per Child running in India; Uruguay orders 100,000 machines

  • Posted on March 30, 2019 at 2:16 am

Thursday, November 8, 2007

India is the latest of the countries where the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) experiment has started. Children from the village of Khairat were given the opportunity to learn how to use the XO laptop. During the last year XO was distributed to children from Arahuay in Peru, Ban Samkha in Thailand, Cardal in Uruguay and Galadima in Nigeria. The OLPC team are, in their reports on the startup of the trials, delighted with how the laptop has improved access to information and ability to carry out educational activities. Thailand’s The Nation has praised the project, describing the children as “enthusiastic” and keen to attend school with their laptops.

Recent good news for the project sees Uruguay having ordered 100,000 of the machines which are to be given to children aged six to twelve. Should all go according to plan a further 300,000 machines will be purchased by 2009 to give one to every child in the country. As the first to order, Uruguay chose the OLPC XO laptop over its rival from Intel, the Classmate PC. In parallel with the delivery of the laptops network connectivity will be provided to schools involved in the project.

The remainder of this article is based on Carla G. Munroy’s Khairat Chronicle, which is available from the OLPC Wiki. Additional sources are listed at the end.

Contents

  • 1 India team
  • 2 Khairat
    • 2.1 The town school
  • 3 The workplace
  • 4 Marathi
  • 5 The teacher
  • 6 Older children, teenagers, and villagers
  • 7 The students
  • 8 Teacher session
  • 9 Parents’ meetings
  • 10 Grounding the server
  • 11 Every child at school
  • 12 Sources
  • 13 External links
Latest trial of the One Laptop Per Child running in India; Uruguay orders 100,000 machines
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Modern Design, Built To Last}

  • Posted on March 30, 2019 at 2:01 am

Get More Information Here:

Modern Design, Built to Last

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Clyde Lee DennisAll product ranges from Shangri La Furniture Inc. ensure the gorgeous, classy and exquisite items, which are not only elegant and beautiful, but also long-lasting. The modern design sofa set is made up of a durable hardwood frame which has the assurance to build to last. Made up of ‘A’ quality genuine leather materials with extensive range of customization, the modern design sofa from Shangri La Furniture Inc. promises the most stylish durable appeal with personalized aesthetics. These modern design sofas will promise you to light up the elegant visuals of your house and to make your neighbor envious for a real long time.

Wood

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Shangri La Furniture Inc. offers a real wide range of unique modern design sofa. These are made up of wooden frame. The selected wood quality is higher compared to the woods used by local vendors. The moisturizer level in the wood used by Shangri La Furniture Inc never increases more than 15%, where the level of moisture for other local vendors even exceeds 25% or more. This low level of moisture also assures the durability of the wooden frame used for structuring the sofa.

Foam

Next important thing contributing to the durability most is the inclusion of multiple layers of foam-sponge. Shangri La never compromises on it. You can be rest assured that your sofa, be it custom made or default offered, must be made up of multiple layers, which make the sofa not only long-lasting but comfy too.

Leather

The discussion will be incomplete if we do not consider the leather part. The quality of the leather is 100% genuine. The brand assures top rated full grain leather which is most costly and comes from highest quality skin.

Fabric

The fabrics used in the modern design sofa are stylish, graceful and long-lasting. It comes in a wide range of options to choose from, almost more than 1000.

Equipment

We all know that technology contributes significantly in the production of any product. By keeping this aspect in mind very cautiously, Shangri La Furniture Inc manufactures their sofa range with imported equipments. These equipments are imported from Europe and Japan.

Design

The geometry and pattern of each modern design sofa assures 3-fold benefits style, elegance and durability. That means, you will not only happy to enhance the beauty of your living room, but also be sure of its consistent life for years long. The design, the curve, the mold all will make you ascertain about the fact that this lovely designed sofa is made to keep your smile to last forever.

Workers

If we do not mention the role of workers in producing such a promising long lasting product, this does not sound very fair. This is true that following the principle of Shangri La furniture Inc the workers enjoy several benefits, but on the other hand, this is also true that Shangri La furniture Inc involves a bunch of expert professionals into this manufacturing business. This assures a continuous stream of success each moment.

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Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com}

Interview with gay marriage movement founder Evan Wolfson

  • Posted on March 30, 2019 at 2:00 am

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Evan Wolfson, the founder of the modern gay marriage movement, tells the waiter he would like an iced decaf and “the usual.” Wolfson, one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People in the World, is a man who unflinchingly knows what he wants and stays his course, whether it be in his choice of restaurant or in his choice of battle. And others always know when they see Evan coming what it is that he wants.

Since his time at Harvard Law School when he wrote a paper on the topic, what Wolfson wants is the right for gay people to marry. The issue gained national prominence in 1993 when the Hawaii Supreme Court held in Baehr v. Lewin that the government had to show a reason for the denial of the freedom to marry, not just deny marriage licenses to the plaintiff gay couples. Wolfson was co-counsel in the historic 1996 Hawaii trial in which he argued that the government does not have a sufficient reason for excluding same-sex couples from marriage. In 1999, Wolfson contributed to Baker v. Vermont, the case that led to the creation of civil unions; advised the lead attorneys in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the case that led to same-sex marriage in Massachusetts; and since 2003, when he founded the primary umbrella organization coordinating the efforts to win marriage for gay people, Freedom to Marry, Wolfson has played a role in every marriage equality case in the United States. He is the movement’s founder and leader, and his focus remains square on winning that right. “For years,” said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, “many of us were saying to him, ‘We’re not ready. The country’s not ready. And, by the way, you’re crazy.'”

When I make a statement to him about his devoting his life to gay marriage, he corrects me: “I’ve played a part in cases that span the entire spectrum of eliminating gay people’s exclusions and limitations on who gay people are, and I’ve also written on immigration and economic justice, and I have worked on cases involving race discrimination in jury selection and women’s inequality. I don’t think one has to pick one of these things; they work together.”

Indeed, he has. Wolfson was lead counsel before the Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the case arguing against the expulsion of gay scoutmasters. As an intrepid young assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, Wolfson worked on People v. Liberta to end the exemption that allowed women to be raped by their husbands legally, a right in New York State as early as 1984. And he helped end the practice of choosing jurors based upon their race.

Wolfson’s entire career has been at the center of the most explosive legal and cultural issues of the last 30 years in the United States, and his influence has been profound. David Shankbone sat down with him to discuss some of the recent decisions affecting gay marriage, gender in marriage and reactions in the gay community to his fight for their rights.

Contents

  • 1 Wolfson and gay marriage
  • 2 The gay community and marriage
  • 3 The Iowa and Maryland decisions
  • 4 Freedom to Marry’s role
  • 5 Domestic partnerships and civil unions
  • 6 Transgender people and marriage
  • 7 Sources
  • 8 External links
Interview with gay marriage movement founder Evan Wolfson
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Manitoba volunteers go to war against Red River flooding

  • Posted on March 29, 2019 at 2:10 am

Monday, April 6, 2009

Over 1,600 volunteers registered to help build approximately 65,000 of the 500,000 sandbags to create dikes 20.5 feet (6.2 meters) high to protect the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba in the war against the Red River of the North flood.

700 volunteers answered at the rural municipality of St. Andrews alone. Once sandbags are filled for West St. Paul, St. Andrews, and Selkirk, then frozen culverts must be cleared.

The height of the river is expected to be Thursday, and predictions are that it will be less than Flood of the Century of 1997. There is no precipitation in the forecast, and snow in the province should be melted by the end of the week.

“The fear right now is we have to get that ice out of the river. The Amphibex [Excavators] are still working and breaking the ice apart, and everyday we buy with the warm weather and the current, it is thinning the ice down a bit, so when it does start to move, the better chance it’ll move right out into the lake,” said Paul Guyder, the emergency coordinator for the RMs of St. Andrews and St. Clements.

“I feel that we’ve done everything humanly possible to get ready,” said Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba, “But … there are fallibilities with human behaviour. We can take every preventative measure as human beings possible and we can still get Mother Nature proving again she is superior.”

Communities with ring diking will partially or fully close their dikes at the beginning of the week. Provincial officials are considering opening the Red River Floodway gates around mid-week before ice is fully melted.

Ice jams could cause flooding within the city, however opening the gates could spare neighbourhood flooding when the river rises to the estimated 6.3 meters (20.7 feet) height. The province does have back up plans for dealing with ice jams within the city if they do occur. The unpredictability of ice jams and the ensuing water level rise may cause neighbourhood flooding. The city is raising dikes where the river has jammed with ice in the past such as on tight curves and past bridges. Likewise there are excavators and backhoes positioned at these points.

Vulnerable neighbourhoods on the river banks have been reinforced with sandbag dikes at vulnerable areas from the massive volunteer effort over the weekend. Guyader feels no more extra volunteers are needed, however volunteers are still being asked to leave their names and number in case of unpredicted need. Existing personnel will assess roads, and help with clean up.

Approximately 400 of the 800 people who evacuated the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation have returned to their homes.

Former Premier, Dufferin Roblin, brought forward the floodway as a protection for Winnipeg residents and economy following the 1950 Red River Flood. The Red River floodway, “Duff’s Ditch” was finally finished in 1968, and its floodway gates have been opened 20 times saving Winnipeg from an estimated CA$10 billion in damages. The floodway expansion began in 2005 at a price of $665 million.

Polish and Chinese experts have come to survey the Red River Floodway, and Dennis Walaker, mayor of Fargo, North Dakota recognises the need for Red River flood defences down river. “Every town that you drive by from the Canadian line up to Winnipeg is either elevated or ring-diked,” said Walaker.

Manitoba volunteers go to war against Red River flooding
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Media round-up: April Fools’ Day 2008

  • Posted on March 29, 2019 at 2:03 am

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Many media outlets traditionally deliberately spread hoaxes on April Fools’ Day, including notable quality sources such as National Geographic and Science.

The popular British tabloid The Sun wrote that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to undergo stretch surgery to make him taller than his wife, Italian artist and model Carla Bruni. The report claimed the 5 foot 5 inch leader would be made 5 inches taller in one year using a method by Israeli professor Ura Schmuck. The Sun noted that during his visit to Britain last week, Sarkozy had high-heel shoes while his wife wore a pair of flat pumps.

The Guardian on the other hand ran an article that suggested that Carla would head an initiative by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to bring more glamour, good taste and sophistication to the U.K. general population. This would involve collaboration with Marks & Spencer for high-street fashion and Jamie Oliver for meals and wine.

BBC News had real-looking footage of flying penguins fronted by documentary host Terry Jones, which were actually an advertisement for its new iPlayer.

Media round-up: April Fools’ Day 2008
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US president Obama, Congress call for blocking of executive bonuses at AIG insurance company

  • Posted on March 28, 2019 at 2:16 am

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

United States President Barack Obama stated Monday that insurance giant AIG is in financial trouble due to “recklessness and greed,” and called for legal action to stop the company from giving out millions of dollars in bonuses to its executives.

“It’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay,” Obama said. “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat.”

Obama’s statement comes after reports surfaced last weekend saying the insurance agency, which is in deep financial trouble, had paid US$165 million to executives in bonuses, after receiving $170 billion as part of a government bailout plan.

AIG has said that the bonuses have to be given out, as the company is legally required by contract to do so. A representative with the National Economic Council, Lawrence H. Summers, also said that the bonuses were required to be given out. If AIG had refused to give out the bonuses, employees could file a lawsuit against the company for the money.

“We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses — which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” AIG CEO Edward M. Liddy said in a letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on Saturday.

Liddy said that he asked Geithner “to use that leverage and pursue every legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole.”

“I want everybody to be clear that Secretary Geithner’s been on the case,” Obama said. “He’s working to resolve this matter with the new CEO, Edward Liddy, who, by the way, everybody needs to understand, came on board after the contracts that led to these bonuses were agreed to last year.”

If the bonuses cannot be stopped, the U.S. Congress says they want AIG to reimburse the government. Congress is looking to impose stiff new taxes on the pay, or ordering the company to return the money which was originally granted from a government bailout. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, senator Richard Shelby promised that the treasury will recover all of the money. Several U.S. senators along with Liddy have sent letters to AIG asking for the bonuses to be renegotiated, something AIG agreed to and says they will reduce future bonuses by 30%. Senators state that if Libby does not respond by renegotiating the bonuses, the Senate Finance Committee will propose an excise tax. Not only will an excise tax be proposed on AIG, but all companies receiving bailout money and their employees who receive bonuses.

What is the highest excise tax we can impose that will stand up in court? Let’s find out.

Numerous House Democrats have introduced legislation which would place a 100% tax on any bonuses of over $100,000 from companies that are receiving government bailout funds. Meanwhile in the Senate, a bipartisan proposal by Max Baucus (D-Montana) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) would levy a special 90% excise tax on AIG’s bonuses. Asked Senator Baucus, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee: “What is the highest excise tax we can impose that will stand up in court? Let’s find out.”

US president Obama, Congress call for blocking of executive bonuses at AIG insurance company
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Automobile sales in the United States down sharply

  • Posted on March 28, 2019 at 2:07 am

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sales of automobiles in the United States fell as much as 35% in January, compared to the same month a year ago, as manufacturers reported their January sales.

Ford Motor Company NYSEF sales dropped 42% last month from the previous year. General Motors NYSEGM reported a 49% decline. Chrysler was hardest hit among the domestically owned manufacturers with a plunge of 55%.

The decline in sales has not been limited to just US manufacturers. Japanese automaker Toyota NYSETM reported a 32% drop in US sales from a year earlier, Nissan MotorsNASDAQNSANY dropped 30%, and Honda NYSEHMC sales dropped 28%.

Subaru and South Korean Hyundai Motor Company LSEHYUD were two of the few auto firms that reported an increase in sales. They posted gains of eight and fourteen percent, respectively.

On an annual basis, sales overall have also been plummeting. Industry-wide US car sales dropped 18% last year to 13.2 million automobiles.

GM announced today that it will offer voluntary buyouts to 22,000 employees in the US, in an effort to reduce its expenditures.

Last month, GM and Chrysler were given loans worth US$17.4 billion from the government after they warned of imminent bankruptcy.

Automobile sales in the United States down sharply
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California releases search warrant for Wells Fargo bank on identity theft

  • Posted on March 27, 2019 at 2:30 am

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The California Department of Justice on Wednesday released the warrant and affidavit of a criminal investigation of the Wells Fargo bank. The State of California served the warrant on October 5 to search the San Francisco headquarters of Wells Fargo for felonious activities related to identity theft.

The warrant said property to be seized at the bank’s San Francisco headquarters was related to the unauthorized creation of accounts by Wells Fargo employees including the names of individuals for the accounts; account information and fees; the names of employees and their managers who created accounts without the consent of the Wells Fargo customers in question; and all communications including emails referencing the unauthorised accounts.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris’s criminal probe is part of an increasing list of officials nationwide questioning the business practices of Wells Fargo such as California State Treasurer John Chiang who announced a one-year suspension of State investment with the bank on September 28; Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs followed suit with a year-long ban on October 3; and Democratic United States Senators Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who wrote to the U.S. Security Exchanges Commission (SEC) suggesting investigation on September 29.

California releases search warrant for Wells Fargo bank on identity theft
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News briefs:July 27, 2010

  • Posted on March 27, 2019 at 2:08 am
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News briefs:July 27, 2010
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