First Lady praises efforts to support autism awareness, fundraising

first_img— over 0,000 raised for new Step by Step schoolFirst Lady, Sandra Granger on Friday encouraged donors and well-wishers of the Step by Step Foundation to continue to support the initiatives to build a new school for children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) even as $685,000 has been raised during activities held to mark Autism Month.The First Lady made this appeal in her address at the launch of the building fund for the new Step by Step School, held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel.She recalled that when she was invited to become patron of the Foundation, she agreed without hesitation. She said she is extremely pleased at the support received from individuals and donors alike at the first major awareness and fundraising effort the ‘Light it up blue’ Autism Awareness Walk on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day.“When we first started our first exercise for autism awareness …I was struck by the fact that there were not only people there, companies were involved, but also some of the kids were there and I think it brought home to some of us who did not have dealings with children with special needs, particularly ASD, that they are people like us,” the First Lady said.She announced that the ‘Light it up blue walk’ alone netted $383,000 in proceeds.“I think it’s our first little step towards the foundation for the school and I am hoping that through corporate and private donations, large or small we will be able to commence the building of the school,” she said.Mrs Granger also said she is looking forward to more donations and further collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the school, noting particularly that linkages with the ministry will lead to earlier diagnoses and treatment for children affected by ASD.In giving a brief update on the Foundation’s progress, Dr Suraiya Ismail, Chair of the Executive Committee said the new school has a projected cost of $120M. The Foundation hopes to be able to accommodate 50-60 children, to provide training facilities for parents and training opportunities for Education Ministry teachers, among other plans.The Foundation has grown from five children to seventeen and plans are in train to enrol two more in September. It also now boasts seven tutors and the Ministry of Education has committed to providing teachers as needed.“Our growth was achieved through the generosity of many, many donors, from the private sector and from individuals too many to name,” Dr. Ismail said, adding that they are “extremely fortunate to have the patronage of the First Lady”.Meanwhile, in his address, Managing Director of Republic Bank said Richard Sammy,, “It is my pleasure to acknowledge the widespread enthusiasm and support for this cause.”He noted that a number of companies donated their products, purchased t-shirts and their staff members and other persons showed up, purchased t-shirts and participated in the ‘Light it up blue’ walk. Today, many individuals also made direct cash donations and, all combined, the efforts netted the sum of $685, 000.Caption: First Lady, Sandra Granger (centre) and Richard Sammy, Managing Director pay keen attention to Dr. Suraiya Ismail, Chair of the Step by Step Foundation as she makes a point, during a brief interaction before the start of the reception.last_img read more

Arsenal v Fulham line-ups: Hangeland starts, Arsenal man passed fit

first_imgFulham skipper Brede Hangeland, who was assessed after returning to action in midweek, has been passed fit to face Arsenal. Nacho Monreal starts for the Gunners after recovering from a foot injury.Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Cazorla, Gnabry, Ozil, Giroud.Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ju-Young Park.Fulham Stekelenburg; Riether, Burn, Hangeland, Richardson; Dejagah, Sidwell, Parker, Kacaniklic; Dempsey, Berbatov.Subs: Stockdale, Riise, Kasami, Karagounis, Duff, Hughes, Bent.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

49ers mailbag: 20 questions answered in hurry-up mode

first_imgSANTA CLARA – Fresh off a rare win, the 49ers next get a chance to spoil the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff pursuit. But first let’s answer 20 questions in hurry-up mode for this week’s 49ers mailbag, as fielded via Twitter and Instagram:1. Why didn’t they pass Kittle the ball in the second half? (@ortiz_a49)Kyle Shanahan gave a 375-word answer to this Monday. Simply put: He tried calling George Kittle’s number, the Broncos adjusted their scheme, and (stuff) happens when winning is the top …last_img read more

Integration ‘key to Africa’s growth’

first_img9 May 2013 Closer regional integration will be crucial for addressing underlying weaknesses in Africa’s long-term competitiveness and ensuring that the continent delivers on its massive growth promise, according to the Africa Competitiveness Report 2013. The report, jointly produced by the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, was released on the opening day of the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting in Cape Town on Thursday. According to the report, despite the impressive growth strides made by many African economies, the continent’s competitiveness as a whole trails other emerging regions – especially in quality of institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic policies, education and technological adoption – while large gaps persist between its highest and lowest ranked economies. “Africa’s growth needs to be seen in the wider international context, where encouraging gains in economic growth belie an underlying weakness in its long-term competitiveness,” WEF chief economist Jennifer Blanke said in a statement on Thursday. “Regional integration is key to addressing this weakness through the delivery of wider social and economic benefits, and should be prioritised by Africa’s leaders as they look to ensure that Africa delivers on its promise.” Regional integration, according to the report, will be a key vehicle for helping Africa to diversify its economic base and create enough jobs for its young, fast-urbanising population. Gaiv Tata, Africa region director for the World Bank Group, said that Africa had been enjoying an economic transformation, with growth rates of more than 5% annually over the past decade. “To turn its economic gains into sustainable growth and shared prosperity, Africa’s public and private sectors must work together to connect the continent’s markets, deepen regional integration, and adopt reforms that enhance national competitiveness.” According to the report, Africa’s share of world trade remains low, despite numerous regional economic communities and market liberalisation at the domestic level, with intra-African trade being particularly limited. The report identifies cumbersome and non-transparent border administration, limited use of information communication technologies, and a persistent infrastructure deficit as the major barriers to higher levels of regional integration. Africa’s infrastructure deficit is identified as a particularly serious impediment, made more pronounced by growth in consumer markets and urbanisation. “Developing adequate and efficient infrastructure will assist African economies to increase productivity in manufacturing and service delivery, contribute to improvements in health and education, and help deliver more equitable distribution of national wealth,” the report states. Mthuli Ncube, chief economist at the African Development Bank, said that sustained high economic growth “often occurs in an environment where there is a meaningful infrastructure development. “It is therefore imperative that planning for both national and regional infrastructure projects is coupled with the requisite legal and regulatory framework that will allow for increased involvement of the private sector in infrastructure development on a public-private partnerships model,” Ncube said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

South Africa’s population breaks 54-million

first_img1 August 2014Life expectancy in South Africa continues to rise as the country’s population breaks the 54-million mark, Statistics South Africa reported on Thursday.Releasing its latest mid-year population estimates report in Pretoria, Stats SA said the country’s population grew by an estimated 1.58% between July 2013 and July 2014, increasing by about 844 000 people to stand at just over 54-million in total.According to the report, South Africa’s life expectancy at birth now stands at 61 years, having increased from an estimated 52 years in 2005, thanks to a lower infant mortality rate and a decrease in the number of Aids-related deaths in the country.Stats SA said the decline in South Africa’s infant mortality rate – from an estimated 58 infant deaths per 1 000 live births in 2002 to 34 infant deaths per 1 000 live births in 2014 – pointed to an improvement in the general health and living standards of the population.Aids-related deaths, meanwhile, dropped from an estimated 363 910 deaths (51% of all deaths) in 2005 to 171 733 deaths (31% of all deaths) in 2014, as a direct result of the increased rollout of free antiretroviral therapy in the country.According to Stats SA, the overall number of deaths in the country decreased from an estimated 716 083 deaths (15 deaths per 1 000 people) in 2005 to an estimated 551 289 deaths (10 deaths per 1 000 people) in 2014.At the same time, the country’s birth rate has decreased, from 24 births per 1 000 people in 2002 to 22 births per 1 000 people in 2014.Stats SA said the dual transition from high to low birth and death rates had changed the age structure of South Africa’s population, resulting in both a high proportion (30%) of the population under the age of 15, as well as growing proportion of elderly people, with an estimated 4.5-million people aged 60 years or older.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

10 Free E-Books on Ruby for Beginners

first_imgWhy You Love Online Quizzes Ruby may have lost some of its shine in recent months to JavaScript and Node.js, but it’s still one of the most popular programming languages out there, and it’s still growing.There are a large number of beginner’s Ruby resources out there, and the material is diverse. Here are a few places to get started.Hackety HackThis isn’t actually an e-book, but an interactive tutorial. It runs on Windows, OSX or Linux. It’s designed for kids, but anyone can learn to program using it. We covered it here previously.It was created by _why the lucky stiff, something of a legend in the Ruby scene. _why disappeared from the Web in 2009, and Steve Klabnik has taken over the project._why’s (Poignant Guide) to Ruby Check out the official Ruby documentation page for more. Another quirky beginner’s guide is Mr. Neighborly’s Humble Little Ruby Book by Jeremy McAnally. This one is a little more conventional than the Poignant Guide, but still contains a strong authorial voice.Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers’ GuideIf you’re tired of quirk and just want a big, meaty guide to Ruby check out Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide from The Pragmatic Bookshelf, frequently referred to as “Pickaxe.” It’s considered by many to be the definitive guide to Ruby, and the first edition available for free. The updated second edition will cost you, however.Learn to Program Learn to Program by Chris Pine is a popular beginner’s book on programming that centers using Ruby as its starter language. If you want to learn Ruby and you’ve never programmed, or need a refresher, this is a good place to start. (If you want to learn to program, but want to use JavaScript or Python as your starter language, see here and here).How To Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning With RubyHow To Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning With Ruby by Elizabeth Wiethoff is a Ruby port of Allen B. Downey’s How To Think Like a Computer Scientist series. It’s not yet complete. Other variants can be found at Green Tea Press. The Python version of the book has been used by MIT for an introductory programming course.4 MoreThe Little Book of Ruby by Huw Collingbourne – A concise beginner’s guide to Ruby published for free by Sapphire Steel, the makers of the Ruby In Steel IDE for Visual Studio.RubyLearning.comRuby EssentialsRuby in Twenty Minutes 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts center_img klint finley Tags:#hack#How To How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Also by _why, this illustrated guide to Ruby may be totally engrossing to some readers and too outlandish for others. It’s straight-forward, and easy to read but contains many cartoons and completely unrelated sidebars. I’ve never seen a programming book like it._why deleted the book when he exited the Internet, but there are many mirrors. This seems to be the best place to find it.Mr. Neighborly’s Humble Little Ruby Book Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Smart city startups plumb the waterworks for IoT data

first_imgSurveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Donal Power Related Posts How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Data-related opportunities await Internet of Things (IoT) entrepreneurs in smart city water programs as top-down utilities allow smaller players to play.Ecopreneurist recounted some of the more interesting ideas to emerge from a recent MIT conference on smart city water issues.Smart water management is seen as a blooming opportunity for eco-startups, with the market expected to grow to $20 billion in 2021 from $8.5 billion in 2016.See also: Can IoT turn back climate change?Driving these opportunities is the emerging trend towards approaching city water utilities from a holistic perspective rather than from the traditional top-down approach.This means that utility managers are now turning to smaller players to boost efficiency and increase value through better use of IoT innovation.This opens the door for opportunities in the area of smart water metering, which can reduce carbon footprints, while enhancing management and operational efficiencies.“Cities need to identify endpoint leakage; gain clarity between leakage, non-revenue water and chargeable consumption; establish consumption patterns; use predictive analytics to regulate supply; and, set up adjustable alarm notifications to predict/prevent end point anomalies,” summarized Ecopreneurist from the conference.Conference speakers cited water leaks as the biggest problem facing city water managers, with leak detection as a critical opportunity area for IoT improvements.“Software can sync with meters and controllers on a customer’s property to remotely control outdoor irrigation use and monitor flow through pipes into a building,” said the article. “The impact can have up to 50% water savings and ongoing, real-time leak detection.”More opportunities in weather forecastingAnother opportunity area is weather anticipation and adjustment, powered by intelligent systems that can think on their own.In order to cope with fast changing weather-driven challenges, such systems will need to redesign themselves minute by minute to maximize efficiencies.And of course new software and hardware developments are enabling data opportunities that were previously unknown.Measuring detailed, time-based information is being powered by technological breakthroughs that enable remote communications and interval data measurement.For consumers, this can create capabilities to monitor water usage via smart sprinklers and faucets.center_img Tags:#data analysis#IoT#Smart Cities#smart city#smart water How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

Why is Maharashtra on the boil?

first_imgWhat happened?On January 1, members of the Dalit community on their way to Bhima-Koregaon, a village near Pune, were attacked, allegedly by Hindutva forces. In the violence, a young man was killed. Protests erupted, and by January 2, they spread throughout Maharashtra. Prakash Ambedkar, head of the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh party and a grandson of Babasaheb Ambedkar, called a State-wide bandh on January 3.Why is Koregaon-Bhima important?The Koregaon Ranstambh (victory pillar) is a memorial for British East India Company soldiers killed in a battle on January 1, 1818, in which a small group of infantrymen — about 500 of them Mahars (a Scheduled Caste community) — held off a numerically superior force from the army of Peshwa Bajirao II. The Mahars fought alongside the British, some accounts say, because the Peshwa had scorned their offer to join his army.That battle has not found a place in public memories of that time. Dalit activists put this down to a Brahmanic hold on the telling of Indian history. After Dr. Ambedkar visited the site on January 1, 1927, it became a place of pilgrimage for Dalits, an assertion of pride. In recent years, attendance has been in the lakhs, with Dalits coming from all over India. This year, the bicentenary, saw an especially large influx.What triggered the violence?Sambhaji, Shivaji’s son and successor, was captured by the Mughals; according to legend, he was tortured and his mutilated corpse thrown into the Bhima river. Govind Mahar, a Dalit, gathered the dismembered parts of his body and performed the last rites; later, Mahars of the village erected a memorial to Sambhaji. Govind Mahar’s tomb stands near Sambhaji’s in Vadhu-Budruk village, near Bhima-Koregaon.On December 29, a board came up in Vadhu-Budruk hailing Govind Mahar, which, locals say, irked the Marathas in the village, who believe that their ancestors performed Sambhaji’s last rites. Mahar’s tomb was vandalised. On January 1, a mob of 1,500 gathered and, armed with stones, bottles and sticks, attacked buses on their way to Bhima-Koregaon; they threw stones and torched more than 10 vehicles. The violence continued for over four hours. The police remained spectators, and the administration seemed unprepared for the unrest, though it knew of the assembly of a large number of youths at Vadhu-Budruk.Who instigated the violence?News reports say Manohar (a.k.a. Sambhaji) Bhide of Shiv Pratisthan and Milind Ekbote of Hindu Ekta Aghadi instigated the violence. Mr. Bhide, whose stronghold is Sangli district, has close ties with the RSS. He claims to travel across the State, lecturing the youth on Shivaji and his work. He has had cases filed against him for inciting protests against the film Jodha-Akbar, and is believed to have been involved in the Sangli-Miraj riots. Mr. Ekbote is a former BJP municipal corporator in Pune. After the party denied him nomination, he formed his own outfit, Hindu Ekta Aghadi. He, too, has been charged in the past with fanning communal tensions. Cases have been filed against both under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.What happened during the bandh?On January 2, Dalit organisations took to the streets in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Nagpur, Pune and many other districts, blocking roads and trains and allegedly forcing closure of commercial establishments.On January 3, in Mumbai, local trains and Mumbai Metro suspended a number of services; vehicular traffic, too, came to a halt, and many schools, colleges and offices remained shut. Similar protests brought life to a stop in every district. Violence erupted in Mumbai, Aurangabad, and Kolhapur, among other places. The bandh was arguably the biggest since 1997, when Dalit organisations protested against police firing at Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar, Ghatkopar. This bandh served as a potent reminder of Dalit strength and brought Mr. Ambedkar back into the reckoning as a political force and voice of Dalit aspirations.last_img read more