Political ‘guidebook’ focusing on corruption and integrity launched

first_imgA political handbook has recently been published in anticipation of a flood of general elections in the Caribbean region over the next few years. Interestingly, the book focuses on political and governance issues in the Caribbean, with special emphasis on corruption.This piece of political literature, written by Cynthia Barrow-Giles, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill campus, is titled ‘The National Integrity System and Governance in the Commonwealth Caribbean.’The manuscript examines the concept of the National Integrity System (NIS) which was developed by Transparency International, and covers some of the major issues of Integrity in Governance. It then applies these ideas to an analysis and understanding of the function of National Integrity Systems (NIS) in the Commonwealth Caribbean. By doing this, the book discusses regional and global best practices and the deficiencies in integrity systems.The book not only addresses government institutions, but the private sector, political parties, the media, and civil society as critical parties in poorly functioning national integrity and corruption systems.Barrow-Giles’s Political Science colleague, Head of the Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work at UWI, Dr. Tenyson Joseph, praised the publication, and noted that it has made an important contribution to political science, public policy, governance, and constitutional development.“Barrow-Giles closes in on a number of institutional and political-cultural features and systems which need to be addressed in resolving the persistent and widespread features of corruption in Caribbean public life,” Dr Joseph stated.“Barrow-Giles not only highlights the existing challenges of corruption, but in doing so, provides useful alternatives for strengthening existing systems. This makes the book more than an academic study, but equally qualifies it as a guidebook for practitioners”, he elaborated.He further explained that the book will be of great value to constitutional and legal reform, development agencies, students of Caribbean politics, civil society agencies interested in government, and citizens as a whole.last_img read more

Telkom wires Africa via satellite

first_img16 January 2004Following the introduction of TelkomInternet via satellite, Telkom is taking its SpaceStream Express product into Africa, offering businesses and other users on the continent fast, reliable access to the Internet.“We have started trials in several African countries and expect to introduce a full commercial service early in the New Year”, Telkom spokesperson Nombulelo Moholi said in December.Pilot projects are under way with Intelsat and Advance Telecoms, who have experience in markets outside South Africa and will be working with resellers in many countries. Depending on the local regulatory environment in the different countries, resellers could be the incumbent telecommunications operator, or newly licensed entities.“Telkom SpaceStream Express is an extremely versatile product offering access to the Internet via TelkomInternet which is hosted in South Africa or any other ISP who wishes to come on board”, Moholi said. Packages are available to offer download speeds from 64 to 512 kbps.With two-way asymmetrical connection, TelkomInternet by satellite requires a single satellite dish antenna for receiving and sending information – no telephone connection is needed.The service will be hosted on a Skyblaster 360E satellite hub station from Gilat Satellite Networks and enter the Telkom network to connect to the world wide web at Telkom’s earth station at Hartebeeshoek near Pretoria.Telkom introduced two SpaceStream products, SpaceStream Express and SpaceStream Office, into South Africa in October last year. “Both products have been well received and roll-out is in full swing,” Moholi said.SpaceStream Express offers download speeds in four packages from 64 to 512 kbps, while SpaceStream Office provides Internet access at a download speed of 64 kbps plus up to four telephone connections. Both products provide always-available access to the Internet and e-mail services with no call charges.Moholi said the service was intended for periodic use of e-mail, newsgroups, file transfers, Internet chat, instant messaging and Web-browsing.“It is not suited for extensive Virtual Private Network (VPN) usage, video and voice over IP, remote access, gaming, hosting web or ftp servers or applications with heavy upload traffic. It is also not designed for high-volume sending (such as excessive e-mail attachments or other applications such as hosting Web servers and running peer-to-peer applications),” she explained.Users are allocated bandwidth on a sub-segment known as a “transponder”, and have to share the satellite capacity. This means that they will have to contend for their “fair share” during busy times, hence each access package is associated with a cap on data sent and received. Additional bandwidth can be purchased should the cap be reached.“This is intended to keep the costs down, but at the same time maintain a good browsing experience for all customers and, very importantly, prevent abuse of the system”, Moholi said.As with all Internet services, in addition to the access products, users need to buy a service from an Internet service provider.TelkomInternet offers Vsatpro with a free web mail service that allows you to retrieve your e-mail from anywhere in the world, and free anti-spam and anti-virus scanning. TelkomInternet provides a full ISP service for additional requirements such as DNS hosting, web page hosting and security services.For more information, call 10217 in South Africa or visit TelkomInternetSource: TelkomInternet Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

South African actors join The Flash TV series

first_imgSouth African actors Neil Sandilands and Kim Engelbrecht join the fourth season of the hit superhero series, The Flash, in high-profile roles.The Flash television series featuring the DC Comics character debuted in 2014 and has proven to be a critical and popular hit around the world. The fourth season begins in October 2017 and will feature new characters played by South African actors Neil Sandilands and Kim Engelbrecht. (Image: Wikipedia)CD AndersonSouth African acting talent is strong in Hollywood, from the Oscar-winning Charlize Theron to Pearl Thusi’s star turn in the hit series, Quantico. While Arnold Vosloo may not be a household name, thanks to his roles in geek favourites The Mummy and Darkman, he is a cult favourite.The fourth season of the hit show The Flash begins in October 2017 and will feature new characters played by South African actors Neil Sandilands (left) and Kim Engelbrecht. (Image: Twitter)Now two more South African names have been added to the list of local stars making it in Hollywood.Former Isidingo star Kim Engelbrecht and 7de Laan alumni Neil Sandilands have landed roles in the hit TV series, The Flash, which is based on the comic book. The two actors will appear in the forthcoming fourth season of the show, in major roles.This is not Sandilands’ first foray into US television. In 2016, he starred in the cult sci-fi series The 100 and he was a member of the supporting cast in the Sundance Channel’s crime drama Hap and Leonard. Sandilands has also had high profile guest roles in NCIS and The Americans, playing South African characters.South African audiences know him for his dramatic performances in local films such as Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee and Jakhalsdans. Although, of course, for most local fans, Sandilands is best known for his breakout role as Bart Kruger, the awkward but lovable deli owner on the soapie 7de Laan, whom he played from 2000 to 2007.Sandilands plays Clifford DeVoe in the forthcoming season of The Flash. DeVoe is also known as the Thinker, master of mind control and arch-villain to The Flash, played by Grant Gustin.Sandilands will be joined by a fellow South African in The Flash, actress Kim Engelbrecht, who plays the Thinker’s gadget maker, the Mechanic, a character created exclusively for the show.Engelbrecht also got her start in television in a popular South African soapie, playing the teenage rebel from the wrong side of the tracks, Lolly van Onselen, in Isidingo from 1998 to 2005.Since leaving Isidingo, Engelbrecht has built up a formidable acting resumé, appearing in film and television, including local indie hits such as The Flyer and A Boy Called Twist.Since seeking out fame and fortune in Hollywood in 2012, she has appeared in a number of international productions, including a role alongside Helen Mirren in the espionage thriller, Eye in the Sky, and in the action film, Death Race: Inferno.Engelbrecht also made an impression in two short-lived international television series, the sci-fi show, Dominion, and action series SAF3, alongside action star Dolph Lundgren.Thank You so much for the incredible messages ! I sooooo Appreciate it ! Hugzzzz #AppreciateIt ?#SweetTweets ?— ??Kim E (@kimengelbrecht) July 26, 2017Speaking to TshisaLIVE following the announcement of her role in The Flash, Engelbrecht said she was looking forward to making her mark in the popular show and acting alongside Sandilands. “I am really excited… [It’s a show] I have followed and liked for some time. It’s also exciting to be working in Vancouver for the first time, and to be working with such great actors.”Meanwhile, Sandilands took to Twitter to give fans a taste of what they could expect from the Thinker.Watch this space.— neil sandilands (@njwsandilands) July 22, 2017The South African actors will be joining another newcomer to the series, none other than cult film actor Danny Trejo, best known for his tough guy persona and his work with action director Robert Rodriquez.The fourth season of The Flash starts in the US on 10 October 2017. A date for the South African broadcast of the season, on DStv channel Vuzu Amp (103), has not yet been confirmed.Source: News24, IMDBWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

10 Factors for Forecasting Deals

first_imgCompelling reason to change: If your dream client doesn’t have a compelling reason to change, it’s difficult to forecast that deal. Like a crime, you are looking for a motive. No compelling reason to change doesn’t mean you may not win eventually, but it’s not a deal you can forecast with any certainty that you are going to win it by a certain date.Client driven date: If the prospect doesn’t have a date by which they believe they need to–or want to–implement your solution, the date in your CRM is merely a placeholder. How can you forecast a date when the client isn’t even aware of the date you have selected?Support beyond formal process: Do you have access to the stakeholders you need? Do you have access to the information you need? How much closer than “arm’s length” are you? It’s a mistake to forecast a blind RFP with any certainty over 17% unless you helped write it.All stakeholders are known and engaged: In small companies or large companies with a dominator hierarchy, you may be able to make a deal with a single stakeholder. But in larger, more complex deals, you are likely to need consensus. You won’t know how to build consensus if you don’t know who the stakeholders are. Not knowing them means they don’t support you. Maybe lower your certainty.Obstacle identified: If you don’t know who your obstacles are, you may want to reduce your certainty when it comes to forecasting. If you don’t know how you are likely to lose a deal, then you don’t know where you are likely to be flanked by your opposition or your competitor. Knowing how you may lose is how you know what changes to make. And who you need to help. Hold on that 75% certainty score.All stakeholder needs are addressed, and the solution tailored: If you don’t know what people want and how your solution may be difficult for them to accept, you can’t give them what they want. If you have “a” solution, you might want to think about “solutions,” (plural) tailoring your proposal for the people whose support you need and who you will later serve.Collaboration on solutions: You are much more likely to win a deal in which you collaborated with the contacts within your dream client’s company. If it’s your solution alone, it is not “our” solution. The more the solution belongs to your prospect, the greater the likelihood you win.Support of leadership: Just because you need consensus doesn’t mean that there isn’t still someone who has to sign an agreement. Consensus still requires the support of leadership. You don’t want to ask if leadership supports the change initiative you are working on with your prospect. Would you rather lose?Access to investment: A lot of people and companies have problems worth solving. Few of them have an unlimited budget for everything they would like to have. The question isn’t “Is there a budget?” It’s “is this compelling enough for you to make the necessary investment?” You can forecast a deal, but if there isn’t a reason to pay for the change, you are looking a “no decision.”Competitor’s known: If you haven’t had a scrappy competitor sneak into a deal and beat you, you will. You can’t easily differentiate your offering from your competitors if you don’t know who they are. You also can’t always generate the best deal strategy. It’s better to know who you are competing against than not to know and do nothing.last_img read more

Muscle strain

first_imgA muscle strain is the stretching or tearing of muscle fibers. A muscle strain can be caused by sports, exercise, a sudden movement, or trying to lift something that is too heavy. Symptoms of a muscle strain include pain, tightness, swelling, tenderness, and the inability to move the muscle very well.Review Date:4/13/2013Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.last_img

2013 NSWTA Blues Awards Dinner

first_imgNSWTA Administrator of the Year – Tracey Yiangou (Wests Touch Association) Referee of the Year (Ian Matthew Medal) – David BaggioSelector of the Year – Bob MonkleyRegion of the Year – Sydney MetsAdministrator of the YearSouthern Suns – Gary Brickell Sydney Rebels – Marina PappasSydney Mets – Tracey YiangouSydney Scorpions – Kim SolmanHunter Western Hornets – Tony LewisNorthern Eagles – Darrin Lewis Junior Coach of the Year – Keith RozairoCoach of the Year – Christian FrostTeam of the Year – Eastern Suburbs Women’s Premier LeagueSenior Male Player of the Year – Tim KitchinghamSenior Female Player of the Year – Kristie MosleyJunior Male Player of the Year – Adam CluneJunior Female Player of the Year – Ashleigh QuinlanMale Player of the Year – Dylan Hennessey and Scott BuckleyFemale Player of the Year – Ashleigh Quinlan Congratulations to the winners at the 2013 New South Wales Touch Association Blues Awards Dinner. Affiliate of the YearSouthern Suns – Goulburn Touch AssociationSydney Rebels – Eastern Suburbs Touch AssociationSydney Mets – Western Suburbs Touch AssociationSydney Scorpions – Hills Hornets Touch AssociationHunter Western Hornets – Central Coast Touch AssociationNorthern Eagles – Ballina Touch Association and Murwillumbah Touch Associationcenter_img NSWTA Affiliate of the Year – Eastern Suburbs Touch Association Hall of Fame induction – Amanda JuddRod Wise Medal (Volunteer of the Year) – Greg EgginsStay tuned to www.nswtouch.com.au for all of the latest news and stories from the 2013 NSWTA Blues Awards and State Conference weekend. Related LinksNSWTA Blues Awardslast_img read more

2016 4-Star CB Donte Vaughn Releases SEC-Heavy Top 8

first_imgDonte Vaughn announces his top 8 schools.@_cavtion_Donte Vaughn, a four-star cornerback in the 2016 class, has trimmed his list to eight schools. The 6-foot-3, 192-pound prospect out of Memphis, Tenn., is ranked the No. 27 CB in his class by 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings. His top eight is very SEC-heavy. Here’s the statement he released with his top schools.  @_cavtion_@_cavtion_Vaughn is considered by most recruiting analysts to be favoring Tennessee, Ole Miss and Notre Dame.last_img

Cancelled hunt cancels incomes for fragile Northern towns

first_imgAPTN National NewsPressure from international media and environmentalists has cancelled a planned sport hunt for polar bears in Nunavut.It’s a phenomenon that has become increasingly common, as more and more attention is focused on the hunting practices of Canada’s Inuit and Innu.But, as APTN National News reporter Wayne Rivers asks, what about the Northern communities whose fragile economies depend upon these hunts to survive?last_img

Rice U study Freestanding emergency departments in Texas deliver costly care sticker

first_imgAddThis Share9David [email protected] [email protected] U. study: Freestanding emergency departments in Texas deliver costly care, ‘sticker shock’HOUSTON – (March 23, 2017) – The rapid growth of freestanding emergency departments in Texas has been accompanied by an equal increase in use at relatively high prices that lead to sizable out-of-pocket costs to patients, according to new research by experts at Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX).Credit: shutterstock.com/Rice UniversityThe research, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, analyzes more than 16 million insurance claims processed by BCBSTX from 2012 to 2015 to track the growth in use and prices for freestanding emergency departments relative to hospital-based emergency departments and urgent care centers in Texas.“These findings are significant for both patients who find themselves in need of immediate care, as well as for the overall health care system,” said research co-author Vivian Ho, the chair in health economics at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and director of the institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences. “Many patients mistakenly think that freestanding emergency departments and urgent care clinics are similar, because they are often conveniently located in neighborhood shopping centers with modest storefronts.”Ho said patients don’t realize the price difference for these two types of facilities until they receive the bill for their out-of-pocket payment. The total price of a freestanding emergency room visit averaged $2,199 in 2015 versus $168 for an urgent care clinic visit. But in each case, patients were expected to pay roughly one-third out of pocket. The average price for similar treatment at hospital-based emergency departments was $2,259 and patients would have paid 33 percent out of pocket for treatment there.“The rapid growth in freestanding emergency rooms has often occurred in areas where they are easily confused with urgent care centers,” said Jack Towsley, divisional senior vice president of health care delivery, BCBSTX. “This is concerning because charges at freestanding emergency rooms are often more than 10 times higher than urgent care centers. In many cases, these facilities do not contract with insurers and are out-of-network for patients, making patients responsible for more of the cost. Recognizing which health conditions are true emergencies and which conditions are best treated by going to a local urgent care facility or doctor’s office can save time, money and reduce overall health care costs.”“The sticker shock is alarming,” Ho said. “Insurers are being forced to pay higher prices for many health care services at freestanding emergency departments that could have been dealt with at much lower cost. These unnecessary medical costs then get passed onto all insurance consumers in terms of higher premiums.”In their analysis, the authors found that there were many more visits to hospital-based emergency departments and urgent care clinics, 1,046,545 and 926,933 in 2015, respectively, relative to freestanding emergency departments, 183,971. However, the growth in the use of freestanding emergency departments was much higher. Freestanding emergency department use rose 236 percent between 2012 and 2015, compared with growth rates of 10 percent for hospital-based emergency departments and 24 percent for urgent care clinics. The rapid growth in freestanding emergency department use is consistent with a 2015 Texas Tribune article reporting that 162 freestanding emergency departments had opened in Texas since 2010, when they were first licensed by the state.Fifteen of the 20 most common diagnoses treated at freestanding emergency departments were also in the top 20 for urgent care clinics. However, prices for patients with the same diagnosis were on average almost 10 times higher at freestanding emergency departments relative to urgent care clinics. For example, the most common diagnostic category treated at freestanding emergency departments is “other upper-respiratory infections,” which has an average price of $1,351, more than eight times the price of $165 that was paid for the same diagnosis at urgent care clinics.Thirteen of the most common procedure codes associated with freestanding emergency departments were also among the 20 most common for urgent care clinics. In cases in which the type of procedure overlapped, the total price per visit was 13 times higher in freestanding emergency departments versus urgent care clinics. For example, the price for a therapeutic or intravenous injection at a freestanding emergency department was $203, which was 11.9 times the $17 price at an urgent care clinic.The paper also discusses possible regulatory solutions to address inappropriate use of freestanding emergency departments, including limiting the amount for which these departments can balance bill patients for out-of-network care, meaning the difference between what a patient’s health insurance agrees to reimburse and what the provider chooses to charge, and requiring they display the logos of insurance companies with negotiated in-network rates, similar to businesses displaying the logos of credit card companies.“Our findings suggest that careful thought must be applied when one designs insurance plans and policies that cover freestanding emergency departments so that utilization of new services is delivered in a cost-effective manner,” the authors concluded.“Comparing Utilization and Costs of Care in Freestanding Emergency Departments, Hospital Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Clinics” was also co-authored by Cedric Dark of Baylor College of Medicine; Ellerie Weber of UTHealth’s School of Public Health; and Leanne Metcalfe, Lan Vu and Howard Underwood of BCBSTX. Ho is also a professor of economics at Rice and a professor of medicine at Baylor.The study was funded with a grant from the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute.-30-For more information, to receive a copy of the study or to schedule an interview with Ho, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at [email protected]  or 713-348-6775.Related materials:Ho bio: www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/vivian-ho.Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow the Center for Health and Biosciences via Twitter @BakerCHB.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top five university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2023/IMG18452.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more