A pre-election march throughGuinea-Bissau’s capital, Bissau, to theNational Assembly building on November15 2008.(Image: Marc-André Boisvert, Irin Photo)A massive voter turnout and large majority for the winning party in Guinea-Bissau’s parliamentary elections, held on 16 November, signal stronger government and greater reform in the West African country.The African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) won the majority in the elections, which international observers say mark the first of many steps towards restoring stability in the country.In the 16 November poll the PAIGC won 67 seats, followed by the Party for Social Renewal (PRS) with 28 and the Republican Party for Independent Development with three, Aladji Mane, president of the national electoral commission (NEC), announced to reporters on 21 November. Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior has been returned to his post.“Now, it appears there is a stronger majority, which could mean a stronger government,” said Franco Nulli, head of the European Union (EU) delegation.UN and donor representatives told IRIN the new government must now focus on reforming the public sector and strengthening the rule of law if it is to build a more stable future.Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. Its people have seen four prime ministers come and go in as many years, and are eager for positive change.Aida, a 21-year-old student who voted for the first time, said: “We are tired of the politicians quarrelling. We want water, we want electricity … We just want to be normal.”The NEC’s Mane declared the elections were “free, fair and transparent,” with 82% of eligible voters participating.But some voters in PRS strongholds in Oio region claimed there were irregularities such as insufficient voting materials. Some said they saw voting the day after the election.“We are obliged to accept the results, even if we found fraud,” said farmer and PRS supporter Romeu Fernandes.Mane vowed that individuals suspected of irregularities would be investigated and punished if found guilty.High hopesFor the EU’s Nulli, the high voter turnout is a sign. “People are tired of not having water, electricity, education, stability. The high turn-out is a clear [sign] that people want change.”Sherif Sidi, who works at a petrol pumping station in Bissau, said: “I hope Carlos Gomes Junior will help this country. We ask him to relieve the suffering of the people, most of whom live on less than US$1 per day.”To deliver essential services, Nulli says the new government needs to completely reform its administration and its finances.The country is almost bankrupt and civil servants across many ministries face months of wage arrears, he said. Teachers have been on strike since June 2008 because of lack of pay.Giuseppina Mazza, head of the UN in Guinea-Bissau said: “The country is heavily dependent on foreign aid. It must work on increasing its revenue and streamlining public finances.”Strengthen rule of lawThe government should also build up its judiciary system and reform its security sector, Mazza said.“A strong rule of law is fundamental to develop the private sector and to create jobs and wealth,” she said. “If there are no reforms of the legal framework, there will be no solid foundation to develop the country.”Guinea-Bissau is a major drugs transit point between South America and Europe, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.Party activists repeatedly made drug-related allegations in the final days of election campaigning, accusing opponents of receiving money from traffickers.“A lot of financial means that were injected into the campaign come from unknown origins. It is easy to speculate, but the fact is that we just don’t know,” the EU’s Nulli said.“Drug trafficking is a reality here but Guinea-Bissau cannot carry the burden alone – it is all around West Africa. The main catches are not here.”But exaggerated or not, he agreed drug trafficking is a problem that will have to be tackled by the next government.Source: Irin NewsDo you have queries or comments about this article? Emails Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesSA set for record 2009 electionBetter government across AfricaAngola heads for democracy
Money may not buy you love but it can now buy the comforts of an Emirates lounge.The Dubai giant is allowing members of its Skywards frequent flyer program who do not already have access to its premium lounges to buy their way into the resting places of the elite.But it isn’t cheap.A four-hour stint in an Emirates business class lounge will cost $US100 while a similar stay in its first class facility costs $US200.The offer is only available to Skywards members travelling on the carrier’s flights and guests accompanying eligible business and first class lounge customers.“This has been implemented in response to increasing demand from our valued customers for guest access to our lounges,’’ a spokesman said. “Credit card payments can be made at the lounge check-in counters.”Emirates is among a number of airlines that allow people to buy access to their lounges but there are alternatives.Priority Pass touts access to more than 1000 airport lounges for an annual fee. The basic pass costs $US99 a year but people using this pass must part with a further $US27 to access a lounge for three hours. The $US249 standard plus pass comes with 10 free visits, while the $US359 gives the holder free access.Not all airports have participating lounges but some, such as Singapore’s Changi, have a range of options from which to choose.You can also sign up directly with a lounge operator.Plaza Premium Lounge, for example, has 140 lounges at 35 international airports that offer facilities such as comfortable chairs, showers, food and beverages, television and newspapers.Online reviews of some lounges have been mixed but they are cheaper than Emirates with gift cards offering three visits at $US147, five visits $US219 and 10 visits at $US349.Credit cards provide another way into airport loungesEligible American Express cardholders get free access to a network of high-standard lounges the operates in the US and international locations such as Sydney, Mumbai and Buenos Aires. The free entry is limited to higher-end cards and in some cases to two visits a year. Diners Club also runs a lounge program with access to more than 700 lounges worldwide.
Trainers from the Passive House Academy of Rathnew, Ireland, will be offering four courses in New York City in February and March 2012.On February 1, 2012, Tomas O’Leary will teach a half-day introductory course that includes a demonstration of PHPP software. The course fee is $85.A 9-day course for those interested in becoming an internationally recognized Certified Passive House Consultant begins on February 2, 2012. The cost is $2,100, plus an exam fee of $350.A two-day technical course on the topic of “Thermal Bridge Calculations for Passive House Projects” will be held on February 13-14, 2012. The course costs $425.A two-day preparation course for the International Certified Passive House Consultant Exam will be held on March 6-7, 2012. The cost is $375.For more information, contact the Passive House Academy, 133 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231. The phone number is 646â€233â€1365, and the e-mail address is info [at] passivehouseacademy [dot] com.
4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… The idea behind Curiosity is simple: one giant cube, with a secret prize at its center, was handed over to millions of players who all collaboratively chip away at its many layers by tapping one piece (or cubelet) at a time, of which there were 68 billion spread out over hundreds of layers. Only the lucky person to tap the last cubelet gets to see what’s inside, and Molyneux has often described that mystery in grandiose fashion, referring to it as “life changing.”(See also: Gaming Legend Peter Molyneux: What Makes A Great Game?)Curiousity was meant to be both a social experiment in massively multiplayer smartphones games as well as a learning experience for 22Cans, which announced its first multiplatform title Godus on Kickstarter shortly after launching Curiosity.Curiosity Now About Learning Different Things“Part of our motivation in doing Curiosity was to learn how to do these things for Godus, like learning how to connect people, how to scale up our servers,” Molyneux said. Despite massive server issues hampering Curiosity’s launch, the game picked up steam and garnered more than 3 million downloads within one month. Godus also surpassed its Kickstarter goal of £450,000 on the final day, securing 22Cans’ future in cross-platform game development. With only 50 layers to go, the race to the finish will tight, raising valid concerns that the final tap that wins it all might not be recorded accurately. “When we get to the final five layers, we’ll have something called Cube Watch,” Molyneux explained. “We’ll be watching it 24 hours a day and we’ll be sitting in the office waiting for that end to come.”He stressed that the studio has taken substantial measures to protect against cheating and will be able to validate the tapper of the final cubelet as soon as it happens. Players will also get a real-time reminder in the white space around the cube of how many layers are left and what the estimated lifespan of the experiment is. “In our hyper-connected world, what happens when we put an objective that is so insanely far off that it becomes almost meaningless?” Now that the objective is almost within grasp, Curiosity is raising new questions about the player motivation and connectedness players await their chance to finally see what’s inside the cube. Tags:#Android#iOS#Mobile Games#smartphone Related Posts Curiosity: What’s Inside The Cube, the one-part-smartphone-game, one-part-social-experiment that launched last November, is getting its most substantial update yet. In a move aimed at bringing the contest to a faster close, UK studio 22Cans has accelerated the game to its last 50 layers, in effect erasing the months and months of players tapping away on the giant cube it would have taken to get to the center.This World Is Predicted To End On May 21The studio’s current estimated end date – unless player participation unexpectedly spikes – is May 21, which coincidentally happens to be the same day Microsoft will announce its next-generation Xbox console. “It has been an elongated, protracted experiment in curiosity, but if I’m someone whose fingers are bleeding now, enough is enough,” said 22Cans founder Peter Molyneux, known primarily for creating the Fable game series before leaving Microsoft last year to found the independent studio. “We decided that we could have just left it going and probably less and less people would be fascinated… or we could set a layer and it would be a race to the center,” he added. The new update comes on the heels of last week’s quiet addition to the game that let players pay to both remove and add cubelets to the current layer. This feature will remain for some, but not all, of the final 50 layers. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… nick statt
MOST READ “We’re not going to comment on that stuff. Personal reasons. He won’t be with us the next couple of games,” Hornacek said.The New York Daily News reported that Noah had been sidelined after shouting at Hornacek during the Knicks loss to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNoah was reportedly unhappy after being removed in the fourth quarter having played only four minutes and 20 seconds.The 32-year-old has endured a rocky spell in New York after joining the team in 2016 after nine years with the Chicago Bulls. Injury disrupted his first season in New York and in March last year he was hit with a 20-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bounce back time Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Joakim Noah (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)New York, United States — New York Knicks center Joakim Noah will miss the team’s next two games due to personal reasons, the club said Thursday, amid reports of a bust-up with coach Jeff Hornacek.Hornacek confirmed to reporters that Noah would miss at least two games but declined to go into details concerning the French star’s omission.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Read Next
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring Chile’s first goal. (AP Photo)This is the coverage of the first round of 16 World Cup 2014 match as hosts Brazil take on their South American counterparts Chile at Mineirao Staduim in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Match Photos Brazil 1-1 Chile (3-2 on penalties) Neymar scored the winning penalty to give Brazil a 3-2 shootout win over Chile in the second round of the World Cup. The match had ended 1-1. Neymar scored the third penalty after David Luiz and Marcelo also scored from the spot. Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar saved the first two penalties and watched Gonzalo Jara’s final attempt hit the post. Brazil will next face either Colombia or Uruguay in the quarterfinals. Time for a shootout! Match moves into penalties as second half of extra-time comes to an end. Chile almost scored a few seconds before the end as Pinilla’s shot hit the crossbar. Brazil get a worthy corner, but couldn’t make much of it. 87′: Medel taken off on a stretcher, Rojas replaces him. 72′: Willian steps in place of Oscar, Brazil pushing forward. Match in extra time. End of normal time as Howard Webb blows the whistle. Stay tuned for another 30 minutes of action as Brazil try to sharpen their finishes. 87′: Chile’s Arturo Vidal is substituted for Mauricio Pinilla 55′: Hulk gets booked for handball after his goal is disallowed. Hulk thought he put Brazil ahead 10 minutes into the second half but referee Howard Webb disallowed the goal, ruling Hulk took down a long pass with his arm.advertisement 32′: Sanchez equalises forChile. Brazil gave away the ball from a throw-in and Alexis Sanchez shot it past the keeper right into the bottom corner. Chile equalized in the 32nd after Eduardo Vargas intercepted Hulk’s pass and found Alexis Sanchez, who scored from the right side of the penalty area with a shot toward the far post. 18′: David Luiz scores with his thigh on Neymar’s corner kick, Silva gets a flick on it. David Luiz scored for the World Cup hosts in the 18th minute after Thiago Silva deflected Neymar’s corner kick toward the far post. Luiz was given the goal but Chile defender Gonzalo Jara may have touched the ball before it went in. Chile’s Alexis Sanchez scores his side’s first goal past Brazil’s Thiago Silva. (AP Photo)Chile’s Gonzalo Jara and Brazil’s David Luiz go for the ball before Brazil’s first goal. (AP Photo) For India Today’s World Cup 2014 homepage, click here . VIDEO: How Chile plan to stop Brazil’s Neymar Lineups: Brazil: Julia Cesar; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Luiz Gustavo, Fernandinho, Oscar; Hulk, Fred, Neymar. Chile: Claudio Bravo; Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Eugenio Mena, Francisco Silva, Gonzalo Jara; Arturo Vidal, Marcelo Diaz, Charles Aranguiz; Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas.
Chelsea boss Lampard admits Mourinho his biggest influenceby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard admits Jose Mourinho has the biggest influence on his coaching.Despite also playing under Claudio Ranieri, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez and Guus Hiddink, it is Mourinho who made the biggest impression on the fledgling Chelsea boss.”I’ve been influenced by all the managers I’ve played under but probably Jose (Mourinho) as much, if not more, than anyone else,” Lampard told Sky Sports News.”He was the one at the point of my career when my performances and mind set got better, giving me a lot of confidence within the team.”So I try to act like that with my players now, trying to have a personal relationship with them which means driving them every day to be better, trying to help them to be confident and understand what they need to do to keep going up the levels as a player.”So I took a lot from Jose but I certainly don’t want to be typecast as trying to be a Jose person because I am my own person.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Dennis Ward APTN National NewsDozens of people from Garden Hill First Nation have flown south in search of a missing man from their community.It’s been more than a month since Derwin Beardy was last seen.
Alberta’s battle with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline hasn’t much impacted Rachel Notley’s approval rating, according to the latest numbers from Angus Reid.But, the quarrel may have added to John Horgan’s popularity.Notley is sitting at 33 per cent — in the middle of the pack compared to other provincial leaders.“What that says to me is that — the trade war that started between B.C. and Alberta over wine, certainly the war of words and rhetoric is something that hasn’t hurt Notley or her approval levels, (but) it hasn’t necessarily given her much of a bump. Being up a point really means being statistically unchanged,” Shachi Kurl, Angus Reid’s Executive Director, said.B.C.’s premier is tied with Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe, with the highest approval rating at 52 per cent.“It looks like the face-off against the government of Alberta does appear to have helped John Horgan, a little bit. A three point increase in approval is not massive but it’s certainly in the right direction.” Kurl said.Kurl said we’ve heard the opposition saying Notley has lost the conflict with Horgan.“The numbers would indicate, well nothing necessarily lost, nor nothing necessarily gained,” she said.
New Delhi: Investigation has been initiated against e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart for alleged violation of foreign exchange law, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday informed the Delhi High Court. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani noted the submissions of the ED that a case has been registered under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against the two companies and disposed of a PIL which has alleged that the e-commerce giants were violating foreign direct investment (FDI) norms. The court had earlier sought response of the central government, Amazon and Flipkart to the plea which has sought a probe into the alleged FDI violations. The ED, in its reply filed through central government standing counsel Amit Mahajan, has said the “department has already registered and initiated investigation under the provisions of FEMA against the two companies to ascertain whether they have been contravening any provisions of FEMA or contravening any rule, regulations, notification, direction or order issued in exercise of the powers under FEMA….” The agency also sought dismissal of the petition. The petition by an NGO, Telecom Watchdog, also asked for initiation of legal proceedings against the two e-commerce companies under the FEMA for alleged violation and circumvention of FDI norms. The plea, filed through advocate Pranav Sachdeva, has claimed that Amazon and Flipkart have created multiple entities to circumvent the FDI norms and route the hot-selling stock at cheaper rates. The petition has contended that according to Press Note 3 of 2016, which regulates FDI in e-commerce, entities like Amazon and Flipkart are not to exercise ownership over stock, nor directly or indirectly influence price of goods and services sold on their marketplace. It claimed that by creating name lending companies, Amazon and Flipkart buy branded goods in bulk at discounts from manufacturers and render small sellers uncompetitive by a wide margin, thus influencing the prices in violation of the FDI norms. “As a consequence of this FDI norms violation, smaller sellers are unable to participate in the fast growing e-commerce sector,” the plea has contended, adding that due to subsidised prices on such platforms, small sellers are unable to sell in the brick-n-mortar world too. Besides, the plea has also claimed that the two e-commerce firms have created several other group companies in the chain to divide discounts and losses. “Exchange offers, EMI costs and bank offers are funded completely or substantially by Amazon and Flipkart and constitute a clear influence on price in violation of FDI norms,” it has alleged.