5 April 2007South African financial services group Nedbank and American technology company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have entered into a partnership to provide technology solutions to five historically disadvantaged schools in the country.The two companies opened the first fully equipped computing centre at the Nelson R Mandela High School in Gugulethu outside Cape Town on Monday.The school was selected as the first of several schools that will implement Learning Labs, and the companies hope it will have a lasting impact on Gugulethu.Learning Labs is an initiative by AMD to provide benefactors with computers and internet connectivity, as well as professional, educational and personal development tools to provide new ways for teachers and pupils to interact with each other.The labs feature systems capable of operating Windows or Linux and come with installed content and applications. To ensure the sustainability of the project, the partners will also provide the schools with teacher training programmes and maintenance and support for the labs.Microsoft, Cisco, Tarsus, First for Business, CompuTainer, @tlantic and Learnthings will also provide additional support for the Learning Labs.“We are confident that this learning lab and the others to follow it will greatly enhance the local educational system’s ability to provide students with the skills and information they need to achieve success in an increasingly competitive, digital world,” said Nedbank South Africa chief executive Tom Boardman.He said the partnership was an innovative way to meet the needs of South African communities and address the digital divide. The labs also use low-power systems that are compact and sealed, enabling them to last in a harsh environment.Several Learning Labs around the world together form part of AMD’s 50×15 initiative, launched at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in 2004, which aims to provide access to computing and internet connectivity to 50% of the world’s population by 2015.“The positive effects of the Learning Labs extend beyond the students and teachers at the schools and into the greater community by providing an incredible community resource for educational and economic development opportunities,” said AMD vice president Gautam Srivastava.According to the AMD statement, experience at previous lab deployments have shown that access the internet persuades students to stay enrolled in school for longer and make use of the available technology.The two partners want to learn from their experiences in Gugulethu, hoping it will enable them to expand the Nedbank-AMD 50×15 partnership across South Africa in the “coming months”.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
The man who protested corporate support for social issues such as same-sex marriage by planting a lemon meringue pie in the face of Qantas boss Alan Joyce on May 10 has been hit with a lifetime ban by the airline.The ban means 67-year-old Tony Overheu will not be able to fly on Qantas, Jetstar or Qantas codeshare flights such as those operated by alliance partner Emirates. The penalty is similar to one which would be applied to a person who attacked a Qantas staff member on a plane or in an airport lounge.Overheu, who later apologised, is also facing charges of common assault, trespass and damage over the alleged incident at a business breakfast in Perth.He is due to appear in Perth Magistrate’s Court on June 7.
Nelson Mandela International Day commemorates the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world.Brand South Africa volunteers its time at the YMCA Centre in Soweto on Nelson Mandela International Day, 18 July 2017. (Image supplied)Ntombifuthi Ntanzi In the words of Nelson Mandela; “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”Nelson Mandela International Day commemorates the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. Eight years later since the launch of Mandela day, it has gained momentum, with worldwide support from citizens of all races and ages, playing their part by giving 67 minutes of their time to the less fortunate and taking #ActionAgainstPoverty.The Nelson Mandela Foundation last month adopted the theme #ActionAgainstPoverty as a firm call to take action towards eradicating poverty and making a meaningful contribution to the lives of those facing poverty and inequality in society. It all begins with small steps from each and every stakeholder.This was evident at the YMCA Centre on Tuesday the 18th, it was abuzz with young and old coming to contribute to the Mandela Day activities.Brand South Africa volunteered their time and hands to paint the premises. Brand South Africa’s Strategic Relationship Manager: Government, Ms Toni Gumede said, “Brand South Africa is pleased to be reiterating the words of Nelson Mandela through action and our involvement to the Mandela Day does not just end here, we encourage everyone to play their part.”Absa also pledged a mentorship programme, renovated the computer centre, donated 30 computers and stocked the library.Speaking to the community, David Hodnett, Deputy Chief Executive of Barclays Africa and Chief Executive of the group’s South African banking operations said, “The success of today really lies in there being so many partners who have come together.”“The YMCA is a very historical place for our country’s liberation story and the work that is done by the YMCA organisation for the young children is inspirational. We are so happy to give back to a location that is so very important to our history”, said Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesperson Lunga Nene.See more below:Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
NanaWall Systems is a veteran in the folding-glass-wall business. Launched in 1986, the company significantly expanded its lineup after 1996, when it forged a partnership with Solarlux Technologies, based in Bissendorf, Germany.NanaWall’s articulated-window systems have found their way into plenty of commercial and residential buildings, and even a few Solar Decathlon homes, including those built by Cornell University, Iowa State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Team Alberta.A large opening sealed shutThis week, NanaWall took a step deeper into the deep-energy realm with the announcement that its WA67 product – an aluminum-clad, wood-framed folding system – is now available in a triple-glazed version with foam insulation that will work in buildings designed to meet the Passivhaus standard.NanaWall says the Passivhaus-ready version of WA67 has a U-factor of 0.17, a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.26, high water resistance (no leakage at 12 pounds per sq. ft.), and air infiltration “well below the allowable limit” for a building constructed to meet the Passivhaus standard.NanaWall’s WA67 can be built for openings from 3 ft. to 39 ft. wide, with any of more than 50 stacking options. Other NanaWall systems, including one called the SL70, are available with triple glazing, although the SL70’s U-factor is higher (0.29) – in other words, worse – than that for the WA67. The price for this system of course varies according to the dimensions of the opening and the materials requested, but for an opening 7-ft. 10-in. high, the cost would come to roughly $1,000 per linear foot, a company spokesman told GBA.
News The Backstreet Boys’ third album Millennium, released in 1999, established their success, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and drawing nominations at the 42nd GRAMMY Awards for Album Of The Year And Best Pop Album. Wrapping around the millennium itself, 2000’s Black & Blue reached No. 1 as well, powered by its GRAMMY-nominated hit “Shape of My Heart.” The group is currently completing its Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywod’s Zappos Theater. Their world tour kicks off this May in Portugal, coming back to North America in July. Tickets are available at the group’s website and a bundle deal for tickets-plus-DNA helped propel the Backstreet Boys’ latest album’s spectacular sales. Rolling Stone noted this success was also helped by the many talented collaborators contributing to the album, including Ross Copperman, Kuk Harrell, Brett James, Shawn Mendes, the Stereotypes, and Ryan Tedder.Shawn Mendes: “Everything Revolves Around” Connecting People With MusicRead more Backstreet Boys’ ‘DNA’ Gives The Group Their Third No. 1 Album Facebook Once a boy band, the Backstreet Boys helped begin the millennium and now, all grown up, their latest album reaches No. 1Philip MerrillGRAMMYs Feb 4, 2019 – 4:36 pm On the Feb. 9 Billboard 200, for the week ending Feb. 1, the Backstreet Boys’ Jan. 25 album release DNA reached No. 1 for the group’s third time, assisted by their vibrant lead single “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” The song is nominated at the 61st GRAMMY Awards for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, the quintet’s 8th GRAMMY nomination.Billboard crunches the numbers on the Backstreet Boys’ chart success, raising comparisons to Paul McCartney and Sade as long-established artists riding a fresh appetite for what they do best. With sales in its debut week of 234,000 units, DNA posted the best one-week sales of any album so far in 2019. Twitter Email Backstreet Boys’ ‘DNA’ Is Their Third No. 1 Album backstreet-boys-dna-gives-group-their-third-no-1-album https://twitter.com/backstreetboys/status/1092424275808538625
People pay final tributes to the dainik Samakl editor Golam Sarwar. Photo: UNBPeople from all walks of life paid their final tributes to vernacular daily Samakal editor Golam Sarwar, who died at a Singapore hospital on Monday night, at Central Shaheed Minar in the city on Thursday.The body of the veteran journalist Sarwar, also the president of Editors’ Council, was taken to the Shaheed Minar around 10:00am and was kept there until 12:30pm, reports UNB.From the Shaheed Minar, Sarwar’s body was taken to the Jatiya Press Club where journalists paid their tributes to him before his last janaza there after Zohr prayers.The mortal remains of the senior journalist will be buried at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals’ Graveyard after Asr prayers today, Thursday.Earlier, his body was taken to his workplace at Tejgaon Industrial area around 9:00am where his colleagues paid last respects to their late editor and his third namaz-e-janaza was held at the field of Bangladesh University of Textiles adjacent to Samakal office.Sarwar breathed his last around 9:25pm (Bangladesh time) on Monday while undergoing treatment at Singapore General Hospital.He was 75.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas TribuneState Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, listens to questions regarding Senate Bill 179, the anti-cyberbullying bill, on May 3, 2017.The state Senate cleared legislation Wednesday aiming to curb teen suicides by cracking down on cyberbullying — relentless online attacks that have pushed some Texas teens to take their own lives. Senate Bill 179, dubbed “David’s Law,” unanimously cleared the chamber, after the bill’s Democratic author, Sen. José Menéndez, supported amendments from Republicans who were initially concerned the legislation went too far in levying penalties and requiring action from school districts.The bill is named for David Molak, a 16-year-old Alamo Heights High School student who committed suicide in January 2016 after classmates online had mocked his appearance for months and threatened physical violence.“I believe we have the responsibility to act before more children take their lives,” Menéndez, who distributed copies of some of the bullying messages to his colleagues, said in an impassioned Senate floor speech. “The bullies now are on our children’s phones and on their computers.”The bill classifies cyberbullying as a misdemeanor and allows courts to issue subpoenas to unmask people who anonymously harass minors online. It would also require schools to adopt cyberbullying policies and report instances of such actions to the parents of victims and perpetrators. “What we’re trying to do is create early awareness if something’s wrong,” Menéndez told reporters.Before it hit the chamber floor, the legislation also required school districts to report on cyberbullying to police and implement certain cyberbullying prevention efforts. But Republicans added several amendments — accepted by Menéndez — that made such actions optional amid concerns about burdening small districts.The amendments also narrowed what actions would trigger a more severe Class A misdemeanor for repeat offenders or those who bully a youth who later commits or attempts suicide. The change tightened language that might automatically presume a suicide was caused by the bullying, specifying that the more severe charge was only triggered if the bully intended to provoke such injuries. State Sen. Brian Birdwell, a Granbury Republican who pushed for some of the changes, said he joined Menéndez in wanting to send a message that Texas would not tolerate cyberbullying, but “I wanted to do without setting what I thought was a dangerous presumptive precedent.”Another amendment stripped language that would have allowed families to recover damages in court for physical, emotional or mental injuries. Even with the change, however, families could still ask courts for an injunction against an alleged bully.Menéndez said he was happy to accept the changes and was then thrilled to see all 31 senators support the revised version. “That sends a message to the House and a strong message to school districts,” he told reporters. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, told lawmakers that their bipartisan effort made him “proud.”A separate version of the legislation has cleared a House committee. Read related coverage:While a Texas senator wants to criminalize cyberbullying when it leads to a minor’s serious injury or suicide, critics of the bill say prevention is more effective than punishment.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/03/texas-senate-supports-crackdown-cyberbullying/.Texas Tribune mission statementThe Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Share
X 00:00 /03:52 Listen – / 8Market Square Park, in the north end of downtown, is on the verge of becoming the city’s newest hotspot. It’s brimming with new bars, restaurants, residences and the park that itself has had a makeover.It didn’t happen overnight. It took a decade of investment and planning from the Downtown District and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, two organizations tasked with imagining and implementing improvements. Angie Bertinot with the Downtown District laughs when she hears from people who think the area revitalized all on its own. “They’re like ‘You don’t need incentives, look at Market Square, that just happened,’” she said. “And I was just like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’”In 2010, the Downtown District renovated the park, which signaled that they were serious about waking up Market Square.“We really thought it could be an economic development tool because the area was really starting to kind of go through a stressful situation,” Bertinot said.Next they got advice from the Urban Land Institute. The report urged them to build housing, specifically housing that would be “affordable to a broad spectrum of those working in downtown.”The report said if you want a vibrant, 24/7 neighborhood, you need retail. If you want retail, you need residents. And the land downtown is really expensive, so if you want residents, you’ll need incentives to make it more affordable.So they kicked off the Downtown Living Initiative, a program offering tax rebates to developers.The 32-story Aris Market Square, developed by Hines, is almost complete. It’s one of two new luxury apartment buildings directly facing the square, both built with funding from the Downtown Living Initiative.“The tax incentive program really helped to bridge the gap of what the required asking land price was and what we were able to afford,” said David Haltom, a director at Hines.Haltom said the tower wouldn’t exist without the rebates. Some of their neighbors said that was money well spent. Dan Tidwell first opened his restaurant Treebeards in Market Square in 1978, and he said developers got a good deal.“When you have the Wortham Center and the ballpark and all of these things that are not going away, and you have someone offering you some money, it was really a winning combination.”He lives a short walk from the restaurant. So does David Haltom, working on the Aris Market Square building.“I get to walk to work every day,” he said.That’s pretty much what the Urban Land Institute recommended in 2012, that an incentive program build housing for people who work downtown.But did they have in mind two luxury buildings with one bedroom apartments starting around $2,700 a month?Bill Fulton is the director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. He said the Downtown Living Initiative was simply about getting people to live downtown. Anybody. “In Houston, what you’re trying to do is use a financial incentive to encourage people to build residential development at all, rather than something else,” Fulton said.That’s why he said you could consider the initiative a success.“On the other hand, in most cities, if the city provided you with a substantial financial incentive to build housing, they probably would require affordable housing in return,” he said.Critics say that the funding shouldn’t go to building luxury housing. The program has handed out money to 16 projects and the total amount may reach $69 million in tax incentives. Ryan Leach is the executive director of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority. He said the Market Square Park area isn’t done. Workforce housing could come next.“Now that we’re kind of on a roll with that and we have some momentum with that, I think that there’s an opportunity there for us to focus on really creating workforce housing and affordable housing in a way that it really increases the downtown living population,” he said. Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Go home-based and get a bigger share of your commission: survey Tuesday, March 13, 2018 Share Posted by A recent nationwide survey of home based agents funded by The Travel Agent Next Door and conducted by an independent research company shows that the majority of home-based agents are earning more than they did working in a bricks-and-mortar agency.No doubt this is a major contributing factor to the growth of the home-based retail travel industry here in Canada, following the trend in other markets including the UK and the U.S. According to the survey an estimated 37% of travel agents in Canada are now independent, home-based contractors.A significant 61% of agents reported that they earned 10% – 30% more than in the past working at a bricks-and-mortar location, and 23.5% said they are earning 30%+.The second annual independent nationwide survey of Canadian hosted travel agents, conducted in January 2018, tripled in response size, making the results much more meaningful than the previous year.The survey results also show that 85% of home-based agents have the opportunity to earn 50% or more of the available commission and 47% said they can earn 75% or more of the available commission.The majority of home-based agents surveyed, 72.6%, said they earn a greater share of commission as a home-based agent compared to working in a travel agency.When asked to rate their current compensation package with their host agency, 73.7% said they were ‘mostly to 100% satisfied’, and 25.4% said they were 100% satisfied with their compensation.The survey also explored the costs to agents to join host agencies, beyond the monthly or annual fees. Most agents are getting most services covered by their base fee.The survey also asked agents about the monthly website fee they pay to their host agency. About eight out of 10 (79%) of agents who responded to this question said they don’t pay a monthly fee for their website.When asked if they pay a monthly marketing fee to their host agency, 82% of agents who responded to this question said they do not pay an additional marketing fee to their host agent because it is included in their monthly fee.The survey also asked the question: ‘What is the invoicing fee you pay to your host agency?’ More than 85% of the agents who responded to this question do not pay an invoicing fee to their host agency. Tags: Sphere, The Travel Agent Next Door, Trend Watch Travelweek Group