Cooperating to cut down piracy

first_imgRay Maota The flags of all the signatories to theInternational Maritime Organisation’sDjibouti Code of Conduct concerning theRepression of Piracy and Armed Robberyagainst Ships fly high at the organisation’sheadquarters in London. High Commissioner and PermanentRepresentative of the Republic of SouthAfrica in London, Zola Skweyiya, signsthe Djibouti Code of Conduct, watchedby IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizuand South Africa’s alternate permanentrepresentative, Theophilus Ntuli.(Images: IMO, Flickr)MEDIA CONTACTS• Yamuna PillaySouth African High Commission:First Secretary Political+ 44 20 7451 7141South Africa has become the 19th signatory to the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Djibouti Code of Conduct, all in the name of preventing the escalating pirate activity in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.Zola Skweyiya, the country’s high commissioner in the UK, signed the document, titled Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships, during a recent conference which focused on how to counter piracy off the Somali coast, held at the IMO’s headquarters in London on 15 May 2012.The conference was attended by over 300 delegates from signatory states as well as a number of relevant organisations.Topics under discussion included building maritime infrastructure, law enforcement capacity and the implementation of the code.The IMO is the UN’s specialised agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.The code’s 18 other signatories are: the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, the Sudan Republic (North Sudan), the United Arab Emirates, Tanzania, and Yemen. All countries are located around Africa’s west coast, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Peninsula.The Djibouti Code, which has been in effect since 29 January 2009, has space for two other countries to sign as only 21 signatories are allowed. France and Mozambique are still eligible to sign.Yamuna Pillay, the first secretary political of the South African Commission in London, said: “The signing of the code entails that South Africa, as a signatory of the non-mandatory code, will cooperate in the repression of piracy and armed robbery in consistence with our available resources and related priorities, laws and regulations within applicable rules of international law.”It takes into account and promotes the implementation of those aspects of UN Security Council resolutions 1816 (2008), 1838 (2008), 1846 (2008) and 1851 (2008) and of UN General Assembly resolution 63/111.What the code of conduct entailsAccording to the IMO the signatories commit themselves towards the investigation, arrest and prosecution of those reasonably suspected of having committed acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, including those inciting or intentionally facilitating such acts.Furthermore, action may include the seizure of suspect ships and property on board such ships; as well as the rescue of ships, persons and property affected by acts of piracy and armed robbery. It also involves the proper care, treatment and repatriation of people, such as fishermen or passengers, who have been disturbed by these acts, particularly those who have been subjected to violence.The signatories will conduct shared operations between themselves, and also with navies from countries outside the region.Pillay said: “States contribute as per their abilities. The cooperation between South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania to conduct patrols along the channel is recognised as a well-coordinated one.”She added that additional contribution would be based on an objective assessment, and would have to be approved in Parliament.“At this stage the commitment as part of the SADC mandate has been effective enough.”Djibouti signatories will also have access to three information sharing centres found in Sana’a in Yemen, Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. These centres, which have been fully functional since September 2011, help in anti-piracy efforts by ensuring that important information is distributed effectively and in good time.They send out information on imminent threats and incidents on ships, as well as collecting and combining all information from signatories to prepare statistics and reports.The implementation plan for the Djibouti Code of Conduct is being funded primarily through the IMO Djibouti Code Trust Fund, which received substantial early donations from France, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and the Republic of Korea, and more recent donations from the Marshall Islands and Saudi Arabia.Strategic partnerships to the CodeDuring the recent maritime security conference, the IMO also signed strategic partnerships with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation; the UN Political Office for Somalia; the UN Office on Drugs and Crime; the World Food Programme; as well as, European Union, acting through the European External Action Service. Please correct these errors, which should never appear in a document sent through for subbing, because you know well enough what the convention is on British English, as well as the use of acronyms.According to the IMO, the international community and maritime security organisations have already been working with the Somali transitional government and the authorities of the Galmudug, Puntland, and Somaliland regions in that country through the so-called Kampala Process. This works on the principle that an integrated approach is the best way to develop a safe and secure maritime sector in Somalia.The Kampala Process was initiated in January 2010 as a tri-party technical committee involving the Somali transitional federal government and the regional governments of Puntland and Somaliland. Its aim is to promote internal coordination, information generation and sharing, and to coordinate the respective counter-piracy offices.Under the Kampala Process, anti-piracy laws have been laid down by the parties involved, and suspected pirates have been arrested and tried.last_img read more

4 to 7 More Years of Tax-Free Internet Access in US

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#news#web josh catone 1 The US Senate last night passed a bill that would extend the 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act, which prohibits local governments from taxing Internet connections, for seven years. About two weeks ago the House of Representatives passed a similar measure that would extend the act for four years. Barring an unlikely presidential veto, this will be the third time the bill has been extended since it was passed into law.The extension of the tax moratorium has broad support, reports Ars Technica. Most ISPs and the National Governors Association would like to see the tax ban extended at least 4 years. It is commonly thought that the law will eventually be made permanent (perhaps the next time it comes up for extension?). According to Reuters, ISPs claim service costs might jump by as much as 17% if the tax ban were to expire.Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens was especially happy about the extension of the Internet tube tax moratorium. “By keeping Internet access tax-free and affordable, Congress can encourage Internet use for distance learning, telemedicine, commerce and other important services,” he said in a statement.The bill will now go to a joint committee where the Senate and House will hash out the differences between the two versions of the legislation that were passed. A revised bill is expected to be signed into law by President Bush once it has passed both houses of congress. Related Posts center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Health Care: EHR Data Storage Costs to be Minimal

first_imgThe implementation of EHR systems are ultimately expected to make both hospitals and physicians more efficient, less error prone, and to save money.  A study by CDW HealthCare in late 2010 estimates that while adoption of an EHR system could cost a physician $120,000 on average, without considering federal government stimulus incentive spending, the system will have more than paid for itself in just one year.  Most of the savings are expected to come from  efficiencies.  EHR systems allow physicians to see as many as 15 percent more patients, and that can amount to as much as additional $150,000 revenues over the course of one year.John Karl of CDW HealthCare said that “through a more efficient use of the EHR system, you can actually accelerate the speed by which you or your staff can provide care…  The quicker you’re able to integrate the solution into your practice, the quicker you’re recouping your investment and setting your path to meaningful use.”A calculation by John D. Halamka, MD, chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School, finds that the storage costs of EHRs are one of the few bargain prices items you’ll find in today’s health care environment.  Halamka’s calculation considered the 250,000 EHRs now stored at BIDMC.  Those records today occupy roughly 20 terabytes of data.  He calculates that at today’s price of storage that it will cost about $.42 to store text data for 15 years for an individual and another $1.89 to store imaging data for an individual over 7 years.  After that, Halamka estimates that the cost to store text will be $.05 per year for text and $.47 per year for imaging data.Halamka comments that “the equivalent of Moore’s law applies to storage – continuously decreasing costs and higher density. We’ll also have cloud storage options (although no public cloud provider yet offers HIPAA compliant storage with indemnification for privacy breaches).”Halamka points out that the while these costs are minimal, there are factors which can magnify those costs.  These include:EHRs will increasingly include ‘raw data’ from medical sensors which is collected for a patient.EHRs will increasingly include more ‘multi-media’ data, including imaging and voice.  This data tends to be large and can cause the amount of data stored to grow.Disaster replication will mean patient data will be replicated at remote locations.  The data may also be cached locally to improve access speeds.But when compared to the costs of physical record storage, the relative cost of EHR storage is  small small.  All of the cavaets that Halamka mentions are actually vast improvements over the capabilities now possible for managing physical based health records.  The cost involved with the storage of large amounts of multi-media data and the replication of paper and physical documents to be used for remote disaster recovery would be staggering compared to the costs involved with the digital storage as EHRs of the same information.last_img read more

Getting lessons in leadership from hungry fish

first_imgScores of people take expensive management training to learn how to guide colleagues toward a common goal, but maybe they could get less costly lessons by watching how certain fish take the lead in their schools. After training about 90 golden shiners (Notemigonus crysoleucas, seen above) to find a dish of fish food, scientists tagged these potential leaders, released them back in the tank individually with eight untrained fish, and then waited to see what would happen. In some cases, a veteran fish swam around as if it had never been in the tank before, leaving its schoolmates equally confused. Others made a beeline for the soggy fare and were more likely to reach it, but in their haste failed to communicate with fellow fish and left them in their wake. Most of the trained shiners, however, were effective leaders; just assertive enough to indicate which direction the school should travel but not so assertive that they lost the group and the protection it provided, the scientists report online before print in The American Naturalist. The study is the first to show experimentally that such a tradeoff—between achieving a goal as quickly as possible and keeping followers—exists in animals other than humans, possibly revealing some fundamental component of good leadership, the researchers say. So, the next time you need to get your colleagues to meet a deadline, why not give channeling your inner golden shiner a try?last_img read more

NBA suggests to teams unity ideas, reminds of anthem rule

first_imgIn the memo, obtained by The Associated Press, Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum suggested teams use their opening games “to demonstrate your commitment to the NBA’s core values of equality, diversity, inclusion and serve as a unifying force in the community.”He recommended an address by a player or coach to fans before the anthem, or a video featuring players or community leaders speaking about important issues and showing photos from past community events.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion St. Benilde records first win in final game in PVL The Golden State Warriors line up during the national anthem prior to Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at ORACLE Arena on June 12, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — The NBA is recommending teams address fans or show videos expressing themes of unity before their first home games, while reminding them of the rule that players must stand for the national anthem.A memo was sent to teams Friday, a day after Commissioner Adam Silver said he expected players would stand for the anthem .ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “The league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach or trainer does not stand for the anthem. (Teams do not have the discretion to waive this rule),” the memo says.The memo builds on discussions held by the NBA’s Board of Governors this week, and follows up on one Silver and players association executive director Michele Roberts sent to players recently.It recommends that teams organize internal discussions to hear the players’ perspectives, if they haven’t already, and to start or expand programs within their communities.“The players have embraced their roles in those efforts and we are proud of the work they do in our communities,” Tatum wrote.The memo was first reported by ESPN.com.ADVERTISEMENT Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans LATEST STORIES Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe league’s preseason schedule begins Saturday with two games, including the NBA champion Golden State Warriors hosting Denver.Tatum said the league supports and encourages players to express their views on matters that are important to them, while reminding of the rule that players, coaches and trainers stand respectfully for the anthem. Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors View commentslast_img read more

Happy Pride Trudeau attends Toronto parade absent of police floats

first_imgTORONTO – Thousands cheered on Toronto’s annual Pride parade Sunday and waved rainbow flags, though continued debate over the exclusion of the city’s police force swirled amid the colourful procession that weaved its way through the downtown core.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne were among the dignitaries who were marching in the procession. Trudeau was casually dressed in a blue blazer and pink shirt, with a temporary tattoo of a rainbow-coloured maple leaf on his left cheek. He waved at the thousands of people who lined both sides of the parade route down Yonge Street, frequently yelling out, “Happy Pride!”“It’s all about how we celebrate the multiple layers of identities that make Canada extraordinary and strong,” Trudeau told reporters before the parade started.Sophie Gregoire Trudeau waved a rainbow flag, one of the symbols of the LGBTQ community. Two of the Trudeaus’ children were marching along with their parents.Multi-coloured streamers and Canadian flags hung from some balconies along the parade route, and many people watched from rooftops along Yonge Street as the parade went by below. The event started under cloudy skies and sporadic rain, but the sun came out toward the end of the event.Police officers were still present as security guards, but there was continued talk Sunday over the decision by organizers to keep the Toronto police float and uniformed officers out of this year’s parade.Toronto pastor and prominent gay activist Brent Hawkes touched on the issue when he opened Toronto Pride with his final service, emphasizing the importance of making everyone feel welcome.“Inclusion is the core value in our community and as long as a group or a company supports LGBT equality, then in my opinion, welcome aboard,” he said.Organizers should not be able to tell people what to wear at Pride, Hawkes added.“Because I probably wear a uniform that represents the group that has done the most damage to the LGBT community — the Christian Church,” he said. “So I would say don’t ban what’s offensive to some, reform it to the benefit of everyone.”In January, organizers agreed to a list of demands issued by the Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter, which included the police ban.The issue first came to widespread public attention during last year’s parade, when members of the anti-racism group staged a sit-in that halted the march until Pride organizers agreed to a list of conditions.Black Lives Matter has argued that allowing uniformed officers at the parade could discourage marginalized communities from attending.Barry Trenthan, who marched in this year’s Toronto Pride with Rainbow Railroad, a group that helps LGBT people living in countries with anti-gay laws, has attended Pride for the last 30 years. He said he has mixed feelings about the decision to bar the police. “I remember when there was no way police would be a part of it publicly,” he said, adding that it felt like a “coup” to get their approval. But police support isn’t meaningful “if not all of us are supported,” he said.Toronto Mayor John Tory, who was also taking part in the parade, expressed hope a solution would be found well before next year’s event.“Any time anybody is excluded it can’t be a good thing,” Tory told reporters. “We’ve got to get it resolved, we’ll resolve it in the Toronto way, which is by talking about it and I’m very optimistic that it will be resolved in time for next year.”In response to the ban on police floats and uniformed officers, a group from Toronto police took part in the pride parade in New York City.Last month, the Gay Officers Action League of New York extended the invitation for Toronto officers to join uniformed members of the New York Police Department in the pride events Sunday.For many attendees, the parade itself was the central focus of the day. Lucky Vincent Bersales, who grew up in the Philippines, marched for the first time in this year’s parade, wearing a floor-length blue dress with diamond accents. “I love Toronto,” said Bersales, who describes himself as a cross-dresser. “They accept me for who I am and what I am, and that’s what I’m proud of. This is the first time I love myself.”Black Lives Matter didn’t hold up the Toronto parade this year, but did stage a protest down the parade route after Pride had wound down. Members of the group also held a similar demonstration in downtown Vancouver.Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations also took part in this year’s event, making him the first National Chief to participate in a Pride event.last_img read more