As New ECOWAS Chair: Ellen Prioritizes Peace, Security, Institutional Reform

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been elected the new chair for Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), on ‘white ballot’ by her colleagues at the 49th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government in the Senegalese capital Dakar. Immediately following her election, President Sirleaf set out key priorities aimed at consolidation of peace, security architecture, conclusion of negotiations and legal actions, the transformation of Vision 2020 and improvement in financial stability.A dispatch from Dakar, Senegal said President Sirleaf’s election as Chairperson of the regional body comes on the heels of multifaceted challenges facing the Community ranging from terrorism, global economic meltdown, coupled with the recent Ebola outbreak.In her acceptance speech, she described her election as an indication of the progress and peace Liberia enjoys, which would not have been possible without the tremendous sacrifices and solidarity of the ECOWAS community. She commended her Senegalese counterpart, President Macky Sall, whose extraordinary leadership guided the work of the organization in the past year, paid tribute to Dr. Kadre Désiré Ouadraogo of Burkina Faso for the able manner in which he managed the affairs of the Community as President of the ECOWAS Commission, and congratulated his successor, Marcel Alain de Souza and team as they assume their responsibilities.President Sirleaf historicized the 48th Summit of the Authority held in Abuja, marking the 40th Anniversary of ECOWAS, noting the achievements during the last four decades across all sectors – Including the harmonization of macroeconomic policies, trade integration, regional infrastructure, peace and security, regional institutional development, democracy and the rule of law.“As we move towards the achievement of such lofty goals, we are reminded that the Community faces both challenges and opportunities; such as the sharp reduction in commodity prices and the effect of epidemiological outbreaks, which have resulted in a decline in investment and growth,” President Sirleaf said. Beyond financial difficulties, she indicated that growth is affected by terrorism, drug and human trafficking, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and the impact of climate change.President Sirleaf also indicated that it was important to take pride in the high potential of the ECOWAS Community for a vibrant integrated market, which is currently estimated at the equivalent of US$1.3 trillion, produced by a wide range of activities in agriculture, commerce, industry and services.As she jump-starts her new post as Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority, she laid out the consolidation of peace and security architecture, as guided by the Mechanisms and other Protocols, and the need to work even harder as member states to stem terrorism, strengthen intelligence capacity and enhance coordination with the African Union (AU), the United Nations and other partner institutions.President Sirleaf extended sympathy to ECOWAS citizens victimized by the disastrous attacks and stressed the need to ensure that there will be no expansion of terrorism in the sub-region as recently experienced in Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote D’Ivoire and most recently in Niger. She added that ECOWAS must also, through collective and determined efforts, ensure that Boko Haram, a Nigeria-based terrorist organization, is totally defeated.President Sirleaf called for the conclusion of negotiations and legal actions to enhance trade integration, but warned that failure to close the negotiations could lead to differentiation among member states.She also called upon the remaining countries, which have not ratified and commenced the enforcement of the Common External Tariff (CET) thereby deepening the potential for trade and productive integration in the Community, to do so.Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has proposed the ardent need to achieve transformation of Vision 2020 through agriculture and infrastructure, adding, “The impressive success of several ECOWAS countries in value addition in agriculture can be expanded and trade integration enhanced through the acceleration of the several ongoing regional projects in roads, energy, and railroads.”She pointed out that during her tenure, the imperative will be to holistically improve financial stability through existing protocols and mechanisms, which call for financing the Community through contributions of the Community levy by Member States in order to meet the operational costs of the institutions and to respond to security emergencies such as those faced by peacekeeping troops in Mali and Guinea Bissau.She observed that recent financial difficulties imposed by global conditions have affected ECOWAS’ ability to meet commitments despite tremendous efforts but however joined colleagues in commending President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria for the relief brought by his recent expressed commitment to continue Nigeria’s support to the community levy – stressing yet, we can do more. She pointed out further that there is space for cost saving through continued rationalization and reduction in the multiple activities and high benefits of community institutions for which she commended President de Souza for the important steps he has so far taken to achieve this objective. “We must institute a call to action to finalize the ongoing review of the restructuring of community institutions,” she stressed. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Bosses’ musical chairs

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “I am extremely pleased to take on this new leadership role with the company and to continue to help Sony BMG accelerate its tremendous growth and performance,” Lack said. “Rolf and I are fortunate to have a roster of extraordinary artists and a top-notch team of creative executives around the world.” The company operates several labels, including Columbia, RCA, Jive and LaFace, and its artist roster features Aerosmith, Jessica Simpson and Alicia Keys, among others. “With this management change Rolf and Andy are now aligned in positions that will take advantage of the significant progress the company has already made, as well as their formidable business skills and respective management experiences,” Sony Chairman and CEO Howard Stringer said. Bertelsmann CEO Gunter Thielen said Schmidt-Holtz “has impressively proven his flair for the creative and economic aspects of success in the music business.” FRANKFURT, Germany – The chief executive and chairman of the board are trading hats in a shake-up at Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the powerhouse record company behind such pop stars as Britney Spears, OutKast and Travis Tritt. Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, who had been chairman, is replacing CEO Andrew Lack, who becomes chairman of the board. The swap, announced Friday and effective immediately, follows months of criticism of Lack’s tenure as CEO, including investor discontent over spiraling fees paid to artists and a scandal over copy-protection software in Sony CDs. The unit was formed after Sony Music Entertainment and BMG, the music unit of Guetersloh, Germany-based Bertelsmann, formally combined their businesses. Sony and Bertelsmann each own half of the company. Following the change, Schmidt-Holtz will assume overall management responsibility, while Lack “will lead the company’s public policy and industry initiatives, and assume operating responsibility and oversight for the theatrical film business of Sony BMG,” a joint statement said. last_img read more

Quartz Hill to host tennis tournament

first_imgBut the most compelling consideration was giving area players a chance to get exposure they otherwise wouldn’t. “We don’t always get a lot of attention here, so anything we can do to get our kids some exposure helps,” Lenaway said. “A lot of people don’t even know we’re up here.” Litchfield, a fourth-year player who’s never lost a league match, is ranked No. 65 in Southern California in the USTA’s 18-and-under division. Quartz Hill (5-1, 1-0) is also led by singles standouts Carolyn Smith and Renuka Rudra. Lenaway said Rudra will likely compete in doubles. Other top local players include Highland doubles partners Alex Ruiz and Rachel Kubel and Lancaster doubles partners Linda Reickgenannt and Jesica Abraguin. Development minded: Lenaway said sophomore doubles standout Navolito Ikahihifo will likely play singles in the freshman/sophomore division. Ikahihifo and Rudra are defending league doubles champions. “One of the things we’re trying to do is grow kids for the future who eventually might be really good singles players,” Lenaway said. Also: Highland placed second at Saturday’s Hesperia tournament. Ruiz placed second in singles, and Stephanie Lemus and Kubel place third in doubles. Quartz Hill opened the defense of its 18th consecutive league championship with a 13-5 victory over Lancaster on Tuesday. Litchfield won all three of her matches, improving her all-time league record to 102-0. Lancaster’s Reickgenannt/Abraguin team won all three doubles matches. (661) 267-7802160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsThe 11-team team individual tournament features six Golden League programs (Quartz Hill, Lancaster, Highland, Palmdale, Antelope Valley and Knight) and five out-of-area teams (Hart of Newhall, Alemany of Mission Hills, Moorpark, Burroughs of Ridgecrest and Serrano). The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and conclude about 4 p.m. at Quartz Hill High, 6040 W. Ave. L. Each team fields two singles players and two doubles teams on the varsity level, and two players in the singles-only freshman/sophomore division. Quartz Hill is the defending champion, and its senior standout Ashley Litchfield is the reigning singles champion. Lenaway said raising funds for his program, giving area players an opportunity to complete against top-level competition and building relationships with programs from outside the area factored into his decision to keep a local tournament going. QUARTZ HILL – It’s easy to completely ignore the Antelope Valley tennis scene. With Southern California’s coastal regions and the San Fernando Valley featuring some of the nation’s top high school programs, it’s no wonder many Southland teams have little interest in heading north on the Antelope Valley Freeway to play what’s perceived to be lesser talent. Quartz Hill High coach Bill Lenaway believes they might not know what they’re missing, and that consideration figured prominently in his decision to take over boys’ and girls’ tournaments Palmdale had hosted for more than 20 years. On Saturday, Quartz Hill plays host to the one-day girls’ tournament for a second consecutive year. last_img read more

Arsenal plot stunning swoop for Real Madrid star, Coutinho latest, plus more

first_img1 Transfer rumours and paper review – Sunday, August 27 Here are the top transfer-related stories in Sunday’s newspapers…Arsenal are prepared to meet a £75m buyout clause to sign Real Madrid’s Spain midfielder Marco Asensio, 21, before Thursday’s transfer deadline. (Sunday Express)Everton will move for £40m-rated Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, 30, who is also wanted by Chelsea. (Sunday Mirror)West Ham’s proposed club record move for £38m-rated Sporting Lisbonand Portugal midfielder William Carvalho, 25, has been placed in jeopardy by their poor form. (Sunday Times)Arsenal are set to lose defender Kieran Gibbs, 27, midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, forward Lucas Perez, 28, and defender Shkodran Mustafi, 25, before the transfer window closes. (Sunday Telegraph) Liverpool are pushing to sign Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has also been linked with Chelsea. (Sunday Mirror)Liverpool have set a Monday deadline for Barcelona to agree a fee for 25-year-old midfielder Philippe Coutinho. (Onda Cero)Manchester City are close to completing a £30m move for West Bromwich Albion and Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans, 29. City’s French defender Eliaquim Mangala, 26, will join the Baggies on loan for the rest of the season as part of the deal. (Sun on Sunday)Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez, 28, reportedly wants Arsenal to make him the Premier League’s highest earner if he is to sign a new deal. (Daily Star Sunday)Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has not given up hope of signing Monacowinger Thomas Lemar, 21, and Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, 26, although it might be next season before they finally complete a move. (Sun on Sunday)Paris Saint-Germain are continuing negotiations to sign teenage forward Kylian Mbappe for £166m before the transfer window closes on Thursday, but Monaco would prefer to sell the 18-year-old to Real Madrid. (Sunday Telegraph)If Mbappe does leave Monaco, the French club see Leicester City’s Algerian striker Islam Slimani as a potential replacement, with Newcastle and Watford also weighing up a move for the 29-year-old. (Sky Sports News)Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches, 20, asked to be left out of the squad to face Werder Bremen in order to resolve his future, with both Chelsea and Liverpool linked with a move for the Portuguese. (Metro)Juventus want to sign Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes, 24. (Marca)Valencia owner Peter Lim has landed in Manchester to begin talks over signing 21-year-old midfielder Andreas Pereira from Manchester United. (Sunday Express)Everton want £8m for Oumar Niasse, with Brighton a possible destination for the 27-year-old Senegal striker. (Mail on Sunday)Ex-England goalkeeper Rob Green, 37, is having a medical at Huddersfieldbefore joining them from Leeds. (Sky Sports)Brighton and Hove Albion have offered £12m for Cardiff City’s 23-year-old Danish striker Kenneth Zohore. (Mail on Sunday)And here are the latest headlines…?Juventus are confident of beating Liverpool to the loan signing of World Cup winner Benedikt HowedesItalian giants Inter Milan have re-entered the race to sign Tottenham and Juventus target Keita Balde, according to reportsHead coach Tony Pulis wants Jonny Evans’ future resolved as he looks to press on with West Brom’s recruitment driveEverton boss Ronald Koeman remains keen on adding a striker to his squad and would welcome a loan arrangement for Chelsea outcast Diego CostaBarcelona are close to wrapping up a £46million move for former Manchester United and Real Madrid winger Angel Di Marialast_img read more

JetHawks’ pact with Arizona

first_imgLANCASTER -The JetHawks’ six-season affiliation with the parent Arizona Diamondbacks could soon end. Or not. With just more than a month remaining in the JetHawks’ player-development contract with Arizona – a contract that will expire when the regular season does on Sept. 4 – the future of the relationship, by all accounts harmonious, remains uncertain. The JetHawks are among seven California League teams whose PDCs will expire at the end of the season. The San Jose Giants (San Francisco Giants affiliate), Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego Padres) and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Angels) are the only teams locked into contracts through 2008. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.But amid a steady stream of rumors suggesting the JetHawks will soon be changing affiliates, JetHawks general manager Brad Seymour suggested that Arizona probably isn’t going anywhere, and Arizona farm director A.J. Hinch supported that assertion, although in less-strong language. Seymour left the door open to the possibility of a change, but indicated the JetHawks are not interested in “making a change just for the sake of change.” “We’re very happy with the Diamondbacks,” Seymour said. “If other opportunities came about, we would look into them …, but it would really have to be special for something like that to happen.” Hinch, who already has visited Lancaster several times this season, said the franchise appears to be well-run. He said he will establish the foundation for negotiations with the JetHawks when he visits Lancaster this weekend, noting that the discussions will be more about process than substance. Hinch said the Diamondbacks will factor in the length of the current relationship with Lancaster, along with the quality of treatment players and his staff have received. He said he will suggest unspecified minor changes that the Diamondbacks would want if they remained at Lancaster. “Overall, we’ve been very happy,” Hinch said. That said, both organizations are rumored to be pursuing other options. JetHawks are rumored to be interested in a deal with the Seattle Mariners, their affiliate the first five years of the franchise’s existence (1996 through 2000). The JetHawks had a turbulent relationship with Seattle under the former ownership group headed by Mike Ellis, which privately complained that the Mariners were reluctant to send Lancaster the top pitching prospects. In addition to the shared history, a future Lancaster-Seattle link makes sense because the new ownership group, headed by Peter Carfagna, has a relationship with the Mariners. Carfagna owns the Mariners’ short-season Everett, Wash., affiliate. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be interested in an affiliation deal with Modesto, which is Arizona general partner Jeff Moorad’s hometown. Seymour said no discussions, informal or otherwise, between the JetHawks and Seattle have taken place. He noted that such discussions would violate rules of the National Association (baseball’s governing body). Proven violations of such rules call for prohibitive fines – $500,000 for parent clubs and $250,000 for affiliates. Teams are permitted to negotiate PDCs with existing affiliates and typically sign extensions earlier in the season. Seymour and Hinch both have had reasons for putting off contract negations. Seymour said the JetHawks team has been busy developing a business plan under its new ownership group. Hinch said he didn’t want to extend or break an existing PDC based on conclusions others had drawn. Arizona hasn’t extended its PDC with any of its six minor league affiliates. “I guess the way I viewed the process is a little bit slower than it has historically been done, but I wanted to visit all the stadiums and draw my own conclusions,” Hinch said. “Now we’re going to start talking.” (818) 713-3607160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Haywood County Sheriff graduates from NSI

first_imgSheriff Greg Christopher of the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office graduated from the 113th session of the National Sheriffs’ Institute (NSI) held in Aurora, Colorado, September 18-22, 2017.The NSI is the only national executive development program designed for sheriffs. This no-cost program is co-sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA). Christopher is the first Haywood County Sheriff to graduate from the NSI.Sheriff Christopher joined 29 other sheriffs from across the country for training on contemporary challenges facing America’s sheriffs today. In light of those challenges, the sheriffs explored the role of the local sheriff in providing effective leadership for the public good in such areas as public safety, criminal justice system policy, community relations, and organization effectiveness and efficiency.“This opportunity was a tremendous experience all around. I have never left a training event with so much on my mind that I cannot wait to extend to deputies and staff,” said Christopher. “In this line of work, there is no such thing as too much training or education— whether it be in the way of law enforcement action or leadership development.“There were times during this training where we were really pulled out of our comfort zones as we worked with instructors individually to take a hard look at our leadership strengths and weaknesses,” Christopher added. “I am thankful for this opportunity and am looking forward to working with the command staff as we shape these lessons into actions that will help improve the quality of life for the citizens of Haywood County.”last_img read more

SC’s Logan Zschernitz, Stratford’s Jake Drexler win third-place matches at 2017 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament

first_imgStratford’s Marten, Tyson Kauffman, Marquardt, Hoffman finish fourthBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMADISON — All six local wrestlers competing in the consolation round Saturday won their first matches at the 2017 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament at the Kohl Center.Two ended up winning their third-place matches, and the other four had to settle for fourth-place medals.In Division 2, Spencer/Columbus sophomore Logan Zschernitz beat Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal’s Nick Rueth in the 285-pound consolation semifinals, holding on for a 3-2 victory. Zschernitz went on to defeat Josh Frerk of Denmark by major decision, 14-5, in the third-place match.Zschernitz beat Rueth for the fourth-straight weekend after having beat him at the Cloverbelt Conference Tournament as well as at the Division 2 regional and sectional competitions. Zschernitz had defeated Frerk in the quarterfinals on Friday and ends his season with a 39-4 record.“For Logan, last night was tough. It was a tough night in the hotel,” Spencer/Columbus coach Jake Zschernitz said. “We talked, we got his emotions in check, and we had to reassess our goals. Our goal was a state championship for him. We didn’t get it, ‘OK, now our (goal) is third place.’ He came into today, took care of business, and got that done.”Stratford’s Derek Marten (126 pounds), Jake Drexler (132), David Marquardt (160), Aiden Hoffman (195), and Tyson Kauffman (285) each won their Division 3 consolation semifinals with Drexler winning his third-place match as well.Drexler (42-3) pinned Kolbe Ubersox of Darlington/Black Hawk in 1:59 in the semifinals and needed overtime to defeat Seth Schlegel of Spring Valley/Elmwood 3-1 in the third-place match. Drexler had lost to Schlegel 8-5 in the quarterfinals on Friday.Marten (38-5) beat Dylan Bune of Spring Valley/Elmwood 5-0 in the semifinals and lost his third-place match to Andrew Gunderson of Cadott 4-2.Marquardt (37-5) pinned James LaPointe of Bayfield/Washburn in 1:58 before dropping the third-place match to Michael Bertrand of Southern Door 4-1.Hoffman (37-11) took care of Noah Friedl of Royall 7-3 in the semifinals and lost the third-place match to Bryce Holderman of Amherst 10-3.At 285 pounds, defending D-3 state champion Tyson Kauffman (15-6) settled for fourth. Kauffman blanked Noah Novotney of Boyceville 3-0 in the semifinals before forfeiting the third-place match to Takoda Lee of Cornell/Gilman/Lake Holcombe because of ongoing shoulder and arm injuries.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of read more

Turn iPhone Photos into Postcards – No Stamps Required!

first_imgThe Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts Are you an iPhone-equipped world traveler? If so, then you’re going to love Postino, the latest app from AnguriaLab. This mobile application lets you take iPhone photos and turn them into postcards which you can send to your family and friends. And no, they don’t mean “e-cards” (although Postino supports those, too) – they mean actual, printed out, physical cards sent through the good ol’ fashioned snail mail service.Postino is not the first iPhone application that allows you to send postcards via your mobile device. However, it’s definitely the one to beat at this point. Their competitors, Go Postal and TapTap Cards, both have one major limitation: postcards can be sent to U.S. addresses only. They also don’t offer an e-card option. When you launch the Postino app, you can choose to snap a photo or choose one from your library. You’re able to adjust the image by zooming in and positioning it however you want and optionally choose a frame to go around the photo. Then you enter in your message, signature, and the address of the person you wish to send the card to. If you’d like, you can also optionally draw the signature on the phone’s screen using your finger so it looks more like an actual signature. If you enter in an email address, the “postcard” is sent virtually, like an e-card. If you enter in a street address however, a postcard will be printed out on high-quality paper and mailed for you. You can even have your GPS location included in the card! The only cost to you is the price of the “virtual stamp” – $1.99 (U.S.) which is paid via Paypal. Postino is available now in the iTunes App Store for free.center_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#mobile#Product Reviews#web sarah perezlast_img read more

iSwifter Enables iPad Users to Play Flash-Based Games

first_img9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Related Posts Despite numerous pronouncements about the death of Flash, there are still plenty of games and videos that require it, much to the frustration of anyone using an iOS device to try to access those websites. But with the release of a new app available today, iSwifter will bring Flash to the iPad so that users can play Flash-based social games and MMOs.The app itself is free, and after a 7-day free trial, will require a monthly subscription fee of $4.99. The app doesn’t simply port Flash-based video content to the iPad, clearly, as it has to support multitouch for input if it’s going to suffice for gameplay. And it isn’t running Flash per se, something that would have put the app at odds with Apple’s rules for developers. Instead, the app works something like Netflix, converting the Flash-based content on iSwifter’s own servers then streaming the content to the app. According to iSwifter founder Rajat Gupta, “We have spent the last year building a cloud-based Flash browser technology that provides low latency interactivity and high frame rate rendering for an optimal user experience.” And that user experience will be key, particularly for gameplay.By creating this app, iSwifter says it will save game developers the time of having to port their Flash games to iPad. But it will also open up the wealth of Flash-based games to iPad users. Mobile gaming is skyrocketing in popularity, and as we wrote last month, iOS users are particularly voracious when it comes to their gaming habits, downloading some 5 million games per day. Tags:#gaming#web center_img 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout audrey watters 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

Turkcell Enhances Customer Interaction for Mobile Users with Intel® Xeon

first_imgIt’s  not only the leading communications and technology company in Turkey, but Turkcell is also the third-largest mobile operator in Europe. To keep its competitive advantage, the company needed to ensure its business-critical transaction management application could operate at peak performance to guarantee licensing efficiency. It was also looking to reduce costs by finding an alternative to its high-end UNIX* platform. Finally, Turkcell was looking for an IT platform that was scalable so that it could handle business expansion without generating excessive hardware costs.Turkcell tested a platform based on the Intel® Xeon® processor 5570 as an alternative to its high-end UNIX platform. Initial testing was verified on the replicated environment and supported by an in-house return on investment analysis.The results? Turkcell expects the new platform to be 44 percent less costly to run than its original high-end UNIX platform. Application efficiency is also up, with performance increasing by as much as 35 percent.“We carried out our own return on investment analysis prior to deployment of x86 architecture powered by Intel® technology and have calculated that we will see a 25 percent decrease in the system’s total cost of ownership in three years,” explained Zihni Uğurbil, division head of infrastructure operations and project sponsor at Turkcell.To learn more, read our new Turkcell business success story. As always, you can find this one, and many more, in the Reference Room and IT Center.*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.last_img read more