Gov’t Challenges Public to Make Use of FOI

first_imgThe Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism (MICAT), has challenged the Liberian public and foreigners alike to take advantage of the Freedom of Information law by making use of its contents, in an effort to make this government and others to come, more transparent and accountable to the people.The Deputy Minister for Administration at MICAT, Norris Tweh, said the FOI Law will only be effective when Liberians get to fully hear about and understand it through publicity and awareness programs.Speaking at a FOI Education and Awareness program organized by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Minister Tweh said that everyone (Liberian and non-Liberian) has the right to seek, receive, and impart information as stipulation in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.Briefing workshop participants that included the media, employees of MOH&SW, medical entities and the Ministry’s Acting Information Officer, on the FOI procedures on requesting information from public entities such as ministries and agencies that fall under the FOI Act, Minister Tweh said that requests can be received by e-mail, letter, in person and by phone.Minister Tweh indicated that when a request is received(via E-mail, letter) by an Information Officer at any entity, it should be dated and stamped and the information requested will be process in a period of 30 days, including the date of receipt.He noted that information that maybe requested and denied by any Information Officer has four procedures through, which appeals could be taken.“When your request is being denied by an Information Officer, you have four steps you can take to have that decision overturned depending on its legitimacy. The first step is to seek redress through an internal review body in that entity to which your request was sent. If you are not satisfied by the decision taken by that body, you may take your case to the Information Commission and from there to the Civil Law Court with the option to go even further: to the Supreme Court,” Minister Tweh said.He said: “We as Liberians can use the FOI Law to make our Ministries and Agencies more efficient and effective and this may subsequently lead to the expansion of our economy.Giving an overview of the FOI law, Information Commissioner Cllr. Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman, said that advancing the right of access to information is a joint- responsibility between the government and its citizens.Cllr Freeman said while the government must assure full and effective implementation and enforcement of the FOI Act, it is up to the citizens to monitor government’s efforts and to use the law; ultimately, the value of the FOI law rests in its implementation and use, and it is only by seeking and making requests for formation, that the benefits of access to information can fully be enjoyed.“This is why government decided to prioritize this document and had it passed into law about three years ago. The government thinks the people should have a say in the governance process of the state.Also quoting the Preamble of the Liberian Freedom of Information Act, the Information Commissioner boss said access to information is indispensable to a genuine democracy and good governance and no limitation shall be placed on the public’s right to be informed about the government and its functionaries.A participant wanted to know whether Information Officers are selected or appointed by the minister or by the president—and whether such an appointment by one or the either might not produce a compromising situation.Meanwhile, Liberia’s FOI Act was signed into law on September 16, 2010, provides all persons the right of access to public information. The right of access to information is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and People’s rights, as well as the constitution of the country (Liberia).FOI laws or regulations have been passed in over 90 countries around the world, with an even greater number enjoying a constitutional right to information. Liberia is the first country in West Africa to establish a comprehensive right to information law and the sixth in Africa.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

49ers mailbag: What does a good season look like now?

first_imgSANTA CLARA — A 1-3 start to the 49ers season? That’s not what you subscribed to read about here. So, as our weekly public service, it’s time for another 49ers mailbag to vent your frustrations:I see better tackling on a weekly basis at the high school level. Ultimately, who should or needs to be responsible for this trainwreck of defensive fundamentals? (@msilvers1979)The man having to answer that, at least on a weekly basis in our press conferences, is defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. He …last_img read more

The importance of planting dates versus planting conditions

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Historically speaking, earlier planted fields tend to be the highest yielding ones. With the cold and wet start to spring, DuPont Pioneer Field Agronomist Kyle Poling says planting conditions will play as big of a role as planting date in 2018. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins has more in this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report.last_img

Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Business Growth

first_imgKibo Hutchinson is a Technology Analyst at Tatvasoft UK which is a software development company in UK. She have keen interest in learning latest practices in the development so she is spending her most of the time on the Internet navigating the unique and the extraordinary topics and technologies trends. Tags:#Artifical intelligence A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Kibo Hutchinson Related Posts How much do you know about Artificial Intelligence? Have you ever implemented AI into your business yet, or are you using it in helping your processes? Since the last few years, Artificial Intelligence has gained much popularity in every industry be it Healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, logistics, retail and many more others have begun to use AI-based to improve their productivity and performance.The best way to test an emerging technology is to search for different ideas for its practical use in your business. In this article, we will look at some crucial methods of AI apps that can lead your business to a path of growth and success.1)  AI-based Analytics to Make Better Business DecisionsThe recent advancements in the network and storage technology have brought about a revolution in the era of big data. The collection of data becomes useless without analysis. Due to its large size, it becomes impossible to analyze the data without using human intelligence. The information technology and security are the areas which utilize machine learning and deep learning algorithms to understand the machine.What’s the solution now?Cyclane offers cybersecurity products and services that prevent rather than detecting the defects by executing advanced persistent threats and malware. Another solution to this is HANA which is SAP’s cloud platform and machine learning solution used by companies to manage databases of information they have collected like sales transactions, customer information, relational databases, applications, and other sources.2)  Customer ServiceMany companies know the importance of their customer service and how well it affects their company. Still, things can go wrong very quickly, either. For instance, Microsoft researched that more than 50 percent of customers will stop doing business with a brand just because of only one poor customer service experience.The consumers don’t like to feel conversing until they reach the expert they need after waiting on line, pressing buttons, and being transferred multiple times. The solution to this problem – Chatbots; they can read and analyze customer data from the initial touch point by providing smart insights on assisting your customer effectively.What’s the solution now?Nano Rep allows you to integrate your customer service solution with resources like Zendesk, Magento, and Salesforce. It also allows your business to become available on the most popular messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Skype, and WhatsApp.3)  Business ManagementFrom scheduling conferences and team meetings to business trips and supporting decision makers, AI can help tons with your business management activities. The cloud-based solution can measure up with the size of your company, which can be used by small companies to MNCs.What’s the solution now?Avanade is the joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, which leverages the Cortana Intelligence Suite along with some other solutions for predictive analysis and data-based insights on your business. It tapped the better advice for the development of new products by understanding policyholder behavior and trends.4)  Accounting and FinanceAccenture predicts that more than 80 percent of accounting and finance tasks will be carried out with automation in the next upcoming years. Also, a company named KPMG has made some innovations by using McLaren Applied Technologies in its audit processes to develop a critical site of tools for their audit and non-audit clients that can use the predictive analytics capabilities.What’s the solution now?KPMG has also signed an alliance with IBM’s cognitive computer Watson that can read up to thousands of pages of contracts or agreements along with summarizing them almost instantly which is based on your criteria related to what is exciting and what is not. The AI-enabled tool also allows to interrogate, assess, and challenge the predictions to underpin the valuation of assets on their clients’ balance sheets.5)  Human ResourcesMany HR reps know how tedious and complicated the process of recruiting is, interviewing and onboarding can be. It is no wonder how human resource department is excited by the idea of applying artificial intelligence to their department’s work. Finding the perfect candidate for a job is a time-consuming process, and therefore there are new facial AI-based facial recognition apps that can interview candidates and also evaluate their performance using emotional cues which can help businesses streamline their recruitment process.What’s the solution now?Restless Bandit is a SaaS-based product which helps to automate the tasks of screening apps, searching right candidate match, reaching out to them and scheduling face-to-face interviews to reduce the work which is involved in bringing an excellent potential candidate into the office.  Also, companies like Unilever, IBM are already using AI to screen entry-level employees where candidates interview using HireVue app on their smartphone. The application takes in the data from the interview, performs analysis and recommends for the next step to human recruiters.6)  Sales and MarketingUntil recently, you can not leverage artificial intelligence to revolutionize your marketing and sales department even though both of them have been moving over to digital at the lightning speeds. AI-based apps can start to handle all of your daily tasks. They can also customize marketing and sales information for customers as AI-based chatbots can go further by responding to customer service requests to improve customer satisfaction and provide some recommendation for upselling. Machine learning can help with the price-optimization for various markets.What’s the solution for now?Adext AI is one such platform which can apply artificial intelligence and machine learning for digital advertising to search out the best audience or demographic group for any advertisement. It manages budgets across variant audiences on different platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads automatically by optimizing every single ad about 400 times a day which improves its current average. Not only this, but it also guarantees Adext Partner agencies for getting a better cost per conversion for all their accounts and campaigns.RapidMiner which is a data science platform, leverages the data about competitors, suppliers, consumer preferences and risks to create pricing models for every individual market segments. This approach helps businesses to optimize their profit margins.7)  Supply Chain ManagementMachine learning algorithms aid retail and other businesses to manage their inventory better. This can automate refilling requests and optimize supply chains by handing over your inventory management and supply chain decisions to AI-based apps.What’s the solution for now?Major artificial intelligence players such as IBM Watson are heavily investing in supply chain management to help you automate your order management and fulfillment. Another firm namely TransVoyant is combining machine learning and the Internet of Things to create applications that predict supply chain movements.8)  Expand with self-driving technologiesMajor advancements in self-driving cars heavily depend on AI and hence businesses that heavily depend on transporting products which use self-driving trucks to lower costs to improve reliability. Manufacturing and other sectors can now use autonomous cars to improve their efficiency.What’s the solution for now?A company names Waymo has announced at the 2018 Google I/O conference that it will start to manufacture their self-driving taxis whereas GM is preparing to release by next year. Such self-driven vehicles will lead to new opportunities for businesses to improve current processes and create new business revenues.Wrap up!You can only learn by trying, and it is normal for any organization to get things wrong. You will learn from your mistake after you start implementing solutions. Now you know what AI is, so may your business boom. AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themlast_img read more

Complaint against Papon for kissing minor contestant of reality show

first_imgSinger Papon has landed in trouble after a complaint was filed against him for allegedly harassing a minor contestant of a reality TV show. However, the child’s father termed the incident “a moment of affection” saying the singer is a “father figure” to his daughter. A video has gone viral in which Papon is seen celebrating Holi with the contestants of “Voice India Kids” and planting a kiss on the girl’s face. Papon is one of the judges on the show along with fellow singers Shaan and Himmesh Reshammiya. Supreme Court lawyer Runa Bhuyan filed the complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights against Papon under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act. Papon could not be immediately reached for a reaction but his lawyer, Gaurang Kanth told a news channel, “If my client had any objection or intention, then he would not be putting something against him and uploading it in public domain. Once it has been uploaded in public domain, the information is there. A lawyer has decided to lodge a complaint. It has been done, unfortunately, without doing any homework. “This sort of complaint also puts the family, the girl in lot of trauma. This is something that could have easily been avoided.” Kanth said one cannot level such charges without “corroborative evidence or verified the source.” The channel &TV issued a statement saying it will extend full support to all affected parties. “We as a channel have always been focused on the safety, security and well-being of the contestants participating in our shows. We have always adhered to the NCPCR guidelines and our production house, Essel Vision Productions Limited has taken all precautionary measures required under NCPCR and other laws. We believe in nurturing talent with utmost sensitivity and care while we provide them the platform to showcase their aptitude. “As a responsible channel, we are extending complete support to all parties who are impacted by this incident and will stand by them to help them through this situation,” the statement read. The girl’s father also issued a statement what was seen in the video was not intentional. “It was just a moment of affection that is being portrayed otherwise. I would request and urge the media to not pursue this further,” he said. He further said that Papon is a mentor and a father figure to his daughter and has always encouraged her to pursue her dreams. “He doesn’t differentiate among the children who are here and gives them equal guidance on pursuing their dreams,” he said. “What you saw in the video is not intentional,” the concerned contestant’s father said in a statement. The complaint has been filed by Supreme Court lawyer, Runa Bhuyan saying that the singer has “committed sexual assault”.last_img read more

Ind vs WI: India 102/2 at lunch on day 3

first_imgIndia were 102 for two in their first innings, in reply to West Indies’ 204 all out, at lunch on day three of the third and final cricket Test at Windsor Park on Friday. Abhinav Mukund (52) and VVS Laxman (30) were at the crease for India at the break. Brief Scores West Indies 1st innings: 204 all out India 1st innings : 102 for 2 in 38 overs. (Abhinav Mukund 52 batting, VVS Laxman 30 batting; Darren Sammy 1/18, Fidel Edwards 1/22).- With PTI inputslast_img

Stephen Curry Promotes Importance Of Mental Resilience

first_imgKaiser Permanente and two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors have teamed up for a televised message about how mental resilience helps the NBA All-Star grow as a person and as a top-level athlete — and how it can help anyone overcome day-to-day hardships and excel.Stephen Curry, Golden State WarriorsThe message will air throughout the 2018 National Basketball Association playoffs. This is the third year Curry has partnered with the nation’s largest integrated health care system on a public health message emphasizing the importance of mental health and wellness and its impact on total health: mind, body and spirit working in unison. Since 2016, Kaiser Permanente has been active in media and elsewhere encouraging people to understand the importance of mental resilience and to end stigma around mental health conditions.“Our caregivers see firsthand many people who experience mental health conditions,” said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO. “While we most often hear about the negative side of mental health, we have so many reasons for hope. Mental health conditions are treatable and we can help people deal with the ongoing stresses of daily life — and build greater resilience. Who better to deliver that message than Steph Curry, who lives in the limelight and practices resilience every day?”Video: Wins and Losses – 30-Second Spot | Kaiser PermanenteIn the latest TV message, “Wins and Losses,” Curry is depicted at various moments in his life, both low and high. In one scene, he is knocked down on a playground as a boy and has to get up and dust himself off. In another, as he is drafted by the Warriors, he speaks of learning humility. “My mind,” he says, “is where every challenge I’ve faced is won or lost.” The message: Train your mind to be resilient.This message builds on an ongoing campaign by Kaiser Permanente, “Find Your Words,” to foster a national conversation about mental health and wellness — and more specifically, to encourage those who need help overcoming depression and other conditions to speak up and get that help. The website provides important links for those who would like access to additional resources.“Stress adversely affects the health of many of our members and patients, so we wanted to put out a message of hope, embodied by Stephen’s example, that you can manage stress rather than having stress manage you,” said Don Mordecai, MD, Kaiser Permanente’s national leader for mental health and wellness. “The first step to tackling stress may be to start a conversation with your support system — family, friends and physicians — to begin your path toward resilience. We are happy to partner with the NBA, which has a tremendous reach, so we can bring this message to millions of people who need to know how to start that conversation.”Kaiser Permanente’s work with Stephen Curry and the NBA is an extension of the two organizations’ shared commitment to improving the health and wellness of fans and the communities in which they live, learn, work and play. The nonprofit has served as the NBA’s official health care partner since 2015 and is the presenting partner of NBA FIT Week, held in January, and the annual Total Health Forum. Together, the NBA and Kaiser Permanente have hosted FIT clinics engaging thousands of youth in cities throughout the U.S.Kaiser Permanente also provides the NBA with research-oriented strategic consulting, health-related content, and the development of year-round health and wellness programs.last_img read more

UN Myanmar expert wants genocide probe

first_imgYanghee LeeThe UN independent investigator on human rights in Myanmar sees growing evidence to suspect genocide has been committed and wants prosecutions for crimes committed against entire ethnic and religious groups, she said in a report published on Friday.Yanghee Lee, in a report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council, said she was “increasingly of the opinion that the events bear the hallmarks of genocide and therefore calls in the strongest terms for accountability.””The government leadership who did nothing to intervene, stop, or condemn these acts must also be held accountable.”last_img read more

Ershad put on life support

first_imgHM ErshadHealth minister Zahid Malik on Monday evening said Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad, now undergoing treatment at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka, has been put on life support as his condition turned critical, according to UNB.Talking to newsmen after vising Ershad at the CMH, the minister said, “His (Ershad’s) condition can be described as critical. He is on life support, and the overall situation is critical.”He said all the possible treatment is being provided to Ershad at the CMH. “Everything now depends on the will of Allah. All should now pray for his recovery. The physicians said he is not in a condition that he could be sent abroad.”Zahid Malik added, “Ershad is being given the treatment that he is supposed to be provided abroad. His health condition doesn’t permit to take him abroad. So, there’s no plan to send him anywhere.”Mentioning that the Jatiya Party chairman’s condition is improving, Malik said he will recover if the trend of improvement continues. “If his condition deteriorates further, there’ll remain nothing to do.”Ershad’s younger brother and Jatiya Party acting chairman GM Quader and party secretary general Moshiur Rahman Ranga were present when the health minister was talking to the journalists.Earlier in the day, GM Quader urged all not to spread rumours over the health condition of his brother Ershad.Speaking at a press conference at Jatiya Party chairman’s Banani office around 1:00pm, he also said Ershad’s condition is stable and remains unchanged, but still not out of danger.Ershad, also the leader of the opposition in parliament, was admitted to the CMH on Wednesday morning as his condition deteriorated.The former military ruler has been suffering from various old age complications, including low haemoglobin and liver problem, high bilirubin and serious knee pain.last_img read more