Leaders Charities And Stars Mourn The Loss Of Kofi Annan

first_imgThe Elders are shocked and deeply saddened at the passing of their dear friend and colleague Kofi Annan, who was the globally admired and respected Chair of The Elders.A founding member of The Elders, Kofi Annan succeeded Archbishop Desmond Tutu as Chair in May 2013. He played a vital role in leading The Elders’ work, and was a voice of great authority and wisdom in public and private, most recently on visits to South Africa and Zimbabwe in July 2018.As the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006, he was a constant advocate for human rights, development and the rule of law. The first Secretary-General to reach the post from within an organisation he served for over 40 years, Kofi Annan had a life-long commitment to the cause of peace and was known for his staunch opposition to military aggression, notably the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.The great respect for him and his essential work was illustrated when he, together with the United Nations as a whole, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:“We are devastated at the loss of our dear friend and fellow Elder. Kofi was a strong and inspiring presence to us all, and The Elders would not be where it is today without his leadership. Throughout his life, Kofi worked unceasingly to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. While we mourn his passing today, we resolve as Elders to continue to uphold his values and legacy into the future”.In retirement, Kofi Annan continued where he had left off at the United Nations, founding and leading the work of the Kofi Annan Foundation, based in Geneva, and maintaining a hectic international schedule. His quiet advice on how best to defuse impending crises was in constant demand from all corners of the globe, in particular from Africa.All of the Elders and their Advisory Council and staff team members send their heartfelt condolences to Kofi’s family: his wife Nane, his children and grandchildren. They have lost a devoted husband, father and grandfather.The world has lost an inspiring figure – but one whose achievements will never be forgotten, and whose commitment to peace and justice will endure to inspire future generations.Leaders, charities and stars around the world have also expressed their sadness at the passing of Kofi Annan.“I was saddened and heartbroken to learn of the passing of Kofi Annan. Father. Husband. Humanitarian. Elder. He was a lifelong servant of peace,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “He was particularly concerned about the future – the world our children and their children will inherit. And he led the United Nations during a time when millions emerged out of poverty and he helped shape the future of global development work.“Most of all, Kofi Annan believed in the project of the United Nations. When once asked why he had failed to advance reforms, he reportedly quipped, ‘the Lord had the wonderful advantage of being able to work alone.’ Yet, through his six decades of international public service, Annan was committed to making sure he was not alone – enlisting us all in the work of building a better world.“And in the end, Annan’s life reflected his understanding of it – that the fate of each of us determines the fate of all of us. On behalf of everyone at UNICEF, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, his beloved nation of Ghana, and the UN community.”“I’m deeply saddened by the passing of Kofi Annan, a true global statesman and man of integrity,” added UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie. “Like many others, I will remember him for his kindness, his grace, and his calm strength of purpose. My thoughts are with his wife and family.”“Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement. “He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us.”The UN Foundation Board today released the following statement in response to news of the death of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a UN Foundation Board Member since 2007.“We are devastated by the loss of Kofi Annan – our fellow Board member, former Secretary-General, and friend. Kofi was a towering figure whose deep humanity, compassion, and courage inspired everyone whose life he touched. We are privileged to have worked with such an honorable man and visionary leader. His achievements will not be forgotten, nor will his impact on history.“Kofi led the United Nations into the modern era and shaped the best of what it stands for today. He insisted on holding the UN to the highest standards and was relentless when it fell short. We pay tribute to his tireless efforts to fight for peace, justice and human dignity. He believed that anyone could take a stand, make a difference, and help create a better world for all – especially women and young people – and he always took time and effort to listen to those who too often went unheard. In his own story, he showed us all how a life well-lived could be a powerful force for good. There was not a part of the world he left untouched.“His loss on the eve of World Humanitarian Day, when we remember the service and sacrifice of humanitarians and peacemakers around the world, reminds us only further of his life and leadership. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Nane, children and grandchildren and all those who knew and served alongside him. He will be forever remembered.”Ted Turner, UN Foundation Founder and Chairman, said: “Kofi Annan was a friend and a champion for peace. He opened the doors of the UN to me and millions of others who have been inspired by the UN’s values. He challenged us to help make a difference for the world, and he led with a formidable combination of compassion, fierceness and hope. We will miss him greatly.”During his tenure as Secretary-General, Kofi Annan led one of the most comprehensive efforts to revitalize the United Nations and make the international system more effective. He strengthened UN peacekeeping, adopted the UN’s first-ever counter-terrorism strategy, and led Member States to adopt the “responsibility to protect” framework that addressed genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. In addition, he helped establish the Global Fund to fight Tuberculosis, AIDS and Malaria, and launched the Global Compact initiative that continues to encourage corporate social responsibility.In 2001, the UN and Kofi Annan were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee commended Annan for “bringing new life to the organization,” balancing the UN’s traditional role in peace and security with greater emphasis on human rights across the world.Bill Clinton had this to say: “Kofi Annan was a truly great UN Secretary-General. It was an honor to work with him in his efforts to reform the UN, strengthen global health and peacekeeping, and reduce poverty. He made the fight against AIDS and the responsibility to protect civilians in conflict zones true priorities for the UN.“After he left office, he continued his leadership on poverty, environmental, and peace issues through his foundation. In every phase of his life, he held fast to his Ghanaian roots and set a powerful example of determined leadership while always treating others with respect and dignity.“I will always be grateful to have worked with him as President and later as UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery. Hillary and I treasured our friendship with him and Nane, and our thoughts and prayers are with her and their family.”last_img read more

Significant Digits For Monday Feb 2 2015

One more plea for the newsletter: Sign up for it now and be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news. And, as always, if you see a significant digit in the wild, tweet it to me @WaltHickey. $921Many speculators use the Super Bowl as an opportunity to make a quick buck. In recent years, people who sold short tickets on secondary sites could profit from an average price fall of $921 in the two weeks prior to the delivery date to buyers. That did not happen this year, leading to substantial chaos on the secondary markets for tickets. [The Atlantic]$12 billionCounting all the booze, food, electronics and merchandise, the National Retail Federation estimates Americans spent more than $12 billion on the game. [The Week] You’re reading the special Super Bowl edition of Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe.4 cents per viewerWith an estimated cost of $4.5 million for a 30-second Super Bowl advertisement and more than 112 million people projected to watch the broadcast, advertisers with a 30-second spot paid about 4 cents per viewer — far more than the 2.5 cents per viewer that advertisers pay for a typical TV spot. [The Washington Post]$12Cost of a draft beer at University of Phoenix Stadium. Knowing that, I’m OK with Nate’s decision not to bring me along to the game. [SB Nation]37 completionsNew England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had a banner night (other than those two interceptions), completing 37 of 50 attempted passes and throwing for 328 yards, four touchdowns and the game’s MVP award. [The New York Times]44 percentOne of the most talked-about TV ads — besides the one in which Nationwide gamed out all the ways to accidentally kill a kid — was the one Budweiser used to distance itself from the namby-pamby world of craft beer and play up its roots as the crappy beer of the common man. This creative direction shouldn’t be shocking for a brewer that recently learned 44 percent of drinkers aged 21 to 27 have never tried Budweiser. [Business Insider]57.5 percentThe game effectively ended when the Seahawks — with a yard to go for a go-ahead touchdown — threw a pass that the Patriots intercepted. Many slightly-later-on-Sunday-evening quarterbacks second-guessed this play call, suggesting that a run would have been a safer option. During the regular season, 57.5 percent of rushing plays from the opponent’s 1-yard line resulted in a touchdown. [FiveThirtyEight]71 adsPerhaps you or someone you know was the person at the party who was there only to take in TV commercials. That’s cool: to each their own. NBC aired 71 unique national ads. [Business Insider]73-45Final score of the Puppy Bowl, the annual (sham) event aired by Animal Planet, which I really need to stop gambling on at this point. Cara, a Shih Tzu puppy, was named game MVP. Presumably many specialized vacuums were sold. [IGN]98 secondsRemember Ballghazi? As a person who dislikes the New England Patriots, I sure do. It turns out the attempts to reconstruct events are getting rather serious: Investigators are focusing on a 98-second window during which a worker took 24 game-day footballs into a restroom. Has this story gone on too long? Yes. Is the evidence conspiratorial and absurd? Of course. Is it funny, in a juvenile way, that grown adults are arguing over the size of balls? Probably. But is there a long offseason coming up? Damn right, and we’ll all need something to talk about. [NFL.com] read more

Minister of Foreign Affairs at CARICOM Caucus in Mexico

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppMexico, June 21, 2017 – Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Darren Henfield (centre) participated in the CARICOM Caucus on Monday, June 19, 2017 in Mexico in preparation for the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers on the situation in Venezuela and the 47th OAS General Assembly.   Seated next to him is Chet Neymour, Charge d’Affaires, and behind (centre left) Director General Sharon Brennen-Haylock, and Foreign Service Officer Shagerra Edgecombe.Press Release: BIS Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

Where Google Misses the Mark for Premium Publishers

first_imgI love Google. I believe it to be one of the greatest American businesses ever launched. For the last dozen years, I have been a partner as well as competitor to Google. I have seen firsthand the incredible breadth of engineering talent and resources they bring to the market. As a publisher, I was a long-time customer of syndicated Google search advertising as well as embedded, contextual text advertising.Google is brilliant at serving and monetizing text advertising. Whether done on the search result page or via contextual mapping to page level content into a dedicated module, these are solutions that no publisher can directly offer. These are solutions based on mapping scale of advertisers to scale of potential keywords, something no individual publisher can possibly replicate. The money generated from these placements is incremental and does not compete with the publishers’ own direct efforts to sell a similar product.Display is a different ballgame. A premium publisher’s core business is in selling a high-value display placement into their curated environment at a premium price. While programmatic buying is surely challenging the value of this model, it still represents a significant market with hundreds of top-tier brand marketers placing value on the age-old premise of the right ad delivered to the right individual in the right environment. Google’s core display product undercuts this model in damaging ways. Google will serve what its algorithm perceives to be the best possible ad at that given moment. It does not discern the appropriateness of the ad content itself or the economics involved. This often defaults to the lowest common denominator served into a premium display position—a text ad, from a direct response marketer, sold for less than 10 percent of what the publishers’ direct sales force is trying (and succeeding ) to get for that same inventory.This is particularly damaging in emerging areas like mobile. Because most premium publishers don’t sell their mobile inventory yet, you often see Google text ads appearing in prime display mobile real estate. Because many of these publishers are using DFP as their first party ad server, Google wisely makes it very easy for them to automate their Adsense backfill.Here is the prime example. This is a screen shot of The New York Times mobile home page from a few months back. The NYT has not sold this position so it defaults to a backfill solution from Google. This is what served: Now I’m an old digital guy and still view the home page of the NYT as a very premium buy. I see top 50 brands paying top dollar to get that position. Google has done a great service to the Counseling Anxiety in Miami advertiser. I wonder if they even know they owned the homepage of the NYT. For the NYT, this is a horrible result. Never mind the poor quality of the ad content and how that sullies the environment for the reader; I’m not sure how their sales team can go to market selling the exclusivity of the placement to their top-brand advertising partners when this is what’s running there.So what can you do if you’re a premium publisher with lots of unsold inventory?1. Put the right resources in place to sell it yourself, and in the way it needs to be sold—as a high-value, high-impact display unit.2. Work with specialist networks that focus on premium inventory and premium brands.3. If you’re going to backfill, do it via an SSP (Pubmatic, Rubicon, or even AdMeld, which Google owns), where more competition for the inventory should produce better ads and better economics.4. If you’re going to just run Google ads, then have somebody at the switch watching to make sure there are minimum standards of ad content quality and yield.Don’t get me wrong; Google is a great and critical partner to the publisher and would be the first to point out they give the publisher control to manage their inventory. The reality is that most publishers don’t have the resources to do this, so they default to something that in the long run undermines their business.    Be smart. Protect the premium value of your brand and inventory.last_img read more

Scientists pin down causes of dust eruptions

first_imgIn the large image, particles in a pile of graphite powder erupt due to illumination with a red laser. The laser heats particles just below the surface the most, causing surface particles to jump up due to photophoresis and the solid state greenhouse effect. The inset is an eruption of vitreous carbon. The images are long exposures, and the laser was slowly moved to excite different locations. Photo credit: Gerhard Wurm and Oliver Krauss. Citation: Scientists pin down causes of dust eruptions (2006, April 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-04-scientists-pin-eruptions.html When the physicists turned the laser off, they observed an intriguing effect. The point where the temperature gradient changes (the highest temperature) moves deeper into the dust bed. In the tenths of seconds after the laser is turned off, the photophoretic force increases further below the surface, causing larger aggregates to be ejected from the upper part of the bed.“When you turn off the laser, the normal cooling begins,” explained Wurm. “And since the temperature gradient at the surface is largest in absolute terms, heat flows in this direction better, which is why the maximum has to shift further into the sample.”Because photophoresis works best in low-pressure environments (10 mbar used in this experiment), it would be rare to observe the force naturally acting on dust particles near the surface of the Earth. However, in the early days of Earth – as well as other planets and stars – photophoretic ejection at sub-mbar pressures likely played a role in the growth of gas-dust disks, which in turn triggered the formation of asteroids and Kuiper belt objects.For future applications, the physicists theorize that Mars’ low surface pressure make the planet a candidate to host the photophoretic force. For example, with the equipment used on Mars exploration missions, photophoretic technology could aid in the removal of dust from solar panels and lenses. Further, the scientists consider creating a solar sail that would be powered by the photophoretic force instead of radiation pressure.“You could construct a fabric which would look, for example, like a fisher-net with micron or sub-micron-sized fibers,” explained Wurm. “The individual fibers would have ‘negative photophoresis,’ which occurs when particles are pulled by the light after being ejected, and the whole net should be lifted by light. With negative photophoresis, I’d guess a sail might carry a few times its own weight just by ‘passive’ sunlight. . . Say a 10 meter by 10 meter sail might carry a few tens of kilograms.”Wurm and Krauss also speculate on the possibility of fabricating an artificial surface that would optimize photophoretic forces on Earth, as well as industrial applications. Because all these possibilities are based on studies of “dirt,” these experiments take advantage of something often considered an everyday nuisance.“With modern physics, it is hard to come by the effects we observed here because everyone is proud of working in a clean environment at ‘perfect’ vacuum,” said Wurm. “This is fantastic, but you never see photophoretic effects there. You need the gas, the ‘bad’ vacuum, and you need the dirty surfaces.“With respect to planet formation, dust really holds the clues to our origins. The word ‘dust’ implies rather negative feelings because it is related to dirt in everyday life. Dust is everywhere. We will never love it and we can’t leave it. You could call it micro- or even nanoscience and it might sound a little better and fancier for research – but we’re still talking about dust, whatever name tag you put on it.”Citation: Wurm, Gerhard and Krauss, Oliver. Dust Eruptions by Photophoresis and Solid State Greenhouse Effects. Physical Review Letters 96, 134301 (2006).By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com By simple light and heat mechanisms, dust particles seem to defy gravity and leap up into the air. The effect, which once played a role in the formation of the Earth and asteroids, could also have applications in dust removal and even propel small probes on Mars. When shining a red laser beam on a pile of dust, some dust particles will jump up, apparently erupting in a fountain of dust strands (see image). In studying the mechanisms behind the erupting dust, scientists Gerhard Wurm and Oliver Krauss from the University of Munster found two causes working together that explain their observations: photophoresis and the solid state greenhouse effect.Photophoresis – or the movement of particles due to light – is based on a long-known effect called thermophoresis – or the movement of particles due to heat transfer. Essentially, in environments with temperature gradients, particles will migrate from hotter to cooler regions due to the thermophoretic force. When light absorption serves as the heat source, the mechanism is called the photophoretic force.In addition to the presence of a temperature-gradient surface, Wurm and Krauss found that the solid state greenhouse effect also plays a role in dust eruptions. This greenhouse effect occurs because the laser beam heats up dust particles slightly below the surface (at least 100 micrometers, which encompasses several tens of particle layers) the most. In a recent Physical Review Letters, the scientists describe how coupling photophoresis with this greenhouse effect means that surface dust particles will strive to migrate away from hot underlying particles – and that direction is up. The team found that the pull-off force for a spherical micron-size particle is around 10-7 N. On average, about a million particles are needed to overcome cohesion.“We observed particles jump up to 5 cm,” Wurm told PhysOrg.com. “You should get them to 10 cm but this might not be the limit. The limit probably depends strongly on the dust powder, its size distribution, cohesion and the light source.”With 50 mW laser power, radiation can penetrate a dust bed to a depth up to a few millimeters. While the temperature generally decreases deeper into the dust bed, the temperature actually peaks not at the surface, but around a depth of 100 micrometers. This reversed temperature gradient near the surface causes aggregates of dust grains to be ejected.center_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Hard soil, big jumps and epiphanies: what it’s like on the Moonlast_img read more

Google honours Urdu writer Desnavi with a doodle

first_imgNew Delhi: Known for his huge contribution towards the enrichment of Urdu language, Abdul Qavi Desnavi was honoured by search engine Google with a doodle on his 87th birth anniversary on Wednesday. The doodle showed Desnavi sitting in the middle and writing. The letters of the search engine were also given a calligraphic touch.An Indian Urdu language writer, critic, bibliographer and linguist, Desnavi, has contributed immensely towards the evolution of Urdu literature. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn his five decades of literary career, he has authored a vast body of works covering fiction, biographies, poetry and anthologies. Some of his noted works are “Sat Tehriren”, “Motala-E-Khotool”, “Ghalib” along with his writings on Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.Born in 1930 in Bihar’s Desna village, Desnavi, belonged to an erudite family. He had a strong academic background. His primary education was in Arrah. He completed his graduation and post graduation from St. Xavier’s College Mumbai.Later, he became a Professor in Saifia Post Graduate College in Bhopal. He was made the head of Urdu Department there.He was a member of several literary and academic bodies. Desnavi breathed his last on July 7, 2011 in Bhopal where he was living.last_img read more

Announcing TypeScript Roadmap for January 2019 June 2019

first_imgToday, Daniel Rosenwasser, the Program Manager of TypeScript, released a roadmap to be followed for TypeScript starting from January 2019 to June 2019. This roadmap outlines the priorities that the team will be focussing on, over the next 6 months, which will serve as a set of guidelines to accomplish the listed goals by June 2019. These goals (as listed on GitHub) include: Types on every desk, for every JS developer Using strong tooling to increase productivity Improved Approachability and UX More Community engagement Better Infrastructure and engineering systems In order to achieve these goals, the Typescript team will focus on tweaking the following domains: #1 Language design and innovation Under this domain, the team will focus on the core ‘type’ system. They plan to enable popular JS patterns in a type-safe way, while also proving relationships between types. The latter simply means generalizing patterns between type operators and encoding them in type relationships. They also plan to implement ECMAScript features with stricter settings. In terms of Committee representation, their goals include prioritizing forward compatibility with proposals/features adopted in the earlier stages of developing TS. They also want to be involved in other features like Class fields (public and private), decorators, ES/CJS module interop, and much more to ensure that ECMAScript grows to ‘make a developers’ life easier’. #2 Developer productivity tools and integration The team plans to introduce ‘quick fixes’ that will be proactive in nature. This includes a class of code modifications and fixes that are applicable, which will be useful for teaching users about language features and patterns, making it more approachable to work with TypeScript/ JavaScript. Proactive fixes also imply that TypeScript can analyze code and can surface suggestions and code changes for improvements rather than just fix an error. This is in contrary to most of the current quick fixes that are reactive in nature and are created and triggered after a user has seen a definite error. They also plan on focussing on more targeted workflows like ‘migration’. They will come up with ways to ease migration to TypeScript and typed JavaScript to improve the process of adding types. In the field of ‘Linting’, the team noticed architectural issues with the way TSLint rules operate that impacted performance. They will be working towards fixing these issues. Since ESLint already has the more-performant architecture, the TS team will be focusing on leveraging ESLint rather than duplicating work. For scenarios that ESLint currently doesn’t cover, they will be sending contributions to bring ESLint’s TypeScript support to parity with TSLint. To build co-located TypeScript projects, the team will be making improvements such as functionality for automatically swapping projects in and out to save memory. They will also investigate the emit-time regressions seen in the last few versions of TS. Finally, they plan to investigate surfacing language service operations on the command line. #3 Education and UX The team says that the documentation provided for TypeScript needs to be improved for a more seamless learning experience. They will be working on a new version of the handbook with  three different parts: Tailored introductions for the core handbook The core handbook for everyone Reference pages (eg. appendices) They believe the segmentation of this documentation will help developers from all backgrounds–right from complete novices to experienced developers–to learn TypeScript without any hassle. They will also be improving their error UX to make it more ‘approachable’ for inexperienced users. Their website will also be undergoing an upgrade along with the examples mentioned on the same. #4 Community investment TypeScript’s ‘DefinitelyTyped’ is the 10th most popular open source project on GitHub. The team will be focussing on weekly PR rotations–where members of the TS team review external PRs to DefinitelyTyped–and DefinitelyTyped’s surrounding infrastructure such as the types publisher, dtslint, and dt-mergebot. They also plan to ease the process of external contributions to the documentation and investigate improving rich editing experiences. This year, users can also expect more public talks, meetups and blog posts on TypeScript. #5 Team Infrastructure The team will be focussing on faster builds by converting them to avoid bootstrapping themselves outside of CI, adding/migrating lint rules, and much more. This will, in turn, improve TS stability, productivity, and ease of contribution. Besides this, they also plan on providing internal guidance on TypeScript-first API designs, assisting internal partner teams with best practices for projects and addressing major Microsoft-internal build regressions. You can head over to TypeScript’s GitHub page for more insights on this announcement. Read Next npm JavaScript predictions for 2019: React, GraphQL, and TypeScript are three technologies to learn TypeScript 3.2 released with configuration inheritance and more Vue.js 3.0 is ditching JavaScript for TypeScript. What else is new?last_img read more