Society failing to address HIV/AIDS stigma – US activist

first_imgboth the legal and social environments are still failing to address stigma and discrimination against those most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and people living with the disease.This is according to Stephanie Joseph-De Goes, Guyana’s Country Coordinator for the President’s EmergencyStephanie Joseph-De Goes delivering her remarks at Guyana’s seventh Annual AIDS Candlelight MemorialPlan For AIDS Relief – PEPFAR, a US governmental initiative to address the global HIV epidemic with her office based at the US Embassy in Georgetown.She made those remarks at Guyana’s seventh Annual AIDS Candlelight Memorial held at the Catholic Life Centre by the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) on Sunday last, where a charge was made to all Guyanese to come together to fight against the stigma and discrimination for those living and infected by HIV/AIDS.“We must put an end to the disease of stigma and discrimination,” she stressed.During the event, the US diplomat remarked that in this 50th year of Guyana’s Independence, the country can truly make history by amending the Prevention of Discrimination Act 1997 to include sexual orientation, gender identity and health status, and repealing other laws that perpetuate stigma and discrimination.“Stigma and discrimination eats at the soul of a society. We know that eliminating stigma and discrimination will positively affect a nation’s progress, well-being, and public health for things like HIV prevention, care and treatment.”The US activist continued, “I ask you what is holding us back from zero discrimination. From ensuring human rights, equal rights for all no matter a person’s health status, gender identify or sexual orientation. When it comes down to it, I think it’s our personal judgments about difference.”She lamented that too often individuals use belief, religion, culture, etc, to judge others on differences: be it one’s skin colour, sexual identity, or health status. “Whatever the difference might be that does not fit into our worldview. Then we focus so much on those perceived differences that we forget our ‘sameness’. We forget what unites us – our ‘humanness,’” she pleaded.Joseph-De Goes posited that it was hard to get to zero discrimination because society and those in policymaking positions were so busy judging the differences instead of recognising the strengths in individual identities.“How can we deny human rights, compassion and love?” she questioned.According to the US diplomat, “we cannot afford to say we cannot support amending the Prevention of Discrimination Act because of religion, beliefs, culture, etc”.“We know what has been done in the name of belief – human atrocities and ‘man’s inhumanity to man. Will we continue to allow injustices in the name of belief and ‘difference’?”She charged Guyanese society to work together for equality and to recognise that denying any one of us the right to justice, equity, access, security, education, health and employment – human rights – is denying all of us.“Let us decide to work together towards a Guyana where laws protect the human rights and the dignity of all. Guyana’s time is now. We are at the 50-year mark. Let us join forces to support the amendment of not just the 1997 Prevention of Discrimination Act but also all other punitive laws,” Joseph-De Goes said.She expressed hope that in the next 50 years, Guyana can be a nation with zero discrimination and 100 per cent human rights so that every person whether HIV-positive, HIV-negative, heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual, lives in dignity with the rights to employment, health, safety and security.last_img read more

Suspected bandits shot from a distance – PM

first_imgSeawall shooting…each shot at least 6 timesA post-mortem examination conducted on the bodies of Kwame Assanah and Dextroy Cordis proved they were both shot six times each. It is unclear how many times the third man, Errol Adams, was shot. The Police on Tuesday said the autopsies were conducted by Dr Nehaul Singh at the Georgetown Public Hospital Mortuary, who disclosed that the men died as a result of multiple gunshot injuries.The three men were shot dead during a shootout with the Police on Thursday last at the Kingston Seawall just behind the GNS ground.However, based on the post-mortem report that was seen by relatives of Assanah, the bullets entered and exited the bodies of Assanah and Cordis.Assanah was shot five times to the chest and once to the upper right arm, while Cordis was shot five times to the chest and upper body and once to the head. Attempts to contact the relatives of Errol Adams of Essequibo proved futile.The post-mortem also revealed that the men were shot from some distance away.Nevertheless, the Police in a statement said they were convinced the men were about to commit a robbery on a customer who had completed a transaction at Scotia Bank, Robb Street, Georgetown.The Police alleged that the men in the black Toyota IST motorcar were following the customer and in an unmarked vehicle, the Police trailed the suspected bandits.The men were cornered on the Kingston seawall forcing them to open fire on the Police ranks and in retaliation, the Police returned fire mortally wounding the men.The car belonging to the Police had at least two bullet holes on the windscreen.Meanwhile, acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine on Monday threw his support behind his ranks, claiming the shooting to death of the three men were justified.last_img read more

New three-year funding models for community visitor centres

first_imgA new, three-year base funding model for community visitor services centres in the Peace region are aimed to ensure “more stable and predictable funding and allow for greater flexibility and innovation.”Destination BC has announced the model (at least $10,000 annually for three years) for the 108 community visitor centres it helps support.Communities receiving annual funding for the next three years:Fort St. John: $12,500Taylor: $10,000Dawson Creek: $20,000Hudson’s Hope: $10,000Chetwynd: $12,500Tumbler Ridge: $10,000Fort Nelson: $12,500- Advertisement -As well, an innovation fund will be available in 2016 to assist communities with projects that help them adapt to the changing needs and expectations of visitors, including through the use of technology.Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm said visitors to the Peace Country will “continue to receive quality, world-class services from our visitor centres.”“The innovation fund will also be available to help these communities adapt to changing visitor needs.”Advertisement “Tourism is a key economic driver and job creator in British Columbia,” Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier said. “Our visitor centres will continue to provide valuable community information to travellers and visitors to our region.”Bernier isn’t wrong about tourism in BC – in 2013, the tourism industry generated $13.9 billion in revenue.It was made a direct contribution to BC’s gross domestic product of $7.3 billion, accounting for 4% of the Province’s total GDP.last_img read more


first_imgFinn Harps have decided to change to Saturday night football.The team will play home games on a Saturday nights, with a 7.45pm kick-off, beginning with the fixture against Waterford United on 11th June.The club have taken the decision in consultation with Manager Peter Hutton and Director of Football Felix Healy. “We have decided to change our home fixtures from Friday nights to Saturday nights for the remainder of the season,” said Harps Chairman Joey O’Leary.“Having consulted with Peter Hutton and Felix Healy on the matter, they feel it gives the players better preparation for games.“At the minute we have the case where players are finishing their days work on a Friday evening and travelling straight to Finn Park for a match – it isn’t the ideal preparation.“Changing to Saturday’s means the players have the day to themselves and are more rested before the game that evening,” he said. It is also hoped the switch will bring in a bigger crowd.Harps’ next home game is on Thursday 26th May against Athlone Town.EndsHARPS SWITCH TO SATURDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL was last modified: May 18th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:finn harpslast_img read more

Drivers at Donegal company issue strike notice

first_imgSIPTU members employed as drivers by the Inishowen Oil Company Ltd, Carndonagh, will begin an all-out strike at 8.30am next Wednesday.The action is in response to their employer’s refusal to accept an invitation by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to a conciliation conference in relation to a pay claim.The workers will be maintaining a picket outside the premises of the Inishowen Oil Company Ltd, Milbrae, Gort Glebe, Carndonagh, every weekday from 8.30am to 5.30pm and on Saturday from 8.30am to 12.30pm. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Teresa Hannick, said: “These drivers have not had a pay increase in ten years. Management of the profitable company has refused to attend conciliation at the WRC to discuss a pay claim which the union lodged in April 2016.“It is completely unacceptable that a company has repeatedly refused to engage with the industrial relations mechanisms of the State. The workers have been left with no option but to strike due to the attitude of management. We are calling upon all SIPTU members in Donegal to do what they can to support these workers.”SIPTU Inishowen Oil Company Ltd. shop steward, Ivan Wilson, has worked at the Inishowen Oil Company Ltd for almost 20 years.He said “Myself and my colleagues are all from the area. There is nothing we want to be doing more than delivering fuel to the local community. Unfortunately, due to the actions of management we have been forced to go on strike and are totally committed to maintaining our action until the company agrees to attend a conciliation conference at the WRC.” Drivers at Donegal company issue strike notice was last modified: October 27th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Inishowen Oil CompanySIPTUstrikelast_img read more

Tourist buddies for World Cup

first_imgKwaZulu-Natal will train 1 500 touristbuddies who will provide helpful tourisminformation and friendly service to WorldCup visitors. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff, For more freephotos, visit the image library)  KwaZulu-Natal province has launched a R1.5-million (US$205 000) training programme for 1 500 volunteers aptly named “tourist buddies”, who will provide helpful tourism information and friendly service to 2010 Fifa World Cup visitors.The programme was launched on 12 April by the province’s department of economic development and tourism.Speaking at the launch, department minister Mike Mabuyakhulu said, “Our province attracts 1.3-million inbound tourists, but we believe we still have to realise our full tourism potential.”Durban will host seven World Cup matches and expects 100 000 visitors during the tournament. Mabuyakhulu said they want to make the tourists feel welcome and provide quality service to all visitors.“The buddies will be expected to foster the spirit of unconditional, collective hospitality in KwaZulu-Natal by improving the service standard,” he said.The volunteers that are due to undergo training are people from rural areas and those currently working in the hospitality industry. They include hotel staff, car guards, petrol station attendants, and restaurants.“The stark reality is that, given the intense competition from other provinces and other countries, we need to up our game in order to increase our tourism share,” said Mabuyakhulu.“With its fascinating mix of tourist drawcards, KwaZulu-Natal is well positioned to hold its own in the highly-competitive global tourism industry,” he said.According to the department, tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country, and is increasingly providing employment to South Africans.In the period 2008-2009 tourism contributed R83.1-billion ($11.3-million) to the country’s Gross Domestic Products.KwaZulu-Natal contributed an estimated R18.3-billion ($2.5-million) directly to the national economy, and more than R26-billion ($3.5-million) indirectly during this period.This created 83 000 direct and 167 400 indirect employment opportunities.Mabuyakhulu said in order to continue growing the country’s economy and tourism in KwaZulu-Natal, all the people of the province should be tourism ambassadors.Melting the stereotypesThemba Ngobese works at a Durban hotel along the beachfront where most of the province’s top hotels and restaurants are located. “I am hoping to be part of the tourist buddy programme – it would be a great opportunity to be part of this international event, the first African football World Cup,” he said.Ngobese said if South Africans are good to the tourists this would help get rid of the negative stereotypes perpetuated by the media. “There are too many bad things being said about our country leading up to June when the tournament begins. It’s up to us, as the people who will have direct contact with foreign visitors, to prove those stereotypes wrong, and show our visitors the warmth and love that drives Africa.”His co-worker Nontobeko Hlophe agrees. “We are very excited about the World Cup and would love to work with the department to ensure that it is a success.” Hlophe said it is important to make tourists feel safe and welcome in South Africa, particularly in their province, during the World Cup.“If we can do well in accommodating the tourists it would give our province a good rating and tourists will hopefully flock here even after the World Cup.”last_img read more

A Step Toward Fairer Green Home Valuations

first_imgTo say this is an era of heightened scrutiny of the appraisal industry is an understatement. Flat-lining home sales and prices have sellers – including homebuilders – sharply focused on the fairness of lender valuations, especially those in markets afflicted by foreclosures.Another factor complicating appraisals: the green home, whose energy-saving features have so far been ignored in most valuations. That’s partly because green homes are still relatively new to the market and suitable comparables difficult to find. It’s also because the market value of green home features has been poorly understood by many appraisers and lenders.But at least one industry group is trying to address the issue. Last month, the Appraisal Institute, an industry group based in Chicago, issued an appraisal form designed to help appraisers analyze green features in a consistent and fair way. The new document, officially labeled Form 820.03, was presented as an addendum to Fannie Mae Form 1004, a widely used valuation form completed by appraisers and accepted by mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration.If it’s filled out, will lenders use it?It’s a reasonable first step, since it will help bring green features to the attention of lenders. Whether lenders will choose to factor those green features into their valuations is another matter. A look at the three-page form indicates they should consider green features if their valuations are going to be fair, since the items listed on the addendum focus almost entirely on features that can reduce energy costs when the home is occupied and fully operational. RELATED ARTICLES Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 1Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 2Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 3Green Building Appraisal and Financing IssuesGreen Home Appraisal WoesWhen Green Poses an Appraisal ProblemGetting a Grip on Green-Home Appraisals and InsuranceQ&A: Bad Appraisal on a New Green HomeQ&A: Refinance and Appraisal of Net-Zero Home Items eligible for consideration within the appraised value of a property include insulation systems (their type, location, and R-value); water efficiency systems; daylighting features; appliance performance ratings; average utility costs; energy audit data; photovoltaic systems; LEED for Homes and National Green Building Standard certifications and scores; and government incentives that may have been applied to the purchase or installation of the property’s energy efficiency systems.It will take time for the green-home addendum to catch on, although pressure from homebuilders and other home sellers who have invested in energy efficiency measures – a steadily growing group – are likely to keep the pressure on until they’re satisfied the improvements are fairly factored into valuations.“We hope this new form will be a big step toward establishing more accurate home valuations that recognize all of the key features of a home,” Kevin Morrow, senior program manager of green building programs at the National Association of Home Builders, said in a press release touting the addendum. “Green homes can offer significant cost savings to home owners over a comparable home built to code, so we are pleased that this new form will finally provide a vehicle to demonstrate some of these key differentiators.”last_img read more

After Effects Video Tutorial: 3D Pre-Compose Script

first_img3D pre-compose in After Effects with this free script from Andrew Kramer.Andrew Kramer’s done it again. This time he’s giving away a free script specifically designed for 3D pre-composing. This may not sound very sexy but it will definitely save you time if you do a lot of work within AE. Instead of going back and forth copying and pasting lights and cameras in each pre-composed composition, you can now simply select which properties to transfer across pre-compositions.If this all sounds like gibberish to you check out the following tutorial created by Kramer explaining how to use his new 3D Pre-Compose script. The tutorial covers:Problems with Pre-ComposingUsing ScriptsWorking in 3D SpaceIntegrating Element 3D with the New ScriptTo download the free script visit the Video Copilot Blog.This script and tutorial was first shared on Video Copilot’s blog. Thanks for sharing guys!Want to learn more about After Effects? Well you’re in the right place! Check out the After Effects section of the PremiumBeat blog where you can find hundreds of After Effects tutorials, tips, and articles all designed to help you become a better motion graphic designer.Have any other uses for this After Effects script?Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Shimla receives highest rain in a day in 68 years

first_imgHeavy rains continued to lash most parts of Himachal Pradesh, with Shimla recording the highest rainfall in a day in the last 68 years, the Meteorological (Met) department said.“As per the rainfall recorded today, Shimla witnessed 118.6 mm rains during the last 24 hours. This is the highest rainfall in the city in a day in the last 68 years as per the data available with our department since 1951,” Met department director Manmohan Singh said.“The previous highest rainfall in Shimla was at 108.4 mm, recorded on April, 15, 2005,” Mr. Singh said. The weatherman said that the rainfall in Shimla occurred due the formation of cumulonimbus clouds and moisture incursion from both the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal.“When monsoon shifts from south to north close to foothills, such heavy rain occurs,” he said. Heavy rainfall occurred at isolated places in Bilaspur, Solan, Sirmaur and Una districts. During the last 24 hours, 109 mm rain was recorded in Dharampur followed by Berthin 93, Jhandutta 85, Bharwain 74, Pachhad 72, Baijnath and Kahu 68 each, Bilaspur-65, Kasauli-60, Arki- 52, Banjar 48, Dehra Gopipur, Mandi and Gohar-45 each, Ghumarwain and Bangana-44 each, Naina Devi-40, Aghar-39, Solan and Sarkaghat and Sunnibhaji-27 each, Amb-25, Gaggal-24, Paonta Sahib, Rajgarh and Jogindernagar 22 mm each. Rainfall is likely to occur at isolated parts of the state tomorrow, Singh said, adding that scattered rains will take place in the state from July 5 to 7.last_img read more

Heavy showers strike Pune, western Maharashtra again

first_imgDespite official intimations of the withdrawal of monsoon, heavy showers pummelled Pune and other parts of western Maharashtra on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.Apart from causing waterlogging at several areas in Pune city, the latest bout of rain caused the Aandhali dam in Satara district, situated in the rain shadow region of Mann-Khatav, to fill to capacity after nearly a decade.While the rains stayed at bay on polling day, heavy showers commenced after midnight and continued into the wee hours of Tuesday. Heavy waterlogging was witnessed once again in Katraj, Kondhwa and Sahakar Nagar, leading to massive traffic snarls. In Lohegaon, a bus ferrying 23 labourers got stuck in the middle of the road due to a technical snag. However, its passengers were rescued with the help of the fire department.Rainwater entered a number of residential societies, inundating parking lots and basements and half-submerging parked vehicles.The city recorded over 42 mm rain and the India Meteorological Department had forecast more showers on Tuesday evening.With rains pelting Satara district, especially Phaltan tehsil, for the past three days, a number of rivers like Banganga swelled, causing authorities to issue high-alert warnings to residents living in low-lying areas.last_img read more