WOW and empowerment

first_imgThe announcement that the Women of Worth (WOW) microcredit programme has been further extended to the hinterland regions of Guyana is a much welcomed initiative.Started under the previous Administration the programme empowers women, more specifically single parent women to take advantage of the economic opportunities around them, and so increase their participation in society.Since its launch in June 2010 thousands of women’s lives in Guyana have been impacted in a positive way as the programme seeks to remove the obstacles single parent women face in society, to enhance their self-esteem, to empower them to take advantage of the economic opportunities around them and increase their participation in society.The ultimate goal of the project is to provide intervention and financial support to ensure WOW participants manage and sustain successful business ventures.To finance the project, the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) has provided 0 million and the Government of Guyana will provide an estimated million per annum. However, that figure has been adjusted to million over time. As such women can borrow between 0,000-0,000 from the bank to build their businesses, while the interest rate applicable to the loan is very low, providing that it does not exceed 24 months.Empowerment and education is both an elevator and a springboard. It allows women to raise themselves up and to break down the divides that keep them from succeeding. At its best, empowerment is a breaker of shackles. A World Bank research shows that half of women’s productive potential globally is completely underutilised, and if that was compared to men, for men it was just a fifth. Women represent half of the world’s population but yet they represent far less than half of measured economic activity.A study of 60 developing countries estimated that the economic loss from not empowering and educating females at the same level as males amounted to billion a year. As the old adage says, “if you educate a boy, you train a man. If you educate a girl, you train a village.”It therefore means that education is the key to women empowerment. As Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner says, “One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” And nowhere is it truer as in the case of women, meaning that empowered, educated women will become leaders with the right mindset, making the right decisions at the right time. In ancient India, a divine code of conduct said “Yatra naryastu pujyante ramante tatra Devata, yatraitaastu na pujyante sarvaastatrafalaah kriyaah”. This means where women are respected, there the Gods make their home; where they are not respected, all human action remain unproductive.Translating this code locally, as the WOW programme enters the realms of the interior of Guyana, hinterland women, more so hinterland single parent woman, like those living on the coastland, are going to get the opportunity to support themselves through this microcredit initiative. This will empower these women to seize the opportunity to control their own future. They will have a voice in their community in a way in which, perhaps, they have not had such a prospect in the past.Helen Clark, the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, in her speech, women’s economic empowerment for sustainable development, in March 2016, said that strengthening women’s economic opportunities is an essential contribution to eradicating poverty.Barriers in the economic and social spheres for single parent women has certainly reinforced inequalities but, empowerment is an entry point to opportunity that can have positive ripple effects within the family and across generations.As Hillary Clinton has observed, women empowerment and equality is not only the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do.The architect of the WOW programme should be commended for the initiative.last_img read more

Quiet confidence and a title-winning defence? Arsenal’s season assessed

first_img 5. But Arsene Wenger’s dictatorship might be far from over – Wenger, as most are fully aware of, is out of contract at the end of the season. But despite many feeling he has now overstayed his welcome, it doesn’t feel as though he is approaching the end of a remarkable time in north London. He’s flirted with the England job in recent months, but has done little to suggest he will be walking away from the Emirates in June. It’d be foolish to predict whether the Frenchman stays or goes. A new contract just might be on the table. 5 5 2. Their transfer policy is changing for the better – It looked as though the summer transfer window would be the most irritating of all for Arsenal supporters. Arsene Wenger sealed an early deal for Granit Xhaka at the end of May, but it wasn’t until the end of the market that two more marquee signings arrived. Wenger is bringing in players in their prime – Mustafi, Xhaka and Perez being their latest – and it would be lazy to suggest the Frenchman hasn’t made an attempt to sign a world class striker over the past two summers. Arsenal are making noise in the market, suggesting a change in the tentative policy that has seen their rivals march ahead. 5 No one’s got too carried away by Arsenal’s start to the season, but should we be taking more notice?Arsene Wenger’s side sit second in the Premier League, trailing Manchester City only on goal difference, and lead the way in their Champions League group.While the Gunners are no strangers to kicking off their campaign well, there is a subtle sense of change in north London that their rivals – and fans – might not want to underestimate.In light of this, check out five things we’ve learned about Arsenal this season, so far, by scrolling through the gallery above. 1. Few are getting carried away by their great start, but Arsenal will be quietly confident – read all about this below then click the arrow above, right, to take a look at four more things we’ve learned about Arsenal this season – If it was Liverpool sitting in Arsenal’s position in the Premier League, the furore from their fans would be borderline ridiculous. For the Gunners, though, such a start less surprising. If they do avoid an injury crisis over the festive period, the north London outfit have to be considered serious challengers at the top of the table. But even if they are forced to adapt without key personnel, Arsenal’s squad is arguably better equipped than it has been for some time, a feeling that will be rife around camp. The players won’t be getting carried away, just yet, but they will be quietly confident. 3. Arsenal, at last, may finally have a title-winning defence – Arsenal’s centre back partnership, even more so than their centre forward options, has been the source of much frustration at the club. There have been no complaints over Laurent Koscielny’s quality, but it’s been quite the opposite for Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista. Summer recruit Shkodran Mustafi, though, has left many feeling Arsenal finally have a top class pairing in the heart of their defence. Mustafi already seems an influential figure with his new team-mates, despite aged just 24. His no-nonsense approach could be crucial in helping the Gunners to grind out results when it really matters. 4. Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might be finished at the Emirates – It might really be game over for Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain. The former is spending the season on loan at Bournemouth and the latter, despite a good game against Ludogorets this week, is as far from the first team as he has ever been in his time with the club. For Wilshere, it’s difficult to fathom what he’s expecting to achieve from a so-called brave move to Dean Court. Would Sir Alex Ferguson, for example, have persevered with the pair for as long as Wenger has? Unlikely. 5 5last_img read more

Court lifts MTA restraints

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECalifornia’s bungled $1 billion accounting system Hatter noted he will continue to monitor implementation of a four-year plan to extend bus service, including adding more than two dozen Rapid lines and service to job and medical hubs. But activists fear that the decree’s end could portend fare hikes and service cuts at the country’s third-largest transit agency. The MTA has plans to reorganize bus routes over the next two years, but has released scant details. The agency has not specifically called for fare hikes, but has stressed that bus services are straining its budget. “While this may be a technical victory for the Los Angeles MTA, it is a grave threat to the civil rights of 450,000 Los Angeles bus riders,” the Bus Riders Union said in a prepared statement. The union’s 1994 civil-rights lawsuit had prompted the decree. “MTA buses continue to be unacceptably overcrowded, evening and weekend service is unbearable, and for the past two years in particular, the MTA has been in a mode of defiance, allowing conditions on the buses to deteriorate, hoping for the expiration of the decree,” the union said. Paving the way for sweeping changes at the MTA, a federal judge on Wednesday rejected efforts to extend a decade-old consent decree that forced the agency to invest $1.3 billion in bus service for the urban poor. In a major victory for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, U.S. District Court Judge Terry Hatter ruled that the agency had taken all “reasonable steps” to improve the bus system for poor minorities by easing crowding, extending service and adding hundreds of buses. The decree should expire Sunday as planned, Hatter said. The ruling set the stage for a massive reorganization of Metro bus lines, with the agency no longer bound by protracted and costly negotiations required for service changes. “It’s good news for our riders,” said Roger Snoble, the MTA’s chief executive officer. “They have benefited from the consent decree. We have got a good system. Now, to make it better, we can do so without having to go through the court.” The MTA runs nearly 200 lines that crisscross 1,433 square miles, from the beaches to the San Fernando Valley. Since the decree was brokered in 1996, the agency has spent more than $1 billion to replace more than 2,000 buses and expand hours and lines. “I want to reassure Metro’s customers – and the public at large – that Metro is committed to sustaining the improvements made to the bus system,” said county Supervisor Gloria Molina, chairwoman of the MTA’s board. “We’re not about to lower our standards. Nobody at Metro wants to turn back the clock and undo all the progress we have made.” In his decision, Hatter noted that the decree, which had provided specific orders that sometimes generated controversy, was flawed. “For the past 10 years – the entire term of the consent decree – the parties have disagreed as to how to implement the consent decree, how to reach its objectives and how to measure its success. “In hindsight, the consent decree was a less than perfect document,” “As a result, it is impossible to achieve absolute compliance. “However, it was possible for MTA to substantially comply with the consent decree. Despite an increasing ridership, increasing traffic congestion and fiscal constraints, the MTA has substantially complied with the consent decree while maintaining fares at reasonable levels.” Most contentious under the decree were requirements to ease crowding. The riders union continually pressed the MTA to add more buses, saying passengers on some of the most heavily used lines were forced to stand. That violated “load factors” set by the court that prohibited leaving eight riders without a seat for 20 minutes or longer. Throughout the decade, the MTA contested the union’s interpretation of the data – at times vociferously – and most recently declared that monitored buses were crowded just 1 percent of the time. At stake, MTA officials have said, is the financial health of the system. They repeatedly complained that specific consent-decree orders prevented the financially strapped agency from cutting redundant and unnecessary lines. “One of the things that is most disheartening in living with the consent decree is the limits it has placed on the administration to make timely decisions on routing and service,” said county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, an MTA board member. At the root of the decree is a 1994 lawsuit filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Bus Riders Union. The suit alleged that the MTA discriminated against poor and minority bus riders by neglecting the bus system while pouring money into light rail and subways. At the time the suit was filed, the agency was embarking on a massive rail project and seeking to hike fares and cut monthly bus passes. Buses frequently ran late, broke down and spewed choke-inducing fumes. “The MTA has never stopped struggling with the fact that there is a lot of political mileage to address problems like traffic congestion and air pollution and not focus on being a redistributive social service for the poor,” said Brian Taylor, director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies. “The focus on transit-dependent has been increased by this case, and the MTA has felt hamstrung by it.” Special Master Donald Bliss, who oversaw implementation of the decree before retiring earlier this year, said he was satisfied with Hatter’s decision. “The MTA has invested substantial resources in the improvement of the bus system,” he said. “I agree that the parties should work together to implement the new service plan and continue to provide transportation for the entire community.” The Bus Riders Union has 30 days to appeal. An attorney for the union said it was still weighing options. But, he warned, any significant cuts to service would be challenged. “If they gut the bus system, we will be back in court asking for an extension to the decree after the fact,” said Richard Larson, an attorney for the NAACP and the union. While the union expressed dismay with the ruling, others admitted the strides made over the past decade have vastly changed transportation in L.A. “The Bus Riders Union should be very proud,” said civil-rights attorney Connie Rice, who argued the case for the union. “Fares didn’t go up, the blind and disabled kept their fare base. And the decree put $1.7 billion in the bus system that wouldn’t have been there without it.” Less than perfect he said in his decision. Feeling the squeeze (818) 713-3741160Want 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

‘The speculation is ridiculous’ – Gareth Bale’s agent dismisses transfer rumours

first_img1 Gareth Bale (left) in action during pre-season Gareth Bale’s agent has dismissed the “ridiculous” speculation suggesting he could leave Real Madrid this summer.The 28-year-old is preparing for his fifth season at the Bernabeu, having won the Champions League three times during that spell, but reports have once again linked the Welshman with a move away.However, Bale’s representative Jonathan Barnett said: “The speculation is ridiculous. Stupid.”Bale signed a new six-year contract with Real last October but speculation was sparked by coach Zinedine Zidane’s comments after this week’s pre-season defeat to Manchester City in Los Angeles. The Frenchman said he could not guarantee Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo would all be at the club at the start of the season.“I hope the BBC (Bale, Benzema and Cristiano) stay for this season. I hope everyone remains,” he said after Wednesday’s friendly.“I want everyone who is here now to stay…but anything can happen right up until August 31.”That, coupled with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho stating he was still looking for a player who can play on the wing, led to suggestions Bale could be the one to be offloaded, especially with Real interested in signing Monaco’s 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe in a world-record deal.Barnett, though, has dismissed those claims.last_img read more

Visit kicks off campaign

first_img• Photo Gallery: Arnold thanks volunteers • Video: Arnold thanks volunteers WHITTIER – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the GOP headquarters in Whittier on Monday while kicking off the fall election campaign, and was met by protesters asking him to keep prisons out of the city. To help combat overcrowding in prisons, Schwarzenegger proposed a $6 billion prison package that would review the pending sale of any surplus correctional facilities that could be considered for reopening. The shuttered Fred C. Nelles Correctional Facility, which is just blocks away from the Republican headquarters, could be reopened if lawmakers add it to new legislation if the special session is reconvened before Nov. 30. After working the room, Schwarzenegger addressed the crowd, saying in the 2003 recall election, people didn’t know what to expect from him. “Your vote was an act of faith,” he said. This time around, he hopes that it is a “vote of confidence.” While Labor Day is the traditional campaign start to the November election, Duff Sundheim, chairman of the California Republican Party, said Schwarzenegger’s campaign began almost 10 weeks ago. Since then, more than 200,000 calls have been made by 45,000 volunteers, and organizers are hoping for campaign workers, Sundheim said. Among the volunteers is Whittier resident Abraham Camacho. “I wanted to take charge and make a change, and I believe in what the governor is doing,” said Camacho, who met the governor for the first time Monday. Camacho, 22, volunteers 30 hours a week. Among other tasks such as meeting with candidates, he also calls registered Republicans. Top concerns are immigration, education, tax increases and job security, Sundheim said. Schwarzenegger, who said he is grateful for all his supporters that stood behind him in his bodybuilding, movie and political careers, ended the speech with one of his many one-liners: “I’ll be back.” City News Service contributed to this story. Angelides attended a Labor Day breakfast at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, part of a daylong series of events organized by labor officials. “When I’m governor, I won’t be the champion of the big special interests that can take care of themselves,” he said. “I’m going to fight for the middle class and against first-class fraud.” Lagging behind Schwarzenegger in the polls, Angelides pledged to fight to the finish by waging a “campaign of principles.” (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2477160Want 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 MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Schwarzenegger did not discuss the prison package at his stop in Whittier, but instead focused his comments on thanking campaign volunteers for their efforts. “If everyone works together, we can do this,” he said. “I cannot do this by myself.” As Schwarzenegger rallied campaign workers Monday in Lake Forest, Carlsbad and Whittier, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides addressed labor rallies in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego and Oakland. Inside the rally in Whittier, Schwarzenegger signed autographs, posed for photos, shook hands, and took the phone from volunteers calling registered Republicans. “This is Arnold, exactly,” the governor said to one caller. “This is not a joke.” last_img read more

Bus program may lose funding

first_imgRio Hondo trustee Garry Couso-Vasquez was disappointed about the possibility of losing funding for the program, but is counting on Whittier’s congressional delegation to work on the college’s behalf. “It’s not easy dealing with numbers and requests,” he said. “But we’re not going to give up. We’re disappointed, yes. But we need to look at other means of funding as well.” (562) 698-0955 Ext. 3051160Want 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 MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d seeRio Hondo already has paid $80,000 to keep “Go Rio” going through next semester. But funding beyond that is uncertain until Congress approves it next year. As a result, officials say, they’re exploring other possible funding sources. “We’re looking at other government sources, state, local and private sources,” said Russell Castaneda Calleros, Rio Hondo’s director of government and community relations. “Everything right now is very murky. We’re in between \ funding cycles and that’s a rocky place to be. “When Congress reconvenes in February, we may have the funding restored. Right now, we’re just hoping for the best.” “Go Rio” will begin again on Jan. 27, he added, “so obviously, the funding is OK there.” Funding for the program was included in a transportation/ treasury/housing and urban development appropriations bill, under the Federal Transit Administration, Calleros said. “Each department has a certain amount of money attached to it, and it’s difficult to predict which will get funding and how much influence \ members will have to decide which projects get funded,” Calleros said. WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College’s “Go Rio” could come to a skidding halt unless Congress approves funding next year for the program that gives students free bus passes. Started this fall, “Go Rio” provided passes to about 1,100 full-time students to ease campus traffic and parking congestion and encourage public transportation. But the two-year pilot program is in jeopardy of losing $200,000 in federal funding after Congress this month failed to pass several appropriations bills. Overall, Southern California stands to lose more than $111million in federal funding for everything from hospitals to road improvements next year as Democrats vow to strip legislators’ pet projects out of the national budget. But local officials say important programs are being unfairly punished. last_img read more

New €40,000 traffic lights to ease congestion in Inishowen

first_imgBuncrana is to get new traffic lights in a bid to tackle the traffic congestion problem in the town.In a report to the councillors at the monthly meeting of the Inishowen Municipal, roads manager Seamus Hopkins said they had a number of proposals to present to try and tackle the recent traffic problems.These included yellow boxes/hatched areas, timer controlled traffic lights or vehicle actuated traffic signals. Mr. Hopkins said these lights would replace the existing pedestrian lights at St. Mary’s Road, at the Westend side of the town.He said the timer controlled lights would cost around €20,000 where as the vehicle actuated ones, which would detect if traffic was building up at St. Mary’s Road would cost double the cost at €40,000.Buncrana councillors Nicholas Crossan and Rena Donaghey both agreed that the dearer traffic lights would be the best option.Cllr. Crossan said if the works were to be carried out next week it wouldn’t be soon enough as the problem with traffic is getting progressively worse on a daily basis. Mr. Hopkins suggested that they install yellow boxes, costing around €2,000, just off the Westend roundabout at the Cockhill Road and St. Mary’s Road but Cllr. Crossan disagreed.“Yellow boxes don’t make any difference in Buncrana so you may save that €2,000 straight away,” said Cllr. Crossan.“There will be a riot in Buncrana if this traffic problem isn’t sorted out, the traffic jams have been unreal every day.”Cllr. Donaghey said if the project cost €40,000 it would be ‘€40,000 well spent’. She said the traffic at SuperValu on the Cockhill Road every day is shocking and they don’t want it be backed up in the town.Similarly Cllr. Crossan said the congestion in the town was causing more traffic jams around Marian Park and similar areas because people couldn’t drive up the Main Street. He said they were not designed for a huge number of cars. Mr. Hopkins said they were presenting the ideas now but he said the money would be coming from next year’s road budget.New €40,000 traffic lights to ease congestion in Inishowen was last modified: December 12th, 2016 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)last_img read more

The two new bills in Congress that should be on every employer’s radar

first_imgYou say overtime; I say comp time.Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, when a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek, that employee gets paid overtime at time-and-a-half the regular rate of pay. Under the FLSA, a private-sector employer cannot provide that employee with comp time in lieu of overtime — even if the employee agrees.To the few of you who are now furiously clutching your pearls, I’m sorry. I didn’t make the rules. Indeed, a few years ago, House Republicans proposed and passed a bill that would have changed the rules and allowed private-sector employees to swap overtime for comp time. However, that never made it to President Obama for his signature.Well, guess what’s back, yo! It’s the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017. It just sounds so warm and fuzzy. I mean, the only thing that could top it would be to rename it the Working Families Warm and Fuzzy Flexibility Act of 2017.Actually, that just sounds creepy.But, the less creepy version that is now pending in both the House and Senate would permit a worker in the private sector to elect to receive compensatory time off at a rate not less than one and one-half hours for each hour of employment for which overtime compensation would otherwise be owed.SHRM supports it. Since it’s the employee who gets to say yay or nay to comp time in lieu of overtime, I like it too. I like it a lot.A federal Ban the Box law.Many states and cities, Philadelphia for example, have made it unlawful for employers to ask about criminal backgrounds during the job application process.Last week, a small bipartisan group in Washington introduced the Fair Chance Act, which would prohibit Federal agencies and Federal contractors from requesting that an applicant for employment disclose criminal history record information before the applicant has received a conditional offer, and for other purposes. There’s more in this press release from the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.While the purpose of ban the box legislation is to reduce the barriers to employment for minorities, there is research that shows that these laws may have the reverse effect. For more on 2017 Employment Screening Trends, check out this SHRM article.Whatever screen policies you may have, make sure:They comply with FCRA;They comply with state and local law;You have good business reason for screening; andThey are applied consistently and evenly across the board.Originally published on Employer Handbook blog.last_img read more

The Fundamentals of Network Data Loss Prevention

first_imgIt’s important to understand how criminals gain access to systems in order to better manage your organization’s network data loss prevention. While the playbook for network penetrations varies from attacker to attacker, there are some consistent patterns that emerge from each enterprise-level incident. Network penetrations can be broken down into three steps, each with distinct signatures.1. On-Ramp to the Network. Attackers have to get a foothold in the network, and this is most often done by social engineering targets to download malware or submit credentials to a phishing site. Additional on-ramps include watering holes, compromised logins, third-party hacks, and exploiting vulnerable third-party apps, particularly content management systems.2. Navigating the Network. Once inside, attackers will use internal documentation to further their attack, pivoting from corporate user to corporate user via compromises to eventually gain access to documents and databases.- Sponsor – 3. Exfiltration. Data exits the system in surprisingly simple fashions. Sometimes it is hidden in traffic, but more often than not, it is zipped or encrypted and moved off the network to a drop site before detection systems can alert users and data loss can be stopped.Human Error in Network Data Loss PreventionNearly all of the network attacks involve the following failures, oversights, or policy breakdowns:Human error is almost always involved. Whether attackers enter through the front door or move laterally through the network, the attackers need employees to take some sort of action, whether it is entering credentials into a phishing site or opening a malicious attachment.Employees use corporate emails to register for third-party sites that have been hacked and, even worse, reused passwords.Lack of two-factor authentication for access to VPN networks, databases, and shares contribute to many of the breaches and magnify password reuse problems.WordPress plugins are exploited for credentials to access servers or to create phishing pages. In general, servers running CMS applications are hackers’ on-ramp of choice.Once inside networks, reconnaissance is performed through corporate directories, wikis, and share sites. Attackers find targets with desired accesses and move laterally using malware or phishing sites sent from internal email.Network traffic monitors fail or are evaded during exfiltration.This article was excerpted from “Basic Training in Network Security.” Read the article to learn best practices in data loss prevention and discover which components of any corporate network are most vulnerable.  Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more