F1 drivers make sign of unity

first_imgSHANGHAI (AP):Formula One’s drivers have made another statement of unity, this time in the form of a selfie over a group dinner in China.Nearly all of the drivers on the circuit got together for dinner before the start of the Chinese Grand Prix on Wednesday night and posed for a group selfie that Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg posted on Instagram with a message targeted at F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.Rosberg hash-tagged the photo, #RacingUnited, and then wrote, “or in Bernie’s words: #windbagsunited.”The barb was in reference to comments that Ecclestone made to the media in Bahrain after F1 drivers wrote a joint letter demanding an overhaul of F1’s administration.The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association wrote the letter to F1 stakeholders amid frustrations over the much-criticised rolling elimination format of qualifying that was introduced this season and then promptly dropped for the Chinese GP, as well as other problems in the sport.WINDBAGS COMMENTEcclestone dismissed the drivers’ concerns, and when asked by reporters if he believed they were “windbags,” he replied, some of them were.Rosberg, said yesterday he wasn’t upset by Ecclestone’s comments, adding the drivers were only “trying to help” with the letter.”We love the sport, we want the sport to be the most fascinating, exciting sport in the whole wide world,” he said. “And if we’re together and we raise our opinion, we have a certain power.”Apparently, the only thing the drivers can’t agree on is who should have picked up the bill for dinner.Reigning F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, who chose the restaurant and put down the deposit for the tables, said after the meal he suggested one driver pick up the bill and someone else could pay next time.”And then someone said, ‘Let’s just share it, so it’s 17 drivers sharing that freaking bill,” he said. “We all got a receipt – it was 17 receipts, 17 credit cards. It was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.”When asked who insisted on paying individually, Hamilton joked. “I’m pretty sure it was Nico.”Rosberg responded in kind by saying his Mercedes teammate should have treated because the “agreement usually is that the world champion pays.”last_img read more

African leaders unite economies

first_imgSouth African president Kgalema MotlantheAnd Ugandan president Yoweri Museveniarriving at the Tripartite Summit inKampala. African leaders at the sitting of the firstmeeting of the three regional economicblocs.(Images: Daily Nation)Khanyi Magubane Heads of states of 26 African countries belonging to three economic regions across the continent, have resolved to merge the blocs into a single regional market.The first ever tripartite summit, held in Kampala Uganda on 21 October, brought together 26 leaders of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).All three regions have agreed to establish a free trade community and a single customs union.This will stretch from South Africa to Egypt and from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Kenya.South Africa’s President Kgalema Motlanthe represented the SADC region as its chairperson. He said that the launch of the free trade bloc would place the African continent in a stronger position to respond effectively to intensifying global economic competition.Speaking to delegates, Motlanthe said, “Our convening here today reflects a profound recognition that sustainable integration into the global economy requires a commitment to an irreversible process of building economic, political and social unity.”Motlanthe also emphasised the importance for African countries to have strong economic ties with each other in the wake of the current global financial crises sweeping through the west.“The process we have embarked on today marks an important step towards the realisation of building an economic bloc in today’s challenging world that will increase the levels of intra-African trade.”Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Uhuru Kenyatta, also echoed Motlanthe’s views and said that the tripartite conference has come at the right time when international financial markets are tumbling, “It is important to acknowledge that the global financial crisis, soaring oil and food prices may lead to the weakening of our economies and deterioration of the global economic outlook.”The merger, bound to create the largest free trade area in Africa, will in total, combining the three regions, represent a population of over 248-million people and have a combined Gross Domestic Product of R749-trillion (US$650 billion)The roll out planDuring the summit, it was revealed that the three blocs would have a single airspace within a year and an inter-regional broadband network for internet.The three communities also resolved to coordinate their master plans for regional transport and energy within 12 months.Comesa secretary general Stephen Karangizi said the areas identified as starting points for cooperation among the member states include infrastructure development for regional integration and trade.Karangizi said infrastructure development includes developing energy generation and transmission facilities, transport networks, telecommunication and ICT infrastructure.The chairperson of the EAC Coordination Committee, Charles Gasana, said during the summit that the three regions need to rely more on trade rather than aid to fight poverty in Africa.He said that this mind shift would rid the continent of the stigma it has as the world’s poorest continent. Gasana also said that trade cannot be promoted if countries set barriers that inhibit flow of goods among each other.“We have instituted policies that encourage smooth flow of goods among each other and some members are even offering better terms of trading to developed countries.” He challenged the delegates to start offering the good terms of trade to their neighbours rather than to developed countries.Some of the challenges that the free-trade agreement will have to overcome include the multiple memberships of some countries to various trade blocs and fear of the weaker economies of being flooded by goods from their stronger counterparts like South Africa and Egypt.United states of AfricaThe summit’s host, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, told those gathered for the event, that regional integration was a powerful strategic tool for the group to use since it could ensure the prosperity of all it represents.He said the heads of states should see the move as more than just a trade agreement but an opportunity to create politically stable climates, “Economic integration is not enough. There is need for political integration which will bring about a common army to protect the interests of Africa.“Apart from the economic injustice by the developed world, their overwhelming military superiority is a threat to the future of Africa.”Museveni added that the time has arrived for a united Africa to start protecting its resources,“Some people are saying they want to build their superiority on water, air and land. Where does this leave us?” he asked the participants. “Why should Africans insure cars and bicycles but do not insure Africa?”The three economic regions enter into the agreement as already well-established entities in their own right.The SADC was first established in 1980, as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference in a bid to increase the participation of other countries in the then apartheid South Africa.After dwindling in subsequent years, the organisation was reincarnated as the Southern African Development Community in 1992.In 2006, it was estimated that the SADC region pulled a GDP of R437-trillion ($379-billion.)Some of the social and human development and special programmes that the SADC preside over between regions includes its Hiv/Aids programmes, which has been operational for the past 20 years. They also facilitate the “Roll back Malaria” campaign, aimed at eradicating the number of unprotected people in malaria-rife areas.The region’s social desk also runs education and skills development programmes; these are aimed at building capacity amongst the poor and unemployed.Comesa was established in 1994 and replaced the Preferential Trade Area. Its 20 member states are Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.According to its objectives, Comesa strives to create a level playing field, i.e. one that allows free and fair competition within the principles of market economics.The countries are engaged in issues of prevention and post-conflict reconstruction, strengthening of democratic infrastructure, and development of a vibrant culture.It includes 398-million people and in 2006, the area had a combined GDP of R33-trillion ($286.7-billion.)The smallest of the three, EAC, had a GDP of R537-trillion ($46.6-billion) in 2006. Established in 1967, disagreements between founding members Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania led to its collapse.On 30 November 1999, 32 years after the demise of the EAC, a treaty was signed, re-establishing the organisation and on 7 July 2000, the EAC officially started its work again.The EAC aims at widening and deepening co-operation among the partner states in, among others, political, economic and social fields for their mutual benefit. In 2005, the EAC countries established a Customs Union and are currently working towards the establishment of a Common Market by 2010.Some of its other future plans include; a Monetary Union by 2012 and a Political Federation of the East African States.Related StoriesBetter government across Africa The African Union SADC Africa: fast facts Angola heads for democracy SADC free trade area launchedUseful linksCOMESA SADCEACAfrican UnionSouth African PresidencyDo you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

South Africa reflects on battle to curb HIV and Aids

first_img10 June 2015South Africa had turned the tide on HIV, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said in opening the seventh SA Aids Conference yesterday.“That is an undeniable fact. The advances we have made, have been made together. Many emanate from public programmes, but still others have been made by grassroots activists. Many of whom are present in this room today.”The conference is running from 9 to 12 June at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban. Discussions centre on the latest developments regarding the treatment and prevention of HIV, Aids and tuberculosis in the field of scientific research, vaccine development and human rights issues, with a particular focus on the epidemic in the country.Global leaderSouth Africa was acknowledged by UNAids and others as global and continental leaders in the HIV response, Ramaphosa said.“We have the right policies in place and the political will to see them implemented. South Africa has the biggest HIV treatment programme in the world, with more than 3 million people on life-saving antiretrovirals, moving on to 5 million,” he added.“Thanks to the progress we have made, thanks to partnerships we have forged, thanks to the resources we have mobilised, we now know that the fight against Aids and TB can be won.”However, the question to be answered at this conference was whether “we have the means, the will, the knowledge and the courage to prevail”.He called on people to renew their commitment to fighting the diseases: “We renew our commitment, we renew our determination, we renew what I would call our social compact, which has been forged over many years of shared struggle.“We renew our commitment to the achievement by 2030 of a generation of under- 20s that is largely free of HIV,” Ramaphosa said.In unpacking the successes in South Africa so far, he said that in 2010, the country launched a national HIV counselling and testing campaign in which 20 million tests were conducted over 20 months; more than 700 million male condoms were distributed in 2014, and over 1.6 million medical male circumcisions had been conducted in public facilities since 2010.“The results have been significant. People are living longer and fewer people are dying of Aids and TB. Life expectancy as attested by a few speakers before me, increased from 53 years in 2006 to 62.2 years in 2013. This is a great achievement.”In addition, HIV associated deaths in pregnant women, infants and children under five had also declined, as had new HIV infections since its peak in 2004, especially among those under 15.“We have reduced mother-to-child transmission dramatically, to less than 2.6% in 2012.”More work to be doneThese statistics were encouraging, Ramaphosa said, but there was still more work to be done.“Our country has more than 6.4 million people living with HIV. That by any number is a huge number. That is where the challenge is. More than 1 in 5 people with HIV in the world live in our country.“We have about 450 000 new HIV infections and 360 000 new TB infections each year. That is a challenge that lies ahead of all of us. We need to find the resources to expand further what is already the largest HIV treatment programme in the world and ensure better adherence to treatment. Then we need to be able to sustain it for many years to come.”South Africa had ambitious goals to have at least 90% of HIV-positive South Africans on treatment, and 90% of those on treatment to be virally suppressed.“Simply put, as a country we cannot afford not to invest in HIV prevention, treatment and care.”However, new infections also needed to be stopped.“We need a massive HIV prevention campaign that begins with the promotion of condom use and the reduction of multiple concurrent partnerships, but that also addresses sexual coercion, transactional sex, intergenerational sex, risky sex linked to the use of alcohol and drugs, lack of access to work for young women, ignorance, powerlessness and poverty.”Behaviour change in menMost importantly, there needed to be behaviour change among men. One in four new infections occurred among young women and girls between the ages of 15 and 24.“We must confront the reality that the astonishingly high infection rates among young South African women has much to do with the behaviour of men. It has much to do with how men of that age – and older – relate to women. It has much to do with the forms that social interaction takes and how sexual relations are conducted.“It calls for greater awareness, greater respect and greater responsibility.”Stigma indexThe theme of the conference is Reflection, Refocus and Renewal. Held every two years, it is a barometer of the advances made in confronting and controlling HIV infections, in South Africa and in the regional states.On the first day, South Africa’s first national HIV stigma index was launched. It found that 7% of HIV-positive women surveyed reported being sterilised against their will and about 40% reported contraception was a pre-requisite of accessing antiretrovirals.The index, commissioned by the South African National Aids Council, also found that 5% of respondents did not seek health services at their local clinic because of stigma. It surveyed about 10 500 people with HIV across the country in what is the world’s largest survey of its kind.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

JD Equipment site featured in nationwide TV segment

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. Farm Report will televise a roundtable discussion hosted at JD Equipment in London, Ohio, for its special nationwide TV segment focused on used ag equipment. The program, entitled “On the Road with Machinery Pete,” features local John Deere equipment dealers from around the country discussing trends in the market with U.S. Farm Report hosts and Farm Journal’s used equipment expert, Greg Peterson.Portions of the first “On the Road with Machinery Pete” program were filmed at JD Equipment’s Annual Ag Auction, which took place on Saturday, December 5. The auction, that approximately 500 people attended, featured more than 125 pieces of equipment valued at more than $5 million.The segment also includes a roundtable discussion with Ted Miller, used equipment director, and John Griffith, general manager, both with JD Equipment, Farm Journal’s Peterson and U.S. Farm Report host Clinton Griffiths. The group discusses a variety of farm machinery topics, including used equipment trends in the area.The “On the Road with Machinery Pete” episode featuring JD Equipment airs Saturday, January 16, at various times and on several stations in the Central Ohio area:Mansfield and North Central Ohio: WMFD, Saturday 6:00 a.m. ESTLima: WLIO, Saturday 5:00 a.m. ESTToledo: WTVG, Saturday 5:00 a.m. ESTYoungstown: WKBN, Sunday 4:30 a.m. ESTZanesville: WHIZ, Saturday 6:00 a.m. ESTAdditionally, U.S. Farm Report will air on RFD-TV and Sirius XM (audio only on channel 147) at the following times:RFD-TV: Saturday, January 16, 9 a.m. EST; Sunday, January 17, 1:00 p.m. ESTSiriusXM: Saturday, January 16, 7 p.m. EST; Sunday, January 17, 8:00 a.m. ESTFor more information on the On the Road with Machinery Pete program on U.S. Farm Report, visit www.AgWeb.com/USFR.last_img read more

Amazon Will Ban Controversial Paint Strippers

first_imgAmazon is joining other retailers in banning paint strippers containing chemicals that have been linked to dozens of deaths. In a policy that becomes effective next March, the retailing giant said it will prohibit the listing or sale of strippers that contain methylene chloride or n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP). Companies selling paint removal products through Amazon must provide documentation that confirms the strippers do not contain either of the two chemicals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t banned them, but the chemicals have been linked to dozens of accidental deaths, according to a report in The New York Times.RELATED ARTICLESGetting Dangerous Paint Strippers Off the ShelvesThe Takeover of the EPAManaging Lead Paint HazardsEPA Ordered to Speed Up New Lead Rule The EPA hasn’t acted on an Obama administration proposal to ban strippers containing the chemicals, but a growing number of U.S. retailers have been taking steps of their own. Lowe’s announced in May that it would no longer sell paint strippers with those chemicals, including such brands as Klean Strip, Goof Off, and Jasco. According to the advocacy group “Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families,” Amazon becomes the 11th major retailer to ban these chemicals, following similar moves by Sherwin-Williams, The Home Depot, Walmart, True Value, PPG Paints and AutoZone. “We applaud Amazon for prohibiting the sale of these harmful products,” Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, said in a statement posted at the organization’s website.  “While Amazon, Lowe’s and other retailers have stepped up, the EPA has dragged its feet and consumers have suffered. The time for EPA inaction is over.  How many more people have to die before the Trump EPA finalizes this long-delayed ban?” Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families said Amazon’s announcement follows a campaign it launched in 2017 by to phase out the sale of dangerous paint strippers. With partners including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the group organized online petitions that have been signed by hundreds of thousands of consumers and is now pushing Ace Hardware to follow suit. That petition has been signed by nearly 150,000 people. Health advocates say there’s no practical reason why paint strippers have to include those chemicals. Consumers and contractors in the European Union have been able to buy strippers without methylene chloride for more than five years. According to Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, the EPA shelved its plans for a ban on methylene chloride shortly after Scott Pruitt took over the department as administrator. Last May, Pruitt met with families of some victims of methylene chloride exposure, and the EPA announced shortly after that it would finalize its rule on the chemical “shortly,” the group said. But details have yet to be announced, and the agency has taken no action on the chemical NMP. The mothers of two men killed by exposure to methylene chloride announced in October they would sue the EPA for its failure to pull the chemical from the market, the Associated Press reported.last_img read more

The Only Two Business Strategies

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now There are really only two business strategies: caring and not caring.No CaringThe “no caring” business strategy makes everything transactional. This strategy is built on the idea of driving down costs as much as possible and charging the lowest possible price. Eventually everything must be sacrificed on the altar of lowest price. Every transaction, every interaction, needs to be done at a lower and lower cost. Even the customer experience must be sacrificed, because an excellent customer experience increases costs. And if you can’t–or won’t–capture a higher price, then you can’t allow your costs to increase.When you hear people complain that no one does good work anymore, that customer service is dead, or that no one really cares, they’re really making an observation about a lot of companies choice of business strategy. But when you demand cheaper and cheaper, you demand a “no caring” strategy.Many companies have unwittingly made this choice by selling price. But by driving towards lowest price, you are driving towards transactional. Transactional is “no caring.”CaringThe caring business strategy is completely different. This strategy is built on the idea of delighting customers and building lasting relationships. It is built on trust. Customers that choose the “caring” strategy are accountable for the promise of delivering something that is worth paying more to obtain. Caring is what delivers that promise.It’s “caring” in manufacturing in design. It’s “caring” in user experience. It’s “caring” in customer experience. It’s “caring” in execution. And it’s “caring” in results.The “caring” strategy is anything but the lowest-price strategy. Caring takes resources, including time and money. It requires that you hire people that care, and that you build a culture that supports–and insists on–caring. Nothing you do can be transactional. Value must be created and captured to deliver “caring.”When you hear people rave about an experience, a product, a service, or a sales organization, what they are raving about is “caring.”The middle between these two poles is purgatory. You are either driving towards “caring” or you are going to be driven to “no caring.”QuestionsWhat is your choice of strategy?Are you driving towards lower transaction costs and lower prices?Are you capturing the value you need to deliver real “caring?”How easy is it to tell which choice a sales organization has made?last_img read more