Reporters Without Borders hails investigative journalist Xie Chaoping’s release on bail in Weinan (in Shaanxi province) on 17 September for lack of evidence. After being held for 29 days for writing a book about the Sanmenxia Dam entitled “The Great Migration,” he has been able to return to Beijing. March 12, 2021 Find out more News Help by sharing this information Much has been written about this dam, a major source of environmental damage and human suffering, but it seems the authorities do not welcome any investigative reporting on the subject by Chinese journalists. At least 35 journalists are currently detained in China. to go further News News Xie’s lawyer, Zhou Ze, said that Xie’s release was above all the result of public pressure. On 14 September, for example, around 60 academics posted a petition online urging the Communist Party Central Committee to order his release. Zhou said the police and prosecutors lack material evidence for a prosecution. He added that he hoped that, once back in Beijing, Xie would be granted a full release. China’s Cyber Censorship Figures Xie was questioned every day while held. On some days, the interrogations lasted for as much as seven hours. He also had to perform forced labour duties for five hours a day.—————————————————–Journalist arrested for writing book about the Sanmenxia dam7 September 2010China’s colossal Sanmenxia dam has a new victim – Xie Chaoping, a journalist who was illegally arrested without a warrant in the northeastern city of Weinan on 19 August after writing a book about the fate of those displaced by the dam. He is now reportedly being held by the Public Security Department in Beijing. Organisation ChinaAsia – Pacific Xie’s detention is completely illegal as neither his lawyer nor his family have been given a copy of the arrest warrant or any explanation for his arrest. According to Chinese penal procedure, they should have been notified within 48 hours. “Xie’s release is excellent news but now he must he now be quickly cleared of the charges of illegal commercial activity that the Weinan authorities brought against him,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We call for the release of the printer who was also accused of illegal commercial activity for printing his book. It is still not known what has happened to him.” ChinaAsia – Pacific Receive email alerts Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes Reporters Without Borders found it very encouraging to see how many Chinese journalists, academics, cartoonists and bloggers rallied to Xie’s defence, forcing the authorities to back down and release him on bail. News Reporters Without Borders calls on the Beijing authorities to release Xie Chaoping at once. It is deplorable that a journalist who tried to cover subject of general interest is being treated as if he were a criminal. Xie is accused of illegal commercial activity but his lawyer, Zhou Ze, reported in his blog on 30 August that the real reason for his arrest was his decision to self-publish 10,000 copies of his book, “The Great Migration,” about the fate of people who were displaced by the dam. Xie spent three years interviewing migrants and gathering information for the book. China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison June 2, 2021 Find out more September 20, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Author of book about Sanmenxia Dam freed on bail RSF_en As he left prison, Xie said: “I definitely do not regret writing this book. I am prepared to be arrested again.” Xie fears that he could be arrested again because the Weinan Public Security Department is continuing to search for evidence. April 27, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on China This is not the first time that someone has been punished for providing information about the fate of those displaced by a dam. See the case of Fu Xiancai: http://en.rsf.org/china-call-for-sanctions-after-beating-14-06-2006,1800…
NOTES TO EDITORS: It is appalling that in the twenty-first century there is still a big difference between the average earnings of men and women. While I am encouraged that over 10,000 employers have published their data, these figures set out in real terms for the first time some of the challenges and the scale of this issue. We need to take action to ensure businesses know how they can make use of their best talent and make their gender pay gaps a thing of the past. Building on the work by the Government Equalities Office, our enforcement approach has proved to be successful, resulting in full compliance by all those considered to be in scope. We have been clear that it is not only the right thing to do but that we would use all our enforcement powers where employers failed to report. They have taken our warnings seriously and avoided costly court action. We will now be turning our attention to the accuracy of reporting. For the first time ever 100% of UK employers identified as being in scope of gender pay gap regulations have published their data.The UK is one of the few countries in the world to require employers to publish such comprehensive gender pay gap data.Under new regulations that came into force in April 2017, all employers with over 250 employees are required to report their gender pay gap data. All 10,000 UK employers that the Government has identified as having over 250 workers have now published their data.The data has shown that more than three out of four in scope UK companies pay their male staff more on average than their female staff, more than half give higher bonuses to men, on average, than women, and over 80% have more women in their lowest paid positions than in their highest paid positions.The Government Equalities Office has also published today [Wednesday 1 August] a new ‘What Works’ guidance for companies to help them improve the recruitment and progression of women and close their gender pay gap.Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt, said: Fiona Dawson, Global President of Mars Food, also said: Delighted to see the launch of the Government Equalities Office, ‘What Works’ guidance and to see that the evidence based recommendations within it echo so many of those made by the Women’s Business Council particularly in relation to the importance of flexible, agile and dynamic working. The gender pay gap regulations and first year of reporting has focused the attention of the businesses community and its leaders on understanding the causes behind their organisations, and sector’s, gender gaps and the importance of putting into place practical solutions and actions to tackle their causes. Supportive guidance such as this document and best practice case studies of what has worked are vital for organisations to now take the next step in ensuring their staff have the same access to opportunity regardless of their gender. Last year Mars partnered with the Women’s Business Council to create ‘The Pipeline Effect’, a toolkit enabling gender parity beyond middle management where the gender gaps within most sectors dramatically increase. In the toolkit we’ve identified three primary obstacles to women’s mid-career progression. The visibility of relatable role-models, the need for supportive line management and most importantly the access to flexible, dynamic and agile working patterns. In Mars we’ve embraced this by rolling out multi-level sponsorship and mentoring programmes to support more women into senior leadership positions. This is supported by our in depth line manager training which ensures our family friendly policies including parental leave and flexible working are applied consistently across the business and ensures all employees hold authentic conversations with their managers allowing our male and female associates to enjoy balanced lives with thriving families and careers. Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer, FDM Group, a global professional services provider with a focus on IT, said: At FDM diversity and equality have always been our core values and we are proud once again to report a zero per cent gender pay gap for the second year in a row. Achieving this required a huge effort at all levels of the organisation, including major initiatives such as our women returners and graduate recruitment programmes which help women train and enter the world of technology. We also had honest conversations about senior pay, job roles and increased opportunities for flexible working initiatives to ensure strong representation of women at the top of the company. Equality and Human Rights Commission Chief Executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath, said: The gender pay gap reporting process has been an incredibly positive initiative for UK companies, elevating a vital issue to the top of the boardroom agenda and forcing business leaders to face up to the extent of the problem. Whilst in some cases the reporting has shown major pay discrepancies in companies, it’s important to recognise that tackling this issue is no easy task. These businesses should be judged on the plans and promises they put in place to reduce the gap, and the willingness shown to make change happen. The ‘What Works’ advice to employers published by the Government Equalities Office today includes recommendations to: The ‘What Works’ guidance was produced in partnership with the Behavioural Insights Team. The guidance, including details of all of the research evidence, has been published on the gender pay gap website, https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/ For more information please contact the GEO press office on 0207 023 0600. Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer, FDM Group, also said: Assess candidates based on actual tasks they would be expected to perform in their role, and make interviews more structured to avoid unfair bias creeping in. Encourage salary negotiation by showing salary ranges, as women are currently less likely to negotiate their pay than men. Introduce transparency to pay, promotion and reward processes. Fiona Dawson, Global President of Mars Food, said:
Share Sharing is caring! HealthLifestyleLocalNews Dominica observes Nutrition Day today by: – June 1, 2011 Photo credit: fitsugar.comThe Ministry of Health is joining the rest of the Caribbean in observing Caribbean Nutrition Day today-an annual event endorsed by the Pan American Health Organisation.This year the theme for Caribbean Nutrition Day is “Let’s Get Physical”.According to officials, the focus is geared at encouraging the population to engage in some form of physical activity which can be done regularly and result in improved health.The merits of physical activity range from preventing chronic conditions, promoting weight management to improve sleep patterns and benefits which are hard to ignore.Dominica Vibes News Tweet Share 26 Views no discussions Share
Last week, I reflected on Earth Day and how concern for the environment inspired me in school and then [no-glossary]led[/no-glossary] to my focus on renewable energy starting in the mid-1970s. This brought me to Brattleboro in 1980 to work for the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, which I did from 1980 through 1985.To continue:In 1985 I was ready to leave the nonprofit world and see if I could make it focusing on writing as a career — with a continued focus on the environment. I had been writing for a few publications during my stint with the New Mexico Solar Energy Association and NESEA, most notably a monthly column on energy for the Journal of Light Construction, but I didn’t know if I could make a livelihood out of that. Teaming up with NadavOne of my major writing projects during this time was a guide to energy-efficient construction for the Energy Crafted Home Program, a utility-funded initiative in Massachusetts. As work loads increased, I hired support staff to help with specific projects. One of those hires, very significantly, was Nadav Malin, in 1991.As my freelance writing career grew, more and more of my assignments were on mainstream building practices and were driven by magazine advertisers: “Alex, we need an article on ‘exterior insulation and finish systems’ and, by the way, it should mention these four companies…” Whenever I got a chance I would write about the intersections of building practices and the environment — whether relating to ozone depletion, global warming, renewable energy, indoor air quality, or water conservation. But these opportunities weren’t as frequent as I wanted. EBN is bornIn the spring of that year, we sent a letter to a couple thousand members of NESEA announcing a new publication, Environmental Building News, and inviting them to subscribe at a special charter subscriber rate. We didn’t really know anything about publishing or direct-mail. We figured if there was interest, recipients of the letter would send in checks. If not, we wouldn’t have invested too much in the experiment. We could cut our losses and move on to the next contact-writing project.But, lo and behold, we had an amazing 14% response to that mailing! (A rate just one-tenth that would be remarkable for any direct-mail campaign today.) Checks flooded in, and we printed our first issue in July, 1992. Remembering my frustrations with advertiser influence over editorial content in other magazines and knowing that we wanted to be able to say whatever we wanted about particular products and technologies, Nadav and I opted not to carry advertising.Environmental Building News (EBN) grew, filling a need out there for the emerging green building community, and we soon had subscribers in all fifty states and in more than a dozen foreign countries. At the time, our business was called West River Communications, but when we launched our first website (in 1995, I believe) we changed our company name to E Build, Inc., to mirror the name of our ebuild.com website. (Later, we would sell ebuild.com and use the proceeds to put our green products database online).Since launching EBN, we gradually grew the company, renamed it BuildingGreen, Inc. (after selling our ebuild.com domain), and launched other resources relating to green building products and the LEED Rating System. It has been an exciting — even if scary — time to be in publishing. We were an early adopter of desktop publishing and very early to the game with the World Wide Web. We have also bucked publishing trends throughout our history by shirking advertising (the primary revenue for most publications) and charging for Web-delivered content.We have continued a mix of our own publishing and contract work, and we’ve been able to focus our contract work in ways that strengthened our in-house expertise in green building. Over the past two and a half decades, we’ve done work for the U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, HUD, the U.S. General Services Administration, the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and several national energy research laboratories. We even participated in the Greening of the White House project during the Clinton Administration. A few articles on green architectureIn 1990 or ’91 Architecture magazine, for which I was a contributing editor, decided to produce a special issue on “green architecture,” a relatively new concept. I wrote several of the articles for that issue, which was well received, even winning an award as I recall. I began to wonder if there might be a niche for a publication focused specifically on green design and construction.Nadav and I talked about this for a while, and in early 1992, we decided to give it a shot. If we succeeded, we could stabilize our revenue through subscriptions and be less dependent on the whims of other magazine editors and on contract work that took effort to drum up and could not always be counted on. Freelance writing is a tough row to hoeIndeed, when I started out on my own I worked two days a week for a local restoration builder. As my writing picked up I gradually shifted to writing full time. I was doing a mix of freelance writing for six or seven magazines, but learned pretty quickly that freelance writing is a tough row to hoe. I supplemented that writing with various technical writing projects for state energy offices, utility companies, nonprofit organizations, and a few manufacturers.An early project was writing a series of home energy improvement pamphlets for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and this led to writing the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings for the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy in 1989. That little book was very well received, ultimately selling several hundred thousand copies and opening the door to lots of other writing opportunities in the energy field. Partnering with Taunton Press to create GBAFor two years, during most of 2008 through early 2010, we were partnered with Taunton Press and during that time created GreenBuildingAdvisor. GBA is a tremendous resource, but it was launched just when the building industry collapsed, and in the hard realities of the weak building economy since, GBA shifted in ways that challenged with original partnership. Both BuildingGreen and Taunton agreed that parting ways made sense, and we separated very amicably two years ago. BuildingGreen became an independent company again, and Taunton Press took full ownership of GBA — though we continue some level of involvement (including this blog).As always during our two-and-a-half-decade history, BuildingGreen has remained true to our initial vision as a mission-driven company, focused on the environment. Our corporate mission statement reads, in part:“…to facilitate transformation of the North American building industry into a force for local, regional and global environmental protection; for preservation and restoration of the natural environment; and for creation of healthy indoor environments.”We are now a 20-person company serving builders, architects, researchers, educators, and policy makers nationwide and even internationally. We work collaboratively with many partners around the country. While two of our employees work remotely and come into the office only occasionally, most of us are located in one of the historic Estey Organ Buildings on Birge Street in Brattleboro. Nadav took over as president several years ago and is ably leading BuildingGreen into the future as we try to keep making a difference.Readers can learn more about BuildingGreen and our products on our website. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. He coauthored the just-published BuildingGreen special report, Better Window Decisions, which provides clear guidance on window selection. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.
January 22, 2015 2 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now While online education has been gaining traction in America for roughly 15 years, the inevitable maturation and spread of this technology into developing countries is bound to spark a revolution.That was a key takeaway from a letter penned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — which, with an endowment of $42.3 billion, represents one of the largest private foundations on earth.On this, its 15th anniversary, the Foundation laid bare its hopes for the world over the next 15 years — including the prediction that online education will reach hundreds of millions of people across the globe.Related: Duolingo, the Chart-Topping Language App, Unveils a Platform for TeachersThe growth of high-speed cell networks and a proliferation of affordable devices will largely fuel this accessibility.Children who have grown up with smartphones and tablets, for instance, tend to utilize them intuitively. Therefore, according to the Foundation, kids in third world countries will eventually be able to learn letters and numbers before even entering primary school, aided by software that adjusts to various learning speeds.The Foundation also envisions online education that better feeds into specific career paths. Whereas early efforts in the field have “amounted to little more than pointing a camera at a university lecturer and hitting the ‘record,’ button,” according to the Gates letter, new coursework would ostensibly hone in on specific professional requirements.Related: The Latest – and Unlikeliest – Man to Reinvent Online EducationPerhaps most vital to the future of education, however — especially in developing countries — is closing the gender gap. One way this can be accomplished is by putting technology in the hands of women. In Africa and South Asia, for instance, women are far less likely than men to own a cell phone.While education can be a powerful force for equality, if such pain points aren’t addressed, writes the Foundation, “then education will become another cause of inequity, rather than a cure for it.”For more predictions about how the world might look in 2030, check out the Gates letter in full right here.Related: Bill Gates’ 5 Favorite Books of 2014 Enroll Now for Free
Yesterday, James Bennett, a software developer and an active contributor to the Django web framework issued the summary of a proposal on dissolving the Django Core team and revoking commit bits. Re-forming or reorganizing the Django core team has been a topic of discussion from the last couple of years, and this proposal aims to take this discussion to real action. What are the reasons behind the proposal of dissolving the Django Core team? Unable to bring in new contributors Django, the open source project has been facing some difficulty in recruiting and retaining contributors to keep the project alive. Typically, open source projects avoid this situation by having corporate sponsorship of contributions. Companies which rely on the software also have employees who are responsible to maintain it. This was true in the case of Django as well but it hasn’t really worked out as a long-term plan. As compared to the growth of this web framework, it has hardly been able to draw contributors from across its entire user base. The project has not been able to bring new committers at a sufficient rate to replace those who have become less active or even completely inactive. This essentially means that Django is dependent on the goodwill of the contributors who mostly don’t get paid to work on it and are very few in number. This poses a risk on the future of the Django web framework. Django Committer is seen as a high-prestige title Currently, the decisions are made by consensus, involving input from committers and non-committers on the django-developers list and the commits to the main Django repository are made by the Django Fellows. Even people who have commit bits of their own, and therefore have the right to just push their changes straight into Django, typically use pull requests and start a discussion. The actual governance rarely relies on the committers, but still, Django committer is seen as a high-prestige title, and committers are given a lot of respect by the wider community. This creates an impression among potential contributors that they’re not “good enough” to match up to those “awe-inspiring titanic beings”. What is this proposal about? Given the reasons above, this proposal is being made to dissolve the Django core team and also revoke the commit bits. Instead, this proposal will introduce two roles called Mergers and Releasers. Mergers would merge pull requests into Django and Releasers would package/publish releases. Rather than being all-powered decision-makers, these would be bureaucratic roles. The current set of Fellows will act as the initial set of Mergers, and something similar will happen for Releasers. As opposed to allowing the committers making decisions, governance would take place entirely in public, on the django-developers mailing list. But as a final tie-breaker, the technical board would be retained and would get some extra decision-making power. These powers will be mostly related to the selection of the Merger/Releaser roles and confirming that new versions of Django are ready for release. The technical board will be elected very less often than it currently is and the voting would also be open to public. The Django Software Foundation (DSF) will act as a neutral administrator of the technical board elections. What are the goals this proposal aims to achieve? Mr. Bennett believes that eliminating the distinction between the committers and the “ordinary contributors” will open doors for more contributors: “Removing the distinction between godlike “committers” and plebeian ordinary contributors will, I hope, help to make the project feel more open to contributions from anyone, especially by making the act of committing code to Django into a bureaucratic task, and making all voices equal on the django-developers mailing list.” The technical board remains as a backstop for resolving dead-locked decisions. This proposal will provide additional authority to the board such as issuing the final go-ahead on releases. Retaining the technical board will ensure that Django is not going to descend into some sort of “chaotic mob rule”. Also, with this proposal the formal description of Django’s governance becomes much more in line with the reality of how the project actually works and has worked for the past several years. To know more in detail, read the post by James Bannett: Django Core no more. Read Next Django 2.1.2 fixes major security flaw that reveals password hash to “view only” admin users Django 2.1 released with new model view permission and more Getting started with Django and Django REST frameworks to build a RESTful app
Today, TigerGraph, the world’s fastest graph analytics platform for the enterprise, introduced TigerGraph Cloud, the simplest, most robust and cost-effective way to run scalable graph analytics in the cloud. With TigerGraph Cloud, users can easily get their TigerGraph services up and running. They can also tap into TigerGraph’s library of customizable graph algorithms to support key use cases including AI and Machine Learning. It provides data scientists, business analysts, and developers with the ideal cloud-based service for applying SQL-like queries for faster and deeper insights into data. It also enables organizations to tap into the power of graph analytics within hours. Features of TigerGraph Cloud Simplicity It forgoes the need to set up, configure or manage servers, schedule backups or monitoring, or look for security vulnerabilities. Robustness TigerGraph relies on the same framework providing point-in-time recovery, powerful configuration options, and stability that has been used for its own workloads over several years. Application Starter Kits It offers out-of-the-box starter kits for quicker application development for cases such as Anti-Fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Customer 360, Enterprise Graph analytics and more. These starter kits include graph schemas, sample data, preloaded queries and a library of customizable graph algorithms (PageRank, Shortest Path, Community Detection, and others). TigerGraph makes it easy for organizations to tailor such algorithms for their own use cases. Flexibility and elastic pricing Users pay for exactly the hours they use and are billed on a monthly basis. Spin up a cluster for a few hours for minimal cost, or run larger, mission-critical workloads with predictable pricing. This new cloud offering will also be available for production on AWS, with other cloud availability forthcoming. Yu Xu, founder and CEO, TigerGraph, said, “TigerGraph Cloud addresses these needs, and enables anyone and everyone to take advantage of scalable graph analytics without cloud vendor lock-in. Organizations can tap into graph analytics to power explainable AI – AI whose actions can be easily understood by humans – a must-have in regulated industries. TigerGraph Cloud further provides users with access to our robust graph algorithm library to support PageRank, Community Detection and other queries for massive business advantage.” Philip Howard, research director, Bloor Research, said, “What is interesting about TigerGraph Cloud is not just that it provides scalable graph analytics, but that it does so without cloud vendor lock-in, enabling companies to start immediately on their graph analytics journey.” According to TigerGraph, “Compared to TigerGraph Cloud, other graph cloud solutions are up to 116x slower on two hop queries, while TigerGraph Cloud uses up to 9x less storage. This translates into direct savings for you.” TigerGraph also announces New Marquee Customers TigerGraph also announced the addition of new customers including Intuit, Zillow and PingAn Technology among other leading enterprises in cybersecurity, pharmaceuticals, and banking. To know more about TigerGraph Cloud in detail, visit its official website. Read Next MongoDB switches to Server Side Public License (SSPL) to prevent cloud providers from exploiting its open source code Google Cloud Storage Security gets an upgrade with Bucket Lock, Cloud KMS keys and more OpenStack Foundation to tackle open source infrastructure problems, will conduct conferences under the name ‘Open Infrastructure Summit’