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SA’s ratings ‘not under threat’

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first_img29 January 2008South Africa’s electricity shortage and resultant power cuts are not an immediate threat to the country’s investment-grade credit rating, say analysts from two of the top international ratings agencies.Business Day and Business Report both got on the phone to Fitch and Standard & Poor’s on Monday after a wave of power cuts across South Africa culminated, on Friday, in the shutting of a number of the country’s mines.According to Business Day’s Mariam Isa, the energy crisis is “not seen as an immediate threat to SA’s investment-grade credit rating, but could become an issue if electricity outages sharply curb economic growth.”Remy Salters, Standard & Poor’s sovereign credit analyst for South Africa, told Business Day that the country’s electricity shortage was “a temporary issue which will last for the next two to five years. It adds to factors restraining SA’s rating but is not something we consider is putting downward pressure on the rating.”Business Report confirmed that neither Standard & Poor’s nor Fitch were planning to review the country’s credit rating.Veronica Kalema, a director in Fitch’s Africa department, told Business Report that this would depend on how long the shutdown lasted, but added that the South African government was working on solutions, involving both short-term measures to reduce demand and longer-term measures to build new power capacity.“Power shortages are common in developing countries due to fast growth running ahead of capacity,” Kalema told Business Report.Sovereign credit ratings are a measure of a government’s creditworthiness, with higher ratings implying less risk for investors, effectively making it cheaper for a country and its companies to borrow on local and international capital markets.South Africa’s credit ratings have steadily improved since 1994, with the last upgrade from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch all coming in 2005. And last year, Moody’s and Fitch indicated that the upward trend was likely to continue, revising the outlook on SA’s ratings from stable to positive.“The change in outlook reflects South Africa’s improved growth performance and prospects as a result of rapidly rising public and private investment and ongoing micro-reforms in the economy,” Kalema said at the time.“In addition, the country has seen a substantial improvement in its already sound public finances and strong external balance sheet.”SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

New vaccines are saving South Africa’s children’s lives

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first_img6 May 2015Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi says the South African government needs to change its budget strategy to strengthen the public health system if the country, along with other African states, is to take the continent forward.Delivering his budget speech to Parliament on Tuesday, the minister said the strategy would also prioritise the prevention of disease and promotion of health to ensure that people get good quality health care.Motsoaledi said the need for stronger public health systems was crucial if outbreaks of diseases such as ebola, meningitis, tuberculosis, HIV and Aids, and polio were to be prevented and managed.A recent WHO conference recommended that instead of vertical programmes, or separate budgets, to fight diseases, governments should instead invest in strengthening public health systems.“We believe that what will help Africa are strong health systems which, in turn, will withstand whatever outbreak emerges because . we actually do not know what will follow next.The Minister said that in the 2014/15 financial year, his department had been putting in place plans to strengthen the public health system.“This will include preventing disease, promoting health and making sure that our people get good quality health care. This is our mandate and this we shall pursue with vigour. This does not mean vertical programmes are to be abandoned. It simply means that strengthening health care systems will be our flagship while vertical programmes will be supportive,” he said.Prevention is better than cureMotsoaledi said that while curing diseases was usually regarded as a scientific achievement, prevention was not given the same stature.He said this was the reason why in the public health sector, any negative event that happened was immediately regarded as a collapse of the health system.“No matter what detractors will say, we shall not abandon or weaken the preventative aspect of the health system. On the contrary, it is going to be the foundation of our programme of health system strengthening,” he said.To pursue the goal of prevention, the department of health introduced new vaccines in 2009 in its routine immunisation programme, including the Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and the rotavirus vaccine.“Pneumococcal diseases include very dangerous diseases like meningitis and severe pneumonia. These are the leading causes of death of children five years and under globally. In South Africa, pneumococcal disease comes only second to HIV and AIDS in causing deaths of under fives,” he said.The impact of the new vaccines have been monitored by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), which reports that the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in children under the age of five had decreased by 70% since the introduction of the vaccines. The number of children under the age of two admitted to hospital with rotavirus-caused diarrhoea had decreased by 66%.The government had budgeted R450-million a year for pneumococcal vaccines and R200-million a year for a vaccine offering protection against rotavirus. This, together with better programmes for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, had contributed to a significant improvement in South Africa’s childhood mortality rate, Motsoaledi said.SAinfo reporter and SAnews.govlast_img read more

For HP, Even Good News Has A Dark Side

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first_imgHaving slogged through so much bad news of late, last week Hewlett-Packard marketers were quick to run to their laptops to make hay out of a closely watched market report showing that HP remained the word’s top-selling PC maker. But in their rush to shine a positive light on their struggling employer, the PR folks left out the most important point: HP is fighting to stay king of an eroding hill.For HP, Flat Is The New UpInternational Data Corp. (IDC) found that HP’s fourth quarter PC shipments last year remained roughly flat from the year before. But that was enough to keep it at the top with almost 17% of the market. Soon after the scrap of good news hit the Web, HP public relations went to work. “We believe HP’s position as the market share leader demonstrates out ongoing commitment to deliver superior PC products and experiences across customer segments,” the press release said.Woo-hoo!Ironically, in tooting its own horn, HP highlighted its biggest problem, which is its need to cling to dwindling markets. The IDC report found that global PC shipments fell more than 6% in the quarter and more than 3% for the year. It was the first time in more than five years the PC industry had recorded a year-on-year drop during the holiday season, according to IDC.The reasons behind the decline are well known. People increasingly favor smartphones and tablets, both fast-growing markets where HP remains a non-player. Heck, even Microsoft, which helped to usher in the PC era, sees its demise and is pushing tablets and smartphones as the future of computing.But for HP, staying flat in PCs was so exciting it had to churn out a press release. That’s not a good sign. But given what else is going on at the company, the temptation is understandable.Due to management bungling over the last few years, HP has fallen ever farther behind its rivals in taking advantage of game-changing trends in the consumer and enterprise markets. The company paid a total of $24 billion for Autonomy and EDS to become a player in big data software and IT services, respectively, only to see both deals go down in flames through huge write offs.HP Battles WorkersMeanwhile, HP is chasing distractions when its focus should be on innovation. In Texas, HP is in a tussle with customer General Motors, which is in the process of giving HP services the boot. Eighteen employees quit HP at the same time and without notice to join GM’s efforts to take its IT work in-house.HP is asking the state court for permission to depose two of the workers; a move GM has called “retaliatory” and a “fishing expedition,” according to Bloomberg. It seems HP can’t understand why anyone would want to flee a company that has promised Wall Street that it will fire 29,000 employees this year and next.Bright SpotsHP’s current state is not all dark. Last week the company launched a services center for in-memory computing, an emerging technology that significantly boosts application performance by keeping all data in system memory rather than on disks. The announcement came the same day SAP said it was making all its business applications available on its in-memory database called HANA. HP plans to throw its support behind HANA and is also working on its own in-memory platform, codenamed Project Kraken,” according to InfoWorld.Kraken-like initiatives are what HP’s PR team should be crowing about, rather than the company’s managing not to shrink in the cratering PC market. Chasing hot new markets – not scrambling to be the last PC vendor to avoid extinction – is the only way to change HP’s image as a dinosaur.Dinosaur image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#Autonomy#computers#EDS#hardware#Hewlett-Packard#HP#IDC#in-memory computing#market#Microsoft#PCs#SAP#Software Related Posts antone gonsalves Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…center_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

The Difference Between Your Best Work and Punching the Clock

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first_imgDoing your best work and doing your work are different. In the first case, there is an intention to work to your capacity. In the second case, you are merely engaged in an activity. Your best work is transformational, while simply going through the motions eliminates the possibility of meaningful, purposeful work.Your best work takes greater time, greater energy, and greater focus. When you don’t believe you have time, or when you don’t want to invest your time in some outcome, you work is less than it should be.Your energy and your focus are also variables to the quality of your work, with more of each improving your work. This is true whether your work is a client meeting, writing an email, or developing a new product.Clock-PunchersIt’s easy to punch the clock and go through the motions.You can, for example, have your physical body in what should be an important meeting while your mind is somewhere else. You could believe you had a meeting, but the outcome was surely far less than it should have been. Maybe you just spent time in some place.You can cut and paste the text from an email you have already written and send it to hundreds of people, lessening the impact because there was nothing personal or relevant to the recipients. You might believe that this prospecting, but without the effort, it wasn’t really prospecting.When you do the same work over and over, it’s easy to lower your standard. Just like you no longer need to concentrate on driving to your office because your cerebellum knows the pattern and takes over, things that become rote tend to be put on autopilot.What Matters MostNot everything you do requires your best work. There are some investments that are more important than others. When interacting with other humans, the investment to do your best work and give them your time, energy, and focus is a worthwhile investment. You can even shut your laptop lid and turn off your phone to ensure you do your best work. But there are other tasks on your to do list that don’t require that level of attention and focus.The key here is to know the difference between where your best work is necessary, where the impact and outcomes are most important, and strive to do transformational work. When some work is necessary but doesn’t make an impact, it isn’t likely to need to the same time, energy, or focus. Be vigilant with your time. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Patole meets Rahul, joining Cong. soon

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first_imgNana Patole, the former Lok Sabha MP from Bhandara-Gondia constituency who resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and as an MP last month, said on Thursday that he would join the Congress in the coming days.Mr. Patole told reporters in Nagpur that he called on Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Wednesday. “I met Mr. Gandhi, along with [Maharashtra Congress president] Ashok Chavan, [Opposition leader in Maharashtra Assembly] Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and [Mumbai Congress president] Sanjay Nirupam. We discussed the current tense situation in Maharashtra and how the BJP government at the Centre and in the State is trying to divide people along caste lines,” he said.When asked if he was joining the Congress, Mr. Patole said he had been a man of the Congress ideology since the very beginning. “The Congress has always taken a lead to protect the country whenever we faced troubles. The announcement [on joining Congress] would be made in the coming days.”When asked if he would contest the byelection from the Bhandara-Gondia constituency, Mr. Patole said, “There is a possibility that some other BJP leader may replace Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister. In that situation, Mr. Fadnavis will go to Delhi and might contest this byelection. In that case, I will definitely contest the poll against him. There is also a possibility that the BJP might give the ticket to [NCP leader] Praful Patel. I will contest against Mr. Patel as well. Otherwise, I will make my follower contest the enter the fray.”Sources close to Mr. Patole said the former MP would like to enter the Congress in a “mega event”.last_img read more

Gujjar stir dirupts life for 4th day

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first_imgAs the Gujjar agitation for 5% reservation in government jobs and education entered its fourth day on Monday, protesters blocked the Jaipur-Agra National Highway at Sikandra in Rajasthan’s Dausa district. Dausa Superintendent of Police Prahlad Singh said the blockade was peaceful and vehicles were being diverted. The Rajasthan Roadways suspended operations on the Jaipur-Agra route.Prohibitory ordersThe protest had turned violent on Sunday, when three vehicles were torched and shots were fired at the police in Dholpur. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 imposed in Dholpur and the neighbouring Karauli district remained in force.The blockade of the Delhi-Mumbai railway line at Sawai Madhopur district’s Malarna village and the Karauli-Hindon and Bundi-Bhilwara roads also continued with largescale cancellation and diversion of trains. While several trains running between Delhi and Mumbai were diverted, 10 trains plying in the Kota division were cancelled on Monday. Twelve trains scheduled to run on February 12 and 15 trains on February 13 have also been cancelled.Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot again appealed to the protesters occupying the railway tracks join talks and assured them of “all possible help” by the State government. “Even during my previous tenure as CM [in 2008-13], we took positive steps and gave them 1% reservation, from which they are still benefiting and joining services,” he said.Assembly ruckusThe State Assembly, meanwhile, witnessed uproarious scenes and was adjourned for an hour on the first day of the Budget session, when the Bahujan Samaj Party members raised the issue of Gujjars’ agitation and demanded an early resolution of the matter. BSP MLAs Joginder Singh Awana and Wajib Ali briefly staged a dharna in the Well of the House.Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MLA Hanuman Beniwal also raised the matter during zero hour and demanded that the State government take action to fulfil the demand of Gujjars.last_img read more

Just too good

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first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Celine Domingo failed to score the entire match despite averaging 11.9 points coming into the game.“We are just happy the players responded to the challenge, it is instinctive of them to be fighters,” added Almadro. “So we really leveled up our energy.”Deanna Wong orchestrated the plays, tossing 30 excellent sets to feed Kat Tolentino, Ponggay Gaston, Maddie Madayag and Bea de Leon.Ateneo had 35 attack points compared to 27 by FEU and had more kill-blocks (8-3) and aces (5-1). The Lady Eagles also committed fewer errors (18-27).“I think it showed how prepared we are with how Deanna distributed the ball and how we won the match convincingly,” said Madayag, who accounted for seven points.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Kaya draws with PSM in Indonesia Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch PLAY LIST 01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch00:50Trending Articles01:28’Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid It was Ateneo’s ninth straight win as it continues to highlight its most dominant campaign since winning the title back-to-back five seasons ago.“We really thank the Lord,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “We know FEU will give us a challenge, so we told ourselves to expect FEU to come up with a strong fight.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsBut the Lady Tamaraws weren’t up to the task.Already losing to injury their prized rookie Lycha Ebon, the Lady Tamaraws’ other vaunted gun was seemingly absent in the straight sets loss. Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess MOST READcenter_img Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated LATEST STORIES DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Tolentino and Gaston each scored 11 points, while De Leon also had seven in the rout.Far Eastern thus dropped into a three-way tie for third with idle University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines at 6-4.The Lady Maroons drew the needed points from their bench to overcome University of the East, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 24-26, 15-11, in the first game.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAteneo was bracing itself for an all-out war against last year’s finalist Far Eastern University on Wednesday night.What it got was  token opposition as the Lady Eagles blew right by the Lady Tamaraws with a 25-21, 25-10, 25-18 triumph to take another step closer to the UAAP women’s volleyball Final Four at FilOil Flying V Center.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Dortmund director Jadon Sancho will be with us for a long

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first_imgBorussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc reckons that Jadon Sancho won’t be leaving anytime soonThe 18-year-old winger is one of football’s hottest young prospects following a breakthrough campaign at Dortmund this season.Sancho’s impressive displays at Signal Iduna Park have helped Dortmund become the surprise leaders of the Bundesliga with a two-point advantage over reigning champions Bayern Munich.In light of this development in Germany, Gareth Southgate called up Sancho for the England squad during the recent international break – where he made his debut against Croatia.Sancho’s profile grew yet again over the weekend, where he scored his first ever brace in Dortmund’s 2-2 draw with Hertha BSC.borussia dortmund, marco reus, jadon sancho, paco alcacerReport: Dortmund hammer four past Leverkusen George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund put four past Bayer Leverkusen.Borussia Dortmund leapfrogged Bayern Munich to claim second place in the Bundesliga. After handing out a 4-0 thrashing of…But, amid growing interest in the youngster, Zorc expects to retain Sancho for quite some time yet.“I’m pretty sure Jadon will be playing with us for some time,” said Zorc on Sport Bild.Sancho has managed five goals and seven assists in 13 appearances for Dortmund across all competitions this season.The England international is contracted at the German club until June 2022.last_img read more

Catalyst Paper Will Undergo Recapitalization

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first_imgIn what appears to be a direct result of the paper industry’s continued struggle, British Columbia-based manufacturer Catalyst Paper will move forward with a recapitalization transaction to correct its current financial situation. According to a company statement, the improved capital structure will eliminate $315.4 million of Catalyst’s debt.In addition to the significant reduction, the restructuring is approved by the companies’ creditors with the hope of “enhanced flexibility to respond to the downturn in the market for paper, newsprint and pulp”. Catalyst is working with Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for legal counsel, and Perella Weinberg Partners will be the company’s financial advisors through the recapitalization.Upon the plan’s completion, which will be carried out under the Canada Business Corporations Act, a new board of directors will be appointed for Catalyst Papers. A move like this is not surprising, considering the currently volatile state of the paper industry. Paper demand has declined, as magazine’s print properties still have not made a full recovery from the recession. The digital draw to tablets and other mobile devices also presents a conundrum for an industry largely based on supplying print supplies to magazines. While many publishers expected prices to drop as demand for paper has, the reality is that supply is still meeting demand, according to paper industry insiders.After January 14’s initial announcement, Catalyst released another statement today reasserting the consensual restructuring process, as opposed to “certain media reports” of bankruptcy proceedings.Catalyst operates four mills between British Columbia and Arizona, with a collective annual production capacity of 1.9 million tons.last_img read more

A Captcha Alternative for Publishers

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first_imgAs if there weren’t enough distractions on the Web, captchas have long caused annoyance for both Internet consumers and content creators. Meredith Corp. found an alternative for weeding out bots and quantifying consumer interaction with Solve Media, a performance-based brand advertising business.Solve’s product portfolio includes pre-roll type-in advertising, a model that has readers key in a simple ad message to access content, polls, etc. Meredith’s SVP of digital media Andy Wilson discusses why the publisher began to work with Solve almost two years ago, “We were having problems with spam getting through in a couple of our voting spaces, and we started having to use the captcha; the solution just wasn’t working. Our audience was getting very frustrated, so we decided to give Solve a try.”Though Meredith was concerned there would be a negative audience reaction to the new technology, Wilson says the changes were welcomed by consumers. “It solved our problem, but also gave a better consumer experience. And with that, our engagement rates went up. We ended up with more votes and with more people participating in the program. We also started a new advertising revenue stream,” says Wilson.Ari Jacoby, CEO of Solve Media, says products are sold on a cost per engagement basis. He also says his company is on the premium side of the ad business, “We know that premium advertising is immersive, emotive on the brand side, that delivers the kind of experiences that brands really want, is advertising that we can all really get premium prices on. Premium prices preserve great journalism. Whereas remnant prices, we know what that leads us to.” Wilson further explains Solve’s revenue share model, “So on our site, there will be an advertising message that plays, either in a video or static ad impression, with an slogan and that will be what the user is required to type in to bypass or prove that they are not a computer. So everyone of those you can sell them by Solve, which has been done in the past; or you can sell them on a CPM basis.” The extra dollars are reinforced by audience engagement. According to Wilson, Meredith receives five to seven million “type-ins” on a monthly basis.last_img read more