Annan to promote African farmers

first_img14 June 2007Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been appointed as the first chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an organisation that aims to help small-scale farmers across the continent.Speaking ahead of delivering a keynote address on African agriculture at the World Economic Forum on Africa, taking place in Cape Town this Thursday, Annan said he hoped to use his new position to tackle the challenges that hold back most small-scale farmers in Africa.“Africa is the only region where overall food security and livelihoods are deteriorating,” he said.“We will reverse this trend by working to create an environmentally sustainable, uniquely African Green Revolution. When our poorest farmers finally prosper, all of Africa will benefit.”AGRA was established in 2006 with an initial grant of US$150-million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, it aims to help small-scale farmers and their families on the continent through sustainable increases in farm productivity and incomes.AGRA intends to improve agricultural development in Africa by addressing both farming and relevant economic issues, including soil fertility and irrigation, farmer management practices, and farmer access to markets and financing.It will also support the development of new seed systems that are better suited to produce higher yields despite the harsh African climate.The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation states that in order for the green revolution in Africa to be as successful as similar efforts in Asia or Latin America, scientists will need to develop improved varieties for at least 10 different staple crops, including maize, cassava, sorghum, and millet.“The end goal is that within 20 years, farmers will double or even triple their yields and sell the surplus at market for the income they need to invest in health, education, housing, and other needs,” the foundation states.AGRA also strongly endorses the African Union’s comprehensive Africa agriculture development programme, which seeks to increase food production on the continent by 6% per annum by 2015.“No country or region of significant size has been able to lift itself out of poverty without raising productivity in its agricultural sector,” Annan said.“This is our challenge. It is a long-term effort, but one that, with our partners, is within reach.” reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

5 Reasons Why You Should Apply to Filmmaker Workshops and Labs

first_imgFilmmaker workshops, labs, and fellowships offer a number of benefits for the indie filmmaker. Here’s what you need to know before you apply.On the heels of the announcement of SXSW Feature winner Jim Cummings inaugural class of the Short to Feature Lab, we take a look at some of the most important considerations when applying for filmmaker workshops, labs, and fellowships. While some of the perks may be obvious, many of the takeaways are more nuanced. However, you should consider them all before you pay your fee, submit your application, and finally attend.1. ImmersionImage via Studio 72.First and foremost, for many of these workshops and labs, like the wide array of workshops and labs offered by the Sundance Institute, applying and being accepted for a program means that you’ll probably be looking at travel arrangements. (However, there are some online lab shops to consider, like the New York Film Academy’s Filmmaker Lab). It takes some planning (and maybe some vacation days), but getting to jump fully into a program is definitely one of the best ways to grow as a filmmaker.2. InsightsImage via ponsulak.This is sort of a catch-all term for everything that will happen at a workshop or lab. You’ll be surrounded 24/7 with incredibly helpful information and insights for your career. Bring notebooks, audio recorders, and cameras to capture as much information as possible. Many workshops and labs (like the famous documentary lab in Brooklyn, New York UnionDocs) involve days full of presenters and guests who offer insights into all aspects of filmmaking — from pre-production, to production, to post, to funding and distribution.3. SkillsImage via guruXOX.Another aspect of many workshops and labs is the work you do while you’re there. Take the Points North Fellowship, for example, where the two-day mentorship program tasks each attendee with creating a sales pitch for their unfinished documentary project. With the help of industry veterans, each person must hone their skills to craft a seven-minute sales pitch to deliver at the end of the workshop in front of a panel of industry funders. You’ll encounter similar hands-on, real-world examples in many of these workshops, and they’re all invaluable.4. MentoringImage via FrameStockFootages.Mentoring is an inherent part of many workshops, labs, and fellowships. They say a strong mentor is the number one indicator of job success in many industries, and film and video production is no different. If you can find a good workshop (like the Buert Bals Fund, which caters to filmmakers across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe), securing a personal mentorship is perhaps the best move you can make for your career. Look to connect with industry experts and veterans who have similar career tracks to those that interest you most. Say in touch and communicate often.5. ConnectionsImage via guruXOX.Similarly, establishing connections with everyone else involved with these programs is a good idea. This means not only the folks who run the workshops and labs but also your fellow attendees, who can become your friends and colleagues moving forward. Even long-distance fellowships like Filmmakers Without Borders is a great way to stay connected with fellow filmmakers. You never know what your next project or job might be, so maintaining a strong network can be the best way to stay active on cool projects with cool people.Cover image by guruXOX.For more filmmaking advice and resources, check out these articles below.10 Insights to Keep in Mind When Applying for Filmmaking GrantsA Comparative Look At Online Filmmaking ClassesFund Your Project with the IDA’s Massive List of Grants5 Filmmaking Tips for Acting and Directing (At the Same Time)101 Filmmaking Tips & Tricks: a FREE Filmmaking eBooklast_img read more

Jharkhand HC quashes contempt notice against Congress leader Manish Tiwari and others

first_imgThe Jharkhand High Court on Friday quashed the contempt notice issued against Congress leader Manish Tiwari and Rahstriya Janata Dal leaders Shivanand Tiwari, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Tejaswi Yadav, by special CBI court in Ranchi hearing fodder scam case, RC 64A/96 pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of ₹84.53 lakh from the Deoghar treasury.RJD chief Lalu Prasad and others were convicted in the case while former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra was acquitted. Lalu Prasad was awarded 3.5 years jail and imposed a fine of ₹10 lakhs.The special CBI court of Justice Shiv Pal Singh, who had convicted Lalu Prasad in a fodder scam case on December 23 last year, had issued the contempt of court notice to Manish Tiwari and three other RJD leaders for making “adverse remarks on the judgment”.While issuing notices to them on January 3 the CBI court said that they have intentionally, by contemptuous and scandalous words, tended to lower down authority with their comments on the judgment of the court. The court asked them to submit their replies by January 23.Challenging this notice, Mr. Tiwari had earlier contended in the Jharkhand HC that the notice issued to him “fails to specify any scandalous instances, and was therefore issued in a mechanical manner”. The High Court had put a stay on the notice seeking reply from the CBI and the state government.On Friday, the Jharkhand High Court quashed the contempt notice issued to Manish Tiwari and others as they contended that the CBI judge do not have power to punish for contempt as such power can only be exercised by the High Courts and the Supreme Courts.last_img read more

Former Minister files, withdraws complaints against son

first_imgNagpur: Former Maharashtra Congress president and cabinet minister Ranjeet Deshmukh on Tuesday withdrew a complaint of mental harassment filed on May 5 against his younger son Amol. Mr. Deshmukh, 62, is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and has been inactive in politics for over a decade now. He had accused his younger son of forcibly encroaching on the second and third floor of his bungalow in Civil Lines area.Amol Deshmukh is the national coordinator of the Congress party’s research department.The former Maharashtra Agriculture minister also accused his son of breaking locks of his rooms and forcibly occupying the space in his house.Though Mr. Deshmukh was not available for comments, Amol told reporters that it was a “small family matter” which had been sorted out amicably.“There are some elements who try to benefit from such feuds within prominent political families. This was a somewhat same incident. My father has withdrawn his complaint and the matter is closed now,” Amol Deshmukh told reporters.One of the most prominent political families of Vidarbha, the Deshmukh family has, for the last few months, been witnessing internal feuds related to its commercial establishments.Mr. Deshmukh’s elder son Ashish is a BJP MLA from Katol. Amol contested the 2014 elections from Ramtek Assembly seat on NCP ticket but lost to the BJP’s Mallikarjun Reddy.A few months back, the family-run hospitals in Nagpur were served notices for irregularities after Ashish revolted against the Chief Minister and demanded his resignation.last_img read more

IPFT accuses BJP of violence in run-up to panchayat bypolls

first_imgThe Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura on Wednesday lashed out at its coalition partner BJP for adopting violent means to prevent its candidates from filing nominations for the three-tier panchayat by-elections in the State. The party also issued a fresh threat that it was not eschewing its demand for a separate tribal State and announced to strive hard to achieve ‘Twipraland’.“We are very much surprised over violent incidents committed with the sole intention of preventing our candidates from submitting nomination papers. We request the State Election Commission to reschedule election in areas where the poll process was disturbed,” IPFT assistant general secretary and party spokesperson Mangal Debbarma told reporters after a meeting of the coordination committee comprising the IPFT and its front organisations. The meeting passed a resolution to appeal to the BJP for a discussion on all outstanding issues for the smooth functioning of the coalition government in the State.Statewide movement The party announced that it would coordinate with allied groups to launch a State-wide movement to press the demand for ‘Twipraland’. “The nature of the movement will be decided shortly by the coordination committee,” Mr. Debbarma added.The BJP deplored the statements of the IPFT and blamed it for the violence across the State. It said that several BJP leaders, including a party MLA, his spouse, and supporters, were injured in the incidents, which call for intervention of the security forces.The IPFT and the BJP had tied up for the Assembly elections in the State to rout the CPI(M)-led Left Front. However, they are fighting separately in the panchayat bypolls.In a related development, the CPI(M) continued its protest over pre-poll violence in the State. The party leaders and cadres staged a protest outside the office of the State Election Commission on Wednesday. The three-tier panchayat by-elections in Tripura will be held on September 30.last_img read more

ICC World Twenty20: Australia and India would be ready for each other, says Steve Waugh

first_imgIndia face Australia in a virtual quarterfinal in Mohali on Sunday and former Australian captain Steve Waugh said both teams would up for the challenge.India defeated Pakistan and Bangladesh after losing their opening game to New Zealand. Australia lost their tournament opener against their Trans-Tasman rivals before bouncing back against Bangladesh and Pakistan. Whoever wins on Sunday, goes through to the last-four. (Also read: Pre-tournament favourites India not real contenders to win World T20 yet)  However, India and Australia have not been without their own problems. While the hosts have been plagued by the poor form of their openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, Australia have surprised everyone with their decision to hold David Warner back. (Also read: Mashrafe Mortaza heart-broken after last-ball loss to India)  Waugh said India’s batsmen have to be a lot more relaxed. “I said earlier that India’s batsmen have been reading too much of what the press has to say and they have not played in the relaxed manner that they should,” he told India Today. As far as Australia was concerned, Waugh felt that Warner would be they key for them. “Warner is the match-winner for Australia. It will be a high-quality game and I think both Australia and India would be ready for each other.” (Watson to retire from international cricket after World T20 )  India toured Australia for a five-match ODI series and lost 4-1 but did well to take the T20 series 3-0. The two sides have seen plenty of each other in the recent past and have been involved in some key battles during World Cups. While India knocked Australia out in 2011 to win the World Cup for the second time, Australia returned the favour last year, knocking India out to win the World Cup in their own den for a record fifth time. (MS Dhoni loses cool after India’s thrilling win against Bangladesh)  Waugh reckoned Yuvraj Singh was the weak link in the Indian team and said he would rather have Ajinkya Rahane instead of the seasoned T20 pro. “I played in Yuvraj’s first match for India in Kenya and he played a great knock against a quality Australian attack. He has been around for a long time but he is susceptible to quick bowling under pressure. I’d much rather have Rahane in the side.” Waugh said Hardik Pandya’s brief innings against Bangladesh showed that he could be a consistent all-round performer for India in the years to come. “Rohit Sharma is a world-class player and Dhawan is really good too. But I was really impressed with Pandya; his second-ball six (against Bangladesh) was effortless, he fielded well, took a smart catch and bowled decently well.” The Australian legend also picked Glenn Maxwell as Australia’s match-winner in the middle-order and sounded happy with Aaron Finch’s return to the playing XI. Waugh felt Australia had messed around with the team a little too much. “Finch should have been in the side from day one. We messed up around too much with the team and lost the calm and balance. Maxwell is a much better player than he has shown but I would like to see him playing a more technical game. He can be the match-winner for us in the middle order,” Waugh said. advertisementlast_img read more

Virat Kohli has got class, Chris Gayle is a T20 master: Kane Williamson to India Today

first_imgNot many teams in the Indian Premier League would try benching the skipper of an international team for five straight games at the start of the tournament. But, Sunrisers Hyderabad have a problem of plenty and Kane Williamson, a cool Kiwi that he is, wasn’t complaining. (Sunrisers Hyderabad won’t make the mistake of taking MS Dhoni lightly: VVS Laxman to India Today)WATCH: Nitish Rana, Manish Pandey dominate frenetic week 3 of IPL 2017So when the New Zealand skipper finally got an opportunity against Delhi earlier this week, he grabbed it by smashing a 51-ball 89. (Kohli, ruthless on the field, is a soft-hearted good Samaritan off it)A Man-of-the-Match award and a cake smearing session led by a dancing Yuvraj Singh followed. (Dhawan-Rohit ideal opening pair for India in Champions Trophy: VVS Laxman to India Today)”You sort of enjoy when the cake’s not on your face, it tasts quite nice. But yeah, to get a victory and contribute to that means a lot,” Williamson told India Today in an exclusive chat.The 26-year-old has been in great form, scoring 176 against South Africa in the Hamilton Test just before the start of the IPL. However, he knows well that getting into a T20 team is a different ball game altogether.”It is a challenge for the coacing staff and for David (Warner) to select a side  with number of overseas guys and a lot of Indian talent that deserves to play. I mean for the balance of the side, the team was playing really well so that was great to see.advertisement”We made an adjustment just in the previous game and I had an oppurtunity which was nice to get. I guess contibuting to attain victory and that’s what any player in the team wants to be doing. What is more important is that the team is operating nicely as a unit and hope we can continue it,” says Williamson.Along with Shikhar Dhawan, he put on a 136-run partnership for the second wicket against Delhi.”Yes, he’s (Shikhar) been playing really really well. The partnerships between him and David at top of the order have been fantastic and got off us to really good starts. Shikhar has been a very huge part of our batting unit, he’s been able to get into the middle and form partnerships.”When he’s not playing, Williamson has been enjoying the powerful batting display put up by other batsmen in the tournament, especially that of Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle.”Yes, two brilliant players and two slightly different players too. You have the force of Chris Gayle who’s a T20 master and you’ve got class, craft and power of Virat. So both are very dominant players. Bangalore will be a very tough side to beat, always,” admits Williamson.last_img read more

Who are the new batsmen that India could try on the West Indies tour?

first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 20, 2019UPDATED: July 20, 2019 13:30 IST Rishabh Pant (R) is all set to don the wicket-keeping gloves during the limited-overs leg of the West Indies tour (Reuters)HIGHLIGHTSA number of fresh faces could be introduced as key players are set to be restedThe likes of Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer could slot into the sideVirat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah could skip the limited-overs leg of the West Indies tourSpeculations regarding the future of legendary wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni will highlight the meeting of the Indian national selectors when they meet on Sunday to pick the squads for India’s tour to West Indies starting August 3. Since India’s ouster in the World Cup 2019 semi-final, Dhoni’s future in the Indian team has looked anything but certain with the debate surrounding his ability to perform the role of a finisher polarising public opinion.Recently it has emerged that Dhoni might not be available for selection over the next 2 months thus making it easier for the selectors to choose a wicket-keeper for the white-ball sides. Still, the selectors will have a couple of other headaches as they look to pin down the names for India’s limited-overs squad for West Indies. First and foremost among these would be a more permanent solution to the No.4 batting spot and a middle-order muddle which was one of the biggest reasons India came back empty-handed from the World Cup 2019.The next 50-over World Cup is still four years away but the World Twenty20 will be held in 2020, leaving chief selector MSK Prasad and his colleagues to plan for the tournament in Australia.The team have also failed to nail down the number four batting position in the limited-overs sides, something that hurt them during the World Cup, and a new set of batsmen are expected to audition for the spot.All-rounder Vijay Shankar, who was initially given the nod, left the World Cup through injury while KL Rahul had to move up to open the innings when Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out.advertisementIndia’s Test wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, the favourite to fill in Dhoni’s shoes in the limited-overs formats, slotted into the role during the latter stages of the World Cup, while Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill are also in the mix.Pandey recently scored an 87-ball-100 for India A in West Indies apart from a good show in the IPL 2019 and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy earlier this year. Gill and Iyer are the next top-2 scorers in the ongoing A-series in the West Indies, with 149 and 126 runs respectively from 3 innings, and the selectors could try and give an entirely new look to the middle-order keeping in mind the T20 World Cup 2020. The fact that Gill has opened the innings vs West Indies A could also count in his favour if India choose to rest prolific opener, Rohit Sharma, as well.Pace bowlers sans BumrahIt looks equally likely that India might choose to rest their main strike bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had an exacting World Cup 2019 and allow some fresh faces into the side for the T20Is and ODIs. Khaleel Ahmed, on the back of his impressive showing in the IPL and being the highest wicket-taker in the ongoing A-tour, seems set to earn a call back to the team. Navdeep Saini who impressed with his high pace in the IPL and has also been amongst the wickets on the same tour could also slot in a supporting role along with Mohammed Shami.India will play 3 T20s, 3 ODIs and 2 Tests in the Caribbean and the tour will provide the opportunity for the selectors to test the fringe players while resting some who play all three formats for the team. The tour will kick-off with the 1st T20I in Florida on August 3, followed by a 2-Test rubber beginning on August 22.Also Read | MS Dhoni has no immediate plans to retire, says longtime friendAlso Read | 4th unofficial ODI: Axar Patel’s 81 in vain as West Indies A beat India A by 5 runsFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow India VS West IndiesFollow Shubman GillFollow shreyas iyerFollow Manish Pandey Who are the new batsmen that India could try on the West Indies tour?The BCCI’s selection panel headed by MSK Prasad will have to make a few tough calls when they meet on July 21 to pick India’s squads for the full-fledged tour to West Indies starting August 3.advertisementlast_img read more

The Most Dangerous Countries in the World: Five Places You Shouldn’t Visit

first_img 10 Best Whiskies for Irish Coffee Editors’ Recommendations Since we recently posted a list of the safest countries, we figured it only pertinent that we give you the list of the most dangerous countries in the world for traveling in 2017.According the Global Peace Index (GPI), the world as a whole became slightly more peaceful over the last year but that trend does not hold true for the last decade.While most of us consider the United States to be relatively safe, it was one of 68 countries that dropped in the global rankings from the previous year. In 2016, the United States was ranked 103 out of 163 countries in the index. In 2017, that ranking would become 114 out of 163.Since 2008, Iceland has topped the charts as the most peaceful country in the world. For 2017, it was joined by New Zealand, Austria, Denmark and Portugal, all of whom ranked high in the 2016 index as well.While the U.S. Department of State did issue the most travel warnings for Mexico, the country ranked 142 in the 2017 GPI report. While there are numerous incidents involving Americans being killed across the border, it typically does not involve the more touristy areas around the Yucatan Peninsula. And, more Americans visit Mexico due to its close proximity to the United States than almost anywhere else.While travel should always be an adventure, it should never involve one needlessly risking their life for a vacation.Here is our list of the five most dangerous countries in the world according to the GPI and their ranking out of 163 countries.Syria: (Rank: 163)Panorama of Palmyra columns and ancient city, destroyed by ISIS, SyriaSince 2011, nearly 500,000 people have been killed and millions have been displaced in the ongoing civil war. Sadly, the country was once one of the most peaceful and safest countries to visit in the Middle East. The country is home to the world’s oldest ‘living’ city, Damascus. Other sites within the historically diverse country include the Crusader castle, Crac des Chevaliers, and the ancient city of Salamieh.Afghanistan (Rank: 162)Kabul City, AfghanistanWhile the country has historically been at the center of powerful empires over the last 2,000 years, the country’s recent history has made it a region that most travelers avoid. Since the 1979 Russian invasion, the country has been involved in ongoing conflicts that have ravaged the landlocked country. The Minaret of Jam, the Khyber Pass and the Panjshir Valley are just a few of the destinations that will be missed except by the most intrepid travelers.Iraq: (Rank: 161)Tents in Domeez camp, near Dohuk Duhok, Kurdistan, IraqConsidered the birthplace of some of the world’s oldest civilizations, Iraq has been a volatile region dating back to its conflict with Iran during the 1980s, which cost the country hundreds of thousands of lives, followed by the Gulf War and the current, ongoing conflicts. If a positive spin on war is possible, it would center around the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ashur. The former capital of the Assyrian Empire was slated to be flooded with the creation of a dam under the Hussein government, but since the fall of Iraq those plans have been shelved. Other famous sites like Babylon, Hatra, Nineveh and Ur are almost completely inaccessible due to the continuing instability within the country.South Sudan (Rank: 160)Children wait for the water to turn on at a central water point in Bor, South Sudan.After declaring independence in 2011, South Sudan has remained in constant conflict with its northern neighbor, Sudan. Located near the Equator, the country’s landscape is comprised mostly of tropical rain forests and therefore has an abundance of wildlife. Which you’re almost guaranteed never to see without a full-fledged militia behind you.Yemen (Rank: 159)Political posters of Ali Abdullah Saleh located at the town entrance gate in Shibam, YemenSharing the peninsula with the stable countries of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Yemen has been involved in a brutal civil war for the past several years. Tribal violence, terrorist attacks and abductions remain high within the country. While mostly desert, the country does border the Red Sea and boasts some beautiful beaches along with historic destinations such as Shibam. The World’s 12 Most Grueling and Insane Endurance Races All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked 10 Best History Books You Will Ever Read How to Cultivate Mid-Century Modern Style in Your Own Home last_img read more

Financial Measures Act Introduced

first_imgSeveral initiatives announced in the 2004-05 budget will beimplemented under the Financial Measures Act, introduced in thelegislature today, April 26, by Finance Minister Peter Christie. The establishment of a debt retirement fund is the centerpiece ofthis year’s legislation, Mr. Christie said. “The province’scommitment to reducing the debt is now enshrined in legislation,with $6 million designated to the fund each year, beginning thisyear.” While the 10 per cent personal income tax rate cut for NovaScotia’s lowest income earners stays in effect, changes to thehigher tax rates are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2004. About 53 percent of Nova Scotians will keep their full 10 per cent tax cut,while more than 90 per cent of Nova Scotians will pay less tax in2004 than in 2003. A fourth income tax bracket is now included inpersonal rates. Corporate income tax changes will also takeeffect with this legislation. Mr. Christie said the province’s public accounts must now befiled by Sept. 30, instead of Dec. 31. “In the interest ofincreased financial accountability to the taxpayer, we will speedup the reporting on our fiscal year-end financial statements.” A new tuition support program is being developed in recognitionof the small number of students with special needs who maybenefit from the specialized expertise of private schools for aperiod of time. Processes and eligibility criteria will befinalized with regulation changes, in consultation with partners. The South Shore, Tri-County and Strait district school boardswill move to regional school board status in August 2004. The actincludes a provision that will allow the South Shore and Tri-County boards to share administrative services. Eliminating the proposed 39 per cent salary increase for MLAs isalso contained in the Financial Measures Act. The seniorofficials’ pay for performance will be cancelled if a deficitoccurs in 2004-05. All previously announced fee cost increases are contained in thisact. Some fees will now become a tax. A number of financial and administrative housekeeping items arealso covered by this act.last_img read more