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South African academics: uncertainty affecting nation brand

first_imgIndepth analysis by some of the country’s top academics highlighted domestic issues influencing the reputation and competitiveness of the nation’s brand, at a Brand South Africa competitiveness forum held at the University of Pretoria, Tshwane, on 5 October 2016.“Gupta-gate, Nkandla scandal, Dalai Lama (visa debacle), (uncertainty surrounding Finance Minister) Pravin Gordhan and other incidents such as these, have a negative influence in our country,” said Dr Garth le Pere, visiting professor in the university political science department, during one of the forum’s panel discussions.Le Pere added that South Africa’s reputational cache in foreign policy and its relationships with the rest of the world and Africa had been affected because of this uncertainty. He urged politicians, diplomats and, indeed, all South Africans to reclaim and help build on the country’s strong historical moral identity before the overall brand image suffered more permanent damage.On the same panel, Professor George Angelopulo, from Unisa’s communication science department, said that while the economic and reputational growth of South African cities contributed greatly to building the nation’s brand, mismanagement of urban areas and economic inequality still exerted a negative influence on how perceptions of the country were formed.“Cities hold many benefits, but in the rapid transformation that characterises South Africa’s cities there are also significant challenges,” Angelopulo said. “Urbanisation is swift and largely uncontrolled, with growing slums and informal settlements, unequal access to urban services, significant climate impact and rising inequality.”Cities fulfilled a vital role in the destiny of the country because, as competitive positions within the nation, the economies of cities were connections to the rest of Africa and the world, he said, emphasising that cities must be “relevant to a wide spectrum of stakeholders of the South African brand – national and international business, institutions, government and its citizens”.Earlier in the day, during his introduction to the forum, general manager of research at Brand South Africa Dr Petrus de Kock drew attention to the recent university protests creating uncertainty about the reputation of South Africa’s tertiary education sector.“We must maintain the integrity of institutions and the protests are raising a question of instability of institutions and that’s something we really have to safeguard and protect because it’s an important nation asset.”Individuals, he said, underlying the forum’s overall theme of responsible citizenship, were the key to building the country’s reputation. Citizens, be they private or working in public or commercial service, had a responsibility to uphold the values that were the core of South African democracy and decency, urging that all “South Africans take responsibility of what you do”.SouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

Rajya Sabha adjourned over quotas in promotions

first_imgThe Rajya Sabha was adjourned Thursday after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members raised the issue of reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes groups in promotions in government jobs.The upper house lost the important question hour for the second day of the monsoon session.The Supreme Court had in April overruled the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to provide reservations in government job promotions. The BSP, which was then in government, had raised the issue in the budget session demanding a constitutional amendment to provide for such quotas.BSP leader Mayawati raised the issue as soon as the house met for the day, blaming the government for not taking action as promised.Even as Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy promised a meeting would be called in the current session, BSP members refused to be pacified and trooped near chairman Hamid Ansari’s podium.Ansari then adjourned the house till noon.last_img read more

Michigan’s Devin Asiasi Posts Awesome Note About UCLA-Bound Friend Boss Tagaloa As They Head To College

first_imgDevin Asiasi and boss Tagaloa in high school.Twitter/@asibo_Jim Harbaugh worked very hard to recruit De La Salle High School teammates Devin Asiasi and Boss Tagaloa this winter. Only one of the two blue-chip teammates, Asiasi, wound up signing with the Wolverines, but the two remain extremely close. Asiasi is set to head to UM, while Tagaloa will play at UCLA, and as their football paths diverge, Asiasi posted a very cool note about their friendship on Twitter.pic.twitter.com/CuyWCg2ZNo— Devin Asiasi (@asibo_) June 18, 2016 We’re sure the two would have liked to play together at the next level, but they both found the schools that are right for them as individuals. That is even more important.MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitalelast_img read more

Open banking holds promise but cybersecurity fears loom for Canadian banks

first_imgTORONTO – As banks work to fortify their cybersecurity defences amidst a growing number of data breaches, they are also exploring the promise of so-called “open banking,” a concept that could finally disrupt the staid financial services industry.Customers have increasingly moved away from physical branches towards online and mobile apps, but banking has yet to reach its “Uberization” moment, one that breaks down traditional models to usher in new innovations, as Uber has done for the taxi industry.Open banking — granting third-parties like financial technology startups access to bank data to develop innovative apps — could be such a “game changer,” according to Toronto Dominion Bank’s chief information officer, Jeff Henderson.All but one of 100 payment executives at major banks globally said they were planning major investments in open banking by 2020, according to an online survey by consulting firm Accenture released last month.But even as Canadian financial institutions toy with the idea, they’re concerned about the looming risk to consumers’ personal information amid the growing threat of cyberattacks.The Accenture survey also showed that 50 per cent of respondents said that implementing the emerging concept increases risk.“There’s no question this is a trend,” TD’s Henderson said.“(But) I want to make sure that any time we exchange information externally, that is done so in a very controlled and understood manner.”In these early days, the exact nature of the innovation in the open banking landscape is unclear, said Bob Vokes, managing director of financial services at Accenture in Canada.“What we’re trying to do in open banking is to create new sets of services off of the banking data, or alternatively, allow you to manipulate your banking information in a different way,” he said.Open banking allows consumers to share their banking data, which proponents say will spur the creation of new apps and platforms that will make financial transactions easier or develop new use cases.For example, a consumer could log into one app and see all their financial accounts, from various banks, to get a full picture of their net worth and move funds in real time. Or, geolocation data could be layered over payment data, allowing a consumer to analyze exactly where their money is being spent, while also allowing merchants to offer them location-based rewards.The buzz around open banking is building just as concerns about cybersecurity mount.Most recently, Uber announced earlier this month that hackers compromised some 57 million user accounts and Equifax Inc. disclosed in September a cyberattack that compromised the personal information of half of Americans and some 19,000 Canadians.It also comes as the Bank of Canada once again listed cyber threats as a key vulnerability for the Canadian financial system in its semi-annual review released Tuesday.“The high degree of financial and operational interconnectedness among financial institutions means that a successful cyber attack against a single institution or a key service provider could spread more widely within the financial system.”Meanwhile, various jurisdictions are pushing ahead with legislation that would see financial institutions become even more interconnected.By January 2018, banks in Europe will be required to share proprietary data, in a regulated and secure way, under the U.K.’s Open Banking Standard and Europe’s PSD2 legislations.Canadian institutions are also jumping on board.The Competition Bureau said in a report on fintech earlier this month that it is early days “but the potential impact on competition and innovation is promising.”The Ministry of Finance said in August it is “examining the merits of open banking.”“Open banking holds the potential to make it easier for consumers to interact with financial service providers and increase competition,” the ministry said in a consultation paper as part of a review of the federal Bank Act.The Canadian Bankers Association responded to the ministry that while its members are proponents of innovation, they are also concerned about the potential impacts on safety, soundness and stability in Canada’s financial system.“Canadian banks have devoted very significant resources to creating well-established information security and data warehouses that meet the highest standards worldwide, the CBA said.“Any initiative that could undermine this trust would be very problematic for Canadian consumers, financial market participants and the broader economy.”Vokes says these concerns — as well as questions about whether the bank or the third party is liable if something goes awry — will need to be addressed in legislation.If additional layers of security protection are put in place, open banking should not raise the level of cybersecurity risk, he said, adding however, that cyberattackers are becoming more sophisticated as well.“Innovation isn’t just the purview of fintechs,” he said.“As we continue to innovate, fraud and criminal enterprises are also innovating.”last_img read more

World Bank cuts forecast for world economic growth in 2019

first_imgWASHINGTON — The World Bank is downgrading its outlook for the global economy this year, citing rising trade tension, weakening manufacturing activity and growing financial stress in emerging-market countries.The anti-poverty agency expects the world economy to grow 2.9 per cent in 2019, down from the 3 per cent it forecast back in June. It would be the second straight year of slowing growth: The global economy expanded 3 per cent last year and 3.1 per cent in 2017.The bank left its forecast for the U.S. economy unchanged at 2.5 per cent this year, down from 2.9 per cent in 2018. It predicts 1.6 per cent growth for the 19 countries that use the euro currency, down from 1.9 per cent last year. For China, the world’s second-biggest economy, it expects 6.2 per cent growth versus 6.5 per cent in 2018.Paul Wiseman, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Police looking for owners of recovered property stolen from Charlie Lake last

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John RCMP are looking for the rightful owners of property that was stolen during a string of break and enters in the Charlie Lake area last summer.According to Cpl. Madonna Saunderson with North District RCMP, police investigated numerous break and enters in the Charlie Lake area that occurred in the summer of 2017. She said that during their investigation, police recovered property that is believed to have been stolen during the thefts.A 17-year-old, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was charged with six offences last June in connection with a number of break and enters in the area. Cpl. Saunderson explained in a release that while much of the stolen property has been returned police still have some items, including a smaller-sized motorcycle, that they would like to return to their rightful owners. Local residents that are missing a motorbike or any other property that they think they could identify are asked to contact the Fort St John RCMP at 250 787-8140.last_img read more

Trudeau stresses balancing economy environment during brief Stampede visit

first_imgCALGARY — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the only way to get projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built is by finding compromise between growing the economy and protecting the environment.Trudeau was speaking at a reception for Liberal Party donors during the Calgary Stampede, where he had fewer public appearances than in past years.The prime minister took aim at his conservative opponents in his remarks to dozens of party faithful in a downtown Calgary cafe. He says these days a government can’t just dictate where a pipeline will be built like Canada’s first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, did for the railroad.Earlier in the day Trudeau greeted crowds and served pancakes at a community Stampede breakfast in the riding of Calgary’s only Liberal MP, Kent Hehr.There, university student Isabelle Reynolds confronted Trudeau over the treatment of Mi’kmaq opponents of a Nova Scotia natural gas project.Trudeau told her he had been listening to concerns over the project, but Reynolds told reporters afterward she was not satisfied with the prime minister’s response.A small group of yellow-vest-clad demonstrators held anti-Trudeau signs outside the donor event.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

US sanctions-hit Venezuela suspends oil exports to India

first_imgBAKU: Venezuela has suspended its oil exports to India and views Russia and China as its main export destinations, the Azeri energy ministry said on Tuesday, citing Venezuela’s oil minister. The Azeri ministry issued the statement on Tuesday following talks in Baku between Azerbaijan’s energy minister and Venezuelan oil minister and president of state-run oil company PDVSA, Manuel Quevedo. “At the meeting… Quevedo said in order to prevent a sharp reduction, various measures are being implemented and diversification of the export market is underway,” the statement said. “Russia and China are seen as the main destinations because of the suspension of oil exports to India,” the statement said. The Indian market has been crucial for Venezuela’s economy because it has historically been the second-largest cash-paying customer for the OPEC country’s crude, behind the United States. Earlier this year, the United States imposed heavy sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and has pressed India to stop buying Venezuelan oil. OPEC and other oil ministers met in Baku in talks over the weekend that ended on Monday.last_img read more

7 Bangladeshi nationals held with dollars worth Rs 5.14 cr

first_imgKolkata: Seven Bangladeshi nationals were recently arrested at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport with a large amount of foreign currency. Officers of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) grew suspicious when the airport officials were checking bags.The money was spotted during the scanning of luggage. According to sources, on Wednesday morning, when the luggage of the flyers was being checked for a Dhaka-bound flight, the on duty Central Industrial Security Force officer had some suspicion about a few bags after he saw their images on the scanner screen. To investigate the matter, the officer decided to check the baggage physically. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAfter opening the luggage nothing suspicious was found. Later, during a thorough check a small false space were found at the bottom of the every luggage bag. Immediately, the bottom of the luggage bags were cut open and the Central Industrial Security Force officer found a huge amount of foreign currency inside them. Seven passengers were immediately detained and taken to the Central Industrial Security Force custody. They have been asked to submit valid documents in support of carrying such a huge amount of foreign currency. As they were not able to produce any document, the money was confiscated and all seven of them have been handed over to the customs authority. Later, customs authority arrested the accused persons. A source informed that the total amount of the seized money is valued at $7.43 lakh, which is worth Rs 5.14 crore. On Saturday morning, a Bangladeshi national identified as Alam Sah was arrested with $ 70,000 which is worth Rs 47.42 lakh. The dollars were hidden inside a false compartment at the bottom of his bag.last_img read more

Puel reveals Schmeichel was devastated

first_imgLeicester City manager Claude Puel has revealed that Kasper Schmeichel was devastated following a horrific helicopter crash that claimed the life of the owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others.In the aftermath of Leicester’s draw with West Ham United at the King Power Stadium on October 27, the club owner’s helicopter crashed in the stadium’s staff car park, leading to his death.The Foxes’ mid-week League Cup clash against Southampton was cancelled out of respect for the Thai billionaire’s legacy at the club, with Leicester having miraculously won the Premier League title in 2015-16 and played in the Champions League under him in the height of their many achievements during his ownership.However, the players were insistent on playing away at Cardiff City, despite the obvious emotions created by the events of the previous week.Schmeichel was one of those to take it hardest with the Denmark international and Vichai known to share a close bond.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.The goalkeeper was still present at the King Power Stadium when the crash happened and is thought to have been one of the first on the scene, reports indicating that police officers present on the scene had to intervene to restrain him from trying to help the victims with the helicopter ablaze.Manager Puel confirmed, according to Express:“I don’t want to give all the details of course. Just for Kasper, he saw a lot of things. Kasper, like other players, are devastated. All my squad have a lot of sadness and upset.”Schmeichel who penned a lengthy open letter to the owner and was visibly moved during the pre-match minute’s silence while tributes were paid to Srivaddhanaprabha by both clubs and both sets of supporters on a very emotional afternoon.last_img read more