MOVEE Questions Sources of Campaign Financing

first_imgMOVEE political leader, Dr. J. Mills JonesDemands NEC’s prompt response to election irregularities, harmful effect of CoC, high incidence of invalid votes, other problems impacting election processThe Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) has raised serious concerns on what it calls questionable sources of campaign financing and the misuse of public resources, which it said created an uneven playing field in the first round of the presidential and legislative elections.In a statement yesterday, the party said this situation raises the question of the fairness of the electoral process and called on the NEC to provide a definitive report on financing and spending by political parties.MOVEE said the introduction of the Code of Conduct (CoC) by the Unity Party-led Government was not in the spirit of inclusiveness and fairness.“The entire process was disruptive, targeted and tantamount to abuse of power and done to the extent of skirting around the spirit and intent of the Constitution of the Republic,” the party said.MOVEE noted that the CoC harmed the electoral process and, in particular, created an uneven playing field for MOVEE, whose standard-bearer was its reported principal target.“Not only was it offensive to the doctrine of democratic participation, the Code ultimately beclouded the minds of our supporters and well-wishers with uncertainties, adversely impacting the performance of our party.“The electoral process, therefore, cannot be considered as fair because of the adverse effects on supporters and well-wishers of MOVEE and its standard bearer from the very start of the electoral process,” the party said. “MOVEE has a strong auxiliary support base that at least registered 300,000 members in its database. Our registered partisans processed ID cards, and exceeded 200,000 so that means we had about half a million members and well-wishers in our database.”The reported 12, 800 votes in favor of Dr. Jones, the release said, is less than 3 percent of the number in the party’s database.“This is a record of the unidirectional change of mind of potential voters over a relatively short period of time. While this may be possible, the question is, how probable is it? The concern of MOVEE is heightened by the high incidents of irregularities reported by a number of other parties and stakeholders.“These allegations of irregularities included poor management and inefficiencies that hang over the integrity and credibility of the electoral process,” the release said.It added: “MOVEE is particularly disturbed by the report of the emotional stress of voters in locating polling places, problems causing some voters to walk away without voting and challenges faced by the elderly, physically challenged and pregnant women.“Also there are reports of stolen ballot boxes, mix-matched tally sheets, and poor lightning. There were also an unprecedented number of more than 88,000 invalid votes.”These issues should be addressed immediately by the National Elections Commission (NEC) and all other arms of the government of Liberia with jurisdiction over electoral related complaints, the party said.MOVEE also said that it is regrettable that more than half of a million registered voters did not participate in the elections.The party, meanwhile, congratulated its partisans for the overwhelming turnout, which demonstrated the commitment to build a culture of democracy based on transparency, fairness, inclusiveness, and accountability, all of which bring credibility to the electoral process.“We thank the international community including, but not limited to, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United States of America (USA), the European Union (EU), the People’s Republic of China, etc., for the support of the electoral process,” the statement concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Council of Europe Officially Condemns Creationism and I.D.

first_imgA lengthy and strident policy document was issued by the Council of Europe denouncing creationism.  The summary statement makes it clear there is no compromise possible, because “religious fundamentalists” are behind it, and that creationism and intelligent design must be firmly and unequivocally opposed.  Evolution, by contrast, is given supreme status as the explanation for everything:The theory of evolution is being attacked by religious fundamentalists who call for creationist theories to be taught in European schools alongside or even in place of it.  From a scientific view point there is absolutely no doubt that evolution is a central theory for our understanding of the Universe and of life on Earth.    Creationism in any of its forms, such as “intelligent design”, is not based on facts, does not use any scientific reasoning and its contents are pathetically inadequate for science classes.    The Assembly calls on education authorities in member States to promote scientific knowledge and the teaching of evolution and to oppose firmly any attempts at teaching creationism as a scientific discipline.The document issued June 8 contains 18 sections of a Draft Resolution with recommendations, and 105 numbered sections of an Explanatory Memorandum written by one Mr. Guy Lengagne, elaborating on these themes.  Creationism is continually portrayed as a “threat” to education, democracy and human rights, and therefore it must be stopped at all costs.  The warfare motif appears often.  In the Draft Resolution:1.    The Parliamentary Assembly is worried about the possible ill-effects of the spread of creationist theories within our education systems and about the consequences for our democracies.  If we are not careful, creationism could become a threat to human rights, which are a key concern of the Council of Europe….12.    The war on the theory of evolution and on its proponents most often originates in forms of religious extremism which are closely allied to extreme right-wing political movements.  The creationist movements possess real political power.  The fact of the matter, and this has been exposed on several occasions, is that the advocates of strict creationism are out to replace democracy by theocracy….14.    The teaching of all phenomena concerning evolution as a fundamental scientific theory is therefore crucial to the future of our societies and our democracies.  For that reason it must occupy a central position in the curriculum, and especially in the science syllabus…..Notice also that creationism is linked to political conservatism.  The Explanatory Memorandum adds,89.    ….The theory of evolution constitutes a body of fundamental knowledge for the future of our democracies and cannot be arbitrarily challenged.….94.    ….The teaching of evolution by natural selection as a fundamental scientific theory is therefore crucial to the future of our societies and our democracies….Given the central importance of evolution to the future of democracy, the authors of this document must have been convinced that the evidence is strong and incontrovertible.  To what evidence, therefore, did they turn?  The part that most directly addresses this question is paragraph 12 of the Explanatory Memorandum:12.    There is a considerable body of scientific evidence concerning evolution.  Scientists have shown that evolution is a fact because ofthe evidence provided by palaeontological data,the numerous cases of characteristics shared by organisms with a common ancestor,the reality of continental drift,direct observations of genetic changes in populations.13.    It should be pointed out that the human being is just one of the links in the long chain of evolution.This list is surprising, because since Darwin’s time and even more so today, paleontology has been one of the weakest sources of evidence for evolution, and today, genetics remains a source of heated controversy and contention – so much so, that creationists and intelligent design proponents have been using both of these as effective hammers against evolutionary theory (e.g., next entry).  Also, continental drift has nothing to do with evolution, and asserting that organisms share characteristics, or that humans are “links in the long chain of evolution,” merely restates what the document is trying to prove.    The document elaborates on the alleged evidences in the subsequent paragraphs.  The only other evidences cited in favor of evolution are bacterial resistance and the adaptation of organisms to their environments.  Neither of these, however, is doubted by creationists.  Bacterial resistance is due to loss of genetic specificity, they would say, and would argue that the fit of organisms to their environment points to design, not evolution.    Sections 23-28 deal with the “rules of science” argument.  Excerpts:24.    ….science is the totality of operations that produce objective knowledge.  A statement on the world can only be described as objective if it has been verified by an independent observer.  This verification depends on three factors: scepticism, rationality and logic and, finally, methodological materialism.  These three pillars ensure the objectivity of a scientific result.25.    Scientific research on the subject of evolution has been no exception.Yet whenever the leading proponents of intelligent design, many of whom have one or more PhDs in the sciences from prestigious universities, try to practice this skepticism using rational and logical arguments, they are routinely shut out of the debate.  Furthermore, no modern philosopher of science would accept uncritically the claim that science produces objective knowledge, and many would differ with the view that methodological materialism is essential to science.  That was certainly not the case with the founders of science nor with many practicing scientists today.  It is, in fact, what Darwin skeptics point to as a straitjacket that forces conclusions contrary to the evidence.  Methodological materialism becomes indistinguishable in practice from philosophical materialism, they argue, when design is prohibited as a cause.    The bulk of the document (sections 29-79) details the threat posed by the rise of creationism in Europe, country by country.  The writings of Harun Yahya in Turkey are given particular scorn, but no distinction is made in any creationist material: Christian, old-earth, young-earth, Muslim, scientific, intelligent design.  All creationism is portrayed as equally flawed and equally contemptible.    Sections 80 to the end claim that creationism is harmful to education.  To the degree creationism is a threat to democracy, human rights, social justice, rationality, scientific progress and every other kind of good, evolution is lifted up as the greatest salve for every ill, the greatest positive force in civilization, the great unifying theory of science and the greatest answer to every question in the Universe.    In short, “The truth and scientific nature of evolution remain irrefutable today,” states paragraph 89, and introducing creationist ideas would only bring “confusion” into the classroom.  Creationism, which is equated to religious fundamentalism, contributes to “The total rejection of science” which is “definitely one of the most serious threats to human rights and civic rights.” (Resolution, 11).    So what should be done?  The end of the Draft Resolution makes the following recommendations:18.    The Parliamentary Assembly therefore urges the member states, and especially their education authorities, to:18.1.    defend and promote scientific knowledge;18.2.    strengthen the teaching of the foundations of science, its history, its epistemology and its methods alongside the teaching of objective scientific knowledge;18.3.    make science more comprehensible, more attractive and closer to the realities of the contemporary world;18.4.    firmly oppose the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution by natural selection and in general resist presentation of creationist theories in any discipline other than religion;18.5.    promote the teaching of evolution by natural selection as a fundamental scientific theory in the school curriculum.Creation groups would heartily endorse the first three points, but would notice a strange disconnect starting at 18.4.    The resolution concludes by saying, “The Assembly welcomes the fact that, in June 2006, 27 Academies of Science of Council of Europe member states signed a declaration on the teaching of evolution and calls on academies of science that have not yet done so to sign the declaration.”  One would be hard pressed to find any other scientific theory that requires a declaration by political entities for its support.    What is the Council of Europe?1  Founded in 1949, it “seeks to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other reference texts on the protection of individuals.”  The COE currently has 48 member states and 5 observer countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico and the Vatican.    A former Soviet dissident writing for the Brussels Journal fears that the European Union in general is headed for a dictatorship.  Calling it a monster that must be destroyed, that is endangering freedoms, he said “What you observe, taken into perspective, is a systematic introduction of ideology which could later be enforced with oppressive measures.”Update 07/12/2007: The ACLJ reported that its sister organization in Europe defeated the resolution from being adopted on the grounds it violated freedom of expression, free exercise of religion, and academic freedom.  Their document calling for defeat of the proposal was published online.1The Committee on Culture, Science and Education that voted for the resolution on May 31 included 30 voting members, though an equal or greater number of members were not present to vote.  There was one vote against it and one abstention.  The Explanatory Memorandum of Mr. Lengagne relied heavily on works by Pascal Picq (paleoanthropologist) and Jacques Arnoult, a researcher at the French National Centre for Space Studies and a Dominican monk.  For documentation on the opposition, “a number of articles on creationism as seen by its supporters were found on the internet,” none of which were listed.The COE’s angry tirade reads like Mein Kampf, a ridiculous rant by a madman who was only a threat when he gained power.  Similarly, this document is easily refuted on every point (mountains of rebuttals in 7 years of these pages), and is almost laughable in its shallowness.  But give the Darwin Party power to enforce these views, and this is easily the kind of policy that could produce persecution.  Talk about human rights: there are some radical Darwinists who feel so strongly about this they would put creationists in zoos (at best) and kill them for thinking unDarwinian thoughts (at worst).  How completely inverted to point to creationists as a threat to human rights and democracy, when we just endured the bloodiest century in the history of man with states dedicated to advancing Charles Darwin’s dangerous idea.  Theocracy?  Try atheocracy.    Aware of charges like this, paragraph 87 tries to distance evolution from “social Darwinism,” calling the latter an aberration: “Social Darwinism is an ideology that claims to have been inspired by Darwin but it has nothing to do with the Darwinian theory of evolution” (italics theirs).  Darwin “is not responsible for the deviations from his theory after his death,” they shouted: “It is absolutely scandalous to present Darwin as the father of terrorism, and that may sow doubt and bewilderment in the minds of many young and inexperienced individuals.”  They point to the wars that were done in the name of religion.    Must we repeat?  There is a direct line of reasoning from “survival of the fittest” to social Darwinism, eugenics (Francis Galton = Charlie’s cousin) and the totalitarian regimes Darwin inspired (Stalin read The Origin and became an atheist).  By contrast, there is no way anyone can get religious war and theocracy out of the teachings of Jesus (blessed are the meek, love your neighbor as yourself, pray for those who persecute you, turn the other cheek, greater love has no man than one lay down his life for his friends).  Jesus taught dying to oneself and serving others, submitting oneself to God in meekness and humility.  Past wars in the “name of Jesus” stemmed from corruptions of His teachings by power-hungry leaders of institutions.  (Most of such wars arguably stemmed from political and economic factors primarily, with religious differences as a tacked-on rationalization; e.g., the Thirty Years’ War.)  The totalitarian leaders of communism and nazism, by contrast, looked to Darwin as their hero and the one who provided a “scientific justification” for their actions.    As an example of the shallowness of the COE document, look at their treatment of “evolutionary psychology” in paragraph 90:90.    It is important to point out that the theory of evolution has had a profound effect on science in general, philosophy, religion and many other aspects of human society (for example, agriculture).  Evolution has also entered the field of psychology: evolutionist psychology is a field of psychology that aims to explain the mechanisms of human thought on the basis of the theory of biological evolution.  It is based on the fundamental hypothesis that the brain, like all the other organs, is the result of evolution and thus constitutes an adaptation to specific environmental constraints, to which the ancestors of the Hominidae were forced to respond.It seems to escape the notice of dear Mr. Lengagne that he has just shot his argument in the foot.  We’ve explained this so many times here, this time let’s let Dr. Michael Egnor do it for us: see Evolution News.  Lengagne’s treatment of the Galileo Affair and the Scopes Trial are also pathetically uninformed.    There is no part of the COE’s arsenal against creationism that has not been disarmed or turned right back against the Darwinist stronghold.  It would make a good term paper or debate topic for a reader to respond to it point by point.  He or she would find plenty of documentation right here in these pages.  While you’re at it, try to find one example among the reputable groups promoting creationism or intelligent design that wants only creationism taught in the schools.  All want both sides to be heard, as long as they are taught accurately and honestly – so did Charlie himself.  As always, it is the liberal progressives, be they stem-cell advocates, abortion advocates, homosexual advocates, open-borders advocates, global warming advocates, tolerance advocates, political correctness advocates and Darwinism advocates, who want to shut off debate and have their views imposed by political declaration or court decision.  They have a miserable track record on free speech.  Conservatives, especially creationists and intelligent design advocates, are asking for a chance to be heard – to debate the issues.  Darwinism is a huge issue.  It needs to be discussed with all the evidence and logic and reason the best minds can muster.    Using this document as a prime example, ask yourself if there is any group in the world you know of that routinely gets more angry lambaste than creationists.  In these days of political correctness, you can advocate and practice any weird or evil belief you want and usually get away with it: any sexual deviation, pagan sun worship at solstice festivals, parades of shame and flaunting of the most irrational or weird or downright stupid idea or behavior, and people will either look the other way or actually cheer you on.  Not even teachers who have sex with their students or child pornographers are getting this much official condemnation.  But try to pass some evidence against Charlie using reason, logic and evidence, and the hate speech is unbelievable.    And is this not hate speech?  The Council of Europe and the U.N. appear more forgiving and tolerant of suicide bombers than they are of creationists.  (Notice also how the intelligent design movement has made absolutely no headway in trying to distinguish their views from “creationism.”  To the Darwin Party, there is no difference whatsoever, despite book after book after book explaining why I.D. only is trying to answer the question if design can be inferred using scientific methods.)  To the radical Darwiniacs, any hint of trying to tarnish the reputation of Father Charlie is cause enough to bring on the full wrath of the Western World.    But the “official ” Western World is not the “real” Western World.  Despite their power and official status, the radical Darwinists are a minority.  Most people don’t buy their line.  A recent poll reported by USA Today showed that 2/3 of Americans still trust creation more than evolution, despite decades of strict indoctrination in the public schools.    Encouraging as that is, let history quickly remind us that fanatics with power affect the world more than silent majorities.  In each case of the worst 20th century genocidal totalitarian regimes, whether Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot or any of the others, the revolutionaries were usually more motivated, better organized and more ruthless than the majority.  Lenin’s followers called themselves “Bolsheviks” (majority) when they were actually a minority.  The Russian White Army, despite valiant efforts, was no match for the radical revolutionaries with their lies, propaganda, purges, assassinations, publicity stunts, chicanery and subversive tactics.  (For Mr. Lengagne’s education, we would like to point out that Mao was one of the very few genocidal maniacs of the 20th century who did not study in France.)    A totalitarian regime’s strategy for gaining and holding power is to whip up the masses with hatred and fear of a perceived threat.  We see now the radical Darwinists refusing to debate, refusing to reason, and refusing to listen; instead, they are trying to whip up the nations of the world into a frenzy over a perceived threat from creationists.  If you are the target, you may have thought you were just trying to get somebody to listen to reason and look at some evidence, but no: you are a bogeyman, and bogeymen are fair game.    As we have said before, do not think for a moment that the evils of radical Darwinism were exhausted by the atrocities of the 20th century.  In the Information Age, where your location can be tracked by GPS and there is no place to hide, where you could be implanted with mind-altering devices and coerced with new scientific tortures, the potential for abuse could make the Stalin era look like a picnic.  If the COE really means what it says that social Darwinism and communism and nazism were perverted deviations and wrong, let them (1) denounce these regimes in the strongest of terms, (2) say “never again ”will they allow such ideas to ever gain sway, and (3) explain exactly why evolutionary psychology, morals and philosophy invariably lead to peace on earth and gentle brotherhood.  It cannot be done.    Poor Christians and Jews: the hatred comes from all sides.  The radical Muslims hate them for doubting Mohammed.  The radical Darwinists hate them for doubting Darwin.  Such irrational hatred boggles the mind.  That fact alone should cause someone to ponder that something strange is going on.  Could they be doing something right?    Jesus predicted, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.” (John 15:18-19).  He noted, “They hated me without reason.”  If the radical Darwinists and Muslims had a reason for their hatred, Christians should be the ones repenting and confessing their sins.  Since they do not, we can take comfort that Jesus said, shortly before receiving the most brutal treatment man could bring on a person – death on a cross – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).    So join the Christian Recipients of Hate Society.  You’ll be in good company.  Till that day, recall too that for years Jesus employed reason and evidence in public debate.  Those are also good footsteps to follow.(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

It’s about us

first_img3 September 2002This is a book about us. A collection of photographs about living in South Africa that make us “smile, laugh, feel proud and occasionally cry” – by Pierre Crocquet, a professional photographer who has joined the Proudly South African campaign.‘Us’ is published by Bell-Roberts Publishing, available from them and selected Exclusive Books stores.Pierre Crocquet was born in Cape Town in 1971. He qualified as a chartered accountant and worked in finance for seven years in Johannesburg and later London. He then studied photography at the London College of Printing and is now working as a professional photographer, specialising in commercial, portraiture and editorial work. Crocquet is currently based in Cape Town.He says: “This book is about people -­ just ordinary people who happen to live in South Africa ­and by nature are South African.“Publishing a book about people living in this country has always appealed to me, but never more so than when I returned home after living abroad for five years. In that time I would often catch myself smiling in far-flung places after chancing upon a group of people who were unquestionably South African.“Their behaviour expressed a lack of self-consciousness; sometimes embarrassing themselves in a nice kind of a way. Tact and the ability to whisper their opinions in more delicate situations did not come naturally. The loud and direct route was the chosen way.Young first-world tourists who come to South Africa “love the mood and take to it fast”, says Crocquet. “Within hours of landing they’ve abandoned their home country rules.“This book sets out to capture some of South Africa’s character,­ its quirks, its wildness and its innocence by simply photographing ‘Us’ – South Africans – as we go about our lives.“The journey of producing this book began while I was driving to Cape Town and passed ‘Johannes’, a teenager biding his time along an infinite stretch of road. He was swaying back and forth in an old kitchen chair in front of a farm stall that had a ‘Hanepoot’ sign on the roof. The scene was an appealing mix of surreal and ordinary, but I was anxious to get to Cape Town and the summer sun I’d missed during my overseas years.“Fortunately I decided to turn around, unpack my camera and unwittingly started photographing the first material – ‘Johannes’ – for the book. At the time it was nothing more than shooting a scene I found stimulating. Later I framed some of the images to form a narrative.”Interest shown in the piece resulted in Crocquet shooting a range of other scenes around the country, featuring people going about their daily lives. “The images were mostly uplifting and amusing”, says Crocquet, “even though the people’s circumstances were sometimes trying. Somewhere then I decided to commit to producing a book about ‘Us’.“I am sometimes asked how I photograph people and how they respond to being photographed. Most people are approachable and almost everyone featured in this book knew they were being photographed. I didn’t try to catch them unawares, but at the same time I worked as quickly as possible.“Hesitation allows people to change their pose to how they would like to be seen, although after a while most people become bored with the camera and revert to who they are anyway. Occasionally, communication lines get crossed and I offend someone, but that is inevitable when dealing with people.”Although the subjects were aware of Crocquet’s camera, none of the images were directed, he says, and scenes were “simply photographed as they unfolded, then printed un-cropped. The resulting reportage photographs are a combination of ready anticipation, patience, luck, working the scene and sometimes serendipity.“When this happens I gladly accept the rare gift of a great, unexpected image. But soon after I start wondering how many other serendipitous images I’ve missed because I was elsewhere when they occurred.Material was photographed all over South Africa, says Crocquet. “There were a few images I hoped to find – like ‘Daniel and George’,­ children walking to school barefoot – but in general I just kept an open eye, confident that interesting scenes would reveal themselves to me. I often caught myself smiling while photographing: the result of quirky scenes captured.“Producing a book of this nature was far harder than anticipated, mainly due to the diversity of our cultures. Also, while my intention was to capture a wide range of South Africans, I did not want the book to become a “rainbow nation” checklist. I strongly felt this would make it contrived.“Instead, I wanted to compile a book of great images of ‘Us’. If the book is biased in makeup in any way, it is the result of chance and nothing else. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did creating it.”Source: Proudly South African Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

What Microsoft Did And Didn’t Buy With Its Nokia Acquisition

first_imgIn one fell swoop today, Microsoft is becoming an extremely different type of company. Microsoft is pushing hard to recreate itself as a “devices and services” company and today it took a very big step in that direction by buying, you guessed it, Nokia’s mobile devices and services division. Microsoft is paying $7.17 billion to bring Nokia into the fold, including the design, manufacturing and distribution of both smart and feature phones and the right to license many of Nokia’s patents, as well as the Nokia name and a host of mobile services. See also Microsoft Does Inevitable, Buys Nokia Smartphone Unit, Patents for $7.2 BillionWhat didn’t Microsoft buy with its $7 billion in cash? Nokia itself, including most of Nokia’s non-smartphone related property (cellular infrastructure and HERE Maps, for example). Many people will say, “Microsoft bought Nokia.” This is true because Microsoft did buy a good portion of the Finland manufacturing company, but Nokia itself will still exist independent of Microsoft.So, what exactly is Microsoft getting? Let’s break it down.What Microsoft Actually BoughtOfficially, Microsoft is buying Nokia’s “Devices and Services” business unit. That simple designation is the whole hog: everything from manufacturing and distribution, design, operations, sales and marketing teams and related support. That business unit comprises of approximately 32,000 people that will become Microsoft employees when the deal officially closes. Tags:#Microsoft#Nokia#smartphone#Windows Phone Nokia will continue to be a company outside of Microsoft and will retain rights to its brand and management thereof. If Microsoft were to buy all of Nokia, the acquisition cost would have been more than double what Microsoft paid for the devices side of the business and included many aspects of which Microsoft would wants no part. Eventually, Microsoft would eventually have to sell off those unwanted Nokia parts piecemeal. In this—better—arrangement, Microsoft will be able to license the Nokia brand for existing devices.The HERE Maps team will stay with Nokia. HERE Maps is a subsidiary of Nokia that employs about 6,000 people. Nokia will make HERE Maps available to Windows Phones and feature phones as part of a four-year license that Microsoft will pay for separately. This preserves a revenue stream for Nokia and also allows Nokia to sell HERE Maps and services to other companies.Microsoft didn’t acquire Nokia’s entire patent portfolio, either. It bought the design patents outright but will license Nokia’s 30,000 utility patents patents for 10 years.By not acquiring the entirety of Nokia’s patents, Microsoft was able to keep the acquisition cost of the Devices and Services down while preserving future assets for Nokia.  More specifically, Microsoft is buying Nokia’s Smart Devices unit. This includes the Lumia brand of smartphones running the Windows Phone operating system. Nokia shipped 7.4 million Lumia smartphones in the second quarter of 2013. The Smart Devices unit includes the manufacturing and design of the Lumia line along with the distribution, sales and marketing teams.Microsoft didn’t just buy the Lumia brand, it bought the people that actually put it together. This is extremely important for Microsoft because it could not possibly think to create its own manufacturing processes and supply chain on its own and hope to make a significant dent as a “devices” company any time soon. In this case, the processes that Microsoft is getting from Nokia are as important as the resources (the sales and revenue of Nokia phones). Nokia’s Mobile Phones business unit is also part of the deal. This is Nokia’s still robust (but shrinking) feature phone business and includes Nokia’s Asha line of cellphones. Nokia’s feature phone business sold 53.7 million units in the second quarter, second to Samsung worldwide. Nokia Lumia 920Microsoft could have done without the feature phones business unit of Nokia. Yet, to buy the manufacturing processes of Nokia, it had to take the feature phone and Asha units along with the smart devices unit. Microsoft sees the feature phone unit as a way to expand Microsoft services to millions of Nokia users worldwide as a way to “on-ramp” users to Windows Phones. Microsoft will be able to use Nokia’s brand on feature phones for 10 years.The acquisition is also a bit of a talent acquisition for Microsoft, as it is bringing in most of Nokia’s executive leadership team, including Nokia CEO Stephen Elop who will transfer to being Microsoft’s head of its Devices unit. Elop is still considered a candidate for the CEO role of Microsoft. In addition to Elop, Microsoft is will bring in Jo Harlow to continue leading Nokia’s Smart Devices team, Juha Putkiranta to lead the Nokia integration into Microsoft, Timo Toikkanenen to lead the feature phone Mobile Phone division and Stefan Pannebecker to lead the device Design team. Chris Weber, Nokia’s marketing head and former head of all of Nokia’s U.S. sales, will come to Microsoft and continue his role as Nokia sales chief.Microsoft also bought the rights to license Nokia’s robust patent portfolio for 10 years. Microsoft is specifically buying 8,500 of Nokia’s design patents, and will also make its patents available to Nokia for its HERE Maps unit. Nokia will also transfer its patent licensing agreements, including its big one with chipmaker Qualcomm, to Microsoft. Other patent agreements transferred to Microsoft includes those with IBM, Motorola Mobility (owned by Google), Motorola Solutions. Nokia also passes on patent agreements with Apple, LG, Nortel and Kodak to Microsoft.What Microsoft Didn’t Buy Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologycenter_img Related Posts dan rowinski Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

Defiant Mamata Banerjee alleges plot to oust her government

first_imgA day after the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory to the State to contain political violence, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged that the Centre and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were trying to destabilise the Trinamool government in the State.The Trinamool has written a letter to the Home Minister, questioning the intention of the Centre.Ms. Banerjee accused the BJP of spending crores of rupees to spread fake news, and alleged that its party cadres were trying to incite violence in West Bengal.“This is their game plan to throttle my voice, because they know that Mamata Banerjee is the only person in the country to raise voice against them,” she said.The Chief Minister said West Bengal had a democratically elected government, and warned that a “wounded tiger was more dangerous”.‘Larger game plan’Ms. Banerjee gave no direct reply to the advisory but described it as part of larger game plan. “I will not speak on it because the Chief Secretary and party have already given their reply on it,” she said.The Trinamool leadership sent a strongly worded reply to the advisory. A letter signed by party general secretary Partha Chatterjee described the Home Ministry’s response as a “deep-rooted conspiracy” and an “evil ploy to grab power” in Opposition-ruled States.“Over the last two years, we have seen that the Central government has been continuously trying to disgrace the Bangla government and its people through various means. The latest is this advisory note sent by the Ministry of Home Affairs on the law and order situation in the State. The BJP and the Central Home Ministry are run by the same person. The party is dictating Home policy,” Mr. Chatterjee told a press conference late on Sunday night. He further asked whether an advisory note was sent when violence erupted in Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat.“A strong conspiracy is now on to destabilise the State government. We and the people of Bangla will counter this tooth and nail. We are aware of what is going on. We will counter this,” Mr. Chatterjee said.last_img read more

(Rpt after making corrections in figures in para 7 & 8)

first_imgGovt. open to possibility of bidding for 2032 Olympics: IOA Chennai, Jun 16 (PTI) The Indian Olympic Association President N Ramachandran today claimed that the government has agreed to consider the possibility of India bidding for the 2032 Olympics hosting rights. Speaking to reporters here after being elected as President of the Tamil Nadu Olympic Association (TNOA), he said, “the government in principle has agreed to look into the possibility of bidding for the Olympics in 2032. It is at a very preliminary stage. We need to get all the approvals.” Ramachandran said bidding for the mega-event would involve an elaborate process. “IOA has to make a proposal and give it to the government. That has to be agreed to by the government. Then the government has to give a sovereign guarantee. Not only from the incumbent government but also from the Leader of the Opposition,” he explained. “And, the Chief Minister of the State in which the chosen city is located apart from the leader of the opposition have to say yes,” he said. Ramachandran played down the cost factor in bidding for the Games, which are next scheduled in 2020 in the Japanese capital of Tokyo.”It (the process) will take at least anywhere between six to eight years. It can be done easily. If you look at todays cost, it roughly comes to about USD 12 billion, out of which roughly 50 per cent you get by way of revenue and funding from the IOC. “The balance, for a country of Indias size, it is not great money. (Roughly) six billion over eight years, shouldnt be difficult,” he said.advertisementRamachandran also said there was no problem in his holding the post of IOA president while being the head of TN Olympic Association.”(The late) B Sivanthi Adityan was president of IOA and TNOA. There is no bar on that,” he said.The elections to the TNOA were held on May 27 but because of a High Court order, the results were withheld. The Returning Officer S Sambandham, District and Sessions Judge (retired) announced the results this afternoon after the petitioner, A K Chitrapandian, who had been sacked as TN Volleyball Association secretary, withdrew his case seeking to stay the elections.Ramachandran said the aim would be to work together and take sports forward in Tamil Nadu.”We have a huge task ahead of us, in the sense that we have to do more. It will be important to help various sports associations build infrastructure,” he said.The other office-bearers elected are: Vice-presidents: Ishari K Ganesh, S Vasudevan, Solai M Raja, M Ramasubramani, T R Narayanaswamy, D V Seetharama Rao; General Secretary: J M Fernando and Treasurer: K Rajendiran apart from two joint secretaries and nine executive committee members. PTI SS PM PDSlast_img read more

Winston Runs Away With Heisman

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — Jameis Winston left voters no choice but to give him the Heisman Trophy. And like every other Florida State victory this season, it was a blowout.The quarterback they call Famous Jameis became the youngest Heisman winner and the second straight freshman to win the trophy on Dec. 14, earning college football’s most prestigious individual trophy award with a performance so dominant even a criminal investigation couldn’t derail his candidacy.“I cannot explain the feeling that I have inside right now,” Winston said. “I’m so overwhelmed. It’s awesome.”When his name was announced, he popped from his seat and quickly made his way to his mom and dad for hugs and kisses. He smiled and laughed through most of his acceptance speech.He talked about trusting in the “process” on the field and in life and “after all the things I’ve been through this past month.” He got choked up a bit when talking about his parents.“When you see your mom and you see your dad and they’ve been struggling through this whole process and now you see a smile on their face, it comforted me,” he said later.Winston received 668 first-place votes and 2,205 points. He finished 1,501 points ahead of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron for the seventh-largest margin of victory in Heisman history, despite being left off 115 of the 900 ballots returned.Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch was third, followed by Boston College’s Andre Williams, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Auburn’s Tre Mason.Manziel was the first freshman to win the Heisman last year, and was trying to join Ohio State’s Archie Griffin as a two-time winner. Instead, Winston made it two redshirt freshman winners in the 79-year history of the Heisman. He also became the youngest winner at 23 days short of 20.The 19-year-old also was investigated last month for a year-old sexual assault complaint, but no charges were filed and the case was closed four days before Heisman votes were due. “I really believe that people actually just trusted me. People obviously saw us play. But that comes from my team, too,” Winston said.Winston is the nation’s top-rated passer and has led the top-ranked Seminoles (13-0) to a spot in the BCS championship game against No. 2 Auburn on Jan. 6, his birthday. The former five-star recruit from Bessemer, Ala., made college football look easy from his very first game. On Labor Day night, on national television, Winston went 25 for 27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns in a victory at Pittsburgh.“I can’t explain how truly intelligent he is,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He always wanted to know why he had success or why he had failure so he could either repeat it or fix it.”There wasn’t much failure on the way to becoming the third Seminoles quarterback to win the Heisman. The last was Chris Weinke in 2000.Winston and Florida State were cruising toward an undefeated season when news broke of an unresolved sexual assault complaint against him made to the Tallahassee Police Department last December.The dormant case was handed over to the state attorney’s office for a full investigation. A female student at Florida State accused Winston of rape. Winston’s attorney said the sex was consensual.During three weeks of uncertainty, Winston continued to play sensationally, while other contenders stumbled or failed to distinguish themselves. If voters were looking to Manziel or McCarron or Lynch or Williams or even Marcus Mariota of Oregon to give them a good alternative to Winston, it didn’t happen.The Heisman Trust mission statement says: “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.”It’s a statement that has put the Heisman in awkward situations before. In 2010, Cam Newton played the season under the cloud of an NCAA investigation. He had also had legal troubles while in college. But like Winston, there was no doubt he was the best player and he won the award.Reggie Bush had his 2005 Heisman stripped after the NCAA determined he had violated its rules during that season. But the Heisman trust did not ask Billy Cannon and O.J. Simpson to return their Heismans after they were sent to prison.The accusations against Winston were serious and documents released by the police with the accuser’s allegations were not flattering to him. It probably explains why so many voters left him out of their top three. Last year, Manziel appeared on 92 percent of the ballots. Winston appeared on 87 percent this year.“Everyone has their own opinion,” Winston said. “It’s basically a numbers game and I was blessed to have the majority vote.”There was no doubting his on-the-field credentials. Winston is on pace (190.1) to break Russell Wilson’s record for best passer efficiency rating in a season and set FBS freshman records for yards passing (3,820) and touchdown passes (38). Florida State’s average margin of victory is 42 points, and Winston has spent most of the Seminoles’ fourth quarters resting.The investigation has taken some of the shine off Winston’s Heisman coronation, at least for some people. But if the question is simply who was college football’s best player in 2013, Famous Jameis was the clear answer.(Ralph D. Russo, AP College Football Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more