first_imgThe Johannesburg skyline. South Africa leads the African continent in the second annual Legatum Prosperity Index. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClub SouthAfrica. For more free photos, visit the image library)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa is the leading African country on this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index, which analyses countries around the globe for their effectiveness in creating a climate conducive to prosperity. More than 100 countries came under scrutiny, including 19 from Africa. Rankings are based on 22 key indicators and 44 sub-indicators.The Legatum Prosperity Index goes beyond GDP as a measure of national prosperity. It investigates and gives details of personal and policy choices that can increase the prosperity of individuals and nations around the globe – here the definition of prosperity encompasses both material wealth and quality of life.The index is produced by the Legatum Institute, an independent policy, advocacy and advisory organisation within the Legatum investment group of companies, whose mission is to research and promote the principles that drive global prosperity. This is so that policymakers, individuals, academics, the media, and other relevant parties can better understand how prosperity is created and so implement steps towards its attainment.Legatum derives its rankings based on the prevalence of conditions that foster prosperity in a given country – those factors that promote economic competitiveness and a better quality of life. These are known as drivers, compared to restrainers, which retard prosperity. Importantly, rankings do not indicate the actual prosperity of a country, but rather how effectively it is cultivating the practices that create prosperity.Conclusions are drawn from statistical analysis of more than 40 years of data in fields such as sociology, economics and political science, as well as theory, experience and lessons learned from history, and life satisfaction survey data for the 104 countries.South Africa leads the African continent in terms of drivers of economic and personal growth and wellbeing, followed by Botswana (45) and Namibia (55). These are also the only three African countries not ranked in the bottom quartile, an indication that the continent still faces many challenges. Coming in at number 38 out of 104, South Africa shares its slot with Costa Rica and Poland.Botswana was described as well-governed and in spite of severely high levels of HIV infection, has achieved one of the world’s fastest rates of income growth, while Namibia was found to have no obvious weaknesses and one major strength, equality of opportunity.Australia took the top spot, with Austria and Finland close behind. Yemen is last on the list, just ahead of Central African Republic, Mali and Zambia. These countries’ unfavourable ranking, and others low down the order, is due mainly to extreme poverty while there are some, such as Zimbabwe, that are affected by political instability. This hampers capital investment and consequently accumulation of wealth. Other factors include poor governance, low average life expectation, and high dependence on foreign aid.Legatum’s senior vice-president Dr. William Inboden said, “True prosperity consists of more than money. It also includes happiness, health, and liberty. The prosperity index shows that in addition to economic success, a society’s prosperity is based on strong families and communities, political and religious liberty, education and opportunity, and a healthy environment.”Africa’s biggest economySouth Africa, Africa’s biggest economy, achieved a ranking of 41 in economic competitiveness and 43 in comparative liveability. On the economic side the country scored particularly highly on entrepreneurship, because of the improved ease of starting a business. It also scored highly on religious life in the liveability category, indicating that South Africans enjoy high levels of both religious faith and religious freedom.South Africa’s other strengths were in the area of education, with a population that is relatively well-educated compared to most other African countries. With its abundance of natural resources South Africa has also managed to avoid excessive dependence on revenue derived from export of commodities, as these account for just 4.1% of GDP.A few weaknesses were identified, such as below-par commercialisation of innovation for an economy of this size – at 0.5% of GDP this is less than average. Legatum felt that the low number of R&D researchers is a possible reflection that highly-skilled professionals are at a premium, but noted that the high number of patents is positive. South Africa is known worldwide for its many ingenious inventions, such as the pool-cleaning Kreepy Krauly and the electronic device widely used during cricket and tennis games to measure the speed of the moving ball.With regard to liveability, South Africa has benefited from a stable political environment over the past 14 years, and political rights and civil liberties are upheld. However, income levels are still low and unemployment is high. Legatum cited public health as the country’s biggest challenge, especially in the fight against HIV and Aids.Besides religion, another factor that contributed positively to South Africa’s liveability score is the 30% proportion of women in parliament, which indicates an important role for women in society.Weighted indicatorsSeveral new indicators were introduced for the second index. These include the number of regional trade agreements signed, which is regarded as a driver of economic growth, as well as business ownership rate which is an indicator of entrepreneurship, and net migration, which links to levels of income and life satisfaction.To ensure fairness, Legatum used different key drivers according to a country’s level of development. For emerging countries with average incomes of less than $10 000 per annum per person, raising incomes is a priority because it is the single strongest indicator of how content the population will be. Therefore indicators such as levels of education, commercialisation of innovation and costs of starting a business were more relevant.The index did find, however, that many poorer countries, particularly in Africa, have high levels of wellbeing because of traditional social support through religion and the community. This compensates, to a degree, for a lower standard of living. Higher levels of optimism were also evident in these countries – many people believe that by working hard they will forge ahead in life.For countries with per capita income of more than $20 000, continued economic growth is a focus and here the drivers include entrepreneurship, invested capital and commercialisation of innovation.In richer countries, a key element of continued prosperity and quality of life is the move beyond material wealth and into other areas which improve life satisfaction. Drivers here include charitable giving, political rights and civil liberties, equality of opportunity, and good health.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related storiesSouth African inventionsSouth Africa’s economyDoing business easier in SAUseful linksLegatum InstituteLegatum Prosperity Indexlast_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Our weather pattern looks to calm down and dry out some over the coming week to 10 days. In fact, in the next week, we have only one minor chance of moisture for the entire state, and the totals there are significantly lower than our look at the same system last week. So, it seems we finally are trying to morph into some semblance of a normal July weather pattern. We are dry today, tomorrow and most of Wednesday, as sunshine dominates. We saw a different air mass move into eastern corn belt yesterday behind the frontal passage Saturday and yesterday morning. This will lead to lower humidity values still over the next 3 days, although we will slowly walk those humidity values higher the closer we get to Wednesday afternoon and evening. Clouds will also begin to increase Wednesday afternoon and evening. Our one somewhat organized chance of moisture over the next week comes Thursday, as a cold front looks to sag through the state. This front looks significantly less impressive than it did last week, and at this point we would suggest only a few hundredths to a tenth or two across 60% of the state. Those totals are lower and the coverage well below our look from last week. There will be plenty of areas that miss out on that action. However, one area to watch later Thursday afternoon will be far east and southeast Ohio, where we can see a strengthening of action. Most of the thunderstorms likely miss us east into Western PA, but we need to keep an eye out for some totals up closer to half an inch before midnight Thursday night. Behind that front, we go dry again for Friday and then the weekend too. Humidity values back off, and we should see good evaporation. That will be another good window for field and forage work.Early next week looks interesting. We cant rule out a few scattered showers Monday over the western half of Ohio. These are mostly a product of some heat based instability, but totals will be under a quarter of an inch, an coverage will be only about 40%. But, the interesting part of the pattern comes from something else. We are watching a tropical system that seems to be headed for the gulf coast areas late this week and weekend. That storm is being projected to move north, and its remains may make it through the Tennessee valley and into the lower Ohio valley early next week. IF that comes to be, that would spell showers for southern Indiana and Illinois next Monday, and then a slow spread north through Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday. AT this time, models are projecting some of this tropical moisture moving into far western OH, mostly west of I-75 on Tuesday. However, without that tropical moisture pushing north, we should be able to continue a dry pattern. So, at this time we feel comfortable saying that most of Ohio stays dry for Tuesday and Wednesday, but we really have to watch the western areas. Models typically get way overzealous on the first tropical system or two, but with this one in July, rather than May or June…we don’t want to dismiss anything too quickly. The map below shows 10 day rain potential and includes some tropical influence on western Ohio at this time…in fact, that is the only reason we have some of those bigger rain totals in the west. Temps over the next 10 days will be near normal. As humidity builds, we have to leave the door open to temps feeling much warmer than normal, but we think overall, this is a typical July set up on temps. The combination of temps and some rain free days should be very beneficial to a large part of the state.last_img read more


first_imgWorking with a new director or DP can be a tricky process that takes some time to develop. Here are some filmmaking tips to help streamline that process, and to make sure your production is getting the most out of that relationship.Top image: Quentin Tarantino and Robert Richardson on the set of Kill Bill via The Red ListWith advancements in technology and professional production equipment constantly becoming more affordable, it seems that timelines (and usually budgets) for projects become smaller and smaller every year. This means that you have to work more efficiently — and as a solid team — to finish with a project that everyone can be proud of.One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that the director and the director of photography have a clear and singular vision for the execution of the project. Here are some suggestions for ways to make sure the two are in sync.Start With a LookbookAn example of a strong look – Blade Runner via Warner Bros.An image can be a hard thing to explain with words. One easy way to make sure that the visual style of a project is decided on and agreed upon is to begin the process with a lookbook. A lookbook is a collection of images that define the look and tone of the image that you’re going for.It can be any number of things… paintings, photographs, stills from another film, anything that is a representation of what you want to do visually. It helps to take notes on each image, so that you can reference what it is about that image specifically that will support your story/look.I prefer to use a cloud-based file storage service for creating lookbooks (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc). This way, while on set or scouting a location, you can always pull up the lookbook and effectively communicate a visual idea on the spot. Evan E. Richards runs a blog with a comprehensive selection of screengrabs of various films that’s a great resource for building a lookbook.Learn Their Process Early OnChristopher Nolan via Warner Bros.Everyone does things differently. Some directors will want to have a lot of involvement in how the image is created, down to the placement of the camera and focal length of the lens. Other directors aren’t interested in those details, and will fully look to the DP to deliver the look that they’re going for, with little to no direction otherwise.This needs to be discussed ahead of time. That bit of information will completely define the nature of the DP’s job on that project, and it can be different every time. It’s important for everyone to know their role on set, and for all expectations to be made perfectly clear before the production begins. Some of these topics are touched on in this Hollywood Reporter roundtable of Oscar-nominated directors discussing their craft. Get Everyone InvolvedRobert Elswit location scouting for Nightcrawler via ScreenDailyIt’s not acceptable to bring the DP in right before the shoot. The DP should be able to walk the locations well ahead of time, taking photos, looking for power (if needed), and getting an overall game plan on load-in and the plan of attack. This will make it easier for them to create lighting diagrams for each of the setups as well, which is a huge timesaver (and will also allow them to put together the gear list for the shoot). A great app for creating lighting diagrams is Shot Designer.It’s important to work together in creation of a shot list (check out the awesome Shot Lister app) and game plan for each shoot day based on the location scout. This should be done before anyone starts to put together a schedule, and (in most cases) before booking the talent.It is the director of photography’s job to know what time will work best for each location (sun through windows, sun positions for best backlight, etc). If they never get to see the locations, there’s no way that they can do their job. This is one of the most overlooked issues in low-budget productions.Keep an Open Line of CommunicationJeff Cronenweth discusses a Gone Girl scene with director David Fincher via 20th Century FoxThere’s always time to talk. No matter how short on time you are, it will almost always save you time if you stop to pull your DP or director aside and have a quick chat about what’s going on and (hopefully) figure out what isn’t working. Sometimes you just have to get away from the rest of the crew and actors to really get some real thinking done.When things are moving and decisions are constantly being made, it’s really easy to get in the swing of things and lose track of what’s actually going on. Always be asking yourself: Are we executing the plan? Am I supporting my colleagues process? Are we achieving the look that we laid out in the lookbook? And most importantly: Are we making something we’re all going to be proud of?If there is ever any doubt, pull your director or DP aside and figure out how you can fix it — and do it sooner than later.Know Your Role in the RelationshipDenis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins working together via Warner Bros.In the end a film can look lousy but work because of a great performance but not the other way round. That’s something always worth remembering. – Roger DeakinsOne thing a DP should always remember is the pecking order on set. The director is always in control. While filmmaking is a very collaborative process, it’s important that the DP keep the ultimate vision of the director and execution of the project at the front of their mind at all times. If you don’t watch out for it, ego can set in and arguments can begin because the DP wants or takes too much control.However, that works both ways. If the director isn’t assuming the lead role in the execution of the project in a way that cannot be questioned, someone else is going to have to step up to make sure the project is completed. There is an art to doing this in a way that gets the best work out of people, while also getting the best out of the project.When working quickly, and under stressful guidelines, these things can be a weak point in the hyper-sensitive ecosystem that film sets usually become. It’s important to be aware of everything, and everyone’s feelings, especially when it comes to the way that the director and the DP work together.Have any filmmaking tips for the community? Share them in the comments below!last_img read more


first_imgAll 5 children reported missing from Linda Vista special-needs home located Updated: 11:18 AM Ed Lenderman, KUSI Newsroom, FacebookTwitter Categories: Local San Diego News 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settingscenter_img Ed Lenderman, KUSI Newsroom February 6, 2018 Posted: February 6, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — 9:00 p.m. — All five children reported missing from the Linda Vista group home were located, according to the San Diego Police Department.4:50 p.m. — Two of the five children reported missing Tuesday afternoon were found several miles away from the group home.The youngsters — two boys and three girls, ages 10 to 12 — were reported missing from the San Diego Center for Children in the 3000 block of Armstrong Street shortly after 9:30 a.m., according to San Diego police.Officers searched neighborhoods and open areas around the facility — which serves children with mental, emotional and behavioral challenges — by ground, aided by service dogs, and aboard a patrol helicopter.About 3:45 p.m., police located a pair of the youngsters in Old Town, several miles to the south of the group home, Officer John Buttle said. They were believed to be unharmed.It was unclear how the two children had gotten to the spot where they were found, Buttle said.The search for the other three youngsters was ongoing as of late afternoon.3:37 p.m. — Five children receiving treatment at a Linda Vista group home for special-needs youths disappeared from the facility Tuesday morning, prompting an intensive search by law enforcement personnel that was still underway as of mid-afternoon.The youngsters, boys and girls ages 10 to 12, were reported missing from the San Diego Center for Children in the 3000 block of Armstrong Street shortly after 9:30 a.m., according to San Diego police.Officers were searching neighborhoods and open areas around the facility — which serves children with mental, emotional and behavioral challenges — by ground, aided by service dogs, and aboard a patrol helicopter, Officer Joshua Hodge said. last_img read more


first_imgA video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament`s Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain`s prime minister Theresa May (3L) reacts as opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn responds to her statement to the House of Commons in London on 14 January 2019. Photo: AFPThe British parliament holds a historic vote Tuesday on the Brexit deal agreed with the EU and all sides are bracing for turmoil when the text is almost certainly rejected.With just over two months to go until the scheduled Brexit date of 29 March, a bitterly divided Britain is in limbo and the world is on tenterhooks about what will happen next.Few expect the deal to pass, but the scale of prime minister Theresa May’s defeat could determine whether she tries again, loses office, delays Brexit — or if Britain even leaves the EU at all.MPs from all parties oppose the agreement, for different reasons, but on the eve of the vote May urged them to look again.”No, it is not perfect. And yes, it is a compromise,” she said.”But when the history books are written, people will look at the decision of this house… and ask: did we deliver on the country’s vote to leave the European Union?”Or did we let the British people down?”Nothing has changedThe deal was agreed with the EU in November after 18 months of talks described as Britain’s toughest since World War II.But hardline Brexit supporters fear it keeps Britain too closely tied to the EU and represents a “betrayal”, while pro-Europeans argue it leaves the country half-in, half-out.Rather than heal the divisions exposed by the 2016 Brexit referendum, it has reignited them, with pro-European MPs facing death threats and harassment outside parliament.Brexit supporters around the country have voiced growing frustration with what they see as parliamentary blockage of their democratic vote, while europhiles see hope in the increased talk of a second referendum to end the impasse.May postponed a House of Commons vote on the deal in December, facing certain defeat, and has since offered MPs clarifications she hopes will convince them.Criticism is focused on an arrangement to keep open the border with Ireland by aligning Britain with some EU trade rules, if and until London and Brussels sign a new economic partnership.May has offered parliament greater oversight of this so-called backstop, and at her request, EU leaders have also given written assurances that the arrangement would not become permanent.A handful of Conservative MPs have changed their minds to back the deal, but a junior minister resigned on Monday so he could vote against it — and the core of May’s critics say she has not done enough.”Nothing has fundamentally changed,” said Nigel Dodds of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the Northern Irish party on whom May relies for her Commons majority.Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said May had “completely and utterly failed” to ease MPs’ concerns and said if she loses the vote on Tuesday night, she must call an election.His party has also threatened a confidence vote in her government.Risk of no dealVoting begins at 7:00 pm (1900 GMT), with MPs likely to decide on a number of amendments first, which could seek to change or kill the Brexit deal.In the event of a defeat, the government must set out what happens next by Monday at the latest.Speculation is growing on both sides of the Channel that May could ask to delay Brexit, but she said Monday: “I don’t believe that the date of March 29 should be delayed.”The withdrawal agreement includes plans for a post-Brexit transition period to provide continuity until a new relationship is drawn up, in return for continued budget contributions from London.Without it, and if there is no delay, Britain will sever 46 years of ties with its nearest neighbours this spring with no new arrangements to ease the blow.MPs fearful of a “no deal” scenario have vowed to use parliamentary procedures to force the government to seek an alternative plan that the Commons can support.Some commentators suggest May could return to Brussels, seeking further assurances on the deal and the future EU-UK relationship and ask parliament to vote again.”At the second time of asking, MPs might just vote for her deal over the catastrophe that would be no deal,” said John Springford, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform.last_img

first_imgSupporters of Ekrem Imamoglu, candidate of the secular opposition Republican People`s Party (CHP) react during his last election rally in Istanbul on 22 June 2019. Photo: AFPIstanbul went back to the polls on Sunday in a re-run of the mayoral election that has become a test of Turkish democracy as well as president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s continued popularity at a time of economic trouble.Election authorities annulled the first vote in March after Erdogan’s party alleged corruption in a count that showed the ruling AKP’s candidate had narrowly lost.Polling stations opened at 0500 GMT and the 10.5 million registered voters have until they close at 1400 GMT to elect the new mayor.Critics say Erdogan simply did not like the March 31 result, after a little-known former district mayor, 49-year-old Ekrem Imamoglu, snatched victory for the opposition by just 13,000 votes.The city of 15 million is Turkey’s economic powerhouse and has been a crucial source of patronage for Islamic conservatives since Erdogan himself won the mayorship a quarter-century ago.But Imamoglu, of the secular Republican People’s Party, has become a household name since being stripped of his victory.He has vowed a “battle for democracy” and used an upbeat message under the slogan “Everything will be fine”, in stark contrast to the usual aggressive name-calling of Turkish politics.He will again face Binali Yildirim, a mild-mannered Erdogan loyalist who oversaw several huge transport projects and served as prime minister.Fearing fraud, the opposition has mobilised an army of lawyers from across Turkey to monitor Sunday’s election, with the Istanbul Bar Association unfurling a huge banner at their headquarters that reads: “Stand guard for democracy”.Lose-lose situationThe March election showed Erdogan’s party remains the most popular in Turkey, adored by millions for overseeing dramatic growth, fiercely defending the country’s interests abroad and allowing religious conservatives a seat at the table.Secular opposition Republican People`s Party `CHP` candidate for Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu addresses supporters during a re-run election rally in Istanbul on 22 June 2019. Photo: AFPBut double-digit inflation and rising unemployment have dented Erdogan’s reputation for economic stewardship.Analysts warn he faces a “lose-lose” situation on Sunday: an embarrassing second defeat, or a victory that the opposition will claim was stolen out of their hands.The re-run has also infuriated voters by forcing them back to the polls for the eighth time in just five years.The controversy may explain Erdogan’s relative silence, with no repeat of the tireless rallying last time, when he made 102 appearances in just 50 days.Last weekend, he dismissed the Istanbul vote as “only a change in the shop window” since the AKP already runs almost two-thirds of the city’s districts.The Kurdish factorThe AKP has still gone to great lengths, calling on conservative voters who abstained in March.It has also tried to win over Kurds, who number in the millions in Istanbul and have been angered by the suppression of Kurdish rights in recent years.Yildirim travelled to one of the main Kurdish cities of Diyarbakir this month and uttered the word “Kurdistan” — a taboo in Turkey.There have even been signs of dialogue with the jailed leader of the Kurdish insurgency, Abdullah Ocalan, who has spent 20 years in near-total isolation on a prison island.Ocalan was able to issue a statement this week, calling on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party to remain neutral in the Istanbul election, though they continue to back the opposition.Ekrem Imamoglu, mayoral candidate of the main opposition Republican People`s Party (CHP), addresses his supporters during an election rally in Istanbul, Turkey, on 22 June 2019. Photo: ReutersAnalysts say Erdogan, who has won every election since 2002, should never be counted out.But a second loss in Istanbul would undermine his image of invincibility and possibly embolden rivals such as ex-prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is said to have toyed with founding a new party.last_img

first_imgBob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneOn the last day of the 85th Legislative session, protesters opposed to Senate Bill 4 — the “sanctuary cities” bill fill up the rotunda of the state Capitol in Austin on May 29, 2017.Opponents of the state’s immigration enforcement legislation have asked a federal appeals court to reconsider a decision that allowed most of the controversial measure to go into effect.Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union, Travis County and the city of Austin on Tuesday asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case en banc, which means the entire court would consider the lawsuit. The move comes two weeks after a three-judge panel of the same court allowed most of the law, Senate Bill 4, to go into effect after major portions were initially blocked by a federal district judge in August. The ACLU represents the small border city of El Cenizo, which was the first to file suit last year to stop SB 4’s implementation days after Gov. Greg Abbottsigned it into law.SB 4 allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest and punishes local government department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration “detainers” — requests by agents to turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation — in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000. The legislation also applies to public universities and colleges.In August, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia temporarily halted several parts of the bill, including a section that requires jail officials to honor the detainers. He also blocked sections that prohibit local entities from pursuing “a pattern or practice that ‘materially limits’ the enforcement of immigration laws” and another that prohibits “assisting or cooperating” with federal immigration officers as reasonable or necessary.But the appellate court panel’s ruling two weeks ago effectively unshackled the legislation, allowing most of it to be implemented while the original case goes back to Garcia’s courtroom. The only provision that is still blocked is one that punishes local officials for “adopting, enforcing or endorsing” policies that prohibit or limit enforcement of immigration laws. The judges kept that injunction in place but said it only applies to the word “endorse.”The list of local entities that have previously filed suit against SB 4 also includes El Paso, Maverick and Bexar counties, the cities of El Paso, San Antonio and Houston, among others. Nina Perales, the vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, said if the 5th Circuit agrees to hear the case, all parties to the suit will become involved. MALDEF represents the cities of San Antonio and El Paso, as well as Bexar County, in the litigation.“We are all supporting each other’s efforts and working together in close collaboration and putting our resources in a two-pronged strategy,” she said.The other angle is preparing for the trial at the district level, where Garcia will hear arguments over the bill’s constitutionality. Perales said it’s unclear when — or if — the 5th Circuit will come down with a decision on Tuesday’s petition. Another option is to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the injunction, but Perales said plaintiffs have to wait on the appellate court to act before considering that move.“It’s like a decision tree, and we won’t know what options are available to us until the 5th Circuit responds,” she said.After the court’s decision earlier this month that allowed most of the bill to stand, several opponents of the measure said they weren’t surprised because the 5th Circuit is considered a conservative body. But Perales warned against painting any group of judges with “too broad a brush.”She pointed to a 2013 decision by the same court in favor of MALDEF during its case against the Texas city of Farmers Branch, which passed an ordinance that would have punished landlords from renting to people based on their immigration status. “These are the life lessons that teach you not to predict what the 5th Circuit might do or how they might decide a case,” she said. Sharelast_img read more


first_imgKolkata: Two renowned confectioneries in Kolkata have been asked to maintain hygiene during their cake mixing process.On Tuesday, Deputy Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) visited the two confectioneries and found their factories and shops to be unhygienic. The process of serving food is also not safe. According to Ghosh, KMC inspected several bakeries and confectioneries as Christmas and New Year are knocking on the door. Citizens usually buy cakes from these renowned confectioneries to celebrate the festive season. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe also informed that a total 23 bakeries and confectioneries has been marked for having an unhygienic environment. They will served improvement notice on Wednesday. If they do not comply as per the notice and follow the rules mentioned in the Food Safety and Standards Act properly, steps would be taken. “We found two renowned confectioneries where workers work with bare hands. We told them to use gloves. But one of the owners said it is not possible to properly mix cake using gloves. If gloves cannot be used then they should sanitise there workers in a proper way,” said Ghosh. Deputy Mayor instructed the bakeries and confectioneries to use gloves while serving as well. The utensils for keeping food should be sanitised accordingly.last_img read more


first_img Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Listen Now July 21, 2017 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Customer support services have changed. Before, you’d have a team of people in an office with headsets and computers, answering call after call, and email after email. While this is still the case in many organizations, the way we communicate with our customers has changed and as a result, so has the technology we use.Today, consumers have switched towards messaging applications as their preferred method of personal and professional communications. They interact with brands the same way they would with their family and friends. With that in mind, companies are following their audiences where they’re most likely to be.Unfortunately, finding the resources to interact with millions of potential consumers on a daily basis is near impossible, so we’ve started using robots. These robots are powered by artificial intelligence (AI), allowing them to interact with our consumers in the same way a human would. They’re called chatbots. At ChattyPeople we are working to solve this challenge.Related: Enterprise Chatbot Solutions With AI and Voice-Activation Are the FutureThe Benefits of Integrating an AI-Powered Chatbot Into Your Customer Care ServicesAs AI technology continues to grow, it’s essential that your company includes it in its business processes, and what better place to start than in your customer care department? After all, this is where your company has some of the most important and enlightening conversations with your customers.What makes having an AI-powered chatbot so great that companies of all sizes, from various industries, are using them to have some of their most important interactions with their audiences?Related: Enterprise Chatbots Platforms and the Future of WorkInstant ServiceWhile technological advancements and the proliferation of the internet has given us numerous advantageous business solutions, it has also equipped consumers with the notion that they can receive the information they want, instantaneously. They’ve become increasingly impatient, leaving customer support teams under a mound of pressure.Huge enterprises can’t offer instantaneous support to their customer unless they hire millions of agents. AI-powered enterprise chatbot solutions allow you to create a chatbot that can take on all your more basic customer problems while cutting out the long waiting times.Self-ServiceIt’s not just about offering instant responses to your customers’ queries. Enterprise chatbot solutions empower them to get answers without being put on hold or having to wait for an email response by creating a self-service system in their favorite messaging applications. Aside from empowering them, you’ll only be making a one-time monetary investment, allowing you to cut costs and increase productivity.Related: Enterprise Chatbots and the Conversational Commerce Revolutionizing BusinessBroader ReachOne of the biggest advantages of using enterprise chatbot solutions with AI in your customer support strategy is that you’ll be available to your audience 24/7, on a global scale. Even if every one of your offices is closed, your customers will still be able to contact you with an emergency whether they’re at home on a computer or using their mobile devices on the go.Increased SalesWhile your AI enterprise customer care chatbot will be predominantly used to interact with consumers and resolve any problems they may be facing, it can also become an integral part of your marketing and sales teams. With the right training, it will be able to send personalized offers to your customers on demand, as well as take orders, and process payments, among other activities.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessData AnalysisAs I mentioned above, your customer support team has some of the most important and enlightening conversations with your customers, but gathering and analyzing that amount of varied data is virtually impossible. Fortunately for us, AI-powered chatbots gather that data for us.While many current enterprise chatbot solutions offer limited analytics, they do offer you the reports you need to analyze your conversations yourself. Metrics you can track include:Total number of users reachedAverage session durationSessions per userInteractions per userClick-through ratesActive and engaged usersConfusion triggersResponse timeConversation stepsRetention ratesCreating Your Own AI Customer Care ChatbotThe real question is: how easy is it for large enterprises to include AI-powered chatbots into their processes? Lucky for us, gone are the days where coding and web development skills were required. Now, you can use an enterprise chatbot solution to simply creating an account and linking it to your social media profiles.By using complex machine learning technologies, chatbot solutions can help you deploy an AI-powered chatbot into your customer care services in a matter of minutes. Your chatbot should be able to:Integrate with all the major payment systemsBecome an integral part of your marketing and sales teamUse AI and natural language processing (NLP) to answer all your customer questionsRelated: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without CodingFinally…Enterprise chatbot solutions with AI are essentially super-intelligent customer service assistants. Despite these chatbots needing a human eye monitoring them ensure everything runs smoothly, they do offer large enterprises the chance to tend to a broader customer base while cutting costs and increasing productivity. Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. 5 min readlast_img read more