The Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy accredited near Monrovia, Sheila Paskman, has said that her government is not deterred by the huge influx of Chinese interests in Africa, especially Liberia where two high powered Chinese delegations – business and political, respectively – have arrived in the space of one week.A high-powered Chinese Business delegation to Liberia last week expressed investment interests in key sectors of the nation’s economy. This delegation, however, served as the pathfinders for the subsequent arrival of a delegation headed by that country’s Foreign Minister WANG Yi.Both delegations pledged to invest in Liberia with members of the business delegation expressing investment interests in some of the country’s major resources or investment potentials including the Wologisi Mountain range in Lofa County, and the rehabilitation of the Roberts International Airport (RIA). Minister Wang also promised his government assistance in the country’s post-Ebola recovery process.Madam Paskman, a career US diplomat with extensive China experience prior to her assignment in Liberia, said the U.S. is not and will not be deterred by the presence of Chinese in any part of the world, whether in Liberia or not.“We need a lot of international intervention to help the country’s recovery from the effects of the Ebola crisis and the coming of China for such a purpose is of no threat to the United States,” she said.She made the clarification when she spoke at the Cocktail dinner in honor of Minister Wang at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia over the weekend.“I’m not worried. We need collaboration to help Liberia in her recovery,” she said with laughter.For his part, Minister Wang said that China will stand by Liberia without any precondition.“I am also here to send a clear and strong signal to Liberians and the international community that the Chinese people will be standing together with Liberia, not always during difficult times, like the days of Ebola outbreak, but also with its economic recovery agenda,” he said.He said Ebola crisis had devastating effects on the affected countries as a result of lack of development and poverty.He stressed that China will not attach any political condition or impose any request on any African nation that they intend to help.Minister Wang noted that future cooperation will focus on infrastructure development, adding that they will encourage China’s companies to take more active part in Liberia’s resources development.He said China was open to Liberia in all areas, adding that both China and the United States have agreed to renovate the RIA.Mr. Wang said such cooperation can be explored in many other areas in Liberia.The Chinese Foreign Minister highlighted the need for industrialization, which he said is critical as far as Liberia’s natural resources are concerned.He said the country’s priority areas are not just critical, but strategic to the progress and development of Liberia. “China,” he said, “was prepared to assist in the training of human resources as well as provide technical assistance aimed at improving infrastructure.”At a meeting with Minister Wang, President Sirleaf recommitted her government to the “One China Policy.” Also, at the level of the United Nations, specifically in the context of Security Council reform, President Sirleaf reminded Minister Wang of Africa’s common position, known as Ezulwini Consensus, which was endorsed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC); while they committed to work together even at the level of the UN Ambassadors in New York.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Residents are worried about their respective properties and the condition of the three-leg bridge under which the sand mining is ongoing The only two-lane bridge over the Junk River that connects the Roberts International Airport (RIA) with Monrovia is now in danger as a result of alleged sand mining in the river, residents have informed the Daily Observer.The leadership of the community, represented by Atty. George Kailondo told a team of investigative reporters over the weekend that sand mining is threatening the life-span of the bridge, his multi-million dollars residential area, the Baracuda entertainment center and other facilities in the area.Atty. Kailondo has meanwhile expressed frustration over the situation, adding, “This has to stop or else the ELWA/RIA highway will eventually encounter a sudden closure when the bridge over this Junk River collapses.”While pointing in the direction of the many cracks on the wall of his house and the foundation of the fence around the house, Atty. Kailondo said the sand mining has continued to the extent that even the habitat of crocodiles may have been destroyed, exposing them and the fish to extreme danger.“The sand is so much under the river so the Chinese-owned company involved in the exercise uses many other sand compressors to navigate the river as a means to suck mostly the rich portion of it,” said an ‘environmentalist’ who did not want to be identified, but was hired by Kailondo and the other residents who claimed that their properties are being affected by the exercise.Mr. Prince Johnson (the son of the late D. Roosevelt Johnson) the general manager of the Goodrich Incorporated, a company that is at the center of the alleged sand mining, denied reports of the danger affecting the river and the neighborhood.He said “We gave the Chinese company the legal right to mine sand in the Junk River and their mining sand is not putting any property as well as the bridge as risk.”He told the Daily Observer via mobile phone that his company obtained a permit from three concerned government agencies including the Liberia Environmental Agency (EPA).“I can’t respond to whatever claims an individual may have against my company for mining, because I was duly licensed. So whatever issue Mr. Kailondo and his people have, let them take it to the government and those agencies including the EPA, but not to me,” Mr. Johnson said and hung up.Kailondo claimed he has earlier complained to the authorities of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME).His claim could not be confirmed by the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy Public Relations Director, Joseph Matadly. Mr. Matadly said since reporters called him to confirm the report he would take up the issue this week.However, he said companies doing river sand mining are duly registered with the government, except for those doing beach mining.“As of the bridge or properties being affected, I cannot speak to that, but will take up the issue Monday, to the director of mines at the ministry,” Mr. Matadly assured the Daily Observer yesterday.Aloysius K. Kotee, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Manager for Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Unit, could not be reached as his phone was switched off throughout the weekend, but an official in his office promised to provide appropriate response on the issue.“I will inform Mr. Kotee to launch immediate investigation into the concerns of the residents,” the EPA source said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Posted: August 3, 2018 Man found guilty of felony assault for punching police officer in Chicano Park Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, August 3, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A man who punched a San Diego police officer in the face after the officer and his partner ordered him to stop walking in the middle of the street near a rally at Chicano Park was convicted Friday of assault and other charges.Jurors found 39-year-old Frederick Jefferson of San Diego guilty of felony assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, resisting an executive officer and a misdemeanor count of resisting an officer after one day of deliberations. The defendant faces about nine years in state prison when he is sentenced Aug. 31, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Reilly.Reilly told the jury that Jefferson “wanted to play by his own rules” when Officers Matthew Ruggiero and Justin Tennebaum tried to get him to walk on the sidewalk on Logan Avenue the morning of Feb. 3, close to where two rival groups were rallying in the park.The prosecutor said the officers had every right to stop and enforce traffic laws against jaywalking and to use force when Jefferson reacted violently to their requests to move onto the sidewalk.“Get out of the street,” one of the officers said to Jefferson. “C’mon dude, stop! You’re gonna get a ticket, or go to jail!”The prosecutor said Jefferson reacted suddenly and violently when the officers got out of their patrol car and tried to grab the defendant’s arms and move him out of the street.“Don’t you put your hands on me,” Jefferson is heard saying on one of the officer’s body-worn cameras.Reilly said Ruggiero pulled out his police baton but didn’t use it on Jefferson until the defendant started swinging at him.Ruggiero was hit in the face two or three times and suffered a fractured nose and cheek bone.Jefferson struggled with at least five other officers before being taken to the ground and handcuffed.The defendant testified that he was minding his own business, walking toward what he thought was a parade, when the officers grabbed his arms. Jefferson told the jury he acted in self-defense.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Air Force has signed an enhanced use lease (EUL) with Gulf Power Co. to develop a 30-megawatt photovoltaic solar energy plant on a 240-acre parcel at Eglin AFB, Fla.The deal, part of the Air Force Community Partnership and Energy Program initiative, allows the utility and its developer to construct, own, operate and maintain the solar array. In return for use of the land, Gulf Power will make infrastructure upgrades promoting renewable energy or energy conservation at the installation over the lifespan of the 37-year lease. The financial consideration is valued at $1 million, according to a press release.“These important partnerships support our base and civic communities and efficiently use Air Force property to enable unfunded installation requirements that support our mission and sustainability,” said Jennifer Miller, deputy assistant secretary for installations.The power generated by the solar array will be delivered to a nearby Gulf Power substation and transmitted to the utility’s retail customers. The project will generate more than 60,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, according to the Air Force.The service is always searching for innovative ways to partner with the community, especially in the energy domain, said Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary for installations, environment and energy.“This important partnership with Gulf Power helps us strengthen relationships with our local communities, and this particular EUL enhances our buying power for infrastructure while helping Gulf Power provide renewable energy for the community,” Ballentine said.“We are going to receive infrastructure upgrades that will be reinvested into our energy programs and improve our energy resiliency, which is, first and foremost, our highest focus area for facility energy,” she said.
2 Share your voice Tags Comments Google Alphabet Inc. Tech Industry The Nest Secure home security system Tyler Lizenby/CNET The US Senate Commerce Committee wants explanations from Google CEO Sundar Pichai about a recent controversy at Nest, the smart-home device company Google owns. Last week, the search giant drew criticism because its Nest Secure hub, a web-connected home security system, includes a microphone, but it was never disclosed in hardware specs, marketing materials or on Nest’s website. The microphone’s existence became apparent after Google announced earlier this month it was bringing its Assistant software to the Nest Secure. The Assistant, which lets people check flight information or turn off the lights in their houses, relies heavily on voice commands — and a microphone — when its on devices without screens. At the time, Google said it was an “error” that the microphone was omitted from the product specs. The company also said the mic has never been activated. But that hasn’t satisfied committee members, who wrote a letter to Pichai demanding more information. “Google’s failure to disclose a microphone within its Nest Secure product raises serious questions about its commitment to consumer transparency and disclosure,” the letter dated Feb. 25 says. “As consumer technology becomes ever more advanced, it is essential that consumers know the capabilities of the devices they are bringing into their homes so they can make informed choices.” The letter demands Pichai follow up with the committee by March 12. The committee also wants an “in-person briefing” on the issue by March 29. The letter was written by Senate Republicans Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Thune of South Dakota and Jerry Moran of Kansas. Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the letter. The controversy comes as Google — and the rest of Silicon Valley — deal with broader scrutiny over privacy and data collection. Google has gotten blowback from lawmakers and the public for its use of data location on its Android phones, as well as the access it gives third-party software makers to read people’s emails on Gmail. The committee wants Pichai to specifically address six questions:Has a microphone always been a component of the Nest Secure home security and alarm system device?When and how did Google become aware that a microphone was not listed on the Nest Secure’s technical specifications available to consumers?What steps has Google taken to inform purchasers of Nest Secure devices that the device contains a previously undisclosed microphone?Please describe Google’s process for developing technical specifications for its products. At what stage of this process did the error take place that resulted in the omission of the microphone’s presence in the Nest Secure device? Has Google taken steps to prevent such an error from reocurring in the technical specifications for other Google products?Is Google aware or has Google ever been aware of any third party using the Nest Secure microphone for any unauthorized purpose?Is Google aware of similar omissions in the technical specifications for any other Google products?The Senate also points out that the undisclosed microphone leaves consumers vulnerable to spying from hackers.”Moreover, even if Google was not using the Nest Secure microphone to record any information or it was turned off by default, there is still risk that hackers or other outside entities could have activated the microphone to illicitly record information,” the letter says. Nest has suffered other privacy controversies recently. Last month, a hacker infiltrated the Nest Cam security camera of a San Francisco Bay Area family by using a password obtained from a third-party breach. The hacker convinced the family that the US was under nuclear attack from North Korea. In December, another hacker took over the camera of a man in Arizona to warn him of security vulnerabilities. In another case that month, a hacker told a couple through the device that he’d kidnap their child.
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals March 2, 2015 This story appears in the March 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 4 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Chicago’s 3D Printer Experience is aptly named: It aims to educate and engage the public by offering a relaxed setting to learn about a beneficial new technology, as well as playful activities like the ability to scan and print one’s own head. Founded as an LLC in late 2012 and converted to a benefit corporation in 2014, the 3D Printer Experience offers design and manufacturing services for both first-time and experienced entrepreneurs. Founder and CEO Julie Friedman Steele walked us through the process. Who is your ideal client?People who are driven by new ideas. We like to see clients who are ready to embrace change. Because not only do we focus on 3-D printing as a democratizing agent of manufacturing, but also on the effects of other futurist and open mindsets. The accelerating rate of technology is affecting our world in ways that most people aren’t even thinking about. Those things are going to radically change our world, and we want to make sure that as many people as possible get to be a part of that and understand what’s happening. My favorite ones are always the social entrepreneurs; not only are we helping them, but we are also making a difference in the lives of others. One company, Portapure, worked with us to create a piece of a water bottle with a filter inside to provide clean drinking water to people in Haiti.Julie Friedman SteelePhoto courtesy of 3dpxWhich of 3D Printer Experience’s services might be of specific interest to entrepreneurs?We offer consulting, which involves project feasibility and recommendations. We offer design and manufacturing. We have industrial-grade 3-D printing and laser sintering capabilities in-house. And we offer continuing education and private events. Our site functions as a full-service event space during hours not open to the public. Entrepreneurs love to have a place available to them that isn’t a typical banquet facility and to be around future technologies.Through our experiences, education, and ideation sessions, we work with many entrepreneurs to understand not only how 3-D printing functions today, but how it will impact our future as well. After working with us, most of our clients come back with even better ideas. Also, we are very encouraging to first-time entrepreneurs by supporting their ideas and by teaching them how to use 3-D printing to develop their concepts. My favorite thing to tell them is how 3-D printing is democratizing manufacturing. This means that they have the same access that large corporations have. Supply and demand: A sample of the variety of materials that can be used in 3-D printing.Photo (C) Kevin AntnenHow do your design services work?We take an individualized approach with our clients and are willing to go back and forth to ensure that the finished object exceeds their expectations. The steps we follow include ideation, 3-D modeling, prototyping, manufacturing and post-processing.Many clients are very sensitive about their intellectual property, and we make sure they get to keep that. We are in the business of helping them succeed, not putting up roadblocks that would prevent them from seeing their vision come to life.Is there anything about 3-D printing that you wish more entrepreneurs understood?I want more entrepreneurs to know that they can raise funds through means like crowdfunding and compete with the big guys. It’s hysterical to me to see publicly traded companies putting their projects on crowdfunding sites masquerading as independent entrepreneurs. However, it’s also very telling that there is slowly becoming very little difference between them and any entrepreneur with a new idea.I also let entrepreneurs know that if they love what they do, they don’t need to have an exit strategy. It’s possible now to launch financially sustainable businesses on their own and make an impact on the world.