Bridging the gap: The chasm that’s killing Guyana

first_imgEveryone agrees that strategic execution is important, but the disconnect between strategy-making and strategy-execution continues to plague this People’s National Congress (PNC)-dominated Government across all sectors.Irrespective that this 2018 Budget is the biggest ever, what is sorely missing from this document are the ideas that can competently secure optimal value for money. Thus, billions are wasted every year on expenses that have negligible impact on the people: such an overseas travel and accommodation by Ministers to useless trips, like a mercury conference, which the President attended in Switzerland. On many occasions, it appears that the intended beneficiary of the 2017 spending programme in the Public Sector was not the ordinary people, but a PNC/Alliance For Change (AFC) elite political cabal, their friends, and their families, as this small group of under-100 PNC/AFC folks enjoy a good life.In the real world, a nation’s leadership typically drives strategy-making; but from his performance over the last 30 months, we must not expect much from President Granger. Like his predecessor, former President Ramotar, they unfortunately are both unfit and under-skilled for the job at hand.There is now enough evidence to prove that he is incapable of setting the required strategic direction for the nation, and that is why we are seeing so many pageants in the presidential function today; it is all a diversionary tactics to hide Granger’s incompetence.If one were to ask Granger the hard question on the goals and developmental metrics of his Government, it is clear as day he would float. If one were to ask him to define his strategy as a President, he may say, “Taking the Guyanese to the good life”. But what is the good life? And how does he plan to take the people there?You see, unless you can define the mission and lay out the “HOW”, you are nothing but a loser as a CEO; and clearly, this is the role Granger seems to have acquired a “legal transport” over – a political loser. An economy must be project managed; and like him or hate him, this is where Bharrat Jagdeo shone.It is clear as day that President Granger is unaware of the details of the workings of the Public Sector Implementation Programme (PSIP), and this is his fundamental failing. Rather, he has outsourced it to two other gentlemen; Harmon (a lawyer) and Jordan (who calls himself an economist). But clearly, in their competition for power, they have collectively bungled the entire project management process. So, in the final analysis, there is little alignment between the strategy and the required project-based work; and thus the strategy is difficult for the ordinary public servant to understand.If the public servants who have to do the day-to-day detailed implementation are struggling to understand the strategy of the Government, then they are not adequately enabled to proceed appropriately at delivering value and results.The bottom line remains that Granger does not offer adequate clarity to connect the dots between the works the implementers are responsible for executing, and how those relate to the desired strategic outcome. Thus, unless Granger learns his job quickly, this economy is doomed.Today, all we are observing is the prioritisation of the pageantry projects, like repainting State House rather than fixing the productive sectors, like the sugar industry. The praxis for the entire decision-making process under Granger is extremely flawed, because he is spending billions of dollars on projects that will not be generating money, but would be sucking even more money from the economy.My grandmother left me with an elementary skill many moons ago – you must always invest in real estate, and never in fancy, expensive cars. At the London Business School, this principle was confirmed by real evidence, with the professor clarifying why this strategy is important to expand wealth.If one observes this 2018 Budget, it has just under a billion dollars in travel, hotels, and food for the big boys. But what is startling is if one observes the Ramotar years vs the Granger years, one would see exposed the backward mentality of Granger (shine clothes and nice dresses while the ordinary people are put on the breadline on the sugar estate). There is no better explanation of this backward pageantry mentality of Granger than by exposing that he would have spent three and a half times as much as Ramotar on State House over a three-year period, as the table below extracted from the 2018 Budget exposes.It is clear that Granger does not get the fact that “pageantries” do not feed and house the nation. Even Burnham knew better on how to serve the people. Wither Guyana under Granger?last_img read more

Wright: Splitting Rangers and Hearts would be best season

first_imgTommy Wright says if St Johnstone are able to finish between Rangers and Hearts in the Scottish Premiership table it will be their best season yet in Scotland’s top flight. The Perth club currently sit in fourth place, six points ahead of Hearts and nine behind Rangers with three games remaining. Wright says coming between two clubs with a much greater budget than St Johnstone would be an incredible achievement.“You could argue because it’s a 12-team league getting fourth isn’t the same kudos as getting fourth in a 20-team league,” he said. “But the league has been stronger this year. We’ve got really close to Rangers, we’re only nine points behind.“And with the amount of money they’ve spent, and Hearts have spent, for us to split them, if we can do that, then it’s probably been our best season ever in the league. “We’ve still got work to do before we can guarantee fourth place so we’ll not relax.”last_img read more

5 Takeaways from Facebook Best Practices for Business

first_imgIf you missed yesterday’s Hootsuite Facebook Best Practices for Business webinar with Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith and Adam Reader, senior strategist from LIDA (M&C Saatchi Group), here’s five tips and best practices they shared. Facebook is no longer a social channel. Think of Facebook as an advertising platform; it requires a budget.We need to shift our mindset for Facebook, organic reach is less than 4%. Reach is the goal, with fewer, better posts. Facebook has the most targeted ads business can buy, and it costs money to use it. Mari Smith suggested businesses start out at $5/day; it costs about $1,500 (one-time cost) to experiment successfully.Give your content the best chance to be read. Post at the right time and make sure content fits your audience interests.Use the six STEPPS principles (Social currency, Triggers, Emotions, Public, Practical Value, and Stories) to make your content sharable. Americans spend more daily time on Facebook than any other social media channel. According to SproutSocial, Facebook users are online 40 minutes a day, compared to Tumblr users who are online 34 minutes daily, Instagram and Pinterest users at 21 minutes daily, and Twitter users at 17 minutes daily.The average Facebook user checks Facebook 14 times a day.Interesting stats on daily #SocialMedia usage from @MariSmith #HootEssentials pic.twitter.com/XF3eFybGBO— Digitally Squared (@Digi_Squared) February 24, 2016 Best time to post to Facebook? When people are on it! And that typically means outside of business hours. Sundays are the best day to post, followed by Saturday, evenings, and 9pm to 11pm (during the timezone of your fans). On mobile, Facebook is a visual language. It’s about photographs, videos, emoticons, and imagery to communicate what words would have conveyed in the past. Did you attend the webinar? Have any other tips to share? Post them in the comments.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…Related5 Takeaways from Attract and Retain Members with a Great Content StrategyHow can content strategy be used by associations to improve their success in attracting and retaining members? At last week’s RealMatch webinar for associations, Hilary Marsh shared her insights as she described what content strategy is, explained how it can solve problems for associations, and shared tips on how associations…In “User experience”4 Questions to Ask When Facebook Displays the Wrong Image for Your PostLast weekend, my friend Virginia shared her latest blog post on Facebook, about excellent Ada Lovelace Day posters for women in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math). Go ahead, download them! She apologized for the image that displayed with the post: I can’t find the place to make Facebook stop inserting…In “Social media”6 Easy Ways to Repurpose Your Content [Infographic]We all know that one of the most time-consuming aspects of blogging is coming up with the idea for the post. The idea of a blank screen staring back at you is enough to turn off anyone who is creating content. But did you consider some of the best ideas…In “Writing”last_img read more

SA’s dollar millionaires on the rise

first_img10 July 2006South Africa’s number of dollar millionaires rose by nearly 16% last year, joining three other countries with the fastest-growing population of the super-rich in the world.According to the 10th annual World Wealth Report released by US-based investment groups Merrill Lynch and Capgemini last month, global millionaire numbers totalled 8.7-million in 2005, an increase of 6.5% on the previous year.“South Africa’s 15.9% growth of dollar millionaires in 2005 was phenomenal … well above the global rate of 6.5,” Capgemini spokesperson Patrick McLaughlin told the Sunday Times. According to the report, the country now has a total of 42 883 millionaires.The report defines millionaires – “high net worth individuals”, or HNWIs – as those holding more than US$1-million in financial assets, excluding their primary residence.“The HNWI population grew most dramatically in South Korea, rising 21.3%; India rising 19.3%; Russia, where it rose 17.4%; and South Africa, where it grew by 15.9%,” the report says.“Overall HNWI wealth during the period grew by 8.5%, to US$33.3-trillion in financial holdings. These financial gains were particularly strong in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, where emerging markets continue to play a moderate game of ‘catch up’ with major markets.”The top-performing countries in terms of increased numbers of millionaires from 2004 to 2005 (Image: Merrill Lynch)The report attributes South Africa’s gain in part to the phenomenal growth on the JSE, Johannesburg’s stock exchange.“Emerging and developing capital markets outpaced most mature stock markets,” the report says. “Markets such as India, South Korea, Poland and South Africa all returned better than 40%.”The JSE All Share Index was the third-best performing in the world, with a 43% return in 2005, slightly under the 43.1% recorded by Poland’s WIG20. The top performer was the South Korean Kospi, with a 54% return, while other emerging market exchanges lagged behind, with India at 42.3%, Mexico at 37.8% and Brazil 27.7%.In terms of general market value, the report says, “South Korea, Denmark, South Africa and Japan were among the best-performing markets in 2005, providing green pastures for HNWIs to cultivate their wealth”.Africa as a whole saw the highest growth in HNWI numbers, at 11.7%, reflecting growing prosperity across the continent. The Middle East had 9.8% new millionaires, Latin America 9.7%, the Asia-Pacific region 7.3%, North America 6.9% and Europe 4.5%. The actual wealth of Africa’s high net worth individuals rose by 14.5%, the second-highest increase, after the Middle East, in the world.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Unanswered Questions About Facebook’s Data-Use Policy – Even After Public Q&A

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… dave copeland A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The harder Facebook tries to explain its data-use policy, the more questions it leaves unanswered. Erin Egan, the social networking behemoth’s chief privacy officer, did it again during a 30-minute video conference on May 14. Here’s what she did and didn’t say – and a summary of outstanding concerns about how Facebook can and can’t take advantage of user data.Egan’s session was window dressing on the announcement made on the company’s blog last week. While the exec answered the general questions read to her by Andrew Noyes, Facebook’s public policy communications manager, most of her answers reiterated points covered in last week’s announcement. Even as more pointed queries piled up in the comments section beneath the streaming video, Noyes shifted the session at the 21-minute mark to answering questions not related to privacy. We kept a running list of all the questions Egan didn’t get to, and we’ve asked Facebook to provide answers. We’ll update if and when the company illuminates the following questions, which were posted on Facebook’s site during the video Q&A session:“Will Facebook ever consider implementing a way that a user can globally determine the level of information they would be willing to share with advertisers instead of the per-app method as it is today?”“Will Facebook be using the data it collects to target ads on 3rd party sites?”“Also, will it be licensing out this data to 3rd party networks and tech providers?”“And also, will Facebook amend its data policies that will prevent an app-owner from using data accrued through Facebook after a user has uninstalled that app?”“The revisions mention that Facebook ‘scans’ photos and tags for facial information. Even if I disable Tag Suggestions, can I request that Facebook delete the facial data you already have on me?”“Someone from my Friends list copied a personal timeline photo of my child. I don’t know her friends. How might I control use of my timeline photos?”“How does [Friday’s initial public stock offering] change…my personal privacy controls as a FB user?”“Placing an ad blocker disrupts how the apps in Facebook work. Why is this a problem now (within the last month or so) and was not a problem before?”We’ve also asked once again for clarification on a question we initially asked over the weekend about a policy that seemingly allows Facebook users to vote down policies they don’t like.Throughout the talk, Egan insisted that last week’s updates, including a sleek new landing page that Facebook calls its policy hub, aimed to clarify the policies. She was careful to stress that there had been no policy changes and that last week’s move was a response to a request from the Irish Data Protection Commission to better explain existing practices and highlight recent changes.“Our goal here is to be really transparent with you about our practices,” Egan said. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts Tags:#Facebook#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

Mountain Lion on Mac Will Change TV and Delight Cord Cutters

first_imgThe next iteration of Mac OS X is coming. It doesn’t have a launch date yet, but it likely will by the time Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference wraps up next month. While most of the updates focus on the slow convergence of iOS with the desktop, one unsung gem is sure to delight those of us who rely on the Internet rather than cable for television: AirPlay for Mac. Just as we already can with our iPads, iPhones and iPods, AirPlay for OS X will allow us to wirelessly mirror the screen of our Macs onto their televisions using Apple TV. The Cord Cutter’s Dilemma: Limited ContentWhat makes this so exciting for the cord-cutting crowd – and probably somewhat cringeworthy for the network executive crowd – is that there’s far more content available on the desktop Web than there is on iOS or any streaming set-top box.Take Hulu.com, for example. The free version of Hulu’s website has long blocked itself from being accessed by Google TV or Boxee. Annoyingly, even the paid Hulu Plus app isn’t available on most of these devices. With AirPlay for Mac, TV fans will be able to stream Hulu’s content from their televisions for free, at least as long as rumors about the site requiring a cable subscription don’t pan out. Hulu is just the beginning. Although a decent number of video sites have converted to HTML5 since the standard began to emerge (and since Steve Jobs famously spoke his mind about Flash), there are still quite a few sites out there that use Flash to play video back, including those belonging to networks and cable channels. In many cases, popular shows that aren’t available from a source such as Hulu are available on the content provider’s website, but rarely in such a way that that content is accessible from an iPad or most streaming boxes. With AirPlay for Mac, that changes.  A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… john paul titlow Tags:#Apple#web Related Posts Even though Boxee and Google TV have Web browsers, they still can’t access everything that’s on the Web. That’s either because of the site owner’s preferences or because of issues with the Flash player (an issue that’s commonly cited by Boxee Box owners). Since these devices exist as easily detectable user agents, they can be blocked by scripts or through other means. But a MacBook is a MacBook, and Hulu will never block that. All AirPlay is is a more convenient way to pair it with one’s TV. To that point, you may argue, why not just hook your computer up to your TV using VGA or HDMI? That’s easy enough if you have a Mac Mini or laptop and the right cables, but AirPlay will make it easier to do and compatible with less portable machines. For instance, if you have an iMac desktop on the other side of your apartment, you can stream content from that without lugging it over or dealing with long cables. In theory, streaming from your Mac via the new Apple TV box should support 1080p video, but it’s possible that things could get a little laggy on older hardware or on a less-than-stellar network. Other Uses, From Gaming to BusinessThe use cases go beyond video content, although that’s certainly a huge one. Gamers who want to play desktop games on a bigger screen will be able to do so much more easily, especially if they use an external controller. And it’s not just recent, high-impact video games that will find their way to bigger screens this way: Thanks to classic game emulators, it’s also an easy way to play old-school Nintendo favorites on the TV.AirPlay also turns out to be a pretty decent way to beam presentations onto a larger screen, provided it’s hooked up to an Apple TV box, which is actually even easier to transport to a business meeting than a laptop is. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

The Future Is Data-Driven Retail

first_imgAt the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) this year, conversational commerce was in, and in a big way. Many different research initiatives were announced by several companies. It’s clear that listening and communication devices and natural language recognition are going to be redefining the shopper experience for years to come. That said, the largest value will still be how a retailer manages and sorts through data.Data-driven decision-making is one of the hottest topics in retail and discovering exactly what the term means and how it will advance our industry is a defining challenge.Understanding how data will evolve and transform day-to-day or long-term strategic direction is a complex matter at best, and a swampy mire at worst. I’m no futurist, but I have my finger on the pulse of some of the most important issues and developments that will alter the future of retail, and I want to share some of them with you so we can discover together what might lie ahead.Post-channel or Omnichannel?Most customers aren’t concerned about which channel they use to engage with a retailer. From their perspective, being funneled through various channels on the way to a purchase often throws irritating obstacles in the way of that purchase. We’re in a new era. Whether you brand it the era of omnichannel, unified commerce, or conversational commerce, one thing’s for certain: data is the driver.If I’m looking for a new shirt, being forced to decide between going into a store and navigating that particular time sink is not the most enjoyable option. Conversely, having to navigate an abstract online storefront where I’m unsure about sizing is also unpalatable.The “post-channel” world works to solve problems inherent to both in-store and online. Retailers leverage information about my past purchases, employee conversations, and other interactions with a given brand or store to get me the shirt I want on a “fourth channel.” Products that are selected for me with my data and then delivered to my door (with my permission, obviously) are the way forward. Amazon dove headfirst into this industry, providing replenishment of favorite products in a seamless and easy fashion.Decisions Driven by DataWhile the little picture I painted above is enticing, the challenges associated with building a big data play are significant. Businesses can have enormous amounts of data surrounding a single transaction, but unless it’s partitioned and organized, they can also have a big mess. Compound that with the numerous streams of data generated by consumer interactions on e-commerce portals, social media, geographic information, smart tech, and the IoT; it’s a major, intricate, and often confusing undertaking.That’s why the RFID-instrumented store is so enticing. Systems that allow for rapid organization, sorting and segmentation are extremely promising, giving retailers the ability to build a Gutenberg-level development — data that’s explorable, searchable, dynamic, and responsive to customer needs and demands. A better understanding of causation, especially in a customer purchasing context, is going to be extremely valuable.Mobility and Consumer-Facing RetailAlongside all this new data and its potential uses, we have a suite of mobile devices and business processes that are enhancing the retail experience, online and off.Mobility has matured, and the industry has a clear understanding that mobile devices can create actionable results. Whether it be gathering customer information in store or using smart devices to track inventory and update signage, the ability to make business omnipresent is unlocking new opportunities and challenges.All this works toward a redefinition of what “product” means. We’re moving away from the traditional model of things, where you buy something and that’s the end of the experience. Curated assortments of goods and services are the future — from SKU delivery and subscription services to personalized consumer education about new products and offerings. There’s a whole world available to retailers, and all they have to do is unlock it.Unlocking the Future of RetailIntel is one driver of the conversation around the future of retail and data. In conjunction with CGF in Berlin, we collaborated with Capgemini to release a white paper entitled, “IoT for Consumer Goods and Retail BusinessesOpens in a new window, which provides a clear guide to building value from data and the IoT.If you’d like to find out more about Intel’s IoT and big data initiatives, head to our solutions pageOpens in a new window. And to learn more about what was discussed at CGF, visit their websiteOpens in a new window.last_img read more

Grad student accused of faking gay marriage data planning ‘comprehensive response’

first_imgA political science graduate student accused of faking data behind a recent Science paper on gay marriage is preparing to offer a defense “at my earliest opportunity,” according to statements posted on his Twitter account. “I’m gathering evidence and relevant information so I can provide a single comprehensive response,” tweeted an account registered to Michael J. LaCour, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles, at about 12:15 p.m. Eastern Time today.Yesterday, the paper’s co-author, political scientist Donald Green of Columbia University, sent a letter to Science asking to retract the December 2014 paper as a result of concerns about the underlying data. LaCour was the only other author of the paper.The study, based on in-person and Internet surveys of some 9500 registered voters in California conducted by a survey company, found that even relatively short conversations with a gay canvasser could make voters more supportive of gay marriage and equality. But questions about the study arose earlier this month when another group of researchers began a follow-on study, but got very different preliminary results. When they approached the survey company for information about the original methods, “the survey firm claimed they had no familiarity with the [original] project and … denied having the capabilities to perform many aspects of the recruitment procedures described in LaCour and Green,” the researchers report in a statement posted online.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The researchers ultimately took their concerns to Green, who questioned LaCour. Green told the researchers that LaCour admitted to misrepresenting some data. Green told Politico’s Nick Gass that he asked LaCour “to write a retraction, and he indicated he would do so, but when it did not appear last night, I sent off my own retraction.”“Given the fact that Dr. Green has requested retraction, Science will move swiftly and take any necessary action at the earliest opportunity,” said Science Editor-in-Chief Marcia McNutt in a statement. “In the meantime, Science is publishing an Editorial Expression of Concern to alert our readers to the fact that serious questions have been raised about the validity of findings in this study.”last_img read more

Committee Postpones Debate over BRAC

first_imgOne of the most prominent supporters of the Pentagon’s request to conduct a new round of base closures withdrew an amendment Wednesday during deliberations over the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would have authorized a BRAC round in 2017, as  the Obama administration has requested.Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, intends to bring up the amendment on the floor when the House debates the authorization bill. The legislation marked up Wednesday explicitly bars DOD from carrying out a new BRAC round.Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the committee’s Readiness Subcommittee, and full Committee Chair Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) oppose the administration’s request for additional base closures, citing the overwhelming challenge of reopening a base once it is shuttered.The annual defense policy bill does call for the department to prepare a 20-year force structure plan for each service and an infrastructure assessment that could be used to determine the level of excess capacity. The language, however, does not directly link the analysis to a justification for a new BRAC round.“Before we go down the BRAC road, I’d like to have a better understanding of where we are with our infrastructure,” Thornberry said during the markup, reported CQ Roll Call.Separately, the committee rebuffed an attempt, 36-26, by Democrats to strip out language blocking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from placing the greater sage grouse on the endangered species list.The provision in the chairman’s mark of the authorization bill comes as the Air Force and Army have said that increasing federal protection for the grassland bird would restrict military access to training grounds and firing ranges, reduce the number of exercises and limit the number of overflights and ground movements.Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) noted that the Army is spending about $1.5 million to manage roughly 250 birds at the 327,000-acre Yakima Training Center in Washington. He also said the primary threat to the five-pound bird is fires on federally owned lands, reported the Hill.The committee’s markup was expected to last into the early morning, with debates over hundreds of amendments. To read each section of the bill, visit the committee website. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

From the land of the Buddha

first_imgTitled Architecture of the Buddhist World: Southeast Asia, the exhibition hosted by India International Centre is a study of architecture shaped by philosophy and practice of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. It presents a comprehensive survey of the diversity and complexity of architectural models and drawings with three dimensional renditions, supported by original photography.The exhibition traces the evolution of architectural form and spaces in response to changing ideas, material realities, and building traditions of Southeast Asia. Taking an interdisciplinary and holistic approach, it brings together art, architecture, archaeology, history, religion and philosophy to understand how Buddhist thought and ritual interacted with local traditions to produce distinctive architectural forms. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Buddhist monuments from six Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand are included such as Pitaka Taik in Mynmar, Sukothai in Thailand, Wat Mai in Laos, Mot Cot in Vietnam, Neak Pean in Cambodia, and Candi Sewu in Indonesia.The exhibition is derived from the recently published book, Architecture of the Buddhist World: The Golden Lands by Vikram Lall, where he searches for answers to questions such as: How did Buddhist thinking and ritual determine distinctive architectural designs? What are their origins and transformations? What were the architectural design strategies adopted to satisfy functional, technical, aesthetic and symbolic requirements? What distinguishes the different building typologies found in Buddhist cultures — a monastery from a stupa or a pagoda? What is the influence of the cultural context and how have different regions developed such distinctive architecture? What are the similarities and differences in the patterns of design of Buddhist monuments in different regions; the interconnection between these architectural forms and the sacred geography and cosmology of the Buddhist world? And to what places do these sacred spaces help us journey?When: June 12 – 19Where: India International Centrelast_img read more