SA gives to region’s hungry

first_img5 October 2005The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have praised South Africa for a R140-million (US$21.5-million) contribution to the agencies’ operations in southern Africa.The WFP will R35-million ($5.4-million) for food aid while the FAO will receive R98-million ($15-million) for agricultural and livestock inputs. An additional R7-million ($1.1-million) will be donated for the SADC Regional Early Warning System.“Yet again the government of South Africa is playing a leading role in trying to help its neighbours during their time of critical food need”, WFP regional director for southern Africa Mike Sackett said in a statement on Tuesday.According to the WFP, the donation comes at a critical time in the gearing up phase of programmes ahead of the region’s lean season, which starts as early as November in some countries.“Already many poor people have very little to eat and their needs are only going to escalate the closer we get to the lean season, but because it’s a cash donation, we’ll be able to buy food locally and quickly transport it to the people in need,” Sackett said.The donation is the third major contribution from South Africa to the UN agencies since 2003, when SA donated R170-million, followed by a R100-million donation in 2004.The situation in southern Africa is considered so serious that in early August, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan wrote to 27 heads of state, the European Commission and the African Development Bank to raise the alarm for urgent funding to “avert a catastrophe”.“Large numbers of people in the central-eastern part of southern Africa – including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and southern Mozambique – are at risk of food insecurity due to reduced harvests, lack of purchasing power and the devastating effects of HIV/Aids,” said Anne Bauer, director of the FAO’s emergency operations and rehabilitation division.The WFP launched a regional appeal in January this year for US$621-million to assist the region’s most vulnerable in Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe over the next three years.The organisation says it faces an immediate funding shortfall of US$152-million to feed up to 9.2-million people through to the end of the next lean season in March/April 2006.The FAO, for its part, has asked for $16-million to finance its emergency activities in southern Africa. To date, the agency has only received $3-million.“Maize prices are already rising dramatically in most countries in the region, months ahead of the lean season, which means that many people we assumed would be able to fend for themselves will need food aid earlier,” Sackett said.“The South African donation comes at the right time to help many people who would otherwise face an extremely difficult and long period without enough food to eat.” reporterlast_img read more

Amazon Speeds Checkout with New PayPhrase Technology

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Amazon#news#NYT#web center_img Online retailer has just announced a new checkout system called “PayPhrase” which speeds up the process of making online purchases by allowing shoppers to enter a unique phrase and 4-digit PIN number to complete their transaction. Both the phrase and PIN are created in advance and are linked to a shipping address and preferred method of payment. After the initial set up, PayPhrase users are no longer required to sign in or fill out credit card information when shopping online. Why PayPhrase Beats 1-ClickAmazon already has a similar speedy checkout system known as “1-Click.” When activated, customers can associate payment methods with a frequently used shipping address, such as a home address, to quickly complete purchases without having to fill out their name, address, and credit card details. Although not designed to replace 1-Click, the new PayPhrase system is even easier to use and more flexible. Using this system, shoppers don’t have to be signed in to the site with an Amazon account as is necessary with 1-Click. That saves an extra step and could lead to more impulse buys as there’s no “cooling down” time, however brief, between seeing something you want to purchase and then finalizing the transaction. The PayPhrase system also allows for the creation of multiple PayPhrases and PINs so you can associate different addresses and methods of payment with each other. For example, you could additionally have a corporate credit card tied to your office address or a pre-paid credit card your children use tied to your home address. 1-Click checkout, on the other hand, only allows for the combination of one address and one method of payment. The PayPhrase technology will go live across all of as well as on several third-party sites that use “Checkout by Amazon,” a service that lets other retailers checkout customers by using their personal and payment information saved on Amazon’s servers. At this time, DKNY, Jockey, Patagonia,, J&R, and Car-Toys have announced they will add the PayPhrase system on their sites, too. Is PayPhrase the Future of Mobile Transactions?Clearly, the new PayPhrase technology has been designed to make online checkout easier, but could there be more to it than that? Earlier this month, the company launched a mobile payments service which allows mobile application developers to integrate Amazon’s checkout system into their mobile software and mobile websites. The mobile payments system also allows for the integration of the 1-Click checkout process, so there’s no reason to doubt that the PayPhrase technology will now also be added to the payments platform as well. With PayPhrase, the process of making an online purchase takes far less steps than any other checkout system today. Even PayPal forces you to sign in, choose payment methods, and complete your transaction before being redirected back to the retailer’s website. While a few extra steps aren’t a big deal on the web, when you’re on a mobile phone, every delay makes it that much harder thanks to slower internet connection speeds, tiny keyboards, and, more often than not, a lack of time to get involved in any long process. If you can’t checkout in a minute or so, it’s generally not even worth bothering until you’re back at home on your broadband-connected PC. But with PayPhrase, you can checkout incredibly fast – only two steps are required: one to enter your special phrase and another to enter your PIN. Although Amazon hasn’t made any formal announcements about integrating PayPhrase into their mobile platform just yet, they must have had it in mind when they designed this technology. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… sarah perezlast_img read more

Pilots shut off wrong engine after bird hit: DGCA report

first_imgThe final investigation report of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on a bird hit suffered by a Delhi-Mumbai GoAir flight on June 21, 2017, has revealed that the pilots turned off the wrong engine and flew the plane on the engine that had ingested the bird. The report, made public on Tuesday, stated that after about three minutes the crew realised the mistake and tried to restart the other engine mid-air. They then declared an emergency and returned to Delhi, managing to land on a single engine on the second attempt. There were 156 passengers on board at the time of the incident. “The incident was caused by incorrect identification of engine affected with high vibration followed by non-adherence to recommended procedures, lack of situational awareness, poor Cockpit Resource Management and poor handling of aircraft during emergency subsequent to bird strike,” the report prepared by the office of Director of Air Safety (Western Region) said. Mid-air scareAccording to the findings, during take-off roll at around 115 knots, the aircraft — an A320 — encountered a bird strike on engine number 2. “Both crew noticed abnormal sound and vibrations but the pilot in command decided to continue the take-off probably wanting to investigate the problem after getting airborne. After the take-off, the situation was incorrectly assessed and engine number 1 (unaffected engine) was shut down. The aircraft was climbing with the single engine — engine 2 (affected engine), for over three minutes,” the report said. It pinned the blame of the “incorrect assessment” on the First Officer. As the aircraft stopped climbing at around 3,330 feet altitude, the crew realised their mistake and attempted to start engine number 1 but encountered start valve fault. The investigation also revealed that another pilot flying as Staff On Duty entered the cockpit after pressing the cockpit buzzer several times. The pilot in command submitted that he allowed the SOD inside the cockpit because the buzzer was distracting. “The SOD was heard asking information on the problem to cockpit crew while they were performing their duties in-flight and after landing as well,” the report said. As per the pilot in command, there was no information by Air Traffic Control about bird activity but the Air Traffic Information Services reported bird activity in its broadcast. The report also mentioned that after the incident, while taxiing to the allocated stand for parking, the crew took a wrong turn and parked the aircraft in an incorrect orientation.last_img read more