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first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that the availability of quality infrastructure, which her government is endeavoring to provide for the Liberian people, is the key to quality livelihood for the people.President Sirleaf stressed that if basic infrastructure, including roads, electricity and water, that have been non-functional for decades as a result of the civil conflict, are rehabilitated, they will improve the quality of life of Liberians.She said these infrastructures will eventually improve other services such as education, quality healthcare, as well as boost agriculture which remains Liberia’s potential for investment and growth. Receiving the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Ms. Lilianne Ploumen and delegation at her Foreign Affairs Ministry office this week, President Sirleaf expressed appreciation for their visit.Ms. Ploumen, at the head of a high-level trade mission, including representatives of at least 30 Dutch companies, was in the country for a one-day Liberia-Netherlands Business and Investment Dialogue.President Sirleaf pointed out that Liberia is open for business, especially businesses that will foster inclusive economic growth. She used the occasion to appeal for investment in the country’s youthful population.She also assured Ms. Ploumen and delegation that their investment, would be “fully protected” under the laws of Liberia.President Sirleaf meanwhile recalled the strong ties subsisting between Liberia and the Netherlands beginning with the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) becoming one of the first international airlines to operate in Liberia after the construction of the Roberts International Airport (RIA).Minister Ploumen, in response, expressed appreciation to President Sirleaf for the opportunity afforded them to undertake, what she termed “This unique visit to Liberia.” She also assured Liberians of their interest to invest in Liberia, especially the country’s young population.She disclosed that the Dutch entrepreneurs see many opportunities in working with Liberia. Ms. Ploumen stated that the entrepreneurs have not come to Liberia for a “quick wins”; rather they were in Liberia for a long term commitment to the people and to invest in its economy.She then pledged to work with the Liberian government in attracting Dutch private investment saying, “We will work with our friends and private companies to invest in Liberia favorably.”She highlighted the upcoming financial conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia next week to boost economic growth and capacity building in the countries worst affected by Ebola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.The delegation was accompanied to the office of the President by Liberia’s Ambassador to the European Union, Isaac W. Nyenabo. The delegation thereafter departed for Sierra Leone.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgUnitedHealth Group today celebrated the grand opening of its new 17,000-square-foot building at Business Park Road in Letterkenny with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.Senior executives of UnitedHealth Group based at the company’s Minnetonka, Minnesota, headquarters, led by Chief Financial Officer and President of UnitedHealth Group Operations David Wichmann attended the official opening.Speaking to invited guests Mr. Wichmann described today’s ceremony as a significant boost to UnitedHealth Group’s growth plans in Letterkenny. “The Letterkenny site garners much attention at our senior meetings in the United States.  The hard work and dedication of the teams here is reflected in the site’s growth since its establishment in 1999.  Back then it just had 30 staff.  Today it boasts 450 staff and growing.“A company such as UnitedHealth Group with 63 offices worldwide, and over 87,000 employees, requires people who lead from the front.  Over the past day and a half, I have personlly witnessed those traits, albeit, a quiet and highly effective leadership team.  I have been extremely impressed by the operations here and the value-add for us as a corporation.Site Director Padraig Monaghan congratulated the staff of UnitedHealth Group and commented on the high-end IT jobs to be filled in the coming months.“We are now the second biggest employer in Letterkenny and offer real opportunities for young graduates. From Letterkenny we service globally  Our strategic location allows us to give 24/7 support to all our clients. This new facility will come on stream in the coming weeks and  we will becontinung to recruti highly-trained and experienced IT and software teams that can grow with our company. “You may have heard me alude to our strong team here in Letterkenny before; but today I reiterate this point, we are a company that runs a world class business,” said Monaghan.Representing the Government, Donegal North East Deputy Joe McHugh described today’s official opening as a very positive news day for County Donegal.“The multi-national sector in Ireland is bucking the trend in terms of jobs growth and this is reflected right here in Letterkenny.  200 jobs represents a significant boost to the local economy, not only for the employees but indirectly it generates millions of euro for the local economy.“I would also like to pay tribute to Padraig Monaghan and his team for their hard work over the years in successfully growing UnitedHealth Group to where it is today. It joins successful companies like Pramerica, Zeus, SITA and Medisize as our success stories in Letterkenny and we salute the commitment of companies such as these to Donegal and the North West.” From Letterkenny UnitedHealth Group supports clients in Europe, the Middle-East, the USA and in Asia, and their strategic location allows them to undertake this support 24/7. The new facility opened today will be home to the company’s new IT teams who will be housed there in the coming weeks and months.During the three-day visit the US Executives also met with Letterkenny Institute of Technology officials and visited Woodlands National School to see a Junior Achievement Project, a programme supported by UnitedHealth Group.UnitedHealth Group’s Letterkenny site currently employs more than 450 people across Claims Operations, Transactions, Quality, Finance, Human resources and IT Functions.  It was established in July 1999 with just 30 employees. AMERICAN COMPANY OPENS NEW OFFICES WITH 200 NEW JOBS ON THE WAY was last modified: May 20th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgGardaí in Donegal have confirmed that missing man Aidan Baldrick (33) has been found safe and well.A widespread search took place this week to locate Mr Baldrick, who had been missing from his home in Derry since Friday 10th May.The search extended to Letterkenny after sightings of Mr Baldrick were recorded in the town on Friday evening. Gardaí reported a positive outcome to the search this Saturday afternoon: “Aidan Baldrick has been found and is safe and well. Thank you to everyone for any assistance given. Great outcome!”Relief as missing Derry man found safe and well was last modified: May 20th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_img6 January 2014The year ahead will be a momentous year for South Africa as the country marks its 20 years of freedom and democracy, President Jacob Zuma said in his New Year message.Zuma said that the year ahead would give South Africans an opportunity to reflect on how the country had achieved its freedom and democracy – and on the progress it had made in the last two decades.“We will also reflect on how we will continue to work together as a nation as we implement our vision 2030 as outlined in the National Development Plan,” Zuma said in a statement last week.InspiredSouth Africa was a much better place than it was in 1994, he said, and life had changed for millions of South Africans. But “our work is not yet completed. We must continue working together in 2014 to build a South Africa of our dreams . we must continue to build a South Africa which inspires people to achieve greater things for themselves and their country”.Zuma said a prosperous South Africa would be achieved when there was work for everyone, when it became a society where everyone could make a meaningful contribution to the development of the country.‘Unity must be the rock’He said that as South Africans came to terms with their loss of former president Nelson Mandela, they needed to emulate his values and continue to build on his legacy.“In his memory, we must continue to reconcile and to unite our rainbow nation to deepen non-racialism. More importantly unity must be the rock upon which our nation is built, to borrow from Mandela’s own words.”Zuma called on South Africans to unite beyond barriers of race, creed, and gender or class so that the country could succeed in confronting the challenges it faces. South Africans needed to work harder to build a caring society which loved, protected and developed its children, he said.“We should also build stronger relations with the world, building on Madiba’s achievements as a citizen of the world and a global icon who opened up our country to many new friend and development partners.”Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

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first_imgAdvocate Barry Roux is representing Oscar Pistorius in his murder trial. (Image: Graphic by Mary Alexander. Background image courtesy of Jonny Ross, Flickr) • South Africa’s justice system • Oscar and the photo of the witness • Pistorius trial: open justice or trial by media? • A media guide to the Oscar Pistorius trial • The media and open justiceLucille DavieParalympian Oscar Pistorius, in court for allegedly murdering his girlfriend of four months, Reeva Steenkamp, on 14 February 2013, is represented by senior council Barry Roux.Roux, an advocate for more than 30 years, is a formidable legal eagle, known for wearing witnesses down. In Pistorius’s bail application in the weeks after the Steenkamp’s death, Roux grilled police detective, Hilton Botha, who cracked under relentless questioning, admitting that his facts were doubtful, and that Pistorius would not be a flight risk. Pistorius’s bail was secured at R1-million and Roux convinced the court to relax some of its strict bail conditions a month later.The first witness to be called in the Pistorius trial, Michelle Burger, took the stand for a day and a half, and withstood repeated grilling by Roux, bravely sticking to her story under pressure. Subsequent witnesses have endured his persistent questioning, with Pistorius’s former girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, breaking down in tears twice during her testimony, with the court having to have a recess to allow her to recover.Roux was admitted to the Bar in 1982. His practice comprises criminal, insurance, delictual, aviation, matrimonial, medical negligence, general contractual and liquidation work.He has had some high profile clients, defending South Africa-based businessman, Dave King, who had had the highest unpaid tax bill ever, at R2.3-billion. The bill was reduced to R700-million. Roux also represented Johannesburg Consolidated Investments chairman, Brett Kebble, now deceased, on charges of tax evasion. The charges were withdrawn in 2007.Mannie Witz, an advocate with the Bridge Group at the Johannesburg Bar, says of Roux: “He is a very experienced criminal lawyer, and quite a likeable fellow.” Witz says he has worked with Roux over the past 35 years. Roux has been a South African Police Services advocate for many years, and still takes on the bigger criminal cases for them. “He is very, very professional, and very competent,” adds Witz.Roux is a hardworking but private person, says Witz, and a gentleman and a family man. “He is always very well prepared, and a very decent guy.”Roux is a member of the Advocates Group 21, a professional body of 101 advocates who practise in the High Courts and other courts of South Africa and neighbouring countries.“Our members are committed to the highest standards of a professional and ethical legal practice, and are equally committed to transformation initiatives internally, and at the Johannesburg Bar, to ensure that the practice remains highly esteemed and legitimate,” indicates the organisation’s website.Members of the group practise in all the fields of law traditionally dealt with by advocates, including constitutional law and human rights, labour law, criminal law, matrimonial matters, banking law, company law, liquidations, aviation law and intellectual property. Services rendered include litigation, mediation and arbitration, attending enquiries and commissions, and appearing in all forums generally permitted by the rules of conduct set by the Bar, including as the presiding officials at hearings.“The Group has actively sought to transform the bar and to help redress the imbalances of the past. It has a dedicated fund aimed at ensuring that new and previously disadvantaged members get access to quality work and clients.”last_img read more

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first_imgMathiba MolefeThe IAAE Tshwane panel consisted of Khanyi Dhlomo of Ndalo Media, Cynthia Mkhombo of Masana Hygiene and Lindiwe Shibambo of Maid 4 U. The host on the day was Lynette Ntuli, chief executive of Innate Investment Solutions and founder of Ignite SA (from left to right). (Images: Mathiba Molefe)The panel of esteemed speakers at the latest leg of the I Am An Entrepreneur (IAAE) series in Tshwane drew a crowd of aspiring and up and coming business people who were interested in hearing the opinions of the panellists and how they had managed to overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur.The event’s focus was put firmly on the role that women have to play in developing South Africa’s economy. It touched on some of the challenges they face as well as opportunities available in the competitive and fast-growing field of entrepreneurship.Most of the audience was made up of women looking to hear inspirational stories shared by guests present at Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History in Tshwane’s inner city.The event, held on Saturday, 10 September, was hosted by Lynette Ntuli, a hugely successful entrepreneur and business women in her own right. She was joined on stage by Khanyi Dhlomo of Ndalo Media, Cynthia Mkhombo of Masana Hygiene and Lindiwe Shibambo of Maid 4 U.Representatives from each of the partners Power FM 98.7, MTN Business, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Brand South Africa and Renault South Africa were also present to share their thoughts on the subject.“I’m so happy to see so many beautiful, but also brilliant and motivated women out here today with us,” said Linda Sangaret, the chief marketing officer of Brand South Africa.“But I wish to challenge you because I realise that, as women, we fight for so much, but also that all of this cannot be achieved if we don’t have our men fighting along our side.”“If you’re here today ladies, it’s because you know you can play a part in changing our country. You know that you can create jobs and alleviate unemployment.”Most of the audience was made up of women looking to hear inspirational stories shared by guests present at Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History in Tshwane’s inner city.PASSION WITH ACTIONBoth the guest speakers and audience shared the sentiment that even though there is a lot being done to advance women’s involvement in the economy, there is still a way to go for women to properly tap their potential and become drivers of change and development.“As to why this event is so important to me is that I know, as a woman in business, is that our experience of business is slightly different to that of men,” said Ntuli, getting discussions under way.“We need to have our own conversations about our own participation in the economy.”True to the aim of the event, the speakers delved further into issues like getting your business off the ground, the importance of being able to trust those you work with, putting your head down and putting in the hard hours, as well as ways to secure funding from bodies like the IDC.“We all think that everybody is born successful, and that’s not the point,” Ntuli explained. “We’re all on a journey, and part of the journey is introspecting.”The road to being a successful entrepreneur isn’t a straightforward one. It is fraught with challenges and obstacles that make it risky. But a genuine love for what you do and persevering during difficult times is what makes an entrepreneur according to the panel.“Business is not all glamorous and nice. There will be failures, there will be hard times,” explained Shibambo. “Every time you face a failure, you face a challenge or you face a hard time. Always remember the last time you faced them and how you overcame them. Draw strength from that.“There is no way that in life or in business that everything is going to be smooth and nice. That is a lie.”The event also afforded members of the audience a chance to interact with the panel that consisted of some of the country’s leading women in business.MAKE IT HAPPENOne of the event’s other aims was to reassure those who had fledgling careers in business or were in the early stages of starting their own businesses to continue striving for greatness and have faith in their ability to make a difference in South Africa.Speakers also encouraged people, women in particular, to start their own businesses and take advantage of investors looking to harness their great potential.“What would you do if you were not afraid,” asked Naomi Mtshali of the IDC. “Why are you not doing it? What is stopping you?”PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part to help improve the lives of those around you through business? Do you know of any business person who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The final week of the spring 2017 edition of Feeding Farmers took the Ohio Ag Net crew to far western Ohio to the Michaud Farm. Dale Minyo sits down with Jesse Michaud about the farm, his son’s roles, and an impressive collection of old signs from yesteryear. All that and more in this interview, courtesy of AgriGold.last_img

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first_imgLooking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Roundup: Back to Basics with Essential Camera MovementsTips for Directing and Acting (At the Same Time)Learning How to Edit While You Shoot9 Things You Should Check Before Recording Audio7 Things All Video Professionals Should Share with Clients Fading to black is the smoothest dissolve transition there is. But it’s good for more than just endings. Let’s take a look at what this classic move can do.Cover image via #000000.If you read any editing textbook, you’ll learn that editing should be invisible. If an editor has done their job correctly, the work will go unnoticed. It’s only when we see jarring cuts that we lose the sense of immersion. The moment the audience becomes aware of the cut is the moment you’ve failed.In the book In The Blink of an Eye, Walter Murch argues that editing should proceed with natural human reaction. For example, if an action takes place offscreen, and the character looks at the noise, we should cut to the action just like we would turn our heads. If a character slides a hidden note to our protagonist, we should cut to a close-up of the note. Yet, fading out to black (or white) is seemingly unnatural. Other than falling asleep (or passing out), when else do we see something fade to black?. By fading a scene to black, we are pulling the audience out of the film, so why does it work so well?In an interview with FilmSound.Org, Kiran Ganti asks veteran editor Walter Murch if, during a transition, editors are trying to make the audience aware that it’s happening?Yes. At the level of a cut from shot to shot, the transition is either below consciousness, as in the classic American School of editing which tries to hide the cut, or it is made conscious, as in the Soviet School. In that sense, Soviet-style cuts are mini-transitions, American-style cuts are not. My tendency, as I think is the case with most editors today, is to fall somewhere in the middle. We realize that there are moments when it is better to emphasize the cut. And then there are moments in the same film where we want to make the cut almost imperceptible like butter as the phrase goes.When To Fade OutImage via Kozlik.In part, the fade to black, or dissolve to black (since it’s technically a dissolve to a black matte) also works so well because it’s an unequivocal theater throwback. In theater, a fade-out/fade-down (which, again, is also called a fade-to-black), occurs when the lights gradually fade until the stage is in complete darkness. In a practical sense, this is when the crew changes the set and the actors change costumes. But in a metaphorical and narrative sense, the fade-to-black concludes the entire scene. And in essence, that’s what this classic move is in filmmaking: the visual conclusion of a chapter.As with most aspects of filmmaking, there’s no set way to do one thing. However, the fade-to-black transition tends to work best in the following circumstances:Fading from the end of a theme to the beginning of another.Fading from one character’s narrative to another.Fading into a later date.If you were to fade out from a family dinner scene, which lacks a definitive thematic ending, to a scene later on in the night (in the same location), the transition wouldn’t feel natural.We can see these principles in action in any blockbuster trailer, such as the following.We see two dozen fade-ins and -outs during the trailer — quite often from clip to clip. However, each fade-out or fade-in adheres to the principles we discusssed above. Scenes that look chronologically close to one another are cut together, yet scenes that take place at different times or in different locations get a fade-out. These are recognized cinematic traits; they tell us that we are transitioning to a later moment in the story — either thematically, temporally, or geographically.Since this article is addressing the basics of the fade-to-black transition, let’s touch on a few ways to include them using popular NLEs. There are many ways to do this, but here are a couple of examples.Premiere ProExpand the thumbnail height, use the Pen Tool (P) to create two opacity keyframes, and lower the further keyframe to 0% opacity.OrOpen the effects panel, and drag the Dip to Black transition to the end of your clip.Note: if you use the transition preset, it will also affect the adjacent clip by fading it from black. To only affect one clip, you must make sure there is at least a 1-frame space.DaVinci ResolveDrag the white handles at the beginning and end of every clip. This will create a fade-in or -out, with a duration determined by how far you’ve brought the handles in.OrUse the Dip to Color video transition. However, this transition requires the user to fully implement the parameters of the transition in the inspector panel. This is great for further customization but not so great for a fast-and-easy fade-to-black.last_img read more

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