South Africa: unite against Aids

first_img1 December 2008 The South African National Aids Council (Sanac) has called on South Africans to “recapture the spirit that defeated apartheid” by uniting against HIV/Aids and taking action to prevent new infections and deaths from the epidemic. Sanac also called on every South African “to ensure that they know their HIV status” so that, if they were HIV-positive, they could start receiving treatment before they got sick. Hogan said the government would be involving all sectors of society – including business, public servants, the youth, students, trade unions and the religious sector – in campaigning for the prevention of TB and HIV/Aids. Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) works, Sanac said, and together with good nutrition would “greatly prolong and improve the lives of those living with HIV.” Sanac urged South Africans to curb the spread of HIV by having safer sex, “which means reducing the number of sexual partners and consistently using condoms.” Outlining her priorities after taking office in October, Hogan said these were undoubtedly the biggest challenges facing the country’s health care sector. Sanac is a national body established to advise the government on HIV/Aids, to monitor and evaluate the government’s HIV/Aids strategy, and to create and strengthen partnerships for “an expanded national response to HIV/Aids in South Africa.” Sanac also urged HIV-positive adults to take their children for HIV testing, saying that children with HIV had the right to receive anti-retroviral therapy and, like adults, responded well to such treatment. South Africa’s new minister of health, Barbara Hogan, who was appointed by President Kgalema Motlanthe in September, said her department would be focusing on improving the quality of South Africa’s health care services and tackling tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/Aids.center_img “It means a recommitment to the five-and-a-half million people in South Africa who live with HIV that we will make health and support services available so that they do not die of Aids.” Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material It is headed by Deputy President Baleka Mbete. SAinfo reporter The council said South Africans also had a duty to ensure that children from households affected by HIV/Aids were “protected and enabled to complete their schooling.” “We want to avoid quick fixes and promises,” Hogan said, adding that she wanted to steer clear of politics and “give something solid to the nation”. “World Aids Day is not a day for celebration,” Sanac said in a statement on Monday, World Aids Day. “There are still too many deaths; HIV is still beating us.” World Aids Day “recommits us all to take action,” Sanac said, adding: “In South Africa, that means personal recommitment to ourselves, our loved ones, our friends, our comrades.last_img read more

Drive to make 2010 spectacular

first_imgKeynote speaker Sibusiso Ndebele,Minister of Transport,is adamant that the World Cupwill unite the nation.The fourth and final edition of the 2010 National Communication Partnership Conference saw communications experts from the private and public sector pledging to use their Confederations Cup experience to deliver an outstanding 2010 Fifa World Cup.The football spectacular kicks off on 11 June 2010 and ends 30 days later.The one-day conference was an initiative of the International Marketing Council (IMC) and Government Communications and Information System (GCIS).It aimed to provide professional communicators with the tools to launch an intensified and coordinated 2010 strategy, which will reach as many people as possible and set off a wave of excitement and support that will sweep the entire continent.“The World Cup is South Africa’s next defining moment,” said acting IMC CEO Paul Bannister in his welcoming address. “This is going to influence how the rest of the world looks at us from now on. We have to get it right – who knows when the next defining moment will be?”Among the issues discussed were the safety and security of fans, the mobilisation of people across the continent, and the increased use of tools, such as the diski dance and the national anthem, to build excitement and national cohesion.The diski dance is as unique a facet of South African football as is the vuvuzela and the makarapa (a somewhat modified hard hat). The dance borrows much of its style from the Beautiful Game, and with moves like the Header, the Juggle and the Table Mountain, it is as infectious as the spirit of optimism that is fast pervading the nation.Safety firstMinister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele said in his keynote address that his department’s prime responsibility is to get fans to the stadiums safely and on time, and back to their hotels afterwards.With around 500 000 fans expected to pour into the country during June and July 2010, said Ndebele, the safety of both citizens and visitors is non-negotiable.A tighter national strategy and better coordination between national and provincial government, he said, will assure fans of a secure environment. Part of this tighter strategy included the establishment of a single command structure to run the entire plan.Ndebele praised South Africa’s law enforcement agencies, saying that they have proven their capability during previous international sporting events. “They will continue to improve on their capacity to deal with crime incidents and will be ready to neutralise any potential threat.”He added that his department is waiting for Fifa’s final draw, which takes place on 4 December 2009. “Then we will have a better idea of where the big crowds will be and can plan accordingly, especially for the smaller metropolitan areas that may not be fully equipped to deal with huge crowds.”The transport department’s 2010 strategy involves a combination of various modes of transport including buses, trains and taxis.Negotiations with the local minibus taxi sector, which earlier in 2009 protested over the Rea Vaya bus rapid transport system, were continuing, but the minister expected a positive outcome.“Rea Vaya will go ahead,” he affirmed. “There is no turning back.”Feedback from the Confederations Cup, he said, was mostly positive but aspects such as the park and ride system still needed attention. These will not be neglected, he added.Marketing opportunityLocal Organising Committee (LOC) chair Irvin Khoza encouraged the country to make the most of the forthcoming extravaganza, and to understand the enormity of the project.“We won’t get another marketing opportunity like in this in the next 100 years,” he said, referring to the chance to promote South Africa in all its diversity to the international community.With the Confederations Cup now behind them, he said, the focus is firmly on the big event and communication must move into top gear. “We need to feel that the show is in town. This is the real deal.”Khoza likened the upcoming World Cup to a television commercial for South Africa, except that its duration is 30 days instead of 30 seconds.“This commercial will be watched by billions around the globe,” said Khoza, “and it is our chance to present South Africa as a dynamic and exciting place to visit”.Khoza said that the biggest legacy of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, besides national pride, skills development, better infrastructure and more, would be to bury what he termed “Afro-pessimism”, and show that South Africa is on a par with developed nations in this sphere.He also urged South Africans to support all six African teams, and to shift support to a team from Africa should national team Bafana Bafana fail to make it to the later stages.Panel discussionsThe conference featured two panel discussions, chaired by TV veteran Jeremy Maggs and Paul Bannister respectively.The first session, centred on Confederations Cup feedback, featured transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele; Sindiswa Nhlumayo, deputy director-general in the Department of Tourism; Ron DelMont of Fifa’s local office; LOC marketing chief Derek Carstens; Gab Mampone, acting CEO of the embattled South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC); and assistant police commissioner Ben Groenewald.Each assured the audience that their departments and organisations were hard at work to address the flaws revealed during the Confederations Cup.Ndebele promised that the park and ride system would be overhauled, and that there would be smoother coordination between the various transport modes.Nhlumayo said the focus of her department would be on service excellence.“We want those 500 000 visitors to go home and become ambassadors for South Africa,” she said. “In this way we will penetrate markets we have not yet reached.”She mentioned that the tourism department had enlisted the help of the Disney Institute, the professional development and training arm of the Walt Disney Company, to conduct research, identify the weak spots and implement best practices across all service areas.She also announced the October 2009 launch of the National Service Excellence Initiative. This is a private-public partnership with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa to develop greater levels of service excellence, thereby increasing the sector’s US$19.7-billion (R159-billion) contribution to the South African economy, and ensuring its global competitiveness.South African Police Service (SAPS) assistant commissioner Groenewald stated emphatically that fans would be safe. The dry run of the Confederations Cup was a big success overall, he said, although there were a few critical areas that needed attention. Lack of communication and not enough standard operating procedures were identified as shortcomings that would be addressed.Fifa’s DelMont said the organisation was happy with the progress to date. He mentioned that although four stadiums were used for the Confederations Cup, there remained another six untried stadiums around the country. DelMont encouraged the six host cities to follow the example of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, which hosted events in its brand-new stadium before the Confederations Cup, and was therefore able to assess its performance in a live situation.Derek Carstens of the LOC reported that crucial targets for the Confederations Cup had been met. As an example, he said that ticket sales for the South African event had matched that of Germany, and in a world recession to boot.The LOC is also awaiting the final Fifa draw in December, said Carstens. “Then we will start driving hard.”Mampone of the SABC assured all present that the organisation would deliver on its promises. “Our plans are well advanced, and the resources we will need had been set aside a long time ago.”In broadcasting terms, he said, the Confederations Cup saw excellence all around, with over 200 countries receiving consistent high-quality signals.World media perceptionBetween panel sessions, the audience watched presentations by Wadim Schreiner of Media Tenor SA and Jos Kuper of Kuper Research.Schreiner spoke on the world media perception of South Africa and the 2010 Fifa World Cup, obtained through a survey of 42 countries across June and July 2009. Research revealed that, while recent strike action had dented the country’s image slightly, on the whole South Africa had recovered from its lowest point in May 2008 during the xenophobia attacks.He said it was likely that South Africa would receive strong international media attention from now until June 2010.Kuper reported that active engagement through, for example, the diski dance and the national anthem was crucial in order to stir up 2010 fever among South Africans.Igniting the nationThe second panel discussion, hosted by Paul Bannister, carried the theme Igniting the nation to deliver.Panellists included Rich Mkhondo and Derek Carstens of the LOC; Mvuzo Mbebe of the SABC; Wendy Tlou of South African Tourism; Kwakye Donkor of the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa; Themba Maseko of GCIS; Vish Naidoo of the South African Police Services; German branding guru Nikolaus Eberl; and David Smith of the Foreign Correspondents Association.All agreed that a multi-faceted strategy was necessary to galvanise the nation. Early and effective communication was needed, not only to reach the thousands of visitors but also the expected 18 000 media professionals.“We don’t want them to report on just the football while they’re here,” said Mkhondo.Maseko of GCIS agreed that communication was the key to delivering the best World Cup ever.“We need to develop an appropriate and resounding communication strategy,” he commented. “As government, we have set up a number of structures to enhance our marketing and communication plan and to ensure that government speaks in one voice.”To overcome communication and cultural barriers, said Naidoo, the SAPS plans to enlist police officers from other countries and bring them to South Africa to visibly patrol in their uniforms. This will help the SAPS to effectively police foreign nationals.UK journalist Smith commented that while the controversial issue of a “Plan B” host was over, the question of South Africa’s readiness was yet to be firmly established in the UK. “This is because we didn’t have a team in the Confederations Cup and there wasn’t much coverage,” he said.Smith encouraged the local media to accentuate the positives, but to be truthful about any shortcomings.The way forwardThe second part of the conference included four breakout sessions under the themes: domestic mobilisation, tourism, communication, and continental mobilisation. During the sessions participants pooled their ideas for boosting South Africa’s brand.The communication group decided to strengthen existing campaigns, and to integrate them in order to promote a positive attitude. For instance, the Football Friday strategy adopted by hotel group Southern Sun could be developed into a national event to be held later in the year.Getting the country behind the national football team, anthem, and flag were important elements of domestic mobilisation. The group also suggested the composition of a 2010 song.Continental mobilisation would benefit from better communication and wider access to information, it was decided. South African embassies abroad need more information, possibly in the form of an information package which could be easily distributed. It was suggested that other key events across the continent could be linked to the World Cup.The tourism group concluded that the diski dance and Fly the Flag for Football campaigns need to be used more extensively, in order to entrench them in the nation’s consciousness. It was suggested that the dance be taken to schools and performed at every domestic football game from now on.last_img read more

Tax season off to a flying start

first_img1 July 2014The South African Revenue Service (Sars) received more than 50 000 returns in less than 12 hours as the country’s 2014 tax season got under way on Tuesday.Addressing a media briefing in Pretoria, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said 14 000 Sars officials would be deployed at strategic points across the country to make the filing process easier for people. Temporary service points will also be set up to help people submit their returns.“As of today, nine fully equipped mobile tax units are being deployed to remote areas throughout the country,” Nene said. “In 2013, the mobile tax units engaged with more than 752 000 individuals through awareness, tax education campaigns and the filing of returns across the country.”Sars has also opened six new branch offices in the past three years in order to ensure that people are able to submit their tax returns. A refurbished Sars branch office was opened in Mthata in the Eastern Cape just last week, while a second branch office opened its doors in Soweto, at Bara Mall.Warning to would-be fraudstersNene said officials would be on the lookout for fraudulent tax returns.“We would like to warn those who will be submitting fraudulent tax returns that we are on the lookout for them,” he said, adding that Sars had improved its ability to verify taxpayer information through third-party data.“We advise taxpayers that Sars will in particular focus on medical aid claims, retirement fund contributions, income protection policy contributors and tax payers who submit revised returns for previous years.”‘Avoid unregistered tax practitioners’Sars Acting Commissioner Ivan Pillay advised people to check the credibility of tax practitioners, and to ensure that they are registered, before making use of their services.According to Pillay, only around 11 000 of the 38 000 tax practitioners in the country are accredited, giving them the right to complete and submit tax returns on behalf of their clients.Taxpayers who are concerned about getting scammed through e-mails or SMSes can call the fraud and anti-corruption hotline on 0800 00 2870 or the Sars contact centre on 0800 00 7277.The deadline for manual submission of returns is 26 September, for all non-provisional taxpayers is 21 November, and for provisional taxpayers using e-filing is 30 January.Source: read more

Let the Pirating Begin: The Social Network Hits the Torrent Circuit

first_imgFor most popular movies, a pirated copy hits the Internet shortly after the movie hits the big screen, if not sooner. For a movie like “The Social Network” – the semi-fictional story of Facebook’s somewhat murky origins – it seems that the lid has been kept shut tight…until now.BitTorrent-focused blog TorrentFreak tells us that the big-screen hit has finally hit the Internet and it’s set to be one of the most pirated movies of the year.According to TorrentFreak, “The Social Network” was the most searched for movie in October on KickassTorrents, a BitTorrent tracker site. But until just last week, nothing was available. Now, a “DVD Screener” – a review copy of a movie that contains watermarking and scrolling marquee warnings about unauthorized viewing – has hit the Internet and it’s seen more than 100,000 downloads in the last 24 hours. According to the folks at TorrentFreak, though, we haven’t seen anything yet.This is just the beginning though. Usually, the greatest download boost for a pirated movie occurs with the release of a DVDrip copy, and that has yet to come for The Social Network. If this happens in the next month, the film about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and friends might have a shot at ending up in the list of top 10 most pirated films of this year.A dubious honor, but not necessarily a financial disaster.So far, it looks like the pirated copy has been most popular in the U.S., with the U.K., Canada, Australia and India following. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Facebook#news#web mike melanson Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationcenter_img Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

New iPhone, iPad and Android Apps for October 2011

first_imgFind My Friends — (Free With iOS5 and iCloud Support)Stalking your friends has never been easier. Find My Friends works by sending a request to a friend to see their location and their location will pop up on a map. There are sharing options and privacy controls. It is a simple and powerful cloud-based location app from Apple that could be great for people bar hopping in San Francisco or Manhattan and want to find where their friends have bounced to after too many rounds of Jagermeister. Notable Updates For OctoberIt is always important to remember to go into your device and update apps on a regular basis. Updates provide new functionality, performance and security upgrades and make sure that the bugs from the last version have been taken care of.Notable iOS Updates:Pandora, XFinity TV, Dropbox, PlainText, Bing for iPad, Instagram, Google Search, Google+, Washington Post, IMBb Movies & TV, Zaarly, HeyStacks, 7Notes, Evernote, Bank of America, Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery, Angry Birds Rio (Might Eagle), Read It Later Free, Pulse, Showyou, Qwiki, Flipboard, Quora, Foursquare, Order & Chaos Online, Flixster, Twitter.Notable Android Updates:Barcode Scanner, Bolt Browser, Camera Fun Pro, Dolphin Browser (security fix), FxCamera, LinkedIn, Flixster, OpenTable, Opera Mobile Browser, Pulse, Google Maps, Google Translate, Google+, IMBd Movies & TV, Robo Defense, QR Droid, Drunk Man — (Free) Like games so stupid and simple that they turn out to be a lot funner than you ever thought possible? Drunk Man is the game for you. Basically, you have this guy who went on a bender. He leans to the left and you have to adjust by tapping to the right. Vice versa for the other way. This guy is pretty drunk so the game is actually quite a bit harder than you might think. Try it after a couple cocktails and watch your whole world collapse upon itself, in a gutter, with a brown paper bag. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation — (iPad — $6.99)The trend of releasing dynamic console apps to tablets continues with Modern Combat 3. This is a stunning game for the iPad for those that like the whole shoot-em-up military combat games. The graphics are excellent and do not lag on the iPad 2 while the controls are designed for multi-touch and gestures. Really, a breakthrough in games for mobile devices. Mobo Task Killer — (Free)Just about everybody I know has Advanced Task Killer on their Android devices. This is the next evolution. It monitors apps that are running in the background and lets you kill them to save battery life with a button called “optimize.” It can also perform this capability with a shake of the phone. It has all the goodness of Advanced Task Killer, with the ability to go into the app and individually check apps that you want to stop running. There is also an ignore list for apps that you do not want to ever shut down. This app literally just took the place of Advanced Task Killer on my Android. That is saying something for one of my most used apps ever. AndroidAndroid came out with Ice Cream Sandwich this month but the apps for the new tasty version of Google’s mobile OS have not yet hit the shelves. Here are some interesting and functional Android apps to keep an eye out for. Iris — (Free)What is Siri spelled backwards? Iris! It is like Siri’s evil Android twin. The rumor goes that Iris was put together by a group of hackers in a matter of hours in an attempt to give Android Siri-like capabilities. It can do almost everything that Siri can do such as use voice to search the Web, send texts and make phone calls. Iris is not quite as cute and sardonic as Siri but does the trick, giving Android’s voice capabilities a boost. Most new Android devices will have its requirements (Voice Search and TTS library) pre-installed. The difference between Siri and Iris is several million dollars of development time and multiple years of refinement of Siri’s capabilities and feedback outputs. But, Iris has potential. Marvel Comics — (Freemium)Love Android? Love comics? Love Captain America? You are now in luck. The Marvel Comics app for Android brings the Marvel library to mobile (an iOS version was released earlier this year) as a spot for downloading and purchasing comics of the iconic line of super heroes from Marvel. Really, what nerd does not geek out with comics? Pawntique — (Free — iPhone)This is one of those apps that you probably have not heard of. Pawntique is an app that helps you pawn stuff for cash. It helps people secure short term cash loans on items they wish to pawn, just like your local hock shop. Pawntique will appraise items when you send them to the service or have an expert come to you (for larger items). When it is time to ship, Pawntique will send a courier to pick up the item. If you send the item in, Pawntique will appraise it and make an offer, which you can accept or decline. Related Posts Facebook for iPad — (Free)When Facebook finally released an iPad version of its platform, the entire world of tablet carrying social denizens yelled at once, “it is about bloody time.” The Facebook iPad app is a significant upgrade to using the iPhone version at 2X setting. It is simple, functional, handles status updates and pictures well and institutes just about everything that Facebook has tweaked within the platform over the last several months. The future of Facebook mobile resides with HTML5, especially Timeline, but the iPad app at least gets people off the social giant’s back for the time being. Apple had a great month in the new app department, mostly spurred by the release of the iPhone 4S and all the iOS5-based applications that developers have been working on throughout the summer. Android also had an interesting month for new apps but the real intriguing flood will come whenever Ice Cream Sandwich becomes widely adopted and, finally, we can start adding real Android tablets apps to our apps of the month column. Check out the selections for October 2011 below. We again brought back the updates portion of the column, with a list at the bottom of important app updates users should be aware of. Check it out below. The list, as always, is a bit subjective so please let us know in the comments if we missed an app or you have found one that you cannot live without.Cross-Platform AppsNews360 — (Free – iOS, Android)This is not exactly a new service, but the late-October release of its 3.0 version for iOS and Android makes it a good candidate for a cross-platform app of the month. News360 is often compared as a “Pandora for news.” As such, News360 plays in the same realm as, Newsy, Flipboard and most of all, Zite. We have written about News360 multiple times at ReadWriteWeb over the last several months. It crawls the Google+ API for personalized news and has Facebook and Twitter integration to personal news.Red Karaoke — (Free — iOS, Android)Bring your own personal karaoke machine with you wherever you go. Really, that is about as simple as it takes to describe Red Karaoke. It streams music to your phone with the words so you can sing along. It can also record you dubious renditions for posterity so you can show off to all your friends the audio and video of you killing it on Free Bird while on the bus. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement iPhone, iPadApple had a big month, so let’s start with some of the big apps and some smaller ones that you may not have heard of.Siri — (With purchase of iPhone 4S)Siri has become a cultural phenomenon within a month of its release. If you have an iPhone 4S, ask Siri what the meaning of life is. There is a good chance she (it?) will say 42, which is the most appropriate answer I can think of to that question (but, damnit, what is the question?) Siri has spawned some funny sites, such as this one that takes look at people asking Siri some serious or naughty questions. We at ReadWriteWeb think that Siri should actually have the voice of George Takei, but there are an inordinate amount of Star Trek fans on staff. I voted for a Yoda voice. On a more serious note, Siri lets people search the Web, send texts, emails, phone calls and a bunch of other features through voice-activated software. The genius behind Siri is not the technology but rather that Apple gave Siri a personality, one of the company’s more brilliant marketing insights in years. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Espier Launcher — (Free)Are you an Android owner with iPhone envy? Don’t be. Espier is an application launcher that makes you Android look just like an iPhone 4/S. It can create folders just like iOS and has gesture motions to open apps, close apps or bring up folders. Who needs to be different? Everything comes back to Apple eventually. NHL Gamecenter (Free – iOS, Android)Anybody that knows me knows that I am a sucker for a good sports app. I am also a hockey nut, having spent multiple years as a NHL beat reporter and still freelancing in the sports realm on a semi-regular basis. Other sports apps make it into the Apps Of The Month catalogue, why not the NHL? This year’s version of the NHL Gamecenter acts as your daily hockey diary on the go for scores, schedules, news and highlights. If you upgrade to the premium version you get radio broadcasts and video highlights, among other features. Tags:#Apple#Facebook#Google#mobile#web MobiUs — (Free — iOS)MobiUs is a mobile browser that is dedicated to bringing great Web apps using HTML5 to iOS. It also acts as a browser extension with eyes on helping HTML5 kill Flash on mobile devices once and for all. Check out our coverage of MobiUs here and here. Skitch — (Free)I admit, this is a little bit of cheating on my own rules. Normally an App Of The Month needs to be released in the month that is being written about. Skitch, the popular screen-grabbing tool bought by Evernote earlier this year, technically came to Android at the end of September. But, since Skitch is perhaps my favorite desktop application of all time, exceptions can be made. Download screen shots, annotate pictures, add art to pictures you have taken, crop, zoom, markup, add filters, Skitch does it all. The best part? Once you are done with your picture, you can save it to Evernote. (Note, Skitch for Mac used to take the below screen shot of Skitch for Android. So meta.) dan rowinski SoundCloud — (Free — iPad)SoundCloud is not a new service, but its iPad app was just released at the end of October. Our John Paul Titlow shows us how SoundCloud can make the iPad into a truly dynamic content creation device by allowing users to record sound and share it amongst friends. This could be a great device for indie bands that want cheap distribution, podcasts for Internet personalities or a recording tool for journalists. Evernote for iPhone and Android has voice recording capabilities that it syncs to the cloud for playback just about anywhere. That is what SoundCloud does, just with a better UI, social sharing and overall functionality. Lookout — (Free — iPhone)The security app that is not a security app. Lookout caused a minor controversy on ReadWriteWeb when we wrote about it in the middle of October. Really, what Lookout does for iPhone users is remind them to be diligent about security. It tells you if you are on insecure WiFi, makes sure you have the latest version of iOS on the device, can remote lock and wipe the device or find it through location settings and a Lookout account. It does not do anti-virus, but, does it need to? The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

first_imgCongress is on its August recess. The IRS cautioned tax professionals to be alert for account takeovers by cybercriminals. The Service also announced an upcoming temporary outage of e-Services tools.CongressLawmakers discussed tax reform (TAXDAY, 2017/08/10, C.1).IRSCybercrimes. The IRS warned tax professionals about remote access takeovers. Cybercriminals take over computer systems operated by tax professionals to steal client data (IR-2017-127; TAXDAY, 2017/08/09, I.1).IRS Commissioner. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen spoke at the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) National Conference in Washington, D.C. Koskinen discussed customer service, his push for IRS authority to regulate practitioners and the budget appropriations process (TAXDAY, 2017/08/09, I.4).E-Services. The IRS announced a complete outage of all e-Services tools from 6:00 p.m. EDT, Thursday, August 17, 2017 until 6:00 a.m. EDT, Monday, August 21, 2017. The outage will allow a complete transition of e-Services to a new platform, the Service explained (TAXDAY, 2017/08/07, I.3).ITINs. The IRS reminded taxpayers to renew their Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs). Legislation passed in 2015 changed the rules for the expiration of ITINs (IR-2017-128; TAXDAY, 2017/08/09, I.2).By Jessica Jeane and George L, Yaksick, Jr., Wolters Kluwer News StaffLogin to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

Steve Smith, Joe Root and Trent Boult: The men who challenged India in their own den

first_imgTeam India under Virat Kohli conquered everything that has been thrown at them. From starting at No.7 in Tests in Australia back in 2014 to No.1 two-and-a-half years later, is not an easy feat and India have done that with great swagger. They are now the only team other than Australia and South Africa to have won their last Test series against every other opposition.India started their home season by whitewashing New Zealand 3-0, followed by a 4-0 hammering of England in the five-match series. They continued the good work in the one-off Test against Bangladesh as they beat the young and hungry Tigers by 208 runs, which was followed by the recently concluded thrilling four-match series against Australia, which India won 2-1 to end the season on a high.However, even in this run of domination, a few visitors stood up and provided stern resistance to the home side with both bat and ball.Here are the top five overseas batsmen in the 13-match long Test season:STEVE SMITHThe Australia captain finished the four-match series with 499 runs from eight innings at an average of 71.28. He lead from the front right from the word go. He scored a fighting 109 in Pune as Australia won the Test by 333 runs to take a 1-0 lead. Although he didn’t have much of a say in Bengaluru, a match Australia lost by 75 runs, Smith came back strong to hammer another big hundred, scoring 178 not out in Ranchi under tremendous pressure which came towards him from all corners after the DRS row.advertisementThe 27-year-old came to Dharamsala being a man on a mission to lead his team to victory and that resulted in another captain’s knock as he scored 111 in the first innings, his third century of the series.The New South Wales batsman was not only the star batsman for the visitors but he also finished as the highest run-getter of the series and 94 runs more than the second placed Cheteshwar Pujara, who has 405.JOE ROOTJoe Root has been the backbone of the England batting for quite some time now. He continued from where he left off in India five years back. He scored 73 in his debut Test back in Nagpur in 2012 and only consolidated his position as one of the best players of spin in these conditions.The newly appointed England captain finished the five-match series with 491 runs from 10 innings, which included one century and four fifties.Reuters PhotoThe 26-year-old n held the key for England before the Three Lions stepped a foot in the country and he did not disappoint in an otherwise very disappointing series for the Englishmen. He started the series with a 124 in Rajkot and followed on from there. He has a fifty plus score in each of the five matches showing complete consistency and why he has always been the most dependable batsmen in the recent past.MOEEN ALIThe England all-rounder became a thorn for the Indians with the bat. Although he was seen more of a player, who can hurt with his bowling, Moeen’s batting impressed everybody in the five-match series.Moeen finished with 381 runs from nine innings with a best of 146 in the last Test in Chennai. He started off the series with a 117 in Rajkot and kept being a headache for the hosts till the last Test. He scored two tons and one half century at an average of 42.33.He provided great resistance along with Ben Stokes in the middle-order and more than made up for just taking 10 wickets in the series with the willow.ALASTAIR COOKThe former England captain finished the series with 369 runs and the fifth highest run-getter of the series.Cook scored just one century and one half-century throughout the series with an average of 43.92 but he kept providing England with good starts with different opening partners through the cource of the series.He started the series off with a 130 in the second innings in Rajkot, allowing the visitors to draw the Test before they went on a losing spree.Reuters PhotoThe 32-year-old was heavily criticised for the series defeat in India and he also quit but his performances with the bat was something that allowed England to at least provide some resistance in an otherwise very disappointing series.JONNY BAIRSTOWJonny Bairstow had a tremendous season coming onto the five-match series. He finished as the second highest run-scorer with 1470 runs in 2016 and that was also the highest run scored by a wicketkeeper in a calendar year.The wicketkeeper batsman carried on the good work and played some gritty innings in the middle-order for England.advertisementThe Yorkshire keeper scored 352 runs from nine innings at an average of 44.00, which included three fifties. His best was 89 in the third Test in Mohali, which was an innings of great character and maturity.While the batsmen had a better time overall in terms of performances, the spinners also made the most of the turning tracks at display in India.Here are the top five bowlers out of the four Test series India played in.And now, the bowlers who troubled Kohli & Co.ADIL RASHIDAdil Rashid was the pick of the bowlers among all the teams, claiming 23 wickets from five matches with a best of 4/82 in the second Test in Visakhapatnam.The leggie is the only overseas player to have picked up more than 20 wickets out of the 13-Test long home season of India.Rashid was often criticised for not being effective or being able to pick wickets at crucial points but he still came out on top of with a handy wicket tally at an average of 37.43 in the five-Test series.NATHAN LYONNathan Lyon has been a much improved bowler over the last couple of years and that showed in the two-match Test series versus India.Lyon picked up 19 wickets from four matches at an average of 25.26 and looked the most dangerous bowlers with his consistent line and length, troubling the Indian batsmen throughout the series.He picked up his carrier best 8/50 in the first innings of the Bengaluru Test, that India won by 75 runs. He again picked up an important five-wicket haul in the first innings of the Dharamsala Test, to bowl out India with a small lead of 32 runs but Australia failed to capitalise on that and lost the match by eight wickets and series 2-1.STEVE O’KEEFESteve O’Keefe picked up 19 wickets and one of Australia’s leading wicket takers in the recently concluded series.He was India’s tormentor in-chief as the Australians announced themselves in Pune with a thumping victory of 333 runs in the first Test in Pune.Reuters PhotoO’Keefe picked up 6/35 in each of the innings and destroyed India’s batting in the process, finishing the match with career-best match figures of 12/70.His stock fell after that however as he struggled to replicate his performance but he did pick up a wicket here and there to end up with the same wickets as his spin partner come the end of the series.TRENT BOULT, MITCHELL SANTNER AND MOEEN ALIEach of them finished with a tally of 10 wickets each in the respective series.Boult and Santner were the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand picking up 10 wickets from three matches at an average of 33.30 and 52.40 respectively.The lack of ability to strike showed why the Kiwis failed to win any of their matches or put any strong performances.Moeen also picked up 10 wickets from five matches with a best of 3/98. He failed to support Rashid properly but that was again because of Cook giving him very less overs to bowl. He was expected to be the leading spinner, especially after his fantastic performances against India in England back in 2014 but he failed to replicate that in favouring conditions.advertisementAlso Watch:last_img read more

a month agoSolskjaer unconvinced as Man Utd labour past Astana

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer unconvinced as Man Utd labour past Astanaby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveOle Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United made it hard on themselves against Astana on Thursday.United kicked off their Europa League campaign with a 1-0 victory over the Kazakh side.The winner came through 17-year-old Mason Greenwood, who finished superbly after 73 minutes in what was his first start for United.The goal saved Solskjaer’s blushes as they laboured throughout the 90 minutes.Speaking after the game, he said: “We made it hard for ourselves. Games like these, you want to make sure you win the game in the first 20 minutes and you can enjoy it.”You could see some of our lads needed games but it’s pleasing we got the three points.” last_img read more

Norwegian fund excludes four Canadian firms as it exits oilsands investments

first_imgThe Canadian Press CALGARY — The largest pension fund in Norway has removed four Canadian energy names from its investment list and says it will no longer put money in companies that derive more than five per cent of their revenue from the oilsands.KLP says it sold US$58 million worth of stocks and bonds as it reduces its tolerance threshold for companies with interests in the oilsands from 30 per cent to five per cent, matching its limit for coal investments.The fund says it will now exclude Calgary-based Cenovus Energy Inc., Suncor Energy Inc., Imperial Oil Ltd. and Husky Energy Inc. from investment consideration, along with Russia-based Tatneft PAO. Shares in all four companies have fallen since a year ago as growth outstripped pipeline capacity, leading to steep price discounts and legislated production curtailments in Alberta.Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, says in an email institutional investors are continuing to abandoning high-carbon investments because they “can see where the puck is heading.”In a news release, the Norwegian fund which administers more than US$81 billion in assets says a full exit from the oilsands is “great news” for customers because that activity is not aligned with a two-degree Celsius global warming target.“By going coal and oilsands free, we are sending a strong message on the urgency of shifting from fossil to renewable energy,” said KLP CEO Sverre Thornes in a statement.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2019.Companies in this story: (TSX:SU, TSX:CVE, TSX:HSE, TSX:IMO)last_img read more

Ohio State track sends 19 to NCAA Championships

Nineteen of Ohio State’s top track and field athletes will participate in the NCAA’s highest level of competition this season, the NCAA Division I Track and Field Outdoor Championships. Eighteen of these 19 OSU athletes earned their berth in the national meet at the NCAA East Prelims, which were held Thursday through Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla. In order to qualify for the national championships, an athlete or relay team had to finish in the top 12 in preliminary competition. On the men’s side, six individuals and one relay team earned top-12 finishes, while five individuals and two relay teams qualified from the women’s team. Senior sprinter Christina Manning will lead the OSU women into nationals. She was the lone winner among OSU athletes at the prelims, with a time of 12.78 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles. That time is good enough for Manning to hold the No. 1 seed going into the national championship meet. Coach Karen Dennis said Manning “has an excellent shot” to win the national title in the 100-meter hurdles. Manning is also a member of the 4×100-meter relay team, which finished second in prelims with a time of 43.98 seconds. That team also consists of junior Christienne Linton, freshman Aisha Cavin and sophomore Chesna Sykes. Cavin also qualified as a member of the 4×400-meter relay team, which ran a time of 3:33.41 to finish third at prelims. The 4×400-meter relay team also includes junior Nyjah Cousar, senior Jackie Dim and senior Shaniqua McGinnis. Cousar and McGinnis also qualified as individuals. Cousar placed 10th in the 400-meter hurdles (58.19 seconds) while McGinnis finished 12th in the 400-meter dash (52.78 seconds). The OSU women also doubled up with qualifiers in the hammer throw. Junior Alexis Thomas, who went into the meet as the No.1 seed in the hammer throw after setting the OSU school record and Big Ten Outdoor Championship meet record with her throw of 64.62 meters, finished sixth with a throw of 60.43 meters at prelims. Senior Maggie Mullen earned the 12th and final qualifying spot with a throw of 57.91 meters. Dennis said she believes her qualifying athletes can place high enough to score points in the national championship meet, but that competing at the elite level comes down to motivation. “It’s about who wants it the most, and who’s willing to fight for it for it the most,” Dennis said. “We have to be real scrappy.” Among the OSU men, senior long jumper Mike Hartfield was the first Buckeye to qualify in Jacksonville, earning a sixth-place finish with a jump of 7.62 meters on Thursday. On Friday, the Buckeyes doubled up with earning berths in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, with redshirt junior Cory Leslie and senior Adam Green both qualifying with respective times of 8:41.95 and 8:43.96. “Cory Leslie is probably in a great spot to really make an impact on the national championship meet,” said interim head coach Ed Beathea. Freshman Antonio Blanks will compete in two events at nationals. He qualified in the 400-meter hurdles with a third-place finish in a time of 50.19 seconds. He is also on the 4×400-meter relay team that finished seventh with 3:06.08, along with juniors Korbin Smith and Marvel Brooks and senior Thomas Murdaugh. Murdaugh, who finished 15th at nationals last year in the 400-meter dash with a time of 46.02 seconds, failed to qualify individually this year, finishing 25th at prelims with a time of 48.40 seconds. Murdaugh said he has battled groin and hip injuries throughout his senior season, and was unable to run as fast as he did last year. “Not making it in the 400 was definitely a disappointment,” Murdaugh said. Other men’s qualifiers are senior Matt DeChant in shot put (18.89 meters) and sophomore Demoye Bogle in the 110-meter hurdles (13.81 seconds). Redshirt junior Heath Nickles will also compete at national championships in the decathlon. The decathlon is not contested at prelims, but with one of the top 24 decathlon scores in the nation, Nickles goes into nationals as the No.12 seed. The 2012 NCAA Division I Track and Field Outdoor Championships will be held June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. read more