Qantas to fly to Johannesburg daily

first_imgThe Wallaby Route The Qantas South African route, otherwise known as the Wallaby Route because of the “short hops” between ports along the way in the early days, has gone from strength to strength. Australian airline Qantas is to introduce a daily service between Sydney and Johannesburg from 21 September. “Qantas is pleased to now offer a daily service from Sydney to Johannesburg with the introduction of an additional Boeing 747 service on Tuesdays, adding another 350 seats per week and more than 18 000 seats per year,” Joyce said in a statement this week. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the route was key one for the airline, and that the addition of a seventh service would provide their customers with greater flexibility for travel between Australia and South Africa. 3 June 2010center_img “South Africa is an important market for Qantas, particularly for business travel, and it is important for us to offer our customers the flexibility of daily services.” Joyce added that the daily schedule from Sydney would also complement the airline’s daily code-share services from Perth with South African Airways. This year, Qantas celebrates 62 years of services to South Africa. It increased services from five to six per week on the route in late 2008, having introduced Premium Economy on the route in March 2008. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Edu Fun spreads the love in Diepsloot

first_imgEdu Fun is organised, run and staffed by volunteers who give their time for free. This means all donations and funds raised are used for the group’s programmes, teaching materials and school supplies; health checks and medical expenses; materials for mending torn uniforms; as well as educational and social activities, such as trips to the zoo and student graduations. (Images: Edu Fun) • Avril Donnelly Teaching Programme Edu Fun +27 82 892 0505 avrildsa@mweb.co.za • South Africa’s mother tongue education challenge • University of the People offers online education for all • Tackling South Africa’s education challenges • Gauteng Department of Education, 20 years on • Zuma: South Africa to meet 2015 education goalMelissa Jane CookAristotle once said: “Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach.” It’s a driving idea behind Edu Fun, a non-profit organisation that believes if you educate a child for a day, they will remember it that day; but if you bring fun into it, they will remember it for life.Edu Fun is organised, run and staffed by volunteers who give their time for free. This means all donations and funds raised are used for the group’s programmes, teaching materials and school supplies; health checks and medical expenses; materials for mending torn uniforms; as well as educational and social activities, such as trips to the zoo and student graduations.The group works with Diepsloot Combined School in Diepsloot, a township in Joburg’s far northern reaches. Its main objective is to teach English to students in grades 3 and 4 students in an entertaining and stimulating way, encouraging them to open their minds and use their imaginations. Diepsloot is a poor area and local resources are limited. Classes at the school are very large and English is not the first language of their teachers. Edu Fun’s aim is to help the children with reading, writing and speaking English, so difficulties in using the language will not be a barrier in their futures.Key members of Edu Fun are experienced teachers and nursing professionals. The volunteers come from all walks of life – locals, ex-pats and visitors from around the world. Lord Joel Joffe, the human rights lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and seven others in the Rivonia Trial of 1963-64, is the patron.Diepsloot Combined SchoolWhen the school opened in 2001, it was simply a collection of mobile classrooms with few facilities. Today, thanks to the dedication of its staff and the support of the Adopt-a-School Foundation, various corporate sponsors and voluntary groups such as Edu Fun and School Aid, it is a beacon of hope for the disadvantaged community of Diepsloot informal settlement.Catering for more than 1 500 pupils from Grade R to Grade 12, it is a government school that is not only a centre for learning but is also a much-needed refuge and valuable source of food for the most under-privileged youngsters in the township. In 2013, the Grade 12 students gained an impressive matric pass rate of 98.8%; 29 of them achieved university entry-level grades.Edu Fun aims to support the school in its long-term goal of helping its students go on to further education and fulfill their potential. A decade ago, a group of volunteers – many of them ex-pats – took up the challenge to improve the chances of the underprivileged children of Diepsloot. Edu Fun still brings fun to education and hope for a brighter future to the school. VolunteeringVolunteers teach English to the children on Mondays and Tuesdays. Lessons for Grade 3s run for almost an hour-and-a-half on Mondays during term. Classes are divided, based on ability, into three groups. There is a lead teacher for each class responsible for lesson design and delivery. Each classroom has about 30 children and a volunteer works with a group of about six children. The teaching materials are provided by Edu Fun.About 20 Grade 4s need additional help with English. Volunteers teach them English on Tuesdays during term time, and classes run for an hour. On Monday mornings, after the Grade 3 English classes, a group of volunteers spends about two hours mending school uniforms. All tools and materials are provided and no experience is necessary. They also plan to start training a few of the older students at the school to help out with this project.Also on Monday mornings during term time, volunteers can help the Spread a Little Love project by making peanut butter sandwiches or buying bags of apples for the children. These donations provide a filling start to the week, on average, for more than 300 pupils.In 2013, Edu Fun’s 10th anniversary year, it introduced a fourth group, the Further Education Project, to support former learners from Diepsloot Combined School who go on to university. At present, it supports three first generation students at university in Pretoria, helping them with everyday expenses, extra tuition, computer equipment and accommodation.The Edu Fun educational programme at Diepsloot Combined School was started by Avril Donnelly, Petra Michelson and Sandy and Miguel Buchwald, an American couple now retired in the US.Donnelly explains: “We have taught about 1 100 children over the years and the first group that we taught in 2003 matriculated in 2013. It really gives me a sense of satisfaction. I can only say that through this programme I have met some wonderful expats (both men and women) who have helped us with the teaching, nursing, Spread a Little Love and mending groups. The nursing group was started by a group of Swedish ladies, led by Maria Junebrink, who didn’t want to teach but wanted to give to the community. It has gone from strength to strength. I love what we are doing with Edu Fun and it has really become a passion in my life.”last_img read more

Obama, Cybersecurity And The Return Of CISPA

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… adam popescu A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#CISPA#privacy#security Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market The more things change the more they stay the same.With the strike of his pen Tuesday, President Obama signed an executive order aimed at bolstering the nation’s cyber defenses and improving security. Later that night, in his State of the Union address, the President preached about the need to protect the country from online threats and the value of the private and public sector coming together to face protect the nation’s critical infrastructure. In his speech, he urged Congress to get to work to make this happen.“Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks,” Obama said.Emboldened by the chief executive’s rhetoric, on Wednesday members of the House of Representatives reintroduced CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), the highly controversial legislation that saw heavy opposition and online protest last year for its failure to protect the very privacy rights that the President’s current executive order claims to protect. The measure, which passed the House last year but failed in the Senate, amends the National Security Act of 1947 to add provisions concerning cyber threat intelligence sharing. That means CISPA offers legal protection for sharing personal data (such as private email correspondence) between the government and private companies – all without a warrant. Here’s the updated version of CISPA, introduced by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.).If enacted, this would give Federal agencies a blank check to search our private data. Our once “unalienable rights” as Americans are starting to look more and more alienated. Backing the bill are a host of major trade groups as well as tech giants like AT&T, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Symantec and Verizon. Why do these companies support it? One of those supporters, Facebook, said the law would not make the company share any more of its own data than is required. Others have explained their support by saying that sharing major data about cyber attacks would help protect all companies.  Backlash And Measured ResponsesIn the wake of this news, there’s been a major backlash online. Privacy advocate groups such as the ACLU, and the Center for Democracy and Technology, are all up in arms. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is asking people to contact their representatives to oppose the bill. The Internet nonprofit Fight For The Future has set up the protest website CISPAisBack.com as a resource to petition the bill, and provides info on CISPA and even phone numbers of representatives and a script to use when calling.There’s no denying that America is vulnerable online. In 2012, the number of attacks reported to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security grew by 52%, according to Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team. But while something significant must be done, our privacy should not be sacrificed in the process.Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center,  calls CISPA a “civil liberties minefield.” Instead, he’s in favor of “the approach set out in the executive order: Transparent, collaborative, and under the direction of a civilian agency.”Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel at the ACLU, adds that the main danger of CISPA is that it makes companies exempt from all the privacy laws currently on the books. And in so doing, creates tremendous uncertainty when it comes to our personal data.“The idea of ‘information sharing’ isn’t necessarily offensive in and of itself, but the question is what info will be shared, who can it be shared with and what can be done with it?” Richardson asked.Richardson agrees with Rotenberg that such programs should remain in civilian hands, and future privacy protections must include sharing restrictions. Richardson doesn’t think CISPA meets those requirements, and hopes that as it moves along the legislative process, it will incorporate some of the amendments made to last year’s failed Senate bill. “The Senate bill is not perfect, but it’s a better alternative privacy-wise and hopefully the House will consider incorporating some of those protections.”But whether or not the new bill will incorporate those earlier changes is still a big question mark. “No one knows what will be in the final bill voted on by the Senate,” said Michael Hussey, the chief executive and founder of the personal search engine site PeekYou.Who Will Really Win And Lose?While Hussey and most Web companies and individuals want improvements, they are only seeking specific regulations to what kind of information can be shared, and regs geared to protecting people’s privacy. Hussey thinks major companies, like Facebook and IBM, are supporting the bill because that could keep them on top, and competitors out of or pushed down within the marketplace.“In this case, the largest players all stand to gain from open-ended legislation towards this end, likely at the expense of competitors and consumers,” Hussey emphasized.This is the first chapter in Book Two of the CISPA saga. There are many more to go through as the proposal begins its long route through Congress. If you are concerned about online privacy, it would be a good idea to monitor the progress of the bill, and make your concerns known to your Congressional representative.Image courtesy of Shutterstock.last_img read more

Panjab varsity students start shoe-polishing protest

first_imgRelentless in their demand for roll-back of the fee increase, students of Panjab University started a novel protest on Monday. Members of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), who have been protesting against the fee increase for the 2017-18 academic year through a relay fast, sat outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office, polishing the shoes of bystanders and fellow students to collect money that they said would be sent to the university to help it tide over the financial crisis. “We are on the 21st day of the fast, but our demand has been ignored; today, we are polishing shoes to wake up the university administration,” said Nikhil Rampal, a student of the Economics Department. “By polishing the people’s shoes, we will send across the message that if the administration has no other means of generating funds, we will go to any extent,” he said. Surjeet Bharmouri, who is in charge of the NSUI’s Chandigarh unit, said the protest was meant to get across the message to the Central government that it should consider the students’ demand. “If it cannot do it, we are willing to polish the people’s shoes and give the sum thus earned to our university. We have collected ₹190 and will send it to the Vice-Chancellor’s office,” he said. On April 11, a clash broke out on the campus between the students and the police. The university has justified the 12.5% increase in fees, citing its finances. It is expecting a deficit of ₹244 crore for 2017-18.last_img read more

Polling peaceful in six LS, 42 Assembly seats in Odisha

first_imgPolling passed off peacefully in six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies of Odisha in the third phase of simultaneous elections on Tuesday.An average of 61% voting was recorded till 5 p.m., and it was likely to increase since voting was in progress, according to the Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha. The Lok Sabha seats where polling was conducted during the day are Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur and Keonjhar. The 42 Assembly segments came under these six Parliamentary constituencies.EVMs malfunctioningReports of malfunctioning of EVMs were received from some booths in the morning hours, but polling was resumed after replacing those machines. Polling was postponed in a booth under Sambalpur following error and wrong pairing of VVPAT.In another incident, a polling official passed away while on duty in Dhenkanal district. The official, Nabakishore Nayak, who collapsed inside the booth, was declared dead by doctors at Kamakhyanagar hospital.Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik was among the prominent leaders to cast their votes in the morning hours. After casting his vote, Mr. Patnaik exuded confidence that the BJD would perform well in the elections in the State.The prominent candidates who were in the fray for Tuesday’s elections include former IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, former Director General of Police Prakash Mishra and BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra.4th phase on April 29 Polling is already over in nine Lok Sabha and 63 Assembly constituencies in Odisha in the previous two phases – April 11 and 18. The fourth and last phase polling in the remaining six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies, for which campaigning is still going on, is scheduled to be held on April 29.On the other hand, Mr. Patnaik campaigned for party nominees in areas under the Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituencies later in the day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed two public meetings at Balasore and Kendrapara during the day.last_img read more