Minister calls for tougher gun controls

first_img27 February 2013 Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana has called for stricter gun control measures in South Africa, saying that domestic violence is exacerbated by easy access to firearms. Addressing the media in Pretoria on Tuesday on her department’s efforts to combat gender-based violence, Xingwana said the country needed “a sustained and effective campaign against the availability of guns in our homes and streets. I don’t see why if you already have a licence you must be given another licence for another gun. “As women, we are saying if there is no gun in your home you are much more safer. If you have a gun in your home, the research has demonstrated that you are exposed three times more than someone who has no gun in their home to attack or murder through … that gun.” Xingwana added that if there had not been a gun in Oscar Pistorius’ home, Reeva Steenkamp would be alive today. The minister said she was calling for firmer gun control measures in the country, as well as stricter monitoring of the law and monitoring of the distribution of guns.Extending reach of 16 Days campaign She also announced that the 25th of each month was to be used as a platform to ensure that the 16 Days campaign against gender-based violence took place throughout the year. The day was declared the International Orange Day by United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon, in a bid to ensuring that the campaign against violence against women and girls was observed on a monthly basis. “The awareness is incorporated into our 365 days Action Plan Against Gender-Based Violence. Yesterday [Monday], we met in rural KwaZulu-Natal with women groups, government departments, NGOs, UN Women to mark the national launch of International Orange Day,” Xingwana said.Call for harsher sentences for abusers She reiterated an earlier call for the courts to impose the heaviest possible sentence against perpetrators of women and child abuse. Welcoming the re-establishment of sexual offences courts in the country, Xingwana said it would help in the speedy prosecution of gender-based violence. “We also note the Minister of Health’s announcement to recruit and train more forensic technicians to staff a fourth forensic laboratory – this will go a long way in processing vital evidence.” Xingwana said the recently launched National Council Against Gender Based Violence would meet four times a year to provide leadership, coordination and monitoring of gender-based violence initiatives in South Africa. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is the patron of the council, which is made up representative of government departments and agencies, NGOs and civil society organisations, as well as religious and traditional leaders and people with disabilities. The council will use its collective strength to ensure that women and girls are able to fully realise their rights as citizens and to live in safe communities. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Gift of the Givers: 25 years of philanthropy: Ahmed Bham

first_imgIn a series of five articles, we share stories from Gift of the Givers volunteers in their own words as the organisation marks its 25th year of serving humanity. Ahmed Bham is the head of search and rescue. Find out about his experience in Haiti.Volunteering for Gift of the Givers taught Bham more about himself and motivated him to study further. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Sulaiman PhilipAhmed Bham: Head of search and rescue and lecturer in emergency medical care in the North West provincial Department of HealthI lead the first Gift of the Givers team to arrive in Haiti in 2010. We comprised a team of 10 search and rescue and advanced life support paramedics. Our medical team set up a field hospital while the search and rescue team began looking for surviviors in the rubble in Port au Prince. For seven days we recovered only bodies. We moved on to the Catholic cathedral where our dogs indicated there may be a survivor. After two-and-a-half hours of searching we pulled Ana Zizi from the rubble. This 69-year-old woman had been buried under the rubble for 10 days, her first words, in French, were: “God is great.” She looked at me and said: “I love you”.We stabilised her at our field hospital before she was shipped to a US Navy ship for further treatment. The whole time we talked, through my interpreter. When I told her we were from South Africa she said: “Look how amazing God is that he brought you all the way from South Africa to recue me.”I think for the first time I realised that things were done through us and not by us. I believe that is why I volunteer for the Gift of the Givers; it is a spiritual organisation guided by a desire to serve and help all of humanity. We, the volunteers and staff, come from all backgrounds and are driven by the same passion and purpose. Dr Sooliman will not compromise on that principle. Everyone is given humanitarian aid and the same level of medical care and treatment regardless.“I get to serve and represent my beloved country and show the world what Africa has to offer. We are a unique and amazing nation. I know the spirit of ubuntu lives in us.” (Image: Gift of the Givers)Wherever I arrive I am already looking at the logistics, how can we assist and what are the needs. It’s a calling and passion that I am driven to fulfill. As a volunteer travelling into a disaster zone, you have a picture in you mind of what its going to be like, but the reality can sometimes be overwhelming. You learn to adapt to the situation on the ground.Every mission I have gone on has taught me lessons, has given me that feeling of contentment and self-fulfilment. In 2005, I was honoured to be selected to go to Pakistan to help in the aftermath of the earthquake. Many of my personal foundation lessons were learnt there. It was an experience that opened my soul and I learnt a lot about myself and humanity. After Haiti I was more confident in myself and I felt encouraged and motivated to study further so I could do more.My mum passed away when she was only 38, but it was through her that I was first exposed to humanitarian work. I am still inspired by her and I can honestly say the proudest moments in my life have been away on humanitarian missions. I feel that I am fulfilling my mum’s purpose in life by serving humanity. There is also the other side of it: I get to serve and represent my beloved country and show the world what Africa has to offer. We are a unique and amazing nation. I know the spirit of ubuntu lives in us. I have not just seen it, but I have lived it many a time.Read the next article about orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Livan Meneses-Turino, and his experience in Nepal, Haiti, and Palestine.Our first profile was on medical co-ordinator, Dr YM Essack. Click here to read more.To find out how beekeeper, Owen Williams, has contributed to the organisation, click here.Emily Thomas, who works in logistics at Gift of the Givers shares her story.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Help! My Twitter Account Got Hacked

first_imgIt was Tuesday afternoon. Nine minutes after 3pm. I was standing on the corner waiting at a red light on Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A after just meeting a PR rep from New York. Head in a twirl over the mountain of work that awaited me at my office and thinking about the potential stories the pretty New Yorker pitched. That’s when it happened.My phone vibrated. I pulled it out and saw the message. “Direct from @MaryKnabben: OMG they said he died…Did he? http://t.co?BQ7zvZ6″(READER WARNING – DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK OR SUFFER THE SAME FATE AS ME!!)Who died I wondered? I didn’t click the link then. I let it linger. I had a 5pm appointment, three traffic-filled blocks to traverse and emails to send.Did I Miss Something?But as I stood waiting for the light to change I wondered if I had missed a major passing. It wouldn’t be the first time. I often get alerted to news by direct messages and Twitter friends. Nothing new there. The language in the message was, though. OMG. Not very journalistic or the type of lingo you’d expect an adult to write when a luminary passes. Still, I figured it must have been the writing of someone who was stunned.At first I figured this was the case, but in my gut, I knew something seemed weird about the tone of the note. As the light turned green I walked, slung my phone back in my pocket and kept moving. When I got back to the office, overlooking some of the priciest data centers in Los Angeles if not the nation, I scanned the wires and social media, but I couldn’t find anything. Hmmm. My antennae were buzzing. Had I missed it? Did she have a scoop? Before I could dive into my detective mode, 5pm came and I was thrust back into reality. By 6:30 it was over but then then I had to meet a friend at The Standard a few blocks away. By the time I got home I was exhausted and I showered and went to bed without checking further. I Couldn’t Resist ClickingThe next morning I opened up my Hootsuite and looked at the link. There it was, just waiting to be clicked.I checked out @MaryKnabben’s Twitter stream. A fellow journalist from Brazil, we had met at Social Media Week a few weeks earlier when I spoke on a panel on journalism and social media. I liked her. She seemed professional. Her tweets looked normal. Nothing seemed (ph)ishy. So despite a nagging feeling of doubt, I clicked on the link. It took me to a strange site. A pseudo-news site called News 3. But a few seconds of scanning the site, I realized it wasn’t news. It was a pay-per-click factory with an attractive young woman at the top of the page and promises of weight loss. What the hell?  I exited the window, thinking nothing of it. Must have been a wrong link. I should have known better. I should have known right away something was up. But I didn’t. Uh, Oh. Trouble!A few hours later, after a break for lunch, I reopened my Hootsuite account. And there it was. Staring at me. A new tweet on my timeline.A tweet that I. Did. Not. Send. “Losing weight is easy.” I’m 6 feet tall and 160 lbs. I don’t need to lose weight. And I didn’t send that tweet. There was a link at the end of it. I clicked on it. It was the same site. “Please don’t let my Twitter account be hacked,” I pleaded to the powers that be. “Please, please, please. No, no, no.”It was Halloween. And for the first time on this candy holiday I was scared. Panic ModeI deleted the tweet in a heartbeat and immediately changed my password. To my surprise none of my followers replied to the strange tweet. Perhaps that’s because I deleted it so fast.  Phew.At that point I wasn’t sure what the hell happened, but I knew someone had caught me with my pants down. I racked my brain. What happened? I’ve always been so careful… hadn’t I?  Could it be one of the hundreds of applications with read and write access to my Twitter account? I know I didn’t always read the fine print, but I knew right away that this was a long shoot. No, it couldn’t have been Goodreads or Digg. No way. No way…Then I realized just how un-careful I had been. I realized what it was and who the culprit was, too.Apparently Mary was hacked. She told me she didn’t see any changes in her account except for auto-DMing everyone who follows her that “shady link.”I had heard the horror stories. Now I was in one. I got phished. I clicked a funny link.Stupid. So, so stupid. I couldn’t believe it.Emergency CleaningI knew what I had to. I deleted all of my cookies, went through the process of changing my main online passwords (email, banking, social media), ran a virus scan and restarted my computer. I have so many online passwords I knew I couldn’t change them all, but the important ones I changed immediately. If someone wants access to my Friendster account, go ahead. It was Halloween night and I had a party to go to. After more than an hour of dreaming up new password combos, I waited for my virus status like a patient expecting a STD results phone call from the doctor. No trojan horses popped up. Thankfully. I breathed a sigh of relief.But I knew I had dodged a bullet. Exhausted and mad at myself, I signed out of my browser still steaming, swearing I would never make this mistake again.I hope.  adam popescu A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Tags:#hacks#phishing#twitter last_img read more

Video Production: Create Flares with a DIY Crystal Filter

first_imgAdd flares to your video shots using this simple in-camera DIY solution.There’s a ton of ways to add flares to your videos in post, but there’s no substitute for achieving this organic effect in-camera. We’re digging this DIY technique by recent creativeLIVE presenter Lindsay Adler.In the short video below, Lindsay demonstrates how she created a custom flare filter using a cheap crystal (bought online) and a simple lens filter (a low cost UV filter does the trick). By gluing the crystal to directly to the filter, you can create unique refracted light effects that give the video image a dream-like quality. This DIY solution, is super cheap and easy to create.This isn’t a technique that you’ll use on a ton of shots – but given the right subject matter (fashion or weddings, for example) it’s one that can be really impactful.Check out the quick tutorial and example shots below – a snippet from Lindsay’s full creativeLIVE workshop “Keep it Simple: Video for Photographers“.Thanks to DIYPhotography.net for tipping us off to this video.last_img read more

The hottest sets of wheels and hi-tech gizmos

first_imgAs television sets get ‘smart’, phones double up as personal organisers and music systems turn living rooms into acoustic ensembles, there’s ample variety for the gadget-loving guy today. Be it convertible sports cars that satisfy your need for speed or classy collectors’ pieces for watch lovers, choose your indulgence from,As television sets get ‘smart’, phones double up as personal organisers and music systems turn living rooms into acoustic ensembles, there’s ample variety for the gadget-loving guy today. Be it convertible sports cars that satisfy your need for speed or classy collectors’ pieces for watch lovers, choose your indulgence from our top picks.Watch outThe Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day and Date is the ultimate in luxury. The glitzy watch whose design dates back to 1956 has wrist accessories in gold and one variant even comes studded with diamonds. This model gets its name from the tiny calendar placed inside the dial. This Rolex also boasts of the Oyster waterproof design, which was first invented in 1926 but has been updated to keep up with the times by the watchmaker ever since. The design can withstand water up to a depth of 100 metres. The fluted case back is screwed on using a special tool exclusive to Rolex watchmakers. Imperative for the effective functioning of the day-date feature, this case provides protection from water as well as dust, shock and pressure.Cost: Rs 27 lakh.Where: Rolex Boutique, UB City, Bangalore.Tel: 22113976.Hot wheelsLaunched in 2010, the Ducati Diavel remains one of Ducati’s top-selling models. This sports cruiser is a beefy machine with a commanding presence weighing 207 kg but is still agile and free flowing-signature characteristics of the Italian brand. Its name, rather appropriately, is inspired by the word for the ‘devil’ in the Bolognese dialect.The design team responsible for this motorbike says that they have tried to create a machine that is reminiscent of an athlete on the starting blocks, with regards to their frontal design for the bike. So the product does not represent anger so much as it exudes readiness, dominance and confidence, bordering on superiority with features such as a massive 240 section rear tyre that encases stunning custom 14-spoke wheels with machinefinished detailing and 162 horse power. This Ducati has a hands-free ignition where an electronic key in a rider’s pocket communicates with the motorcycle from a distance of two meters through a designated code.Cost: Rs 25 lakh.Where: Aadya Motors, Nagawara, Bangalore.Tel: 66534537.advertisementTop gearPowerful, dynamic and bold-these are the words that come to mind when you glance at the R8 Spyder, the high-performance sports car by Audi. The sporty Audi single frame and the large air intakes are instant indicators that this is a smart, sleek and stylish sports car. The rear spoiler is automatically extended at 100 km/h and retracts into the vehicle silhouette at 35 km/h. The hand made V8 mid-engine generates 316 kW (430 bhp) and accelerates the Audi R8 Spyder from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds going up to a top speed of 300 km/h. The mid-engine concept ensures a balanced load distribution and excellent handling properties. The interiors have a classic motor racing feel-ergonomically shaped sports seats with highquality seat covers.The heated rear window can be lowered electrically and also serves as a wind deflector when the hood is open. The car comes equipped with a sound system ensuring excellent sound quality, whether the roof is open or closed. The designers have paid great attention to the utilities inside the cabin like an illuminated storage compartment in the rear panel that offers space for sunglasses, an iPod or the optional CD changer.Cost: Rs 1.3 Crore.Where: Audi Bangalore, Hosur Main Road, Electronic City, Bangalore.Tel: 28521547.Game onThe PS VITA makes sure you’re never too far from your favourite game. A successor of the PlayStation Portable, this is a competitor to the Nintendo 3DS. PS stand for PlayStation and ‘vita’ means ‘life’ in Latin. It’s a fun-sized gizmo in a ‘super oval’ shape with a five-inch OLED touch screen and supports Bluetooth and WiFi. 3G services are available only in the higher-end model. Internally, the Vita has a four-core ARM Cortex-A9 MP Core processor and a four-core SGX543MP4+ graphics processing unit. It wows with the combination of touch features and buttons as opposed to only touch in gadgets like the iPhone. Play games like FI 2011 and FIFA Football on this gizmo. You can browse Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Skype. It even has two 0.3 MP cameras (front and rear). Standard memory cards cannot be used with the PS VITA. Instead, you need to buy specific PS VITA memory cards, which are a tad more expensive, and are available in sizes between 4GB to 32GB.Cost: Rs 25,000.Where: Sony Centre, 100 ft. Road, Indira Nagar, Bangalore.Tel: 42116677.Smart talkIf you thought the iPhone was the height of ‘style meets substance,’ then think again. The Tag Heuer Night Racer Titanium has arrived, blending in the technical aptitude that Tag Heuer is known for, along with great class and style. Made from titanium, this phone designed by the popular watchmakers is corrosion resistant, shockproof, airtight and twice as light as steel. In addition to standard features like an Android operating system, larger keyboard for easier typing, it also has a new download manager and support for languages, voice and video chat, along with many business and entertainment applications. Other features include 11-hour music playtime that is compatible with different file formats and a 5 MP camera. With its stylish looks and power packed features, this luxury mobile phone is all that you could possibly want it to be.Cost: Rs 2.9 lakh.Where: F10-A, UB City, Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore.Tel: 40982109.advertisementClass apartOwn the road when you get behind the wheel of this six cylinder, automatic six speed sedan. The BMW 7 Series is beautiful and boasts of features that are bound to make many a head turn for a second look. In India, it is available in three engine variants. It has an unmistakable look with modified front apron and striking LED headlights, which makes sure it gets noticed whether day or night. Just as impressive is the interior of the car. Velour floor mats and the newly-designed leather seats offer optimum lateral support for unbeatable long-distance comfort. Individual seats are even available in the rear of the car. Couple this with the standard rear seat entertainment package with a new 9.2-inch flat screen monitor, 6-disk DVD changer and 16-speakers audio system for state-of-the-art acoustics. A new and upgraded engine means fuel savings of up to almost 25 percent.Cost: Rs 1.4 crore.Where: Navnit Motors, Hosur Road, Near Electronic City, Bangalore.Tel: 28520060.Sound alertThe new Bose Videowave Entertainment System combines a home theatre sound system, LCD display and a music player in this revolutionary product. For the first time, all your digital entertainment needs are contained in one high-performance unit and operated with a single click pad remote control and interface on the screen. The click pad comes with a built-in sensor and only has buttons for the most basic functions. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be aimed in the right direction when being operated. The product allows connection for up to five high-definition entertainment players, through a single, hassle-free cable and comes with a dock for iPods/iPhones. Some unique features include video mute, which allows a user to enjoy music without the picture; and audio calibration technology ensures the best sound possible for any room as it recognises the room’s size, even furniture, and adjusts the sound automatically.Cost: Rs 4.8 lakh.Where: The Bose Store, The Forum Mall, Kormangala, Bangalore.Tel: 22067645.Mean machineWho doesn’t love a Harley? The romantic notions that this legendary monster motorbike conjures of youth, freedom and the road less travelled has led many a bike lover to the highway, not only in the USA, its country of origin, but around the world. The options available to Harley fans in India have been stepped up a notch with the introduction of the Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide (CVO). A Harley like no other, the Ultra Classic has temperature controlled seats, handlebar grips, bucket seats for the pillion and speakers too. The bike is literally a mobile island of comfort that also makes a great style statement. Touring models, like this particular one, are recognisable by their large saddle bags, rear coil-over air suspension and are the only models to offer Radios/CBs.Cost: Starting at Rs 35 lakh.Where: 55/2, Lavelle Road, Bangalore.Tel: 41487676.advertisementSpeed thrills Quench your ‘need for speed’ with this high-octane creation by German super car makers, Porsche, the Panamera Turbo. This Porsche is a dream machine that has been created and engineered to manoeuvre the German autobahns but also works just as excellently on roads across the world. Originally launched in 2009, despite the three years past since then, the Panamera still remains the final word in luxury road travel in India. Powered by a 4.8-litre twin-turbo engine, an output of 500 hp and 700 Nm of torque, it can go from 1 to 100 kmph in just 4.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 303 kmph. Porsche’s answer to the BMW 7 series, the Audi A8 and the Mercedes-Benz S Class, virtually every part of this car can be customised. This smart car even remembers a driver’s seat and exterior mirror positions through memory packages. The front seats can also be heated to an optimal temperature and the audio system comes with a voice-control feature that allows the user to give speech commands for help with navigation or even just to listen to the radio.Cost: Rs 2 crore.Where: Porsche Centre Bangalore, 28 Lavelle Road, Bangalore.Tel: 89495911.Big pictureBang and Olufsen, the Dutch designers known for their elegant style and technical superiority, have brought out a phenomenal tech toy that promises to provide a viewing experience like no other. On a Beovision 4-103, the details are lucid, the colours rich and lifelike and the movements on screen smooth and fluid. If 3D doesn’t quite cut it for you, then the active shutter glasses give each eye the advantage of full resolution, which makes you feel as close to the onscreen action as possible. And no need to worry about your eyesight because the adaptable VisionClear picture technology ensures that the highest picture quality is delivered irrespective of the environment. This means that regardless of whether the surroundings are bright or dim or day or night, the Automatic Picture Control sensor continually measures ambient light to adjust light output from the screen to ensure that your eyes are never under strain.Cost: Rs 40 lakh for an 85 inch screen.Where: Bang and Olufsen, UB City, Bangalore.Tel: 41738875.Smart clickThe Canon EOS C300 is not for your family vacations, but for the serious photographer and filmmaker. Released to satiate the needs for high-end and even Bollywood film makers in India, the camera features a Super 35 mm-equivalent approximately 8.29 megapixel CMOS sensor ideally suited for digital cinematography. With a compact body design, the Canon EOS C300/C300 PL delivers exceptional maneuverability, enabling shooting from vantage points that are all but inaccessible to large cinema cameras, such as close to the ground for highimpact low-angle shots and alongside walls. Earlier models of Canon cameras have been used in the production of movies like Stanley Ka Dabba, and Agent Vinod.Cost: Rs 9.4 lakh.Where: Canon Image Square, Park Sqaure Mall, ITPL, Whitefield, Bangalore.Tel: 28026547.last_img read more