How mobiles can get Africa moving

first_imgMobile phones, where there are networks, are helping Africans to transfer funds, get access to the latest market prices for their products and receive vital health information. In Botswana and South Africa, for example, doctors are informing HIV and AIDS patients when to take their medicines via scheduled text messages. Some studies have shown that a 10% increase in mobile communication penetration contributes 0.6% to growth in gross domestic product. This in turn creates a more conducive environment for advanced economies to increase trade ties and cultural exchanges with Africa. This is not just to the benefit of Africa; advanced countries can learn much from the emerging markets if they are willing to share their lessons. Operators should be applauded for launching such welcome (if overdue) services, but much more needs to be done; extending connectivity (voice and broadband) to all of the population requires a major commitment by governments, regulators, and the private sector. We have already seen what the private sector can achieve in Africa. In 1998, the Sudanese entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim created Celtel, the first transnational African mobile operator. It now covers 15 countries across Africa, having invested more than €518 million in infrastructure and created more than 160,000 jobs. Other operators have followed suit and have rolled out extensive networks across the continent. Such investments need to be coupled with positive action on the political front. Some African governments remain obstinately attached to red tape and excessive taxes and regulations on business, including telecoms, and the results are predictable. Mobile operators in Africa are paying high corporate taxes and fees for licensing, spectrum and number ranges. Consumers, too, are feeling the pinch, paying specific taxes on mobile handsets and services. No wonder that a third of handsets in Africa are obtained on the grey market. According to the GSM Association, if low-cost handsets were exempted from import duties and sales taxes, an extra 930 million phones could be sold over the next five years. This, along with deregulation, would over the longer term add to, rather than reduce, government revenues, and enable operators to increase investment by as much as 25%. The other condition is a new approach to infrastructure such as masts/cell sites between two or more operators, or collaboration on, for example, roaming. Countries that have opted for this have reported significant reductions in capital and operational expenditure. Naturally, these initiatives require close collaboration between private and public sectors. Some African governments have recently started to respond positively to such arguments. Social entrepreneurs are actively involved in encouraging dialogue and co-operation. Provided there is sufficient political will, affordable mobile communications and broadband services could quickly be extended to millions of Africans. Within a few decades, the digital divide could be a thing of the past and Africa’s prospects transformed.Sanjiv Ahuja is chairman and chief executive of Augere, a business aiming to spread broadband infrastructure. He was chief executive of mobile telephone group Orange and remains chairman of Orange UK. In October last year the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) summit of more than 1,000 delegates, including six heads of state and government, met in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.Specific initiatives were set out for achieving the eighth UN millennium goal of “a global partnership for development”, one of whose provisions is to make the benefits of ICT available to the poor. It was good news, if long overdue. There is now insurmountable evidence that mobile communications boost incomes and make local economies far more efficient. But in sub-Saharan Africa – excluding South Africa – fixed line penetration is stagnant at 1% and mobile penetration just 7%, leaving 350 million people unconnected. last_img read more

Maryland Firefighters Free Driver Pinned after SUV Hits Train

first_imgHYATTSVILLE, Md. (WUSA) – A CSX train collided with an SUV at 4505 Decatur Street (in the Town of Edmonston and City Hyattsville, according to fire officials) in Prince George’s County on Tuesday morning. The crash happened on the Hyattsville side of the tracks. The SUV came to rest about 50 yards from the intersection on its side in the woods.A county fire spokesperson tweeted that medics were trying to gain access to the driver, who is trapped in the vehicle. The driver, identified as a woman in her 30s, was removed after 30 minutes and placed in a medical transport vehicle. She suffered serious injuries.CSX officials say the train, which has three engines and 22 cars, originated in Jacksonville, Florida and was headed to Bergen, New Jersey.Hyattsville police are investigating the cause of the crash.last_img read more

Performance Sports Nutrition partners with TriStar in France

first_imgPerformance Sports Nutrition will be the 2012 official nutrition supplier of all TriStar Series events in France. Sports nutrition brand Performance will provide all event participants with energy drinks, bars and gels for all the French TriStar events (TriStar Cannes, TriStar Deauville and TriStar Lyon) and for TriStar111 Monaco on 2 September 2012.Boasting 18 years of experience with elite athletes, Sports Performance Nutrition offers quality food supplements, recognized in Europe for their efficiency, quality and taste. A leading player in Belgium, Performance is present in over 30 countries.The company’s main goal is to help the athlete, triathlete, cyclist, marathon runner and also football, rugby, tennis player… to Perform, helping him/her to improve their results. A wide range of products are available to meet the needs of each athlete before, during and after exercise – including protein based products, energy drinks, gels, recovery products and Relatedlast_img read more

New biomarker identified in women with mental illness

first_imgLinkedIn Pinterest Share on Twitter Psychiatric disorders can be difficult to diagnose because clinicians must rely upon interpreted clues, such as a patient’s behaviors and feelings. For the first time, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report identifying a biological marker: the over-production of specific genes that could be a diagnostic indicator of mental illness in female psychiatric patients.The study was published this week in the journal EBioMedicine.Researchers found that the gene XIST, which is responsible for inactivating one of the two copies of the X chromosome in cells that store genetic material, works overtime in female patients with mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia. Sharecenter_img Email Share on Facebook The study suggests that over-production of XIST and genes from the inactive X chromosome are common denominators in the development of psychiatric disorders in patients with rare chromosome disorders, such as Klinefelter syndrome and Triple X syndrome, and in the general population of female psychiatric patients.“There has been an utmost urgency to identify biomarkers for mental illness that could significantly impact research and drug development,” said Xianjin Zhou, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine and lead author.The study was conducted on 60 lymphoblastoid cell lines from female patients, most of whom had a family history of mental illness. Approximately 50 percent of the female patients exhibited abnormally higher levels of XIST and other genes related to the X chromosome.Zhou and his team said reversing the abnormal activity of the inactive X chromosome in patients suffering from mental illness may offer a potential new strategy for treating psychiatric disorders.“Our results indicate that a large subpopulation of female psychiatric patients from the general population may have abnormal function of the inactive X chromosome,” said Zhou. “These results are powerful in that early diagnosis of mental illness could possibly happen with a simple blood test, leading to better interventions, therapy and treatment options.”last_img read more

British Property Federation hits back over retail support claim

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Northwestern professor, Oxford staffer jailed in stabbing

first_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Deputies respond to Murphy USA gas station in Lehigh Acres SHARE Immokalee man arrested, faces second-degree murder for shooting death Published: August 6, 2017 10:07 AM EDT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Far from their prestigious campuses, a Northwestern University professor and a University of Oxford finance officer were jailed in the San Francisco area on Saturday after eight days as fugitives in the death of a young hairdresser in Chicago who was repeatedly stabbed until the knife broke, police said.The Northwestern microbiologist, Wyndham Lathem, had a personal relationship with the victim, although the nature of it wasn’t clear. While on the run, Lathem had sent a video to family and friends apologizing for his involvement in the crime he called “the worst mistake of my life,” according to investigators.Lathem, 42, was being held without bail in Alameda County and faced a Monday court appearance in the city of Pleasanton. Lathem was under intensive observation Saturday in jail, Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said.The other suspect, Andrew Warren, a treasury assistant at one of Oxford’s residential colleges in England, was being held at the county jail in San Francisco.Both men surrendered separately and peacefully on Friday evening in the Bay Area.They had been fugitives since the body of 26-year-old Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau was found in Lathem’s Chicago apartment July 27.Police said Lathem had a relationship with Cornell-Duranleau, who moved to Chicago from the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area after receiving his cosmetology license. Investigators have not elaborated on how Cornell-Duranleau or Lathem knew Warren, or if Warren knew them before he arrived in the United States.Chicago police said Warren was 56; he was booked into jail as age 49.A deputy U.S. marshal said Lathem’s surrender came after fast-paced negotiations through an attorney that led to the fugitive turning himself in at the federal courthouse in Oakland.Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Frank Conroy told The Associated Press the telephone negotiations began late Friday afternoon and by evening, Lathem arrived by car at the courthouse. No guns were drawn, but Lathem was ordered to carefully step out of the vehicle and was taken into custody in a courtyard area, Conroy said.According to Conroy, Lathem stated that he would not answer questions on the advice of a lawyer, and no questions were asked.Investigators talked with Lathem’s friends during the week, including people from his graduate and undergraduate days, along with his colleagues.“They knew the seriousness of the charges, the seriousness of the case and how important it was that he be brought into custody, not have to live a life on the run,” Conroy said. “He knew that.”Conroy said he believed some of the friends were in contact with Lathem while he was a fugitive, and that the attorney probably became involved through a recommendation.Conroy didn’t have any details on Warren’s surrender because “he wasn’t our primary target, Mr. Lathem was.”Police said Lathem’s video to friends and relatives had raised concern among investigators that Lathem might kill himself.“We are also thankful both men are safely in custody and this did not end in further tragedy,” a police statement said.Warren arrived in the United States three days before Cornell-Duranleau’s death. He and Lathem were seen in surveillance video leaving Lathem’s high-rise apartment building the day of the stabbing.In a bizarre twist, police said that on that same day, before the body had been discovered, Lathem and Warren drove about 80 miles (128 kilometers) northwest of Chicago to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where one of them made a $1,000 cash donation to the local public library in Cornell-Duranleau’s name. Lake Geneva police said the man making the donation did not give his name.“I’ve never seen where suspects in a homicide would make a donation in the victim’s name,” said Lake Geneva police Lt. Edward Gritzner.On the night of the slaying, police said the front desk of the building where Lathem lived in Chicago’s trendy River North neighborhood received an anonymous call from a person who said that a crime had been committed in Lathem’s 10th floor apartment. When police opened the door, they found Cornell-Duranleau’s body.Police also said that by the time they found the body on the night of July 27, Cornell-Duranleau had been dead for 12 to 15 hoursCornell-Duranleau’s mother, Charlotte Cornell, didn’t immediately reply to an email requesting comment on the arrests. Northwestern professor, Oxford staffer jailed in stabbing Recommended Author: AP last_img read more