‘MY GARDA GROUNDHOG DAY’ – BY FRANK McBREARTY Jnr

first_imgCllr Frank McBrearty has called for Garda posts to be ‘completely independent’BY FRANK McBREARTY JNR: I am reading the Sunday newspapers on February 16th and it feels like I am watching the Groundhog Day movie. The flashbacks and memories of the gardaí trying to frame me for a murder that didn’t happen aided with the help of Garda informants comes rushing back to remind me of the injustice committed against my family and I at the hands of corrupt gardaí, each day repeating itself over and over and at the stroke of midnight the nightmare starts over again and again. What has changed?These are the issues that need to be addressed.Garda reform and recommendations from the Morris Tribunal report need to be implemented. GSOC: to be given the powers and properly funded by Government to be totally independent and no member of An Garda Síochána past or present to be allowed to work for the GSOC.GSOC: to be given oversight powers of senior Garda management right up to the rank of Garda Commissioner when allegations of wrong-doing are made against senior Garda management. GSOC: to be given the same powers as its counterpart in Northern Ireland. GSOC: to be given the remit and powers to investigate complaints against the force from allegations made by Garda whistleblowers.The establishment of new policing boards for each Garda district in Ireland to be put in place with proper powers to enable them to hold senior Garda management to account for policing and that the current joint policing committees be terminated. I have been a member of Donegal’s joint policing committee since 2009. It is a waste of taxpayers’ money.The former Garda inspectorate Kathleen O’Toole’s work over the five years she was in the job needs to be fully published. Informants: oversight and constant inspections by an independent authority needs to be established concerning their operations and handling to ensure that no criminality occurs.For example, after the Morris Tribunal, the Garda force was required to register informants under its Covert Human Intelligence Source system (CHIS). Informants are not supposed to be actively engaged in criminality. What watchdog ensures that the rules are not broken?See Fr McVerry’s (Jesuit Centre for Faith & Justice) report (workingnotes.ie) on the Morris Tribunal in 2004 long before its conclusion and An Garda Síochána Bill 2004. It makes for interesting reading. See also Morris’s reports.The problems that have been aired over recent weeks all stem back to the handling by An Garda Síochána of informants and the intelligence-gathering conducted through their flawed system CHIS.We must have an independent oversight of the Department of Justice as this is where the heart of our problems lies and their relationship with the Minister and Garda Commissioner is questionable to say the least in a modern day democracy. Reform needs to happen here also. The question that now needs to be asked is how many innocent people are in jail at the hands of corrupt gardaí. We need to stop this and begin to look at policing in the past, present and into the future so we can learn from our mistakes. Accountability.Publish the Carty report (internal Garda investigation): this will show why we need reform of the Garda.So what has changed? Nothing. The only thing that has changed is the gardaí have more power and what comes with more power, more abuse of power.A threat to justice anywhere in Ireland is a threat to justice everywhere in Ireland. ‘MY GARDA GROUNDHOG DAY’ – BY FRANK McBREARTY Jnr was last modified: February 22nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:corruptionFrank McBrearty JnrGardalast_img read more

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Giants cut two more Zaidi free agent signees, promote Williamson in big roster shakeup

first_imgDENVER — A harrowing tumble over the bullpen mounds threatened Mac Williamson’s career with the Giants last April.A poor spring and the club’s decision to designate Williamson for assignment put his future with the organization in even greater jeopardy this spring.When the Giants return home to Oracle Park on Friday, the bullpen mounds will still be lurking in foul territory on both sides of the field. Williamson, after defying great odds, will likely be out on the field too.In a major …last_img read more

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South Africa’s role in clean energy discussed at Mining Indaba

first_imgProduction will start at South Africa’s first fuel cell component plant by December, it was announced at the Investing in African Mining Indaba. Fuel cells use platinum, and the country is the world’s leading platinum producer.Production will start at South Africa’s first fuel cell component plant by December 2017. The plant will have a role to play in making clean energy vehicles. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterFuel cell components and using platinum as a catalyst was one of the hot topics at the Investing in African Mining Indaba this week. The annual conference took place from 6-9 February 2017 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.The indaba is dedicated to the capitalisation and development of mining interests in Africa. It was announced during the conference that production would begin at Africa’s first fuel cell component plant by December.What are fuel cells?Fuel cells are eco-friendly; use hydrogen or hydrogen-rich fuel, such as natural gas, biogas, and methanol, and oxygen; and they reduce harmful emissions.Fuel cells also generate electricity and heat from the electrochemical reaction between hydrogen, platinum and oxygen.The fuel cell component plantAfrica’s first fuel cell component plant using platinum as a catalyst would start production by December this year, Reuters reported.The announcement comes after Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies launched a R15-million feasibility study a year ago. The Isondo Precious Minerals study is to identify particular components that can be manufactured for fuel cell units.It was intended to accelerate mineral beneficiation and localisation of fuel cell manufacturing in South Africa.The fuel cell component plant – a first in Africa – aimed to take advantage of rising demand for clean energy cars, said officials from Isondo Precious Metals.The group has secured a licence from the American company Chemours Technology to gather components for fuel cells using platinum, which has mainly been used in catalysts to clean up car emissions.The new plant will be located in a special economic zone either in Johannesburg or Durban.Fuel cell activity in South Africa:A hydrogen economyThe organisations partnering in fuel cell technology are HySA Catalysis, HySA Systems and HySA Infrastructure. They all fall under HySA (Hydrogen South Africa). HySA was initiated by the Department of Science and Technology, in its research, development and innovation strategy. It was launched in 2008.HySA Catalysis is co-hosted by the University of Cape Town and Mintek; HySA Systems is hosted by the University of the Western Cape; and HySA Infrastructure is hosted by North West University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.The parent company’s focus areas include the use and displacement of strategic minerals, and ways of harnessing South Africa’s mineral endowments to promote the hydrogen economy and renewable energy use.HyPlat is a spinoff company of HySA Catalysis. “Essentially HyPlat is a success story of HySA Catalysis. The technologies developed by HySA Catalysis have been licensed to HyPlat making HyPlat the commercialisation arm of HySA Catalysis,” said HyPlat’s chief executive officer, Dr. Sharon Blair.“HyPlat sells customised platinum-based fuel cell components in South Africa. These products are sold to foreign customers and exported globally. South Africa has very little fuel cell activity; that’s why most of the customers are companies from abroad.”Structures that use fuel cellsIn the Chamber of Mines building, a 100kW fuel cell produces 70% of the organisation’s electricity. The fuel cell runs on platinum and natural gas.Explaining the use of South African platinum in the fuel cell, Chamber of Mines spokesperson Charmane Russel said: “The platinum used is the catalyst in an electrochemical process. The platinum is a once-off amount that is never used up.“However, after about 10 years, the platinum membrane becomes warped and it is then smelted and reapplied in the same fuel cell,” she said. “The platinum reacts with hydrogen to produce electricity – 35kW of heat and 5l of water per hour as a by-product.”The source of the hydrogen in the chamber’s fuel cell was low pressure natural gas, and it used 420GJ of gas a month, said Russel.Watch South Africa’s first hydrogen fuel cell forklift and refuelling station at work at Implats:The fuel cell forklift prototype and its refuelling station had been running since November 2015, said Fahmida Smith, the fuel cell co-ordinator at platinum group metals mining house Impala Platinum (Implats). “It’s operating very well.”South Africa’s first prototype hydrogen fuel cell forklift and refuelling station, it is installed at Impala Refining Services in Springs, Gauteng. Over the past three years, Implats has spent R6-million with HySA Systems in developing the prototype. The miner plans to use hydrogen fuel cell technology as its main source of energy for material handling and underground mining equipment.“We are looking at a wider industry collaboration on commercialisation of this. This is a very early stage and we still need to develop a formal commercialisation strategy,” said Smith.The fuel cell forklift was refuelled once a week, she explained. “Where this unit is different from a normal battery forklift is in its availability. A pure battery system can operate between four to six hours pending battery size and load.“It takes at least eight hours to recharge before it can be used again. The fuel cell forklift has a higher availability rate and takes less than 10 minutes to refuel.”Investments in fuel cell vehiclesAnglo American Platinum was investing $4-million (R53.764m) to help reduce the delivered costs of hydrogen, the mining company said on its website. The investment promised to support the development of hydrogen refuelling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in the north-east corridor of the United States.FCEVs are powered by hydrogen and have the potential to revolutionise transport. FCEVs are fuelled with pure hydrogen gas stored directly on the vehicle. They will only produce water and heat.Furthermore, the mining house’s investment in United Hydrogen Group, a hydrogen production and distribution business in the United States, was aimed at bolstering the demand for platinum, it said.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

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CrowdMed Wants To Crowdsource Your Medical Care To Strangers

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification What Do Real MDs Think?The first rule of medicine is primum non nocere, Latin for “first, do no harm.” It does not necessarily apply to the crowd. Not surprisingly, the CrowdMed approach bothers many real doctors.Dr. Hubert Chen, the Associate Medical Director for biotech pioneer Genentech, said, “I want to be enthusiastic, but I have concerns about it.” Dr. Chen’s primary concern was the potential for numerous “false positives” that CrowdMed’s “detectives” might generate: “I’ve seen many patients misled by the Web. Doctors often have to un-educate them.”Dr. Aaron Roland, wo runs a family practice in northern California and is an associate clinical professor at UC San Francisco, had different concerns. “I wouldn’t pay $200,” Rolan said. He also wondered whether CrowdMed could attract the scale it needs. “Crowdsourcing is good when there’s a lot of people in the crowd,” he said, “but until you get that crowd, I’m suspicious.”Industry Connections To help attract the required crowd, Heyman recruited Clare Martorana, the long-time editor of WebMD, to help support CrowdMed’s outreach efforts. Not surprisingly, Martorana was very positive about the concept. There are many “experts,” she said, not necessarily doctors, who may have suffered from a particular disease, or have a family member who has suffered, and whom can now contribute to the site.She hopes to “reach out” to staffers – not just doctors – at medical research, counseling and support organizations that concentrate on specific issues – think, autism, for example, or Parkinson’s dioease – and encourage them to participate in CrowdMed.Martorana also suggested crowdsourcing diagnoses could be a boon for health insurance companies: “If you are insured and going to multiple specialists, but not getting relief, that costs a lot of money – you, your employer, your insurer all must bear those costs. At some point, there probably will be a pretty significant revenue stream for CrowdMed coming from insurance companies. Right now, their cost numbers are staggering.”Staggering PotentialThe relatively paltry $1.1 million CrowdMed has raised so far suggest that investors remain unsure of the idea’s potential risks and rewards. But connecting patients with chronic medical symptoms to experts, regardless of their titles, clearly holds massive disruptive potential. CrowdMed’s ambitious, even inspiring idea is to use connectivity, collaboration and collective intelligence to help people avoid needless suffering. Despite the risks, it seems like it’s a worth a try to me.See alsoSocial Revolution: Crowdsourcing For ChangeThe Problem With Crowdsourcing Crime Reporting In The Mexican Drug WarThe Key To Crowdsourcing: Smarter CrowdsLead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Images of Jared Heyman and Carly Heyman courtesy of CrowdMed. Image of Clare Martorana via LinkedIn. Tags:#crowdsourcing#health#social networks Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Would you trust the “wisdom of the crowd” over your own doctor? CrowdMed thinks you might. The San Francisco start-up has an audacious plan to use crowdsourcing techniques to tap the “collective wisdom” of strangers to help diagnose patients – particularly those who’ve bounced from doctor to doctor for years trying to understand uncommon symptoms. While many may worry that healthcare is too important to trust to strangers, I think this is awesome. After all, crowdsourcing is already used to help find missing persons, track down terrorists, answer life’s vexing questions, pick stocks – and to select our President. SETI uses crowdsourcing to search for extraterrestrial life. Why not employ crowdsourcing to help our multi-trillion-dollar healthcare industry? CrowdMed recently received $1.1 million in seed financing from some of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms, including NEA, Greylock Partners, Y Combinator and Andreessen Horowitz. Ask Your Doctor? No. Ask the Crowd.CrowdMed works like this: Patients pay a $199 fee to list their case on CrowdMed. They fill out a “patient questionnaire” that details their symptoms, case history and personal information. Though CrowdMed founder Jared Heyman declined to say exactly how many patients have enrolled so far, he claimed that there has been “pretty strong demand.” Without the fee, Heyman explained, the site would be overwhelmed with patients who might not get diagnosed. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img Related Posts Once a case is posted, the crowd, what CrowdMed somewhat coyly terms “MDs” – for “medical detectives” – can review the patient’s information and offer up what they believe is the correct – or most likely – diagnosis. According to Heyman, “close to 3,000 people have signed up as medical detectives.” He said CrowdMed’s “MDs” include doctors, residents and “regular people that like solving medical mysteries.” Why sign up to be a medical detective? First, there’s the chance to help patients. Second, CrowdMed awards its detectives “points” for the diagnoses they correctly predict. CrowdMed utilizes a so-called prediction market methodology to help glean the correct diagnosis. For example, when a detective selects a case to review, they use up some of their points. They use up still more when they suggest a diagnosis or vote up (or down) other suggested diagnoses. Essentially, it “costs” to play. The more accurate their predictions, however, the more points they are ultimately awarded. Points do not have any cash value, however. For now, they can be exchanged only for donations to Watsi, an organization that helps fund medical treatments in the developing world. Heyman did not say how much CrowdMed is donating.While it’s true that CrowdMed’s detectives may not always correctly diagnose a particular patient, if they can narrow the likelihood of someone’s illness to, say, two or three likely options – those that garner the most points, for example – that could speed up decision making and help point to which tests should be perfomed. In Crowd We Trust?The obvious question: Can a crowd of strangers with unknown amounts of medical expertise be trusted to safely and correctly diagnose baffling medical problems? CrowdMed claims that after “four years of development” it possess a patented “unique technology” specifically designed to optimize group intelligence for medical diagnostic purposes. From its site:Groups hold far more knowledge collectively than any individual member, no matter how brilliant. With hundreds of minds working in parallel, groups can process information much faster than individuals.Heyman told me that his sister suffered for three years from a rare disease. Once it was finally correctly diagnosed, doctors were able to significantly ease her symptoms. CrowdMed used her case to help validate its model – Heyman says it accurately diagnosed her within days.  brian s hall A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

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6 Tips on Finding and Hiring Freelancers for Your Small Business

first_imgWhen you own a small business, you may not always be able to afford to hire a full-time staff, this is where hiring outside help in the form of freelancers can help. With freelancers, you only pay them for the time they work or for the services they offer. Often times this is the more affordable way to service more customers. However, not all freelancers are the same, some are skilled and some are not. Below are six tips that will help you hire the best one for your business needs. 1. Know what you need.For many, this means identifying the projects you are less excited to work on. Maybe you don’t have the needed knowledge in a certain field or rather spend your time working on something else. For example, not everyone wants to do their small business bookkeeping, so why not outsource by hiring someone else to do it for you. 2. Know what you can pay for.Don’t expect to hire freelancers for pennies. Sure you can find overseas writers who will write a $5 article, but don’t expect to get anything good out of them. Remember the saying, you get what you pay for. To get more professional results, never choose the cheapest options. If you have a large volume of work that you need to outsource, the freelancer may be willing to lower their rate to get it. 3. Look at your network.Examine your network first before posting a job online. Begin with the people you already know and see if they can recommend any freelancers they previously worked with. You can even ask your clients or business networking groups if you participate in any. If you don’t get any results from this, try out social media. Tweet or make a post on LinkedIn describing what you’re looking for and asking if anyone has any referrals. Sometimes this can provide surprising results. 4. Make a post on job boards.There are many freelance job boards like Freelance Writing Jobs and Craigslist Gigs section. You won’t find freelancers on CareerBuilder or Monster, so you can avoid those. Specify the project in the description and how long you expect the project to take. Then either ask people to include their rate in their cover letters or specify what you’re willing to pay. Be detailed and specify the creative experience that you are seeking. 5. Sort through the applicants. Now prepare to get flooded with applications. First, begin taking out the people who don’t have any of the experience you requested. Then you can either conduct a video or phone interview or simply ask them to do a paid test assignment. Give them a firm deadline along with instructions on what you need to be done. If they can’t follow instructions or make the deadline, then they probably won’t be a good candidate. 6. Be picky.Never settle for a freelancer that doesn’t meet your expectations. Sure you might have a project that needed to get done yesterday and may decide you will deal with a sub-par freelancer. But this might come back to bite you. For example, freelancers who turn their work in late, usually do so when you have a deadline with a client. A freelancer that needs their hand to be held will require extra attention from you when you don’t have the time to do give it. It may take longer but it’s best to wait for the perfect freelancer in order to set up your business for success. Sometimes it’s also a good idea to hire more than one person just to make sure you have a more diverse set of skills. And remember, there are many talented freelancers out there, so long as you’re willing to invest the time looking for them. Tags:#Freelancers#small business AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Reasons to Outsource General Counsel Services f… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.Our attention to ourselves, to our daily routine and habits, is very important. Things that may seem insignificant, are pieces of a big puzzle called life. I want to encourage people to be more attentive to their well-being, improve every little item of it and become healthier, happier, stronger. All of us deserve that. And I really hope that my work helps to make the world better. Amelia Grant Related Posts last_img read more

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