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“People thought I was either crazy or an impossible dreamer because I entered science competitions,” Sir Stuart Ntlathi (Image: Stuart Ntlathi) • Sir Stuart Ntlathi The SNSETinstitute +27 72 238 4925 [email protected] • The sky is not the limit for African astronaut Mandla Maseko • Ellis uses sport to build a better world • David Ross Patient: ‘ARVs need to be taken daily’ • Cheesekids help the less fortunate • From Daveyton to New York, Lira’s still singing her heart out Sulaiman PhilipAs a 13-year-old Sir Stuart Ntlathi looked at his world and decided he needed to know how it worked. Fourteen years later, his after-school science club owns patents to a battery-operated shoe polisher with changeable colour cartridges, a 14-in-1 microwave combo, and an auto-cooling umbrella. As a 13-year-old he recycled old appliances and developed a microwave-griller combo.Sir – his given name – has earned the honorific. The Stuart Ntlathi Science, Engineering & Technology Institute (SNSET) in Klerksdorp is driving a renewed interest in math and science among South African school kids, a tough challenge in a country where just about 20% of matriculants achieve a 50% pass in the sciences.Ntlathi is sparky, charming and all smiles when he talks about the reasoning behind the institute. It has had to adopt ingenious ways to catalyse an interest in science in an environment where mathematics and the sciences are not well taught, nor well regarded.The institute’s annual summit, held in Klerksdorp, is one such endeavour, and where the best school science pupils compete against each other to create projects. One year they were challenged to build and launch their own rocket. “If you want kids to enjoy what they’re doing, you have to put a bit of fun into it,” Ntlathi told City Press.Ntlathi, who grew up in rural North West, overcame the hurdle of being taught by a science teacher who barely understood his subject. Bad teachers, Ntlathi has often argued, do not inspire young people to an early interest in science, nor to dream that they can follow science-based careers. “The curriculum in SA is irrelevant. That’s why we’re not winning the battle. You don’t want to be teaching out of textbooks. Science requires specialised focus and motivation.”What the education system needs are more teachers like the late Ernest Setlaleng, Ntlathi’s seventh grade teacher. Unlike other teachers at Arefadimeheng Secondary, Setlaleng encouraged his interest in science, telling him that he could achieve anything he set his mind to. “Other teachers would tell me that science was a no-go area for black people. He taught me how to use the internet. He didn’t have the resources, but he tried his best. He believed in me. He was my inspiration.” “I spent my entire childhood tinkering with electronics and in the library on the internet,” Sir Stuart Ntlathi (Image: Capitec Bank) From that belief grew the Stuart Ntlathi Science, Engineering & Technology Institute, with 14 employees and a dream to build a headquarters – Infinite Park. These headquarters, Ntlathi hopes, will become a centre where budding scientists can congregate, share ideas and work together on projects.Ntlathi believes that the science club that met after school and grew into the SNSET Institute shows that South Africa’s scientific future is robust. He does not need a crystal ball to prove it when he says, “South Africa is pregnant with ideas, solutions and young people are asking for a platform to make these ideas a reality.”Ntlathi built the platform he will launch his dreams from and now he is sharing it with South Africa’s youth. When he was younger, he had told his grandparents that one day he would leave rural Klerksdorp and float above the Earth. In that childhood fantasy lay his life philosophy – the Infinity Dream – a demand to always strive for what seems unattainable: “Never put your dreams on hold because of money. Put your efforts into your dream, build on your dream and money will come as the cherry on top. Money comes as result of your dream, so never never deny yourself an opportunity because of money.” Watch Sir Ntlathi and other inspiring South Africans on the Play Your Part TV series every Sunday at 9pm on SABC2.
The ruling Congress in Meghalaya has suffered another jolt with State party president and four-time Chief Minister D.D. Lapang deciding to opt out of assembly poll race, due early next year. His announcement came a month after two senior leaders holding cabinet berths – deputy Chief Minister Roytre C Laloo and Roshan Warjri – expressed similar intentions. The 85-year-old veteran leader met All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Sunday to inform her about his decision.“She wished me well and said I should continue to keep the party united and share my experience and advisories with the workers and leaders,” Mr. Lapang said in a statement. The former CM also exchanged greetings with Meghalaya party in-charge C.P. Joshi during a meeting called to discuss the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president. He had informed Chief Minister Mukul Sangma about his decision prior to his meeting with Sonia Gandhi on Sunday.Mr. Lapang had won the Nongpoh seat in the 1972 assembly elections as an Independent candidate. He later joined the Congress and was elected chief minister in 1992, 2003, 2007 and 2009. However, he never completed his tenure as the chief minister.
Five persons, including three pilgrims, were killed and 18 others injured on Friday in two accidents in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri and Ramban districts, police said. Three pilgrims were killed and 18 others injured when their mini bus overturned in Rajouri district, they said. The bus was on its way to the Shiv Khori temple when it overturned at the Triyath belt, police said. The injured have been admitted to the GMC hospital in Jammu, they said. In another incident, two persons, identified as Sanjay Singh and Manjeet Singh, were killed after their vehicle skidded off the road and plunged into a 300-feet deep gorge near the Karool Kundi area in Ramban district, police said. Their bodies have been recovered, they said.
Islamabad: Pakistan’s jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s special adviser Irfan Siddiqui was granted bail on Sunday, a day after a court sent him to jail on a 14-day judicial remand for violating tenancy laws. Irfan Siddiqui, a noted columnist, was arrested during a late Friday night raid on his residence in the federal capital for not informing police while renting out his house under the tenancy law. Judicial Magistrate Mehreen Baluch approved Siddiqui and his tenant Javed Iqbal’s bail against a sum of Rs 20,000, the Express Tribune reported. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USFollowing the order, the legal team representing the columnist left for Adiala jail to secure his release. The interior ministry has also confirmed that Siddiqui, who served as the special assistant to the prime minister on national affairs during the PML-N government, will soon be released from prison. On Saturday, Siddiqui and Javed Iqbal were presented in the court of judicial magistrate Mehreen Baluch in handcuffs. The former adviser’s counsel contended that Siddiqui was arrested over a house agreement that he never signed, as the house belongs to his son. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHowever, the magistrate had approved a 14-day judicial remand of both accused and they were consequently transferred to Adiala Jail. A copy of the house lease agreement that the paper has acquired shows that Karak district’s Iqbal and Irfan Siddiqui’s son signed a one-year agreement, renewable for another year. The house was rented on a monthly rent of Rs 170,000 with a security deposit of Rs 340,000. Sharif, 69, has been serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018 when an accountability court convicted him in one of the three corruption cases.
Global Citizens: Janet Jackson, The Weeknd, More janet-jackson-weeknd-headline-global-citizen-festival-nyc Content Not Available Twitter Janet Jackson, The Weeknd To Headline Global Citizen Festival NYC https://twitter.com/GlblCtzn/status/1026906524722049024 Email Facebook Other performers include Cardi B, Shawn Mendes and Janelle Monáe with a special guest appearance by John LegendPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Aug 7, 2018 – 2:54 pm The bill for 2018’s Global Citizen Festival NYC on the Great Lawn in Central Park on Sept. 29 was announced on Aug. 7. GRAMMY winners Janet Jackson and the Weeknd will headline with Shawn Mendes and GRAMMY nominees Cardi B and Janelle Monáe. Started in 2012 by the Global Poverty Project, The free, ticketed event is a reward for acts of activism and is closing in on 16 million such actions, each trying to make the world a better place.GRAMMY winner John Legend will appear as special guest and the event will be hosted by Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman. Nominated for an Oscar and winner of Emmy and Tony awards, Jackman began 2018 with the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. His wife, Furness is both an exceptional actress and activist, known especially for her work on behalf of orphans and pro-adoption.Cardi B and Shawn Mendes have both had No. 1 albums this year as well. Her debut Invasion Of Privacy peaked in April, and his self-titled third studio album reached the top in May, his third No. 1 album. Of course we’ve also learned to expect Legend to live up to his name, repeatedly, but 2018 was the year we learned he could deliver a great live performance as Jesus in the televised special version of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” News On Dec. 2, 2018, Global Citizen is heading to Johannesburg, South Africa for the Mandela 100 Global Citizen Festival, as we reported last month, with headliners including Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Ed Sheeran. Also, back in 2011, a year before the first festival, Legend headlined a Global Citizen concert in Australia to raise funds to fight polio.While activist impulses are based on a generous spirit, this event and its community are made up of dedicated people who have gained for themselves from their commitment to giving and working for change. September’s festival in the park is likely to be both a fun and enriching opportunity to feel that spirit.Information including how to earn tickets for Global Citizen Festival NYC are available on the organization’s website.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more
Kolkata: Deepak Ghosh, block president of Trinamool Congress in Birbhum, who was shot at by some unidentified miscreants at Khairasol, succumbed to his injuries at Mission Hospital Durgapur on Monday.According to private hospital authorities, the victim died due to multi-organ failure after he received three bullet injuries. Two bullets were removed from his body by the doctors during an operation, while the third one could not be removed owing to the critical condition of the patient. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to the authorities, the doctors decided to take out the third bullet if the patient had shown some signs of improvement. But the efforts went in vain when the victim succumbed to his injuries on Monday morning, triggering a war of words between the district leaders of Trinamool Congress and BJP. Birbhum district president of Trinamool Congress, Anubarat Mondal trained his gun at BJP saying a conspiracy was hatched by them to kill Ghosh as he had been instrumental in strengthening their party’s organisation in the district. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”I knew him very well. He was an active party leader. The goons of BJP killed him. They fired five bullets at him yesterday. He had been attacked by the BJP workers before but managed to survive,” Mondal said. Senior Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim, who is also in charge of the party in the district, reacted sharply to the incident stating that RSS and BJP together are getting criminals into the state from Jharkhand with an intention to eliminate our party leaders. The BJP believes in violence. As they are unable to gain political ground in the state, they are trying to unleash violence. People in Bengal will give a befitting reply to them, Hakim maintained. The district BJP leaders have, however, denied the allegation and termed the incident a result of an intra-party clash within Trinamool Congress. It may be mentioned that Ghosh was returning home on a motorcycle on Sunday afternoon when some miscreants blocked his way and shot at him from a close quarter. Three bullets pierced his body and the victim fell on the ground. Alerted by the sound of gun shots, locals rushed to his rescue. The miscreants who reportedly came on motorcycles fled the spot immediately after the incident. After being informed police reached the spot and started a probe in this regard. Police are conducting raids to nab the culprits. It may be stated that Ghosh was attacked earlier as well by some miscreants.
The literary space has seen a rising tide of Bollywood celebrities – from Karan Johar to Rishi Kapoor – turning towards memoirs and autobiographies in recent years, but books by their predecessors are striking in that they focussed on substance, rather than mere controversies.A look at the list of all major books by celebrities that have fast climbed the bestseller charts throws up an even larger list of controversies that were spun around the time of their launches and which were, in fact, the driving factor for much of their sales. The “Ajay Devgun-Kajol-Karan Johar triangle”, which was largely forgotten, came back to make headlines soon before the launch of Johar’s “An Unsuitable Boy”. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”I am ashamed to say it, but I actually ‘bought’ that award,” Rishi Kapoor wrote in his recent memoir “Khullam Khulla”, referring to his Best Actor trophy in 1974 for Bobby. Shatrughan Sinha, too, created quite a buzz regarding a baharwali (an extramarital-affair), about whom he stays “quiet” in his biography “Anything But Khamosh”.However, these recent examples are not the only literary offerings that have come from the cine world, which has actually set high benchmarks for biographical writings in the past – but never made it to the bestseller lists. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIn early 2010 or 11, Udayan Mitra, Publisher-Literary of HarperCollins India, who was then working with Penguin India, visited the residence of the iconic bollywood actor Dev Anand. The publisher had signed a book deal with the actor and Mitra was there to discuss the progress of the book. Assuming that he would have to convey all the necessary guidelines to his secretary, Mitra met with one of the greatest shocks of his life when Dev Anand presented a completely hand-written 600-page manuscript to him. The result? “Romancing with Life”, one of the first-ever full-fledged memoirs by a leading Bollywood star. In the book, Dev Anand tells his remarkable life story like only he can. Here are tales from Dev’s youth in 1930s Gurdaspur and Lahore; his years of struggle in 1940s Bombay; his friendship with Guru Dutt and his doomed romance with Suraiya; his marriage to co-star Kalpana Kartik; his relationships with his brothers Chetan and Vijay Anand, with SD and RD Burman, with contemporaries Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor – both of whom he was very close to – and with heroines like Geeta Bali, Madhubala and Meena Kumari.”Maybe the celebrity memoirs today lack a personal touch. Most of these are also written with a co-author, who actually does most of the writing while the celebrity only narrates the stories of his life. It doesn’t mean that all memoirs today are bad, but there’s something missing in some of them,” said Mitra.Another book that comes to mind is “Speaking of Films,” which brings together some of Satyajit Ray’s most memorable writings on films and filmmaking. With the masterly precision and clarity that characterise his films, Ray discusses a wide array of subjects – the structure and language of cinema, with special reference to his adaptations of Tagore and Bibhuti Bhushan Bandopadhyay, the appropriate use of background music and dialogue in films, the relationship between a filmmaker and a film critic, and important developments in cinema such as the advent of sound and colour.One particular autobiography that aspiring writers from the film industry may consider reading before setting on the journey of penning their own book is “Dilip Kumar – The Substance and the Shadow”, the autobiography of the legendary actor. In the book, the actor candidly recounts his interactions and relationships with a wide variety of people not only from his family and the film fraternity but also from other walks of life, including politicians. While seeking to set the record straight, as he feels that a lot of what has been written about him so far is “full of distortions and misinformation”, he narrates, in graphic detail, how he got married to Saira Banu, all of which reads like a fairy tale.For a more recent example, one may turn towards “And Then One Day” by Naseeruddin Shah. It is a rare memoir brimming with substance and honesty. He makes no effort whatsoever even to hide his trysts with women, dope or smoking! In his brilliantly argued personal perspective of the megastar, he also narrates his dislike for masala movies. The chapters based on his love for cinema and theatre are so full of life that one is often lured to assume it is a kind of conversation, as if Shah has been narrating the story himself.ians
On Wednesday, New York Times published a report on Facebook that raised questions on the company’s way of dealing with the controversies surrounding it, disinformation, the way it treats competitors and critics. The report scathingly pointed out how Facebook denied and deflected the blame it faced, time and again- listing a series of issues faced by the company which affected its users right from 2015. In response to this report, Facebook released a statement on Thursday pointing out inaccuracies in the report by the New York Times. Further on a press call yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg planned, to discuss how the social network manages problematic posts and its community standards. He also released a “community standards” transparency report, on the very same day, listing the actions proactively taken to take down illicit accounts and the struggles that the company still faces. However, the almost 90 minute call mainly ended up focusing on discussions around the New York Times story and what Facebook intends to do in its aftermath. Mark Zuckerberg’s call with the reporters “The reality of running a company of more than 10,000 people is that you’re not going to know everything that’s going on”-Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive and chairman On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg held a conference call with reporters of top media firms like USA today, Bloomberg, ABC news, Wired and many others to discuss Facebook’s latest transparency report, which lists how the company caters to its community standards that govern content on its platform. While addressing questions on how he and Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, dealt with the issues listed in the New York Times report, Mr. Zuckerberg defended the social network, Ms. Sandberg and his own record. In response to the Russian interference, he acknowledged that the company was slow to act, but did not hinder investigation at any point. He stated: “I’ve said many times we were too slow to spot Russian interference, to suggest we weren’t interested in knowing the truth or wanted to hide what we knew or wanted to prevent investigations is simply untrue.” This was aligned to Facebook’s board statement on Thursday where the board acknowledged that the two executives responded slowly to Russian interference on Facebook and that directors had pushed them to act faster, but “to suggest they knew about Russian interference and either tried to ignore it or prevent investigations into what had happened was grossly unfair.” As for hiring a PR firm- Definers- who reportedly diverted attention from Facebook’s problems to its rival companies issues, Zuckerberg repeatedly said that he had only learned of Facebook’s work with Definers from the NYT report and Sandberg was also previously unaware of the relationship. When asked who was aware, Zuckerberg simply said “someone on our comms team must have hired them.” “As soon as I read it, I looked into whether this is the type of firm we want to be working with, and we stopped working with them,” he added. “We certainly never asked them to spread anything that wasn’t true.” However, as COO, Facebook’s corporate communications team is under the purview of Sandberg. In a statement on Facebook late Thursday, Ms. Sandberg wrote: “I did not know we hired them or about the work they were doing, but I should have.” During the call, Zuckerberg mentioned that Facebook will soon create an independent oversight body to adjudicate appeals on content moderation issues. This analogous to a Supreme court, will be created sometime next year and attempt to bring a balance between the right to free speech while keeping people safe around the world. A Blueprint for Content Governance and Enforcement On Thursday, Facebook released its second transparency report listing its advances in proactively identifying hate speech, and the first numbers for bullying, harassment, and child sexual exploitation takedowns .The report emphasizes the company’s efforts to remove bad content before users ever see it, while fielding an ever-growing number of requests from governments. In line to establishing an independent body to govern content moderation issues, he wrote “I believe independence is important for a few reasons. First, it will prevent the concentration of too much decision-making within our teams. Second, it will create accountability and oversight. Third, it will provide assurance that these decisions are made in the best interests of our community and not for commercial reasons.” Some interesting statistics to note from this report are: From July to September of 2018, Facebook took down far more pieces of unacceptable content. It removed 2.1 million and 8.7 million pieces of content from the category of bullying and harassment and child sexual exploitation and nudity, respectively. It removed 1.23 billion pieces of spam and closed 754 million fake accounts in the past quarter. Facebook says these are mostly spam, although it’s periodically removed accounts linked to political propaganda campaigns. Facebook removed 15.4 million pieces of violent content between June and September of 2018. Facebook has also become better at removing this content before users report it, claiming to proactively find more than 96 percent of the material, compared to around 71 percent last year. Facebook is still fielding government requests for user data, which has increased around 26 percent between the last half of 2017 and the first half of 2018. Facebook has made progress at deploying thousands of newly hired reviewers and artificial-intelligence tools, to enforce its community standards more aggressively. They have managed to catch 95 percent of nudity, fake accounts and graphic violence before users report it to Facebook. Public’s Reaction The New York Times reported that, in Washington, Republicans and Democrats threatened to restrain Facebook through competition laws. They also plan to open investigations into possible campaign finance violations. Shareholders ramped up calls to oust Mr. Zuckerberg as Facebook’s chairman while activists filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about the social network’s privacy policies and condemned Ms. Sandberg, the chief operating officer, for overseeing a campaign to secretly attack opponents. Mr. Zuckerberg said on the conference call that he was not willing to step down as chairman. Jessica Guynn, a reporter for USA Today, started an interesting thread on twitter where she stresses on the point that Mark Zuckerberg is denying allegations in the Times story and instead is stressing on solutions to divert people’s attention from the problems. Jessica also proded Mark on the topic of being the right person to lead Facebook. To which he replied “ We are doing the right things to fix the issues. I am fully committed to getting this right.” You can head over to the New York Times for a complete coverage of this news. Read Next What is Facebook hiding? New York Times reveals Facebook’s insidious crisis management strategy Facebook shares update on last week’s takedowns of accounts involved in “inauthentic behavior” Emmanuel Macron teams up with Facebook in a bid to fight hate speech on social media
On Thursday, German regulators, after a ruling, have ordered Facebook to put a stop to its data collection practices in Germany after they found that Facebook was exploiting consumers by requiring them to agree to data collection. This law was released by the German competition authority, called the Bundeskartellamt. Andreas Mundt, president of the Bundeskartellamt, said in a press release Thursday, “Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts.” Facebook’s advertising model tracks its users from the Facebook app, WhatsApp and Instagram, collecting data on the sites and apps visited, also keeping a note of what they like, and where they shop. This data allows the company to serve ads that are more relevant to users’ interests. However, privacy advocates have maintained that Facebook does this without the user’s consent and don’t offer complete transparency. According to a press release published Thursday, German authority’s decision covers different data sources: Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram can continue to collect data. However, assigning the data to Facebook user accounts will only be possible subject to the users’ voluntary consent. Where consent is not given, the data must remain with the respective service and cannot be processed in combination with Facebook data. Collecting data from third-party websites and assigning them to a Facebook user account will also only be possible if users give their voluntary consent. Bundeskartellamt’s has given Facebook one month to appeal the decision to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court. In a blog post published on FB newsroom, Facebook confirmed that it would appeal the decision. “We disagree with their conclusions and intend to appeal so that people in Germany continue to benefit fully from all our services. The Bundeskartellamt underestimates the fierce competition we face in Germany, misinterprets our compliance with GDPR and undermines the mechanisms European law provides for ensuring consistent data protection standards across the EU.” The German ruling applies to all users of Facebook based in Germany. If the decision is confirmed, Facebook would have to come up with a solution within four months to meet Bundeskartellamt’s orders. “This is significant,” says Lina Khan, an antitrust expert affiliated with Columbia Law School. “The FCO’s theory is that Facebook’s dominance is what allows it to impose on users contractual terms that require them to allow Facebook to track them all over,” Khan says. “When there is a lack of competition, users accepting terms of service are often not truly consenting. The consent is a fiction.” Antitrust lawyer Thomas Vinje, a partner at Clifford Chance in Brussels, told Reuters that the Cartel Office ruling had potentially far-reaching implications. “This is a landmark decision, it’s limited to Germany but strikes me as exportable and might have a significant impact on Facebook’s business model.” Read Next Facebook faces multiple data-protection investigations in Ireland Snopes will no longer do fact-checking work for Facebook, ends its partnership with the firm. Stanford experiment results on how deactivating Facebook affects social welfare measures