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South Africa’s treasures on show at intellectual property gathering in Switzerland

first_imgSouth African delegates were in Geneva, Switzerland, for the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO) General Assembly where they showcased the country’s cultural and scientific treasures.The event, which ran from 3 October to 11 October, brought together WIPO’s member states to discuss progress in the organsation’s work and possible amendments to intellectual property policies.Running with the theme “Treasures of South Africa”, the South African exhibit showcased the country’s traditional cultures and scientific innovations.Read the full “Treasures of South Africa” brochure below or download it.ForewordSouth Africa is the “Rainbow Nation”: a land of spectacular sights, joyous music and – of course – a vibrantly inspired people.It is also a land of treasure. Not just the treasure of gold and diamonds, but the treasure of the future: intellectual property. Having inspired the whole world through the beacon of hope of Nelson Mandela, the people of South Africa are now energizing to bring their own inspiration, the cultural and scientific wealth of their country, to its full potential.Central to this are the twin IP related goals of bringing South Africa’s traditional culture to a wider global audience, and securing a position at the forefront of scientific innovation. South Africa is one of the leading lights in the ongoing efforts of WIPO to bring rigor to the formal means of dealing with traditional knowledge, and this fine exhibition explains why.Few countries can boast the kind of evocative mastery of artistic crafts that is part of South Africa’s DNA. You will see traditional, and you will see the modern interpretation of traditional by brilliant indigenous designers. Likewise, you will learn about how South Africa works to keep its place at the top table of cutting-edge technology.Ever since the first heart transplant was performed in Cape Town in 1967, South Africa has had a world famous medical tradition. On display here is an even more remarkable product of genius from Cape Town, the CAT scan. You will also find several other internationally acclaimed inventions, such as the Smartlock Safety Syringe. Open the treasure chest, and have a great time.Francis GurryWIPO Director GeneralAbout South AfricaThe southernmost tip of Africa is home to a nation on the rise – a place where a warm-spirited and inventive people, great natural wealth and breathtaking landscapes come together to create fresh opportunities and new ways of doing things.This is South Africa in the 21st century: modern, vibrant and productive, rooted in Africa and a good international citizen.Since the end of apartheid in 1994, the consolidation of democracy in South Africa and creation of institutions that support this, has helped to strengthen the nation building project. Taking local conditions and international best practice into account, the country has launched a range of strategic initiatives to accelerate development and growth that will benefit the entire population by addressing the systemic challenges of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment. South Africa: IP Gateway to AfricaSouth Africa is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The country plays an active role in its national capacity and within regional formations, in particular the African Group.While it follows all WIPO committees, the nation pays special attention to The Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC).Intellectual Property Regulatory Body and Legislative Environment in South AfricaThe CIPC, established in May 2011, is mandated to regulate and protect South Africa’s Intellectual Property assets in accordance with the provisions of a range of legislation which is enacted over a number of decades.Creating an enabling environment for Intellectual Property has been the subject of much research and legislative reform. This process will continue to gain momentum in the next few years. The CIPC works closely with WIPO to ensure that global IP standards are implemented in South Africa and that global best practice is reflected in the changing IP legislative and policy environment.An imperative for the CIPC is to attract the registration of IP from African countries, and in particular from countries within SADC.Exhibition Theme: Treasures of South AfricaWith the theme of “Treasures of South Africa”, the Exhibition will showcase how South Africa’s engagement in the affairs of WIPO finds expression in how the country manages its national intellectual property.While reflecting on the South African multi-cultural artefacts from which many arts and culture practitioners make a living, it is an assimilation of the indigenous cultural expressions that have retained their original uniqueness.It is through this that they offer a perfect link to the policy debates on the importance of Protection of Cultural Expressions & Traditional Knowledge Systems, which are currently taking place at WIPO.The South African “Treasures of South Africa” Exhibition consists of three distinct elements, the first being craft products from some of local master crafters who include some living legends as well as items from young people making their mark in this design discipline that includes clay pots, ilala baskets, ceramics, and beaded calabashes.The second element features fashion and design works from premium South African indigenous designers who are increasingly making a name for themselves internationally such as Laduma Ngxokolo from “Maxhosa”, Palesa Mokubung “Mantsho”, Nkhensani Nkosi from “Stoned Cherrie” and more.Thirdly, a collection of visual arts wraps up the distinctive elements that are to be showcased at the exhibition.This presentation provides an artistic sneak peek into street photography. It unlocks a way of sharing the unmediated chance encounters and random incidents that take place in public places within South African townships, depicting various sociopolitical and economic settings.“Treasures of South Africa” asserts arts and culture as ancient crafts that have flourished for many centuries in Africa, together with a long history that has been transmitted verbally from one generation to the next. With growing international interest in the potential of cultural and creative industries, South Africa is increasingly focusing on its cultural and creative industries as potential contributors to economic growth and job creation.Some of South Africa’s ground-breaking inventionsSouth Africa has given expression to its brand of Inspiring New Ways with a number of world-renowned and ground-breaking inventions and innovations.As part of the WIPO General Assembly exhibition, the country will showcase the treasures that have been developed, and continue to be developed, within science and technology. Some of the most renowned inventions to emerge from South Africa include:Speed GunThis invention could only come from a cricket loving country. Henri Johnson invented the Speedball in 1992. The device accurately measures the speed and angles of speeding objects, such as cricket and tennis balls.Smartlock Safety SyringeSmartlock safety syringes provide improved protection against needlestick injury and contamination of the likes of the Ebola virus, Hepatitis and HIV. This invention has saved countless lives.CAT ScanThe Computed Axial Tomography Scan or CAT was developed by Cape Town physicist, Allan Cormack and his associate Godfrey Hounsfield.He provided the mathematical technique for the CAT scan, in which an X-ray source and electronic detectors are rotated about the body, and the resulting data is analysed by a computer to produce a sharp map of the tissues within a cross-section of the body. This resulted in receipt of a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.Contact:Companies and Intellectual Property CommissionThe dti Campus(Block F – Entfutfukweni)77 Meintjies Street, SunnysidePretoriaP O Box 429, Pretoria, 0001Tel: +27 12 394 9973Fax: +27 12 394 1015Call Centre: 086 100 2472Website: read more

You Are Privileged

first_imgSome people are better looking than you. Their stunning good looks brings them a lot of positive attention, and a lot of people want to help them. Their attractiveness provides them with a distinct advantage in some situations. They were born with the genetic privilege of attractiveness.Some people were born with a strong financial backing. Wealthy people have children. Through nothing but the good fortune of being born to people with a good-sized fortune, these people have all the privileges that come with wealth.Some people are far more athletic than you are. One kid in my eighth-grade class could slam dunk a basketball. He was only 5’10. He could also carry a football across the field without being touched. Some people are born with natural physical gifts. Athleticism is their privilege.Some people were born with a name. It probably doesn’t hurt to have been born a Kennedy, a Clinton, a Bush, a Gates or, in the future, a Zuckerberg. Not only do you have the wealth, you are also born with the privilege of the equity your family built up in their name. These people have the good fortune of a powerful family brand.Some people luck into something big. There are people who just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Through nothing but good luck, these people find their way into some deal that produces extraordinary success that they would never have had without fortune smiling upon them.Some people have the right connections. It’s very helpful to know the right people. A strong network of people who can recommend or vouch for you can open doors that would otherwise remain closed to you.Some people were born in a country with way more opportunity. If you were born in America, you are already in the top 1% of the world when it comes to wealth. You have a big head start over the vast majority of the world’s population. Being born here might be the only privilege you have.There are plenty of us that are born with the privilege of adversity. Instead of a head start, you may have been born with extraordinarily difficult challenges. You have the privilege of having had to grow, to learn, and to hustle. You have the privilege of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. You have the privilege of building yourself from scratch. This is your privilege. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Over 1,000 people tattoo Jayalalithaas picture, name

first_imgChennai, Feb 24 (PTI) Over 1,000 people tattooed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaas picture and name on their forearms to mark the 68th birth anniversary of the AIADMK supremo.The event was organised by Velachery MLA M K Ashok yesterday, where scores of people stood in long queque to get Jayalalithaas picture tattooed.Ashok, who also sports her tattoo, said that the idea came up after people wanted to do a similar gesture to thank Jayalalithaa.Though 668 persons were expected to participate, a little over 1,000 people turned up at the event, which was attended by senior ministers, including O Panneerselvam, he said.The volunteers were inked with a picture of Jayalalithaa and Amma in Tamil tattooed on their forearms. PTI SA APR ISHlast_img read more

Quebec unemployment rate reaches record low especially for primeage workforce

first_imgMONTREAL – Quebec’s unemployment rate hit its lowest level in decades in May, helped by full employment for the prime workforce aged 15 to 54 years.Six per cent of Quebecers were unemployed, the lowest level since Statistics Canada started collecting the data in 1976.The dip from 6.6 per cent in April was partially due a decrease in the number of people seeking work.However, among prime-age workers the unemployment rate dipped to a low of 5.8 per cent.“We’ve never seen this before so it’s a pretty good report,” said National Bank of Canada chief economist Stefane Marion.He said full employment for this key age group is important because they have the biggest propensity to obtain credit in the low interest rate environment.Across Canada, full-time employment for prime-aged workers rose 31,000 in May, the sixth robust increase in seven months. Over this period, 196,000 jobs for this age group have been created, the best such performance in 20 years.Marion said Montreal was the big winner in Quebec last month because for the first time in the province’s history more people are working in the city than in all of Quebec.Immigration has been a powerful contributor, he added.“The success story of the Canadian economy is really the immigration policy targeted towards economic immigrants. That’s why we distinguish ourselves from the rest of the OECD.”Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said the provincial economy is heading in the right direction after 165,000 jobs have been created since May 2014.Leitao also said fears of a downturn in the U.S. economy this year are unfounded.“There is uncertainty surrounding 2018 and 2019,” he said. “But in 2017 the U.S. economy is ticking over really well.”Desjardins Group senior economist Joelle Noreau said the enthusiasm about Quebec’s low overall unemployment rate should be tempered by the fact it’s just 0.6 per cent lower than April.Ontario experienced a similar decrease in April but the unemployment rate then rose 0.7 per cent in May to 6.5 per cent despite creating 19,900 new jobs.“We may be next in line for a short-term correction similar to what Ontario experienced,” she wrote in a report.In May, Quebec’s 29,800 gain in full-time jobs was offset by a decrease of 14,900 part-time employment.The biggest gains in employment were in the transportation and warehousing sectors, professional, scientific and technical services along with health care and social assistance.The improved jobs picture and growing consumer confidence is helping the residential sector which is resulting in a six per cent increase in Montreal area home prices, Noreau said.Marion said the Bank of Canada needs to adjust its message by acknowledging that the Canadian economy is doing well.“We anticipate a more hawkish message from (Bank of Canada Governor Stephen) Poloz in July as he must now prepare households for a rate hike,” he wrote in a note to clients.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.last_img read more

Exfederal bridge president jailed for accepting bribes from SNCLavalin

first_imgMONTREAL – The former president of the federal company that owns and operates two of Montreal’s major bridges was sentenced Thursday to five-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to accepting more than $2 million in bribes.Michel Fournier admitted to taking over $2.3 million from Montreal-based engineering giant SNC-Lavalin in connection with a contract the company received to repair the Jacques Cartier Bridge.Fournier was president and director general of Federal Bridge Corp. and president of Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc. between 1997-2004.A consortium led by SNC-Lavalin obtained the $127-million contract of public money to repair the Jacques Cartier Bridge in October 2000.Fournier told the court SNC-Lavalin deposited the money in Swiss bank accounts and that he had tried to hide the source of the cash.Court documents stated Fournier lost a significant amount of the money in the stock market.The government was only able to confiscate $775,000.Fournier was charged in 2016.last_img read more

Bob Barker To Congress Stop NIHs Cruel Experiments On Baby Monkeys

first_imgAs Congress deliberates the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) budget bill for next year, every single member will receive a video message starring Bob Barker — but it’s no The Price Is Right retrospective.In a new video for PETA, the 91-year-old television icon calls for an end to NIH’s expensive, much-criticized maternal-deprivation experiments on infant monkeys.“At this government facility in Maryland, hundreds of baby monkeys are torn from their mothers,” Barker explains in the video, which goes on to reveal how experimenters subject the baby monkeys to years of experiments designed to cause, worsen, and measure their severe fear, depression, and anxiety. These experiments have never led to the development of treatments for human mental illness, but they’ve continued for more than 30 years, costing taxpayers more than $30 million in just the past seven years alone.“This project is approved to continue until 2017, but it needs to stop right now,” Barker concludes in the video. “Please be a champion for animals, taxpayers, and public health by acting now to help end the NIH’s abusive and wasteful experiments on baby monkeys.”In December, compassionate members of Congress called on NIH to conduct a thorough scientific and ethical review of the cruel experiments. In January, U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell co-hosted PETA’s standing-room-only congressional briefing on the cruelty of the experiments, their inapplicability to human health, and the superior non-animal research methods available to study mental illness. PETA has also enlisted the support of scientists such as Dr. Jane Goodall, celebrity psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Berman, conservative strategist Mary Matalin, members of Congress, and hundreds of thousands of citizens.For more information, please visit read more

Jimmy Carter To Travel To Nepal For Habitat For Humanitys Carter Work

first_imgPresident Jimmy Carter recently received consent from his medical team to travel to Nepal for Habitat For Humanity’s 32nd annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.The build will take place Nov. 1-6 in the Chitwan district, which is located 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of the capital, Kathmandu.“Since Rosalynn and I first volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in 1984, we’ve never missed a single year,” said President Carter. “I am grateful that we can join with other volunteers in November and continue to help shed light on the critical need to address inadequate housing around the world.”During the week, 1,500 volunteers from within Nepal and around the world will help build permanent homes in partnership with low-income families in the Nayabasti Gairigaun village. A majority of these families are Dalits, who are considered the lowest group in the Nepali caste system. Many work as construction laborers, farmers or garbage collectors, or work at a nearby poultry farm, earning US$5 to US$7 a day.For more than three decades, President and Mrs. Carter have given a week of their time annually to help Habitat build and repair houses while raising awareness of the critical need for affordable housing. During the previous 31 projects, more than 92,000 volunteers have built, renovated and repaired 3,943 homes in 14 countries.“We are so excited that President and Mrs. Carter are going to be able to join us. Their involvement has inspired millions of people around the world to share our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to call home,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “The two of them bring such energy and enthusiasm to our mission and we look forward to their participation for many more years to come.”Habitat for Humanity’s Carter Work Project is made possible through the support of dedicated volunteers and generous sponsors. This year’s lead sponsors are longtime supporters Bank of America, Delta Air Lines Foundation and Samsung.For more information about this year’s project, visit: read more

Stocks move lower on mixed corporate earnings

NEW YORK — A mixed bag of corporate earnings pushed stocks lower in early trading Wednesday.Video-game makers were the biggest losers early on. Take-Two Interactive and Electronic Arts plunged after releasing weak forecasts, citing tougher competition. Several chipmakers, including Skyworks Solutions, rose after reporting solid results.Snap, which operates the photo-messaging app Snapchat, soared after reporting a giant increase in sales and slashing its quarterly loss in half.The mixed results continue rolling out, with more than half of companies having already reported earnings. The results are mostly beating forecasts, helping to allay some investors’ fears over a slowdown in growth.Broader economic concerns continue shadowing the market. Investors are still concerned about tariffs cutting into profits and consumers’ wallets, along with a general slowdown in growth globally.KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 74 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 25,337 as of 10:05 a.m. The S&P 500 index fell 0.4 per cent and The Nasdaq composite fell 0.6 per cent.OH, SNAP: The company behind the popular photo-messaging app SnapChat surged 22 per cent as more advertising dollars drove revenue growth in the fourth quarter. The revenue increase helped cut the company’s losses. It also maintained its user base.FANCY SHOES: The company behind Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and now Versace surged after reporting earnings that were far larger than analysts were expecting. Capri Holdings’ stock jumped 14.2 per cent. Sales of its Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors lines were especially strong.OVERSEAS: European markets were mostly lower. Many Asian markets were closed for the lunar new year.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press read more

Killings at Darfur displaced persons camp were unlawful – UN report

The report, issued today by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), is the result of an investigation into the 25 August incident at the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Darfur, which also left 108 civilians wounded.The Sudanese forces had entered the camp, home to about 80,000 IDPs, to execute a search warrant for illegal weapons and drugs. They were confronted by a group of camp residents who tried to stop them from entering the camp. The security forces fired shots in the air, before opening fire on the crowd. According to the report, the 33 people killed included 14 men, ten women and nine children. The casualties include one 75-year-old woman who drowned in a pool of water as she attempted to flee the shooting. The 108 people injured during the incident included 38 children and 25 women. The report notes unconfirmed reports by “credible independent sources” that light and heavy arms had been situated in Kalma. However, UN investigators could not verify Government claims that security forces had responded in a purely defensive manner after armed elements within the camp opened fire on them, allegedly injuring seven army personnel. “Witness testimonies confirmed that security forces shot arbitrarily at a large crowd of IDPs including women and children,” the report says. “Furthermore, it did not appear that the crowd posed any imminent threat to the security forces before they opened fire.” The report concludes that, “Government security forces committed violations of international human rights law against the civilian population of Kalma IDP camp. It was established that the security forces used lethal force in an unnecessary, disproportionate and therefore unlawful manner.” Government security forces also “failed to protect the right to life according to their obligations under international human rights law,” the report adds. In addition, during the Kalma incident “police and security forces failed to employ alternative peaceful means of crowd control before resorting to the use of lethal force.”UNAMID has been in place in Darfur since the start of 2008 in a bid to try to quell the deadly fighting and humanitarian suffering that has afflicted the impoverished Sudanese region since 2003. An estimated 300,000 people have been killed, either through direct combat, disease, malnutrition or reduced life expectancy, while another 2.7 million people have been forced to flee from their homes because of fighting between rebels, Government forces and allied Janjaweed. 23 January 2009Sudanese forces violated international human rights law by using lethal force in “an unnecessary, disproportionate and therefore unlawful manner,” when they fired on a crowd in a displaced persons camp in Darfur last August, killing 33 civilians, states a new United Nations report. read more

European nations meet ahead of UN forum on noncommunicable diseases crisis

24 November 2010In an effort to address the growing problem of non-communicable diseases, representatives from 40 European countries will gather in Norway tomorrow under the auspices of the United Nations health agency to discuss what the region needs to do to respond to the crisis. The two-day consultation in Oslo comes ahead of the UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), to be held in September next year, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said.The four most common NCDs – cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung diseases – have been recognized as the key health priority in the WHO European Region this decade. These illnesses account for 77 per cent of the disease burden and 86 per cent of all deaths in the 53 countries in the WHO European Region.Tackling NCDs is a priority for every government because they are often linked to common risk factors, including smoking, harmful use of alcohol, obesity and physical inactivity, which are largely preventable, says the agency.The diseases also take a strong financial toll on Europe’s health systems and may threaten their viability. They also constitute an economic burden in terms of health care costs, lost working time, and early death and disability, threatening economic growth and productivity.“We urgently need to address the growing epidemic of non-communicable diseases in Europe and mobilize all sectors of society to build a truly large-scale, multisectoral response,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “European countries should play a leading role in the global effort to control this epidemic.”The Oslo consultation will particularly focus on development challenges and will discuss the importance of tackling health inequities and social determinants of health.“The considerable and emerging burden caused by NCDs is of great concern to policy-makers in Europe as well as worldwide,” says Jonas Gahr Støre, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs. “The United Nations global summit on NCDs and the WHO consultation in Oslo provide us with vital opportunities to discuss and share experiences in this field.”In a related development, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that the global prevalence of leprosy has been reduced by 90 per cent over the past two decades, and that the world is on the verge of eliminating the disease as a public health problem.He lamented, however, that people affected by the illness, also known as Hansen’s Disease, continue to face discrimination and are often denied their rights.“People with Hansen’s Disease know better than anyone else what they need. They should be consulted every step of the way,” Mr. Ban said in video message to the World Forum on Hansen’s Disease, which opened today in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea.“Working together, we can give every patient the treatment they deserve and protect the right of every person with Hansen’s Disease to live fully and equally in society,” he told delegates at the three-day gathering.He said that although leprosy is not easily diagnosed, it is easy to cure and, thanks to donations from the pharmaceutical industry, all people who are affected can get the drugs they need for free. read more