Daily Archives: May 15, 2018

OWC Will Support Sustainable Waters Photography Project in Africa

Photographer Florian Wagner will cross the continent documenting critical water systems.

WOODSTOCK, Illinois, May 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — OWC®, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, has announced their support for photojournalist Florian Wagner’s African Waters 360° project. The photo-film mission will see Wagner flying 18,000km via helicopter across ten African countries, capturing 360° panoramic images of diverse African cities located near bodies of water and river systems that are meaningful for ecological balance.

The project will kick off on Friday, May 18th at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa. At the event, Florian Wagner and other environmental collaborators will showcase works that explore how water impacts the human condition in resource-stressed and changing environments.

The goal of Wagner’s African Waters 360° project is to document Africa’s beauty while creating awareness of the need for responsible water policy. The program will also serve as a fundraising project for clean water charities, with a fundraising goal of $250,000.

OWC Founder and CEO Larry O’Connor said, “We are thrilled to support Florian Wagner in this important project. Not only is his work significant from an artistic point of view, but he shares OWC’s commitment to examining the world around us, and finding ways to improve the environment on a local and global scale. We all share in that obligation, and OWC is dedicated to raising funds for organizations that provide local communities with access to clean water and improve the residents’ standard of living. We are happy to continue those efforts through this venture.”

OWC is supporting Wagner and his team with a line of workflow solutions that will ensure the images captured during their excursion remain safe and secure. Professionals and prosumers alike need assurance that the content they create can be backed up without worry, and the OWC Envoy Pro EX (VE) with Thunderbolt 3, OWC Mercury Elite Pro Mini and OWC ThunderBay 4 with Thunderbolt 3 allow Florian’s team to keep their work securely stored. Wagner is a Leica Camera ambassador, and the African Waters 360° project is also supported by Garmin, Yeti, and Leatherman.

The event kick-off on May 18th is open to the public and will feature presentations on water and the environment as well as photographic exhibits, all hosted in the beautiful Two Oceans Aquarium. The event takes place from 6:30 to 9:00pm local time. Tickets can be purchased here.

About Florian Wagner
Florian Wagner is a photographer and helicopter pilot based in Munich, Germany. His work has been featured in such publications as National Geographic, GQ and Focus, and often explores wildlife and the environment. His trek across Africa can be followed at: African Waters 360°.

About OWC
Having served the Apple community worldwide since 1988, OWC has become the reliable manufacturer and upgrade provider of choice for Apple and PC enthusiasts with its extensive catalog of accessories, storage, and memory upgrades for nearly every Mac made in the last decade. Recognized for award-winning customer service, OWC provides extensive U.S.-based technical support for Mac and PC users around the world and comprehensive step-by-step installation and support videos.

Get social: follow OWC and follow Florian’s trek on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

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Senegal’s Street Children Turn Trauma into Art in Africa’s Biggest Exhibition

Young boys who were forced to beg on the streets for Islamic teachers have turned their suffering into art, as they join more than 1,000 artists showing their work at Africa’s biggest and oldest biennale art exhibition in Senegal this month.

Some 50,000 child beggars known as talibe live in religious schools called daaras in the West African nation, according to rights groups, who say some were trafficked from neighboring countries and many are beaten and abused.

“Being in the daara was like being in prison,” read one caption for an image of a sorrowful eye peering through a row of fingers. “My friend’s hands represent the feeling of being locked up.”

All of the photographs in the “Look at me” exhibition – which is part of the Dakar Biennale, known as Dak’Art, founded in the 1990s – were taken by and of street children living in a nearby shelter run by Samusocial, a charity.

Most children who come through the shelter are former talibe, while others escaped forced labor or family disputes, said Samusocial, which provides medical care and shelter while attempting to reunite them with their families.

“For me, the color red is like pain,” said another caption, describing a photograph of a boy, known as D.D., wrapped in a colored cloth. “I put it in the background because it’s in the past.”

In plastic sandals and bright T-shirts, the boys walked down the street together to visit the exhibition. They gazed wide-eyed at the photos printed larger than they are.

“I am happy,” said D.D., 16, who worked in a sewing shop for several years where he was regularly beaten. “I didn’t expect to see this,” he said of his photograph.

Samusocial often uses art and music to help the children build confidence and open up, said director of operations Isabelle Diouf.

“These children need beautiful things. It takes them out of the realities of the street a little and makes them want to move forward,” she told the Thomson Foundation.

Spanish photographer Javier Acebal, who worked with the children on the exhibit, said he hopes it will change viewers’ perceptions of beggars.

“When you’re walking down the street you think you know about these children, but in fact you know nothing,” he said. “They say they want to be like normal kids. I hope people start to think about that.”

Source: Voice of America

UN: Education, Roads Key to Withstanding Food Crises

Another year in education and an extra kilometer of road for every 1,000 people could dramatically improve communities’ ability to withstand food crises, the United Nations has said.

Last year, 124 million people in 51 countries faced crisis levels of hunger, mainly due to conflicts and climate disasters, and experts say the situation is getting worse.

Emergency food assistance costs billions of dollars, but improving road access and ensuring people stayed in education for one more year could save over $1 billion, said a World Food Program (WFP) report published on Monday.

That is a fifth of the $5.3 billion the WFP spent on food assistance in 2016, when 108 million people in 48 countries suffered acute hunger, said the report.

Even low-income countries can reduce the risk of large-scale food crises by focusing their investment on roads and schools, said the WFP’s food systems chief Steven Were Omamo.

The world is awash in food crises at the moment, he told the Thomson Foundation in a phone interview.

Preventing food crisis is not the preserve of rich countries. Governments are investing all the time, even in low-income countries.

Aid agencies say the expense of emergency food assistance often hampers the long-term development that is key to making populations resilient to shocks that could lead to starvation.

Immediate relief, when we have a crisis, is no doubt a priority. But … that is not enough, said Jose Graziano da Silva, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Aid agencies need to provide an approach that builds resilience, Graziano da Silva told journalists on Friday at a conference in Rome on North Africa and the Middle East, where millions are going hungry.

The biggest impact could be made through promoting peace, according to report, based on analysis of data from 152 countries between 2009 and 2015, of which 77 received WFP’s assistance.

A one-point increase in the World Bank’s index of political stability and absence of violence could halve food assistance expenditure, Omamo said.

That would mean a country like Central African Republic having the level of stability of Uganda, or Somalia having the stability of Kenya, he said.

WFP’s new report makes clear that raising incomes is not enough to avoid hunger crises, said Dina Esposito, a vice president at international charity Mercy Corps.

While significant progress has been made, trends suggest that food crises could continue to grow due to increasing and protracted violence in places like Yemen, South Sudan and elsewhere, she said in an email.

Source: Voice of America

Exiled Burundian Activists Call for Action Against Bujumbura

Exiled Burundian activists and the Paris-based FIDH, or International Federation for Human Rights, are sending a strong message to world powers: It’s time to impose more effective sanctions and other measures on President Pierre Nkurunziza and his government.

Burundian journalist Elyse Ngabire, who said she fled to France in 2015 after receiving death threats, said the international community must take measures that will force the ruling power into negotiations to end the crisis.

That call came as Burundians prepare to vote Thursday on a proposal to extend the president’s term in office from five to seven years. That could allow Nkurunziza already on his third mandate after a controversial 2015 election to stay in office for another 14 years.

Rights groups say violence that erupted with that 2015 vote has killed more than 1,700 people and uprooted another 400,000. Burundi’s bishops, the United States and the European Union and others have denounced violence, intimidation and other excesses targeting opponents of the proposed constitutional changes.

Burundian authorities deny they target their own citizens, claiming exiled activists are spreading propaganda.

FIDH deputy Africa bureau head Tcherina Jerolon issued a warning to international powers that helped secure the 2000 Arusha peace deal that helped to end years of civil war.

“There is a risk to reduce the whole credibility of the involvement of the international community in the peace process … in this context and in this region,” Jerolon said. “DRC is at risk, we have the situation in South Sudan, the situation in Central African Republic … there really is a need to have consistency and coherence.”

Burundian activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa fears the fallout of the referendum and warned that Burundi could again tip into civil conflict.

Source: Voice of America

IAEA Director General in Russia opens ATOMEXPO and Nuclear Management School, meets President Putin

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visited Sochi yesterday to take part in the opening of the 10th ATOMEXPO nuclear power forum and to inaugurate the third Russia-IAEA Nuclear Management School. While in Sochi, Mr Amano met President Vladimir Putin.

ATOMEXPO is an international forum for discussion on the modern nuclear power industry, organized by Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM. Industry leaders, representatives of international, national and public organizations, Russian and foreign companies, and experts in this field attend it every year.

The Agency remains committed to helping the world make optimal use of nuclear technology to generate low-carbon energy for development, and to counter the effects of climate change, Mr Amano said during his speech at the opening.

At the opening too, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy Mikhail Chudakov talked about the role of nuclear power in the future. He highlighted the IAEA’s assistance package for countries considering adopting nuclear power, giving an overview of the IAEA’s Milestones Approach and Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) missions.

Mr Chudakov discussed the digital future of nuclear power plant control systems, sharing the IAEA’s activities related to the design and application of instrumentation and control systems, which monitor all aspects of a nuclear power plant’s health.

We have to keep our eyes on developments [in instrumentation and control systems] and gather sufficient evidence that these technologies and solutions are mature enough for applications in our industry, Mr Chudakov said. The IAEA stands ready to support the global nuclear community in this crucial field.

More experts in nuclear

In conjunction with the ATOMEXPO forum in Sochi, the week-long Russia�IAEA Nuclear Energy Management School for managers in nuclear organizations took place. The school’s aim is to ensure that the next generation of nuclear professionals acquire the knowledge and expertise to manage complex nuclear programmes efficiently and safely.

Ensuring the availability of highly qualified staff to assume responsibility for the safe, secure and sustainable operation of nuclear facilities in the coming decades is extremely important, Mr Amano said during his opening speech at the school. We also need to ensure that critical knowledge is not lost when experts retire.

Mr Amano said that sharing and maintaining specialist knowledge is a challenge both in countries with established nuclear power programmes and newcomer countries � countries considering introducing nuclear power.

The IAEA organized the first Nuclear Energy Management School, together with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, in Trieste, Italy in 2010 and it has since taken place annually in the United Arab Emirates, Japan, the United States, South Africa and Russia. The 21 Nuclear Energy Management Schools held so far have trained more than 700 young professionals from both newcomer and expanding countries. The Schools are open to applicants from all IAEA Member States.

We have to keep our eyes on developments [in instrumentation and control systems] and gather sufficient evidence that these technologies and solutions are mature enough for applications in our industry, Mr Chudakov said. The IAEA stands ready to support the global nuclear community in this crucial field.

More experts in nuclear

In conjunction with the ATOMEXPO forum in Sochi, the week-long Russia�IAEA Nuclear Energy Management School for managers in nuclear organizations took place. The school’s aim is to ensure that the next generation of nuclear professionals acquire the knowledge and expertise to manage complex nuclear programmes efficiently and safely.

Ensuring the availability of highly qualified staff to assume responsibility for the safe, secure and sustainable operation of nuclear facilities in the coming decades is extremely important, Mr Amano said during his opening speech at the school. We also need to ensure that critical knowledge is not lost when experts retire.

Mr Amano said that sharing and maintaining specialist knowledge is a challenge both in countries with established nuclear power programmes and newcomer countries � countries considering introducing nuclear power.

The IAEA organized the first Nuclear Energy Management School, together with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, in Trieste, Italy in 2010 and it has since taken place annually in the United Arab Emirates, Japan, the United States, South Africa and Russia. The 21 Nuclear Energy Management Schools held so far have trained more than 700 young professionals from both newcomer and expanding countries. The Schools are open to applicants from all IAEA Member States.

Source: International Atomic Energy Agency