Venezuela’s Guaido vows to return to Caracas despite threat of prison

first_imgVenezuelan Opposition Leader Juan Guaido, visiting Brazil to drum up support for his bid to push for a change of government in his country, said on Thursday he will return to Caracas by Monday despite threats of imprisonment.Guaido said the leftist “regime” of President Nicolás Maduro was “weak, lacking support in Venezuela and international recognition”.Speaking to reporters after meeting with Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, Guaido called for the enforcement of economic sanctions against the Maduro Government to continue “so that everything is not robbed in Venezuela”.Guaido, head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, last month invoked constitutional provisions to assume an interim presidency, arguing that Maduro’s re-election last year was fraudulent. He has since been recognised by most Western nations as the rightful leader of Venezuela.Venezuelan Opposition Leader Juan Guaido waves as he arrives at the European Union headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil, February 28, 2019But he faces possible arrest if he returns to Venezuela for disobeying a Supreme Court order that he should not leave the country pending an investigation.He said on Thursday that he and his family had received threats, including of prison. He did not provide further details.Following a visit this week to Colombia for the launching of a US-led plan to get humanitarian aid into Venezuela, Guaido is visiting Brazil to build diplomatic pressure against Maduro.He is set to leave today for Paraguay and said he would plan his route back into Venezuela over the weekend.“We continue to strengthen relations with countries that have recognised our efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela and hold free elections,” Guaido said in a Twitter message, after meeting in Brasilia with diplomats from about 20 European Union member states.He said there was no chance of dialogue with the Maduro Government without discussing elections as a pre-condition.Bolsonaro said in a joint statement after meeting with Guaido that the Opposition Leader was the hope for restoring a “free, democratic and prosperous Venezuela.”Brazil was one of the first to recognise Guaido, after the United States and Colombia.It is hosting one of the Venezuelan Opposition’s collection points for aid, and together with the United States has funded some 200 tonnes of food and medicine being stockpiled in the northern city of Boa Vista.Venezuela’s Opposition failed to get that aid across the border as planned last weekend after Maduro closed it, sparking protests that killed one person and injured others.Russia and China, which back Maduro, vetoed on Thursday a US-authored resolution at the United Nations Security Council calling for free and fair presidential elections and open access for the aid efforts.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was still working on plans to get the aid delivered to Venezuela, which is suffering from a deep economic crisis marked by widespread shortages of basic necessities.“We are hopeful that over the next couple of weeks, we can really begin to make a dent in that problem,” Pompeo told reporters while flying to the Philippines from Vietnam.Maduro denies his oil-rich nation has any need of aid and accuses Guaido of being a coup-mongering puppet for Washington. (Reuters)last_img read more

ODHRÁN MACNIALLAIS: “MCGUINNESS CAN MANAGE CELTIC”

first_imgOdhrán MacNiallais believes former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness can one day manage Celtic FC.Donegal star Odhrán MacNiallais has claimed former Donegal supremo Jim McGuinness can one day manage Celtic FC.McGuinness is currently employed by the Glasgow giants as a performance consultant, since being appointed to the position in November 2012.He worked closely with the club’s youth structure in recent seasons, but following the appointment of Ronnie Delia, McGuinness now works predominantly with the club’s first-team. The success McGuinness had in four-years with Donegal, made him the county’s greatest ever coach, and there are those who believe the charismatic Glenties man has the abilities to be able to manage at a club like Celtic.MacNiallais said, “I don’t see why not, what he’s done to this Donegal team, when you look back to 2010 the state, the position this Donegal team were in, they were down and out and he turned that around completely.“I don’t see why he couldn’t manage Celtic.“Jim brings such a massive psychological side to it. It’s not just his tactics. That would be a big thing to have if you are going to manage a soccer team – you are dealing with a lot of people. “(It’s) probably tougher to deal with professional players than with us. We are just there doing it because we love it but them boys are all getting paid, however, I think it would suit Jim perfectly. He would settle in right away.MacNiallais also paid tribute to his former boss and admitted without his influence he probably wouldn’t have fulfilled his undoubted potential.“What he’s done for me personally is massive. Two or three years ago I was playing U21 for the county but I don’t think I would have had it to go and play senior only for him.“He kind of pushed me on massively. I always had the talent, boys from home would tell me that I had it, but I never kind of pushed myself.“He kind of pushed me on to become a senior footballer and I can’t thank him enough for that. It was massive for me. “It’ll be weird now not having him there but we’ll just have to get on with it. Hopefully he’ll be back.ODHRÁN MACNIALLAIS: “MCGUINNESS CAN MANAGE CELTIC” was last modified: October 23rd, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:donegalGAAJim McGuinnessnewsOdhran Mac NiallaisSportlast_img read more

Former Raiders 1,000-yard rusher arrested for DWI in Whataburger drive-thru

first_imgAccording to TMZ, McFadden was found asleep at the wheel of his SUV in the drive-thru of a … No, not Hi Ho Cheeseburger:No, not Ray’s Hell Burger:Riiiiight. Whataburger: Click here if you’re having trouble viewing these videos on a mobile device.Running back Darren McFadden, selected by the Raiders with the fourth pick in the 2008 NFL draft, was arrested in Texas early Monday at a Whataburger on suspicion of driving drunk, TMZ has reported.No, not Good Burger:last_img

Two Oakland A’s named to inaugural All-MLB team

first_imgSAN DIEGO — The Oakland A’s have all their attention focused on the 2020 season at this year’s Winter Meetings, but two of their best players are still being celebrated for their accomplishments in 2019.Shortstop Marcus Semien and closer Liam Hendriks were named to the inaugural All-MLB second team on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.Semien finished third in the American League MVP voting this year behind Angels center fielder Mike Trout and Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, but …last_img read more

“It Evolved” Is Not an Explanation

first_imgA Darwinian can stare at evidence for intelligent design all day and conclude, without batting an eye, “evolution did it.” Look at these examples.A favorite attack by atheists is to accuse creationists of giving up on science, and just saying, “God did it.” That attack cuts both ways. Saying “It evolved” gives up on science even more, as the following news items demonstrate.The clownfish is unaffected by the stinging cells of a sea anemone (Corel Pro Photos)The sea anemone, an animal that hides its complexity well (Science Daily). Observe this opening paragraph. It sounds like a tribute to wise design until the last sentence.Despite its apparent simplicity — a tube-like body topped with tentacles -, the sea anemone is actually a highly complex creature. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, in collaboration with the CNRS, have just discovered over a hundred different cell types in this small marine invertebrate as well as incredible neuronal diversity. This surprising complexity was revealed when the researchers built a real cell atlas of the animal. Their findings, which will add to discussions on how cells have diversified and developed into organs during evolution, have been published in the journal Cell.It must be understood that, in Darwinese, the verb developed is often used as a synonym for evolved. The assumption of mindless, unguided innovation of “organs” is buried within the word, making this rhetorical tactic a form of obfuscation or equivocation. With that in mind, look at the surprise they found in the humble sea anemone:The sea anemone Nematostella vectensis … is a small marine invertebrate that is easy to keep in the laboratory and whose genome is simple enough to study its workings and close enough to that of humans for conclusions to be drawn. “When the sea anemone genome was sequenced in 2007, scientists discovered that it was very similar to the human genome, both in terms of the number of genes (roughly 20,000) and its organization, explains Heather Marlow, a specialist in developmental biology in the (Epi)genomics of Animal Development Unit at the Institut Pasteur and the main author of this study. These similarities make the sea anemone an ideal model for studying the animal genome and understanding interactions existing between genes.” It also has another advantage — its strategic position in the tree of life. The cnidaria branch that anemones belong to separated from the bilateria branch, in other words from most other animals, including humans, over 600 million years ago. “The anemone can therefore also help us to understand the origin and evolution of the multiple cell types making up the bodies and organs of animals, and particularly their nervous systems,” sums up Heather Marlow.Superman could hardly leap over taller buildings in a single bound. As many genes as a human? Organized in a similar way? 100 cell types, coordinated in an animal body plan complete with a nervous system? Cnidarians, which include jellyfish, anemones and corals, appear for certain in the Cambrian Explosion. Claims of Precambrian cnidarians depend on indirect evidence, such as trace fossils or ‘molecular clock’ dating methods. Cnidarians are very different from sponges and ctenophores, the other Darwinian candidates for earliest animal. To assume that a sea anemone “evolved” without saying how all its cell types appeared in the same creature is equivalent to believing in a miracle. Then add the twenty or so other animal body plans that “developed” at the same time, and it becomes clear that saying “it evolved” amounts to fogma, not understanding.Off/on switch for DNA repair protein (Science Daily). DNA repair is a complex operation involving numerous sophisticated proteins and processes that must work together. The BAD act [Bluffing Assertion of Darwinism] is right in the first sentence in this article: “Damage to DNA is a daily occurrence but one that human cells have evolved to manage.” It’s equivalent to saying that power line repairmen or fire departments appeared by random, blind processes. A repair operation needs to recognize a fault and have the tools and instructions to fix it. If an atheist were to be offended by the explanation, “God did it,” would the answer “Chance did it” represent an improvement? We know that intelligence can create repair systems. Where has chance ever done that?Competitive team sports shaped the physical and psychological skills of early humans (Science Daily). Another science dilly comes from the University of Oregon, where Darwinists tell a quite typical just-so story:Competitive team games in which men test their mettle against others are universal across the world, and may have deep roots in our evolutionary past. Among hunter-gatherers, these games enable men to hone their physical skills and stamina, assess the commitment of their team members, and see how each performs under pressure. All these activities suggest motivation to practise skills involved in lethal raiding, says Michelle Scalise Sugiyama of the University of Oregon in the US, lead author of a study in Springer’s journal Human Nature.Play behavior in humans and other animals is thought to have evolved as a way to develop, rehearse, and refine skills that are critical for survival or reproduction. Chase games, for instance, build stamina and speed, which is helpful for evading predators. Similarly, play fighting is believed to develop skills used in actual fighting. Although many animals play fight, only people do so in teams. The study’s findings suggest that team play fighting is not a recent invention of agricultural societies.This may sound plausible until you think about it. All kinds of questions present themselves. Why did games enable men to hone their skills? What about women’s sports? Why are people different from all other animals? Why didn’t human ancestors just climb higher in the trees or go deeper in caves? Did the NFL and NBA evolve by natural selection? If that is the explanation, what gene mutated in a pre-sport ancestor? Are sportsmen the only ones who pass on their genes? Perceptive readers will notice the reporter’s high perhapsimaybecouldness index and use of Tontological statements, like “is thought to have evolved” and “is believed to develop skills.” Who would have thought of such things, much less believed them? Answer: lazy Darwinians. Glia and axons: A match made in evolution (Medical Xpress). If you want to learn about a cell type that defies evolution, consider the neuron. Lined with rapid-firing ion channels that convey electrical currents down its dendrites and axons, then converts them to chemical neurotransmitters across synapses using complicated packaging processes – and does this lighting fast (consider how quickly your brain learns you stubbed your toe) – the neuron is a marvel of complexity superior to human technology. Plus, it grows from an information code in the genome, and can make copies of itself. And yet this article audaciously gives all the credit to Darwin, saying, “The larger size of axons in adult lamprey compared to the larval stage may enable rapid signal transmission, suggesting that myelin may have evolved to achieve similarly fast neuronal communication in the much smaller axons of jawed vertebrates.” Understand that the evolutionists here are not just suggesting that myelin evolved as an improvement on a created design; to them, the whole shebang evolved from bottom up, just the way the cnidarian “evolved” a nervous system. Like Lewontin remarked, they must not let a Divine foot in the door.How evolution builds the most efficient airfoils (Phys.org). Chris Packham, still angry at fellow humans for causing extinctions (see 9 July 2018), shows his true colors as a Darwin storyteller. Many not yet inebrieted by Darwine can look to birds as marvels of design. Given the demands of overcoming gravity with powered flight, considering all the systems that must contribute to that function (as told in Illustra’s film Flight: The Genius of Birds), powered flight would seem to many to represent an all-or-nothing challenge to Darwinism. Enter the unfeigned faith of the moyboy evolutionist: “Over millions of years, the morphology of these animals evolved for maximally efficient cruising,” Packham yarns. Later, he BAD-ly asserts, “the animals selected as the fittest have evolved to a narrow range of highly efficient parameters.” In fact, he points out, fish and birds have arrived at nearly the best trade-off between competing constraints. Evolution News sees optimization theory as a branch of intelligent design science in action. Packham just throws up his hands and assumes, “It evolved.”Creation and evolution appear to be at a standoff: “God did it” vs “It evolved.” But consider: creation has a cause – intelligence – that is well known to be necessary and sufficient for organizing material into complex systems. What does evolution have? Chance (the Stuff Happens Law). That is the denial of causality.But is creation a “science stopper,” as evolutionists often allege? That argument cuts both ways, too: “It evolved” is a lazy way out of scientific explanation. Actually, belief in creation has a long history of stimulating excellent science (see our Biographies). They may believe in God as Creator as a final cause, but are often eager to learn how things work, and how God did it. Do evolutionists give the same diligence to explaining how chance made complex systems ‘arise’ or ‘develop’ or ’emerge’? (Pick your favorite euphemism for Stuff Happens.) Once you attribute the origin of something to sheer dumb luck, there’s not much more to say.What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If “God did it” is too simplistic for an evolutionist, “It evolved” is too simplistic for a creationist. Don’t let the Darwinians pretend to have a superior explanation for the origin of complex systems. When they discuss the origin of a complex phenomenon and take the lazy way out (assuming evolution in a BAD way), press them for details, using their own theory. What gene mutated? What did it do? When did it happen? How did the gene spread through the population? (See the article on population genetics by Sanford and Basener, 22 Dec 2017). How frequently do beneficial mutations happen relative to neutral and harmful mutations? Are there enough beneficials to overcome the downward spiral of genetic entropy? Did the mutation have any deleterious pleiotropic effects? Were coordinated mutations required? How long would that take? (see Living Waters conclusion). Have you calculated the probability? Is there enough time in the universe for that to occur? Do 747’s evolve from tornadoes in junkyards? Pile it on till they cry uncle and admit, “I have no idea. I just take Darwin on faith.”Illustration by J. Beverly Greene for CEH. (Visited 1,012 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Townships to get in on Bok action

first_img9 September 2011Rugby fans in South Africa’s townships will be able to follow the Springboks’ World Cup matches live on big screens, thanks to a partnership between the SA Rugby Union (Saru) and Township TV.The viewing experience has been created to cater for the country’s grassroots communities as part of Absa Boktown, the official Saru and Springbok Supporter Club event platform for fans.Big-screen televisions will be installed at 22 township venues across the country for the duration of the global rugby showpiece taking place in New Zealand.“This initiative will go far beyond rugby, as it will seek to re-create the jamboree community atmosphere that was prevalent throughout the successful Fifa Soccer World Cup last year,” said Sara community and PR manager Khaya Mayedwa.Saru will hold coaching clinics and Tag Rugby matches for local children at five of these venues.Bokkie, the Saru mascot, will also attend, and fans are urged to wear green and gold on Bok Fridays as well as on Bok match days.The Township TV Parks will be activated at the following venues:Diepsloot, Diepkloof (Soweto), Lenasia, Eldorado Park, Ivory Park, Joubert Park, Thokoza, Orange Farm, Elandsdoorn (Limpopo), Siluma Kwanele (Kathlehong), Mhluzi (Middelburg), Kwa Thema (Springs), Ethafeni (Tembisa), Umkhanyakude (Richards Bay), Orlando West, Masoyi (Wit Rivier), KwaMashu (KwaZulu-Natal), Motherwell (Port Elizabeth), George, Mqolomba Park (Uitenhage), Umlazi (KwaZulu-Natal), Khayelitsha (Western Cape).Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Alf Kumalo: South Africa loses a hero

first_img22 October 2012Less than a week before the passing of one of South Africa’s longest serving photojournalists, Alf Kumalo, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com spoke to his eldest daughter Sibusiso, and the curator of the photography museum he founded.Kumalo died at age 82 at the Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johannesburg, on Sunday 21 October after struggling with prostate cancer. He enjoyed a long and eventful career spanning over six decades, eloquently capturing South Africa’s progression from apartheid state to a democracy.Sibusiso referred to her father as a people’s person who would always tell stories – generally funny ones – about his work.“I remember him telling me how he was not allowed to take pictures during the Soweto riots of the 1980s,” she recalled, “and he learned to balance the camera on his head so, using a self-timer, he could shoot without using his hands.”Sibusiso was born in 1969 but only lived with her father for nine years until 1978 when her parents divorced.She expressed her gratitude for the time the two of them spent healing old wounds. “I am glad to have had a relationship with him where we ironed out old issues before he was on his death bed.”Tributes pour inPresident Jacob Zuma said in a statement that South Africa had lost an outstanding individual.“He was a meticulous photographer and his work will live on forever as a monument to the people’s resilience and fortitude in the face of colonial oppression and apartheid,” Zuma said.In a tribute issued by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory on Monday morning, spokesperson Sello Hatang reflected on Kumalo’s career, which began in earnest in 1951 and mirrored the rise of Mandela’s own political career.“He was one of South Africa’s most eminent photographers and one who closely documented the life of Nelson Mandela both before and after his imprisonment,” Hatang said.“Bra Alf photographed many of the historic events in which Mandela played a key role, including the Treason and Rivonia trials.”From the time Mandela was sentenced in 1962 to five years in jail and then to life in 1964, he added, Kumalo continued to photograph the struggle against apartheid and, importantly, to visually record the life of Mandela’s family.Former ambassador to the UN Dumisani Kumalo, a cousin of the late photographer, told The Times newspaper that he had not been well for a while.“We lost a hero. We lost a great man and a brother and a pillar in our family,” said Kumalo.Six decades of photographyKumalo’s is credited with some of the country’s most captivating photography that captured numerous historic events from as early on as the 1950s.It was after he freelanced for Bantu World newspaper – which later became known as The World – and worked for Golden City Post that he began to rise to prominence, and especially during his tenure at Drum magazine in the 1960s.Kumalo entered and won his first photographic competition in 1963, and the announcement reached him while he was in London covering a Mohammad Ali fight.He had entered under his African names Mangaliso Dukuza, because he wanted the judging to be impartial and not influenced by his already-flourishing reputation.Other momentous events captured by Kumalo include the infamous student uprising of 1976, the release of Mandela from prison in 1990, negotiations at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa – often referred to in local media as the “Codesa talks” – and the former president’s inauguration as South Africa’s first black head of state in 1994.A solo exhibition of his life’s work took place at the 59th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2004.In the same year Kumalo received the Order of Ikhamanga in silver for his contribution to documentary photography and journalism in the country. The award is presented by the president in recognition of South Africans who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism or sport.His work has appeared on international publications including Britain’s Observer, the New York Times and the New York Post and Ireland’s Sunday Independent. Passing on his skillsIn 2002 Kumalo opened the doors to a school of photography, which he operated from what used to be his house in Diepkloof, for the benefit of previously disadvantaged youngsters who aspire to follow in his footsteps. There is also a museum with his works on the premises, where Jabu Perreira works as a full-time curator.“Personally I think his portraits are the best,” he told our journalist. “The good thing about Alf’s work during the apartheid era is that his talent came from inside and his subjects felt relaxed with him behind the lens.”Because of a lack of funds, the school has not been able to enrol new students for several years. It was initially funded by a grant from Movimondo, an Italian NGO involved in the field of photography.“Bra Alf would be invited to events as a VIP, but he would end up taking photos and engaging with the masses instead,” said Perreira.Kumalo’s vision for the museum, which is currently being renovated, was to create an artistic space for people who are in the arts.“We want to host film screenings, exhibitions and seminars on photography to attract an audience to the museum,” said Perreira.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

South Africa’s largest water drive to be launched at Nelson Mandela Foundation

first_img(Image: Flickr: Anthony Roderman)Johannesburg, 28 January, 2016 – The Nelson Mandela Foundation, Operation Hydrate and Proudly South African are pleased to announce their decision to join forces to launch the country’s biggest “Water Drive” to date, in an effort to bring much needed and urgent relief to communities in drought stricken areas across the country.South Africa remains in the grip of its worst drought in over 100 years, with no immediate prospects of the situation abating. While 2015 has been recorded as the driest year on record, recent weeks have seen record breaking temperatures claim several lives. Dams and rivers continue to recede, taps are running dry and beleaguered communities continue to call for urgent help.“Operation Hydrate has already collected and distributed over three million litres of urgently needed drinking water to drought ravaged communities in various provinces, but it’s unfortunately not enough. While we work on long-term strategies for drought relief and water provision, we cannot ignore the immediate needs of South Africans who are dying of thirst,” said Operation Hydrate’s Yaseen Theba.“We need to all continue to join hands to ensure that we get water to where it’s most needed,” he added.The organization, driven by community volunteers, will host a “Water Drive” with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Proudly South African fromFriday, 29 January to Sunday 31 January 2016. Water drop-off times will commence from 09h00am-17h00pm on all three days.“It gives us great pleasure as the Nelson Mandela Foundation to be associated with an initiative in which South Africans, in a moment of crisis, help vulnerable fellow citizens. This is precisely the call that Madiba made when he said ‘it is in your hands’. Operation Hydrate is a call for all of us to respond to keeping Nelson Mandela’s legacy alive. We know it’s a small gesture but every drop counts to help destitute communities whohave no drinking water,” said Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.Members of the public and corporate South Africa are invited to drop off sealed 5 litre bottles of drinking water during the three-day “Water Drive” at the Nelson Mandela Foundation at 107 Central Street, in Houghton, Johannesburg. Trucks will be on standby.“We are calling on South Africans to once again be of service to humanity and respond to the basic needs of our fellow South Africans. Let’s contribute and make every day a Mandela Day! We cannot, in good conscience, sit back and do nothing when people are dying of thirst,” said Proudly SA’s CEO, Adv. Leslie Sedibe.Due to health and safety regulations, no tap or borehole water can be accepted as drinking water.Operation Hydrate’s Yusuf Abramjee said: “A local water company, Thirsti, will also be selling bottles of water on site at cost price, for those who wish to visit the Foundation on the day and contribute to the humanitarian cause. A 5 litre bottle will be sold at R10 and a box will cost R40. Only cash will be accepted on site.”The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which houses Madiba’s former office, also has a permanent exhibition on Madiba’s life as well as a temporary photographic exhibition called “Between States of Emergency”. Madiba’s prison notebooks and the Nobel Peace Prize form part of the exhibition. The Foundation will be open to visitors during the Water Drive.“We appeal to the public, businesses, corporates and schools to participate in the Water Drive by visiting the Foundation and donating water or funds to the efforts. Those who are too far to travel to the Foundation can make financial contributions towards Operation Hydrate”, added Adv. Sedibe.Operation Hydrate volunteers have been out in full force over recent weeks to supply drinking water to communities where taps have run dry. Volunteers continued to distribute water to communities in the Free State, Eastern Cape and North West over recent days and over the weekend.Theba said: “We appreciate the support from the Nelson Mandela Foundation. We want to keep Madiba’s legacy alive. Please support Operation Hydrate.”Abramjee said: “We urge the public to come out in their thousands to the Centre, bringing water and/or cash to buy water for those in need. Let’s continue to quench the thirst of millions of fellow citizens…Let’s make every day a Mandela Day.”Details of the Water Drive are as follows:DATE: 29-31 January 2016VENUE: Nelson Mandela Foundation, Central Street, HoughtonMEDIA PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Speakers and representatives from various organizations will launch the Water Drive and address the media at 9amon Friday, 29 January 2016.last_img read more

Google’s new My Activity and Ads Personalization seek to make ads better, provide more user control over data

first_imgRoughly a year ago Google introduced “My Account,” a centralized privacy and security center where people could manage their data and information used by Google. Yesterday the company began a global rollout of a new panel within My Account, called My Activity.My Activity extends the mission of My Account and gives users a more holistic view of their search and browsing histories. This is the first time that Google has brought together all the activity data it has on individuals in a single place.You can view the history of videos watched, topics searched and other content consumed across Google, and across the web via Chrome. Particular topics or queries can be removed from your history across Google properties. For example, users could purge all research conducted on “nonprescription weight-loss supplements” or “Solar City” or “Bewitched” to avoid seeing ads or content recommendations tied to those topics.Any particular item of history from any property can thus be deleted. Google does caution users against deleting data, but the process is simple and pretty straightforward.In parallel with My Activity, Google is introducing “Ads Personalization.” This is an evolution of the older “Ads Preferences Manager” and newer “ad settings” manager, which allows people to influence the types of ads they see by indicating areas of interest or disinterest or by entirely opting out.The new Ads Personalization functionality is turned off by default and must be activated by consumers. Google will expose users to the new personalization option and invite them to turn it on. The company promises better and more relevant ads from opting-in. Google hopes Ads Personalization will not only improve the ad experience but give users a better sense of control over the ads they see — across devices.I was told that Google worked hard to make the explanation and language surrounding Ads Personalization clear and easy to understand. Here’s one communication:My Activity and Ads Personalization are overlapping and share themes of transparency and user control. Not everyone will see these as primary motivations however. Splitting the difference, I think we can call it enlightened self-interest.When Google introduces new features or capabilities like this it’s always something of an ink-blot test. If you’re cynical about Google’s motives, as many are, you’d likely see this as a way to incorporate more data for ad targeting while seeking to insulate the company against privacy objections. It’s also fair to say that some of this and other recent Google ad enhancements are a response Facebook’s targeting capabilities.Yet this is also a middle path and way forward — offering enhanced targeting and simultaneously instilling greater user confidence and opt-in participation through more transparency and control over data.While these announcements will probably raise few concerns in the US, they will almost certainly see push-back in Europe. EU Regulators have long objected to broad data collection practices by US internet companies such as Google and Facebook. However, they are also likely to applaud Google’s effort to give users more control over their data.Putting aside second-guessing Google’s motives, a practical question is: how many people will actually investigate and engage with these new tools? For example, the online ad industry initiative “AdChoices” has been a failure. However, Google indicated that it’s going to make a sincere and sustained effort to educate users about the new features.In a broader context, these tools are part of a larger Google project to improve ad quality and the overall ad experience, to combat the rise of ad blocking and increasing consumer ad avoidance.From our sponsors: Google’s new My Activity and Ads Personalization seek to make ads better, provide more user control over data Google’s new My Activity and Ads Personalization seek to make ads better, provide more user control over dataYou are here: Posted on 30th June 2016Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share HomeDigital MarketingGoogle’s new My Activity and Ads Personalization seek to make ads better, provide more user control over data Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019last_img read more

‘Braid chopping’ protests spread in Kashmir Valley

first_imgThe authorities closed all educational institutions in the Kashmir Valley on Thursday as protests over alleged braid chopping incidents spread in the Kashmir Valley. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti pledged to “unravel the motive behind these acts”.Educational institutes will remain closed onr Friday, too, “as a precautionary measure”, said the order issued by the office of the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir.students held demonstrations on the the Kashmir University and the Central University of Kashmir campuses over the incidents.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said, “These incidents are aimed at creating mass hysteria and undermining the dignity of the women in the State.” She said the government will “unravel the motives behind these attacks”.Suspected militants hurled a grenade outside a beauty parlour in Pulwama, which damaged the window panes. The police said militants lobbed the grenade near the Rajpora Chowk. “A girl suffered minor injuries in the attack,” said the police.Ceasefire violationMeanwhile, an Army jawan and a civilian porter were killed in Pakistani firing at forward areas along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district.last_img read more