Friday, May 13, 2011

D Net Press release

Jury Process of the National Digital Innovation Award 2011 held on March 11-12, 2011 at BRAC Centre INN


Jury process for National Digital Innovation Award 2011 held on March 11-12, 2011at Brac Centre Inn. A group of committed professionals completed the evaluation. In absence of the Jury chairperson Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury (who had to go on an official visit abroad), Dr. K. Siddique-E-Rabbani Co-Chaired the Jury process. The Jury Process was anchored and moderated by Dr. Ananya Raihan, Executive Director, D.Net.
Organisers would like to appreciate all contestants’ and juror’s effort for participation in such august event. There will be a National Award Giving
Ceremony which will be announced shortly where organisers will announce and reward the winners. The final result will be kept secret until the
Gala event. Organisers are taking preparation for Gala Event. All participants, sponsor, partners and well wishers will be invited as soon as
date confirmation for Gala.
This contest is hosted by Ministry of Science and ICT, Government of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh.

Revulotionary Workers Party Press Release

Rflection of Female Minor Workers Association

All Anti Activists are Rude to Protest Judgement of War Criminals

BOOK IS THE MEDIA TO CROSS THE TIME:GATIDHARA


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It takes courage to report the news in many parts of the world. Each year, the International Women’s Media Foundation honors that courage and promo












Three brave women journalists who have risked their lives covering the news have been named the International Women’s Media Foundation’s 2011 Courage in Journalism Award winners.

Withstanding danger, threats and political pressure, Adela Navarro Bello of Mexico, Parisa Hafezi of Iran and Chiranuch Premchaiporn of Thailand have shown extraordinary dedication covering violence, corruption and social unrest in their countries.

“We are proud to recognize these brave women, who endure the most incredible trials to shed light on the events vital to the nations in which they live,” said IWMF Executive Director Liza Gross. “They exemplify the crucial role of the press in society."

The 2011 Courage in Journalism Award winners -- who will be officially honored in Los Angeles and New York in October – are:

Adela Navarro Bello, Courage in Journalism Award
Adela Navarro Bello, general director and columnist for Zeta news magazine in Mexico, who reports on the escalating violence and corruption in the border city of Tijuana. Navarro Bello, 42, has refused to remain silent, despite repeated warnings that she is being targeted by drug cartels.






Parisa Hafezi, Courage in Journalism Award
Parisa Hafezi, bureau chief for Reuters in Iran, has been beaten, harassed and detained while covering public opposition to the government. Hafezi, 41, is under constant surveillance. Government officials have raided her home and office and threatened her.




Chiranuch Premchaiporn, Courage in Journalism Award
Chiranuch Premchaiporn, director and webmaster of Prachatai online newspaper in Thailand. Premchaiporn, 43, faces up to 70 years in prison for anti-government comments posted on her website. She has been repeatedly arrested, her offices have been raided and her website has been blocked multiple times by the Thai government.



Kate Adie, Lifetime Achievement Award
Kate Adie, a veteran broadcast journalist, has been presented with the IWMF’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Adie, a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s “From Our Own Correspondent,” has covered the world for more than 40 years, reporting breaking news from Tiananmen Square and Lockerbie to Sierra Leone and Belgrade. Adie, 65, was the BBC’s first chief news correspondent and has paved the way for future generations of journalists.

"We at the IWMF are thrilled to honor these extraordinary journalists who have risked everything to tell the important stories of their time and place,” said Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour, IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards chair. “We are also pleased to honor Kate Adie for her remarkable career at the forefront of her craft."

The Courage in Journalism Awards honor women journalists who have shown extraordinary strength of character and integrity while reporting under dangerous circumstances. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a woman journalist who has a pioneering spirit and whose determination has forged inroads for women in the news media. Including this year’s honorees, 72 journalists have won Courage Awards and 20 journalists have been honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards will be presented at ceremonies in Los Angeles on Oct. 24 and in New York on Oct. 27.

CPJ

U.S.-China dialogue must keep focus on human






U.S.-China dialogue must keep focus on human rights
By Madeline Earp/CPJ Senior Asia Research Associate


Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, left center, and others at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue today. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, left center, and others at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue today. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
China's powerful State Councilor Dai Bingguo told U.S. officials today that his country was "making progress" on human rights issues, according to Agence France-Presse. The remarks, made at the start of the two-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue, do not bode well for U.S. efforts to keep human rights on the table after last month's exchange on human rights in Beijing.

Back then, we noted that China's human rights environment was far from making progress. In fact, it had deteriorated in the past year, beginning with Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, and escalating rapidly in the wake of unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. Chinese authorities' efforts to limit its citizens' knowledge of regime-changing demonstrations overseas and intimidate civil society figures who could potentially foment organized opposition has included the harassment and detentions of activists, online critics, and journalists both foreign and domestic. Many, such as prominent artist and social commentator Ai Weiwei, and two journalists who had reported on him in the past, have been denied due process and simply disappeared.

China refused to listen to the U.S. then, and Dai's comment suggests that the country is not inclined to start now, especially with so many other strategic issues under discussion. The U.S. must recognize that economic cooperation relies on freedom of the press and freedom of expression--and demonstrate to China that releasing peaceful critics is the only kind of "progress" it will acknowledge going forward.

Bangbandhu Sangskritik Zott: Events Held In DRU


Sad News:Jatiyo Juba Shanghati

Bangladesh Chattara League

Revulotionary Workers Party (Bangladesh)

Monday, May 9, 2011

EU Announces Fresh Aid for Displaced Sri Lankans

Climate Financing Stalls as Rich Nations Miss UN Deadline

Efforts to finance a deal that seeks to accumulate some $30 billion in initial “fast-track” funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation from 2010 to 2012 failed to gain headway as rich nations missed the May 1 deadline set for developing schemes to combat climate change.



Only Russia and Ukraine sent letters to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, saying they are not obligated to provide funds for the deal, according to Reuters. In the December 2010 meeting of 200 countries in Cancun, Mexico, developed nations agreed to outline the details of their startup funds by May 2011 as part of a larger deal that included the setup of a green fund.



>> Green Fund’s Transitional Panel Fails to Make Significant Progress



“Developed countries continue to teeter in honoring even their modest commitments,” Reuters quotes Clifford Polycarp, senior associate in the institutions and governance program of the World Resources Institute, which keeps track of funding pledges for climate change. Polycarp added, however, that deadlines set by U.N. agencies are often flexible and that rich nations are expected to hand in detailed plans soon.



Under the climate finance deal, aid is supposed to increase to $100 billion annually by 2020.



Read more development aid news.

ROBOTS AND THEIR TRAINERS IN NEUCLEAR RESCUE



Two British-designed robots crawled into the radioactive ruins of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station over the weekend of April 17, 2011, to start work in the hazardous debris of the Japanese nuclear disaster.

Experts from the North American arm of the defence technology group Qinetiq had flown into Tokyo to show engineers at the Tokyo Electric Power Company how to operate the company’s TALON robots with standard Xbox 360 computer game remote controllers.

Thousands of military TALON robots are at work with soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US Army operates 3000 of the machines that were originally designed in the 1970s by the British Government’s now privatised Defence Evaluation and Research Agency for disarming IRA terrorist bombs in Northern Ireland.

In the horrific aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami QinetiQ North America donated a small fleet of unmanned vehicles with a training team and a number of their Robotic Appliqué kits for turning a standard Bobcat loading shovel into an unmanned remote-controlled machine in fifteen minutes. The kits will operate at least seventy of the usual Bobcat attachments, working as shovels, bucket loaders, grapples, tree cutters and deploying tools for breaking through walls and doors. The unmanned Bobcats include seven cameras, night vision, thermal imagers, microphones, two-way radio systems and radiation sensors, and can be operated from more than a mile away, removing rubble, digging up buried objects and carrying equipment.

The Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants in Ukraine has since developed robots to examine the remains of molten radioactive material in areas inside the sarcophagus with deadly radiation levels of 350 Roentgens per hour.



QinetiQ North America also sent TEPCO two lightweight Dragon Runner robots, designed for investigating rubble piles, trenches, culverts and tunnels. Thermal cameras and sound sensors on the Dragon Runners deliver data to human controllers 800 metres away. At QinetiQ’s North American headquarters in Virginia, Technology Solutions Group President JD Crouch said, “We are honoured to have this opportunity to support Japan’s recovery efforts. Our unmanned vehicles will provide reliable, effective, first responder technology to help protect the brave men and women who are working to save lives and restore critical services.”

When the American Three Mile Island disaster of 1979 destroyed the core of a pressurised water reactor, leaving the reactor containment building inaccessible to humans, William "Red" Whittaker, a robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon University gathered a team of students to build three robots for the inspection and clean up the basement of the damaged power station. The RAD Rover of 1983 was the first vehicle to enter the basement of Three Mile Island Unit 2 after the meltdown and worked for four years surveying and cleaning in a basement flooded with thousands of tonnes of water laced with radioactive caesium-137. The CoreSampler of 1984 drilled samples from the walls of the TMI-2 basement to determine the depth and severity of radioactive material that soaked into the concrete.

After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster another Red Whittaker team designed a robot known as Pioneer for mapping the most dangerous parts of the crumbling protective sarcophagus structure. The U.S. government, two universities, and several companies delivered Pioneer to Chernobyl equipped with three-dimensional vision, radiation detectors, a gripping arm and a bore for taking samples. The Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants in Ukraine has since developed robots to examine the remains of molten radioactive material in areas inside the sarcophagus with deadly radiation levels of 350 Roentgens per hour.

TALON robots [...] come equipped with CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) detection kits that can identify more than 7,500 environmental hazards...


Whittaker and his firm RedZone Robotics have since developed robots to search for fallen meteorites in the ice fields of Antarctica, climb into the craters of active volcanoes in Alaska and Antarctica and explore the terrain of Mars. After the epic rescue of 18 miners from the flooded Quecreek coal mine in Pennsylvania, Whittaker and his colleague Scott Thayer built robots for mapping collapsed and abandoned mines.

After the 14 metre high tsunami wave wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Whittaker, now Fredkin Research Professor at Carnegie Mellon, told Geoff Brumfiel of Nature, “The building around Chernobyl, sometimes called the sarcophagus, was put together by remote cranes that would lift and lower beams and tilt up walls and by robots in the interior that would cut and dig. I would anticipate that we are going to see a phenomenal enterprise of remote work systems brought to bear over the weeks, months and years of recovering Fukushima.”

TALON robots cut their teeth on search and rescue in contaminated rubble at Ground Zero in the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York. Now they come equipped with CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) detection kits that can identify more than 7,500 environmental hazards including toxic industrial chemicals, volatile gases, radiation and explosive risks. They are man-portable robots, moving on small rubber crawler tracks and weighing less than 45 kg in basic configuration. They are famously durable and amphibious. Many have been rebuilt after detonating bombs. After one TALON fell from a bridge into a river in Iraq, soldiers managed to contact its control unit and command it to drive itself out of the river. TALON works from a joystick control with seven speed settings and a top speed of 6 feet / 1.8 metres per second and will climb stairs, cross through rubble and move in snow and water.

A third modified TALON robot has been sent to Japan from the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) equipped with radiation-hardened cameras, GPS navigation and extra sensors.

In March, a Japanese monitoring robot known as Red Monirobo became the first "non-human responder” to go to work inside Fukushima Daiichi. Red Monirobo was designed to operate at radiation levels too high for humans and deploy a manipulator arm for removing obstacles and collecting samples. Sensors include a radiation detector, 3D camera system and temperature and humidity sensors. Red Monirobo can work a kilometre from its controller and move at 2.4 kilometres per hour, despite weighing 600kg with heavy shielding to protect electronic instruments, especially cameras, from radiation.

Japan's Nuclear Safety Technology Centre and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry developed Monirobo after the 1999 Tokaimura nuclear accident in which two workers died. Yellow Monirobo, with tools for collecting dust samples and sensors for flammable gas is also being deployed at Fukushima Daiichi.

The American iRobot firm sent four machines to Fukushima Daiichi, two Packbots and two new Warriors, supported by six engineers from the firm’s headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts. Their Warrior, still only a prototype, can lift fire hose equipment or pieces of debris weighing 100kg. The tiny Packbots weigh only 10kg but can open doors, carry items of radioactive material with their three-link arm, climb 60 degree slopes and move at 9.3 km per hour.

On April 17, TEPCO released to Reuters pictures of a Packbot opening a door inside Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3, taking photographs and radiation samples before the attempt to achieve a "cold shutdown" in the next nine months.

New Security Learning




One of NATO’s top training chiefs has told New Security Learning, in an exclusive interview, that more training in future will have to be done on the ‘unclassified’ web. Despite the potential security considerations, Lieutenant General Karlheinz Viereck says that it would greatly assist cooperation over training with other organisations, such as the African Union.


Lieutenant General Karlheinz Viereck is one of NATO’s leading thinkers on technology-enhanced learning and training.

During the course of the last twenty years, the world’s largest military organisation, NATO, has been confronted by the urgent need to adapt itself to an international security environment that has changed out of all recognition. Political events, such as the collapse of the Soviet system, and military engagements, such as the Gulf War or the intervention in Afghanistan, have changed the world’s security architecture and reshaped NATO’s role. It is predominantly technological and sociological change, however, which has forced NATO and its member states into a dramatic reappraisal of future needs and capabilities.



Today’s security environment is conditioned by such phenomena as economic globalisation, privatisation and the development of new forms of communication, such as the Internet. We now live in a world of twenty-four news and instant communication. It is a world in which traditional symmetry has been overturned and conflict has often become asymmetrical. Governments can be brought down by the exchange of messages on ‘Facebook’ or ‘Twitter’ and billions of dollars of damage can be caused by a small attack on some node in the chain of modern critical infrastructure. This can all be done without the use of an armoured brigade or a battery of ballistic missiles. In fact, it can be done without even an infantry platoon.



As an organisation, NATO has had to respond quickly to these changes, changing itself and its thinking, adopting new strategic concepts and developing new structures. At the forefront of its drive to change, in order to respond more effectively to the challenges of a new security environment, has been the Supreme Allied Command Transformation (SACT), which “is NATO’s leading agent for change, driving, facilitating and advocating continuous improvement of Alliance capabilities to maintain and enhance the military relevance and effectiveness of the Alliance.”



At the heart of SACT’s drive for change is the office of Joint Force Trainer, which “acts on behalf of SACT to direct and coordinate all ACT activities in NATO’s areas of interest to train and educate individuals and to support collective training and exercises, at all levels of command, continually to provide the Alliance with improved capabilities to undertake the full spectrum of missions.”
Joint Force Trainer

The Joint Force Trainer (JFT) acts on behalf of SACT to direct and coordinate all ACT activities in NATO’s areas of interest to train and educate individuals and to support collective training and exercises, at all levels of command, to continually provide the Alliance with improved capabilities to undertake the full spectrum of Alliance missions.

To find out more please visit
http://www.act.nato.int/organization/hq-sact/structure/joint-force-trainer

Lieutenant General Karlheinz Viereck is the Deputy Chief of Staff Joint Force Trainer and one of NATO’s leading thinkers on technology-enhanced learning and training. A career Air Force officer and a former Commander of the Bundeswehr Operations Command in Potsdam, he is a controversial figure, who has attracted some criticism in the past from sections of the German media, which gave him the nickname “the laptop general” after he reportedly conducted operations in the Congo from his laptop whilst on holiday in Sweden. The nickname is nevertheless appropriate for a general who is such a firm believer in the benefits technology can bring to learning and training.



Viereck is convinced of the need for radical change in training to enable NATO to meet the challenge of a new security environment. He recognises that NATO must “think, organise and plan totally differently to the past.” His belief in the urgent need for change and the adoption of new methods of training is based partly on a recognition that the old methods are no longer always appropriate in the new circumstances of today’s security environment and partly on a shrewd understanding of the immense possibilities that developments in information and communications technology offer for achieving significant improvements in learning and training.



“When I started, everything was clearly defined by the Cold War,” he says. “Now there is no longer a Cold War with two blocs facing each other. The threat of a major conflict is lower than ever before, although the threat is still real. Geography is no longer a key factor. NATO is now reviewing all threats and there is a totally different mix. Now we face the possibility of high intensity conflict but also threats from organised crime and terrorism, etcetera. Sometimes we face hybrid threats and sometimes all of them together. This situation is much more demanding for training.”



Viereck believes that the new situation has created “a demand for a different sort of training” to equip soldiers and officers to deal with a variety of new challenges, requiring them to understand decision-making and information processes. They have to understand too that they may increasingly be required to be part of a military response in a civilian environment and to operate under the scrutiny of the media. The realities of soldiering in the twenty-first century are likely to be very different to those of the late twentieth century. “What we need is to have a military response ready and they have to learn,” he says.

We need to develop an effective cyber defence policy. We have to do it in exercises. We have to work with the EU and others.



An important aspect of NATO training is cooperation and working with partners. The Alliance itself is a partnership, which has long believed in joint training and exercising, but now it is increasingly extending its reach and offering to work in partnership with other organisations, such as the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union. Viereck speaks enthusiastically of the need to establish a “common ground for training” and cooperation over training with other organisations is mentioned in NATO’s new strategic concept.



For Viereck, cooperation between the Alliance and the UN and the EU is “the biggest challenge in training.” However, he sees that NATO will increasingly be required not merely to cooperate with other major international organisations, but also with NGO’s whose employees often play a major role in and around conflict situations. “The challenge,” he admits, “is to get the experts working together” and to develop “more synergy with the players.”



He is convinced that for the maximum benefit to be achieved, cooperation over training has to be a two-way process. “We have to provide more possibilities to our partners,” he says. “We must be ready for respectful cooperation and give our partners the chance to contribute to NATO training.”



He is especially keen to seize the opportunity to improve training cooperation between NATO and the African Union. He describes himself as “passionately for Africa” and will travel to Tanzania in May to take part in eLearning Africa, the African continent’s largest conference on technology-enhanced learning. (www.elearning-africa.org)



“We have close relations with the African Union,” he says. “We have a Mission and a dedicated headquarters. I am responsible for training with the African Union. At the moment, we are working on curricula and exchanging experience.”



One area in which NATO and the African Union are both keen to extend training collaboration is in developing an effective response to the growing number of threats to cyber security. Viereck describes NATO and the AU as being in the “closest possible alignment” over education and training to deal with cyber threats.



A major priority for NATO, ensuring effective systems to counter cyber attacks and training competent personnel to deal with them will require a great deal more cooperation in the future. He accepts that the private sector has an important role to play in developing new solutions. “There is a common understanding that we need to do something,” he says.



“We must come together to solve the problem. We will only do it if we go on the web. We need to develop an effective cyber defence policy. We have to do it in exercises. We have to work with the EU and others.” He describes the new cyber defence centre in Tallinn, the Estonian capital, as being “a key cornerstone” in NATO’s new cyber security architecture.



If it is to deal effectively with future threats, NATO training will have to become more open and accessible, so that it is based on “real-time access all over the globe,” facilitating cooperation and allowing soldiers to ‘pull’ learning to them. He believes that, in the future, advanced distributed learning, which ACT has been actively promoting in NATO since 1999, will have to “go via the unclassified web. If we want to reach all our partners, we have to look at the different time zones. What we have to pay attention to is the availability and affordability of bandwidth and storage capacity. That is what makes web-based training a reality.”



Despite his enthusiasm for web-based learning, the ‘laptop general’ is aware of the limitations. “You cannot do everything on the open net but, with some firewalls, a lot is possible. The advantage right now is that soldiers can learn when they want to.”



One of the inevitable consequences of the development of the Internet has been a trend towards greater openness and a demand for even more information from a knowledge-hungry public. It is a prospect which would have terrified traditional security specialists on both sides of the Iron Curtain twenty years ago. Now, it is refreshing to see that a leading NATO general can approach the subject of greater openness with equanimity and even some excitement.



“We have to learn to work with this,” says Karlheinz Viereck. “People need to learn how to use it...If we do not go online, we will lose the possibility for a comprehensive approach. We need to get all the experts together. We have to balance security and liberty. We need to work hand in glove to reach common interests and decisions.



“We have to use technology and it gives us the opportunity to do things differently. At the same time, we have to defend against threats from these technologies. We have to balance this in a holistic, comprehensive approach, together with the nations and institutions. We have to adopt the same problem-solving capability in different situations.”



Viereck is sure that the future is on his side and that better access and different forms of learning will continue to transform training. “It will go open, real-time training. It will increase the opportunities for our partners. We will use technology as far as we can.” It is an immense task and a formidable challenge for NATO but Karlheinz Viereck is undaunted. “We will have to grow into it,” he says.

NATO general says more training will be on unclassified web




One of NATO’s top training chiefs has told New Security Learning, in an exclusive interview, that more training in future will have to be done on the ‘unclassified’ web. Despite the potential security considerations, Lieutenant General Karlheinz Viereck says that it would greatly assist cooperation over training with other organisations, such as the African Union.

During the course of the last twenty years, the world’s largest military organisation, NATO, has been confronted by the urgent need to adapt itself to an international security environment that has changed out of all recognition. Political events, such as the collapse of the Soviet system, and military engagements, such as the Gulf War or the intervention in Afghanistan, have changed the world’s security architecture and reshaped NATO’s role. It is predominantly technological and sociological change, however, which has forced NATO and its member states into a dramatic reappraisal of future needs and capabilities.



Today’s security environment is conditioned by such phenomena as economic globalisation, privatisation and the development of new forms of communication, such as the Internet. We now live in a world of twenty-four news and instant communication. It is a world in which traditional symmetry has been overturned and conflict has often become asymmetrical. Governments can be brought down by the exchange of messages on ‘Facebook’ or ‘Twitter’ and billions of dollars of damage can be caused by a small attack on some node in the chain of modern critical infrastructure. This can all be done without the use of an armoured brigade or a battery of ballistic missiles. In fact, it can be done without even an infantry platoon.



As an organisation, NATO has had to respond quickly to these changes, changing itself and its thinking, adopting new strategic concepts and developing new structures. At the forefront of its drive to change, in order to respond more effectively to the challenges of a new security environment, has been the Supreme Allied Command Transformation (SACT), which “is NATO’s leading agent for change, driving, facilitating and advocating continuous improvement of Alliance capabilities to maintain and enhance the military relevance and effectiveness of the Alliance.”



At the heart of SACT’s drive for change is the office of Joint Force Trainer, which “acts on behalf of SACT to direct and coordinate all ACT activities in NATO’s areas of interest to train and educate individuals and to support collective training and exercises, at all levels of command, continually to provide the Alliance with improved capabilities to undertake the full spectrum of missions.”

Lieutenant General Karlheinz Viereck is the Deputy Chief of Staff Joint Force Trainer and one of NATO’s leading thinkers on technology-enhanced learning and training. A career Air Force officer and a former Commander of the Bundeswehr Operations Command in Potsdam, he is a controversial figure, who has attracted some criticism in the past from sections of the German media, which gave him the nickname “the laptop general” after he reportedly conducted operations in the Congo from his laptop whilst on holiday in Sweden. The nickname is nevertheless appropriate for a general who is such a firm believer in the benefits technology can bring to learning and training.



Viereck is convinced of the need for radical change in training to enable NATO to meet the challenge of a new security environment. He recognises that NATO must “think, organise and plan totally differently to the past.” His belief in the urgent need for change and the adoption of new methods of training is based partly on a recognition that the old methods are no longer always appropriate in the new circumstances of today’s security environment and partly on a shrewd understanding of the immense possibilities that developments in information and communications technology offer for achieving significant improvements in learning and training.



“When I started, everything was clearly defined by the Cold War,” he says. “Now there is no longer a Cold War with two blocs facing each other. The threat of a major conflict is lower than ever before, although the threat is still real. Geography is no longer a key factor. NATO is now reviewing all threats and there is a totally different mix. Now we face the possibility of high intensity conflict but also threats from organised crime and terrorism, etcetera. Sometimes we face hybrid threats and sometimes all of them together. This situation is much more demanding for training.”



Viereck believes that the new situation has created “a demand for a different sort of training” to equip soldiers and officers to deal with a variety of new challenges, requiring them to understand decision-making and information processes. They have to understand too that they may increasingly be required to be part of a military response in a civilian environment and to operate under the scrutiny of the media. The realities of soldiering in the twenty-first century are likely to be very different to those of the late twentieth century. “What we need is to have a military response ready and they have to learn,” he says.

We need to develop an effective cyber defence policy. We have to do it in exercises. We have to work with the EU and others.



An important aspect of NATO training is cooperation and working with partners. The Alliance itself is a partnership, which has long believed in joint training and exercising, but now it is increasingly extending its reach and offering to work in partnership with other organisations, such as the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union. Viereck speaks enthusiastically of the need to establish a “common ground for training” and cooperation over training with other organisations is mentioned in NATO’s new strategic concept.



For Viereck, cooperation between the Alliance and the UN and the EU is “the biggest challenge in training.” However, he sees that NATO will increasingly be required not merely to cooperate with other major international organisations, but also with NGO’s whose employees often play a major role in and around conflict situations. “The challenge,” he admits, “is to get the experts working together” and to develop “more synergy with the players.”



He is convinced that for the maximum benefit to be achieved, cooperation over training has to be a two-way process. “We have to provide more possibilities to our partners,” he says. “We must be ready for respectful cooperation and give our partners the chance to contribute to NATO training.”



He is especially keen to seize the opportunity to improve training cooperation between NATO and the African Union. He describes himself as “passionately for Africa” and will travel to Tanzania in May to take part in eLearning Africa, the African continent’s largest conference on technology-enhanced learning. (www.elearning-africa.org)



“We have close relations with the African Union,” he says. “We have a Mission and a dedicated headquarters. I am responsible for training with the African Union. At the moment, we are working on curricula and exchanging experience.”



One area in which NATO and the African Union are both keen to extend training collaboration is in developing an effective response to the growing number of threats to cyber security. Viereck describes NATO and the AU as being in the “closest possible alignment” over education and training to deal with cyber threats.



A major priority for NATO, ensuring effective systems to counter cyber attacks and training competent personnel to deal with them will require a great deal more cooperation in the future. He accepts that the private sector has an important role to play in developing new solutions. “There is a common understanding that we need to do something,” he says.



“We must come together to solve the problem. We will only do it if we go on the web. We need to develop an effective cyber defence policy. We have to do it in exercises. We have to work with the EU and others.” He describes the new cyber defence centre in Tallinn, the Estonian capital, as being “a key cornerstone” in NATO’s new cyber security architecture.



If it is to deal effectively with future threats, NATO training will have to become more open and accessible, so that it is based on “real-time access all over the globe,” facilitating cooperation and allowing soldiers to ‘pull’ learning to them. He believes that, in the future, advanced distributed learning, which ACT has been actively promoting in NATO since 1999, will have to “go via the unclassified web. If we want to reach all our partners, we have to look at the different time zones. What we have to pay attention to is the availability and affordability of bandwidth and storage capacity. That is what makes web-based training a reality.”



Despite his enthusiasm for web-based learning, the ‘laptop general’ is aware of the limitations. “You cannot do everything on the open net but, with some firewalls, a lot is possible. The advantage right now is that soldiers can learn when they want to.”



One of the inevitable consequences of the development of the Internet has been a trend towards greater openness and a demand for even more information from a knowledge-hungry public. It is a prospect which would have terrified traditional security specialists on both sides of the Iron Curtain twenty years ago. Now, it is refreshing to see that a leading NATO general can approach the subject of greater openness with equanimity and even some excitement.



“We have to learn to work with this,” says Karlheinz Viereck. “People need to learn how to use it...If we do not go online, we will lose the possibility for a comprehensive approach. We need to get all the experts together. We have to balance security and liberty. We need to work hand in glove to reach common interests and decisions.



“We have to use technology and it gives us the opportunity to do things differently. At the same time, we have to defend against threats from these technologies. We have to balance this in a holistic, comprehensive approach, together with the nations and institutions. We have to adopt the same problem-solving capability in different situations.”



Viereck is sure that the future is on his side and that better access and different forms of learning will continue to transform training. “It will go open, real-time training. It will increase the opportunities for our partners. We will use technology as far as we can.” It is an immense task and a formidable challenge for NATO but Karlheinz Viereck is undaunted. “We will have to grow into it,” he says.

“Africa’s potential is its people” – interview with Dr Frannie Léautier



Africa is endowed with natural resources including minerals, tourism and agricultural products but the potential is its people. eLearning Africa podcaster Andrea Marshall asked the Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Dr Frannie Léautier how the organisation uses ICTs to improve skills and employability, eLA’s central theme of 2011, and whether African governments are doing enough in this regard and how the private sector can be engaged more.

Dr Frannie Léautier

…is the Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). A Tanzanian national, she served as Vice President of the World Bank and Head of the World Bank Institute from December 2001 to March 2007. She also served as Chief of Staff to the former President of the World Bank from 2000-2001. Cumulatively, Dr Léautier served in various capacities at the World Bank from 1992-2007. From 2007 – 2009, she was a Managing Partner at The Fezembat Group, a company focused on risk management and leadership development.

Dr Léautier holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Dar es Salaam (1984); a Master of Science in Transportation from MIT (1986); and a PhD in Infrastructure Systems from MIT (1990). She is also a graduate of the Harvard University Executive Development Program.

Dr Léautier has published a number of articles in top-tier economic journals and magazines; she has also edited three books, including a recent one on Cities in a Globalizing World. She is currently Founding Editor for the Journal of Infrastructure Systems, Advisory Board Member for the MIT Open Course Ware and Secretary of the Board for the Nelson Mandela Institute for Science and Technology in Africa.

Dr Léautier is a charter member of the Advisory Board for EuropEFE and a founding Board member for the Africa Institute for Governing with Integrity.

Dr Léautier will deliver her keynote speech at eLearning Africa on Friday, May 27, 2011 from 08:30 – 10:30.

MobileMonday: mobile apps capture the market in Africa

“There is tremendous growth in SMS-based apps in countries like Kenya and Tanzania,” explains Anthony Kigombola of the MobileMonday team in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the worldwide community of mobile visionaries and developers. The Tanzanian MoMo chapter will host one of its legendary meetings at this year’s eLearning Africa.

In Dar es Salaam, about 70-80 young ICT entrepreneurs meet every first Monday of the month to talk about their ideas, new projects and trends on global markets. They are part of a global open community – MobileMonday – which brings together industry visionaries, developers and influential individuals with the aim of fostering cooperation and cross-border business development through virtual and live networking events.

According to Anthony Kigombola, lecturer at the College of ICT, University of Dar es Salaam and ICT consultant with iFocus Solutions (T) Ltd, DataVision International, telecommunication in Africa is characterised by low internet penetration and a large mobile customer base which uses basic services such as Voice, USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) and SMS. Most of the applications are SMS-based and there is tremendous growth in SMS-based apps in countries like Kenya and Tanzania. And most of them are actually developed in Africa. In Tanzania, for example, there is a growing community of mobile apps developers. The Ministry of ICT and Commission for Science and Technology COSTECH plays a role in supporting mobile apps developers in Tanzania for example through incubation programmes and consultancy on copy rights and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

There is a range of applications which are designed to extend the services of money transfer apps (M-Pesa) for paying electricity, water and cable TV bills and other SMS-based applications such as job vacancy alerts. All over Africa, mobile technologies are widely used for money transfers, health services and location mapping. SMS4life in Tanzania and Ushahidi in Kenya are two of the most popular examples.
The MoMo network

MoMo chapters are active in more than 107 cities worldwide and continue to launch new locations monthly. In 2007, the number of groups swelled to over fifty and new groups are being launched all the time. Since the summer of 2006, over 60 locations have already seen successful launches. In 2010, there were launches in various African countries, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Palestine.

The remarkable MoMo phenomenon began almost by accident in Helsinki, Finland, during the chilly autumn of 2000. Vesa-Matti ‘Vesku’ Paananen, a well-known Finnish mobile visionary, invited more than fifty mobile innovators to an Irish pub for an informal get-together and perhaps a warming drink. The only suitable time was Monday evening.

After meeting many new faces and discussing the latest developments in mobility, the group decided to continue meeting on the first Monday of each month – and MoMo was born. Tokyo and Silicon Valley were the first groups to be established outside Finland in the autumn of 2004.
How MoMo works

Unlike technical bodies or regulatory taskforces, MoMo is focused more on private and social entrepreneurship in the mobile ecosystem, and helps start-ups air their concerns and find partners with the larger private sector and government agencies in the mobile space.

The overall aim is to grow the entire mobile ecosystem in the country, bring value to national industry players and individual citizens, and provide local start-ups with global opportunities.

The MoMo concept is a kind of ‘open source forum’, a counter-force to other existing organisations. Most industry associations drive very important industry initiatives, but their challenge lies in integrating those initiatives with the community beyond their member representatives. Individuals participating in our events and discussion groups do so because of their personal interest and not because it is their duty as a company representative. Which is why the meetings are more informal, fun, and also valuable on a personal level.

Source:E-LA

Bangbandhu Sangskritik Zott


Special events held :Dua/Mahfill remebering Late Wazed Aili Mia

House wife killed in Baufall, Patuakhali

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Scottish Spring Gerry Hassan, 6 May 2011 About the author






Gerry Hassan is a writer, policy analyst and researcher. His website is www.gerryhassan.com
Scotland emerges from its election completely and utterly changed.
A huge historic Nationalist victory; the worst Labour result in seats since 1931; the Tories still, despite a decent campaign, in retreat; and the worst Liberal result since the 1970s.
This is a Scotland of surprises. The SNP won 45.4% of the constituency vote to Labour’s 31.7%, a lead of 13.7%; while on the regional list the SNP won 44.0% to Labour’s 26.3%, a lead of 17.7%. This has produced a Parliament of SNP 69 (+23), Labour 37 (-7), Con 15 (-5), Lib Dem 5 (-12), Other 3 (+1).
This was an election which was meant to be a foregone conclusion and which Labour took for granted it would win [See Gerry's earlier colums from 19 April Ed].

Now even the assumption that the PR hybrid Scottish Parliament could not produce an overall majority for one party has been shattered. The SNP have won on 45% of the first vote over 70% of the seats: the sort of parliamentary misbalance for which Westminster was famous.
Scotland’s political geography has been transformed in a watershed, realigning election. The constituency political map of 2007 was one shaped by a lot of Labour red in the Central Belt and lots of Lib Dem orange rural seats in the North East and Highlands. Now that map looks very different; the Labour red has been reduced to a few isolated islands; the Lib Dem orange obliterated apart from Orkney and Shetland; mainland Scotland from north to south, west to east, is SNP yellow.
The Scottish Parliament has an addition member system with constituencies that are contested with First Past the Post and an addition regional list system that tops up the parliament to make it more proportionally representative. Labour used to have a gridlock on constituency, FPTP seats; in 2007, what it thought a bad year, Labour won 37 to the SNP’s 21; this time the SNP won 53 to Labour’s 15. Places which have never voted Nationalist have been won; Glasgow, a city the SNP have long had trouble challenging Labour’s grip saw five Nationalist constituency gains. In Edinburgh, the party won every seat bar one, and in Lanarkshire, a host of the most unreconstructed Labour figures fell to the SNP tsunami. Traditional places which have been more SNP, such as Dundee, Aberdeen and the Highlands, have become even more so.
All of Scotland’s parties will be different. The Nationalists are now a genuine, nationwide movement, early-Blair-like in the scale of their appeal. Scottish Labour no longer has many of the long-term ‘bedblockers’ who were seen as nursing their seats for life. Both Labour and Lib Dems have suffered significant reverses. Compounding their problems their Westminster MPs, who are huge problems for both parties, will have more prominence and status because of the scale of their losses.
The Nationalist victory carries with it huge opportunities and challenges for the SNP. How does Alex Salmond keep his ‘big tent’ coalition together? How does he enact the hard choices which the age of austerity and public spending cuts implies? And how does he marry his safety first politics with the need for radical politics, challenging the gatekeepers of institutional life?
Then there are the issues of Westminster, the British state and independence. The SNP want to see radical reform of the Scotland Bill, which derives from the flawed Calman proposals of partial fiscal autonomy. They want more economic powers, more taxation powers and real fiscal autonomy. There must be a chance that the UK Government of David Cameron will make significant concessions.
Then there is the huge question of independence and the issue of the independence referendum. The conventional logic says, with patronising wither, that Alex Salmond can have his small victory today, but in the real world the separatist cause will never win a plebiscite. That’s still the best bet at the moment, but don’t be completely sure.
The SNP has an opportunity to reshape Scotland, a once in a generation moment, while the crisis of Scottish unionism, of a Labour, Lib Dem, Tory or non-party kind is a deep, long term, existential one. The independence referendum was once seen by unionists north and south of the border as a maverick, eccentric demand; then they said it was beyond the powers of the Scottish Parliament; and now we are arguing about whether the Nationalists can win such a vote. So far this debate is moving in one direction. Such a vote will have many unintended consequences, change the nature of the UK, and be an international event.
Whatever one thinks of Alex Salmond’s brand of populist, opportunist, catch-all politics, it has paid rich dividends. Scottish politics and Scotland have been remade and will never be the same again. The SNP has been utterly changed and looks like it is morphing into an inclusive nationwide movement for change. The Nationalists under Salmond have developed a convincing story of what the Scottish Parliament should be: the fulcrum of public life and aiding the evolution of self-government.
The Scottish Labour Party, the party which gave so much to the dream of home rule and devolution, has paradoxically been weakened and disorientated by the establishment of the Scottish Parliament. Rather bizarrely from the earliest days of devolution, under Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell, Labour had little idea what the purpose of devolution was about beyond seeing off the Nats.
What underlines all of this is Scotland’s future as a political community, society and nation. This election is a positive affirmation of that future, and of the desire to express it differently to the Westminster/Ukanian mindset. And that brings me to Tom Nairn, Scotland’s greatest public intellectual over the last four decades.
I am proud to call Tom a friend as well as an inspiration over my entire adult political life, and as Scotland voted SNP, and the British electorate turned its back by two to one on even the mildest degree of electoral reform, I couldn’t help but think back to the words and thoughts of citizen Tom. After the global financial crisis and the local political crisis of MPs expenses, the British state is stuck in gridlock and seems unable to embrace the most timid and incremental reform, which parts of the British establishment see as ‘unBritish’ (i.e. David Starkey and other historians). This will have many consequences for how Scotland’s future evolves.
The Scottish debate will now develop its own form, shape and structure, but I think we have come to a new fork in the road: the end of one part of Scotland’s history, and the beginning of a new one. The old one was the account of Thatcherite/Tory bogeymen and the Old/New Labour dichotomy; the new one will be shaped by a Nationalist politics offering the prospect of a different kind of nation, one told in a very different voice, and shaped by hope, optimism and a sense of generosity.
It may not have the momentous feel of any one of the Arab Spring revolutions, but Scotland, in its own way, has just undergone its very own Scottish Spring.


(Open Democracy)

Jatiyo Juba Shanghati

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Jatiyo Party Press release: MR Ruhul Amin Howleder