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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thailand gives radar data 10 days after plane lost

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's military said Tuesday that its radar detected a plane that may have been Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 just minutes after the jetliner's communications went down, and that it didn't share the information with Malaysia earlier because it wasn't specifically asked for it.
A twisting flight path described Tuesday by Thai air force spokesman Air Vice Marshal Montol Suchookorn took the plane to the Strait of Malacca, which is where Malaysian radar tracked Flight 370 early March 8. But Montol said the Thai military doesn't know whether it detected the same plane.
Thailand's failure to quickly share possible information regarding the fate of the plane, and the 239 people aboard it, may not substantially change what Malaysian officials know, but it raises questions about the degree to which some countries are sharing their defense information, even in the name of an urgent and mind-bending aviation mystery.
With only its own radar to go on, it took Malaysia a week to confirm that Flight 370 had entered the strait, an important detail that led it to change its search strategy.
When asked why it took so long to release the information, Montol said, "Because we did not pay any attention to it. The Royal Thai Air Force only looks after any threats against our country, so anything that did not look like a threat to us, we simply look at it without taking actions."
He said the plane never entered Thai airspace and that Malaysia's initial request for information in the early days of the search was not specific.

"When they asked again and there was new information and assumptions from (Malaysian) Prime Minister Najib Razak, we took a look at our information again," Montol said. "It didn't take long for us to figure out, although it did take some experts to find out about it."
Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:40 a.m. Malaysian time and its transponder, which allows air traffic controllers to identify and track the airplane, ceased communicating at 1:20 a.m.
Montol said that at 1:28 a.m., Thai military radar "was able to detect a signal, which was not a normal signal, of a plane flying in the direction opposite from the MH370 plane," back toward Kuala Lumpur. The plane later turned right, toward Butterworth, a Malaysian city along the Strait of Malacca. The radar signal was infrequent and did not include any data such as the flight number.
He said he didn't know exactly when Thai radar last detected the plane. Malaysian officials have said Flight 370 was last detected by their own military radar at 2:14 a.m.
The search area for the plane initially focused on the South China Sea, where ships and planes spent a week searching. Pings that a satellite detected from the plane hours after its communications went down have led authorities to concentrate instead on two vast arcs — one into central Asia and the other into the Indian Ocean — that together cover an expanse as big as Australia.
Thai officials said radar equipment in southern Thailand detected the plane. Malaysian officials have said the plane might ultimately have passed through northern Thailand, but Thai Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong told reporters Tuesday that the country's northern radar did not detect it

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

No action to unlock Morogoro Road jam

Germany contractor Strabag in charge of major construction works along Dar es Salaam’s Morogoro Road has said it is not responsible to open the completed sections to ease the snail-paced traffic jams as ordered by the government.
 
Responding to residents complaints over the traffic jams, on Friday last week, Works Minister, Dr John Magufuli, ordered the contractor to open sections of the over 20-kilometres long road (Mbezi to the city centre) to reduce traffic congestions.
 
“It is not our responsibility to open any sections of the road so as to be used as we continue with construction of the other sections,” said Yahya Mkumba, Strabag Public Relations Officer when contacted over the matter yesterday in Dar es Salaam.
 
“It is the duty of Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads),” he explained.
 
The Tanroads Public Relations Officer, Asha Malima said she was not in a position to comment because she is off duty but did not offer a replacement contact to respond on her behalf.
 
Works ministry Head of Communication, Martin Ntemo, explained that ‘just because Strabag has not yet opened the sections of the road does not mean that the firm has ignored the minister’s order. There are procedures to be followed,” he said.
 
Giving an example he said Strabag would have to (before opening any section of the road) inspect and evaluate the said sections, a process that “…might force the government to pay extra billions of shillings for expedited procedures to complete the sections for opening or the subsequent damage to the sections if opened before due completion,” he said.
 
Ntemo called on Morogoro Road users to be patient, reassuring them that there was no foul play and that the procedures are protocol and might take a few days before the sections are opened.
 
Up to yesterday, two days after the government order, no section of the Morogoro Road had been opened; worsening traffic jams at Morogoro and Kawawa junction, Morogoro and Mandela/Sam Nujoma Road and Morogoro Road from Ubungo to Mbezi.
 
Kimara and Mbezi residents spent up to two hours commuting from Ubungo to Mbezi Mwisho – a distance of less than 10 kilometres.
 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Obama to Russia: There will be 'costs' for Ukraine By JULIE PACE 1 hour ago President Barack Obama walks away from the podium after speaking about the ongoing situation in Ukraine in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. Obama warned Russia "there will be costs" for any military intervention in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) . View gallery . . . WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is warning Russia "there will be costs" for any military maneuvers it launches in Ukraine, a move U.S. and Ukrainian officials say they believe is already underway. Related Stories Obama could pull Russia trip amid Ukraine tumult Associated Press Obama warns Russia of 'costs' for intervention in Ukraine Reuters US warns Russia on Ukraine, nudges Georgia to West Associated Press Russia Warned Over Unrest in Ukraine's Crimea Region The Wall Street Journal Obama warns Russia over military moves in Crimea Associated Press Officials say Obama may retaliate by canceling a trip to Russia this year for an international summit and could cut off trade discussions with Moscow. But it's unclear whether those moves will have any impact on Russia's strategy on Ukraine, which is at the center of what many see as tensions between East and West. "Any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing," Obama declared Friday. Such action by Russia would represent a "profound interference" in matters that must be decided by the Ukrainian people, he said. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that while he would not address specific U.S. options, "this could be a very dangerous situation if this continues in a provocative way." Asked about options in a CBS News interview, he said that "we're trying to deal with a diplomatic focus, that's the appropriate, responsible approach." A spokesman for the Ukrainian border service said Friday that eight Russian transport planes had landed with unknown cargo in Ukraine's Crimea region. Serhiy Astakhov told The Associated Press that the Il-76 planes arrived unexpectedly and were given permission to land, one after the other, at Gvardeiskoye air base. U.S. officials said they also believed Russian personnel had entered Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea with an ethnic Russian majority and a Russian naval base. The State Department urged U.S. citizens to defer nonessential travel plans in Ukraine because of "the potential for instability." View gallery Russia's Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin, … Russia's Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin, second from right, listens as U.K. Ambassador to … Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to host the Group of Eight economic summit in June in Sochi, the site of the recently completed Winter Olympics. The U.S. is in discussions about the summit with European partners, and it is difficult to see how some of those leaders would attend the summit if Russia has forces in Crimea, according to the administration officials. They were not authorized to discuss the situation by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity. Obama canceled a bilateral meeting with Putin last year after Russia granted asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, though Obama still attended a separate international meeting in Russia. For the U.S., levying punishments on Russia is complicated by the various issues on which the White House needs Moscow's help. Among them: ending the bloodshed in Syria, negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran and transporting U.S. military troops and equipment out of Afghanistan through Russian supply routes. A somber Obama decried the situation in Ukraine and warned about deeper outside intervention. "The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," he said. View gallery President Barack Obama speaks about Ukraine in the … President Barack Obama speaks about Ukraine in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White Hous … Political turmoil in Ukraine has pushed President Viktor Yanukovych from office. Yanukovych held a news conference in Russia on Friday in which he said he was not asking Moscow for military assistance and called military action "unacceptable." Yanukovych, who still regards himself the president, also vowed to "keep fighting for the future of Ukraine" and blamed the U.S. and the West for encouraging the rebellion that forced him to flee last weekend. One catalyst for the massive demonstrations that led to Yanukovych's ouster was his rejection of a partnership agreement with the European Union in favor of historical ties with Moscow. That EU agreement would have paved the way for Ukraine's greater integration with the West, including potential affiliation with NATO, something to which Russia strongly objects. Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior U.S. officials have tried without success to dispel widespread sentiment in Russia that the United States and Europe are trying to pry Ukraine out from under Russian influence. But in Moscow, Russian officials have been accusing the U.S. and its allies of meddling, fomenting anti-Russia sentiment and actively encouraging Ukraine's Western aspirations at the expense of its historical connections. View gallery President Barack Obama speaks about Ukraine in the … President Barack Obama speaks about Ukraine in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White Hous … There was no known contact Friday between Obama and Putin, who last spoke a week ago. Kerry did call Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for the second time in two days to press the Kremlin to keep its promise to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Lavrov repeated Putin's pledge to do just that, while pointing out that Russia has broad interests in Ukraine, Kerry said. Kerry reiterated the U.S. view that Russian military intervention in Ukraine following the ouster of the country's Russia-backed leader would run counter to Russia's self-professed opposition to such operations in other countries, such as Libya and Syria. ___ Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

President Barack Obama walks away from the podium after speaking about the ongoing situation in Ukraine in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. Obama warned Russia "there will be costs" for any military intervention in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is warning Russia "there will be costs" for any military maneuvers it launches in Ukraine, a move U.S. and Ukrainian officials say they believe is already underway

Officials say Obama may retaliate by canceling a trip to Russia this year for an international summit and could cut off trade discussions with Moscow. But it's unclear whether those moves will have any impact on Russia's strategy on Ukraine, which is at the center of what many see as tensions between East and West.
"Any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing," Obama declared Friday. Such action by Russia would represent a "profound interference" in matters that must be decided by the Ukrainian people, he said.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that while he would not address specific U.S. options, "this could be a very dangerous situation if this continues in a provocative way." Asked about options in a CBS News interview, he said that "we're trying to deal with a diplomatic focus, that's the appropriate, responsible approach."
A spokesman for the Ukrainian border service said Friday that eight Russian transport planes had landed with unknown cargo in Ukraine's Crimea region. Serhiy Astakhov told The Associated Press that the Il-76 planes arrived unexpectedly and were given permission to land, one after the other, at Gvardeiskoye air base.
U.S. officials said they also believed Russian personnel had entered Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea with an ethnic Russian majority and a Russian naval base. The State Department urged U.S. citizens to defer nonessential travel plans in Ukraine because of "the potential for instability."
Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to host the Group of Eight economic summit in June in Sochi, the site of the recently completed Winter Olympics. The U.S. is in discussions about the summit with European partners, and it is difficult to see how some of those leaders would attend the summit if Russia has forces in Crimea, according to the administration officials. They were not authorized to discuss the situation by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Obama canceled a bilateral meeting with Putin last year after Russia granted asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, though Obama still attended a separate international meeting in Russia.
For the U.S., levying punishments on Russia is complicated by the various issues on which the White House needs Moscow's help. Among them: ending the bloodshed in Syria, negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran and transporting U.S. military troops and equipment out of Afghanistan through Russian supply routes.
A somber Obama decried the situation in Ukraine and warned about deeper outside intervention.
"The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," he said.
Political turmoil in Ukraine has pushed President Viktor Yanukovych from office. Yanukovych held a news conference in Russia on Friday in which he said he was not asking Moscow for military assistance and called military action "unacceptable."
Yanukovych, who still regards himself the president, also vowed to "keep fighting for the future of Ukraine" and blamed the U.S. and the West for encouraging the rebellion that forced him to flee last weekend.
One catalyst for the massive demonstrations that led to Yanukovych's ouster was his rejection of a partnership agreement with the European Union in favor of historical ties with Moscow. That EU agreement would have paved the way for Ukraine's greater integration with the West, including potential affiliation with NATO, something to which Russia strongly objects.
Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior U.S. officials have tried without success to dispel widespread sentiment in Russia that the United States and Europe are trying to pry Ukraine out from under Russian influence.
But in Moscow, Russian officials have been accusing the U.S. and its allies of meddling, fomenting anti-Russia sentiment and actively encouraging Ukraine's Western aspirations at the expense of its historical connections.
There was no known contact Friday between Obama and Putin, who last spoke a week ago.
Kerry did call Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for the second time in two days to press the Kremlin to keep its promise to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Lavrov repeated Putin's pledge to do just that, while pointing out that Russia has broad interests in Ukraine, Kerry said.
Kerry reiterated the U.S. view that Russian military intervention in Ukraine following the ouster of the country's Russia-backed leader would run counter to Russia's self-professed opposition to such operations in other countries, such as Libya and Syria.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ukrainian MPs vote to oust President Yanukovych


Opposition memebers, including leader Vitaly Klitschko (top R) celebrate as parliament votes to remove President Viktor Yanukovych Opposition deputies reacted with joy after the vote
 
 
Ukrainian MPs have voted to oust President Viktor Yanukovych and hold early presidential elections on 25 May.
The vote came after police stopped guarding presidential buildings, allowing protesters in, and parliament made new high-level appointments.
Mr Yanukovych said it was a "coup" and vowed not to stand down.
And on a day of fast-moving events, prominent opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was released from detention, hours after MPs authorised the move.
She left the hospital in the eastern city of Kharkiv where she had been held under prison guard, and flew to Kiev, where she addressed the demonstrators in Independence Square.
Ms Tymoshenko was freed following a vote by parliament on Friday demanding her release.
She was sentenced to seven years in jail in 2011 after a controversial verdict on her actions as prime minister.
Her supporters have always maintained this was simply Mr Yanukovych taking out his most prominent opponent, and her release has always been a key demand of the protest movement
 
 
On Thursday, the bloodiest day of recent unrest, at least 21 protesters and one policeman died.
Ms Tymoshenko told journalists at Kiev airport that those behind violence "must be punished", the Interfax agency reports.
'Coup' denounced The opposition is now in effective control of the capital Kiev, with Mr Yanukovych in Kharkiv, near the Russian border, after travelling there late on Friday night.
The Interfax news agency reported parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov as saying Mr Yanukovych had been stopped by border police in an attempt to flee to Russia and was now somewhere in the Donetsk region.
Earlier on Saturday, protesters walked unchallenged into the president's office and residential compounds

Thursday, August 22, 2013

How the varsities can fill 30,000-student gap

Institutions of higher learning in Tanzania are facing an epochal challenge. They are experiencing a big shift in student intake for the first time in decades.
It is a reflection of the recent accelerated pace of creating the higher education institutions.
It has always been customary for the tertiary institutions in Tanzania to receive far more applications from qualified entrants, than can be accommodated. This always left a surplus from which they could fall back to fill gaps in subsequent academic years.
This time round (2012/13), the opposite is the case. There are far fewer qualified students than the institutions need.
Tanzania Commission of Universities (TCU) statistics indicate that the varsities need well over 78,000 First Year entrants for the 2012/13 academic year.
However, the domestic market can only supply 47,175 qualified entrants, of which about 7,000 applicants are diploma holders from colleges and the remaining are direct Form VI leavers.
TCU records show that admission in institutions has grown from 35,133 students in 2008/2009 to 48,690 in 2010/2011 but started to decline in 2011/2012 to 40,773 applicants and in 2012/2013 to only 38,617 students.
The main cause linked with this burgeoning crisis, according to TCU and academics is the massive failure of Form IV students in their national exams over the past three years.
In 2012 alone Form Four failures were a record 60 percent triggering serious concerns about the state of education in the country.
With the deficiency comes a crisis that has been exacerbated by the increasing number of institutions over the years. What are the implications of the spare capacity?
On the one hand there is what scholars liken to mushrooming of varsities and colleges in the advent of privatization, from hardly three in the 1990s to about 50 todate.
But on the other comes the question of sustainability of these institutions, given the fact that they need to have the financial resources to survive.
The 64 million dollar question now is how the varsities are going to fill the student shortfall and recover the resources they need to continue to operate.
The country certainly needs to think seriously how to engage with these institutions in ensuring the investment in education is sustained as it strives to create enough high level skilled manpower to help run the economy.
The varsities also need to play their full part in mounting promotions for more qualified applicants from within and outside the country.
Tanzanian institutions need to do more promotions in foreign markets in the realm of education, just as are some of their colleagues doing by bringing education fairs into the country.
Along with that, and as a matter of managing the crisis at hand, TCU and other stakeholders can ‘embark on lay qualified students’. These are students who finished Form VI or college long time ago, but have remained reluctant to pursue further education for some reasons. There are many of these on the streets, particularly given the fact that there were fewer institutions in the past admitting students for higher education. If exploited, this class could contribute to solving the crisis.
As for long term solutions, education stakeholders need to consolidate the base of the country’s tertiary education by building the supply side.

Monday, August 12, 2013

NI VIGUMU KUJUA JERAHA LA SHEIKH PONDA LILISABABISHWA NA KITU GANI - MOI


 

                                                                    
Sheikh Ponda (54) akiwa katika chumba maalum katika hospitali ya Taifa Muhimbili.
TAARIFA KUHUSU MAJERAHA YA SHEIKH PONDA ISSA PONDA KUTOKA MOI
Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda (54) alipokelewa hapa taasisi ya tiba ya mifupa na upasuaji wa mishipa ya fahamu MOI jana tarehe 11/8/2013 saa 7.30 jioni akitokea hospitali ya Taifa Muhimbili baada ya kupokelewa alionekana akiwa na majeraha chini ya bega la mkono wa kulia lililokuwa limeshonwa mbele na nyuma madaktari wetu walifanya uchunguzi na kushauri afanyiwe…

Sheikh Ponda (54) akiwa katika chumba maalum katika hospitali ya Taifa Muhimbili.
TAARIFA KUHUSU MAJERAHA YA SHEIKH PONDA ISSA PONDA KUTOKA MOI
Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda (54) alipokelewa hapa taasisi ya tiba ya mifupa na upasuaji wa mishipa ya fahamu MOI jana tarehe 11/8/2013 saa 7.30 jioni akitokea hospitali ya Taifa Muhimbili baada ya kupokelewa alionekana akiwa na majeraha chini ya bega la mkono wa kulia lililokuwa limeshonwa mbele na nyuma madaktari wetu walifanya uchunguzi na kushauri afanyiwe kipimo cha X-ray ili kubaini kama kuna mvunjiko kwenye sehemu ya jeraha tathimini ya madaktari baada ya kupata majibu ya X-ray ilionyesha alikuwa na mvunjiko bila mifupa kupishana vivyo hivyo kidonda hakikuwa katika hali nzuri licha ya tiba ya mwanzo na iliamuliwa afanyiwe upasuaji mpya ili kuzuia maambukizi kama kingeachwa hivyo.
    
    KWA HIYO
    1- kufuatana na tiba ya awali aliyopata ikiwa ni pamoja na kushonwa jeraha kabla ya kufikishwa MOI imekuwa vigumu kujua kama jeraha lilisababishwa na kitu gani
    2- kipimo cha X-ray kilionyesha kwamba alikuwa amepata mvunjiko wa mfupa mkubwa wa bega bila mifupa kupishana
    3- hivyo basi Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda anaendelea na matibabu baada ya upasuaji.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dawasco must raise efficiency

 

 
Dar es Salaam Water Supply Corporation (DAWASCO) has embarked on a water disconnection operation, covering consumers who have not paid their bills in the City, Kibaha, Mlandizi and Bagamoyo.
That is as it should be, for if the service is to be sustained and enhanced, it must as much as possible, be financed by its consumers.
We are however talking about a basic necessity for human survival, an item without which life cannot be sustained. That is why maximum care has to be exercised when handling it. Yet a lot remains to be done for Dar residents in this area, as much as they also have to do more, such as paying bills on time, to sustain the service.
For Dar residents, one of the biggest woes besides traffic jams and power outages is the never-ending shortage of water.
People have had to spare increasingly bigger budgets to buy enough of the life-sustaining liquid, because its supply failed along the way to keep pace with demand from the rapidly growing population.
That is why we need to remind Dawasco and all other actors in Dar’s water supply operations that part of the water woes being experienced are to be found in the inefficient way the city has been handling the scarce precious liquid.
Only two million of the nearly five million city residents get a modicum of fresh piped water, despite the huge infrastructure set up to ensure supply.
The cause is the run-down infrastructure which loses a significant amount of that liquid due to leakages along the way, not to mention some major breakdowns which have left consumers without water for days. Some of the leakages are a result of direct tampering by people who illegally tap water from the main pipes.
Many of Dar’s residents desperate for water, have turned to vendors, buying a 20-litre bucket of the not-so-safe liquid at between 300/- and 500/-.
As the government presses ahead with the major Dar water supply project, aimed at ending the problem by Dcember, Dawasco needs to straighten a few areas, which Dar residents have frequently raised complaints about.
The residents have been complaining that there are still leakages which Dawasco seems to have forgotten about, despite being informed several times.
Every drop of wasted water translates into lost revenue; that is why the Corporation should heed every call about a leakage and plug it immeidately.
The suggestion here is that, since Dawasco knows very well about its run-down infrastructure, it needs to seriously consider having a team that will carry out inspections and act promptly to plug leakages, in a bid to minimise waste and improve supplies.
Equally important Dawasco needs to be seen to be fair in delivering the precious liquid to Dar residents, some of whom complain that despite having had the infrastructure to receive piped water for a long time, they have never seen a drop of the liquid from their taps.
How can Dawasco expect to collect more revenue from the little water available now, if the issue of leakages and that of ensuring every drop passes through a meter to record correct consumption for billing purposes are not addressed now?
Indeed with meters, Dawasco could also address the problem of leakages in residences more realistically and save more revenue.