Video: Arsenal target nicknamed the ‘the new Mesut Ozil’ scores stunning free-kick

first_img Arsenal target Hakan Calhanoglu Arsenal have been keeping tabs on Bayer Leverkusen star Hakan Calhanoglu and after another brilliant goal you can’t really blame them.The set-piece specialist, who is being monitored by a host of huge European clubs, including Barcelona, has had an excellent season following a summer switch from Hamburg.And if he continues to score with sumptuous strikes like this one for Leverkusen against Hoffenheim, it’s probable he’ll be on the move again sooner rather than later.Check out the stunning free-kick below… 1last_img

Franklin Man gets 11 years in Ponzi scheme

first_imgU.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced today the former operator of two companies located in Franklin, N.C. to 135 months in prison on federal securities fraud and money laundering charges, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Barry Carlton Taylor, 64, of Franklin, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay nearly $2.2 million as restitution to his victim investors.U.S. Attorney Rose is joined by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, in making the announcement.“Taylor was a con artist who used lies and deception to convince his victims to hand over their hard-earned money.  Contrary to his lofty promises of huge profits, Taylor’s investors – some of whom were elderly – sustained grave financial losses and may never be able to recover financially after falling prey to this scammer’s investment scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Rose.According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, Taylor operated two limited liability companies in Franklin, N.C., “OTC Investments, LLC” (OTC) and “Forex Currency Trade Advisors, LLC” (FCTA).  Beginning in August 2011, Taylor induced 18 victims to invest approximately $2.5 million by falsely telling them he was an expert in the foreign currency exchange market (FOREX) and that their investments would be pooled into trading accounts which he would manage and use to invest in FOREX.  Court records show that Taylor also falsely told his victims that he had created a computer software system that could track the FOREX market, which enabled him to make investments that generated very high rates of return, as much as 2.5% per month.According to court records, even though Taylor opened and maintained FOREX trading accounts in the names of his two companies neither company was registered as a commodity pool operator.  Court records also show that Taylor deposited the funds he solicited from the individual victim investors into these trading accounts, but he then withdrew more than half of the victims’ money and lost the rest due to trading losses, fees and commissions.  According to court records, by April 2015 there was very little or no investor funds remaining in the trading accounts controlled by Taylor.Taylor concealed the losses by sending the victims false monthly statements, which represented that the investors’ principal was intact and that they were realizing profits as promised.  Court records indicate that Taylor used money from other principal investors to make Ponzi-style payments to investors who had asked Taylor to withdraw their profits on their promised returns.  Taylor also convinced some of the investors to reinvest their “commissions” rather than accepting payments, court documents show.In furtherance of the fraudulent scheme, filed documents indicate that Taylor used a number of lies to further induce investors and to conceal the fraud.  For example, in January 2015, Taylor sent his victims fraudulent emails claiming that he had halted FOREX trading due to events involving the Swiss National bank.  In another example, court records show that Taylor created a fictitious entity and a fictitious person in order to send lulling emails to calm his investors, and later lied to victims telling them he was considering taking legal action against this fictitious individual who was supposedly responsible for their trading losses.Contrary to promises made to his victim investors, Taylor diverted over half a million dollars of the victims’ investment funds and used the money to cover personal expenses, such as restaurants, entertainment and shopping, among others.  Taylor pleaded guilty in January 2016 to fraud by commodities pool operator and concealment of money laundering charges.In announcing today’s sentence, Judge Reidinger said that the losses to the individual victims were great, many of whom were deprived of the security of their retirements.Taylor will be ordered to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his sentence upon designation of a federal facility.  All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.The FBI investigated the case.  In making this announcement, U.S. Attorney Rose also thanked the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission for their invaluable assistance in this investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Don Gast of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville was in charge of thelast_img read more

10 Things to Pack in Your Carry-On for Your Disney Cruise

first_imgShare This!Let’s talk packing for your Disney Cruise!  When you arrive at the port, you will drop off your big luggage with the porters, and you won’t see it again until it appears outside your stateroom door several hours later.  With your luggage taken care of, you can also hand carry as much as you want onto the ship, it just has to fit on the belt to go through the x-ray scanner.  Don’t carry too much though. Your room won’t be ready until 1:30 pm, so you’re stuck with whatever you carried on until then.  So, what exactly should you carry on?  I have suggestions below.  Ten of them, of course.1. Proof of Citizenship – This is, hands down, the most important thing on your list. Everything else, as they say, can be purchased. There are no exceptions, you will need proper proof of citizenship to board.  Do not accidentally pack this in your luggage and give it to the porters.  Proof of citizenship requirements vary based on itinerary, and can change, so I’ll take you right to the source:  Disney lists the current requirements here.  Don’t get left behind!2. Documents – Depending on the cruise, and what document type you select, Disney will mail you documents beforehand. It may be a super cute booklet about your cruise that you will keep forever, for no rational reason whatsoever, or it may be just a few sheets of paper about your cruise. Bring them! It’s not the end of the world if you forget them, we all know you won’t be the first person to forget them, but at many ports, the person admitting you to the building asks to see them.  It will speed things along if you have them.3. Swim Gear – Put your swimsuit in your carry-on, or at least put your children’s swimsuits in your carry-on. Once your kids lay eyes on those pools and splash zones, they’re going to want to get wet.  That means they probably do not have the patience to wait until your luggage shows up a few hours later.  Bring your swimsuits with you, and voila – no waiting!  There are several bathrooms out on the pool deck where you can change, and there are towels on the pool deck for you to use.  Swimming may also require you to bring a few other things like sunscreen, a waterproof case for your phone, or the usual swimming accoutrements your family uses.4. Medication – If you have any medications you need on a daily basis, don’t put them in your checked luggage, especially if you are going to need your meds before dinner! There’s a chance you won’t see your checked luggage until close to dinner time.  Even if you don’t need your meds before dinner, keep them in your carry-on bag.  Odds are infinitesimal that your luggage will be lost, but it’s still safer to have your meds with you.5. Alcohol – Disney has restrictions on how much alcohol you can bring on board, but you can bring some. Each adult can bring two (unopened) bottles of wine or champagne, or a six-pack of beer. If you imbibe, that’s good news for you!  Cheap(er) alcohol!  You cannot pack it in your suitcase, however–it must be in a carry-on.  FYI, you can bring the same amount on at each port of call, so if you want to replenish in port, go for it.6. Water – If you prefer a certain kind of bottled water that Disney doesn’t carry, or just flat out don’t want to pay Disney’s prices, you can bring on as much as you want. You are only limited by what you can carry around with you (and what fits through the x-ray machine)! You can’t put it in your checked luggage, so you will have to place it in your carry-on or just flat out carry it.  Sometimes porters will offer to slap a room tag on your case of water and deliver it to your room, but you can’t count on it!7. Lanyards for First Timers – If you’ve ever sailed with Disney before, you will get a lanyard when you check in. If you haven’t sailed with Disney, you may want to bring your own. I find the lanyards super handy to hold my Key to the World card.  I love not having to carry a purse around with me all day, or worry about something falling out of my pockets. (If I even have pockets.  #womanclothingproblem)8. Door Magnets – It’s never too early to decorate your door. And let’s face it, door magnets don’t take up much room in your suitcase. Well, most don’t.  I’ve seen some crazy door decorations on board!  I do like to put mine in my carry-on and put them up right away.  If you have kids that are roaming the ship, it makes it easier for them to find your stateroom, not to mention, they’re just festive.9. Valuables – I have never, ever had anything stolen from my bags, but it’s still a good idea to keep valuables with you. Some electronics especially, like laptops, aren’t really made to be thrown around in a suitcase. And my word, the thought of someone dropping a bag with my camera in it gives me heart palpitations.  So, keep them with you!  I keep a small rolling bag with me full of those kinds of things.10. Dinner Clothes – There’s a chance you won’t have your clothes from your checked luggage before dinner, or before that pre-dinner activity you don’t want to miss. IF you want to change for dinner, make sure you put your clothes in a carry-on. The first night on board will almost certainly be cruise-casual, so you’re safe to wear what you boarded in (assuming it wasn’t a swimsuit or tank top) if you are having dinner in one of the main dining rooms.  If, however, you are dining in Palo or Remy, boarding clothes just won’t do!  Well, unless your boarding clothes are very different than mine…Bonus – Coke Zero!  Okay, it doesn’t have to be Coke Zero, and most of the ships have Coke Zero on tap now!  Woohoo!  But if Disney doesn’t carry your preferred brand of soda, you are welcome to carry as much as you want on with you (again, you have to get it through the x-ray machine).  And as with other drinks, they must be in your carry-on. Do not put them in your checked bag.  But really, is putting cans of soda in a bag that’s going to be thrown around a good idea anyway?  I’m thinking no.How about you?  Is there anything else you pack in your carry-on?  Share with us!Tammy Whiting is the owner of Storybook Destinations. Did you know Storybook Destinations offers a complimentary subscription to TouringPlans with qualified Disney and Universal bookings? Click here for a no-obligation quote on your next vacation!last_img read more

Ridding Africa of HIV in 10 years

first_imgAn HIV/Aids awareness mural on a wall in Soweto, Gauteng. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Universal HIV testing and immediate treatment of those who test positive with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs could reduce new infections in countries with a high prevalence of HIV/Aids by as much as 95% within 10 years, according to a new study by scientists from the UN World Health Organisation (WHO).The findings of a mathematical modelling exercise, published in the 26 November edition of British medical journal The Lancet, suggest that immediate treatment – regardless of clinical or immunological evaluations such as CD4 count, which measures the strength of the immune system – could significantly reduce new infections in many sub-Saharan African countries.“We took available data from southern Africa, where the epidemic is generalised and transmitted mainly through heterosexual sex, and plugged it into a computer model,” said Reuben Granich, a medical officer with WHO’s department of HIV/Aids and lead author of the study.“The model found that if all adults were tested at least once a year and put on treatment immediately, then theoretically prevalence would reduce from 20 000 per million people annually to 1 000 per million people annually within ten years.”Granich said the model worked on the assumption that once patients started taking ARVs, their viral load – the amount of HIV in the blood – was significantly reduced and they became much less likely to transmit the virus.“The purpose of this study was to stimulate discussion and help define research questions on how to use ARVs, not only for treatment, but also for HIV prevention,” said Kevin de Cock, director of WHO’s department of HIV/Aids and co-author of the study.“The study does not in any way indicate a change in WHO policy or guidelines for testing and treatment,” he added. WHO policy on treatment stipulates voluntary testing and clinical evaluation to determine eligibility for ARV treatment.Potential obstaclesNoting that more research into universal testing and treatment would be necessary before any policy changes could be made, De Cock said WHO would convene a meeting in 2009 to discuss the findings of the mathematical model and see how best to overcome possible hurdles.“There are human rights issues involved with advocating for universal testing that need to be addressed. WHO continues to endorse testing policies that prioritise informed consent, confidentiality and dignity,” he said.“Other possible obstacles include the policy’s feasibility, and the possible weakening of other forms of HIV prevention.”Any interventions to scale up testing and treatment would need to be accompanied by expanded HIV prevention, such as male circumcision, correct and consistent condom use and partner reduction, among others.The study found that the policy would initially be costly to implement, especially in poorer countries. “Unless we manage to interrupt HIV transmission, we will endlessly be dealing with HIV treatment,” De Cock said.“Although the policy would be expensive to begin with, in the long run it would be cost saving.”Various versions of universal access to testing and treatment are already being practised successfully.“In the industrialised world, for example, all pregnant women have access to universal HIV testing and, if they need it, treatment,” he said. “As a result, in this part of the world, paediatric HIV has virtually been eliminated.”De Cock said WHO’s newest guidelines on infant treatment also recommended that children under one year of age receive ARVs as soon as they tested positive for HIV, regardless of clinical or immunological evaluations.According to WHO, nearly 80% of HIV-positive adults in sub-Saharan Africa are unaware of their status, and more than 90% do not know whether their partners are infected. Worldwide, about 3-million people were on ARVs at the end of 2007, but an estimated 6.7-million remained untreated.Do your have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]: Irin PlusNewsRelated articlesHIV/Aids in South AfricaAngola’s four-year plan for healthHigh-price vaccine for SA kidsVaccine hope for HIV immunity HIV in South Africa stabilising Useful linksWorld Health OrganisationThe LancetTreatment Action CampaignSouth African Aids Vaccine Initiativelast_img read more

The Wireless Power Merger Is Official

first_imgTags:#A4WP#Alliance for Wireless Power#Inductive Charging#Inductive Power#merger#PMA#Power Matters Alliance#qi#Resonant Charging#Ron Resnick#wireless charging#wireless power#WPC Related Posts 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… brian p rubin Two of the three major wireless-charging standard groups—the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and the Power Matters Alliance (PMA)—finally announced Monday that their plans to merge are official. After over a year of discussion, PMA and A4WP are officially becoming one, leaving the Wireless Power Consortium and its Qi wireless charging platform as the sole alternative.While two is better than three for hardware developers trying to sort out which wireless-charging bandwagon to jump on, the combined entity has technical challenges to overcome in unifying its own efforts.Oh, and it needs a name, too.Inductive Versus ResonantThe PMA’s board of directors includes representatives from the likes of Duracell, Powermat Technologies, Flextronics, AT&T, and Starbucks, to name a few. A4WP, meanwhile, counts Qualcomm, Samsung, and Broadcom on its board, among others. The union of these two organizations means a whole lot of tech companies coming together to form a wireless charging standard that PMA president Ron Resnick hopes will change the way the world powers its electronics.The Powermat wireless charging station is based on PMA’s charging standard.“We’d like to see this [organization] really be the [organization] that takes it global and the biggest companies in the world have bet on it,” Resnick said in an interview. “We plan to really be aggressive about building out and seeing infrastructures go everywhere for our wireless charging. So we have a lot of work ahead of us, but that’s our plan.”Resnick said that the newly established entity plans on figuring out a name in a couple of months. What’s more important is that when the A4WP and PMA join forces, they’ll combine both of their wireless charging standards into one multi-mode solution for device-makers to rely on. Currently, PMA’s standard relies on magnetic induction, which requires devices to be placed on a charging surface for power transfer to happen. On the other hand, A4WP’s charging standard relies on resonance charging, which pumps power out at a a greater distance, meaning devices can be a foot or two away to receive power.“It just seemed like it was a natural evolution path to combine the two into one industry org that really does one thing: the goal is to deliver a really good experience for users regardless of what the use case is and having the different technologies work collaboratively together under one roof made a lot of sense,” said Resnick. “So both boards of directors agreed to that, and so we’re real happy that we’ve now signed the merger agreement, and we will be one industry organization.”The WPC’s Qi standard remains an outlier, albeit one that boasts a growing list of high-profile products with its wireless charging standard built in—devices made by the likes of LG, HTC, Motorola, and Sony, to name but a few. The Samsung Galaxy S6 supports charging standards from both the PMA and Qi. The Samsung Galaxy S6 is compatible with PMA and Qi wireless charging stations.Resnick explained that this is a result of broad similarities between Qi and PMA’s inductive charging technology.“The chip companies who manufacture the inductive technology, they’re already doing dual-mode,” he said, adding that their similarities make it relatively easy for devices like the Galaxy S6 to support both standards.The new organization’s edge comes from the fact that it’ll also boast the longer-range resonant charging technology under the same umbrella.“You can have a phone that has our resonant technology and inductive and it’s going to work,” he said. “We think that has the better story.”Why This MattersWhile it’s still not a widely used technology, wireless charging is clearly the next step in how we power our gadgets. It affects hardware makers and consumers. And common standards drive down prices over time, benefiting builders and buyers alike. Now that there are only two organizations vying for supremacy, we’ll likely start to see a lot more devices that offer wireless charging technology. With a more binary choice in front of them, device makers will soon pick a side, just like manufacturers once did during VHS and Betamax’s infamous format wars (and the less memorable Blu-ray and HD-DVD battle a few decades later). It’s very possible that the combined might of the PMA and A4WP could be enough to make their wireless charging stand out against the WPC’s Qi standard. Then again, if Resnick gets his wish, WPC will come into the fold before too long.“I’d love to see a unification of the whole ecosystem,” he said. “I would absolutely encourage the WPC to approach us and figure out how we can get their inductive technology.… We’d be happy to do it.”Lead photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite; Powermat image courtesy of Powermat; Galaxy S6 image courtesy of Samsungcenter_img How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Manohar Parrikar to take oath of office as Goa chief minister today

first_imgThe BJP leader will take oath of office on Friday at Sports Authority of Goa ground in Campal in Panaji.BJP’s chief minister-designate in Goa, Manohar Parrikar on Friday will take oath of office.Parrikar on Thursday said that all the BJP ministers from his 2005 Cabinet would find place in the new dispensation, and the budget would be presented around March 24.”There are five ministers who were in my old cabinet. They will be sworn-in again,” Parrikar said.Party sources said that alongwith Parrikar, five ministers from BJP and two from ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) would take oath on Friday.Parrikar told that soon after the swearing-in, there will be a Cabinet meeting which will list out the priorities.”I will hand over the list of priorities to the Chief Secretary after the cabinet meeting,” he said.BJP-MGP alliance will start implementing the manifesto immediately but it would take little time to deliver, he said.”People also know that it takes time to deliver. First of all, whatever mess that has been created by Digambar Kamat-led government would be reviewed.”He also said that ‘putting in place the state aministration’ was top on his agenda.In the 2012 election, corruption, unemployment and price rise were the issues on which people voted, he said.last_img read more

ZTE Q519T with large 4,000mAh battery launched

first_imgZTE has just launched its Q519T smartphone, at a price of $95 (roughly Rs 6,000). The launch is only applicable to China for now. The smartphone will come in the colors Blue, Gold, and White. It is still not known when the device will get to see the light of day in other markets across the world. The manufacturer had recently launched its Nubia Z9, which was also a China-only affair. One of the standout features of the device is a massive 4,000mAh battery which is said to last a whole 35 days on standby. Launch details outside China are not yet known. The handset sports a 5-inch 720×1280 pixels HD display and is powered by a 1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor alongside 1GB RAM. It also has 8GB of internal storage, expandable upto 32GB via microSD card, 5MP rear camera with LED flash, 2MP front camera, and Android 5.0 Lollipop out-of-the-box. Connectivity options include 3G, GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Micro-USB and Bluetooth.last_img read more

Liverpool owner baffled by Suarez & Coutinho exits

first_imgLiverpool Liverpool owner: I can’t understand why Suarez & Coutinho left Harry Sherlock Last updated 1 year ago 18:14 5/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Luis Suarez Barcelona Real Madrid Getty Liverpool Barcelona Real Madrid v Liverpool Real Madrid Philippe Coutinho Luis Suárez UEFA Champions League The two Barcelona stars would be playing in Saturday’s Champions League final had they stayed at Anfield, according to the club chief Liverpool owner John W Henry insists he cannot understand why players such as Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho wanted to leave the club.Both the Uruguay international and the Brazilian playmaker moved to Barcelona, in 2014 and 2018 respectively.Suarez sparkled at Anfield prior to his transfer, scoring 31 league goals in the season before his move, while Coutinho netted 12 goals and provided eight assists in the half-season before the January deal. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Henry, though, believes that Liverpool are at the top of the food chain, and insists that, had they stayed, they would be in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI for this weekend’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.”Maybe it’s because I’m an American, but I have a difficult time understanding why anyone would want to leave Liverpool,” Henry told Associated Press.”The club is so rich in history and tradition, supported by so many millions around the world, in virtually every country of the world.”You don’t want to be in the position where players want to go somewhere else, even if it is a great club like Barcelona.”It’s hard to understand why players would want to go to a league where the competition is so weak. They must play 30 or so meaningless matches per year waiting for Champions League matches.”They’ll be watching this weekend and could have been playing.”But [FSG president] Mike Gordon, [sporting director] Michael Edwards and everyone in our scouting department have done a terrific job in making the best of those two difficult situations.”Mohamed Salah has enjoyed a stunning season this term, thus far netting 44 goals in all competitions, leading to speculation linking the Egypt international with Real Madrid and Barcelona.It remains to be seen if, this time, a star player will remain at Anfield. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Video: Memphis Meteorologist Tees Off On John Calipari, Calls Him A Snake Oil Salesman

first_imgA closeup of Coach Cal.LEXINGTON, KY – JANUARY 09: John Calipari the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats gives instructions to his team against the Texas A&M Aggies during the game at Rupp Arena on January 9, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)John Calipari coached at Memphis for nine seasons, and almost led the Tigers to a national title in 2008. But given the way he left the program, and the fact that the school had to vacate all 38 victories from that year, he isn’t the most well-liked man in town. After Sunday’s Hall of Fame interview debacle, that fact likely won’t change for some time.Calipari, during an interview after his induction, told reporters that while he loved coaching at both UMass and Memphis, he was at the “little table” in comparison with some of his colleagues. He also said that before Kentucky, he never got to “carve the turkey”, and he had to use “plastic forks and plates.”FOX 13 Memphis aired the clip this week, and meteorologist Joey Sulipeck went off on the Kentucky head coach. Sulipeck called him a snake oil salesman, and jokingly threatened Calipari to come near him when he had a plastic utensil. Here’s full video – we’ve also included a Vine, via Lost Lettermen.FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13 It’s a strong take – especially for a meteorologist. We’ll assume that Sulipeck was happy with last Saturday’s Final Four result.last_img read more

Kofi Annan Plunder of Timber and Fisheries is Holding Africa Back

first_imgAfrica’s rich natural resources offer a unique opportunity for a breakthrough in improving the lives of Africa’s citizens, says a major new report launched by Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General, but too often these resources are plundered by corrupt officials and foreign investors.Rising inequality is also blocking Africa from seizing that opportunity, the report shows.The 2014 Africa Progress Panel report, Grain, Fish, Money: Financing Africa’s green and blue revolutions, calls on Africa’s political leaders to take concrete measures now to reduce inequality by investing in agriculture. It also demands international action to end what it describes as the plunder of Africa’s timber and fisheries.“After more than a decade of growth, there is plenty to celebrate,” Mr Annan will say when he releases the report. “But it is time to ask why so much growth has done so little to lift people out of poverty – and why so much of Africa’s resource wealth is squandered through corrupt practices and unscrupulous investment activities.”“Africa is a continent of great wealth so why is Africa’s share of global malnutrition and child deaths rising so fast? The answer is that inequality is weakening the link between economic growth and improvements in wellbeing,” he said.Although average income has risen by one-third in the past decade, there are more Africans living in poverty now – around 415 million – than at the end of the 1990s. New global development goals are likely to aim to eradicate poverty by 2030 – but on current trends, one African in five will still be in poverty when that deadline arrives.Mr Annan, who played a central role in shaping the Millennium Development Goals, says: “When countries sign up to the new global development framework, they should pledge not only to meet ambitious targets but also to narrow the region’s indefensible gaps between rich and poor, urban and rural, and men and women.”The report’s authors identify agriculture as the key to growth that reduces poverty. They point out that most of Africa’s poor live and work in rural areas, predominantly as smallholder farmers. “Countries that have built growth on the foundations of a vibrant agricultural sector – such as Ethiopia and Rwanda – have demonstrated that the rural sector can act as a powerful catalyst for inclusive growth and poverty reduction,” Mr Annan will say at the launch.The report calls for a “uniquely African green revolution” that adapts the lessons provided by Asia to African conditions. Africa currently imports US$35 billion worth of food because local agriculture is dogged by low productivity, chronic underinvestment, and regional protectionism. Increased investment in infrastructure and research could dramatically raise the region’s yields and the incomes of farmers. Meanwhile, eliminating the barriers that restrict trade within Africa could open up new markets.While critical of African governments, the Africa Progress Report 2014 also challenges the international community to support the region’s development efforts. It highlights fisheries and logging as two areas in which strengthened multilateral rules are needed to combat the plunder of natural resources.Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing has reached epidemic proportions in Africa’s coastal waters. West Africa is conservatively estimated to lose US$1.3 billion annually. Beyond the financial cost this plunder destroys fishing communities who lose critical opportunities to fish, process and trade. Another US$17 billion is lost through illicit logging activities.“Natural resource plunder is organized theft disguised as commerce. Commercial trawlers that operate under flags of convenience, and unload in ports that do not record their catch, are unethical,” Mr Annan said, adding that these criminal activities compound the problem of tax evasion and shell companies. The Africa Progress Report 2014 calls for a multilateral fisheries regime that applies sanctions to fishing vessels that do not register and report their catches. The report also calls on governments around to world to ratify the Port State Measures Agreement, a treaty that seeks to thwart the poachers in port from unloading their ill-gotten gains.African political leaders have failed to manage natural resources in the interests of the true owners of those resources – the African people.As well as losing money through natural resource plunder and financial mismanagement, Africans miss out on money from abroad, not only when aid donors fail to keep their promises but even when those in the African diaspora send remittances home to their families. It is estimated that that the continent is losing US$1.85 billion a year because money transfer operators are imposing excessive charges on remittances.With greater resource revenue, African governments now have the opportunity to develop more effective taxation systems – and spend public money more fairly, the report adds. For example, 3 per cent of regional GDP is currently allocated to energy subsidies that principally go to the middle class. That money should be diverted into social spending to give the poor a better chance of escaping the poverty trap.“Africa’s resilience and creativity are enormous,” Mr Annan says. “We have a rising and energetic youth population. Our dynamic entrepreneurs are using technology to transform people’s lives. We have enough resources to feed not just ourselves but other regions, too. It is time for Africa’s leaders – and responsible investment partners – to unlock this huge potential.”Chaired by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, the ten-member Africa Progress Panel advocates at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. The Panel releases its flagship publication, the Africa Progress Report, every year in May.last_img read more