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Joseph Mariathasan: Brexit’s terra incognita

first_imgThe EU is a direct development of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) established in 1951, just a few years after World War II. The ECSC’s prime purpose was to prevent another European war, and that political objective was achieved to the great satisfaction of everyone. But moving on from a trade organisation to an objective that seeks to establish a united states of Europe does not appear to have majority support within the UK, nor arguably in many other European countries.UK prime minister David Cameron seems to have achieved a fudge of sorts from the EU’s historic commitment to create an “ever-closer union” of the peoples of Europe. But demands for maintaining the sovereignty of the UK’s Parliament over EU legislation are completely at odds with the direction of change within the EU, whereby every crisis has been used to strengthen the role of the EU as a political entity. What may separate the UK is this very different vision of what the EU should represent. Continental Europeans want real integration – it means the euro, the Schengen passport with free mobility and even armies that are integrating, like those of the Netherlands and Germany.For the European periphery countries and the new entrants, the EU represents something else. It represents hope. Hope that individuals can escape from the burdens imposed on them by a dysfunctional state such as Greece, beholden to special interests, no matter which party governs. In the case of Greece, as part of the EU, Greeks see Greece’s security as enhanced against what it perceives as aggressive and unstable neighbours surrounding it. For Greece and to a lesser extent some of the other peripheral countries, the EU’s institutions and rules represents an escape route from the craziness of a country that aspires to be a developed, Western European democracy but remains wedded to practices dependent on patronage and privilege.The dilemma for the UK, as many Continental Europeans argue, is that Britain has always been an island, stuck between Europe and the US, culturally as well as physically. The economic arguments for the UK’s being either in or out of the EU are essentially indeterminate. There is no overwhelming case either way, and that is one reason why the decision is difficult. If the question were to join from scratch, the answer may be a strong negative. But that decision was made decades ago. Changing the status quo via Brexit may or may not be a good thing in the long run. But what can be guaranteed is that, by doing so, it will cause immense uncertainties for a considerable period of time.Will the benefits of Brexit outweigh the revised status quo within the EU? No one knows the answer. For most people, the decision, much like the Scottish referendum in the UK, will be made on emotional grounds. With both US president Barack Obama and aspiring president Trump wading into the debate, more heat has been generated but perhaps no more light.There is an apocryphal story that former US president Richard Nixon, on his ground-breaking visit to China, tried to make small talk with premier Zhou Enlai by asking him what he thought about the French Revolution. Zhou’s reply was reputed to have been: “It is too early to tell.” That answer may still be appropriate when it comes to discussing the impact of Brexit for decades to come.Brexit will introduce huge uncertainties in terms of the UK’s economic future, the stability of the EU and Continental European peace in the absence of the UK, and of the UK’s future position in the world. Doing so without overwhelming evidence that the outcome would be beneficial does seem foolhardy. But the EU may also have to accept it must recognise not all countries are seeking dissolution of their national identities within a pan-European behemoth. It would be a tragedy for both the UK and the rest of the EU if a compromise cannot be found.Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPE Europe’s failure to hammer out differences could usher in enormous uncertainties, Joseph Mariathasan warnsDonald Trump has declared that Britain would be better off outside Europe. His rationale is not the result of any deep analysis but rather an outcome of his own domestic political posturing – if building a wall on the border with Mexico is his answer to illegal immigration from Mexico, then perhaps leaving the EU may seem a simple solution to him for problems arising from immigration for Britain. The fact the headline news of an influx of Syrian refugees into Europe is a quite separate issue from the legal immigration of EU nationals into Britain does not seem to have entered his thinking.Unfortunately, the debate on Brexit within the UK is no more profound. There is much rhetoric and claims about benefits and future costs by both pro and anti-Brexit supporters. But if the evidence that has accumulated so far is anything to go by, voters will be as confused at the end of the process as they are now.Ultimately, the gulf between the UK and the rest of the EU lies in differing visions of what the EU represents. For the UK, the EU should be a trading body and not a political entity with a commitment to ever-closer union and a common currency. But for Continental Europe, led by France and Germany, it represents a political union designed to eliminate the causes of wars that have dogged Europe for centuries.last_img read more

Founders of South African online television station share insights

first_imgThe founders of the online television station, Aza TV Africa, say they learned it is best to stay true to their vision of business.Stephina Zwane and Salamina Mosese are the co-founders of the online television station, Aza TV Africa. To watch original content for Africans about Africans, viewers can download the app on their mobile devices or watch via the website. (Image supplied)Melissa JavanThe South African online television station, Aza TV Africa, turns two in May 2017. Salamina Mosese and Stephina Zwane, co-founders of Aza TV Africa said their motivation to keep going is to stay true to their vision.Zwane, the company director, writer and filmmaker, has been in the television industry for 17 years. Mosese, who has 18 years of experience in the television industry, is the company director and film producer. They left their jobs in 2015 to launch Aza TV Africa on 20 May, reported the website for entrepreneurs, SME South Africa.Mosese told SME South Africa that Aza TV Africa “aims to answer the world’s best questions about Africa”.Aza is short for Azania which means “powerful” in Swahili. Mosese explained they want to engage and encourage Africans to view themselves from a position of power.Mosese and Zwane are Play Your Part ambassadors of Brand South Africa.The co-founders of Aza TV Africa were speakers at the Digitize Africa Conference held in Durban in April 2017:Brand SA Digital manager @matalane with directors of Sorele Media @StephinaZwane & @salaminaM at #DigitizeAfrica conference pic.twitter.com/Q4wHqVNTcd— Play Your Part (@PlayYourPartSA) April 20, 2017#digitizeafrica Meet the panel discussing Africa’s Digital Media & Entertainent – TV & Film Director/Producer/Writer @StephinaZwane pic.twitter.com/on9SA4mJep— Digitize Africa (@DigitizeAfrica) April 20, 2017Their business relationshipMosese and Zwane, who have been friends since their teens, said going into business together was not a difficult decision to make because of their shared love and passion for the media. They enjoy working together.“We want to be a network that celebrates us as a people, with interesting and diverse stories to tell,” Mosese said.The work on Aza TV Africa started four years prior to the launch. The two co-founders said they finally found a private investor but also had to contribute money from their own pockets.More about Aza TV AfricaAza TV Africa has four channels – Talk, Entertainment, Inspirational and Lifestyle. Each of these channels has different shows under each of these categories, all of which are accessible through www.azatv.co.za or the free downloadable Aza TV App (for Android and IOS users).On some programmes, like the parenting show Yummy Mammi, African celebrities are invited as guests.Currently, viewership is 46% women and 54% men between the ages of 18 and 40 years. People from Mozambique, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe, the US, and India watch Aza TV Africa.Brand South Africa’s journalist had a short Q&A with Mosese.Melissa Javan: When you started, there were seven people working for Aza TV Africa. How many people do you have now?Salamina Mosese: We work with a team of both permanent and freelance staff of between five and 10 depending on what shows we are shooting at the time.MJ: What are your most popular shows on Aza TV Africa?SM: Yummy Mammi, The Sit Down, and Aza Muzika.Watch an interview with actor Florence Masebe of The Sit Down:MJ: How many visits, views and impressions do you get per month (on average) for Aza TV Africa?SM: Our highest number of impressions, which we garnered last year, were just over 100 000. Monthly we average about 40 000 impressions.MJ: What lessons have you learnt being in business?SM: Business is tough; every day is an adventure, good and bad.We have learnt to grow thicker skins, to ask for help if we need it, to have faith in better days, and to stay true to the vision that we had going into the business.We both understand that quitting is not an option, so we find ourselves regularly encouraging each other.MJ: Having a digital channel – how have you grown, especially in terms of learning and teaching yourselves the technical side of things?SM: We will never claim to be digital experts; we are creative who create content for a digital medium.Every month we are a little more knowledgeable about the space we are playing in, but it does require that we have to constantly be doing research, asking questions and remaining open to new thinking and new ideas of doing things.Watch an episode of Diary of a Street Corner here:MJ: How important is social media for you as entrepreneurs and what role did it play?SM: For us, social media is merely a medium to be used, but not the main aspect of our business.We use it in business to activate for certain things that we are doing. For our film projects or to run our promos and it is a worthwhile tool in that sense.It is also a great way to connect with other liked-minded individuals in other countries and other sectors that could potentially be future clients or potential partners in business.MJ: What opportunities have you created as entrepreneurs?SM: We like to work with young people, not only because we are young people ourselves, but we understand the importance of letting in new voices so that we can change the face of the media and entertainment industry.By bringing in more skilled, young, black creatives who will one day have [their] own companies to run, change is bound to come.We are of the opinion that there is not sufficient transformation in our sector, and we want to be part of changing this, however long it takes.MJ: Any advice for people who want to break into the entertainment industry as a writer or producer?SM: Just start. Sometimes we want to wait for the big break, but while we are waiting we need to be honing the skill and the talent, so that when the big break comes you are ready for it. The entertainment industry is tough, you need to be tougher in order to survive.Other projectsMosese and Zwane also create and produce local films through their company, Sorele Media. Their recent film Love & Kwaito was selected for screening at the Johannesburg Film Festival last year. The film is about a child-headed family in Kliptown.Mosese says the television channel Mzansi Magic has licensed it. She adds: “We are working on our next film for release next year.”Watch the trailer of Love & Kwaito:Sources: SME South Africa, Aza TV YouTube, Digitize Africa.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Hemlock pest discovered in Scioto County

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) today announced the discovery of a hemlock-killing pest in Scioto County in southern Ohio. The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is a small, aphid-like insect native to Asia that threatens the health and sustainability of eastern hemlock and Carolina hemlock in the eastern United States.HWA was first reported in the eastern United States in 1951 in Virginia. Today, it is established in portions of 20 states from Maine to Georgia, where infestations cover about half of the range of eastern hemlock. Areas of the southern Appalachian region and New England have experienced significant mortality of eastern hemlock due to this devastating insect.The infestation was detected by ODNR officials at Shawnee State Forest and Shawnee State Park in Scioto County. Officials have been conducting surveys in and around the infested area to determine the extent of the infestation. HWA is primarily transported by wind and birds. Officials believe the recent findings in Ohio are the result of natural spread from nearby areas where the pest is established. HWA was originally detected in Ohio in Meigs County in 2012.At this time, ODA will move to expand its hemlock quarantine, enforced by ODA’s Plant Health division, to include Scioto County. Ohio quarantine regulations restrict the movement of hemlock materials from counties known to be infested into non-infested Ohio counties. Ohio’s quarantine law also requires hemlock materials grown in non-infested counties in quarantined states to be inspected before being shipped and have a phytosanitary certificate verifying that the plant material is free of HWA when entering Ohio.For more information about the HWA in Ohio, visit agri.ohio.gov/divs/plant/hwa/hwa.aspx.last_img read more

Ohio’s quirky Christmas

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseThere is definitely something special about Christmas on a farm, but Ohio’s small towns and cities know how to spread a little holiday cheer as well. Here are some fun (and quirky) Christmas happenings in small towns around Ohio worth celebrating. PortsmouthThis Scioto County seat has had its share of struggles in recent years, but efforts are underway to turn the city around in a positive direction. Those efforts include spreading some Christmas cheer in 2018 with a month-long Winterfest. The Market Square in the city’s Boneyfiddle District has been transformed into a winter wonderland with outdoor ice skating, thousands of lights, and a modern take on an old-fashioned, downtown Christmas. On Dec. 15, Portsmouth is looking to break the world record for the most people simultaneously caroling. The current record is 1,822 held by Waukesha, Wis. The folks in Portsmouth are looking for 2,000 carolers at 7 p.m. on the 15th. All are welcome and it is free to participate.The holiday festivities are part of a broader effort to revitalize Portsmouth, said Matthew Seifert, president of Friends of Portsmouth.“We did a river cleanup after the floodwaters receded in the spring. That led to some momentum to do some other small projects including a movie night for families downtown in Portsmouth and then Plant Portsmouth. We ended up setting a world record for most people simultaneously potting plants. We had 1,405 people come out and we also did a massive cleanup of downtown,” he said. “For Winterfest, we were able to rent an artificial skating rink that simulates the ice skating experience. We built a larger event around that to create a destination for downtown during the Christmas period. Winterfest officially started on Dec. 2. The weather was perfect. It was sunny and 65. We had a couple thousand people come through and the ice rink was never without a line. We have a vendor village, carriage rides, Santa’s workshop where kids can tell Santa what they want for Christmas, and people exit through the Friends of Portsmouth gift shop which has different holiday themed items, many made by local artisans. We have a live nativity scene and multiple events happening through the month.”The efforts have given the city some hope this holiday season.“We have seen so many people excited to participate. One thing that has been necessary to repair in this community, I think, is the morale. For a long time, from economic depression, to the drug epidemics and everything else, the community has really felt beaten down. They are looking for things to feel proud of and we are seeing a lot more of that lately,” Seifert said. “People are excited and talking about Portsmouth and Scioto County in ways they haven’t for a long time.” AnsoniaOn Dec. 1, the Ansonia Community Pride organization hosted its inaugural Lighted Tractor Parade to showcase Darke County’s agriculture.“The community loved it!” said Erin Horst, who helped coordinate the event. “Many farmers are already talking about what they want to do for next year. We really lucked out that the rain cleared and the parade went off without inclement weather. If we can just have a normal fall and get harvest over early next year, that might help with participation.”The parade included 36 tractor, RTV and golf cart entries, with the majority being tractors. The entry fee for the parade was a donation to the Ansonia Food Pantry and it raised over $800, Horst said. Businesses stayed open late for the parade to cap off the day of events that started with a pancake breakfast and included a visit from Santa.Ansonia Community Pride organized the event that builds on other recent community activities including hanging banners honoring local veterans, paintings in town, and numerous community events. Plans are already being made for the 2nd Ansonia Lighted Tractor Parade on Dec. 7, 2019. CliftonWhile the tiny village of Clifton is fairly understated most of the year, it sets the heavens aglow during the holidays thanks to the legendary Christmas light display at Clifton Mill. The Satariano family that owns the mill is once again dazzling thousands of visitors with an incredible 4 million-light display. The display was recently featured on the ABC TV Show The Great Christmas Light Fight “Heavyweights” episode that includes the nation’s top holiday light displays. Clifton Mill won the top prize of $50,000 for the best display. The episode aired in early December.The tradition of the Christmas lights stems from the Satariano family tradition of decorating their family home each year while current owner Anthony Satariano was growing up. After buying the mill, it only seemed natural to continue the tradition on a bigger scale.“We bought 100,000 lights thinking that would be enough. We learned a lot. People would pull in and say, ‘Wow this is really neat.’ We just did more of it after that to share with people,” Satariano said. “We can get several thousand visitors on a good night.”The Clifton Mill is also in the running to win Best Public Holiday Lights Display for USA Today. You can see the contenders and vote for Clifton Mill at 10best.com/awards/travel/best-public-holiday-lights-display/. The national winners will be announced Dec. 21.last_img read more

Did Bing’s Growth Spurt Come to a Halt in September?

first_imgfrederic lardinois A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… After months of slow but steady increases in its market share, Bing‘s share of the search market in the US and globally fell for the first time in September. According to StatCounter’s Global Stats, Bing’s share of the search market in the US fell from 9.64% in August to 8.51% last month. Globally, Bing didn’t fare much better, as it went from 3.58% to 3.25%. Yahoo’s share went from 10.5% in August to only 9.4% in September. The combined share of Bing and Yahoo has now fallen to 17.91%. According to StatCounter’s CEO Aodhan Cullen, this downward trend for Bing began in the middle of August. The launch of Bing’s visual search feature should have given Bing a nice boost in publicity last month, but if we can trust StatCounter’s data, this wasn’t enough to counter the downward trend that already began in August.Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Search Engine Market ShareIn the long run, these numbers could obviously turn out to be nothing more than a blip on the radar for Bing. After all, even the numbers for Google fluctuate every month. We also haven’t seen numbers for September from other analytics firms like Hitwise or Compete yet, though while they often differ, they usually agree with StatCounter when it comes to general trends.The question, of course, is why Bing stopped growing last month. Did Microsoft scale back its marketing campaign? Or did users, after the novelty wore off, simply go back to Google?center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Tags:#news#web last_img read more