Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Archive for 26 marzo 2014

World Bank Supports Integrated Social Service Delivery in Armenia

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 marzo 2014

washingtonWASHINGTON,  The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$21.2 million credit for the Social Protection Administration II Project (SPAP) in Armenia. The project will support the Government of Armenia in improving social protection service delivery and strengthening analytical, monitoring and evaluation functions of the agencies delivering social protection benefits and services. Armenia has consistently reformed its social service delivery, emphasizing efficiency and targeting among other priorities. These efforts need further enhancement to cope with the protracted and high unemployment, poverty and vulnerability which disproportionately affect women. In response to the challenges, Armenia has chosen a model of functional integration of four existing agencies responsible for pensions, social assistance, employment and disability certification. Under the first SPAP, the above service providers were co-located, with upgraded facilities, integrated management information system, and new case management procedures in 19 sites across the country. Under the new project, this model will be rolled-out to another 37 Integrated Social Protection Centers. The activities, from civil works to furniture and IT equipment with software provision, as well as trainings and on-the-job mentoring along with a proactive communication with the public, will ensure the fully operational nature of the centers, delivering high quality services tailored to the needs of the beneficiaries. “With the introduction of the integrated social services delivery model and new case management practices, Armenia has made substantial improvements in how the social protection system functions,” says Jean-Michel Happi, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. “The main beneficiaries of the project will be vulnerable children, women and men, including senior citizens, who face multiple and complex livelihood challenges and are usually furthest away from the labor market.”Among beneficiaries, this project will also target registered unemployed and employers by promoting employment intermediation and employer-employee matching, and thereby increasing labour market efficiency and job opportunities. Implementation of the Government’s New Employment Strategy will come in a number of ways, such as by capacity building of the state employment agency via trainings and modernised IT infrastructure, expanding career orientation through skills tailored distance learning programs. It is expected that about 1400 men and women will equally benefit from this orientation program, along with 700 being enrolled in Youth without Education and Skills Program. The project will finance an integrated system of monitoring and evaluation of social protection benefits and services, targeting over 70 different programs. This would enable the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues to directly manage the beneficiary feedback, specifically collecting information on quality of delivered services. “Vulnerable families often have incomplete information about available services and may find it particularly challenging to adequately choose the items that would maximize their well-being,” says Ivan Drabek, World Bank Task Team Leader of the project. “Nevertheless, we are convinced that through this project the needs of each family member will be adequately addressed and services will be delivered in a coordinated and coherent way.” In addition, the project will support the State Social Security Service in improving and upgrading its core business processes. A risk-based fraud-and-error supervision software and system along with improved human resource management capacity, such as central payment services for the integrated social delivery system, will be developed and made fully operational. In addition, it is expected that by the end of the project the average time required for processing a pension case would decrease by 3 times. Total financing of the project is US$25.5 million, of which US$4.3 million will be the Government’s contribution. The World Bank credit of US$21.2 million will be provided on standard blend IDA terms at a fixed interest rate of 1.25% per annum with a maturity of 25 years and a 5 year grace period. Since joining the World Bank in 1992 and IDA in 1993, the commitments to Armenia total approximately US$ 1,839.06 million.

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Climate SOS – Greenpeace urges end to fossil fuel investments as IPCC meets

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 marzo 2014

stand yokohama Japan. A climate crisis that risks peace and security can still be avoided by accelerating the clean energy revolution, Greenpeace said on Tuesday. Issuing an SOS emergency alert ahead of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting in Japan, Greenpeace warned that climate change is already devastating nations, destroying lives and costing billions of dollars in damage. “This is a crisis that knows no boundaries. Our climate is on the precipice and every ton of oil, coal and gas we are digging up and burning pushes us closer to the brink. But there’s a way out of this mess. Renewable energy has made a breakthrough faster than thought and is ready to challenge our old hazardous energy system,” said Kaisa Kosonen, Greenpeace International campaigner.  “While the IPCC report will make grim reading, the key message here is choice. Will we continue drifting from one disaster to another, or will we take control of our future? We’re at a crossroads and the choices we make now will determine how history judges us.” On the eve of the IPCC meeting, Greenpeace activists displayed a glowing message ‘Climate SOS – Go Renewables’ near J-POWER’s Isogo 1 & 2 coal power plant and Tepco’s Minami Yokohama gas power plant to highlight the cause of climate change and the solution to the unfolding crisis. “Coal burning is the biggest single driver of climate change. But coal has a massive water footprint too, making it one of the largest threats to water security. Add to that the air pollution problem and it’s clear that a move away from coal is inevitable and in fact has already started,” Kosonen added.  “To make the shift away from coal and other fossil fuels fast enough though is a key fight communities, decision-makers and investors have to unite on.”  Meeting to finalise the Working Group II report on ‘Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’, the IPCC will discuss climate action in the context of sustainable development. The Japanese government, which is hosting this week’s meeting, is failing to meet the IPCC’s challenge. Japan has lowered its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and it is also emerging as the world’s biggest public investor of coal expansion overseas. Now it is planning a return to nuclear energy despite the ongoing Fukushima disaster.“A choice between nuclear and coal is a false dichotomy. Japan could completely phase out nuclear power and still meet its old climate target of 25% cuts in emissions by 2020 in the energy sector with efficiency and green energy. What is needed is government policy to enable a faster transition to renewable energy,” said Hisayo Takada, campaigner at Greenpeace Japan.

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Frost & Sullivan: Big Data’s Predictive Functions to Help Identify and Deliver Opportunities in the Automotive Industry

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 marzo 2014

londonLondon, UK Both the European and North American automotive industries are on the cusp of change, with big data and connected services combining to foster the development of diverse mobility integration business models. Frost & Sullivan expects 60 percent of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to devise big data strategies and offerings in the next two years, prompted by the proliferation of high-bandwidth, embedded connectivity technologies, such as long term evolution (LTE). OEMs’ strategies could involve strengthening in-house capabilities or outsourcing the job to big data experts. The focus is on standing out from the competition based on brand awareness, digital engagement of customers, and response time. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of the Impact of Big Data on the European and North American Automotive Industry, finds that by 2020 approximately 35 million vehicles in Europe and North America will make relevant data sets available for OEMs to assimilate and convert into actionable insights. Around post-2015 or 2016, the industry is expected to witness the emergence of integrated service providers with expertise in end-to-end services across the automotive value chain, from consulting to implementation. The concept of connectivity is gaining currency in the European and North American automotive markets, as there is a rising need to create a three-way data sharing network among dealers, customers and the OEMs. This collaboration is crucial for providing a seamless after-sales experience through convenient service scheduling or proactive diagnostics. Furthermore, having access to data regarding the vehicle’s performance and issues before it reaches the service center, will also help dealers better manage their inventory.

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The Hollywood Legends event

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 marzo 2014

beverlyBEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA Julien’s Auctions, the auction house to the stars, announced an award winning cast and an iconic Hollywood restaurant to be included in the Hollywood Legends event set for Friday, April 11th and Saturday, April 12th, 2014. The Hollywood Legends auction event will take place at Julien’s Auctions Beverly Hills gallery located at 9665 Wilshire Blvd. Although Chasen’s restaurant had the stuff Hollywood legends are made of, it was the famous faces who began gathering there when it opened in 1936 until 1973. If the walls could talk we would hear the voices of such iconic Hollywood celebrities as Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Lana Turner, Groucho Marx, Jimmy Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock and even Howard Hughes. All of these stars and many more made Chasen’s famous for becoming the place to be “seen” in Hollywood and it was quickly established as “the hangout” for celebrities and Hollywood insiders. Julien’s Auctions will offer remarkable artifacts from the legendary venue including Chasen’s Dining Chairs, Arm Chairs, Wall Sconces, serving Items, Chasen’s Yamaha Piano and even its doors and window shutters. A Pair of two matching panel oak restroom doors with a brass plaque marked “Ladies” will also be offered. The Women’s restroom at Chasen’s was famous as the site of countless celebrity nose powdering sessions as well as being the place where Donna Summer penned notes for her hit song “She Works Hard for the Money,” which was inspired by longtime Chasen’s bathroom attendant Onetta Johnson.It’s a cast of stars that only the world’s biggest directors would dream of when it comes to mentioning the highlights of the auction. From the Golden Era of Hollywood to today’s biggest and brightest names, Hollywood Legends is set to entertain. The vast array of memorabilia includes personal effects, costumes, artwork, jewelry, scripts, animation cels, photographs, furnishings and more. Highlights include Marilyn Monroe’s Mexican Tapestry from her Brentwood Home (Estimate: $35,000-$40,000), The Wizard of Oz Test Dress (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000), Bruce Lee’s Game of Death shoes (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000), Katharine Hepburn Self Portrait (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000), a Playboy Magazine First Issue signed by Hugh Hefner (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500), a collection of Clark Gable personal items (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000), Star Trek Original Series episode outlines (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500), Marilyn Monroe’s Photoplay Award (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000), Marlene Dietrich signed letters and photographs (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000), Harry Houdini Signed SAM Membership card (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000), Harry Houdini Handcuffs (Estimate: $2,000-$5,000), Bing Crosby’s passport (Estimate: $2,000-$2,500), Walt Disney’s Fantasia Book with Multiple Animation Drawings (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000) and Gimli’s Axe used in The Lord of the Rings by John Rhys-Davies. This auction will also include an amazing 1994 Nelson Mandela signed South African Election Ballot (Estimate: $800-$1,200) and President John F. Kennedy’s Birthday Gala Tickets and Program (Estimate: $600-$800). Costume and fashion highlights include a Carole Lombard worn publicity costume (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000), a Norma Shearer Marie Antoinette Dressing gown (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000), a John Barrymore Romeo & Juliet Cape (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000), a Montgomery Clift The Heiress period costume (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000), a Mary Pickford Little Lord Faunlleroy costume (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000), a Leonardo Di Caprio The Man With the Iron Mask complete costume (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000), a Greta Garbo Camille embellished stole (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000), Farrah Fawcett custom shoe molds (Estimate: $200-$400), Anne Baxter The Ten Commandments bracelet (Estimate: $1,000-$3,000) and an Edith Head Audrey Hepburn Costume Sketch (Estimate: $3,500-$5,500). Other highlights include a Frank Sinatra Abstract signed painting (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000), Clark Gable The Misfits script (Estimate: $9,500-$12,000), a Zorro signed Rapier (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000), Hal Roach Studios Letter Block Props (Estimate: $1,500-$3,000), numerous items from the career and life of comedian and actor Jonathan Winters (Estimates: Various), several lots of Joseph Jasgur Marilyn Monroe negatives and copyrights (Estimates: Various) and Joseph Jasgur’s Graflex Camera used to take photographs of Norma Jeane, aka Marilyn Monroe (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000), Lord of the Rings People’s Choice Award (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000), a Charlie Chaplin Self-Portrait drawing and signature (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500), Two Walt Disney Concept Drawings by Mary Blair from “Cinderella” (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000) and many more remarkable items complete with Hollywood history.

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