Sixty-two-year-old Lionel Thomas, who set the house of his ex-wife on fire in an attempt to kill her, was on Tuesday morning discovered hanging from a dunks tree (also known as a dungs tree) at his farm at Rose Hall, Corentyne, Berbice.The now dead man, Lionel Thomas, and Owamawattie Alves in happier timesThe Ankerville, Port Mourant, Corentyne, resident was taken to Ramoo’s Funeral Home where his body awaits a post-mortem examination. It is suspected the man committed suicide.On Wednesday last, Thomas attempted to kill his ex-wife using a knife, a piece of wood, and a broken glass, before allegedly setting fire to a $27 million house, reducing it to rubble.The victim, 47-year-old Owamawattie Alves, also called “Ann”, sustained injuries and was rushed to the Port Mourant Hospital where she was treated and admitted.The mother of four told Guyana Times that she walked away from the 28-year relationship two years ago, but the now dead man has been stalking her every move.According to Alves, the relationship was very abusive and she decided in 2016 to put an end to it after her husband was jailed for two years for abuse perpetrated against her. She said ever since his release from prison, he has been threatening to kill her.She related that on June 16, 2018, while she was at the Port Mourant Market, he approached her with a cutlass and threatened to end her life, but she was able to escape and reported the incident to the Police.There were several other instances where by she was attacked and terrorised by the now dead man. The woman lived with her 17-year-old daughter in the house that was reduced to rubble on June 20.
Kenalemang Kgoroeadira is just happy that she is able to live her dream of providing healthy food to her community.(Image: eNCA) • Kenalemang Kgoroeadira Thojane Organic Farm +27 11 882 8983 • Oyama Matomela flies South Africa’s friendly skies • Sir Stuart Ntlathi: an inspiring passion for science • I Decide – give African women and girls access to contraception • Nontsikelelo Qwelane is a born teacher • Former Miss Earth South Africa on M&G Top 200 list Sulaiman PhilipThere are some 36 000 commercial farmers in South Africa; they are in the main white and male. Yet, historically, Africa has been a continent of small-scale, subsistence farming where women crofter farmers have kept the food supply secure for their families and communities.Now, a small – barely two hectares – organic farm in the North West Province is trying to revive that tradition. Kenalemang Kgoroeadira – or Mama Kena – a PhD student at University of South Africa (Unisa), who conceptualised the project, hopes Thojane Organic Farm will grow into a working example of small-scale sustainable farming that gives local residents access to healthy food. Building communities using traditional African knowledgeKgoroeadira and five other local women planted the first crops in 2009 on a single hectare plot. As an indigenous knowledge systems PhD candidate she wanted her neighbours to rebuild their communities using traditional African knowledge. “Transformation by enlargement is the vision behind this farm … [It’s] a place where people can have self-determination and begin to live like Africans, where what you do or learn is for the benefit of the whole society.“It is knowledge that can benefit the whole nation,” Kgoroeadira told a Unisa journal.Along with organic green beans, spinach and tomatoes, the farm produces herbs – mint, yarrow, lemongrass, lavender – that are sold at local markets, to national retailers like Food Lovers Market. It also donates produce to feeding schemes at the local Phokeng schools.Produce from Thojane is grown without chemicals that strip the soil of its nutrients. Instead Kgoroeadira and her team use natural fertilisers like chicken manure. This method of farming is, Kgoroeadira believes, the most sustainable. It follows permaculture principles, which works with rather than against nature.Kgoroeadira says, “It has always been my dream to go back to my roots, plough, interact with the soil like I used to as a girl, growing food, healthy organic food, not foods that are fed with chemicals for them to grow fast, losing all the nutrients.” Fighting poverty through food securityThojane is also Mama Kena’s schoolroom. It is where she takes all she has learnt and uses it to benefit her community. She encourages the women of Phokeng to plough their large back yards and turn them into vegetable gardens that can feed their families and give them an income. “In Phokeng, people are dependent on the mines, but they forget that platinum will be depleted one day. We need to fight poverty and have our own food security,” she says.Her thesis advisor inspired her to take her “book knowledge” and build something tangible and real, something that would benefit her community and not simply become a book covered in dust on a library shelf. Thojane has become that, but for Kgoroeadira it is just the beginning. Looking out over two hectares of vegetables and herbs she sees more.“One day this farm will supply all the hospitals, mines and even international markets. We will grow organic vegetables and herbs; there will be honey, mutton, indigenous chickens and eggs. You will be able to buy essential oils, herbal teas, bath soaps and creams with a Thojane label. One day.”Her dream is no pipe one: what began as a small agricultural co-op has grown into an award-winning programme with Kgoroeadira being named Best Female Subsistence Farmer by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Thojane has not only improved food security in Phokeng, but also increased the nutritional content of the food the poorest in the community eat. It is changing lives, one meal at a time.
Return to article. Long DescriptionYou don’t have much cash, and may need to be liquid.Owning your home may feel great on one level, because that big monthly bill is gone. On the other hand, typically, homeowners who pay off their own homes have sunk much of their net worth into the house and now have much less liquidity. If a big cost comes up (and who can guarantee for sure that it won’t?) there may be no easy way to access a large sum of money….at least, not without selling the house, which likely is (and should be) at the bottom of the list.You aren’t maxing out your retirement plans.In almost all situations, experts say, it’s a better bet to max out tax-advantaged retirement accounts (like IRAs, 401Ks, or in the case of the military, TSP accounts) before paying off a home. And don’t even think about turning down employer matching funds in favor of getting rid of the mortgage!You might be moving.Experts agree that there is little to no point to paying off a house early if moving may be in the plan. If this isn’t your forever home, just don’t bother.Reasons to Consider Paying Off a Mortgage Early:You’re close to retirement.If you’re approaching retirement and still staring down a mortgage, it might be time to think a little more about the situation. Retirees living on a fixed and limited income may benefit significantly from knocking out that monthly payment, especially since investing heavily in the market may not make as much sense at this age.You have a high interest rate on your mortgage.In truth, a whole lot should depend on how much interest you’re paying your loan. If the rate is relatively high, then you might well be better off paying it off. If it’s quite low, then the mortgage really does fall into the category of “good debt” and isn’t worth the opportunity cost you incur by paying it off. Take that extra money you apparently have lying around and invest it instead.You really hate debt.While this really isn’t a financial reason to make this decision, for some, it’s emotionally compelling. You may just enjoy your life more with the knowledge that the house is fully paid off.You’re not going to save otherwise.Financial experts do mention that if someone doesn’t seem to be capable of saving or putting money away in any other fashion, making one big push to pay off the house can be a “safe” way to ensure a degree of financial security. However, this situation isn’t all that common.You want to leave your house to someone who needs it.If you’re hoping to leave your house as an inheritance to someone who might lack the means to pay the mortgage, or simply want to make the inheritance simple, making sure it’s all paid off as soon as you can manage is probably the best choice.The question of whether or not to pay off a mortgage before the term is actually up is a “good problem to have.” It means that a homeowner has amassed enough wealth and financial security to be able to consider making a lump sum payment that is out of the reach of many. However, before being overly tempted by the idea of no longer having a payment, anyone considering this option should think carefully. While it might be the right choice, there are many good reasons why it might not be.References:Backman, M. (2016). 3 Reasons Not to Pay Off Your Mortgage. Retrieved from https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/01/03/3-reasons-not-to-pay-off-your-mortgage.aspxCharles Schwab. (2017). Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early, Before You Retire? Retrieved from http://www.schwab.com/insights/personal-finance/should-you-pay-off-your-mortgage-early-before-you-retireNason, D. (2015). Should you pay off your mortgage early? Maybe not. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/13/should-you-pay-off-your-mortgage-early-maybe-not.htmlPhipps, J. (2017). Keep the mortgage or pay off the house?Retrieved from http://www.bankrate.com/retirement/keep-the-mortgage-or-pay-off-the-house/Russell, R. (2014). Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage? Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/robrussell/2014/07/10/should-you-payoff-your-mortgage/2 Photo by mastersenaiper via Pixabay.com, CC0. https://pixabay.com/en/key-home-house-estate-business-2323278/ By Carol ChurchA mortgage is typically the largest debt most of us ever have, and for some, the desire to “get rid of” this big obligation can be intense! As the end of the term approaches, or even well before, some homeowners may begin to consider paying off their mortgages early.But does it really make financial sense to pay off this debt before the term is up? A lot will depend on your age, financial situation, and personal money goals. However, a few pros and cons regarding this idea follow.Reasons Not to Pay Off a Mortgage Off Early:You have other unsecured debt, like a car note or credit card bills.As most people likely already know, mortgage debt is typically considered “good” debt, while many other types of debt, such as a car loan or credit card bills, are not. Homeowners shouldn’t even consider paying off a mortgage early if there are financial obligations like these in play.You benefit significantly from the mortgage interest tax deduction.The mortgage interest deduction may be the most frequently cited reason not to pay off a house early. For those who purchased costly homes and who are in high tax brackets, this deduction can be very significant—well worth the cost of holding onto the payments. (However, for other homeowners whose loans are smaller and whose tax obligations are less, the deduction may be far less valuable—or even nonexistent.)
Shirley McLeanAPTN NewsYukon RCMP has charged Everett Chief, 44, an Indigenous man originally from Watson Lake, Yukon with two counts of second-degree murder in deaths of Wendy Carlick and Sarah Macintosh.On April 19, 2017, the two women were found dead in MacIntosh’s home in the McIntyre Subdivision of Whitehorse.MacIntosh was a member of Kwanlin Dün First Nation in Whitehorse and Carlick was a member of the Kaska Nation in British Columbia.Wendy Carlick in an undated photo.In a video statement posted to Facebook on Monday, Yukon RCMP Chief Superintendent Scott Sheppard offered his condolences to the family and friends of both women.“This was a difficult investigation involving all the technical and investigative resources the Yukon RCMP could bring to bear–including assistance from other RCMP divisions,” said Sheppard.“The success in bringing this investigation to this stage is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our Major Crimes Unit”Sarah MacIntosh in an undated photo.In March the RCMP opened a cold case unit to work on a growing list of unsolved homicide cases in the territory.Since 2000, there have been 35 homicide investigations with 10 that remained unsolved.That number includes 19-year-old Angel Carlick, Wendy’s daughter.Angel’s body was discovered in a wooded area outside of Whitehorse in 2007. Her death ruled as a homicide.Angel CarlickAfter her death, 51-year-old Wendy Carlick would become an advocate for the murdered and missing.Friends of 53-year-old Sarah Macintosh’s describe her as a person who had a heart of gold and a soft soul, who would never hurt anybody.Sheppard acknowledged the unwavering support and encouragement the RCMP received from both families as well as Chief Doris Bill and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation.“These investigations are exceptionally complex and they take significant resources and time. I would like to thank the families and community leaders for their patience and understanding,” said Sheppard.Sheppard hopes the arrest will allow family and friends to have a better understanding of what happened to Wendy and Sarah.Chief is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on May firstname.lastname@example.org@shirlmclean
Pay TV outfit Viasat Ukraine has signed a deal with satellite operator SES to broadcast its offering on the Astra 4A satellite.Under the multi-year agreement with SES, Viasat Ukraine’s Vision TV service will be broadcasting approximately 40 pay TV channels, including 13 are in high-definition, and about 60 free-to-air channels at 5° East. SES serves close to 13 million TV homes in Ukraine from this orbital position, of which 4.5 million are DTH homes.“We are very pleased that Viasat Ukraine has trusted us with the delivery of their video content. This agreement with such an important TV player in Ukraine confirms our leading position in the country when it comes to DTH services. With the digital switchover approaching, and the drive for encryption of satellite channels, we strongly believe there will be considerable growth opportunities in the market, and we expect to support our customers in seizing them,” said Norbert Hölzle, SVP, commercial Europe, SES Video.“Viasat Ukraine offers the best collection of content available in local languages, and a reliable transmission of this content is key to keep entertaining our audience in the best possible way. That is why we chose to rely on SES’s track record in delivering high-quality services. We are confident that SES’s expertise will help us grow our audience and our TV business in the coming years,” said Svitlana Mischenko, CEO at Viasat Ukraine.Viasat Ukraine was sold by Modern Times Group last year to Ukrainian broadcaster 1+1, which saw an opportunity to diversify from its primarily advertising-focused free-to-air business.
A year ago, Greek telco WIND Hellas launched its new multi-screen pay-TV service in Greece. Built and operated by Zappware as a turnkey service, WIND VISION has taken the market by storm, combining DVB and OTT in one hybrid Android TV box and propelling rapid growth.Hermann Riedl“Our goal was to offer our customers a unique TV experience both in terms of technology and content,” explained Hermann Riedl, Chief Strategy & Digital Transformation Officer of WIND Hellas, speaking at Zappware’s Strategy Summit in Ghent, Belgium on May 15. “The problem was that while we were the number three mobile and fixed operator in Greece (with four million mobile subscribers and 600,000 broadband customers) we were the only one in our market not to have a TV product.”WIND Hellas identified TV as a strategic must-have if it were to grow its market share but knew it would be launching against incumbent OTE, pay TV satellite platform Nova and Vodafone’s IPTV offer.“Coming last to market with a zero-customer base it was clear to us that going for exclusive content was not an option. For us it would never make sense and be prohibitively expensive. But we did have an opportunity to differentiate ourselves around the UX – if we acted quickly.”In April 2018, WIND VISION was among the first in Europe to launch with Android TV including 5000+ apps and Google Assistant voice search.“We required a platform to really engage customers, create loyalty and trigger users to enjoy all the available content. The only viable differentiator for us was the UX.”The process began in earnest in late 2016 when the company ran an RFP out of which it selected Zappware to bring its high-end TV services to the Greek market.“We had no idea how to run TV,” Riedl admits. “That’s why we turned to Zappware as our managed service provider and its NeXX 4.0 turnkey video solution.“If anything did go wrong, we would know who to kick,” he adds, candidly. “But we had no major issues. On the contrary, “Zappware built the complete end-to-end system from satellite dish and video head-end up to a leading edge UX on the devices in less than 12 months”Zappware’s turnkey solution reaches from video head-end infrastructure and cloud-based ‘back-end’ to client software for Android-TV set-top-boxes, smartphones, tablets and web-browsers. The whole video-chain is provided and managed by Zappware.Features include linear and catch-up TV, and network recordings. Along with the cloud-based back-end, the Android TV STB platform offers the flexibility to integrate third party content and applications to end-users in one seamless experience.“The key UX criteria for us was simplicity and openness,” says Riedl. “We believe in forging a new role for media that goes beyond the walled garden of pay.”To help entice consumers, the operator designed a compact stylish STB which its ad agency described as “iconic” and made the device a centrepiece of its marketing campaign.“It has a very small form factor- one button, one LED, complemented by fewer buttons on the remote to avoid complicating the user experience,” explains Riedl. There are no colour buttons, for example.Simplicity also meant WiFi connectivity. “The STB is a full unicast ABR solution to give our customers the option to unicast. Feedback tells us it is the most highly valued feature.”The UI itself is a “Netflix-like interface” on which WIND expose catch-up services alongside app integrations. “Some run directly from our UI, including Netflix and Spotify, and the rest from the Android Play Store. The UX is cross device. A customer’s user name and password for the mobile app is the same for the TV platform.”By using Android TV, the integration of third-party content from the likes of Netflix and YouTube is done in an efficient way, resulting in a great user experience.Openness, in WIND’s strategic equation, means dominating HDMI 1. “Our base proposition is pay TV channels with catch up also all FTA channels.”Riedl explains, “Due to the geographic complexity of the Greek market I cannot make an agreement with channel owners in all 100+ islands but with a DTT tuner we allow any viewer to have any content they want on our box.”‘Openness’ further means open to Chromecast and Bluetooth connectivity. It is 4K-ready compatible with HDR 10 and HEVC.“Currently, except for high performance online gaming, you can use our STB for any TV or gaming app you like,” Riedl says.Zappware’s Amazon AWS-based cloud back-office serves the Android TV boxes as well as the mobile devices with WIND’s new multiscreen TV service. This makes for a very scalable, flexible and future-proof architecture.By fortune or design, the launch of WIND VISION coincided with that of Netflix in Greece in April 2018. It meant that while not having major TV brands or exclusive content from day one the operator was able to advertise availability of Netflix exclusively on its service.“One year in and our expectations are more than fulfilled,” Riedl shared. “We have amassed a 40,000 subs base representing about 4% of the market and on track to grow this rapidly. We have significant churn reduction and our NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a double digit number of points higher than our fixed subs without TV.“What’s more we have achieved a substantial shift in brand image. TV is the key product that differentiates us now. Our competitors simply don’t have this functionality.“Our users are now able to enjoy a unique TV experience in which smooth integration of all available content is available on all screens. Users are now one click away from their favourite channel, sports game or Netflix series. We now look forward to growing our business with our new attractive household propositions.”