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Subscription Costs in Canada $39 for a year and $59 for two years. In USA, it costs $45 for a year and $69 for two years. Articles appearing in assorted columns of Meftih newspaper are intended to generate civil & informed public discussions. You dont have to agree with opinions expressed by the writers. However, that should push you to express your own views. Through that way we generate lively & civil discussions in the community. Rejoinders are not forums for personal insults & we want readers to adhere to these principles.

Medhin Ghebreslasie, Amleset Tesfay, Bode Odetoyinbo, Mimi Chandy, Ken Ntiamoa

Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10:

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Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10:

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It's time Sweden takes Dawit Isaak seriously


With the arrival of July, Swedish politicians and government officials join the traditional mass exodus from Stockholm to begin their annual summer hiatus. For the next two months, they leave in place only a minimal staff, to keep up with routine duties. And as in earlier years, these will once again include the unsolved fate of Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak who disappeared in Eritrea in September 2001. By now, Dawit knows his assigned place a name, in a folder, on a largely abandoned Swedish Foreign Ministry desk. The for 4,299 days, entirely illegally, without formal charge or trial. No Swedish politician is expected to interrupt or delay their well-deserved vacations on his account. The Swedish political class may of course make a brief detour to Almedalen, where they will turn serious and contemplative when the cameras are rolling to profess their deep concern about Dawits fate. Or they may even try out a replica of the isolation cell in which Dawit Isaak has been forced to languish, which is to be featured at the event. They will, however, proclaim no outrage or declare that Dawits detention is intolerable or unacceptable. Such emphasis would imply the need for immediate action, which would definitely interfere with long-held summer plans. Swedish representatives in Geneva must have gotten an even earlier start on their vacation getaways. On June 5th, at an official session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), they could not muster a single public comment when Sheila B. Keetharuth, the UNs official Rapporteur on Instead, it has been a member of Dawit Isaaks legal team, Attorney Jess Alcal, who has briefed the UN Rapporteur, on her request, about the two important private legal initiatives that have been taken to secure Dawits release. These are the filing of a petition of habeas corpus with the Eritrean High Court in 2011 (a formal legal request that imposes a duty on Eritrean officials to immediately present Dawit Isaak before a court of law); as well as a formal petition filed in a communication with the African Commission on Human Rights to officially request Eritrea to set Dawit Isaak free. Certainly, no one can continue to harbour any illusions about Eritrea. In its annual survey, the democracy watchdog group Freedom House lists the country as the worst of the worst, in terms of respect for political rights and civil liberties, and the International Crisis Group has designated Eritrea pure and simply a prison state. Given these facts, any hopes of influencing events in the country are exceedingly slim. And it is true, in such a difficult scenario, individual fates often cannot be considered. Instead,
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Eritrea, presented her findings about the dismal human rights situation in the country. Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Estonia and Great Britain all formally demanded that Eritrea must respect the fundamental rights of its citizens. Sweden, the only country with a prisoner of conscience currently detained in Eritrea, said absolutely nothing. Instead, a fearless fourteen-year-old teenager named Abie Seyoum rose to confront the Eritrean delegation (at a parallel event). I want my father back, the daughter of detained journalist Seyoum Tsehaye stated calmly. Where are the prisoners? What have you done to them? And why? Tsehaye, like Dawit, has been imprisoned since September 2001, together with more than a dozen leading members of Eritreas former intelligentsia. Swedens EU Parliamentary delegate Olle Schmidt of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), who was present at the offi-

cial June 5th HRC session and who has worked tirelessly for Dawits release, also had harsh words for Swedish media coverage of the event. Even though Schmidt, as well as Swedens Reporters without Borders (Reportrar utan grnser) had issued detailed press releases both before and after the meeting, no Swedish journalists felt it necessary to take the Swedish government to task for its glaring lack of initiative on behalf of its own citizen, in front of such an important international forum. Swedish officials justify their silence with impatient references to ongoing efforts, away from public scrutiny. However, Swedens diplomacy in the Dawit Isaak case is currently so silent as to render it essentially mute, even behind the scenes. Since her appointment in 2012, no Swedish government representative has had any formal discussions with Ms. Keetharuth about Dawit Isaak illegal detention.

folder, along with the cause, will have to wait until the end of August, when official business picks up again. Never mind that average summer prison temperatures in Eritrea reach up to 45C and that Dawit is not a healthy man. Never mind that he, a full Swedish citizen, has been held

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It's time Sweden . . .


From page 10

politicians must find ways to select policies that provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people over the long term. They have to choose lesser evils, as the new incoming UN Ambassador of the US, Samantha Power, has repeatedly put it. Power represents the modern brand of a principled yet realistic human rights philosophy which she first articulated in her 2002 book about the US governments lack of an effective early response to the humanitarian crises in Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Rwanda. (A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Perennial/Harper Collins Publishers) However, as Power knows, the fundamental idea of human rights can never be considered a merely general concept. The idea itself will always remain firmly rooted in the suffering of very real, individual human beings. That is why, as a starting point, our commitment to human rights must always be idealistic, in the sense that we fight for each and every person, even when this proves to be extremely difficult. It is this commitment to valuing and safeguarding the rights of every single life that ultimately sets democratic countries apart from autocratic regimes. We should therefore

not be easily content with merely weighing lesser options when it comes to human rights issues. Vclav Havel, the late Czech playwright and dissident who was himself imprisoned by Czechoslovakias communist rulers at the end of the 1970s and who rose to his countrys presidency in 1989 (after the fall of communism), emphasized this point in a book of speeches published in 1997. It carried the revealing title The Art of the Impossible: Politics and Morality in Practice. We, the citizens of democratic societies, Havel argued, have to maintain a constant vigil to stay true to our declared humanistic and democratic principles. Havel describes how as the newly elected president he got up every morning, asking himself Have I become Them?; Them being the governing bureaucrats whom he had now joined and whom he once had so forcefully opposed. Even a man of Havels stature most likely could not have seriously affected conditions in Eritrea for the better, but one thing seems certain. He would not have remained silent. He would have felt a moral duty to speak out, to voice his concerns, to offer his support for the persecuted and their families, especially if a fellow

Czech citizen had been held prisoner for almost a dozen years. So, we will allow ourselves a momentary summer reverie of Swedish governmental leaders standing up, like Havel, to try to make the impossible real, and to finally act decisively to rescue Dawit Isaak, their countryman, who already has spent a fourth of his current lifespan in an Eritrean jail. And we will hope for journalists who pose incisive questions that urgently require answers: - When was the last time the Swedish Foreign Ministry has made an official petition to Eritrean authorities to visit Dawit in jail, and what was the reply? - What exactly is the Swedish government doing to ensure that Eritrea finally complies with the request of habeas corpus? - Why has there been no formal contact with

the African Union or the UN Rapporteur on Eritrea? - Why has the Swedish government imposed no punitive measures on Eritrean diplomats in Stockholm as long as Dawits fate remains unknown? - And is the Swedish government prepared to follow Canadas example that just last month expelled Eritreas chief representative in Toronto for refusing to stop collecting a 2 percent diaspora tax from Eritrean citizens living abroad, which Canada considers in violation of international sanctions

and Canadian law, because the money helps fund Eritrean arms purchases and the methods used to collect the tax violates the rights of Canadian citizens? Before Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt leave for their well-earned vacations, it is time for a substantive reply.

Arne Ruth and Susanne Berger


Arne Ruth is a journalist and former editor-in-chief of the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. Susanne Berger is a journalist and historian.

Source: The Local

Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10: page 12

Eritrea: Submission to the Universal Periodic Review


requests for visits by Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, including the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea established in July 2012. The following sections describe flagrant ongoing patterns of human rights abuses occurring since 2009 that Human Rights Watch is independently aware of, based on interviews with refugees and other credible sources. Forced Labor and Indefinite Conscription Although all Eritrean citizens must by law provide 18 months of military service, national service is in practice indefinitely prolonged; for many conscripts it extends for much of their working lives. Endless conscription amounts to violations of the Forced Labour Convention (1930, no. 29), and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention 1957, no. 105), both of which Eritrea ratified Eritrea claims that its national service system is necessary to protect the country, but conscripts are routinely used as forced labor on essentially civilian jobs. Human Rights Watch documented in 2013 that several hundred conscripts had been forced by a stateowned construction company, Segen Construction Co., to build infrastructure at Eritreas only operating mineral mine. Conscripts were forced to work long hours for minimal food rations, primitive lodging, and pay inadequate to sustain themselves, much less their families. They were not allowed to leave the work site. One former conscript said he was jailed for attending a relatives funeral after his request for leave was denied. The Segen assignment is not unusual. Conscripts are routinely used as cheap and involuntary labor on government farms, road building, civil service, and other essentially civilian activities. Contrary to Eritreas assertion in its UPR response in 2009 that there is no underage recruitment, children as young as 15 are still inducted and sent for military training, according to recent interviews. Evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch show that children are forcibly recruited in the military and face violence and ill-treatment on a regular basis. Conscripts report severe punishment for perceived infractions. There is no mechanism for redress of abuses. Female conscripts are sometimes sexually abused or raped by their commanding officers. A 2007 study of Eritrean women seeking asylum reported detention (short and long term), beatings, forced abortions (and attempted abortions), forced heavy labor, death threats, degrading treatment, continuous sexual violence and rape. . . .[1] There has been no discernible improvement since 2009. Arbitrary Arrest, Prolonged Detention, and Inhumane Detention Conditions Although Eritreas response to the 2009 UPR recommendations claimed

Eritreas human rights situation has not improved since the Councils 2009 Universal Periodic Review. Torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religious freedom remain routine. Elections have not been held since Eritrea gained independence in 1993, the constitution has never been implemented, and political parties are not allowed. There are no institutional constraints on President Isaias Afewerki, in power now for 22 years. Forced labor and indefinite military service prompt thousands of Eritreans to flee the country every month. Access to the country for international humanitarian and human rights organizations is almost impossible and the

country has no independent media. Regrettably, there is no indication since the 2009 UPR that the government is willing to undertake any of the reforms that would promote and protect human rights. Failure to Implement UPR Recommendations Eritrea has implemented none of the Councils major UPR 2009 recommendations, including the few recommendations it explicitly agreed to implement in its response to the UPR: It has not acceded to the Convention against Torture, the ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, or other treaties. Eritrea also failed to progress on issues addressed by recommendations it neither accepted nor rejected: It has taken no visible steps

to implement the constitution approved in 1997. No independent human rights mechanism has been created despite Eritreas assertion that it accepted the principle of establishing one. Conditions that would allow basic freedoms of association and expression are still non-existent. Finally no progress has been observed on issues related to recommendations rejected by Eritrea from the outset: The government has not released or permitted thousands of prisoners jailed without trial to invoke their right to be brought before a judge despite acknowledging that its civil procedure code includes that remedy. Eritrea has consistently refused to cooperate with UN human rights mechanisms since 2000 and ignored the

Please see next page

Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10: page 13

Eritrea: Submission to the Universal . . .


Fromp page 12
that due process is the law of the land, torture is illegal, and the right to judicial review of detention is enshrined in law, these protections are consistently violated. Thousands of ordinary citizens are arrested and incarcerated without charge, trial, or opportunity to appeal, and without access to family, lawyers, or independent prison monitoring organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross. Some are freed without explanation after arrest and warned not to speak to anyone about their detention. For example, a well-known artist was twice arrested and released without explanation. Friends in a security agency told him the second arrest was because he talked openly about his first arrest. In 2011, he was again arrested when he openly criticized repression and government animosity against his ethnic group; he later fled the country. Most prisoners remain in jail indefinitely. The most prominent prisoners are the government officials and journalists the G-15 arrested in 2001 and never seen again. They have never been formally charged, much less tried, and have now been held incommunicado for 12 years. Absconding guards report half of them have died. Eritrea continues to ignore calls for due process, including a judicial review of detention from the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention[2] and the African Commission on Human Rights.[3] Conditions of confinement described by former detainees are often cruel and inhuman. Death in captivity is not uncommon. Many prisoners disappear, their whereabouts and health unknown to their families. Their deaths may be the first time the family is informed of their condition. When a family occasionally is informed of a death, they are ordered not to inquire about its cause. Former prisoners continue to describe being confined in underground cells or in shipping containers. They describe overcrowded cells and containers with no space to lie down, little or no light or windows, oppressive heat and insects. With some exceptions, prisoners are denied medical treatment. Food verges on a starvation diet: one or two pieces of bread a day, an occasional serving of lentils or beans, and a cup of tea. Many interviewees said that there was not enough food and water. Physical abuse and torture in detention is common, if varied. Former detainees say it always consists of severe beatings. Detention wardens are given free rein to impose worse punishments. A former interrogator frankly admitted to Human Rights Watch he ordered beatings of prisoners until they confessed to whatever they were accused of; they were then beaten to implicate others. A former prisoner told of a room with three vats in which prisoners were progressively placed if they failed to confess, the first filled with cold water, the second with water and human waste, the third predominantly with human waste. Sometimes the prisoners head would be pushed into slime and held down. Another prisoner spoke of being forced to sit in the sun shirtless for the day and then being compelled to crawl along rough ground with his elbows and to dig a hole a meter deep before being ordered to crawl back. A prisoner complained that after prolonged detention in the dark in an underground cell, his jailers shone bright lights in his eyes; months later, he still has eye pain.[4] Eritreans forcibly repatriated to Eritrea are mistreated, contrary to the claim in Eritreas 2009 UPR response that returnees go straight to their homes. Some who escaped a second time told Human Rights Watch in 2012 they had been incarcerated in the typical crammed cells and beaten shortly after their return. They displayed scars from beatings and electric shocks. One double-escapee reported that several prisoners in his group of returnees died from their beatings and were buried in a large cemetery at the penal complex. So far as is known, no one has been disciplined for these abuses. Retaliation for the Activities of Family Members Family members of draft evaders or national service deserters are punished for their relatives conduct, including through arbitrary arrests and detentions. Some families are fined Nakfa 50,000 (US$ 3,333) for evasion or desertion of a relative. Authorities arrested the 87-year-old father, 15-year-old daughter, and brother of a former information minister who fled in 2012; their whereabouts are unknown. In July 2011, a wife whose husband she had not seen since he was conscripted two years earlier was denied food rations when she told authorities she did not know his location. Her children were expelled from school. Another woman was arrested in 2009 and beaten when she failed to disclose her husbands whereabouts. She was arrested again in 2011 while living in another city and accused of helping her son flee. After eight days and daily beatings she was released but ordered to pay N100,000. Yet another woman told of being jailed raped for five nights by the prisons chief interrogator when her husband fled. After she bled profusely and miscarried, she was released in the care of her father. When she later fled the country, her father was arrested, beaten, and jailed for a month until he paid N50,000. Families in Eritrea are also

Please see page 14

Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10:

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Eritrea: Submission to the Universal . . .


Sunni Islam. It deposed the punished and threatened Orthodox patriarch in 2007 when relatives living abroad and still holds him in incomfail to pay a 2% tax on for- municado house arrest. eign income, retroactive to 1992. The tax obligation Among many other cases, a is imposed on all persons Pentecostal refugee said her of Eritrean origin, includ- husband, a fellow believer, ing those who abandoned was arrested in 2009 after Eritrean citizenship or have they held church ceremodual nationality. Failure nies at their house. She has to pay the tax can result not heard from him since. In in revocations of resident 2011 she was jailed and refamilies business licenses, leased only after she agreed confiscations of houses and to sign a government-preother property, and refusals pared document renouncing to issue passports to allow her religion. A Pentecostal reunification of children and conscript caught possessspouses with their overseas ing a Bible at training camp parent or spouse, according was physically abused in to family members inter- 2009 and Bible publicly viewed by Human Rights burned. In 2011, he was arrested after authorities at Watch. his college discovered his Denial of Religious Free- participation in Bible studies. He was beaten so badly dom Eritrean citizens continue to in prison that he still bears be punished for practicing a scars. A Muslim conscript religion other than the four had his Koran confiscated that the government controls at Sawain 2011; he was 16 or recognizes. Although at the time. He said other other religious groups have Muslims were punished for attempted to register since reading the Koran or for 2002, the government ig- praying by being forced to nores their applications. lug 25 kg containers of sand The government has also in- about and by being tied up terfered with the leadership on the ground in the sun for of the Orthodox Church and hours or days.

From page 13

Eritrea makes no allowance for conscientious objection. Imprisonment for conscientious objection lasts far longer than the statutory 18month service obligation. Three Jehovahs Witnesses arrested in 1994 because they refused to perform military (but not civilian) duties, remain incarcerated incommunicado 19 years later. At least 11 other Jehovahs Witnesses have shared their fate during the past decade.

Eritrean refugees should fulfill their international obligations to protect them and desist from involuntary returns. We urge the Council to adopt the Special Rapporteurs recommendations that all countries protect these vulnerable and abused exiles.

Recommendations During the Universal Periodic Review, States should re-assert the recommendations made in 2009 and support those in the Special Rapporteurs report, as well Interference with Freedom as urge Eritrea to cooperate of Expression and Associa- with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human tion Eritrea closed all local press rights in Eritrea. The govoutlets in 2001 and arrest- ernment of Eritrea should ed their journalists, all of also be recommended to: whom remain jailed. DeUnconditionally release, spite government assertions, it has taken no steps to per- or charge and bring before mit an independent domes- a court law all persons artic press. The only domestic bitrarily detained, including sources of information since the so-called G-15. Inform the families of the 2001 are the governments locations of those held inoutlets. Telephone and internet communications are communicado and facilitate monitored. No foreign news visits. Immediately respect inorganization is accredited. ternational standards of law Although foreign language transmissions are accessible, in the treatment of prisoners the government jammed Al- including providing prisonJazeera earlier in 2013;it ers adequate food, water, continually jams overseas and medical assistance and Tigrinya transmissions. In ending overcrowding; allow 2009 and 2011, it arrested independent monitors acjournalists at government cess to all known and secret broadcasting stations; at Eritrean detention facilities; least six remain in solitary notify family members of confinement without trial. the whereabouts of detainees; and restore visiting No civil society organiza- rights and access to legal tions are allowed. Labor representation. Investigate and prosecute unions remain a governall government officials ment monopoly. suspected of torture or cruel Situation of Eritrean Ref- and degrading treatment of detainees and national serugees in Host Countries The human rights crisis vice conscripts. Establish independent in Eritrea continues to spur enormous numbers courts and permit full enof Eritreans to flee the forcement of writ of habeas country despite shoot-to- corpus. Stop punishing family kill orders and extreme dangers along migration members for actions of relaroutes. Countries hosting tives.

Allow citizens to practice their religions peacefully; end discrimination against Jehovahs Witnesses; and release the Eritrean Orthodox patriarch from home detention. Permit independent nongovernmental organizations, including labor unions, to operate without interference. Rescind the suspension of the private press and permit the establishment of independent media outlets. End indefinite national service; begin phased demobilization for those serving for more than the statutory 18 months; and allow substitute service for conscientious objectors. Stop using national service conscripts as forced labor. Implement the 1997 constitution, approve a political party law, and begin preparations for democratic elections with international monitoring throughout the process. Issue standing invitations to UN special procedures, and allow independent monitors such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and UN and African Commission special mechanisms access (such as the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) to Eritreas detention facilities. ign, ratify, and enforce the Convention against Torture; the Rome Statute; the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the International Labour Organizations Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention.

Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10:

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Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10:

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Smartphone saturation fears hurt device makers


Worries that after years of strong sales, the smartphone market may be saturated are weighing down cellphone makers like Samsung and HTC, both of which released discouraging numbers on Friday. Despite registering a 47 per cent jump in profit and selling a large number of Galaxy S4 smartphones 10 million in the month of May Samsung saw its stock fall after the South Korean company warned it wont be able to grow sales as quickly as it has in the past. Samsung shares are down 16.75 per cent this year. HTC, which makes the popular HTC One smartphone, reported its sales for June were down 26 per cent from a year ago, citing increased competition. The Taiwanese companys stock is down 32 per cent this year on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Fewer wow features Companies and analysts are increasingly concerned that sales of high-end smartphones can no longer grow at the rate they have over the past few years. It has become harder to impress buyers with new features in upgraded models as most smartphones offer similar functions. Fewer wow factors in new smartphones mean people will not upgrade as quickly as they did when the devices were still a novelty, forcing device makers to spend more on splashy advertising and marketing. With year-to-year improvements seen as marginal, it can be difficult to convince consumers to break a contract early or switch from a phone theyre comfortable with. Meanwhile, emerging market sales are increasingly dominated by lower-cost phones from Chinas Huawei and ZTE, as consumers in those markets cannot afford phones costing hundreds of dollars. Smartphone makers feel the pinch All five major smartphone makers Samsung, Apple, HTC, BlackBerry and Nokia have seen their stocks drop this year, while the S&P 500, a broad index of U.S. companies, is up by nearly 14 per cent. BlackBerrys stock has dropped 19.5 per cent on the Nasdaq, as sales of its new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 failed to meet expectations. It also expects more losses in the future. Apple, long seen as the leader of the smartphone market, has cut the number of iPhones it intends to make this year from 40 million to 25 million, according to analyst Peter Misek. Source: CBC

Ultrafast internet service launched . . .


From page 22 small- and medium-sized apartment, condominium and office buildings that dont currently have a fibre connection. To be frank, its uneconomical to serve a single client, with the construction costs that are involved to run fibre to one particular tenant to the building, Kuhnke explained in a phone interview.
Thats why he is targeting as clients the owners and managers of both existing buildings and those that are about to be built in fact, he said, costs are significantly reduced if plans to run fibre to the building are made during pre-construction planning. Building owners and OneGigabit would share the cost of running the fibre to the building, which is cheap if its strung on telephone poles and more expensive if it is run underground using a technique called microtrenching. The fibre inside the building, connecting directly to each unit, would be paid for and owned by the building itself. Read why Canadian broadband rates vary so much In cases where the buildings location makes fibre installation problematic, Kuhnke has a backup strategy he is installing rooftop microwave transmitters similar to those used by mobile phone carriers to beam the data from building to building. According to OneGigabit, the technology can transmit data at up to two gigabits per second over distances of up to eight kilometres. OneGigabit would cover the cost of the networking equipment, and building owners would commit to a monthly fee per unit for internet service for a fixed length of time, such as three years, with the option to continue the service in Asia as a network and telecom contractor. Those cities are so far ahead of us.

after the contract is up. That fee, which would vary between $45 and $65 per month depending on the cost of connecting that particular building, could be passed on to residents in their maintenance fees. Residents would have the option of subscribing to competing services if they wish, but the building would still have to pay the contracted fee to OneGigabit for its service. Kuhnke, whose start-up is backed by two private investors, said advances in technology are what has made his business model viable. We could not have done this two years ago or even 18 months ago, he said. The radio equipment was half the speed and double the cost. The cost of fibre has also fallen dramatically in recent years, thanks to the economies of scale provided by its large-scale installation in Taiwan and China, said Kuhnke, who spent many years working

Compare internet rates across Canada Kuhnke said that, following OneGigabits launch last week, the company quickly signed up a condo developer who wants to get fibre in before the concrete for the foundation is poured as well as another real estate company that is renovating a building in Vancouvers Gastown neighbourhood in order to attract tenants at a higher lease rate. He added that if OneGigabit does well in Vancouver, he would like to expand it to other urban centres in Canada. Theres no reason why it cant work Catherine Middleton, a professor at Ryerson University who holds a Canada Research Chair in Communication Technologies, told CBCNews.ca in an email that she expects Kuhnkes business model to be successful, since it allows for financing of the network and provides a high-quality service to residents.
Please see page 17

Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10:

page 17

Ultrafast internet service . . .


From page 16
Len Waverman, Dean of the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Hamilton, and a researcher whose specialties include the telecommunications business, said he thinks the microwave technology that Kuhnke is taking advantage of is very exciting. Theres no reason why it cant work, he said, although he cautioned that microwave transmission is less reliable than fibre, especially in bad weather. Waverman said he could see a demand for gigabit speeds among smaller businesses, but he questioned whether many people would want it in their homes. I just dont see what a gig to the home would do, he said. Its nice to say you have it available, but if youre using it just to download lots of movies, I dont see what the business proposition behind that [would be]. Middleton said affordability is the key to consumer demand. She noted that a 2012 CRTC report showed 75 per cent of Canadian households had access to download speeds of 50 megabits per second or higher in 2011, but at that time only 0.3 per cent of households subscribed to those speeds. She added, If the price were comparable to lower speed services, as it is in Kansas City [with Google Fiber], I expect that demand would be high.

* Instant Tax Refund * Personal, Business & Corporate Tax Returns * Financial, Taxation Advice * Canadian & US Tax Returns * Mortgage Financing * Year Round Tax Services

Source: CBC Emily Chung

Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10:

page 18

Benito Floro named Canadian men's soccer coach


able to communicate in English which he called his third language. Floros contract includes several options and could run through the next two World Cup qualifying rounds for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. Canada, which has only ever made it to the 1986 World Cup, will be a spectator against in 2014. You have to walk before you can run, Montagliani said. The first objective is obviously to get us to the Hex (the final round of qualifying in CONCACAF). You cant get into the World Cup if you dont get into the Hex ... once you get into the Hex, as weve seen this year, anything can happen. Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and the U.S., are currently competing in the Hex or Hexagonal final round of qualifying. The top three will qualify for the 2014 World Cup, with the fourthplace team taking on New Zealand in a playoff to join them from CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. Well-rounded resume Floro ticks off more than a few boxes, leaving Canadian soccer officials beaming at Fridays news conference. He has extensive managerial experience around the

Benito Floro has more than a few treasured memories of managing Real Madrid. But one stands out for the 61-year-old Spaniard, who was in charge of the Spanish giant from 1992 to 1994 and served as director of football at the Bernabeu in 2006. The best was when we beat Barcelona, playing well, Floro said through an interpreter. Having once managed what is currently the worlds most valuable soccer club team, Floros brief now is to help Canada beat the likes of Honduras, Panama and others in CONCACAF and move closer to an elusive World Cup berth. In addition to serving as Canadian manager, Floro also takes over a national Olympic (under-23) team which has failed to qualify

for the Games since 1984. For some, taking over a country ranked 88th in the world, 10th in CONCACAF and with just three pro teams largely stocked with foreigners and turning it into a winner would be mission impossible. But Floro seems to relish the challenge that is Canadian soccer. Muchisimo, he said Friday. A lot, said his interpreter. He succeeds Stephen Hart, who stepped down in October following the national teams humiliating exit from World Cup qualifying via an 8-1 loss in Honduras. In getting Floro, the Canadian Soccer Association has landed a career coach who has managed club

sides in Spain, Ecuador, Japan, Mexico and Morocco. Floro turned heads some 20 years ago when he led Albacete Balompie from the third division to Spains elite league in three seasons. Real Madrid subsequently hired him, with Floro taking the team to a second-place league finish and Copa del Ray triumph. Real went on to win the Spanish Supercup but Floro was fired the following season. He then coached Sporting Gijon, Villareal and Mallorca in Spain, Vissel Kobe in Japan, Monterrey in Mexico, Barcelona SD in Ecuador, and Wydad Casablanca in Morocco. Away from the pitch, he has served as a TV analyst and was a member of FIFAs technical group at the 2012 Club World Cup.

We felt that at this time in our country, that the person (getting the job) needed to be not just a coach. But also a person that brought vast experience from all over the world to a country that has been quite frankly lacking in that type of personality, said CSA president Victor Montagliani. The CSA boss might have been forgetting Holger Osieck, who took over the Canadian team in 1999, having been part of the German coaching staff that won the World Cup in 1990. Osieck had managed in Germany, Japan and Turkey before taking over Canada. On Friday, Floro spoke enthusiastically in Spanish, English and French at an introductory news conference. He used an interpreter during a question-andanswer session but was

please see page 20

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Canada can learn from past Confederations Cup experiences


There are a lot of stories in Canadian soccer that tend to fade from memory quickly. Whether it is a case of a talented kid who slipped through the cracks, failing to reach his potential, or a matter of simply forgetting where we came from, while we charge headlong into the future. Canadian soccer has a habit of forgetting its history. While most of the soccer fans in this country watched with rapt attention last weekend as Brazil put on a clinic against Spain at the Confederations Cup, few would find it easy to remember that 12 years ago it was Canada facing off against Brazil in that same tournament. The story from that Confederations Cup, one that saw Canada fail to win a game, but also witnessed them battle to a 0-0 draw against that famed team in yellow, holds many truths for the sport in this country. CBC spoke to three players who were there in 2001. They are now each key influences over the game here. Their memories, while varied, help to push back the fog on that time and tell us where the game has been, where its going and where well continue to fail unless we change our course of action. Transforming player development A former international who played in England for much of his career, Jason De Vos is now a colour commentator and soccer analyst on TSN. He is also one of the driving forces behind a movement to transform the way Canada develops its players. It was something he says began with a realization at the Confederations Cup. It was a difficult tournament, he said. You look at the calibre of the teams that were in there in 2001: France, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Cameroon, Japan. Japan was fantastic. I saw so much from them. It really opened my eyes to what the game should be about. Canada managed to hold the emerging powerhouse to 0-0 in the first half of the opening game but eventually Japans skill overpowered the Canucks in what would eventually be a 3-0 defeat. What really impressed me about Japan was their technical proficiency, said De Vos. For most of us, for most of our players, we were playing at the time in second-tier levels - whether it was in England or Germany, bullish leagues. For us to play against a team like Japan it really hammered home that to play at the highest level of the game, to challenge for a place at the World Cup, you really have to be supremely gifted in your technical ability. If we can learn from that as a nation, look at what Japan has done, and implement even some of the things that theyve done, it would go a long way to us producing better technical players. Impressive performance Craig Forrest played top flight football in England for over 15 years as a keeper. Hes now a host of Soccer Central on Sportsnet and the colour commentator for a number of national team games. He too remembers being impressed in the Japan game - but not by their opponents performance, but by theirs. The first game against Japan, we lost 3-0, he said. But the first half was probably the best first half Ive seen from a national team in this country - other than finishing. It was incredibly disappointing because we had played very well and not converted any of our chances. Japan was clinical though. They were able to score some quick ones in the second half, through fan-

Benito Floro named . . .


From page 18
globe, including time in CONCACAF powerhouse Mexico. Having Real Madrid on your resume is impressive, even if 19 managers have followed him there since. Admit it. When was the last time you heard Real Madrid and the Canadian Soccer Association in the same sentence? Being from Spain, which currently rules the soccer roost, doesnt hurt either. Its like the Spanish ice hockey federation signing a Canuck. In hiring the charismatic Floro, Canada also likely gets access to some excellent connections. One doesnt manage as long as Floro without assembling an impressive Rolodex. It changes the ability and the accessibility of Canada to a different world, said Montagliani. A lot of doors are now open. In fact, Floro who considers himself a coach of coaches came to the CSAs attention through Montaglianis friendship with his Spanish counterpart. While this is Floros first national team job, he came close to being named manager of Spain after Inaki Saez resigned following Spains failure to advance past the first round of Euro 2004. Asked about it, Floro paused and took his time before responding. It was a difficult situation for the (Spanish federation) president, he said. He chose me but the media was pressuring him to (choose) another. Floro backed down to take the pressure off Angel Maria Villar, president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, who was a friend. Luis Aragones got the Spain job instead. Montagliani downplayed Floros lack of national team coaching experience. Lets be honest. Look at the clubs hes coached, he said. When you stand on the sidelines of (the 85,000-seat stadium) Bernabeu and youre coaching El Clasico (against FC Barcelona), Im not sure coaching the national team is that intimidating. Floro, who plans to make his home in Toronto, will be assisted by his son Antonio Floro. The Canadian men are currently at the Gold Cup, the championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean, under interim coach Colin Miller. Floro will officially start Aug. 1 but will be at the Gold Cup as an observer. Montagliani said the CSA received more than 100 applications, with 15 getting serious consideration.
Source: The Canadian Press

please see page 22

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Subscription Costs in Canada $39 for a year and $59 for two years. In USA, it costs $45 for a year and $69 for two years. Articles appearing in assorted columns of Meftih newspaper are intended to generate civil & informed public discussions. You dont have to agree with opinions expressed by the writers. However, that should push you to express your own views. Through that way we generate lively & civil discussions in the community. Rejoinders are not forums for personal insults & we want readers to adhere to these principles.

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page 22

Technology & Science

Ultrafast internet service launched by Vancouver startup


A new Vancouver-based internet provider says it will be offering fibre internet at a speed of one gigabit per second 60 times faster than the Canadian average for a comparable price to that lumbering average connection. OneGigabit, a small startup launched by computer networking and telecommunications specialist Eric Kuhnke, says that for $45 to $65 a month, he will be offering speeds comparable to those offered by Google Fiber, and also with no bandwidth caps. Googles blazing-fast internet service caused a buzz in the U.S. when it first launched last summer in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., for a modest $70 a month. A recent report from internet metrics company Ookla showed the average monthly Canadian internet bill is $54 for an average download speed of just 16.6 megabits per second. A gigabit per second is the equivalent of 1000 megabits per second. According to Google, with its gigabit connection speed: You can stream at least five high-definition videos at the same time (allowing multiple people to watch different things in different rooms of a house or download). You can download an entire 14-gigabyte digital movie in less than two minutes. You can transfer data over the internet faster than you can write it to a thumb drive. But ultra-fast internet speeds are typically only possible if the last mile the wiring that connects a building to the rest of a telecommunications network is made of fibre optic cable. That is only the case if the traditional copper wiring has been recently upgraded to fibre technology. Because of that, the availability of fibre internet is limited in Canada, mainly to certain buildings and neighbourhoods in urban centres, and it isnt cheap. Advertised fibre internet packages from major internet providers such as Bell, Rogers and Shaw top out at 175 to 250 megabits per second and cost $115 to $226 a month. In Vancouver, Shaw offers one gigabit per second internet service in small pockets and 250 megabit service in other areas for $115 per month. Novus, a Vancouver-based internet provider launched by the Concord Pacific Real Estate Group, offers 300 megabit per second service for $113 a month in certain buildings in B.C.s lower mainland, mostly highrises, including many built by Concord Pacific, which put fibre optic cable in them when they were constructed. However, Kuhnke estimates that 98 per cent of Vancouver buildings dont have fibre, and most buildings that do are large office towers. Real estate clients targeted OneGigabits plan is to negotiate with real estate owners, managers and developers and hook up entire

Canada can learn from past . . .


From page 20
tastic on the deck play and it kind of took the shine off an otherwise good performance. For Forrest, the missed opportunities extend well beyond just the finishing. They include a number of players walking away from Canada over the years, as well. The difference back then was that players were there to play for Canada, said Forrest. There was not really anybody going to play for anybody else, or look at what their best options in other countries were. The way the rules are presented now, with Canadian players not being actually tied with any country until they play a competitive match which, for Canada, would be Gold Cup or World Cup qualifying - it has made it incredibly difficult for us. Forrest sees a hard road ahead, as well, if we dont find a way to start identifying our top talent early and bringing them into the system. Its going to be difficult going forward, he said. Were going to have some players with dual passports move over to Europe at a young age, then theyll suddenly appear, well try to get a hold of them and theyll make a decision. I think that doesnt bode well for us. The squad you need to get is a bunch of guys who are willing to play for Canada. That was a big thing for our squad. We didnt get a lot of attention in Canada, but it didnt matter to the players involved. We were really, really proud to play for our national team. Wealth of experience Nick Dasovic has played for teams all over the world. Hes also coached for teams all over the continent - including Vancouver, Toronto and San Jose, where he is now an assistant. Additionally, as a Canada U-20 coach hes had a wealth of experience in seeing where the current program is going. I remember being part of the game that Canada tied Brazil 1-1 in Edmonton, a friendly, he said. And in that game we were playing their A squad. For me that was more satisfying than the 0-0 draw against Brazil at the Confederations Cup. To play on that stage was just so rewarding in of itself though. Any time you play against the team in yellow, you know youre playing one of the best teams in the world. We felt to get that 0-0 draw, even against their B side in 2001, was an accomplishment. In a country where the successes are fleeting, you have to take them where you can. It was a high water mark for that generation. For Dasovic, that has meant taking real stock of the current crop of players Canada has and identifying how to ensure they find their own means of success. Those players that have been identified for the program, and are going to make up the squad going forward, how much are they going to be able to play club football between now and when the next qualifying cycle kicks off? Dasovic asked. I think it comes down to we had a group of guys [at the Confederations Cup] who were playing regular firstteam minutes with their club teams, playing regular international games back. Thats crucial when you go to play for your national team. Youre fit, ready to go and in a competitive state of mind. Lessons learned For all three, there are a number of factors that Canada can learn from that Confederations Cup period and be applied to today. For DeVos, its about ensuring we plan for the future. If I look back on that time, I think the one thing that disappointed me the most was the legacy that we could have left that we never did, he said. We could have made massive changes to soccer but never did. Probably because the CSA, at that time, were not equipped to facilitate those changes, in the key positions like directors and executives. I think were in a position now, with the CSA executives we have, to be able to make massive changes. For Forrest, he agrees that opportunities have been missed. I think its disappointing in recent years we havent been able to pick-up the likes of Jonathan DeGuzman and Junior Hoilett, Forrest said. I think we missed something significant there. Nowadays you look at MLS and hope that the three Canadian clubs will produce and play our players. And we absolutely have to change that rule that Canadians have to be classified as foreigners on U.S. teams.

Please see page 16

Please see page 23

Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10:

Harper maintains ex-chief of staff acted alone in Duffy case


Harpers assertion in the House of Commons last month that his ex-chief of staff didnt tell him or anyone else in his office about handing over the money. However, Harper said Saturday that he doesnt see any contradiction. I think if you read the affidavit it makes very clear that the decision to pay money to Mr. Duffy out of Mr Wrights personal funds was made solely by Mr. Wright and was his responsibility, Harper told the news conference. Obviously, had I known about this earlier I would never have allowed this to take place. When I answered questions about this in the House of Commons I answered questions to the best of my knowledge, said Harper, who reiterated he only learned of the matter when it became public in mid-May. Wrights lawyers back up Harpers contention in the court documents. However an opposition MP said he doubts Canadians are buying that Harper knew nothing about the payment. Its really depressing to see the prime minister of Canada acting like the piano player in the bordello saying he didnt know what was going on upstairs, said New Democrat Charlie Angus. I think given whats coming out in the affidavits whats coming out in the police investigation, Mr Harpers excuses are wearing a little thin and he needs to do better. Wrights lawyers say others told of payment Wright had not been interviewed by Mounties at the time the document was filed in court by lead investigator Cpl. Greg Horton, on June 24. But the document recounts a June 19 meeting with Wrights lawyers, Patrick McCann and Peter Mantas.

page 23

The lawyers told the RCMP that Wright recalls telling his assistant, David van Hemmen, Harpers legal adviser, Benjamin Perrin, and Chris Woodcock, director of issues management in the Prime Ministers Office, about his intention to give Duffy the money to reimburse the Senate for dubious housing expenses. Perrin, who has since left the PMO, has denied he was consulted or participated in any arrangement between Duffy and Wright. On Saturday, Harper did not address the claim in the document that Wright told senior members in the PMO about his plans to make a payment. Wright resigned as Harpers chief of staff in May, five days after news of his gift to Duffy leaked out. Opposition parties said Friday that the court document shows Harper misled Parliament.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is sticking to his story in the Senate expense scandal, maintaining his former chief of staff acted alone in paying Mike Duffys invalid expense claims. Harper repeated on Saturday that it was Nigel Wrights decision to give Duffy $90,000 out of his own pocket to reimburse the Senate and he must take the responsibility. It was a decision of Mr. Wright and he will be

held accountable for that, Harper told a news conference that he called to comment on a train derailment and fire in Lac-Mgantic, Que., earlier that day. Court documents released Friday contradict Harpers version of the events involving Wrights payment to Duffy. RCMP said in one of the documents that Wright recalled telling three other senior employees in the Prime Ministers Office about the payment. The claim is at odds with

Please see page 24

Canada can learn from past . . .


From page 22
There is no doubt were getting screwed there. But with the players playing abroad we need to instill in them a desire to play for Canada. Dasovic also points to the need for support from the Canadian clubs - something they didnt really have in 2001 - but also puts the onus squarely on the players to earn their chances. Im not having a go at the Canadian clubs, Dasovic said. But in general we dont have a lot of our players getting games. Its a tough one - coaches are coming to those cities, they need to win games. To them, its irrelevant where youre from, their job is to win with the best possible players. Thats not an excuse though, he stresses. Case and point, a number of Canadas players at the upcoming Gold Cup arent seeing regular first-team minutes. Its up to this new crop of players to take ownership in their own lot in life, he said. If theyre not playing, why arent you playing? Work harder. I think a lot of times we say theyre not getting the chance. I think that in football and in life, that if you work hard enough, you do the right things, that eventually youll get that chance. Its up to you to be ready. Im not necessarily saying thats the case with these players, but for Canada we shouldnt be blaming external factors and perhaps looking internally. DeVos stresses something similar regarding accountability. When we look at our national team program, were often reactive, he said. I think were at a point where we cant do that anymore. Were so far behind people that were competing for World Cup places that we need to take responsibility and be proactive. And to do that, we have to put a very structured development plan in place for our young players. Forrest sums up the links between the Confederation Cup age and today nicely. Until we take the game seriously in Canada, on a mass level, its always going to be a challenge for us, he said. We need a development plan. We need to learn from our mistakes and find ways to retain more players. Otherwise we will continue to play the same story out - over and over - talking about the same things another 12 years down the road. Source: CBC Ben Rycroft

June job numbers highlight Canadas job mismatch


Though Canadas unemployment rate held steady in June at 7.1 per cent, many economists believe it would have dropped if there were more skilled workers to fill the increasing number of positions going unfilled in Canadas trades sector. One of those is Michael Bloom, vice-president of organizational effectiveness and learning at the Conference Board of Canada. In an interview on CBCs Lang & OLeary Exchange, he said the government needs to do more to encourage young Canadians to enter skilled trades. In June, the unemployment rate among those age 1524 rose to 13.8 per cent, up from 13.6 per cent in May, as more young Canadians entered the labour market. Those are the people that have to be convinced to enter skilled trades, Bloom says. Only 6 per cent of students in upper secondary school, within 2 years of completing high school, have actually chosen to go along a vocational path towards a trade or technical occupation. We dont get enough of that here, especially compared to the Europeans. In many northern and central European countries, including Switzerland and Germany, there are robust apprenticeship programs. In both of those countries, youth unemployment is very low compared to Canada and the U.S. A big problem, Bloom says, is the negative reputation associated with skilled trades. Somehow we need to do more in this country to create a sense of the value of [being in a skilled trade]. The idea that trades pay less is also outdated, Bloom says, as pay in most trades can be as high as professions requiring a university degree. Those benefits need to be communicated to Canadian high school students to help close the skills gap, Bloom argues. Its not about not earning a good living, its about making the choices at the right time for yourself, and then going where the jobs are.

Meftih July 2013 Volume 8 Issue 10:

page 24

Energy project will turn manure from Toronto Zoo to electricity

TORONTO -- Flipping a light switch doesnt normally conjure images of a defecating rhino, but a novel project at Toronto Zoo might just change that. An energy plant project set for construction in 2014 will turn manure into electricity for Ontarios power grid, after a 50-day digestion process. It works basically like a big concrete stomach, said Daniel Bida, executive director of the ZooShare project. The power plant plans to harness the energy of excrement by taking 3,000 tonnes of manure from rhinos and other large ani-

Harper maintains . . .
From page 23
According to Horton, Wright also told Sen. Irving Gerstein, who controls the Conservative partys purse strings, about his intention to give Duffy the money to reimburse the Senate. Wrights lawyers told the RCMP the party was initially prepared to repay the money for Duffy, until it discovered the price tag was three times steeper than originally thought. Wright then offered to cover the cost for Duffy. Horton noted in the documents that the RCMP has not yet interviewed Duffy or Wright. The scandal revolves primarily around Duffys claim that his primary residence is a cottage in Prince Edward Island, not his longtime home in Ottawa. It has expanded to involve ineligible Senate travel expenses Duffy claimed while on vacation or campaigning in the 2011 election for Conservative candidates, who also paid his expenses. Source: CP

mals at the zoo as well as 14,000 tonnes of grocery store waste and breaking it down to produce a combination of electricity, heat and fertilizer. The waste mixture will be fed into an anaerobic digestion chamber -- which is kept at the same temperature as a cows stomach -- and millions of bacteria slowly break down the waste. The mixture is constantly stirred, Bida said. After almost two months, the result is a fertilizer product and a combination of methane and carbon dioxide. The gases are then burned to produce electricity. We are essentially able to operate the plant for 24 hours a day, seven days a week as long as the waste keeps coming and the bacteria keeps eating, he said. The project moved a step closer to reality recently, when the ZooShare Biogas Co-operative signed a 20year contract with the Ontario Power Authority. The power we all consume when we turn on the lights, itll be part of that, Bida said. Were excited to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Ontarios power grid will receive the equivalent energy to what 250 homes consume every year, Bida said. ZooShare currently has over 120 co-operative members who have so far invested $460,000, though its estimated the plant will cost $5.4 million to build. The plant is to be built on Toronto Zoo grounds, and was initially planned to begin operations in 2012 until there were delays with the feed-in-tariff contract and a land lease agreement. It wasnt always a sure thing, Bida said. Were all extremely excited. The idea for the manureto-electricity conservation plant came from the Toronto Zoo itself, which searched for compatible projects for years. It represents an excellent opportunity to showcase the bio gas process, said Paul Whittam, manager of zoo financial services. He added that the plant comes at no financial cost to Toronto Zoo. It fits in so well with the zoos mandate of conservation, education and sustainability, he said. Source: CTV news