Ulimwengu Wa Kiswahili

Leo nimeangalia kipindi cha Ulimwengu wa Kiswahili kwenye kanati ya TBC, nimejifunza na nimeona umuhimu wa kuwa na vipindi vya namna hii na naipongeza kanati ya TBC kwa kuendeleza vipindi hivi ikiwamo kipindi cha Lulu za Kiswahili na nalipongeza Bunge la Tanzania kwa kupitisha kwa asilimia mia mchakato wa kuendeleza lugha ya Kiswahili hapa Tanzania kwenye nyanja zote za taifa na duniani.

Pengine sasa huu ni wakati wa kuingiza kipengele katika katiba ya Tanzania itambulike rasmi kimaandishi kuwa 'Kiswahili ndio lugha ya Taifa'.

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The 2025 SUV By Mercedes


Mercedes is presenting a futuristic hydrogen fuel-cell-powered SUV concept in a challenge for automotive designers hosted by The Los Angeles Auto Show.

The German automaker imagined a spectacularly innovative SUV: the Mercedes Ener-G-Force provides a few hints as to the direction in which tomorrow’s off-roaders are headed — ever ‘greener’ and fully loaded.

Its power comes from a hydrogen fuel cell system that generates fuel from recycled water stored in rooftop tanks and sends power to the motors located in the wheel hubs, for an operating range of about 800 km (about 500 miles).

The roof rack includes a topography sensor that scans the surroundings to adapt the suspension to different terrain. The concept may also hold some clues regarding future traits of Mercedes’s iconic G-class.

The 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show will be held from November 30 through December 9, 2012, with press days on November 28 and 29.

Energy Bills: Shake Up Could Push Up Cost


Families could end up paying more after a shake-up in energy prices because cheaper deals will be axed, experts have warned.

New Government plans are expected to force companies to offer just four tariffs per fuel and make them automatically shift customers onto the cheapest.

The tariffs would have to include a standard variable rate and a fixed price for a fixed term, then firms would be able to decide on another two.

Suppliers would be forced to offer one price for each of the options, although they could still offer discounts for dual fuel bills or those paying by direct debit.

The move is aimed to address long-standing concerns about soaring gas and electricity prices and fears the current array of tariffs means many people pay too much.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey

Energy Secretary Ed Davey

A consultation has now been launched and will run until January, with the Government aiming to have all customers on the cheapest deal by summer 2014 at the latest.

Details of the proposal come weeks after Prime Minister David Cameron sparked confusion by vowing in the Commons that firms would be forced to charge customers the lowest price.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “For too long, people have been stuck on the wrong type of energy tariff, paying more than they need to.

“Our new proposals will make things much clearer and easier to understand so that bill payers can get the best deal and feel the benefits in their pockets.”

The Prime Minister added via Twitter: “My promise to ensure energy customers get the lowest tariff is being delivered, despite Labour saying it couldn’t be done.”

It has been suggested the changes could save families hundreds of pounds a year, but industry figures say some may have to pay more.

They warn a simplification would lead to some of the cheapest offers currently available being axed, because firms will be far more limited.

Energy UK chief executive Angela Knight, representing the energy companies, admitted the shake-up would create a simpler system where people could switch provider more easily.

But she also told Sky News: “Some of the choices will reduce because you can’t have a variety of choice, including tariffs that offer you a particularly low rate for a particular time.”

Guy Newey, head of energy and environment at centre-right thinktank Policy Exchange, added: “Cutting the number of tariffs and forcing energy companies to put households on the ‘best’ rate could end cheap deals.

“This risks punishing families who do the right thing and shop around. There is a danger this move could see fewer people switching, reduce competition and therefore push up bills in the long term.”

Corin Taylor, an adviser at the Institute of Directors, claimed the reforms “miss the point” because firms would just increase their lowest tariff to compensate.

He argued: “Instead, the Government should be promoting competition and making it easier for new companies to enter the energy market.”

Mr Davey, speaking to Sky News, admitted he could not “guarantee” lower energy prices because they were dictated by the world gas market.

But he added: “What I can do is the very best for consumers by making sure we have simpler bills, more competition and help people save energy.”

The coalition’s plans follow a spate of price hikes among the UK’s “big six” power firms, who control 99% of the domestic energy supply.

In October, SSE prices rose by 9%, then British Gas and Npower went up by 6% and around 9% respectively this month.

In December, Scottish Power will hike its bills by 7% and EDF by 10.8%. Meanwhile, German-owned E.ON has denied reports it is planning a 11% increase.

The firms all blame rising wholesale prices, which they say are out of their control.

One firm, Co-operative Energy, has bucked the trend by unveiling plans to slash its electricity charges by 2% from December 21.

Shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said: “The cheapest deal in an uncompetitive market will still not be a good deal.

“Unless David Cameron stands up to vested interests in the energy market and creates a tough new watchdog with powers to force energy companies to pass on price cuts, his warm words will be cold comfort to people worried about paying their fuel bill this winter.”

Cabin Crew Calls Out Passengers’ Bad Habits


More than a quarter (26%) of cabin crew employees are annoyed when you snap your fingers to catch their attention. That’s just one of the bad habits called out by cabin crew in a new study by Skyscanner.

Other annoying habits include passengers’ propensity to rush towards the aisle and exits before the seatbelt light goes off (for 13% of the respondents). Eleven percent cringe when we try to cram too much hand luggage into the overhead lockers.

According to the survey, the best passenger profile for cabin crew is a man in his thirties who flies in economy for pleasure rather than business.

The survey was conducted among 700 cabin crew members on international flights, hailing from 85 countries.

Omanis Draft Web Ethics Code


Seven like-minded Omanis have come together to form a group to draw up an ethical code for internet publications, bloggers, social media users in Oman.

“There’s a kind of boom in internet users in Oman and we felt that as responsible users we need to draw a line, especially in the light of recent crackdown on users,” Turki Al Balushi, one of the seven behind the Omani Ethics Code for Electronic Publishing, told the press.

He revealed that about 70 per cent of Omanis use the internet and there are about half a million Facebook users.

“Majority of these users are in the age group of 24-40,” said the founder of a recent online publication Al Balad Oman.

Al Balushi pointed out that due to recent crackdown against some bloggers and social media users, majority of the users are now wary.

“They are confused as well as scared about what to publish and what not to,” he said.

Therefore, he added, the group has decided to invite a cross section of people to send in their ideas about ethics of internet publishing. “Obviously this is not mandatory but a volunteer group that would help people in deciding what is right and what is not,” he added.

Talking about the group’s intentions, he revealed that they would finally draw some ethics about publishing on internet, including social media, You Tube and micro-blogging sites like Twitter.

He said the seven founding members are associated with leading forums, online publications as well as some of them are avid social media users. The aim of the group is to maintain freedom of speech while maintaining the ethics, “even in publishing photographs and videos on line,” he pointed out.

The group has already begun its campaign and are inviting different point of view before drawing up the ethic codes.

“We would listen to everyone before finalising the code,” said Al Balushi about the volunteering work.

“We want to educate internet users, organise them and ask them to evaluate themselves what they publish,” he said.

Mradi Utaomaliza Kabisa Kero Ya Mgao wa Umeme Nchini


Michoro ya sehemu ya mradi mkubwa wa bomba la gesi asilia linalotoka Mtwara hadi eneo la Kinyerezi jijini Dar es Salaam uliozinduliwa na Rais Kikwete hivi majuzi.

Mradi huo unaojengwa na China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) unatarajiwa kumaliza kabisa tatizo la umeme wa mgawo ifikapo mwaka 2015 kwa kuzalisha megawati 3,000 ambazo ni zaidi ya mahitaji ya umeme kwa sasa. 

Kwa kuanzia mradi utaanza kwa kuzalisha megawati 900 na ifikapo 2015 utakuwa unazalisha megawati 3,000 na kufanya mgawo wa umeme kuwa historia. Tafiti za kitaalamu zinaonyesha kuwa kiwango cha gesi kilichopo eneo la nchi kavu Tanzania kinaweza kutumika kwa miaka 90 kwa matumizi ya hapa nchini na kuuza nje ya nchi.

Starbucks Boss Denies Making Money In Britain


Starbucks executive Troy Alstead has been told his claim the coffee giant makes a loss in the UK "doesn't ring true".

Mr Alstead, global chief financial officer at the company, denied lying to shareholders over the US chain's accounts when he appeared before the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The PAC is questioning representatives of Starbucks, Amazon and Google about the amount of tax they pay in the UK amid mounting concern about tax avoidance by big international firms.

When grilled by PAC chair Margaret Hodge, Mr Alstead said Starbucks had only made a profit once in the 15 years it has been doing business in the UK.

"I assure you we are not making money," he told the committee.

"It's very unfortunate. We're not at all pleased about our financial performance here. It's fundamentally true everything we are saying and everything we have said historically."

Labour's Ms Hodge replied: "You have run the business for 15 years and are losing money and you are carrying on investing here. It just doesn't ring true."

Starbucks, Google and Amazon tax graphic The three leading US companies and their corporate tax rates

Starbucks reportedly paid just £8.6m in corporation tax in 14 years of trading in Britain. It was also revealed it paid no corporation tax for the past three years, despite sales of £1.2bn in the UK.

Ms Hodge questioned how that could happen when a former chief financial operator said in 2007 that the division had an operating profit rate of 15%.

Mr Alstead denied knowledge of the statement and insisted the first profit Starbucks made was £6m in 2006.

Ms Hodge also questioned why the company had filed millions in losses then promoted the head of the UK business, Cliff Burrows, to take over the US operation.

She said also it did not "ring true" that the man in charge of an operation that was running such an unsuccessful division would be promoted.

Ms Hodge said: "You are losing money. You have tried for 15 years and failed and you have promoted the guy who failed."

She added: "Are you lying to your shareholders?"

Mr Alstead replied: "Absolutely not."

Mr Alstead faced repeated claims from MPs that the firm was engaged in aggressive tax avoidance in the UK, but he insisted that globally it was "an extremely high tax payer".

He said: "Respectfully I can assure you there is no tax avoidance here.

"We have a global tax rate of 33% around the world. Our tax rate outside the US is 21%. That is higher than most multinationals' global rate. We are an extremely high tax payer. We are not aggressively looking to avoid tax."

Mr Alstead declined to give details publicly of a favourable rate granted to it in Holland. Dutch authorities wanted that to remain confidential, he said.

Matt Brittin, the chief executive of Google UK, and Andrew Cecil, Amazon's director of public policy, also gave evidence to the committee.

Mr Cecil was forced to explain why a CD or a book bought in pounds on Amazon.co.uk delivered from a UK warehouse by the Royal Mail is registered in Luxembourg.

"We have our European headquarters in Luxembourg… the books could be in the UK, they could be in France. If you are purchasing English books it is very likely they will be in our fulfilment centres (warehouses)."

Earlier in the year, The Guardian reported Amazon – Britain's largest online retailer – generated UK sales over the past three years of between £7.6bn and £10.3bn, but paid virtually no corporation tax.

Google's UK unit paid just £6m to the Treasury in 2011 on revenue of £395m, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The three firms are among several which have had their tax affairs put under the spotlight recently.

Tower Of London Intruder Steals Keys From Sentry Box


Crown jewels safe but locks changed as police investigate theft of keys from grounds of London landmark

Police have launched an investigation after an intruder broke in and stole keys from the grounds of the Tower of London.

Officials from the London landmark admitted they had been forced to change some of their locks after a set of keys was stolen from a sentry box.

Tower chiefs insisted that the crown jewels were never at risk of being stolen but admitted security procedures “were not carried out to the expected standard”.

The keys gave access to the drawbridges as well as conference rooms and a restaurant, according to Historic Royal Palaces, which runs the site.

A spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that an incident took place in the tower environs in the early hours of November 6 and that this is now a police matter, so we are unable to discuss details.

“We can however confirm that during this incident, keys for a restaurant and conference rooms were taken together with a key to an internal lock to the tower drawbridges that is not accessible from the outside.

“It would not have been possible to gain access to the tower with any of these keys. All the affected locks were immediately changed.

“We have carried out an internal investigation and have concluded that our well-established security systems and procedures are robust. However on this occasion, these procedures were not carried out to the expected standard. A staff disciplinary procedure is under way to address this issue.”

The Tower of London is famously guarded by the Yeoman Warders, or Beefeaters.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “An allegation of theft has been made to police, which is being investigated by Tower Hamlets CID.”

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