Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara has told Liberians that the withdrawal of United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) from Liberia by June 30, 2016, puts the nation at a crossroad. “We are being closely watched by the international community, to see if the years of reform and investments in democratic processes, including security sector reform will indeed yield sustainable peace,” Ambassador Kamara said. “Our partners have high expectations of us.”Minister Kamara made these remarks on Thursday, February 11, when she served as the Keynote Speaker at Liberia’s 59th Armed Forces Day celebrations, held at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) in Monrovia.She, however, expressed her confidence that Liberia can provide security and maintain peace after the inevitable departure of UNMIL. “I believe sincerely that we can and, indeed, we must,” she added.The new Foreign Minister nevertheless warned that the security of the state and the maintenance of peace in the post-UNMIL era will not and should not rest with the military alone. Reflecting on history, she said, sustainable security and continuing stability in this country will be defined more by the efforts all Liberians make – as a government and as a people – in addressing national challenges such as youth unemployment, reducing inequalities in income and opportunities, reconciliation and national healing, decentralizing social and security services, improving the quality of education and maintaining an enabling environment for investment. She indicated that cooperation and coordination between military and civil law institutions are key in the post-UNMIL environment; noting that the military can be useful in multidimensional ways in that environment.The Foreign Minister noted that some Liberians do not believe that Liberians have the ability to secure the country. “We must make our people understand – even if it means communicating in our local dialects – that there will remain a reduced UNMIL presence of military personnel and civilian police beyond June 30. However, security responsibilities once performed by UNMIL will now be solely in the hands of state security,” she clarified. Reflecting on the military in the past, the Minister said today’s Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) has evolved to become the most educated in the nation’s history with specialized skills in many disciplines.“Our men and women in uniform reflect high quality and standards, integrity, loyalty and commitment not to any particular ethnic group but to the nation. They are being trained not only in national defense but also in strategic institution building and civic responsibilities,” she told the audience. She stated that the military has also moved beyond its traditional role to being more civil and has become true to its mandate, as enshrined in the National Defense Act of 2008, in building a respectable track record for supporting civil authority. “The Health Department of the Ministry and the Medical Command of the Armed Forces have been providing medical examinations, treatment and HIV/AIDS counseling as part of their outreach to communities,” she said.She thanked President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also Commander-in-Chief (CIC) of AFL, for her able and farsighted leadership and direction of the country and for the orientation of the nation’s security architecture, which began when she served as Chairperson of the Governance Reform Commission.Among other things, the Foreign Minister said that she is particularly impressed with the progress that the military has made in integrating women. “I understand that seven female officers and 73 enlisted women currently serve in the military, and that the Ministry of National Defense desires to reach a goal of 20 percent female enlistment.”Minister Kamara urged the Defense Ministry and the AFL to attain this target, which will contribute to the national objective of gender mainstreaming. “We congratulate the AFL for all of these exemplary works and the continuing dedication to helping breach capacity gaps and render assistance where it is needed. In the presence of UNMIL, the military has demonstrated that, in addition to its statutory responsibility to defend the territorial integrity of the state, it can provide effective support to civil authority. We expect them to do no less in the post UNMIL environment,” she added. The Foreign Minister reminded Liberians that they should not lose sight of the fact that the military is a part of the broader security architecture of the country that encompasses the police, immigration and other agencies. She asked these security agencies to collaborate under a well-coordinated framework to build synergies for the protection of Liberians within safe and secure borders. Ambassador Kamara also called on Liberians to envisage a post-UNMIL environment with a strong, well-trained, equipped and people-friendly national police force, decentralized and deployed throughout the length and breadth of this country. Following her speech, the Commander-In-Chief of the AFL, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf conferred upon her the nation’s Distinguished Service Order (DSO).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Australian crash investigator has found that there is a breakdown in separation – or near miss – between planes every three days in Australian airspace, although most pose no risk to safety.In a comprehensive report the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) warned that while the risk was low more needs to be done.In an exclusive briefing the ATSB Chief Commissioner Mart Dolan told AirlineRatings that while Australia has one of the world’s lowest rates of near misses there are red flags.“Nevertheless we have one loss of separation standards every three days,” Mr Dolan said.That separation standard is 9km laterally and 300m vertically.“However 90 per cent are a technical infringement and have no safety implications.”“But 10 per cent – or six a year – have a heightened level of safety issues.”Mr Dolan said that the air traffic control aircraft interface was a complex automation matrix and occasionally human error will occur.Of concern Mr Dolan said that there was an increase in loss of separation incidents in airspace controlled by the Australian Defense Forces.“The number of Loss of Seperation (LOS) occurrences under military control was found to be relatively high and most are the result of controller actions.”In the case of civilian airspace loss of separation incidents are caused equally by pilots and the air traffic controllers.The ATSB warned however that Australia’s aviation regulator the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has no control over the ADF air traffic controllers despite numerous commercial aircraft transiting military areas.In a statement the ATSB said: “The report finds that current regulatory arrangements do not enable the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to give the same level of safety assurance for civilian aircraft under military control as it does for aircraft under civilian control.”The ATSB has issued safety recommendations to the Department of Defence and CASA to address the safety issues identified in the report.There have been no midair collisions in Australia involving aircraft being provided with a separation service by air traffic control.The backup for the industry is a system called Traffic Collision Avoidance System or TCAS.TCAS was introduced in the US in 1989 and shortly thereafter around the world. The concept for TCAS dates back to the earlier 1950s, when air traffic started to grow considerably.It gained further momentum after the 1956 mid-air crash involving a United DC-7 and a TWA Constellation over the Grand Canyon.The US regulator the FAA launched the TCAS program in 1981 after a series of mid-air collisions due to failure of Air Traffic Control (ATC).TCAS identifies the location and tracks the progress of aircraft equipped with beacon transponders.Basically beacon transponders work by broadcasting an electronic signal to ATC radar giving details of the aircraft’s altitude, speed and course. There are various ways that the TCAS information is displayed and in the latest cockpits, other aircraft in the vicinity are shown on the pilot’s primary flight display as an open diamond.If an impending conflict is detected, the open diamond turns into a solid yellow circle with an aural alert to the crew.If no corrective action is taken the circle turns red, with verbal instructions to the pilot to climb or descend. The opposite instruction is given to the pilot of the other aircraft. TCAS has saved tens of thousands of lives over the past 30 years.Air traffic controllers also have a similar system.To see TCAS in action see the video below which was shot in a Qantas A380 simulator as part of a TV series Eye on the Sky.You will see a head-on encounter with a Boeing 747.
Canal Plus Spain has added music channel Sol Música to its programming line-up.The Chello Multicanal-owned channel, which will be available on the platform from tomorrow, is aimed at a 13-24 demographic and specialises in Spanish music. It offers a variety of music videos, concerts, competitions and interviews.
YouTube is updating its app for TV, with Microsoft’s Xbox One game console receiving the new version first. Separately, alternative video sharing site Vimeo has updated its app for the Roku platform, with plans to introduce in-app premium services.The Google-owned video sharing site has already launched the Xbox One update and the new version of the app will be rolled out to other streaming devices over the coming weeks.The new version of the TV app features a guide on the left hand side that is in line with the guide already available on computers, phones and tablets.Users signing in will be able to access videos from their subscriptions and recommendations in the What to Watch section, or turn on a playlist they have created or saved. The update also features channel pages that are populated with new playlists from YouTube content creators.Separately, video sharing site Vimeo has redesigned its app for the Roku streaming device platform, including preparing for the launch of in-app purchases of premium content.The new version of the Vimeo app for Roku includes additional discovery features and an improved search capability. The app has also been set up to provide support for in-app purchasing via the Vimeo On Demand service. Vimeo plans to allow content creators to charge for access to their content direct from Roku, with this set to launch in the autumn.Other features include the ability for unregistered users to watch content picked by Vimeo staff and curated collections without the need to create an account. Users will also receive automatic video recommendations while searching for content. The app also features in interactive playbar that Vimeo says allows users to ‘like’ videos, add them to a Watch Later queue and check out videos from the same content creator.According to Vimeo, this is the first major revamp of its app since it was first released three years ago.