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Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp down in global outage: THIS IS WHY

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Facebook Inc has said it is working to restore access to its social media platforms, including photo-sharing platform Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp, after an apparent global outage.

The platforms were down for tens of thousands of users on Monday, according to outage tracking website Downdetector.com.

The website was showing outages in heavily populated areas like Washington, DC, and Paris, with problems being reported from about 15:45 GMT.

“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” Facebook said on Twitter. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

A similar message confirming the outage also was posted on WhatsApp’s Twitter account.

The error message appearing on Facebook.com read: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

 

Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Reuters and AFP news agencies on the outage. WhatsApp was down for more than 35,000 users, Reuters reported. Facebook Messengers was also down for nearly 9,800 users, according to the news agency.

Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from Washington, DC, said users in the US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East have reported outages.

“This seems like a global outage, and it’s already gone on a lot longer than the 2019 shutdown which lasted for about an hour, which was caused by technical problems, according to WhatsApp then,” Fisher said.

“This is obviously very concerning,” he said, pointing out that it remains unclear what has caused the outage.

The error message on Facebook’s webpage suggested a Domain Name System (DNS) error, Reuters reported.

Downdetector, which only tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform, showed there were more than 50,000 incidents of people reporting issues with Facebook and Instagram.

But the outage might be affecting more users.

Ian Sherr, editor-at-large at CNET, told Al Jazeera that judging by early reporting on the outage and the error messages users received on Monday, it appears most likely that “something is configured incorrectly”.

“My bet is that someone pushed a button wrong, or a cord got unplugged, which seems very minor but the reality is that we’ve seen these things before where suddenly something is configured incorrectly and entire swaths of the internet are not available,” Sherr said.

Last night, the whistleblower who handed a trove of documents to Congress, the Securities Exchange Commission, and The Wall Street Journal appeared on 60 Minutes and revealed her identity. Frances Haugen, a former product manager in Facebook’s now-disbanded Civic Integrity Unit, said things were “substantially worse at Facebook than anything I’d seen before.” Her goal, in coming forward, is to “fix the company, not harm it.”

Haugen talked about a list of things she found as she began digging through company documents and research on the company’s Workplace site, a sort of corporate internal social network. For example, she talked about how Facebook’s research shows that people are more likely to engage with content that makes them angry, and engagement leads to monetization.

“Facebook has realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on less ads, they’ll make less money,” Haugen told 60 Minutes reporter Scott Pelley.

The most devastating revelation, however, is one that most people already knew — Facebook’s biggest problem is its founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

“I have a lot of empathy for Mark,” Haugen said. “And Mark has never set out to make a hateful platform. But he has allowed choices to be made where the side effects of those choices are that hateful, polarizing content gets more distribution and more reach.”

Haugen is probably too generous to Zuckerberg. He didn’t “allow choices to be made,” he set the tone. He made the choices. Zuckerberg exerts almost complete control over Facebook. If he believed something was wrong, he could change it and there’s nothing anyone could do. No single shareholder exerts more control over any publicly traded company than Zuckerberg does at Facebook.

Facebook is exactly as Mark Zuckerberg wants it to be. That leads to an important lesson: Everything rises and falls on leadership.

Organizations take on the character and values of their leaders. Never has that been more the case than at Facebook. Zuckerberg sees Facebook as some altruistic force for good in the world and thinks that its net benefits far outweigh any problems it creates.

Of course, if you were building something like Facebook, you’d have to believe that. There’s no way you could get up and go to work every day if you think that the thing you were building was destroying individual lives and undermining democracy.

Facebook likes to point out that the problem isn’t with Facebook, but with the internet — that it is people who share that content, and the company is working hard to combat misinformation, hate, and fake news.

Except everything Facebook does is to increase engagement, and it turns out, that’s the content that gets the most of it. Putting an end to all of that terrible content on its platform is very hard (as Zuckerberg recently admitted), but even if it wasn’t, it would be bad for business.

Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Facebook, pushed back in a statement to the Journal:

Every day our teams have to balance protecting the right of billions of people to express themselves openly with the need to keep our platform a safe and positive place. We continue to make significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content. To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true.

The problem with Facebook’s argument is that, as the whistleblower has shown, Facebook knows exactly how bad it is for the world. Sure, helping families connect is a good thing, but it comes at a huge cost. Facebook knows exactly what that cost is, and has intentionally decided it’s worth it to keep the profit machine going. That’s on Zuckerberg.

Ultimately, Zuckerberg has shown that he isn’t objective about the effects of what he built on the world. He has shown that he isn’t able to see Facebook for what it is, rather, he still views it as some idealistic platform that only exists in his own mind. That’s a problem, because Zuckerberg’s lack of awareness has real-world consequences.

If Zuckerberg were to hand over control of the company he started in his Harvard dorm room, he’d still be fantastically rich. He’d still be a part of one of the most incredible Silicon Valley success stories ever. He’d go down as one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs of all time.

He’d just be giving up control of one of the world’s largest and most important social platforms. As hard as that might be, if Zuckerberg really cares about making Facebook a force for good, getting out of the way might just be the one thing that could make that happen.

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Qatar Airways celebrates a successful year of service to Accra

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Qatar Airways, the award-winning airline, has celebrated its first year of operations to Accra, marked by rapid growth and product enhancement. The first Qatar Airways flight flew into Kotoka International Airport on 29 September 2020, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline started operations in Ghana with three flights a week, increasing to five flights a week from 22 August 2021. Currently, the airline operates five weekly Accra – Doha flights to over 140 destinations on the next generation Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with new Business Class design.

“Africa is one of Qatar Airways’ key growth regions in its global network, and Ghana is an important market in West Africa. Our frequency increase and operating the latest Boeing 787-9 aircraft on all flights between Accra and Doha, underpin our commitment to the market. It was a bold move to launch when we did, faced with the many challenges of the pandemic, but we were confident that the market would respond positively to our award-winning travel experience, and the first year has proved that,” said Hendrik Du Preez, Vice President, Africa, Qatar Airways.

Next generation Boeing 787-9: Passengers from Accra can enjoy  the state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 aircraft, with 311 seats – 30 Business Class Suites and 281 seats in Economy Class. Arranged in a herringbone pattern, in a 1-2-1 configuration, each suite in Business Class has direct aisle access with a sliding door to ensure the ultimate in privacy and comfort. Passengers seated in adjoining centre suites can slide the privacy panels away at the touch of a button to create their very own enclosed private space.

The Business Class Suite, transforms into a 79” fully-flat bed, offering elevated levels of comfort on board; seats are  equipped with a dedicated phone holder with a wireless charging technology that is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

In Economy Class, each seat is equipped with a 13-inch Panasonic IFE touch screen in addition to a personal electronic device holder for both mobile and iPad devices. The seat features a rotatable armrest that can be completely stowed away to the backrest, providing a more comfortable and spacious experience. Passengers will enjoy the full dining experience ‘Quisine’, offering an elevated Economy Class travel experience.

Qatar Airways travellers from Accra can now enjoy new baggage allowances ranging from 46 Kg for Economy Class split over two pieces and 64 Kg split over two pieces in Business Class. This initiative is designed to offer passengers more flexibility and comfort when travelling on board Qatar Airways. For more information please visit https://www.qatarairways.com/en-qa/baggage/allowance.html

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2021 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. It was also named ‘World’s Best Business Class’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’. The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry having now won the main prize for an unprecedented sixth time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and now 2021). The airline’s hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), was recently recognised as the ‘Best Airport in the World 2021’, by the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2021.

In addition to this, Qatar Airways has become the first global airline to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by Skytrax.

This follows the success of Hamad International Airport (HIA) as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These awards provide assurance to passengers across the world that the airline’s health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented on board and at HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.

Accra Flight Schedule:

DaysFlight From ToDeparture Arrival
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat & SunQR1424AccraDoha19:3006:10+1
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat & SunQR1423DohaAccra02:2007:00
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New Reality TV Show, The Residence Afrika Premieres March 2022, Announces $500,000 Grand Prize

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Nigerian company, Africa Network Entertainment Limited (ANEL) has announced plans for the premiere of its much-awaited reality TV Show; The Residence Afrika. The first season of the Show tagged The Quest Edition will debut in March 2022 with 24 contestants from Anglophone countries in Africa competing for the grand prize of $500,000.

 

Chairman of Africa Network Entertainment Limited (ANEL) and Executive Producer of The Residence Afrika; Mr Kelechi Freeman Ukadike speaking to guests and pressmen at the launch party of the Reality TV Show in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

 

Chairman of ANEL and Executive Producer of The Residence Afrika; Mr Kelechi Freeman Ukadike made this known at the launch party of the reality TV Show held on Saturday in Lagos, Nigeria. He stated that,

 

“There is a possibility for the contestants to win more than $500,000 because they will all have the opportunity to showcase their knowledge, talents and business skills throughout the Show especially during brand tasks”.

 

L-R: Vice-Chairman and Director, The Residence Afrika; Jim Iyke, Chairman of Africa Network Entertainment Limited (ANEL) and Executive Producer of The Residence Afrika; Mr Kelechi Freeman Ukadike, Project Director, ANEL and The Residence Afrika; Melvin Oduah, Project Manager, The Residence Afrika; Mr Chuks Anyaduba and Business Man, Mr Fidelis Ofili on the red carpet at the launch party of the Reality TV Show in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

While presenting the vision of the Show to pressmen and special guests, the Project Manager of the Reality TV Show; Mr Chuks Anyaduba, said that the goal is to curb political upheavals and misunderstandings created by cultural diversity. This will be achieved by showcasing and harmonizing the value systems of different ethnic groups in Africa on the Show.

 

 

Also representing ANEL as a Vice-Chairman and Director of the Show, Popular Movie Producer; Jim Iyke said,

 

“After two years of planning and preparation, the Show’s first season will be aired in Africa and around the world including the United States and the United Kingdom.”

 

 

According to the group, preparations are being made to drive engagement and publicity via digital platforms globally. Organisers are also working on ensuring viewers can vote for their favourite contestants by purchasing credits via digital solutions like Paypal, Flutterwave and Bitcoin.”

 

 

Viewers will be able to watch the Show on The Residence Afrika app which will be available on Google Playstore and the App Store. They can also have direct conversations with the contestants and choose their Star contestant of the week, every week of the Show.

 

Auditions will be open to Africans irrespective of status, gender and background. All contestants will apply online through a transparent audition process. Visit https://theresidenceafrika.com/ for more information on the Show.

 

The Residence Afrika which will have 2 Mansions in an undisclosed location, is a much-anticipated reality TV Show for Africans aimed at empowering talents from the continent with more business opportunities.

 

 

Hosted by Cee Classic, the Launch Party had in attendance notable personalities, celebrities, comedians and tastemakers like Solomon Oyekunle, Uti Nwachukwu, Melvin Oduah, DJinee, Jay One, Wilma, Hero Daniels, Moses Inwang, and a host of others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guinness Ghana choosing me as a culture maker has been the biggest highlight of my dance career – Incredible Zigi

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Celebrated dance artist and choreographer Incredible Zigi, has expressed his gratitude to Guinness Ghana for the opportunity to champion its new campaign, ‘Black Shines Brightest’. (more…)

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WorldRemit launches “Teacher Appreciation Month” campaign this month to celebrate and pay tribute to Ghanaian teachers, through social media stories

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In recognition of World Teacher’s Day in October, the global money transfer company, WorldRemit has launched the ‘Teacher Appreciation Month” campaign this month” to honor and pay tribute to Ghanaian teachers through the stories of their students.

 

According to the organizers of the campaign, the initiative will allow participants in Ghana and abroad to pay homage to the teacher who has made the most lasting impact in their lives, by sharing their story about the teacher on social media, for the opportunity to win a cash prize gift for the teacher.

 

Each participant of the campaign will have the opportunity to nominate and win the grand gift prize of GHC 10,000 for their favorite teacher, courtesy of WorldRemit.

 

In addition to the grand prize winner, the first eighty participants with the most interesting and engaging videos, will be selected to win GHC 500 for their favorite educator throughout October.”

 

The organizer’s also emphasized that, the campaign is a social media tribute, hence participants must submit their nomination stories on their personal social media pages with the campaign cash tags “#TeacherAppreciationMonth” and “#TeacherMo” in order to qualify.

 

They added that we all have a lasting connection and have an appreciation for that one special teacher”. WorldRemit is only creating the opportunity for us to honor & celebrate them publicly during the teacher appreciation month.

 

For more details and instructions on how to participate in the campaign and submit a video, go to TeacherAppreciationMonth.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Pandemic Essentials You Should Pack While Travelling

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Traveling around the world provides people with unrivaled experiences. Traveling the world, on the other hand, sometimes necessitates caution.

 

A new disease has just swept across the globe, making travel extremely difficult. The COVID-19 pandemic, commonly known as the Coronavirus pandemic, has swept the globe, prompting travel bans in many countries. Reduced flights as a result of the epidemic will produce a major economic imbalance in every country.

 

However, if you’re stuck elsewhere in the world and need to get back to your own country, or if you need to travel for work, there are some things you should be aware of — basics to take. It’s perilous to travel during a pandemic. You can only avoid potential health concerns if you thoroughly prepare yourself.

 

Here are some of the most important items to bring with you if you’re traveling during a pandemic:

 

Hand Sanitizers with Alcohol, Masks, and Gloves

Handwashing is one of the most efficient strategies to prevent Coronavirus illness from spreading. Hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds with soap and water to remove dirt and bacteria. You may not always have access to soap and water while traveling. As a result, carrying a hand sanitizer is an excellent idea. To clean your hands, global health agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommend using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 

Also, have extra face masks and gloves in your vacation pack in case you don’t have access to running water. Make sure it’s in the front pocket of your bag so you can get to it quickly when you need it. Without your gloves and masks on, avoid contacting surfaces and dealing with people. 

A First-aid Kit, as well as a Few Basic Medicines

 

Medications, rapid covid 19 diagnostic tests made through plastic injection molding( learn how to make custom injection mold), and first-aid kits may not be readily available throughout your vacation. Injuries and minor health difficulties can be avoided with the correct medicines and safety equipment. Infections of the stomach, coughs, colds, cuts, and wounds are all frequent health issues that might arise at any point during your journey. As a result, it is preferable to be prepared than to be sorry afterward.

 

Prescription medicines (if any), cough/eye drops, oral rehydration salts, antiseptic wound cleaning, antifungal/antibacterial ointments, digital thermometer, bandages, and cotton swabs are all goods that can be included in a first aid kit. We cannot emphasize enough how robotics has played an important role in the manufacture of medical supplies and the speedy processing of medicine, diagnostic kits, etc. It really helps us get repid supply of medicine and medical supplies.

Disinfecting Wipes and Spray

 

It might be difficult to avoid touching surfaces while traveling, which is where a box of disinfecting wipes or spray can help. Wipe surfaces (such as a doorknob in your hotel room, chairs, and armrests of your plane seat in case of air travel) with disinfecting wipes or spray before touching them. According to a preliminary study, the Coronavirus can persist on surfaces for up to 72 hours, hence surface cleaning is recommended.

 

If you’re flying, wipe down any high-touch surfaces in the vicinity of your seat. Disinfectant wipes are great for cleaning objects of any shape quickly and easily.

Charging Cords

 

On our post-lockdown journeys, we’ll be traveling in a “contactless” environment, with contactless payments and check-ins becoming the norm. Because your credit cards, ID, tickets, and critical documents are all stored on your devices, you’ll need to bring portable chargers, backup chargers, and the appropriate adaptors for your location to stay charged. 

 

You’ll want to charge your gadget before your vacation, so don’t forget to bring it with you on the day of your trip. In most airports, cell phone chargers are provided (at an excessive price). Laptop cords will be more difficult to replace. Remember to bring a charging cord for any other devices that need to be charged, such as Bluetooth speakers or your camera.

 

Remember to bring this item with you when you return home from your vacation. Hostels might establish a side business selling the power cords that are left behind when guests check out.

 

Travel Snacks

 

High-risk environments for Coronavirus include crowded restaurants and public water and coffee taps. In addition, to reduce the danger of infection, most airlines have restricted food and beverage service during flights. Before you leave, experts advised that you fill up your reusable bottles with coffee and water and bring some munchies from home.

 

Bringing your snacks is set to become your new travel essential if you’ve previously relied on airport stores or the airline for your on-the-go meals. Because many airlines have stopped serving in-flight meals and many airport restaurants have closed, you’ll need to bring enough food to last the duration of your voyage. It’s advisable to eat before boarding the plane so that you can keep your mask on for as long as possible.

 

Conclusion

It would be preferable if you could put your travel plans on hold for the time being. If you must go, make sure to take all required precautions and include the aforementioned travel essentials to avoid contracting the Coronavirus. It may be preferable to drive one’s car rather than using public transportation. Also, stay informed about the newest government recommendations on air, train, and bus travel during this time.

 

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Gospel Musician Efua Black Celebrates Birthday With Father’s Home

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Takoradi-based gospel artiste, Mrs. Ellen Tsibuah also known in the music circles as Efua Black has donated assorted food items to the Father’s Home Care Ministry at Anto Aboso in the Shama District as part of the celebrations marking her birthday.

Although Efua Black’s birthday fell on Tuesday, 12 October, for the purpose of convenience, she chose to celebrate the occasion on Saturday, 16th of October to extend love to the orphans at the children’s home.

She donated numerous food items including fresh tomatoes, tomatoes pastes, pepper, frozen chicken, fish, onions biscuits, and drinks among others.

The children of the Home were engaged in numerous fun and exciting activities to put smiles on their faces and to give them a sense of belonging.

According to Efua, orphans also yearn for the presence of their parents when they see other kids in society with theirs and this phenomenon could affect their self-esteem when they don’t get similar care and love.

She added that spending her birthday through the extension of the love of Christ to the children was timely and a step in the right direction for her ministry.

“As a gospel artiste, my main purpose is to preach Christ through my music and extend the love of God to these children. I am here, to make them feel part of a bigger society. These children may feel some sense of loneliness when they see other children with their parents, this could affect their self-esteem, therefore, it’s our responsibility as a society to enhance their sense of belonging and continue to show them, love  “.

Efua expressed her heart warm gratitude to the caretakers of the Home for their services and advised them to continue doing more towards uplifting the plight of every child at the Home as there are more blessings in such work but could equally turn out to be a curse when the children are not managed well.

“The Bible says love to orphans and widows is one of the greatest blessings, if they are not well managed, it could be a curse for the caretakers, so it behooves on us to do our maximum best to secure the happiness of the children for God to also bless us”, she stated.

Efua black called on well-meaning Ghanaians, benevolent organizations, and the Government to extend helping hands to the Home.
She hinted at the   release  of  her second  single, title ”Reign”, a contemporary worship song  come Monday 18th October 2021.

Receiving the items on behalf of Father’s Home Ministry, Janet Anderson, a parent at the children’s home expressed gratitude and for the love and kind gesture of Efua Black and friends in considering to celebrate her birthday in the home since she could have chosen to mark it at any place of her choice.

 

She thanked the team and prayed for God to replenish anything that had been lost through the sacrifice to put smiles on the faces of the children.

The Father’s Home Care Ministry currently has 100 children who are being catered for with some in primary, Junior, and Senior High school as well as others in numerous Tertiary Institutions across the country.

Story by Kwame Offei

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