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Some employees, especially those with a long commute, could have their wages reduced (PA)

Google employees in America who choose to work from home permanently may have their pay cut. The technology giant has developed the Work Location Tool which allows staff to calculate the impact on their pay if they choose not to return to the office.

Some employees, especially those with a long commute, could have their wages reduced. Google has no plans to bring this into force in the UK. People in the US working in the same office could take home significantly different wage packets and those living further away would take home the least, according to a company pay calculator seen by Reuters.

Screenshots apparently showed how a commuter to Google’s New York office living in Stamford, Connecticut, would be paid 15 per cent less if they worked from home.

A colleague who worked remotely within New York City, in comparison, would not lose any money, according to the calculator.

Differences were also found in American cities Seattle, Boston and San Francisco. A Google spokesperson said: "Our compensation packages have always been determined by location, and we always pay at the top of the local market based on where an employee works from.

"Our new Work Location Tool was developed to help employees make informed decisions about which city or state they work from and any impact on compensation if they choose to relocate or work remotely."

It comes as a number of Silicon Valley firms continue to experiment with employee pay structures in a bid to work out how working remotely post-pandemic could work longer term.

Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter have all offered less pay for employees based in locations where it is less money to live.

In contrast, Reddit and Zillow have said they will pay employees the same regardless of where they are based. Yahoo News

 

By NANGAYI GUYSON

Rwanda-Uganda - Relations have deteriorated further following charges of espionage by the Kigali administration against Ugandan security forces.

Rwanda has come under fire after a slew of evidence implicated the government in espionage involving high-ranking political individuals and diplomats in neighboring countries such as Uganda, as well as attorneys and journalists.

According to a report by The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde, and other outlets based on a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers, President Paul Kagame's administration used an Israeli-made malware called Pegasus to spy on opponents, journalists, lawyers, and politicians in a number of countries.

Several Ugandan officials appeared on the leaked records, including former Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi, former Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, and former Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, “indicating that they were potential targets of the software,” according to the investigation.

External security boss Joseph Ochwet was also targeted.

“The picks (of numbers to spy on) corresponded with a visit by Kagame to Uganda,” according to a group of investigative journalists who undertook the investigation.

When Pegasus is installed on a smartphone, it practically provides an attacker full control over the phone. It can read and record messages and passwords, access social media, utilize GPS to find the target, and listen to and record the target's conversations.

Once the phone is compromised, end-to-end encryption, which is available through popular apps like Signal, does not protect against Pegasus.

 

Pegasus is unafraid of even the most sophisticated security systems on iPhones.

The hacker can even use your GPS to track your location, making assassination missions easier.

Furthermore, if you are at home, the hacker can turn on your phone cameras remotely, allowing the hacker to observe your children playing in the living room.

Pegasus is dangerously obtrusive in this way. The development comes in the wake of President Museveni's espionage warning to Rwanda. President Museveni warned a "nation in the region" against interfering in Uganda's domestic affairs shortly after winning the 2021 general elections.

“A country in the region has been sending operatives to come tamper in our politics,” Museveni remarked, adding, “But we have been counteracting them.”

Museveni didn't say which country he was referring to, but it's assumed he meant Rwanda.

Rwanda denies any wrongdoing. In a statement to the Pegasus Project team, Rwanda's government said, "These baseless claims are part of an ongoing drive to raise tensions between Rwanda and other nations, as well as to disseminate disinformation about Rwanda internally and globally."

Rwanda's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta, has stated that Rwanda does not use or have access to Pegasus. He called the probable targeting of activists, journalists, attorneys, politicians, and others, as well as the hacking of opponents' phones, "false charges.

The Rwandan government also denied conducting spy operations in Uganda, but Ugandan authorities believe it is these acts that continue to sour Uganda-Rwanda relations.

Global accusations that Rwanda eavesdropped on the phone calls of top Ugandan security and political leaders have been dismissed by the government as "absurd and unfortunate."

Uganda's State Minister for International Relations, Henry Okello-Oryem, stated that such "wrong" behavior from a "usually fraternal" country was unexpected.

“We've seen the reports all around, and it's easy to dismiss them as mere assertions.

We haven't received an official record of the accusations yet, so there's no reason to make a formal statement,” Mr Oryem added.

“However, if this is true, it is completely intolerable; a neighboring country spying on its neighbors in the region and in Africa,” he added.

The quantity and content of the hacked Ugandan officials' chats are unknown.

Defence spokesperson Brig Flavia Byekwaso said Security will issue an official remark after reading the findings.

Following a meeting between President Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame in 2019, tensions between the two neighboring countries were defused. According to reputable sources, diplomatic relations between the two nations deteriorated after the conference since the two governments broke their earlier agreements, and Ugandan arrests and deportations of Rwandans have intensified since then.

Since March, Ugandan police have detained and deported many Rwandan nationals, primarily in the border districts of Kabale, Kisoro, and Kagadi. Rwanda also claims Ugandan immigration agents of snatching Rwandese visitors' identity cards.

Kigali accuses Kampala of supporting Rwandan dissidents aiming to destabilize the country, while Uganda has stepped up its crackdown on Rwandans suspected of being on espionage missions in the country.

The Pegasus Project, a collaboration of international media and non-governmental organizations, has shown how government clients used Israeli business NSO Group's Pegasus spyware to spy on journalists, activists, and politicians. Current and previous presidents, as well as prime ministers, are among the targets.

They were found on a list of about 50,000 phone numbers that NSO clients had allegedly designated as belonging to persons of interest. At least seven African countries were identified as clients in the leak, including Togo, Morocco, and Rwanda.

Rwanda is said to be one of the more avid users of the Pegasus malware, which can surreptitiously record phone calls, read texts and emails, access pictures and passwords, and discreetly activate microphones and cameras to record audio and video.

A-level and AS level results day is today while GCSE results day is on Thursday

Students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive their A-level and GCSE results this week after exams were cancelled for the second year in a row because of Covid.

Students will be given grades determined by teachers, rather than exams, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught during the pandemic.

A-level and AS level results day is today while GCSE results day is on Thursday.

Pupils have been advised to check with their school or college whether they are still required to pick up their results in person in the morning, or whether they will be sent out by email or post instead. Here we look at some of the questions that students and parents might be asking: 

How have the grades been decided this year?

All four nations – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – adopted a system of awarding grades this summer based on teacher based assessment.

Teachers in England have been required to consider a range of evidence, including mock exams, coursework, and in-class assessments using questions by exam boards, to make decisions on pupils’ grades.

Headteachers had to submit a personal declaration that they believed grades to be accurate.

Schools and colleges were asked to provide samples of student work to exam boards, as well as evidence used to determine the grades for the students selected, as part of quality assurance (QA) checks.

Second year students studying textiles and surface design work during a session at the University of Bolton in Bolton, northwest England, on March 11, 2021 after students on practical courses started returning to their studies on campus as the coronavirus lockdown was eased. - University students on practical courses like art and design were allowed to return to their studies on campus from March 8 as part of step one of the government's roadmap for easing the coronavirus lockdown in England. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
No algorithm will be used to moderate teachers’ grades (Picture: Getty)

Random and targeted sample checks of evidence were also carried out after grades were submitted.

In some cases, where the evidence did not support the grades submitted, schools and colleges have been asked to review their grades.

Last summer, the fiasco around grading led to thousands of A-level students having their results downgraded from school estimates by a controversial algorithm, before Ofqual announced a U-turn.

But this year, no algorithm will be used to moderate teachers’ grades.

What should students do if they are unhappy with their grades?

Pupils in England who want to appeal against their grade must first request that their school or college reviews whether an administrative or procedural error was made.

Each school or college will set their own deadlines by which students must ask them to review a grade.

If the school or college rules no error was made, then students can escalate the appeal to the exam boards, which their school or college is expected to submit on their behalf. 

In England, the deadline to send an appeal to the exam board is September 17.

There is an earlier deadline of August 23 for priority appeals, for example, if a student has not got their first choice of university place confirmed.

Year 11 students, wearing face coverings, take part in a GCSE maths class at Park Lane Academy in Halifax, northwest England on March 8, 2021 as schools reopen following the easing of lockdown restrictions. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
The deadline to send an appeal to the exam board is September 17 (Picture: PA)

Can students sit an exam if they do not like their results?

Students in England who are unhappy with their A-level or GCSE grades will have the opportunity to take exams in the autumn.

AS and A-level exams will be held in October, while GCSE exams will take place in November and December.

The higher grade will count for applicants who wish to take an autumn exam. By Kate Clifton, Metro

By JULIUS MBALUTO

The biggest challenge for Africa right now is how to navigate the hostile waters of life laden with Covid-19 pandemic infections. To speak metaphorically, the African ship seems not to have any experienced captain. It doesn’t seem to have any fuel to move its people from one point to another. All grope in the darkness of desperation and many wonder why things are the way they are. Africa oh Africa!

African countries’ economies have been hit by Covid-19 pandemic and the negative impact is so severe. So, how did we get where we are? In 2020, Covid-19 Pandemic came. As many nations of the world lost its own people to the pandemic and lockdowns implemented to stop the spread, some African countries followed what developed nations did to contain the pandemic.

Fast forward to August 2021, a lot has happened. Jabs to stop the virus have been manufactured by the Western multi-billion Pharmaceuticals Companies who kept the patents and copyrights to themselves under an international system which doesn’t seem to believe in Africa’s capacity to manufacture the same medicine.  

The western nations have had their most of their populations vaccinated and those who haven’t been vaccinated it’s just because some declined the offer or believed in conspiracy theories concerning the vaccines. The Western rich nations purchased more than their population requires. For example, in some cases in the UK now, they talk about booster jab, meaning those willing already got the first two jabs.

The US President was featured on media outlets telling US employers that they will be paid to allow their staff to take a day out and get the vaccination. Huge percentage of Americans have been vaccinated and those that haven’t mostly are those refusing to be inoculated.

In the case of Africa, the doses already on the ground have only managed to vaccinate 1.5 per cent of the over one billion population of the African continent. Africa gets it supplies of the jabs manufactured via UN Covax system and as rich nations over bought what was manufactured, Africa is still waiting for crumps to fall from the rich nations’ table full of jabs and no one willing to partake!

The idea situation would be African demanding those copyrights and patents to use its scientists to produce medication just like the rich nations have done. It makes economic sense for as sad as conid-19 has made us, some nations are making profits through the selling of the jabs, their economies have benefited and are stabilizing through the profits made after the selling of this medicine. 

Being able to manufacture own medicines is Africa’s way out of this covid-19 and other pandemic apartheid. That way, Africans will be in control and Africans will save their fellow Africans.

Right now, Africa is experiencing covid-19 apartheid. Most African nations are on UK’s red list traffic lights system meaning if you travel or come from such countries, in the UK you have to isolate for 10 days in a government chosen hotel and pay over £ 2, 000.

Remember, that the number of covid-deaths in the UK has previously been higher that all 54 African countries combined, yet no African country saw the UK as a red list country and applied such draconian measures to those coming from the UK.

The new end of lockdown measures in the UK got so many countries from the red-list to Amber on the UK’s traffic system of lockdown. Now, the US and China are on the Amber list of countries you can travel to and not self-isolate when you come back to the UK. However, most African countries remain on red-list.

US alone over half- a -million covid deaths and a huge population refusing to take the jabs, Africa, 54 countries 175,000 covid- deaths? What criteria is used here? What logic are we going with? Africa’s best interests will be served only when Africa become self-sufficient. Leaders and professionals from Africa do your best for Africa needs you!

Covid-19 apartheid perpetrators are like someone who shoots themselves on the foot. It is a matter of fact, that UK citizens and corporates, multi-national companies are investing in many African countries. Red-list status means travelling is paralysed, no one wants to waste money which is being made through isolation policies.

So, UK investors and other investors from red-list countries are hindered. How can this be changed to salvage the collapsing economies? By the same token, there should be global efforts made by all nations to ensure that all are vaccinated. People travel no matter what as we are living in a global village. The bottom line is no one is safe until all are safe!

 

 

 

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta held bilateral talks with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London on January 21, 2020. PHOTO | PSCU

Travellers from Kenya remained banned to the United Kingdom in the latest update that took effect yesterday, coming days after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Britain.

The UK last week updated countries on England’s “Red List” amid concerns about the spread of new Covid-19 variants that have now been reported in Kenya.

Stakeholders in the tourism industry had hoped that President Kenyatta’s recent the UK and the meeting with his British counterpart Boris Johnson would help in lifting the ban on Kenya.

Several media outlets in the UK had projected that Nairobi would join countries like Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and India that have been moved to the Amber List.

The UK retained Kenya, whose cases of Covid-19 have been surging for the last two weeks, on the travel ban first placed in April.

The UK has segmented countries into green, amber and red lists, each carrying different degrees of restrictions for arrivals back to the UK.

A British citizen travelling from a Green and Amber List is not required to undergo a mandatory quarantine.

Travellers arriving in the UK from countries on the Red List will be denied entry while returning Britons must submit to 10 days of mandatory quarantine in hotels.

Cases of Covid-19 in Kenya have jumped to above 208,000 with more than 4,000 cases.

The positivity rate climbed sharply by a double-digit in the last week, raising concerns among health officials.

In Kenya, 670,000 people have been fully vaccinated, representing a paltry 1.3 percent but the country has received several vaccine donations including from the UK and has also procured some with a target of inoculating 10 million Kenyans by next Christmas.

The UK travel ban comes amid fears that the highly contagious Covid-19 Delta variant may spark the fourth wave of infections in Kenya over the next two months.

Kenya has relaxed punitive requirements imposed on British citizens, which required them to undergo 14 days of isolation before entering the country.

In the mid-June review, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said the British nationals and non-citizens travelling through London are required to self-isolate for only seven days. Business Daily.

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