Addressing the World Health Assembly, Mr. Annan said that in order to encourage development in many countries, the runaway contagion of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases must be contained.”The devastation wrought by HIV/AIDS is now so acute that it has itself become one of the main obstacles to development,” the Secretary-General told representatives of the World Health Organization’s 191 Member States participating in the Assembly.Mr. Annan also detailed plans for the Global AIDS and Health Fund, which he first proposed at an African summit meeting last month. “The Fund would be governed by an independent Board, on which all significant stakeholders would be represented — including, of course, the governments of developing countries,” he said. “In addition, there would be a small secretariat, to do the day-to-day administration, and a strong advisory body, on which the best international experts would be asked to serve.”Mandated to set broad policies to support national strategies, the Board “would insist on transparency and accountability, so that we can be sure the money is being spent in ways that are effective, and that it is reaching the people who need it most,” the Secretary-General stressed.Muting concerns that the proposal would pull money away from current health programmes, Mr. Annan emphasized that the Fund “must be additional to existing funds and mechanisms, not just a new way of channelling money that is already earmarked for development.”Calling on governments and donors to contribute to the Fund, the Secretary-General said, “We must give hope to those infected with HIV, enabling them to plan for life instead of preparing for death, and we must give hope to humanity — hope that the spread of the disease can indeed be halted and reversed, and that future generations will not have to live under its shadow.”So far, the United States has donated $200 million to the Fund, while Mr. Annan has personally pledged the $100,000 grant he will receive along with the Philadelphia Liberty Medal which he will be awarded later this year.
LinkedIn adding new training features, news feeds and ‘bots’ by Brandon Bailey, The Associated Press Posted Sep 22, 2016 1:17 pm MDT Last Updated Sep 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner speaks during a product announcement at his company’s headquarters, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in San Francisco. LinkedIn wants to become more useful to workers by adding personalized news feeds, helpful messaging “bots” and recommendations for online training courses, as the professional networking service strives to be more than just a tool for job-hunting. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) SAN FRANCISCO – LinkedIn wants to become more useful to workers by adding personalized news feeds, helpful messaging “bots” and recommendations for online training courses, as the professional networking service strives to be more than just a tool for job-hunting.The new services will arrive just as LinkedIn itself gains a new boss — Microsoft — which is paying $26 billion to acquire the Silicon Valley company later this year.LinkedIn said the new features, which it showed off to reporters Thursday, were in the works before the Microsoft takeover was announced in June. But LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said his company hopes to incorporate some of Microsoft’s technology as it builds more things like conversational “chat bots,” or software that can carry on limited conversations, answer questions and perform tasks like making reservations.Chat bots are a hot new feature in the consumer tech world, where companies like Facebook, Apple and Google are already racing to offer useful services based on artificial intelligence. As a first step, LinkedIn says it will soon introduce a bot that could help someone schedule a meeting with another LinkedIn user, by comparing calendars and suggesting a convenient time and meeting place.The new bot will be part of an online messaging service that LinkedIn is gradually expanding to make it easier for users to communicate without opening a new screen or switching to email.LinkedIn is also adding more personalized features to its news feed, where members can see articles and announcements posted by their professional contacts. A new “Interest Feed” will offer a collection of articles, posts and opinion pieces on major news events or current issues.While many people already turn to Facebook, Twitter or individual news sites for similar updates, LinkedIn managers suggest their feeds will be more tailored to each user’s professional interests, by a combination of human editors and computer algorithms. Similarly, LinkedIn says it’s begun using the online training resources of its Lynda.com educational subsidiary to make personalized recommendations for online courses that augment each user’s current skills or career interests.The new features are the latest additions LinkedIn has made to its core service in recent years — for example, by inviting prominent people and ordinary members to write their own articles or essays for the site.LinkedIn Corp. makes most of its money from fees that job recruiters pay to use its database of more than 450 million members worldwide. But it wants to keep members engaged so they check in regularly and keep their profiles updated. Weiner and other executives say they want to make the site useful for more than just job-hunting.The idea is to “help members be more productive and successful in what they’re trying to do,” said LinkedIn vice-president Ryan Roslansky in an interview.LinkedIn has measured an increase in routine visits to its website and mobile apps over the last year, Roslansky said, even after the company cut back on the volume of email notifications that it sends to members. It did so, he acknowledged, after members complained they were getting too many emails.Microsoft Corp., meanwhile, wants to augment its own workplace software with LinkedIn’s stockpile of information about its members’ job histories and professional contacts. It may combine LinkedIn’s data, for example, with online programs that Microsoft sells to businesses for managing sales, hiring and other back-office functions.Weiner, who is expected to continue running LinkedIn as a semi-independent subsidiary of Microsoft, said the two companies are working on ways to integrate some services. But he said he wasn’t ready to disclose more details.