Their News [Archives:2008/1176/Local News]

July 28 2008

Newspapers To Celebrate Reading On World Literacy Day

The World Association of Newspapers is now offering materials for publication in newspapers around the world that wish to commemorate International Literacy Day on 8 September.

The materials, which are available from the WAN website at , include an eight-part serialised story for children, and comic strips and panels from some of the world_s most notable cartoonists.

International Literacy Day on 8 September was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to highlight the status of literacy and adult learning globally. Some 774 million adults lack minimum literacy skills world-wide; one in five adults is not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 72.1 million children are

out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out, according to UNESCO.

The serialised story being offered by WAN, _Frannie Learns a Lesson,_ is designed to encourage family reading. The package includes artwork and an activity guide and is offered in English and Spanish (translation into other languages is allowed and encouraged).

The materials are being offered through the WAN Young Reader Programme, which is supported by the Norwegian paper manufacturer Norske Skog. The story and illustrations were donated by the authors and the artist – Cathy Sewell, Jenni Duke and Glenn McCoy — while the cartoons are being provided with the help of the National Cartoonists Society, King Features Syndicate, Universal Press Syndicate and the New York Times Syndicate.

Jim Davis, creator of Garfield, is among several major cartoonists who will donate a cartoon that any newspaper can use on 8 September. WAN is also suggesting that newspapers with their own cartoonists produce cartoons with a literacy theme on 8 September.

UK-Yemen sign 5-year Justice and Policing Agreement

The United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) signed an agreement today with the Government of Yemen on support to Yemen's Judiciary and Police Services.

The United Kingdom (UK) has agreed to provide technical cooperation to Yemen over the next 5 years from September 2008. The agreement includes the provision of specialist advisers to both the Ministries of Interior and Justice to promote Judicial and Police reform. Specific activities will include supporting improvements in the following: performance management; information management; judicial and police accountability; and service delivery at community level. The programme will also aim to enhance donor coordination in the Justice and Policing Sector.

DFID chose to engage in Yemen's Justice and Policing Sector in 2005, recognising that improving people's security and access to justice promotes stability and can prevent violent conflict. The agreement signed today creates a Justice and Policing Programme (JPP) that will build on earlier support from the UK to Yemen over the past year and a half. The last 18 months have allowed both the governments of Yemen and the UK to understand better the needs of the Judiciary and Police and to explore which areas of intervention are the most likely to be successful.

The agreement was signed, for the Government of Yemen, by HE Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Karim Al-Arhabi, Minister of Interior H. E. Major General Mutahar al-Masri, Minister of Justice H. E. Dr. Gazi Shaif Al-Agbari, as well as, for the United Kingdom, by the British Ambassador, His Excellency Tim Torlot.

Deloitte in the Middle East revenues grow over 30%

Deloitte Middle East announced today the results of fiscal year 2008 (May 31), with another very strong performance and an increase in revenues of more than 30%, once again achieving more growth than the aggregate global rate for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) of 18.6%. “This exceptional growth is fuelled by a marked increase in advisory service line participation in addition to healthy growth on the assurance side,” commented Omar Fahoum, CEO Deloitte Middle East. “That we can produce such results in a climate of a global downturn is a testament to our ability to be always one step ahead.”

While on a visit to the ME region recently, John Connolly, Chairman of DTT's Global Board of Directors, had already highlighted the growth: “This part of the world is fast becoming more important to our network and we have well-developed plans to move people and invest in our business here,” said Connolly. “While our Middle East firm is already growing at a fast pace, in excess of 30% a year, the nature of the things we do is pushing us to put ever deeper skills into our areas of specialty.”

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (“Deloitte”) announced that fiscal year 2008 aggregate member firm revenue increased by 18.6 percent in U.S. dollars, and 13.0 percent in local currencies, to US$27.4 billion. This marks Deloitte's sixth consecutive year of U.S. dollar double-digit revenue growth from continuing operations. Every service line and every geographic region delivered strong growth. Deloitte aggregate revenues were US$23.1 billion in FY2007.

Financial Advisory services grew at 26.6 percent to US$2.4 billion, followed by consulting services at 22.2 percent to US$6.3 billion, tax and legal at 20.4 percent to US$6.0 billion, and audit at 14.8 percent to US$12.7 billion.

When announcing the results, Deloitte Global CEO Jim Quigley said, “Our people's continued focus on excellence and their demonstrated ability to work together across geographies to meet our clients' needs is fundamental to our success. Our results show that our client-centric business model built upon a global culture of consultation and collaboration)and delivery through strong member firms with global connections)is a winning strategy.”

In the past year, Deloitte grew by approximately 15,000 people with considerable growth in the emerging markets. Globally, Deloitte now has approximately 165,000 people operating in 140 countries.

Deloitte also remains committed to building upon its strong reputation as a responsible global citizen. Its professionals have always been passionate about making a positive impact on the communities in which they work and live. Today, they are more dedicated than ever to strengthening corporate responsibility. As Omar Fahoum puts it, “It's the right thing for all businesses to play their part in the overall corporate responsibility agenda. At Deloitte Middle East we recognize corporate responsibility as a strategic priority and strive to significantly elevate our impact on a regional level.”

Quigley remains confident about Deloitte's continued success because of the strength of its model, which combines local depth and global scale. “These are clearly uncertain economic times. Our focus on innovation together with our strong global culture and diversity of skills will enhance our ability to assist our clients as they compete in these turbulent times. At Deloitte, we remain focused on our long-term success and will continue to invest in our people, new products and services, and maintain our long-standing commitment to corporate responsibility,” he said.

Details of the DTT financial results and its firms' approach to clients and people are available on

U.S. Not Living Up to Rhetoric on Support for Democracy in Egypt

The United States must pair its tough rhetoric on promoting democracy in the Middle East with genuine actions that support the region's democratic activists, such as Egyptian political prisoner Ayman Nour.

President George W. Bush called for Nour's release in a speech yesterday that outlined progress on his “Freedom Agenda.” He also urged senior diplomats to “maintain regular contact with political dissidents and democracy activists” in autocratic countries. Nour, a former member of the Egyptian Parliament, has been in prison for nearly three years on trumped up forgery charges after winning the second-largest number of votes in the country's 2005 presidential election.

“More than mere words and visits are needed to free Nour from his prison cell and open a space for free expression in Egypt,” said Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House executive director. “Congress and the Bush administration must use all tools at their disposal)including direct assistance to dissidents, foreign aid and diplomacy)if they are to have any real impact in the Middle East.”

Bush's speech coincided this week with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak pardoning more than 1,500 prisoners, including those convicted of murder. Nour was not among those pardoned and his attempts to appeal for release on medical grounds, citing diabetes and heart problems, have been denied. Mubarak's repressive regime is also waging a systematic crackdown on the so-called “Facebook activists,” who use the social networking cite to advocate for democracy. Egypt arrested 26 of these activists over the last several days for “threatening public security.”

“All the world knows that Mr. Nour was imprisoned on trumped up charges because he had the temerity to present himself as a candidate for president of Egypt in 2005,” Windsor said. “While his lengthy incarceration is an affront, first of all, to the people of Egypt who desire to live in a democratic society, it must also be seen as an indirect slap at the United States for urging Mubarak to relax his grip on the political system.”

Egypt is ranked Not Free in the 2008 edition of Freedom in the World, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties, and Partly Free in the 2008 version of Freedom of the Press.