‘Desexed’ dog gives birth to eight puppies | Stuff.co.nz

dog

This article was first published by RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission. 

An Auckland couple who picked up a supposedly desexed dog from a Hawke’s Bay pound before Christmas are now caring for eight puppies. 

Sarah Bryant and Hera Nathan are now trying to get answers – and money – from the Hastings District Council, who she claims have offered to put the young pups down. 

Bryant told First Up‘s Lydia Batham that the advertisement on their website stated it would cost $250 for Bella to be desexed, vaccinated, wormed, and get flea treatment.

Bella was picked up the weekend before Christmas last year by Nathan’s sister, who handed over the sum upon arrival but was told Bella was not vaccinated, Bryant said.

“[She] just assumed that was part of the agreement and didn’t ask any questions. She was told she had to sign an adoption form on our behalf, so she did that, and on the form there’s a few boxes and it says vaccinated, wormed, desexed, etc, and there was a cross in the vaccination box, but that was the only one that had any marking in it.”

Bryant said they were confused when they were told by the sister that Bella was not vaccinated, but took her to the vet to get it done.

That was when they decided to ask to check on the other items on the list, including desexing.

“[The vet] looked at [Bella] and said she doesn’t have a scar or anything, it doesn’t appear like she is [desexed], it actually appears like she is on heat. 

“He said he wouldn’t desex her while she is on heat, apparently there’s a potential for that to cause a whole lot of bleeding and issues, so he said to bring her back in March to have her desexed or she could potentially be pregnant, and I’m not going to know for a couple of weeks, so bring her back.”

SUPPLIED/SARAH BRYANT
Bella was adopted the weekend before Christmas by Auckland couple Sarah Bryant and Hera Nathan.

In the meantime, Bryant said they had been trying to contact the pound but got no response. 

When Bella was taken again to be checked, the vet said it could be potentially be a false pregnancy but couldn’t be sure, Bryant said.

“He said the only way you’re going to know, so we can figure out if you can do desexing or not, is to take her in for an ultrasound.”

But while they waited for the day of the booked ultrasound appointment to arrive, Bella delivered eight puppies.

“It was definitely a surprise, and at the time we were just like ‘well it’s happening now’, and just sat with her and waited for all the puppies to come out … and made sure they were healthy.”

Bryant said it was “not what we signed up for”, and had been in touch with the council to possibly ask for money back or pay for Bella’s treatment and something to contribute towards the puppies.

“[The person contacted at the council] said that that wasn’t part of their policy and that their policy would be that we could surrender them and they could put them down, and so I said that’s not an option for us.”

After another chat, the council offered a refund of up to $250 for the desexing, vaccination, worming, flea treatment or again to surrender Bella with the puppies, Bryant said.

She said she was angry about being told they would be put down.

“I tried calling back to say that’s not an acceptable resolution and we need to work this through, and that was on Tuesday and I left a message, and I haven’t heard back again from them.”

SUPPLIED/SARAH BRYANT
Bella and her pups.

In a statement, Hastings District Council said dogs that were adopted were treated for fleas, wormed, vaccinated, microchipped, registered and desexed prior to release at a cost of $250.

However, the council claims that because the owners wanted the dog immediately, it was agreed for them to pay $250 up front but they would have to make their own arrangements for treatment and desexing.

It said the dog was registered and microchipped prior to release, and that the person who picked Bella up was aware none of the treatments, including desexing, were done.

The council said it offered to pay for the treatments up to a cost of $250, but 36 days later, Bella had puppies. 

Since Bella was at such an early stage of gestation when taken, the council said it could not have known she was pregnant.

“We have had discussions with the owner since the birth of the pups – they are wanting us to pay to look after the pups for three months, but this is not council’s responsibility.

“When you adopt a dog, or get a dog from anywhere, you run the risk that it may have health or behavioural issues or, as in this case, be pregnant.”

The council reiterated its offer for the owners to surrender Bella and the puppies, but said they could either foster them until they could be rehomed, or get SPCA’s help with this.

“Unfortunately, in some circumstances euthanasia is the best option.”

Bryant said she was in the process of filling out a Disputes Tribunal form, and would like to see the council apologise.

“I would really like them to change their policy and do what it says on their website they would do.”

Meanwhile, she said the puppies were  the “cutest little things”, and they were getting support from the community.

This article was first published by RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission. 

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Details of Facebook, NCC meeting emerges – Daily Post Nigeria

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Top Management staff of Facebook paid a visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Thursday, to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnership for infrastructure deployment to strengthen connectivity, enhance businesses and bolster citizens’ embrace of digital culture.

Ibrahima Ba, Network Investment Lead at Facebook Office in the United States, who led the delegation to NCC, stated that robust infrastructure was the bedrock of the massive connectivity that signposts Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Facebook had successfully undertaken two connectivity projects in Edo and Ogun involving a total of 800 kilometres of fibre connecting institutions and operators towers.

He said that considering the connectivity gap that still exists in the country, there was a need for further expansion of infrastructure as increased penetration of services will require further deployment of infrastructure.

Ba, who declared that Nigeria was important to Facebook being Africa’s most populous country, emphasised that his company looked forward to seeing opportunities for partnerships manifest to ensure infrastructure expansion in fibre connectivity.

Ba advised the NCC to facilitate additional liberalisation of partnership and collaboration processes with stakeholders, a proposition Jerry Ugwu, Deputy Director Legal and Regulatory Services at NCC, assured that the NCC will explore.

Edoyemi Ogoh, Deputy Director Technical Standards and Network Integrity at NCC, who led the team that received the Facebook delegation on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive (EVC/CE) of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, commended the group’s interest in the Nigerian market.

He affirmed that NCC was aware of the importance of central infrastructure to the expansion of telecom services, and added that the realisation explained NCC’s adoption of the Open Access Model (OAM) and the licensing of infrastructure companies (Infracos) to cascade fibre to the hinterland of Nigeria.

Ogoh noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent re-designation of NCC’s supervising ministry as Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy was a conformation of Federal Government’s commitment to encouraging more citizens to embrace digital culture.

Stressing that the NCC is central to these processes, the official added that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has continued to demonstrate his commitment to tackling bottlenecks to infrastructure expansion.

He cited the recent meetings between the Minister, the EVC and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) which focused on streamlining and standardization Right of Way (RoW) charges.

Ogoh disclosed that the Commission was finalising processes to institute the ‘Dig Once Policy’ that will encourage operators and other key players in infrastructure segment to have greater strategic collaboration in the laying of fibre especially in the context of the upcoming National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.

On Ba’s delegation were Erik Schmidt, Network Strategy Manager, Facebook Infrastructure; Adaora Ikenze, Head West Africa (Public Policy); Imran Abass, Partner Manager, Sub Saharan Africa; and Fargani Tambeayuk, Africa Public Policy Manager (Connectivity).

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‘You’re correct, Major Femi Adesina’ — Twitter users mock Buhari’s aide over jibe at Punch

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Nigerians on Twitter are reacting to the comment of Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, on Punch newspaper’s adoption of “major general” title for President Muhammadu Buhari.
In an editorial entitled ‘Buhari’s lawlessness: Our stand’, on Wednesday, the newspaper said it will also refer to the Buhari administration as a regime until it purges itself of ”contempt for the rule of law”.
But responding to the editorial, Adesina said Buhari earned the title of major general, and that the newspaper was not out of order.

“If you decide to call him Major General, he wasn’t dashed the rank, he earned it. So, you are not completely out of order. The fact that you can do so is even another testimony to press freedom in Nigeria,” he tweeted.

If you decide to call him Major General, he wasn’t dashed the rank, he earned it. So, you are not completely out of order. The fact that you can do so is even another testimony to press freedom in Nigeria.
— Femi Adesina (@FemAdesina) December 11, 2019

Reacting to the tweet, some Nigerians accused Adesina of deliberately avoiding the focus of the editorial in order to do his job of protecting Buhari’s image at the expense of the country.
Wale Bernard, a Twitter user, sarcastically tweeted that Adesina is correct to defend the president since the media aide is now a ”major” in the government.
“You are very correct, Major Femi Adesina,” he tweeted.
Don Obinna, a commenter, said the appointment of Adesina, a former president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, as a presidential media aide revealed his true colours.
“Thank God for your appointment, we would have stupidly been referring to you as a journalist of repute. It’s a shame that a former MD of a national newspaper has no balls to advise the president properly or resign to save his face. I wonder what you will tell us after 2023,” the tweet read. 

Thank God for your appointment, we would have stupidly been referring to you as a journalist of repute. It’s a shame that a former MD of a national newspaper has no balls to advise the president properly or resign to save his face. I wonder what you will tell us after 2023

— Don Norman Obinna (@NormanObinna) December 11, 2019

You are very correct, Major Femi Adesina.

— Wale Bernard (@waleBernard1) December 11, 2019

Major General?? Earned it?? Remember 1983? Remember the bloody coup that ousted Shagari?? Remember??

— Pride of my daddy (@LadyNkem_xx) December 11, 2019

See how salary is controlling human life. Salary will end one day… but what you did will be remembered forever

— Torra (@TomiwaSoughtout) December 11, 2019

Looking for the sense in this tweet pic.twitter.com/Q7okpUFW5l

— ιgвσ вσү тσ ∂α яσσт (@Zuchradio) December 11, 2019

🤣…
Pre 2015….this account would be praising PUNCH

This life eh

— #25 (@IamEkeminiEsn) December 11, 2019

He totally missed the point, he is (or the Govt.) supposed to respond to the issues raised by punch that resulted in the name shaming. But as usual, they only read to respond. The government is becoming an assembly of hopeless case.

— Umar Ismail | اسماعيل عمر (@iswampa) December 11, 2019

E dey pain you o gaga🎶🤣😂😂🤡🤡

— Dann_essy (@Dann_10) December 11, 2019

@aishambuhari will soon come on you…she just gave @GarShehu his own dose…Yours is coming

— OmotayoAbiodun (@Sthabbey) December 11, 2019

Chai! This man has no conscience again! A whole guild! Things we do for money! Smh

— Tolexandre (@tolex_andre) December 11, 2019

How can they @FemAdesina + @BashirAhmaad be missing the point here even a blind deaf man can identify. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

— Dat Ijaw Boii (@Dat_Ijaw_Boii) December 11, 2019

Confirmed one.

Imagine the thought of a grown man.

Grown man. Tueh

— PO (@PhilipCKO) December 11, 2019

Once one starts down the dark path, forever will it dominate their destiny. Consume them it will.

— A Wise Yoda Bot (@yodaism) December 11, 2019

Uncle Femi! Eyin na? You should contradict the narrative in that article. The image depicted in that article is horrible and this is a very pedestrian way to deal with it. Silence would have been better.

— TTA (@adetomiwa_tolu) December 11, 2019

🤡🤡 pic.twitter.com/NIRKS2p1s1

— Femi❗ (@DJPhemzydee) December 11, 2019

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People Are Mad at Kendall Jenner for a Video She Posted on Instagram

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Kendall Jenner is no stranger to controversy. In fact, some argue that that’s pretty much what she relies on for her career. From poorly planned Pepsi ads to more than her fair share of cultural appropriation claims, to that infamous video with Bella Hadid, Kendall is basically never out of the headlines.

But her latest controversy may be her worst yet. Kendall shared a video of herself on Snapchat that got everyone talking, for all the wrong reasons. Not only was it kind of silly – but it was actually dangerous, too. Scroll on for the video that’s got the whole internet angry.

Kendall Jenner has one of the most recognizable faces in the modeling industry.

The supermodel has crafted quite an impressive modeling resume – it feels as though there isn’t a major cover that she hasn’t featured on or a high fashion show that she hasn’t walked in.

But she’s also part of one of the most famous families in the world.

via: Getty

You know who we’re talking about… the Kardashians.

Kendall has had an early introduction to fame and fortune, featuring on their reality show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, since she was barely even a teen.

But, now, the star mainly focuses on her booming modeling ventures.

From Vogue’s September issue to high fashion runways, there isn’t much that she hasn’t done.

But the star has managed to whip up quite a lot of controversy over the years.

Considering she stays relatively low-key when it comes to Keeping Up With The Kardashians, it looks like her lucrative modeling adventures have been far from plain sailing.

For example, does anyone remember that Pepsi commerical?

In 2017, the world watched, appalled, as Kendall Jenner brought a social justice protest to an end with one simple act – handing the police officer a can of Pepsi.

As problematic goes, this was definitely up there.

The ill-judged ad faced worldwide criticism, and rightly so.

The controversial commercial, which was promptly pulled following the backlash, insinuated that all the problems could be brought to a harmonious end with a can of the sugary soda – or, at least, that’s the logic that we were presented with.

But in a world wherein these are real issues affecting real people, the ad just appeared to distastefully trivialize the demonstrations fighting for good causes such as Black Lives Matter.

Of course, many viewers didn’t take kindly to the commercial.

via: Twitter

The internet was in uproar after viewing the commercial, with many people shocked at the mere suggestion that we can put our differences aside over a can of Pepsi.

And, for her participation, Jenner paid the price.

Both Kendall and Pepsi apologized for the ad, but it looked like, as far as countless people online were concerned, the damage had already been done.

Soon after, Kendall addressed the issue further on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, where viewers watched her get emotional over the backlash, telling older sister Kim: “It feels like my life is over.”

But, sadly, this wasn’t her only brush with controversy.

The supermodel has hit the headlines multiple times because of her hair.

Now, you may be thinking “hair is just hair, how can it possibly be problematic?”

Well, it can be when you consider cultural appropriation – aka the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture, which can often spark controversy when a socially dominant culture takes from a disadvantaged minority culture.

In 2016, the twenty-three-year-old found herself at the center of a cultural appropriation scandal.

via: Getty

She came under fire for being styled in dreadlocks at a Marc Jacobs runway show.

The questionable show saw a whole host of mostly white models, including bestie, Gigi Hadid, and, of course, Kendall Jenner herself, donning pastel-colored, wool dreadlocks.

People accused the show of cultural appropriation for not crediting African American culture for inspiring the look.

via: Getty

People took to Twitter to slam both the designer and the models for the distasteful appropriation of black culture.

The designer did apologize but justified his poorly-judged choice by saying that the look was inspired by Harajuku girls, rave culture, and London style in the 1980s. Though many people don’t buy it.

It’s safe to say Kendall is no stranger to backlash.

But there’s one area in which she’s particularly prone to causing a stir – when she’s behind the wheel of a car.

Kendall has faced trouble for this before.

In 2015, Kylie and Kendall were driving in Los Angeles when they posted a rather raucous Snapchat.

But many thought they were focused too much on their social media, and not enough on the road ahead.

And the same year saw another traffic accident.

Caitlyn Jenner was driving in Malibu when she hit two cars with her SUV, pushing one into oncoming traffic. There was one fatality and four injuries in the tragic accident.

In fact, it seems as though the Kardashian-Jenners and driving aren’t compatible.

And when you put a selfie camera into the mix, things go from bad to worse.

And Kendall’s latest move may be her worst driving mishap yet.

She shared a video of herself testing out the new Snapchat butterfly filter.

So far, so good – except for the fact she was also trying to operate a vehicle at the same time.

via: Instagram

In her eagerness to check herself out with her new (fake) look, Kendall was rather conspicuously looking away from the road.

See what you think – here’s the video.

It seems hard to deny she’s not putting her full attention into her driving, spending a few too many seconds for comfort staring into her own eyes.

And some noticed this.

Not only was Kendall not really paying attention – but she also seemed to be steering in a rather bizarre (and extreme) style.

And although some were joking about it …

It seems others were seriously annoyed. It’s one thing to be a danger to yourself – but putting others at risk through your own vanity? Not cool, Kendall.

Want some more Jenner-based controversy? Read on to see why Caitlyn Jenner’s birthday cake got everybody talking.

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Sexual abuse: Teenager whose father raped 4 times daily for 8 years gave birth to his baby

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Binman Clifton, 36, was jailed for 15 years but Shannon later found out his sentence had been reduced to 10 years.

She now says she wants to flee Derby before the monster is released from jail.

She is now living an independent life and wants to inspire others through her new book, The Monster I Loved.

Shannon said she went to live with her dad, at the age of five, when her parents split up.

Shannon said: “It was nice at first but he started getting abusive. I would come home from school and he started to hit me. I just got used to it in the end.

“The first time it happened was when we moved into a flat near Elvaston Castle.

“It started becoming sexual. There was one time in the front room on the floor. I’ve tried to block it out so I don’t remember it all.”

Shannon was a pupil at Breadsall Hill Top School at the time.

She said she used to go to school “with bruises all over” but was instructed to tell teachers she had been play fighting with her cousins.

After a period of time, Shannon and her dad moved back to Chaddesden.

Shannon said: “That’s when everything started getting worse. sexual abuse was becoming more regular.

“When I was younger it was just once or twice here and there but then it started becoming every day, then a few times a day.

Shannon said she was often raped before and after school and sometimes in the middle of the night.

She said: “I only understood what sex was when I was about nine and we were learning about it at school.

“I remember the first time we were taught sex education, my teacher told us ‘nobody should touch you in these places’.

“I was shocked because I thought, that’s what my dad does to me.”

Shannon said her dad treated her as his wife. He regularly asked her to clean the house and make his dinner from the age of nine.

When Shannon was 11, she noticed her body starting to change and realised she was pregnant.

She said: “For a while, I didn’t tell him. But when I did finally tell him, he beat me up.

“It was all really confusing, I was a child carrying a child.”

She worked out that she was around 28 weeks pregnant when she lost the baby.

In December 2012, Shannon became pregnant again.

She said she wasn’t surprised she lost the baby “because of the things I was going through”.

Shannon said when she was 12 she told a teacher at school and a social worker that her dad had broken her nose.

She said: “They took me away for one night and then the next day I went straight back to him.

“They didn’t do anything about it, so I thought there’s no point in telling people anything.

“I put myself in more danger by telling them. I was too scared.”

Shannon said summer was the worst time because her dad would sexually abuse her outside the house.

She said: “He used to take me out and do it in fields and woods.

“At night, if he had been drinking at a family thing, on the way home he would do it in an alleyway.

“I tried to fight back but I used to get hurt more. It was easier not to do anything. I thought it was going to last forever.”

Shannon desperately pleaded with her dad for the sexual abuse to end.

She said: “He used to say ‘I’m not going to do it again, I promise you. I’m really sorry, I will get better.’

“Then give it an hour and he would be at it again.”

In 2013 Shannon was pregnant again with her third baby.

She was at The Kingsmead School and her dad used to stand outside the school grounds and “watch all the time”.

She said things came to a head at the end of her pregnancy, at which point she was a pupil at West Park Academy.

Shannon said: “He had just raped me upstairs and I was screaming and crying.

“I ran downstairs and I got a big knife and thought if I stab myself straight in the heart the baby won’t die, and I don’t have to put up with this anymore.

“But I needed to be there for my child. If it was a girl, he could’ve ran off with her too.”

She said he still abused her throughout the pregnancy but would not let her go to hospital.

But teachers noticed a week before she gave birth and social care workers at the police turned up at her school.

But Clifton was not arrested and went off on the run with Shannon for a week.

Her dad told her when the baby was born, he would kill him.

At the end of the week, they went to DW Fitness in Pride Park to change clothes when a member of the public spotted Shannon and called the police.

Shannon said: “It was hard, because that was the last time I ever saw my dad, and I think I knew that.

“Even though he did everything that he did, he was the only person I grew up with. He was all I had.

“But he took my childhood away from me.”

When she got into hospital, the day before she gave birth, nurses told Shannon she was over 39 weeks pregnant.

Shannon kept her child for a year but gave him up for adoption at the age of one “because he needed a better life”.

But she hopes to have a relationship with him when he grows up.

But Shannon is now studying forensic psychology with the Open University and planning to release her book, The Monster I Loved, before the end of the year.

She’s also doing a course in motivational speaking.

She said: “I want people to see that there is a way out.

“There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Most people look at me and wouldn’t know I had been through that.

“You won’t get over it, but you can move on from it. I know I’m worth more than that.

“Sometimes you have to make positives out of a bad situation.”

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How to Use Cloud ERP Solutions for Getting Out of Your Investment?

ERP software application is considered as a lifeline for all organizations because it provided deep insights and enhanced exposure of all organizational functions. There are few companies that fall into a classification if Startups and smbs are afraid of making an investment in devoted ERP software application. A reputable ERP software application solution will absolutely increase the organization’s performance. Effective application of ERP software not only increase efficiency however likewise use adequate chances to lower down company functional costs. All monetary data management is the essential factor to identify the sort of centers ERP software is using to an organization.

Cloud ERP services are utilized to manage all core organisation processes with the support of the current innovation. It is nowadays a vital element of all type of markets. ERP software is thought about as a lifeline for all companies because it improved and offered deep insights visibility of all organizational functions. Software has actually successfully empowered the staff members, manager, and employer to make strong decisions.
Today many of the companies can’t perform their jobs effectively without having the software application. All performances of ERP software application helps in handling different service operations. Nearly all operations of the company can be managed easily with a range of incorporated modules. Every specific module is responsible to take care of different particular locations and departments of business i.e. finance, human resource, recruitment, and administration and so on. Nowadays cloud ERP software applicationhelp organizations to automate all top priority and repetitive tasks and provide to enhance reporting.
If SMBs and start-ups are scared of making a financial investment in dedicated ERP software application, there are couple of companies that fall into a category. They’re scared whether the system is expense advantageous and efficient to satisfy all expectations or not. There is a misunderstanding that a company needs to bear service charges at first for successful implementation.If an ERP software application is
implemented in a best way, you’ll have the ability to comprehend that all mistaken beliefs are incorrect. It can wonderfully restore your financial investment and you can improve up the ROI. We are here to share how to you can get maximum ROI from effectively implemented cloud ERP options. How Cloud ERP Solutions Help in Getting Good ROI? Successful ROI objective accomplishment is not simply a dream but can be made with the support of ERP

services. Cloud Adoption ERP itself is a true blessing for all companies. Cloud based ERP solutions might

be considered as

an outcome of all your prayers and answer to address questions. It is not easily readily available in the market however needs possible effort to gain access to reputable service. The most significant benefit of cloud ERP software application services is a less up-front investment. Up-front investment is a major issue for all smbs and startups. They can’t pay for heavy investment at the initial phase of on-premise adoption.
Cloud based ERP software is extremely versatile, trustworthy and adjustable solution for all companies. It has actually effectively taken over the business by simplifying all operations. It is recommended to you that this is a best time to make a financial investment in cloud ERP technology. This is a best move for your company to conserve expense and handle shifts.

Increased Productivity

This is an obvious thing anticipated from ERP solutions. A reputable ERP software application option will absolutely increase the company’s productivity. As said earlier, you’re counting on ERP software indicates all of the important management departments can easily team up with each other. Such cooperation is beneficial for reliable choice making and automating routine tasks that let the staff members save their valuable time. Less time consumption is the best requirement for business to boost productivity.
Cloud ERP options in Saudi Arabia is most significantly improve team internal cooperation. Every department will have a clear concept relating to the major activities carried out by the team. Inter-department activities will be more visible to make it much easier to collaborate and finish tasks by reaching an optimum level of success. Your companies will be able to get more with low effort.

Functional Cost Reduction

Effective application of ERP software application not only enhance performance however also use sufficient chances to lower down organisation operational expenses. There is no more requirement to perform extra time consuming and repeated jobs i.e. information entry and so on. Now whatever offered in the required format. The majority of the jobs of your employees are automated now, for that reason they’ll be able to contribute more to other profitable activities for the company.

Real-Time Updates

Accounts department is the backbone of an organization. All financial information management is the key factor to figure out the sort of centers ERP software is using to an organization. Software application immediately combines all information in the single database and enable the management to keep a routine look at its KPIs.
Easy access to real-time data motivates the managers to take efficient decisions with respect to information accuracy. With few clicks, they’ll have the ability to evaluate the total scenario with any assistance of the specific department. The user-friendly dashboard of cloud ERP software shares all stats in a single view. It improves decision making and enables departments to achieve more in less time.

To Conclude

Combination of different modules in Cloud ERP solutions can link departments and organisations with a single interface. It has significantly enabled the organizations to complete its operations more effectively. Inter-departmental partnership let the management to access precise info and deal with all major issues. Efficient choice making and boosted cooperation immediately enhance decision making and performance.

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Smartphone sales expected to drop 2.5% globally this year

Smartphone sales have continued their global decline. New numbers from Gartner forecast a drop of 2.5% down to 1.5 billion. The biggest hits to the industry are Japan, Western Europe and North America, which saw drops of 6.5, 5.3 and 4.4%, respectively.

It’s all part of a continued trend we’ve highlighted several times before: slowed upgrade cycles, pricier phones, a bad economy. Even the world’s largest smartphone market, China, saw a drop for the year, as it battles its own economic headwinds.

Screen

The Huawei ban has also impacted some of the larger numbers, though Huawei itself has continued to grow, thanks to healthy continued adoption in its home market. The company, however, is still suffering from negative connotations abroad, while cutting off access to U.S.-based companies will likely halt things further.

The good news for manufacturers in all this is a rebound set for the second half of next year, driven by 5G. The first handsets have started to arrive this year, with others (including the iPhone) not expected until next. A lot’s going to have to happen for sales to reverse the downward trends — even temporarily. That’s going to take more handsets, wider 5G availability and lower prices, with many topping out well over $1,000 here in the States.

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The Democratic Presidential Debates

Reality TV is meant to trick the eyes. The high drama of housewives bickering about who said what over a bottle of wine. Cast members secretly scheming to avoid elimination off the island. Contestants blatantly lying to rig the game in their favor. What unfolds before us, to quote Susan Murray and Laura Ouelette in 2008’s Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture, “is an unstable text that encourages viewers to test out their own notions of the real, the ordinary, and the intimate against the representation before them.”

This week, inside Detroit’s Fox Theatre, Democratic presidential hopefuls participated in the second round of debates. Last night found two of the top candidates—Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Joe Biden, along with Senator Cory Booker—center stage. The whole ordeal played out like an episode of The Real Legislators of America.

Remember: Absorbing, can’t-look-away TV is not about stability, however much we yearn for—and need, really—politics to be. The value of the unstable text is in its consistent guarantee of popcorn-worthy entertainment. Those who watch, myself included, find a perverse comfort in it because it’s entirely reliable; it gives us something to bicker about with family, friends, colleagues. It challenges us in ways for which we are unprepared, and sometimes for the better.

The primary architecture of debates, like reality TV with its twisting plots and snaking subplots, obeys a simple formula: an adoption of disorder. Biden, who remains the frontrunner despite his moderate establishment policies and a thrashing from Harris in June during the first round of debates, was again assigned the role of villain. A textbook archetype of the genre, the former VP doesn’t quite find a kindred spirit in the diabolical savvy of Spencer Pratt (The Hills) or Jax Taylor (Vanderpump Rules), but all great TV hinges on the roles characters submit to. That’s one of the more fascinating parts about Murray and Ouelette’s theory: Although the text itself is prone to unpredictability, the characters must conform to stationary roles.

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“You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign,” Booker said to Biden, railing into him. “You can’t do it when it’s convenient and then dodge it when it’s not.” Later, Booker again pounced on him over the matter of criminal justice reform, and Biden found himself caught in the heat of Harris’ agitation on the topic of health care and paralyzed by former Housing Secretary Julian Castro’s criticism of his shaky immigration record.

But before drama turned rapid-fire, there was the sly splendor of the 10 candidates on stage, standing side by side, captured with a trippy canniess by Brendan Smialowski. There’s a static, almost robotic feel to the vertical poses they take; their top halves have been severed by the camera’s frame. The linear symmetry of their lower limbs, the uniformity of their display, suggests an analogy: Not unlike reality TV, we all have a role to adhere to.

But then, almost instantly, the photo challenges its very hypothesis by displaying the full-body reflection of the politicians on the stage floor (Jordan Peele’s tethered beings from Us sprang to mind). And so, here in the democratic upside down, a counter suggestion is proposed: that even the roles candidates were assigned—The Hero, The Antagonist, The Everyman—are not, in fact, as stable as we anticipate.


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