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Chattanooga Named Code for America City
Chattanooga was named as a Code for America (CfA) Fellowship City Tuesday. CfA will provide at least three fellows for a year, beginning in January 2014. City staff and local developers will work with the CfA fellows to develop and test open-source web apps to improve city services and the community around two of the City’s key priorities – safer streets and civic engagement
“City Government will collaborate with some of the top developers and designers from across the country, creating open-source web applications to help address important issues in our community - including public safety,” said Mayor Andy Berke. “I am committed to a more open, transparent, and innovative government – and opening up data is an important way to make government more accessible to our citizens.”
"We are thrilled to officially announce that Chattanooga will participate in our 2014 Fellowship program." said Code for America Co-Executive Director Bob Sofman. "Chattanooga has a remarkable commitment to innovation and is supported by forward-thinking and dedicated staff. This top-notch combination ensures a productive year.”
In addition to focusing on public safety and civic engagement, the Fellows will help to improve the City of Chattanooga’s internal processes, including the procurement process, by working with City departments to develop and determine effective solutions that use tax payer dollars responsibly.
Since 2009, CfA has paired leaders in innovation with local governments, using technology to promote openness and transparency, encourage participation, and solve problems in cities across the country. Together, CfA fellows (top developers, designers, researchers, and product managers) and local governments produce open-source web apps to improve city services. CfA also helps build relationships between City Hall and local technology talent.
“Having Code for America come to the Gig City makes so much sense. Chattanooga has a strong history of civic action and innovation, as well as a new Administration that understands how open data can benefit citizens,” said Tim Moreland of Open Chattanooga. “From the start, Mayor Berke has been supportive of Open Chattanooga's efforts to solve real problems using open data. So when Code for America arrives in Chattanooga, they will find a Mayor, a city, and a community ready to roll up their sleeves and make lasting change.”
Early this summer, the Berke Administration partnered with Open Chattanooga to apply for the fellowship for 2014 and the City of Chattanooga was named a finalist last month. The City secured $250,000 in private funds from the Benwood Foundation and Lyndhurst Foundation. Chattanooga City Council authorized the funding of an additional $180,000. Several private companies have expressed an interest in contributing to the project, including through both
in-kind and monetary contributions.
"We are thrilled to be named a Code for America City. This initiative asks the important question, 'How can technology make our community better?',” said Sarah Morgan, President of the Benwood Foundation. “When we inspire the brightest tech-minds across the country to focus not on the private sector but the public sector, we can address some of our community's most pressing issues."
“Chattanooga is a natural fit for Code for America. This opportunity will not only complement our city's focus on technology and innovation, it will more importantly connect developers with the resources they need to solve real world problems through open data and civic engagement," said Macon Toledano, Associate Director of Lyndhurst Foundation.
The 2014 class of Fellows will include 31 developers, designers, researchers, and project managers leaving private companies such as ZipCar, Intuit, and Lockheed Martin as well as government organizations such as NASA.
Over 50 cities across the country applied for the Code for America Fellowship this year. The 2014 Code for America Cities include:
Long Beach, CA
San Antonio, TX
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Warwick, RI (in collaboration with the State of Rhode Island)
Past CfA Fellowship Cities include Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and New Orleans.
To learn more, visit http://codeforamerica.org/2014.
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Last Update on November 28, 2014 08:26 GMT
WTO-GLOBAL TRADE DEAL
GENEVA (AP) -- The World Trade Organization has pulled off a major deal that could boost global commerce by $1 trillion annually after years of negotiation.
Diplomats says the deal approved Thursday is the first multilateral trade agreement in the organization's 20-year history. It will go into effect after all 160 member countries ratify, expected sometime next year.
A U.S.-India deal this month over food stockpiling by India cleared the way for the agreement that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said "preserved the letter and spirit of the package of decisions" reached at a WTO summit last December in Bali.
European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said the deal will "lift millions out of poverty."
VIENNA (AP) -- OPEC oil ministers have decided to keep their present output target at 30 million barrels a day, despite an oversupply of crude and plunging prices.
The decision Thursday was expected. OPEC oil power Saudi Arabia had indicated before the meeting that it favors the status-quo.
The Saudis are the top producers within the 12-nation organization and effectively decide the cartel's policy.
Some less well-off members had favored a cut, to reduce supplies and push prices back up. But because of booming shale production in the U.S, that would not have made a sizable dent in supply.
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's inflation rate fell to a six-month low, highlighting the difficulty Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces in his campaign to overcome deflation in the world's third-largest economy.
The core consumer price index, excluding fresh foods, rose 2.9 percent in October from a year earlier, according to data released Friday. Excluding the impact of a 3 percentage point sales tax hike in April, it rose 0.9 percent.
The tax hike broadsided the recovery as consumers and companies reined in spending after splashing out early in the year. Retail spending and household incomes also fell in October from a year earlier.
Other data for October were mixed. Industrial output edged up from the month before but fell 1 percent from a year earlier. The unemployment rate eased slightly.
NEW YORK (AP) -- It's what's quickly becoming a new holiday tradition, gift shopping on Thanksgiving.
Just a few years ago when some stores started opening late on the holiday, the move was met with resistance from workers and shoppers who believed the day should be sacred.
Last year, more than dozen major retailers opened at some point on Thanksgiving evening. And this year, at least half of them opened earlier in the evening.
The Thanksgiving openings are one way retailers are trying to compete for Americans' holiday dollars. Retailers used to focus sales promotions on Black Friday. But increasingly, they've been pushing promotions earlier to grab deal-hungry shoppers' attention.
The National Retail Federation expects 25.6 million shoppers to take advantage of the Thanksgiving openings and it's starting to take a bite out of Black Friday business. Indeed, sales dropped 13.2 percent to $9.74 billion on Black Friday last year.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Argentina's tax agency charged HSBC bank Thursday with helping more than 4,000 Argentines evade taxes by placing their money in secret Swiss accounts.
The head of the country's AFIP tax agency, Ricardo Echegaray, said Argentine citizens evaded about $3 billion in taxes that were handled by intermediaries through a network of offshore accounts.
Echegaray alleged that some of those accounts in Geneva are owned by HSBC Argentina's president and other bank executives. He did not say if the bank's operations had been suspended in Argentina.
AFIP said it got its information from France, where HSBC was placed under formal investigation last week for possibly aiding tax evasion. The banking company has also been charged in Belgium with organized fiscal fraud.
HSBC said it respects Argentine laws and has committed no wrongdoing.
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