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PPP members under SARU, SOCU investigation – Rohee

PPP members under SARU, SOCU investigation – Rohee

first_img… calls for end to militarisation of StateThe People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is lamenting what it said was government’s move to have members of the party be investigated, and lashed out at the State Assest Recovery Unit (SARU)and the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).The party’s General Secretary (GS) Clement Rohee has deemed this move as “political witch-hunting.”“The use of the Guyana Police Force to harass and arrest activists of the PPP, and the use of the criminal justice system to delay and thus deny justice to the electors’ of the PPP vis-à-vis the 2015 Elections Petition,” the General Secretary said, noting that “the PPP understands that recently, based on political directives, warrants have been solicited from the Court to gain access to bank accounts of former PPP Ministers and to carry out searches at their respective places of residence. All of the above are politically inspired and motivated.”Rohee said the party has noted the persistent threats by Professor Clive Thomas, head of SARU, to PPP leaders and former government and state functionaries:“The Party wishes to remind once again that SARU has no locus standing within the meaning of neither the Constitution of the Republic nor the laws of Guyana. Any attempt to use SARU to illegally harm the legitimate economic and financial interests of any PPP/C leader and/or former government functionary on the basis of wild, unsubstantiated and politically motivated allegations of corruption will be stoutly and resolutely rebuffed by the Party,” he said.Meanwhile, Rohee added that the party continues to have growing concerns over what it said is the militarization of the state and government apparatus in Guyana, by the current administration.“This tendency is increasingly manifesting itself under the Granger administration, coupled with this development, is the steady but rapid progression of our country in the direction of a ‘police state’. This dangerous and unwelcomed development has its historical antecedents in the Burnham era of which Mr Granger is a product.”According to him, the new administration has a “penchant for placing retired and serving military officers in Government agencies and departments and to head Commissions of Inquiry into one incident after another”.“This practice has become so blatant that one letter writer recently posed the question whether being an officer or having once been an officer in the Guyana Defence Force offer a distinct advantage over the ordinary mortal of this country or is being an officer or having been an officer now is a prerequisite for certain State appointments?”He pointed out that what the “pro-militaristic administration” has done by virtue of this practice, is to demonstrate its distrust for civilians who are qualified to perform such functions in contradistinction to military personnel. Also by moving in this direction, it seems Government has “outfoxed” the AFC by placing its military confederates in key and critical positions knowing that the AFC would be more inclined to nominate civilians to the said positions which the APNU has absolutely no interest in doing.“The PPP is of the view that the rise of the APNU+AFC sponsored police state will inexorably result in the decline of freedom in Guyanese. Under the PPP/C, Guyanese abided by the rule of law and successive PPP/C administrations were held accountable for their actions.He said since coming into office, APNU+AFC has caused the country to gradually evolve into a police state where justice has become one-sided, an urban middle-class bureaucratic elite runs the show, accountability and transparency is a mockery, the Guyana Police Force is gradually being transformed into an appendage of the military, surveillance of persons of interest (POI’s) is rampant, privacy is constantly being invaded and eroded, and the law is little more than a tool for the Granger administration to browbeat Guyanese into compliance.last_img read more

Professional Accountants expect B.C.’s economy to ease slightly next year

Professional Accountants expect B.C.’s economy to ease slightly next year

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – According to the Chartered Professional Accountants of B.C.’s annual economic report, provincial GDP growth is forecast to decline from 2.9 percent this year to 2.0 percent in 2018.While there were some bright spots in some of their economic indicators, the CPABC said that B.C. faces several challenges including trade and investment uncertainty, and the impact of the province’s worst-ever  wildfire season.“B.C.’s strong economy continued to attract residents last year, and the population expanded by almost 60,000 residents to reach 4.75 million. The majority of these new residents were either from other provinces or outside of Canada,” said Lori Mathison, president and CEO of CPABC. “Most of them settled in southern B.C., fuelling growth in the service sector. Population growth is expected to continue in that region and will increase housing demand. As a result, it is expected that the construction industry and other real estate related industries will remain busy in southern B.C. throughout the year and into 2018.”- Advertisement -In addition, the CPABC said that exports are expected to remain steady this year due to improving commodity prices and the minimal increase in value of the Canadian dollar. By the end of July this year, the value of B.C.’s exports was 20 percent higher than at the same time the previous year. The increase in value of exports was largely driven by increases in energy exports. However, the Professional Accountants added that exports to the U.S. may be impacted by American trade policy shifts. This year’s wildfires will also likely affect softwood exports.“Outside of the Lower Mainland the economic outlook is not as positive. We’ve just experienced the worst wildfire season on record in the province’s interior, and its economic impact will be felt for a long time,” continued Mathison. “In addition, Petronas’ withdrawal of the Pacific Northwest LNG project and the uncertainty surrounding Site C may influence future investment decisions for other major projects. That said, B.C.’s economy is still based on sound economics and the projected 2.9 per cent GDP growth rate will place it amongst one of the top performing provinces.”last_img read more

FIFA to reclaim millions of dollars from corrupt ex-officials

FIFA to reclaim millions of dollars from corrupt ex-officials

first_img Newly-elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino 1 FIFA plans to reclaim millions of dollars pocketed illegally by corrupt FIFA members and other football officials, newly-elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino has revealed.A US investigation exposed widespread corruption at the top of world football and FIFA estimates that, at a minimum, tens of millions of dollars were diverted from the sport illegally through bribery, kickbacks and corrupt schemes.FIFA submitted documents on Wednesday to the US authorities in an effort to reclaim tens of millions of dollars taken illegally by corrupt FIFA members and other football officialsPresident Infantino said in a statement: “The defendants diverted this money not just from FIFA but from players, coaches and fans worldwide who benefit from the programmes that FIFA runs to develop and promote football.”FIFA is claiming damages from 41 former FIFA officials from other football organisations indicted in the ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice.Former executives Jack Warner, a former FIFA vice-president, Chuck Blazer and Jeffrey Webb are among the defendants FIFA has said it will sue.FIFA says it is a “victimised institution” and has submitted a request for restitution to the US attorney’s office and the US probation office for the Eastern District of New York.“The convicted defendants abused the positions of trust they held at FIFA and other international football organisations and caused serious and lasting damage to FIFA, its member associations and the football community,” Infantino said.“The monies they pocketed belonged to global football and were meant for the development and promotion of the game.“FIFA as the world governing body of football wants that money back and we are determined to get it no matter how long it takes.“These dollars were meant to build football fields, not mansions and pools; to buy football kits, not jewellery and cars; and to fund youth player and coach development, not to underwrite lavish lifestyles for football and sports marketing executives.“When FIFA recovers this money, it will be directed back to its original purpose: for the benefit and development of international football.”last_img read more

500 yards total offense not enough

500 yards total offense not enough

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips It also didn’t help that the Heralds drew more than 100 yards in penalties. 10:00 a.m. More than 500 yards total offense ought to be enough to win a football game but not when the team’s defense is overmatched. Whittier Christian quarterback Phil Hughes and running back Esteban Camarillo combined for 427 yards of offense but it wasn’t enough as the Heralds dropped a 37-34 decision to visiting Los Angeles Baptist in their nonleague football game Friday. Hughes completed nine of 18 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Camarillo rushed 28 times for 210 yards and two touchdowns. “We just couldn’t stop them,” Heralds coach Jon Caffrey said. “They were bigger than us, and they were more physical than I expected. They had two big backs who ran all over us.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Uncle Sam looking for spies – no experience necessary

Uncle Sam looking for spies – no experience necessary

first_imgWASHINGTON – The CIA has scrapped its ho-hum test that steered job applicants toward mysterious careers and devised one that’s cloaked in jest. Invisibility or ESP? Jet pack or amphibious sports car? Walk the Great Wall of China or sip champagne at a New York gala? The results from the CIA’s personality quiz are just a few clicks away, diagnosing test takers as daring thrill-seekers, thoughtful observers, curious adventurers, innovative pioneers or impressive masterminds. The CIA wants to hire them all. “This is the youngest analytic work force in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency,” Director Michael Hayden said at his confirmation hearings this year. “In more disappointing language, this is the least experienced analytic work force in the history of CIA.” Out of the shadows The CIA had some stumbles as it stepped out of the shadows to recruit. The agency started in 2002 with black-and-white ads. Last year, the agency’s television ads during Washington Nationals baseball games were so quiet and unnoticeable that fans might have thought their cable went out for 30 seconds if they headed to the kitchen for a snack. Officials in charge of hiring realized they needed a new plan. They hired an ad agency, TMP Worldwide, to help. The “Bug Spot” was born. A snooping dragonfly zooms through the ad, showing how scientists at the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology develop their James Bond-esque devices – “technology so advanced, it’s classified,” the ad boasts. The ad debuted on the Discovery Channel. The agency got 3,500 resumes shortly afterward from people who said they were applying after seeing the spot. An ad for the National Clandestine Service, the agency’s secret operatives, followed soon after. CIA reaching out Now, the CIA is redoing its Web site. It is buying space on airport billboards and in movie trailers. It is taking out ads in publications from The Locksmith Ledger to Women’s Wear Daily to Arab Times, seeking people who can crack locks, create disguises and speak polished Arabic. It is reaching out to soon-to-be retired military officers. The CIA also created its updated personality quiz, with a special disclaimer straight from the legal department: “The Myths Quiz is for educational entertainment purposes only. … This quiz will not affect your ability to get a job with the CIA.” The lawyers are not the only ones who don’t take the quiz lightly. Some of the CIA’s traditionalists fear the agency is tarnishing its proud, exclusive roots to meet the presidential directive. They worry that the CIA quiz and its advertisements during “MythBusters” and other cable shows with cult followings are too gimmicky. In short, they worry that the agency is sacrificing quality to get quantity. Last year alone, the agency received 135,000 applications – a number that has more than doubled since Sept. 11, 2001. Tom McCluskey, the CIA’s chief of hiring and employee development, heard the concerns firsthand at a recent gathering of the Florida chapter of the agency’s retirees association. The new guard “Some of the old-timers grumbled, `Where’s the mystique? Where is the aura of mystery around what we do?”‘ McCluskey said in an interview. “The good news is that we are not seeking to hire those people.” Instead, he said, the CIA is after the generation that has grown up on the Web. “They were born with ear buds in their ears. They are ADD, and it is contagious,” he said, referring to attention deficit disorder. “We need that kind of talent here.” The CIA once did have a test that steered applicants to one of the agency’s three main divisions: the National Clandestine Service, the Directorate of Science and Technology or the Directorate of Intelligence. But officials scrapped it after figuring out that it was often wrong. A new test that could steer applicants to one of more than 200 jobs is now being devised for use during the screening process. But developing it is taking time. Meanwhile, Congress is watching the agency’s recruitment efforts. The incoming chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has said one of his priorities is investigating whether the CIA has the right people in the right jobs and ensuring the CIA has enough people who are fluent in crucial foreign languages. Even if Congress starts grilling the agency in public, odds are it could help. Generally speaking, said Betsy Davis, deputy chief of the CIA’s recruitment and advertising, “We see spikes in applicants after bad stories. We see spikes in applicants after good stories.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The agency’s online personality test is the equivalent of a help-wanted sign, posted on the closest thing the agency has to a front door – its Web site. The frivolous quiz is designed to encourage job applications while dispelling myths about the agency, some of them born of the James Bond stereotype. For instance, the CIA wants you to know that everyone who works there does not drive a sports car with machine guns in the tailpipes. Successful applicants will, in fact, see their family and friends again. Also, “you don’t have to know karate or look good in a tuxedo to work at the CIA,” the personality quiz says. All fun aside, the hiring push began almost immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and picked up steam in November 2004 when President George W. Bush called for a 50 percent increase in the agency’s ranks of operatives and analysts. The president wanted twice as many scientists whose research combats terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The agency hopes to meet those goals by 2011. One in seven of CIA’s current employees joined the agency in the past year, and nearly 40 percent of its employees began working at the agency after the Sept. 11 attacks – statistics at once helpful and troubling. last_img
South Africa’s fuel cell potential

South Africa’s fuel cell potential

first_img23 January 2006South Africa, the world’s leading producer of gold and platinum, is becoming an important testing ground for fuel cells, an alternative technology that promises cleaner, more efficient energy.International companies such as the UK’s Intelligent Energy and the US’s Power Plug are bringing cutting-edge fuel cell technology to South Africa’s rural areas.A fuel cell is similar to a battery in that it produces electricity in an electrochemical reaction. Unlike a battery, a fuel cell uses external reactants, typically oxygen and hydrogen, as fuel for the reaction. The reaction products flow out of the cell.This means fuel cells are more stable and can be run for longer continuous periods than batteries. They are also more efficient than combustion engines.A fuel cell would generally be used only for back-up purposes. If the regular power supply from the national grid were interrupted, the fuel cell would kick in to provide electricity until the regular supply could be restored. Such backup can be critical for clinics and hospitals, but also for banks, telecommunications and other users of information technology infrastructure.Technology pioneerIntelligent Energy, a UK-based company, have installed a fuel cell at clinic outside Bisho in the Eastern Cape, and a larger installation incorporating solar panels at Mkuze in KwaZulu-Natal.The Mkuze installation uses fuel cells, batteries, solar power and liquid petroleum gas to provide a complete energy solution for a community of thousands. The fuel cells are the back-up energy supply for computers that control the other energy sources.“We’re doing it as a showcase,” South African manager Sakib Khan told Business Report.Intelligent Energy have received numerous accolades for their work in this field. They were named by the World Economic Forum as a technology pioneer for 2006, and Time magazine called their ENV bike, a completely silent fuel cell-powered motorbike, one of “the most amazing inventions of 2005.”CatalystsAnother company at the forefront of fuel cell production, US-based Plug Power has installed two fuel cells at Koeberg, South Africa’s only nuclear power plant, in the Western Cape.Cellular company Vodacom is also using Plug Power fuel cells as a back-up power supply for cellphone masts in Shoshanguve in Gauteng, replacing noisy diesel generators.South Africa is an ideal site for the first tests of fuel cell systems as the country is one of the world’s leading producers of both platinum and gold, two metals that are essential to the hydrogen economy. These metals are used as catalysts within the fuel cell.“The one thing that’s slowing down development is the cost,” said Khan, “because platinum is so expensive.”“There’s a lot of research going into getting an alternative to platinum, such as gold.”SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

World Cup: 500 days and counting

World Cup: 500 days and counting

first_img26 January 2008The world is watching in anticipation as stadiums go up, roads and highways are built or upgraded, and a country once faced with overwhelming odds draws closer to hosting the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet.In exactly 500 days, about three billion eyes will watch in anticipation as the coveted event touches down in Africa for the first time in history.While such a spectacle will always draw its sceptics and share of pessimists, it is the responsibility of the public, private and business sectors, as well as the public at large, to cast aside blanket views of failure for the country.One of the most positive spin-offs for the country will be the massive influx of foreigners destined for South Africa’s sunny shores, and the investment they will bring with them.Among those industries set to boom in a massive way over at least the next five years are the hotel, tourism, transport, restaurant and catering industries and, of course, what is referred to as South Africa’s “second economy” – small-scale entrepreneurs and artisans.South Africa’s challenges include ensuring that public transport is efficient, that tourists and South Africans are safe – and that World Cup matches kick off without hindrance.Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chief Executive Officer Danny Jordaan maintains that preparations are coming along well, with the stadiums between 60% and 90% complete already.The government’s 2010 unit said on Sunday that Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban is sitting at 69% complete, Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane at 55% complete, Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg at 64% complete and Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium at 38% complete.Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium is currently about 61% complete, with Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Stadium slightly further along at 70% completion.Airport infrastructure, another vital part of ensuring a smooth and co-ordinated event, is also up to speed, with upgrades taking place at OR Tambo International, Cape Town and Durban International Airports as well as the building of La Mercy Airport.The South African government has made more than R31-billion available to support preparations for the tournament, and these funds are being spent to deliver on the 17 guarantees the government made to Fifa.Jordaan said the World Cup alone would create about 450 000 jobs, helping to alleviate poverty and stimulate the local economy at a time when much of the developed world heads into economic recession.The government’s 2010 unit reports that the Department of Minerals and Energy has allocated more than R136-million to the nine host cities for upgrading their electricity networks.“All upgrades will be completed in the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup host cities and other 2010 Fifa World Cup host cities by April/May 2009,” the unit says.As a Fifa requirement, all stadiums being used during the World Cup have to run primarily off generators, with grid electricity as a secondary power source. All generators will arrive February 2009 and be installed and commissioned by March.Accommodation and the number of available rooms, as specified by Fifa-appointed hospitality and accommodation company MATCH, is a concern to the organisers, but plans are in place and thousands of non-hotel rooms are being graded for the World Cup.“To date, more than 4 673 non-hotel rooms and 25 602 hotel rooms have been signed up, and the grading process continues,” the government reports. “Base camp hotels have now been identified by MATCH and are waiting final approval from Fifa.”Although South Africa is only 500 days from hosting the most watched sporting event on the planet, the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, featuring the six continental giants, the current world champions and the World Cup host nation, is a mere four and a half months away, with palpable excitement growing.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Trade conditions in positive territory

Trade conditions in positive territory

first_img15 December 2011Trade conditions moved into positive territory in November, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) reports, driven by high volumes of business-to-business trade ahead of the festive season.“The Sacci Trade Conditions Survey for November 2011 indicates that trade conditions moved into positive territory as the trade activity index (TAI) that measures present trade conditions, improved by three points to 53 in November,” the chamber said in its monthly release on Wednesday.In September, Sacci said overall trade conditions had been in negative territory since April.The seasonally adjusted TAI was at 49 points, increasing by one point from 48 in October. The seasonally adjusted TAI also stood at 53 in November 2010.“Although retail sales usually have the highest sales volumes in December, the TAI has its heightened activity in November, reflecting high volumes of business-to-business trade before year end,” Sacci said.In November, the sales volumes index improved to 60 from 52 after increasing by three points in October, while the inventory index came down by four points in November given the increased sales in November.While all the other components of trade activity increased, the employment index declined by two points to 46 in November.According to the survey, expectations in the trade environment declined by two points, with the Trade Expectations Index (TEI) measuring 53 in November. However, the TEI remains five points below the 58 of November last year.Trade outlookMeanwhile, the outlook for sales, new orders, employment and supplies for the next six months was slightly lower than in October. Expected weaker demand caused the backlog on orders index to decline.The current sales price index decreased marginally by one point to 60, while the input price index decreased by five index points to 69 in November 2011. Sacci said this was surprising given the sharp increase in producer inflation and other cost increases.The six-month outlook for sales prices continued to increase to 71 from 70 in October 2011 while expectations for input prices rose by two points in November, which is 13 points above the most recent low of 66 in July 2011.“Inflationary pressures will become more widespread as the prices of basic inputs such as fuel, public utility services and labour costs enter the general price level. The weaker rand appears to be settling around R8 to the US dollar and will unfavourably impact cost structures and domestic inflation.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Brightkite Integrates with Facebook

Brightkite Integrates with Facebook

first_imgBrightkite promises this is only the beginning and that’s there’s more in store in terms of Brightkite/Facebook integration. We imagine that means they’ll soon allow us to bring our Facebook friend list into Brightkite and vice versa. The power of this integration is precisely why Facebook Connect is rapidly being adopted by web sites across the internet. That, and the fact that regular internet users immediately understand what “Connect with Facebook” means. Unfortunately, “Login with your OpenID” still has them scratching their heads. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts Do you want your Facebook friends to know where you are and what you’re doing at all times? That’s now possible thanks to mobile social network Brightkite and its recent integration with Facebook. Through the addition of Facebook Connect, which is quickly proving itself to be more than just a simple way to log into web sites, Brightkite users can automate publishing their location to Facebook. Last night, Brightkite announced their integration with Facebook Connect was now official. As you update your Brightkite status – something that can be done from any phone either via SMS or with a mobile application – that information is immediately sent to Facebook as well. Brightkite users can choose to have their Facebook status updated and/or publish their location, notes, and photos directly into their Facebook News Feed. To turn this new feature on, do the following:On Brightkite visit your Account Settings, click on the Sharing tab. Authorize Facebook by clicking the link next to all 3 steps. Choose your Facebook cross-posting options and click save. Tags:#Facebook#NYT#Product Reviews#web sarah perez A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Web Services: What Will the Next State of Distributed Computing Be?

Web Services: What Will the Next State of Distributed Computing Be?

first_imgDistributed Computing.  The ability for machines and applications to intercommunicate with each other.Early web service technologies included RPC (Remote Procedure Call), CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) and Microsoft DCOM (Distributed COM).CORBA, in particular, mainly because it was designed by committee, is incredibly complex and difficult to use. CORBA made external calls look like local calls and developers often weren’t defensive enough in their programming to factor in parameters like network reliability, latency and bandwidth, which led to performance issues.  CORBA methods were often very granular and required many back and forth communications, further impacting performance.For many applications, lighter-weight solutions like SOAP web services became a better option. XML data exchange simplified and standardized communication between systems and application programming languages.  But ultimately the size of the XML payloads and the complexity when dealing with things like security led people to look for more streamlined options.REST (Representational State Transfer) web services is an architectural style that offers a simpler approach to remote communication.  JSON payloads are typically used which provides for a more concise packet of information to process.  Over the last ten years, REST Web Services have been well accepted and become the defacto method used by businesses to expose their web service APIs.What’s after REST?  Some people say it’s GraphQL.  By using queries as part of the request, GraphQL allows the data to included in the response to be more precisely pinpointed.  This reduces the number of back-and-forth requests and shrinks the size of the data packets transmitted.  While the approach adds value, it is not significantly different than REST.Tim Bray, one of the original designers of XML, noted limitations that users of REST web services still need to contend with.  Bray notes that pain points include latency and difficulty in orchestrating many remote calls.Bray said that “It seems in­evitable to me that, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the world of high-throughput high-elasticity cloud-native app­s, we’re go­ing to see a steady in­crease in re­liance on per­sis­tent con­nec­tion­s, or­ches­tra­tion, and message/event-based log­ic. If you’re not us­ing that stuff al­ready, now would be a good time to start learn­ing.”last_img read more