Unit will undercut DPP, GPF to entrench political witch-hunt – PPP/C Chief Whip

first_imgGovt’s proposed ‘Special Prosecutions Unit’The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira has condemned the proposed move by Government, through its spokesperson, Raphael Trotman, to establish a “Special Prosecutions Unit” with particular emphasis on forensic audits. Trotman, who is also Minister of Natural Resources, had outlined that Government was considering setting up this body separately from the already established Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), all of which are vested with the powers to prosecute.According to Trotman at a press briefing on Thursday: “Cabinet is overwhelmed at the scale of the (forensic audits) findings… this brings back the issue of special prosecutors because the Police Force, SOCU, and even the DPP Chambers are overwhelmed and lack certain capacities to address all of these.”In this regard, Trotman disclosed that Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan was tasked with holding discussions with Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Basil Williams, on the feasibility of a Special Prosecutor’s Office since the service of more than one counsel may be required in some of the matters. He noted that Cabinet is expected to get a feedback from Ramjattan within the next fortnight.However according to Teixeira, this recent contention by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Government, to set up a separate prosecuting unit for forensic audits, not only undermines the Rule of Law, but is also institutionalising the witch-hunt of political opponents.She outlined: “The Constitution by Article 187 confers the powers of prosecution in criminal proceedings on the constitutional Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. This new action is a departure from the existing functional and professional system of prosecutions. The proposal to create a Special Prosecutions Unit cannot be seen as anything else but further than the institutionalisation of another attempt to witch-hunt political opponents.”The Opposition Chief Whip noted in a released statement that the Coalition’s intention to undercut the already established prosecuting bodies (GPF & DPP) is because they have “no faith” in them. “Were the Government to go through the DPP and the Guyana Police Force, both professional bodies, governed by the Constitution and statute, they would be expected to abide by a level of professionalism and follow specific guidelines and acts based on evidence.”According to Teixeira: “This new Special Prosecutions Unit is intended to bypass these bodies and create a separate and parallel prosecutions arm, supported by the SARU [State Assets Recovery Unit] and SOCU under the total control of the political elite in the Ministry of the Presidency. The rationale for such a radical departure from the existing constitutional and legal provisions can only by interpreted as one designed to target and witch-hunt the parliamentary opposition and political opponents.”What is also significant Teixeira remarked, “is that this is coming on the heels of an admission by President David Granger that the audits themselves did not turn up “sufficient evidence” to bring criminal charges against former government officials. Yet, according to Minister Trotman, this is exactly what this proposed Special Prosecutions Unit will be investigating and leading prosecutions on these forensic audits.”“This announcement follows ominously on the statement by Minister Jaipaul Sharma that Cabinet will be deciding on who will be charged with criminal offences based on these forensic audits. The same audits which were carried out by select political supporters of the APNU/AFC government,” the Opposition MP declared.last_img read more

How is Garoppolo handling the ‘little things’ that went wrong?

first_imgYOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Complications arose one game into Jimmy Garoppolo’s strive for a perfect comeback.Oh, his rebuilt knee is fine, aside from minor swelling he blamed more so on the 49ers’ flights than Sunday’s actual game in Tampa.In that season debut, more passes than normal veered off target. He acknowledged so Wednesday and didn’t sound rattled by an imperfect return to NFL quarterbacking.“Those are physical mistakes,” Garoppolo said. “There’s nothing mental about it. Little things. …last_img

South Africa tots up population wins

first_img24 July 2015Just over a week ago, on 14 July, UNAids released its report, How Aids Has Changed Everything – Meeting the MDG Targets.It said the world had met and exceeded the Aids targets of Millennium Development Goal Six, and was on track to end the Aids epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Among other nations, it spoke of South Africa as one of the countries that had made significant strides in halting and reversing the epidemic.Yesterday, Statistics South Africa added its research to the story. About one in 10 South Africans was living with HIV, it said in its mid-year population estimates report, published on 23 July.Speaking at its release in Pretoria, statistician-general Pali Lehohla said 6.19 million South Africans were living with the disease, out of an estimated total population of 54.95 million people, or 11.2%.The number of South Africans infected with HIV had increased by 2.17 million since 2002, when 4.02 million South Africans were HIV-positive. However, he said, infections were declining, with the incidence rate among people between the ages of 15 and 49 waning.A reduction of infections in people aged between 15 and 24 bore this out: in 2002, 6.75% of this group was infected with HIV, dropping to 5.59% in 2015.In addition, there had been a gradual drop in Aids-related deaths since 2002. In its mid-year report, Stats SA estimated that 531 965 people had died, with 162 445 of those being Aids-related, or 30.5%. In 2002, 44.6% of all deaths were Aids-related; this figure peaked in 2005 at 50.7%.Saved by treatmentUNAids said that the goal of 15 million people on life-saving HIV treatment by 2015 had been met nine months ahead of schedule. In 2014, the report showed that 83 countries, which accounted for 83% of all people living with HIV, had halted or reversed their epidemics, including countries with major epidemics, such as South Africa, India, Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.“Countries that rapidly mounted robust responses to their epidemics saw impressive results. South Africa turned around its decline in life expectancy within 10 years, rising from 51 years in 2005 to 61 by the end of 2014, on the back of a massive increase in access to antiretroviral therapy,” UNAids said.“South Africa has the largest HIV treatment programme in the world, with more than 3.1 million people on antiretroviral therapy, funded almost entirely from domestic sources. In the last five years alone, AIDS-related deaths have declined by 58% in South Africa.”Life expectancy lengthensStats SA also looked at life expectancy. “We need to look at what progress is being achieved in demographics,” Lehohla said. “Life expectancy is increasing. That is the biggest demographic gain the world observes.”In Africa, life expectancy had increased by 20 years since the 1950s. In South Africa, average life expectancy in 2015 was 62.5 years, up 9.1 years since 2004. The average life expectancy for a South African male was 60.6 years, for a female it was 64.2 years.The increase in average life expectancy was matched by a drop in both the infant mortality rate and the children-under-five mortality rate. In 2002, the infant mortality rate was 51.2 babies per 1 000 live births; it peaked at 52 babies per 1 000 live births. In 2015, this number had dropped to 34.4 deaths per 1 000 live births.Similarly, in 2002, there were 77.2 deaths per 1 000 children among those under five, peaking at 79.1 in 2005. In 2015, this figure has dropped significantly to 45.1 deaths per 1 000 children.Meanwhile, Lehohla said, on average, South African women were having 2.55 children each since 2011, a drop from 2.79 in 2002. While Gauteng had the lowest birth rate in South Africa, it was the country’s most populated province, with 13.2 million people – 24% of the country’s total population.Turning to population, Stats SA said the country’s population had grown 1.65% from 2014 to 2015, compared with 1.28% from 2002 to 2003. The natural rate of the increase was 1.3% in 2015, with the remainder being made up by migration.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Ohio Supreme Court resolves grain bin taxation issue

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Grain bins are “business fixtures” that are personal property not subject to real property tax, according to a decision issued today by the Ohio Supreme Court.The court case arose when the Metamora Elevator Company challenged the Fulton County auditor’s inclusion of grain storage bins in the company’s real property valuation. Metamora filed complaints with the county Board of Revision, arguing that the grain bins are business fixtures that should not be included in the company’s real property assessment. The Board of Revision disagreed with Metamora and the company appealed to the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA).The Fulton County BTA ruled in favor of the company, determining that grains bins are personal property and should not be taxed as real property. The BTA reduced Metamora’s real property value by nearly $1.1 million, the value of the grain bins. Fulton County requested a review of the BTA decision by the Ohio Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. The issue before the Court was whether the grain bins are “fixtures” or “improvements” that are subject to real property tax or whether they are not subject to real property tax because they are “business fixtures” that qualify as personal property. Ohio Supreme Court’s reasoningIn its decision authored by Justice O’Donnell, the Supreme Court explained that the legislature amended the Ohio Revised Code in 1992 to clarify the historically “elusive” distinction between real and personal property in Ohio. The court stated that the changes expressed a clear intent to identify fixtures as real property while defining business fixtures as personal property, according to two of th revised sections of Ohio law:ORC 5701.02(A), which states that “real property” includes “land itself * * * and, unless otherwise specified in this section or section 5701.03 of the Revised Code, all buildings, structures, improvements, and fixtures of whatever kind on the land.”ORC 5701.03(B), which defines “business fixture” as “an item of tangible personal property that has become permanently attached or affixed to the land or to a building, structure, or improvement, and that primarily benefits the business conducted by the occupant on the premises and not the realty. Business fixture includes, but is not limited to, machinery, equipment, signs, storage bins and tanks, whether above or below ground, and broadcasting, transportation, transmission, and distribution systems, whether above or below ground.“Our analysis need go no further than to apply the expressed intent of the General Assembly to the undisputed facts of this case,” said the Court, and concluded that the legislature clearly intended for the term “business fixture” to include storage bins, and therefore to define storage bins as personal property not subject to real property tax.The Court rejected the two arguments advanced by the county, that property classification cases depend upon what constitutes an “improvement” under the Ohio Constitution and that it would be unconstitutional for the legislature to classify constitutional “improvements” such as fixtures or structures as personal property simply because the fixtures might be used in business. Because the grain bins related more to the personal business than to the land, based on the definition of “business fixture” in ORC 5701.03, the Court saw no conflict between the personal property classification and the Ohio Constitution. Implications for agricultureFulton County may not be the only county that classifies grain bins as real property for tax purposes. Landowners who own grain bins should review their property tax records and determine whether the real property value includes the value of grain bins located on the parcel. If the property tax does incorporate grain bin values, consult with the county auditor to discuss the situation. Ohio law allows a county auditor to correct “clerical errors” made in the collection of real property taxes, although there is a question of whether inclusion of grain bins in the real property value constitutes a clerical error. Ohio law also provides remedies for taxpayers who have overpaid taxes; landowners should consult with a tax attorney for guidance on these remedies. Note that filing a complaint with the Board of Revision is not an option, as March 30 was the deadline for filing complaints for the current tax year.last_img read more

Trade and technology important in ag discussions

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In December, National Corn Growers Association’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team met in St. Louis to review the organization’s policy in their area of expertise, discuss progress on several ongoing programs and hear from industry representatives about upcoming challenges and opportunities.Looking at a variety of issues, including how to best support agricultural exports, stress the importance of respecting refuge requirements and facilitate successful communication across the value-chain on their issues, the team will use their in-depth knowledge of the subject matter to develop the nuanced, strategic suggestions needed to help the Corn Board guide NCGA policy effectively.“It can begin to feel like farmer leaders spend a large amount of time participating in meetings for a variety of agricultural groups during the winter months,” said John Linder, Team Chair, a farmer from Ohio. “Yet, as I have become increasingly involved, I have come to deeply appreciate the breadth and scope of the myriad issues facing farmers today. By developing teams with specialization in major areas of opportunity and taking the time to analyze the issues in a critical, thorough manner, we are able to most effectively provide input on how, in our area, the Corn Board can shape NCGA policy and, subsequently, maximize the effectiveness of farmer-funded market development and production activities.”The meeting, held in conjunction with meetings for the other five action teams and committees, allowed the growers to dig into the specific policies listed in the portion of the strategic plan corresponding with their team’s focus area. Carefully debating the implications of any proposed changes, team members worked diligently to carefully craft a precise, well-constructed document for presentation to the Corn Board and, eventually, Corn Congress.“Through these discussions, we develop a solid appreciation for the importance of the exact connotation of each word used, and of those not used, in our strategic plan,” Linder said. “Examining the future of the industry, the scope of NCGA’s role in it and the potential pitfalls of seemingly benign statements leads us to policy recommendations that play a vital role in determining how the organization will proceed on our behalf.”The team also delved into a variety of areas certain to impact the future of corn farming through presentations from and discussions with leadership from agriculture. Through these discussions, the farmers gained up-to-the-minute information that they will scrutinize and, as events unfold, incorporate into future recommendations.In addition to Linder, from Morrow County, Jon Miller from Fairfield County also represents Ohio on the team.last_img read more

Thank you, good bye!

first_imgChurch, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Rachel Ann Daquis. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWith her lean 5-foot-10 frame, flawless skin and winsome smile, Rachel Anne Daquis easily catches everyone’s attention. The highly popular open spiker for Cignal in the Philippine Superliga also happens to be a force on the hard court.A champion many times over with Far Eastern University in the UAAP, as well as with Philippine Army and Petron in volleyball’s commercial leagues, Daquis won the Most Valuable Player award in the 2015 PSL All Filipino Cup, which the Blaze Spikers won via 13-0 sweep.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments Yet, instead of moping, she stepped down from the national team and said she would take a “specialized training course” abroad to help her earn credentials as a future fitness guru.“It was a very difficult decision for me because I have always aspired to represent our country,” Daquis said in a statement. “I am very grateful that you (national coaches) have considered me to be included in the team lineup. But I feel that there are other more capable candidates who can contribute more effectively to the team given the other priorities in my life that I must consider.”That’s Daquis gracefully telling them: If you’re not giving me my rightful place in the grand ball, I’m skipping the party altogether.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’center_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Keeping up with Kobe That may explain the uproar in social media when she was relegated to the reserve list of the Philippine team that will see action in the Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Seniors tournament next month. After all, to paraphrase a classic line from the movie “Dirty Dancing,” “nobody puts Rachel in a corner.”For years, the 29-year-old Daquis painstakingly earned the tag “Face of Philippine volleyball.” During the Singapore SEA Games two years ago, giant posters bearing her image—she was an endorser for a top sports manufacturing company— adorned big malls around the Lion City’s OCBC Arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsDaquis has represented the country in international tournaments since 2011 and was part of the pioneering PSL-Manila squad that played in the FIVB World Clubs Championships in 2016.Fast-forward to last May’s AVC Asian Club Championship in Kazakhstan, where Daquis served as team captain of Philippine representative Rebisco-PSL and played the part well. She was on top of everything, from the team’s airport check-ins, to the daily bus rides, to the team bull sessions. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes MOST READ Over breakfast at Shiny River Hotel in Ust-Kamenogorsk, head coach Francis Vicente, worried sick by the bashing the national team was receiving in social media, tried to lighten the mood of the girls. After five matches in five days the team still could not buy a win against stronger clubs.“Hey, girls, have you said hello to your bashers this morning?” Vicente asked his players.Daquis offered a reply for the team in Filipino: “No coach. We have stopped checking [our social media accounts]. All we know is that we’re all very pretty!”Her remark brought the house down and conveyed the correct attitude the team, including Vicente himself, took to ward off online critics.So after Daquis was unceremoniously cut from the national team’s final roster by the coaching staff, supposedly in favor of younger and stronger open hitters, the news stunned her legions of fans, probably more than Daquis herself.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Character win

first_img‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Rondina scored a team-high 20 points for the Tigresses with Laure and Alessandrini chipping in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.Meanwhile, University of the Philippines defeated Far Eastern for the first time in five years after scoring a 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 25-20 decision in the second game.The last time the Lady Maroons won against the Lady Tamaraws was on Feb. 9, 2014, when Kathy Bersola, Nicole Tiamzon, and Pia Gaiser were still with the team.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Azkals bow out after blowout loss LATEST STORIES PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war “My players had the resiliency to recover from that loss [to La Salle] because they were the ones who wanted to immediately bounce back,” coach Oliver Almadro said in Filipino.The win gave the Lady Eagles a 1-1 card, tied with their victims, and Almadro hopes that an outing as tough as this one would spur his wards to a “bright future.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesDespite holding on to the lead for most of the fourth set, the Lady Eagles didn’t have total control over UST with the Tigresses refusing to just roll over and die.“They believed they could win today,” he added. “Hopefully this [win] would be a stepping stone for a bright future.” Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWilling themselves to get back on track, the Ateneo Lady Eagles on Wednesday withstood a tenacious stand by University of Santo Tomas to pull off a 25-21, 25-18, 16-25, 25-22 triumph in Season 81 of the UAAP Women’s volleyball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre.It was a great bounce back by the the Lady Eagles, who came into the contest still licking the wounds of a sorry four-set loss to bitter rival La Salle on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostingcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Ateneo held a 23-18 lead after Eya Laure’s error for UST, but what seemed like a comfortable buffer heading into the stretch almost disappeared as quickly.The Tigresses strung up three points off attacks and crept within 22-23 after a Jules Samonte error for the Lady Eagles.Kat Tolentino, however, came up in the clutch and shoved Ateneo to triple match point with a booming kill that bounced off Cherry Rondina’s reception.Milena Alessandrini then sealed the Tigresses’ fate when her down the line kill went out of bounds.Tolentino paced Ateneo’s offense with 22 points, while Maddie Madayag had 15.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11Bato has high regard for PNP chief’s character, willing to “bet his neck” for him00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausslast_img read more