Pharmagate…as Cabinet now gives seal of approval to corruption,cronyism – PPP/C Chief WhipThe Sussex Street ‘house bond’ deal, which sees Larry Singh’s Linden Holding Inc being paid $12.5 million monthly for the storage of drugs and medical supplies, “stinks to high heavens” and demonstrates that the current Administration is incapable of doing the right thing and immediately terminate the contract. This, despite the “platitudes” being offered by Head of State, President David Granger, on the virtues of transparency and accountability by his Administration.Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira addressing members of the media at Freedom House on FridayOpposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira made that damning pronouncement on Friday when she met with members of the local media corps, and said that the official pronouncements made by the Director of Public Information, Imran Khan, only serve to reinforce the view that Cabinet was essentially now involved in the endorsement of, and cover-up of a corrupt transaction.The Opposition Chief Whip was at the time speaking to topical issues and reminded that People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) would be exploring all of the parliamentary options available to it.Further embarrassmentTeixeira said from all appearances, Government now appeared incapable of doing what was the right and honourable thing, and suggested that Singh of Linden Holding Inc should, in fact, step up and rescind the contract entered into with Government to save the Administration from further embarrassment.She said the masterminds behind the affair had in fact prepared a watertight contract that would have to be resolved, “either by a gentleman’s agreement and if the gentleman who has been the beneficiary of such largesse of the Government is willing to not further embarrass the Government he has supported, he should withdraw and let the contract be terminated…if they don’t wish to do that, then they are obviously trying to broker something”.Teixeira told media operatives that based on the official pronouncement coming out of Cabinet, the entire sordid affair was clearly a repayment ploy for Singh.She said too that even more worrying signs have been signalled by Cabinet following its review of the Cabinet Sub-Committee recommendations, and pointed to the fact that Cabinet has decided to expedite the process of securing a new bond.This, she said, will no doubt lead to another rush to sole source another facility and “will be a repeat of the original contract”.UnacceptableCabinet, through the Government’s Director of Public Information, on Thursday announced that the council of ministers chaired by President Granger, had completed its review of the entire affair and has agreed to go ahead and look for another facility.Cabinet had found the deal to be “undesirable”, but nonetheless did not terminate the contract.Teixeira suggested that throughout her political career, including serving in various ministerial and other capacities, she has never seen such an ironclad arrangement, which has essentially bound Government into a 12-year arrangement at an annual cost of in excess of $150 million.Government not only fronted a security deposit of $25 million for the facility, but agreed to pay a monthly rental of $12.5 million in addition to all utility, security and other charges.“This is unacceptable,” Teixeira said, and reminded that “justice isn’t always there when you want it, but it comes out and the more this Government refuse to do what is correct and that is to terminate the contract.”The Opposition Chief Whip said Governments were expected to do what was honourable.She noted that Singh would always have the option to move to the courts, “but the issue is that this matter stinks to high heavens and, therefore, there is only one recourse”.Teixeira was adamant that President Granger has a responsibility to terminate the contract with Linden Holding Inc.Parliamentary optionsMeanwhile, asked about the approach of the political Opposition in face of the Cabinet decision on the drug bond brouhaha, Teixeira said her Party was currently still aiming to have Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton placed before the Committee of Privileges.She pointed, too, to the fact that her Party could very well be open to bringing a motion to debate the entire sordid affair in the full Assembly, in addition to resorting to the use of the various sectoral committees.Asked about extra-parliamentary options, the Opposition Chief Whip was reluctant to divulge how the Party would approach this, saying “we will see”.Teixeira used the opportunity to also remind the media operatives present that the Party was still to see an official apology that had been promised by Minister Norton, to be submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland.She said this was the position of her Party despite the recent appearance by Dr Norton to publicly offer an apology, an activity Teixeira dismissed as “quite hilarious”.
Potential closure of Uitvlugt EstateIn light of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) touting the possible closure of the Uitvlugt Estate over the fact that workers from Wales are refusing to work at the West Coast Demerara facility, sugar workers are being asked to remain vigilant.This call was made by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo at a press conference earlier this week.Government had merged the operations of the two West Demerara estates afterOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeoclosing the Wales Estate last year. It had noted that the Uitvlugt Estate is being upgraded to increase its production from 20,000 to 40,000 tonnes of sugar annually, which will demand more labour. In this regard, some 374 of the Wales workers were to be transferred to Uitvlugt but they have refused the employment offer, saying that it is unreasonable for them to travel some 22 miles to the West Coast Demerara facility.In light of this situation, the sugar corporation said in a statement a few days ago that it may have to consider closing the Uitvulgt Estate if the nearly 400 Wales harvesters and cane transporters continue to withhold support from the Uitvlugt Improvement Programme.However, this disclosure comes as a departure from what the National Assembly was told earlier this month by Agriculture Minister Noel Holder when he presented the White Paper on the future of the sugar industry. The Minister had said that only the Rose Hall and Enmore Estates would be closed by year end, Skeldon will be divested.According to Jagdeo, the ink on the White Paper has not even dried properly and there is now a new move to close another estate. “This betrays the thinking in some circles in the Government, and they don’t understand that they are not only putting sugar at risk, but our country at risk and its wellbeing,” he said.SeveranceIn their refusal of the transfer, the workers were requesting severance pay, and have been staging protest actions to get the Government and the sugar corporation to pay. GuySuCo has refused to make the payment, contending that the workers would be entitled to severance pay only if their services are terminated. The company further insists that the workers are not being transferred but will remain on the Wales payroll.But former President Jagdeo pointed out that the law stipulates that if the transfer is more than 10 miles, then the workers have the right to refuse. In this regard, he posited that Government should pay the workers their severance, as was done by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration.In fact, the Opposition Leader noted that Government can easily pay the workers their termination benefits and then re-employ them on a new contract.White PaperMoreover, turning his attention to the White Paper, which was dubbed ‘State Paper on the Future of Sugar Industry’, Jagdeo asserted that the document is hopelessly ill-conceived, misconceived, and does not address the future of the industry or the critical concerns of workers — such as diversification into what, and how to ensure that there is no loss of welfare.The Opposition Leader went on to outline that the document is not GuySuCo’s White Paper but a Government of Guyana White Paper. He said this to highlight that GuySuCo is more concerned about profitability as a company, and he opined that Government has to be the one concerned about people’s livelihoods.“There is a big difference between a government’s white paper and a profit and loss statement by a company making decision. So the Government has failed on those standards — on tabling this White Paper and not addressing those critical issues,” he stated.Against this backdrop, Jagdeo is urging the public that everyone in the community – man, woman and children – must all come out to show the Coalition Government their displeasure at what they are doing to destroy their livelihoods.“As people have done in Georgetown with the parking meter, across race and across politics; as people have done with the VAT on education — they have come out and showed their displeasure, and (done) so peacefully and in large numbers. That’s what I’ve said at all my community meetings, and I hope people continue to do this in the sugar belt,” he noted. The Opposition Leader further posited that this Government pretends to be saving the industry and sugar workers, when in fact it has taken away 10,000 jobs from the workers.
Perhaps most frustrating, especially to supporters of Measure D in November 2001, the Carson community still has little direct say in school management, curriculum or funding. Those are among the reasons two groups next fall plan to open charter high schools, which give them more autonomy than traditional schools. “I certainly think the citizens of Carson missed an opportunity to create their school district and determine the quality of their education,” said Carolyn Harris, the measure’s chief proponent. “Carson missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Some parents agree. Gayle Konig, a parent who supported Measure D, said she felt so strongly about keeping her children out of Carson schools that she only applied for jobs in Torrance, where she could enroll them under special permits. “We had kids going to Torrance schools because the schools are so bad (in Carson),” Konig said. “That seems to be the biggest problem with LAUSD, they don’t want to think about the kids first.” Both of her boys graduated from Torrance High School. Konig said “the power of the union” thwarted Measure D just as it has thwarted other attempts at reform. Indeed, United Teachers Los Angeles outspent initiative backers 25 to 1 to defeat Measure D, which would have pulled 21,000 students into the new district. In mobilizing its members, along with police and other local unions, UTLA claimed a new district in Carson would imperil salaries and benefits because it would not be bound by the union contract with Los Angeles Unified once it expired. UTLA President A.J. Duffy, then a Westside area union chair and Palms Middle School teacher, acknowledges he played an active role in defeating the measure with former UTLA President Day Higuchi. “There were a couple of reasons why we opposed the breakup, which really had nothing to do with the efficiency or lack of efficiency of the schools,” Duffy said. “For Carson, the breakaway to us meant more bureaucracy, not less bureaucracy.” Mike Mitoma, the former Carson mayor who launched the breakaway move with Harris, bristles at that notion. The plan, he said, was to set up a small district office with “no fancy buildings.” Mitoma said little has changed since 2001. Test scores have risen slowly in sixth through 12th grades, while elementary schools improved more steadily. In 2001, only one of 12 elementary schools scored above 700 on the state’s 200-to-1,000 performance index. Today, only one school is below that mark at 699. However, none of the three middle schools or Carson High met that bar. In addition, Mitoma said, the dropout rate is worsening. For the Class of 2001, 63 percent of the 853 students who started their freshman year at Carson High made it to 12th grade. In 2006, the percentage was only 47 percent. Overcrowding also has persisted at Carson High, from an average of 28.2 students per class in 2000-01 to 31.5 students in 2005-06. Former school board member Mike Lansing said that’s all about to change. The LAUSD is using millions of dollars in bond revenue to pay for upgrades to Carson schools, from new technology already in the classrooms to the new high school planned for Carson students on Long Beach land. None of that would have been possible had Carson seceded, he said. “This new high school wouldn’t have been built and they wouldn’t have gotten the modernization projects that are planned for the next six, seven years,” Lansing said. Breakaway supporters, however, say a Carson Unified School District would have received state per-pupil funds, property tax revenue and local fees charged to developers to offset the crowding brought by families in new housing developments. With a wave of development planned for Carson in 2001, Mitoma anticipated millions of dollars in developer fees that instead were sent to district headquarters. Then, as now, local communities say not enough of the LAUSD resources filter down to school sites. Superintendent David Brewer has said less than 60 cents of every state dollar reaches school sites. “We were going to provide the principals with a budget to run their schools,” Mitoma said. “Exactly what everybody’s talking about now is what we would have implemented. The money to the classroom would have been substantially higher.” With powerful forces lined up against it, however, Measure D was crushed at the polls. Nearly three of every four voters opposed it. Observers say Carson’s failure is a lesson for other communities that want more local control over funding, hiring decisions and curriculum at their public schools. “I look at that failure as bringing to light all the lessons one has to take into account if someone wants to break up the 700-square-mile LAUSD,” said David Abel, chairman of New Schools Better Neighborhoods, an independent master planner. “Those lessons suggest that the barriers to do that are many.” Indeed, creating a separate Carson school district would be nearly impossible today. Following the 2001 vote, state law was changed on school breakaway bids. In 2001, only residents within the proposed Carson school district decided the fate of the measure. Today, a school secession would be decided by voters in the entire Los Angeles Unified School District. email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Paul Clinton STAFF WRITER Six years ago today Carson voters decided not to take a leap of faith. As unhappy as many were with the Los Angeles Unified School District, residents nevertheless rejected a bid to carve out their own independent school system. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre It was an overwhelming victory for the district’s teachers union, which spent almost $500,000 to ensure Carson would not be the first city since Torrance in 1948 to defect from the massive LAUSD. Six years later, much has changed. And little has changed. A reform-minded Los Angeles mayor has put his imprint on the school board and is about to take over some low-performing district schools, though none is in Carson. A new superintendent has vowed to partner with the mayor to stem the district’s high dropout rate, though there is evidence that more Carson kids than ever are not staying in high school. And the district has embarked on a massive school building program, though no new schools or classroom additions have been built in Carson yet. A new high school is on the boards for 2011.
Man of the Match Ryan Bradley admitted victory over Tyrone was a huge achievement for Donegal.The bruising Buncrana man put into a courageous display to inspire the rest of his tem-mates at St Tiernach Park in Clones.“We are delighted and make no mistake about it but it’s a big achievement. “Tyrone are still a very good side and they played well today and put it up to us,” he said.Bradley said the early scores in the second half stood to Donegal as Tyrone pushed late on.“We opened up our legs and ran at them more in the second half and that stood to us.“We got some early scores in the second half and that stood to us. “It looked like we were defending a lot towards the end and we were but we had done enough,” he said. BRUISING BRADLEY HAILS ‘HUGE ACHIEVEMENT’ was last modified: July 3rd, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ryan bradley
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “He was on parole and has an extensive criminal history,” sheriff’s homicide Lt. Al Grotefend said. Sheriff’s officials were investigating the shooting, which occurred about 9:45 p.m. Friday in the 45000 block of Yucca Avenue – a business district. Griffin had been stopped by two Lancaster gang-detail deputies because they thought he was acting suspiciously, Grotefend said. The names of the two deputies have not been released. “It was a traffic stop. He was on foot in an industrial area, and all the businesses were closed,” Grotefend said. “When they went to conduct a pat-down search, they felt a weapon. It was loose in his pants and it fell through a pant leg. He was trying to shake his leg to get it out.” After the gun fell to the ground, Griffin reached for the deputy’s weapon and a struggle ensued, Grotefend said. “The deputy who was struggling with the suspect told his partner he was losing his gun and that the suspect was getting control of his gun,” he said. “At that point the partner deputy fired two rounds into the suspect.” Griffin was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital where he died, Grotefend said. A loaded handgun was recovered at the scene, sheriff’s officials said. Grotefend said it was not known what Griffin was doing in Lancaster. “His relatives said they didn’t know why he was up here.” This was the second fatal shooting in little more than two months in Lancaster during what sheriff’s officials said were struggles with deputies. In August, a 26-year-old Palmdale man was shocked twice with an electronic stun device and then shot to death by a sheriff’s deputy during a struggle in a brush-covered Lancaster field. Deputies said the man pulled out the stun device’s wires and attacked the deputy, knocking him to the ground. The man was kneeling over the deputy, pummeling him with his fists, when the deputy drew his pistol and fired one shot, officials said. The deputy had tried to stop the man because he had just walked away from a car he crashed into a ditch. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER – A Los Angeles parolee who authorities said was struggling with a sheriff’s deputy and trying to grab his pistol when the deputy’s partner fatally shot the man had a lengthy criminal record, investigators said Monday. Linord Griffin, 25, of Los Angeles had convictions for weapons possession and assaults stretching back five to six years, mainly in the Los Angeles area. “He’s had some gun cases and some cases involving gang activity,” Gabrielle Graves, a sheriff’s homicide detective, said. “The shooting is still being investigated as to why he was over there.” Griffin had been paroled recently from a prison term on which Graves declined to comment.
A signed portrait of Nelson Mandela, photographed by Adrian Steirn who created the 21 Icons series, was sold for a record $200 000. (Image: Adrian Steirn ) MEDIA CONTACTS • Samantha GibbsMedia Liaison21 Icons +27 21 419 3189 RELATED ARTICLES • Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory launched • Mandela: a life in books • Mandela’s love of children • Nelson Mandela’s words of wisdom • Mandela: childhood heroes and lessonsMelissa Jane CookAn image depicting Nelson Mandela’s face reflected in a mirror has been bought by a private art collector in New York City.The signed portrait was photographed by Adrian Steirn, who created the 21 Icons series. It sold for a record $200 000 – just over R2 million – the highest amount ever received for a South African photograph. “I wanted Madiba to hold a mirror so that we could see a man reflecting on his life. As he reflects on his life, we reflect on his legacy and our future,” Steirn said, using Mandela’s clan name.It was the first in the series of portraits of iconic South Africans, a three-year project. The subjects are the men and women who have helped shape the nation on its journey from oppression to democracy. Eykyn Maclean, the New York and London art gallery, facilitated the sale of the Mandela portrait.Specialising in Impressionist and 20th century European and American Art, gallery co-owner Christopher Eykyn said that the photograph was a rare and valuable find for the gallery. “Adrian Steirn’s medium is photography, his tool a camera, but thanks to his skill as an artist in the centuries-old tradition of portraiture, Steirn preserves for posterity a visual manifestation of the innermost character of his subjects – as exemplified in his spellbinding portrait of Nelson Mandela.”The remaining portraits of these world-famous activists and politicians will be auctioned off in March 2014. The proceeds will be donated to the charity of each subject’s choice. They include former president FW de Klerk; Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; anti-apartheid activist Sophia Williams-De Bruyn; Nobel winning novelist Nadine Gordimer; environmental and human rights activist Kumi Naidoo; artists William Kentridge and Helen Sebidi; musicians Johnny Clegg and Yvonne Chaka Chaka; and sports champions Gary Player and Evelina Tshabalala.“To document this group of iconic individuals and, through their portraits, to benefit their chosen charities, was fundamental to our ambition for this project. It’s our way of giving back to South Africa,” said Steirn.The anonymous buyer said about the portrait: “I am honoured to own what has already become an iconic image of one of the greatest statesmen the world has ever known. In a single frame the photographer has captured the essence of dignity, principle, conviction and courage in this great man from whose life’s work and dedication to a greater cause we all have much to learn, and by which I am inspired daily.”The money for the photograph will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, currently under construction in Johannesburg, and to the World Wildlife Fund. Mandela had many dreams of a children’s hospital and campaigned for funds for its construction long before he fell ill. The state-of-the-art hospital is scheduled to open late in 2014. It will be a 200-bed facility providing world-class paediatric care irrespective of social and economic status.Steirn said: “I am delighted to support the Children’s Hospital in honour of Nelson Mandela, the inspiration for 21 Icons. To raise crucial funds for so many important South African charities is a fitting tribute to Madiba as well as the other icons.”Born in Sydney, Australia, Steirn’s affinity for Africa began as a child during a family trip to the continent. He later returned a number of times before settling in South Africa in 2007. He trained at the San Francisco Academy of Fine Art.
Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement marshall kirkpatrick Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Tags:#mobile#news#web Apple is showing off its iOS 4 all week in San Francisco and this evening one session will demonstrate some new audio and video capabilities that developers can incorporate into their apps.Smart backgrounding and customization are the name of the game. Developer and former Apple employee Dan Burcaw will go on stage to show off the forthcoming version of his Tour de France app and below are some highlights.Burcaw says that app backgrounding isn’t just the capability to run processes indefinitely, Apple has built effective APIs to efficiently enable the most common features that will run in the background. His app, for example, will show live streaming video of the big bike race. Users will be able to move the app to the background and switch to hearing audio alone. Switch the app back to the foreground and the video feed will resume live again. When audio is running in the background, users will still have access to volume and pause control.The OS even provides a way to run VOIP in the background.Controllers will be far more customizable than ever before. Previous versions of the OS have required developers to use Apple’s audio and video players as they came from the company. Now developers can fully customize the controls and play video within any boundary box they define. Burcaw is building a video controller, for example, that lets the viewer scrub to a point in the video based not on time but the slope of the race course. That sounds like a whole lot of fun.These are just a few of the new capabilities we’ll soon start seeing in iPhone and iPad apps. “I hear people say all the time that there are restrictions on the platform,” Burcaw told us. “There are things you can’t do, but those things are far fewer today than yesterday.” What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday called himself a ‘traditionalist’ who loves the red ball and day game for longer format and said any experimentation should be carried out only in T20 cricket.”I am a traditionalist who loves to play the game in the old way. It is my personal opinion but I think all these changes and experimentation should be carried out in T20 cricket only. The five-day matches and Tests should be played with the red ball. At least that’s the way I feel about it,” Gambhir told reporters after the Duleep Trophy final. (India Blue win Duleep Trophy)Despite having a great tournament with 356 runs from five innings at an average of 71.20, Gambhir feels that there are issues with pink ball under lights.”I completely agree with what (Cheteshwar) Pujara said today during the presentation ceremony. Under lights it is a different game and it is always difficult to pick up the wrist spinners and googly bowlers.”
New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today asked his deputy and Education Minister Manish Sisodia to consider shutting schools for a few days in view of the high pollution in the city.Delhi woke up to severe air quality today with a thick haze blanketing the city as pollution levels breached permissible standards by multiple times.”Considering high level of pollution, I have requested Manish Sisodia, Education Minister, to consider closing schools for few days,” Kejriwal tweeted.The Indian Medical Association (IMA) IMA has also appealed to the Delhi government to shut down outdoor sports and other such activities in schools keeping in view the harmful impact of air pollution on the health of the children.The rapid fall in air quality and visibility began last evening as moisture combined with pollutants shrouded the city in a thick cover of haze.By 10 am today, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded severe air quality, meaning the intensity of pollution was extreme. PTI GJS MIN