Category: etend

California ~ Corporate, Personal Income Taxes: FTB to Follow Federal Procedures for Certain Accounting Method Changes

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportThe California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced that it is withdrawing FTB Notice 96-3, which declared that the FTB would not follow the federal procedures for a change of accounting method involving previously unclaimed but allowable depreciation or amortization deductions provided by IRS Revenue Procedure 96-31 (1996-1 C.B. 714). The procedures provided by Revenue Procedure 96-31 have been periodically updated by the IRS in subsequent iterations. The latest iteration is embodied in Revenue Procedure 2016-29. Accordingly, the FTB is following the provisions of Revenue Procedure 2016-29. Furthermore, since the FTB does not provide automatic consent, an accounting method change under Revenue Procedure 2016-29 or any of its other iterations may only be made (1) if the taxpayer has a deemed California election, or (2) with the prior consent of the FTB.FTB Notice 2017-03, California Franchise Tax Board, April 27, 2017, ¶406-674last_img read more

IDF2010: Memory error handling in SAP* in-memory database on Intel® Xeon® 7500 processor series

first_imgModern servers can now support up to terabytes of main memory and a failure of even a single memory cell can lead to a crash. Besides soft errors that can be corrected in hardware, hard uncorrectable errors can occur; in such case the only option for a server was to stop operation. In view of this recent report memory errors might cause downtimes and recovery, which is unacceptable for mission-critical enterprise systems. To address this issue Intel has introduced a wide range of reliability and high-availability features in the Intel® Xeon® 7500 processor series (code-named Nehalem-EX).These features are supported in Linux as Andi Kleen explains in his presentation: It is now possible that hard memory failures are caught by the operating system and exposed to applications. This way a server application can handle memory errors and continue to operate if running on Intel® Xeon® 7500 processor series.SAP has announced at Sapphire that they are working towards revolutionizing their enterprise software by taking advantage of their in-memory technology, which will allow fast queries and real-time processing. Instead of waiting hours to compile reports or days to replicate data in business warehouses, business users will get immediate responses on real-time data. Naturally, for in-memory processing, it is very important to be resistant against memory errors. Please check out our SSG booth at Intel Developer Forum 2010 in person and my colleague Otto Bruggeman will be happy to show you how SAP’s in-memory database is handling memory errors on Intel® Xeon® 7500 processor series.Best regards,Romanlast_img read more

A New Record for Retractions? (Part 2)

first_imgAn investigating committee in Japan has concluded that a Japanese anesthesiologist, Yoshitaka Fujii, fabricated a whopping 172 papers over the past 19 years. Among other problems, the panel, set up by the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists, could find no records of patients and no evidence medication was ever administered. “It is as if someone sat at a desk and wrote a novel about a research idea,” the committee wrote in a 29 June summary report posted in Japanese on the society’s Web site. The fabrications could produce a record number of retractions by a single author if the journals, as seems likely, decide to retract the papers. ScienceInsider was unable to reach Fujii, who had asked the society not to provide the media with his contact information. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Fujii’s findings have been under a cloud since 8 March when an analysis in the journal Anaesthesia raised questions about his data. On 9 April, 23 journal editors publicly asked seven Japanese institutions named in the papers to investigate. The anesthesiology society took on the task because “it would have been difficult for any one institution to clarify what happened,” says Koji Sumikawa, an anesthesiologist at Nagasaki University who headed the investigation. The panel focused on 212 of 249 known Fujii papers. It tried to review the raw data, laboratory notebooks, and records on the patients or animal subjects involved. Committee members also interviewed relevant people. Among the 172 papers judged bogus, the report claims that 126 studies of randomized, double-blind, controlled trials “were totally fabricated.” The committee identified only three valid papers. For another 37 papers, the panel could not conclusively determine if there had been fabrication. The report states that Fujii started falsifying data in 1993 and found a pattern of fabrication that stretched through his successive stints at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, the University of Tsukuba, and Toho University in Tokyo. Toho dismissed Fujii last February when an internal investigation found he never got ethical review board approval for several studies. Sumikawa says the panel concluded that Fujii tried to hide what he was doing, even from his co-authors. He deliberately blurred the timing of the studies and where they were conducted, the report states, by naming hospitals and institutions where he worked part-time or had some affiliation. The panel said that the responsibility of those co-authors ranges from “serious” to “none at all.” The only one of Fujii’s co-authors specifically named in the summary is University of Tsukuba anesthesiologist Hidenori Toyooka. The report says Toyooka “was not involved in fabrication but bears significant responsibility” since he was Fujii’s supervising professor both at Tsukuba and when they both worked at Tokyo Medical and Dental University. Toyooka is listed as a co-author of many of the papers cited by the 23 journal editors. (Toyooka could not be reached for comment.) At the same time, the investigation found that some scientists were unaware Fujii had included them as co-authors. In one case, two supposed co-authors told the panel their signatures on a submission cover letter were forged. A post from 18 June on the blog Retraction Watch suggests why the researchers didn’t realize their names were on Fujii’s papers: The papers didn’t attract much attention. The blog notes that three recently retracted papers only garnered six, four, and three citations. Despite the low impact of the work, Fujii apparently used his high productivity to land new jobs, obtain public research funding, and garner fees for speaking at industry seminars, according to the panel’s summary report. He even applied for prizes offered by the society, although he was never chosen. Sumikawa says the summary is being sent to the 23 editors as well as to the institutions involved. Formally, it is the responsibility of those institutions to request retractions. Responding to a query from ScienceInsider, the University of Tsukuba’s public relations department issued a written statement indicating the school is taking the society’s findings seriously and will consider them in its own ongoing investigation. German anesthesiologist Joachim Boldt is believed to hold the dubious distinction of having the most retractions—about 90. Boldt’s scientific record also came under fire several years ago by some of the same journal editors questioning Fujii’s work. Sumikawa says Fujii recently contacted the society claiming that parts of his work were valid, “but he didn’t identify which parts.” Sumikawa says the society plans shortly to post a detailed report in Japanese, followed by an English translation. The committee recommended several measures aimed at reducing the incidence of misconduct. They include regular seminars to raise awareness of the ethical aspects of medical research and to clarify the responsibilities of lead authors and co-authors. The report also said scientific societies, along with journals and institutions, should be prepared to investigate when questions are raised about publications by their members. *This item originally stated that a 29 June post on the blog Retraction Watch suggests that Fujii’s fake co-authors didn’t realize their names were on papers because the papers didn’t attract much attention. That post was from 18 June and the 29 June post discussed the number of papers in which Fujii is said to have faked data.last_img read more

India, US Ccan Fix Poultry Issue Via WTO’s Compliance Panel

first_imgIndia can approach the World Trade Organization’s compliance panel to preempt the US from imposing trade sanctions following its allegation that India failed to comply with the intergovernmental organisation’s ruling on American poultry imports, according to a senior official. Related Itemslast_img

Rahul Dravid to deliver MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture

first_imgFormer India captain and Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid will deliver the fourth MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on Tuesday.The lecture will be attended by the members of the Indian team and the visiting South African side.Rahul Dravid will be LIVE tomorrow at 3 PM IST. Send in your questions to @BCCI with #AskDravid BCCI (@BCCI) November 30, 2015Also in attendance will be the bigwigs of the BCCI, including its president and ICC chairman Shashank Manohar and secretary Anurag Thakur. The lecture was started in 2013 in memory of former skipper Pataudi, who passed away in 2011. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Sunil Gavaskar in Chennai.last_img

Bryan brothers eye golden Olympics swansong in Rio

first_imgWhen Mike Bryan’s cellphone rang recently and the policeman on the other end of the line told him his home security alarm had gone off one thought flashed up in his head – is my Olympic gold medal safe?The golden medallion, the one he earned with twin brother Bob at London 2012, is his most prized souvenir from a trophy-laden career that has earned the 38-year-olds 112 titles together, including 16 grand slams.”We thought someone had broken in, the cops went over and I just said ‘dude, please just check that one spot’ just make sure it’s there. It was there,'” the right-handed half of the most successful doubles team in men’s tennis history, told Reuters at Wimbledon, scene of their Olympic glory.”It’s the only thing I hide when we leave for a trip.”No wonder. Bob describes their victory in London as their “greatest moment” while Mike says missing out in Athens, when they were expected to medal, ranked as a low.They won a bronze in Beijing.Rio, where they will play with gold-painted rackets, will be Olympics number four – and the last.Retirement is looming and they want to sign off in style, perhaps with a golden chest bump.”(Rio) would be a hell of a way to go,” Bob, who juggles life on Tour with wife Michelle and three young children.”We know Rio will be our last Olympics, I can safely say that. It’s been a huge priority. When we sat down to plan the year in December we said peaking for Rio was the goal. Winning in Rio would mean everything.”advertisementNo retirement decision has been taken, says Mike, but “the conversation” could happen depending on what Rio has in store for the hugely-popular California-based brothers whose victory ‘chest bump’ had become their trademark.”You have to earn your way off the Tour, and you have to blast your way out,” Mike said. “No one wants to limp their way off. (Pete) Sampras had the perfect send-off.”He won the US Open and said goodbye.”Amiable off court, a well-oiled machine on it, the Bryans have carried men’s doubles for more than a decade.Ten times they have ended a year as top dogs and have held the number one ranking together for close to 450 weeks in total.Watching them play is a study in fidgety synchronisation.They are used to being ‘hunted’ wherever they play, but the Olympics is a whole different ball game with players who usually shun doubles pairing up.NOWHERE TO HIDERoger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will all play doubles in Rio – Wimbledon champion Murray partnering brother Jamie who was recently ranked one in doubles.”London was the toughest title we’ve won, we were so pumped,” Bob says. “There’s nowhere to hide in the Olympics, right from round one. You got all the great singles guys, the doubles guys, all the top stars.””The big four want a medal. No one is gonna give it a half-arsed effort. Gold is a gold,” adds Mike. “That’s going on the medal board for your country. It’s going to be a stacked field.”While golf has hit the headlines after a slew of Rio no-shows, and several tennis players including the Bryans’ fellow Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey will be absent, the brothers’ eyes light up just thinking about the Olympics.”It’s bigger than the game of tennis,” Mike said.While Bob added: “I remember after London it didn’t hit us until about two weeks later when we were driving in Cincinnati. Then I sought of yelled “Yeah” at the top of my lungs.””We were like ‘Oh man! this is nuts’. We ended up having one of the best summers of our career.”So popular were the medals that Mike described his as a ‘celebrity’ in its own right while Bob’s was so in demand it picked up numerous battle scars.”When I took the medal out people flocked to it,” Mike said. “It was wild. It was like Lord of the Rings. It was crazy.”Bob even did the dirty on his brother.”His was all shiny, the ribbon was perfect so I did a switcheroo,” he said. “He didn’t realise until next year!”Whatever happens in Rio their careers will be forever entwined — it’s either together or never.”You could go and make some dough with someone else,” Bob teases his brother, “Just cut me in.””No, no, we are a package deal. “We came in together we’ll go out together,” Mike says.advertisementlast_img read more

Singapore in the driving seat as it negotiates new Formula One deal

first_imgAfter negotiating Singapore’s current Formula One deal, Bernie Ecclestone said in 2012 the hardest thing was explaining to the authorities that “we don’t race for free”.Four years on, the F1 boss appears to be frustrated again as he tries to keep one of the most glamorous races on the calendar after the contract expires in 2017, at a time when the city-state is weighing whether the event makes economic sense anymore.With its tourism industry increasingly diversified, a stronger country brand than when it first hosted the event in 2008 and other major sporting events in the bag, Singapore seems to have the upper hand in the talks with F1.Moreover, Ecclestone and F1’s new owners, U.S. cable TV mogul John Malone’s Liberty Media, face a new risk: with Malaysia pulling out of a new deal, they could altogether lose their presence in Southeast Asia, one of the world’s fastest-growing regions.F1’s 86-year-old commercial supremo first told German magazine Auto Motor und Sport that Singapore does not want to host F1 anymore, then clarified he did not want to lose Singapore. His comments suggest talks getting tougher.”I think Singapore has come in and negotiated hard and has realised they are in a position of strength to do so,” said James Walton, head of the Sports Business service line at Deloitte Singapore and Southeast Asia.”This is one of the top ranked grand prix…and one of the markets that the key sponsors of F1 are most interested in.”advertisementSingapore’s government funds 60 percent of the S$150 million ($105.13 million) it costs to host the race each year. Analysts say the city-state is weighing the costs, and benefits, of staging the event in the future.Singapore GP, the event’s organiser, said it would not comment on “ongoing commercial negotiations”. A decision is expected before year-end, Ecclestone has said.The Singapore race is one of the most popular, taking place at night on a street circuit with spectators entertained by music acts such as Beyonce and Justin Bieber, while TV watchers get a bird’s-eye view of the glitzy skyline.As a top wealth management hub, the city-state is a natural draw for the region’s affluent people, a key target of Formula One sponsors such as Hugo Boss and Tag Heuer, a luxury LVMH brand.But the significance of that is bigger for Ecclestone than for Singapore, which also hosts events such as the WTA women’s tennis Finals and the Rugby 7s series that bring over 100,000 visitors each.While the F1 initially played an important role in boosting the tourism industry, Singapore has diversified its offering, now focusing on the emerging middle classes from China, India and Indonesia.Tourism is actually a bright spot in a slowing economy. In the first eight months of this year, before this September’s F1 race, the number of visitors was up 10.3 percent from the same 2015 period, at 11.3 million. Tourism receipts grew 12 percent to S$11.6 billion ($8.1 billion) in the first half of 2016.REWARDSTo be sure, Singapore has benefited from hosting F1. Since the 2008 debut race, the event has generated S$150 million in tourism receipts every year on average, except for 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.But about 80 percent of the spending gets recycled into the economy, with local firms hired for circuit set-up, ticketing and security, the Singapore Tourism Board says.”In these economic times, every order book is important and I believe this is not a small order book,” said Kurt Wee, President of the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises.He added though that “everybody would understand that the event has to be sustainable”.And that is where Singapore has another argument. Attendance, which topped 100,000 on all three days in the first year, has declined, with this year’s race averaging 73,000 spectators for each day, down from 87,000 in 2015.With the global economy slowing, the numbers might fall further and a five-year commitment may not be so appealing, although this may be offset in the future by Malaysia pulling out as F1 fans in the region would have only one nearby option.”If you think of the government as a business, I think they have to manage their funds prudently to get the most bang for their buck,” said ANZ economist Weiwen Ng.($1 = 1.4268 Singapore dollars)last_img read more

Large Businesses Are Better Clients: Work Market Freelance Study Released

first_imgIn case you had any doubts about the future of your freelance career, Work Market has reported that professional freelance labor has increased 11.5% and the average freelancer assignment value is up 23% in 2013. Heck yeah, freelancing.Some other interesting findings from the study:Total freelancer earnings for 2013 are projected to be 72 percent greater than in 2012.California has the highest demand for freelancers. Texas is #2, New York #3.Businesses with more than 50 employees use the same freelancer for an average of 9 jobs per year. Small business with less than 10 employees use the same freelance for only 4 jobs.Spending on freelancers in media production will increase 1222% in 2014. (You’re probably thinking what I’m thinking: What is that and how can we all do that?)Freelancers, do you find that bigger companies give you more freelance work? Or have you found that freelancing at small businesses has other advantages?An infographic from Work Market:​last_img read more

Industry Minister Justifies January Resumption of Scrap Metal Trade

first_imgIndustry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has outlined the rationale for resuming the local scrap metal trade, come January 2013. Speaking at Wednesday’s (December 19) Jamaica House Media Briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Mr. Hylton pointed out that at its “zenith,” the scrap metal trade provided employment for over 10,000 persons, particularly among the lower socio-economic group. Additionally, he said the sector “proved itself” a viable foreign exchange earner, and at the height of its operations in 2006, grossed US$100 million. “My position on the trade in scrap metal has been as consistent as it has been clear. The trade is an important contributor to economic activity in Jamaica…we need the scrap metal trade. It provides jobs. It earns foreign exchange and clears the environment of derelict vehicles and scrap metal. We must also recognize that certain mineral deposits are declining and are not renewable. (As such) recycling of non-renewable resources is important for sustainable living,” the Minister argued. However, Mr. Hylton lamented the significant dislocation, consequent on illicit activities such as theft, which the country suffered, particularly during the height of the industry’s operations in 2006. “There was evidence of wanton disregard for public infrastructure and personal property and the level of theft and vandalism was at an all time high. So, while the trade was earning a significant amount of foreign exchange and creating employment, losses from theft over the past four years totalled approximately $1 billion. This does not include the dislocation to businesses and the amount of security measures that companies have to institute to prevent theft,” he indicated. As a result of this and other developments, the sector’s activities were suspended earlier in the year for reviewing and development of a new regime and measures to govern its operations, which have been approved by Cabinet. The trade is now set to resume by the third week in January, 2012 the Minister advised journalists at Wednesday’s briefing. “Let me make it patently clear, this activity will be guided by very stringent rules and regulations with appropriate penalties for non-compliance. It cannot be an ad hoc approach, where traders and exporters do as they please. That will not happen under my watch,” Mr. Hylton asserted.last_img read more

Global Regulatory Summit Gathers Officials from USA, …

first_imgzoom Maritime regulators from the United States, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and the European Commission met and conferred in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to consider the evolving international maritime landscape. The officials had open and candid discussions on their differing regulatory frameworks and the potential effects of carrier cooperation on international trade.The EU delegation was led by Mr. Hubert de Broca, Head of Unit, Directorate General for Competition, Antitrust-Transport, Post and Other Services and Mr. Li Hongyin, Deputy Director-General, Bureau of Water Transport, Ministry of Transport headed up the Chinese delegation. FMC Chairman Mario Cordero led the U.S. delegation, with the participation of each of the FMC Commissioners.During the morning session, the Commission’s Bureau of Trade Analysis staff provided a general briefing on the FMC’s 45-day agreement review process and on-going monitoring program. Staff noted factors considered in its analysis and tools available to the Commission to administer its oversight responsibility. The PRC and EU delegations also provided an overview of their respective regulatory regimes. The Summit continued during the afternoon with separate meetings between the delegations and FMC Commissioners.Chairman Cordero stated “I called for this Global Regulatory Summit given the rapidly changing face of the international maritime sector demands ‘out of the box’ thinking. The scope and size of the changes taking place provides an opportunity for our respective governments to dialogue and share our views on global regulatory challenges, and the impacts to international trade. I thank my colleagues in China and Europe for their participation. From this Summit, I believe we all have a better understanding and appreciation for our respective legal regimes and views on global implications of the international maritime sector that we regulate.”Mr. Li stated that “We are very glad to have been invited by the FMC to attend the Summit. The United States, EU, and China are important economies in the world, and maritime transport plays a very important role. Ninety percent of China’s foreign trade is carried by sea. The sustainable growth of the maritime sector is of great importance to China and globally, and it is our common duty to protect the sound development of maritime transport. Through this summit we exchanged ideas about the maritime regulatory policies and rules and continue to strengthen our partnership.”Mr. de Broca stated “We welcome the opportunity to discuss our comparative regulatory regimes. Discussion is the best vehicle we have to share our collective expertise given that we each have different tools. We thank the FMC for initiating this summit and inviting us to participate what has been an informative dialogue.” My location Print  Close Federal Maritime Commission, December 20, 2013 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定last_img read more

For Cong democracy in ICU when its leaders face probe says BJP

first_imgNew Delhi: In a jibe at the Congress alleging “political vendetta” behind the arrest of its senior leaders, the BJP on Wednesday said many of its own leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came out “unscathed” in different probes, but for the opposition party “democracy is in ICU” when its leaders face investigation. In a series of tweets, BJP General Secretary (Organisation) B L Santhosh said when Modi was Gujarat chief minister, he submitted himself to the notices of probe agencies and came out “untainted”. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Home Minister Amit Shah, then a minister in Gujarat, also submitted himself to the laws of land and came out unscathed, he said. “Never was democracy in danger… Now Cong leaders are under scrutiny… Democracy gets admitted to ICU… There is a limit Congis… Nation understands you perfectly of late (sic), the BJP leader wrote in the microblogging site. Modi was questioned by probe agencies in cases related to 2002 riots in Gujarat. Shah was arrested in an alleged fake encounter case but was later acquitted. Modi too got a clean chit. Santhosh said Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa also got a clean chit after being tried on corruption charges. The Congress has sharpened its attack on the Modi government following the arrests of its senior leaders P Chidambaram and D K Shivakumar. Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI last month while the party’s Karnataka troubleshooter Shivakumar was taken in custody by the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday. Both have been accused of money laundering, a charge they have denied.last_img read more

Online immigrantsponsor application discriminatory immigration lawyers say

first_imgOTTAWA — A new first-come-first-served online application for immigrants seeking to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada is being condemned as “profoundly discriminatory” after the program opened and closed in less than 10 minutes on Monday.All 27,000 openings for the family-reunification program in 2019 were spoken for within minutes of the application form’s going live online Monday, sparking outcry from disappointed would-be applicants.Matthew Genest, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, says an initial analysis shows no technical problems with the system.He says anti-bot features were also used to ensure all applications were legitimate and not from automated computer programs grabbing spots faster than humans could.Genest says with over 100,000 people competing for 27,000 spots, there was simply more demand than there were spaces.But immigration lawyer Clifford McCarten is among many now raising concern about the fairness of access to the program, as only those with reliable Internet access, quick typing skills and good understanding of English or French would have had any hope of success. The Canadian Presslast_img read more


first_img“I remember that day so clearly. I was parking to go pick (Nolen) and (his brother Sam) up at school. The phone binged, I looked, it was an email saying the Stratford Festival was doing Billy Elliot. I called Yannick immediately,” Kristin says from inside the Festival Theatre in Stratford, Ont. “He answered the phone and said, ‘I know. I just read it.’”The hitch: Kristin and Yannick Dubuc, along with their three boys Sam, 14, Nolen, and Gabe, 9, had hectic lives in Vancouver. None of them had ever been to Stratford. If Nolen, who has been dancing since he was 4 years old, auditioned and got the part, it would mean a year away from home.“(Yannick) just said, ‘Let’s just see what happens,’” Kristin says.Long story short, Nolen was cast as the lead in the Olivier and Tony Award-winning Billy Elliot, the Elton John-Lee Hall musical based on the 2000 movie that starred Jamie Bell as the titular ballet hopeful growing up in the middle of the 1984/85 miners’ strike in northeastern England.  READ MORENolen Dubuc, seen in a pas de deux with Colton Curtis as his older self, anchors Billy Elliot the Musical with astonishing talent and confidence, writes Karen Fricker. – Cylla Von TiedemannNOLEN DUBUC OWNS THE LEAD IN BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICALEnter Nolen Dubuc. Director/choreographer Donna Feore cast the 11-year-old Vancouverite in the title role in Billy Elliot after a nationwide search, and he anchors the show with astonishing talent and confidence.Dubuc is already an award-winning musical theatre and dance performer, and those chops serve him well in this gruelling role, fronting the 2.5-hour show and leading multiple major production numbers. Throughout this Stratford summer, as on opening night, audiences will be on their feet hooting and hollering their admiration for Dubuc’s achievement and that of the 30-plus member cast that support him.While there’s an amazing kid at the centre of this show, it should be underlined that this is not necessarily an entertainment for the whole family. One of the first words out of Billy’s mouth is an f-bomb, and the Stratford Festival website accurately describes the language throughout as “strong and at times profane.” READ MORENolen Dubuc, centre, plays Billy Elliot in Billy Elliot the Musical. (Cylla von Tiedemann)STRATFORD FESTIVAL: BALANCING LIFE AND WORK AS CHILD ACTORIt’s both a dream come true and the hardest thing they’ve ever worked on in their lives.For Nolen Dubuc, 11, and Emerson Gamble, 13, landing the roles of on-stage best friends Billy and Michael in the Stratford Festival’s production of Billy Elliot the Musical has meant a complete and abrupt change from everything they once knew.For Nolen, it meant moving with his family from Vancouver to Stratford, while Emerson, who lives and attends ballet school in London, had a little less far to travel.From January, when they both attended Billy boot camp, to their first rehearsal at the beginning of February all the way through to the first previews of the show in April, the two boys and the 15 other kids who make up a portion of the musical’s cast have basically lived and breathed Billy Elliot. READ MORE LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter WHEN BILLY ELLIOT CALLED, NOLEN DUBUC’S WHOLE FAMILY LEAPTIt’s tough to imagine now but, last year, 11-year-old Nolen Dubuc was burnt out.Between his dance classes, singing lessons, keeping up with school, going out for TV and film auditions, and appearing in a few theatre productions, something had to give. So Nolen and his mom Kristin told his agent that the only theatre role he would consider for the time being was Billy Elliot.It wasn’t long before Kristin and her husband Yannick got the email. Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Government says committed to probe

In conclusion, I must point out that Sri Lanka rooted out and destroyed domestic manifestations of separatist terrorism largely on its own with the assistance of a notable few international partners. Those who did assist – materially and otherwise – know that their contribution to eradicating this 30 year conflict, is acknowledged with deep and abiding gratitude.  Similarly, our Asian regional partners among others are contributing to the massive recovery process in the aftermath of the conflict. They too are acknowledged with sincere appreciation.  However, it is regrettable that some of those members of the international community that are among the shrillest and loudest voices in support of various causes in post-conflict Sri Lanka – who raise a clamour over civilian welfare, women’s rights, displaced persons, children, minorities and a host of other issues – are among the least forthcoming in term of real assistance to the recovery effort.  The Government of Sri Lanka, the United Nations and international and national NGOs entered into a tripartite agreement that represents a coordinated and cooperative initiative aimed at recovering from the armed conflict and safeguarding the human rights of those affected. It is named the Joint Assistance Plan for the Northern Province which, at the end of 2011, had only received approximately a meagre 35% of the required funding for that year. One hopes that these nations, given their ostensibly deep and abiding interest evinced in protecting human rights in Sri Lanka, would find it able to assist the civilian population especially in the conflict affected areas. Delivering homilies about human rights in Sri Lanka at fora such as these would be much more meaningful if they were supported by real and substantial cooperation and assistance in keeping with this Council’s Resolution on Sri Lanka in 2009. Enabling a member state to overcome the undoubted challenges it faces in reconciliation and restoration of normality and productive civilian life – particularly amongst those worst affected by the scourge of terrorism – would be much more tangible and helpful to all concerned, rather than the mere repetition of unsubstantiated allegations and unconscionable finger-pointing directed at Sri Lanka. He also said that there is no justification or urgency whatsoever in floating a resolution calling for the implementation of the LLRC recommendations and engagement with the High Commissioner, when this has already been effectively undertaken by the Government. Economic development continues to play a pivotal role in the reconciliation process and the return to normalcy.  Massive infrastructure and development programmes are underway in the former conflict-affected areas of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.  The Government has embarked upon 27 donor assisted projects of which 23 are implemented in the North and the East to develop infrastructure including housing, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and irrigation schemes, valued at approximately USD 201 million for the year 2011 alone.  Of the above projects, 7 are categorized as large projects, each valued at above USD 50 Million per project.  The total allocation for infrastructure development in the Jaffna District in the Northern Province is USD 300 million, while USD 250 million and USD 150 million have been invested in development projects in the Killinochchi and Batticaloa Districts, respectively. In relation to livelihood support, a self employment loan scheme has been put in place in the North and East and to date thousands of beneficiaries have been apportioned USD 318 million. Moreover, beneficiaries were provided with Enterprise Development Services (EDS) including the establishment of organizations for the self-employed. In my statement to the Council last September, I urged that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, must be given the time and space to complete its mandate.  We continued to brief the international community in Geneva of the interim recommendations made by the LLRC and the measures taken by the Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on their implementation.  As you know, the Commission has now delivered on its mandate and submitted its report, including a series of recommendations, to the President of Sri Lanka.  The Report was submitted to Parliament by my ministerial colleague and Leader of the House Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, who is here with me in Geneva today, on 16 December 2011, together with the Government’s position on the recommendations contained in the Report.  Concurrently, the Report was made public. With regard to the lands under the former High Security Zones of Palaly and Trincomalee-Sampur, the Commission has acknowledged that the area covered has significantly diminished in terms of both land area and restriction of movement. With regard to the re-demarcation and reduction of the former High Security Zones to aid resettlement, the process was initiated prior to the Commission’s Report, which therefore recognized that the area had diminished significantly. By the end of the conflict in 2009, the High Security Zones (HSZ) covered 4,098.36 Ha and, at present, has been reduced to 2,582.45.   The Government will closely monitor and expedite making lands, previously used for security purposes, for resettlement/return. United Nations Human Rights CouncilHigh Level Segment.27th February 2012, Geneva We categorically reject such undue pressure from sections of the international community which have fallen prey to the propaganda, coercive tactics and electoral pressures of these elements. We are conscious of their need to portray a negative picture of Sri Lanka and unreasoning pessimism in order to justify their continued presence in these host countries. Instead of accepting our President’s invitation to become constructive partners in development and building a renewed Sri Lanka, it is most regrettable that these elements devote their time, effort and resources in defaming their motherland and denigrating the genuine efforts of the Government to consolidate peace, development and prosperity for all Sri Lankans. Thank you. Terrorism that ravaged our nation for nearly three decades adversely affected not only our people, their livelihoods, property and infrastructure; it also damaged the social fabric of our nation.  The reconciliation process set in motion by the Sri Lanka Government has therefore necessarily taken into account a range of factors including economic development, rehabilitation and resettlement and livelihood development in addition to addressing the need to provide a sense of finality among those who suffered trauma and the loss of loved ones. You may have noted that the Commission offers detailed observations and recommendations on International Humanitarian Law issues relating to the final phases of the conflict.  The Report endorses the position that the protection of civilian life was a key factor in the formulation of policy for carrying out military operations, and that the deliberate targeting of civilians formed no part of it.  This was and remains the position of the Government.  I wish to inform this Council that an enumeration to ascertain the number of persons in the Northern Province and to scientifically identify the number of persons who lost their lives in the conflict, is now complete and a detailed analysis will be made known in the near future. Due to the unlawful presence of the LTTE, no proper census could be carried out since 1981. Among the people not accounted for and classified as deceased, we count people killed as a result of the conflict, including those who carried arms for the LTTE, civilians killed by the LTTE as they tried to flee from the hostage situation, persons caught in the crossfire and people who migrated out of the Northern Province, either to the South and who left by sea to India or other countries seeking asylum. We need the assistance of receiving countries to ascertain how many persons they have admitted. As a further step, the Government has decided to put in place a structure to further analyse and verify the data gathered in order to arrive at definite conclusions as to civilian mortalities and casualties. One thing is certain: the story of “tens of thousands” of civilian deaths that supposedly occurred during the final phase of the humanitarian operation, is very clearly proved to be a gross exaggeration and a deliberate misrepresentation of fact. Statement by the Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe M.P. Madam President, in the light of this commitment by Sri Lanka, there is no justification or urgency whatsoever in floating a resolution calling for the implementation of the LLRC’s recommendations and engagement with the High Commissioner, when this has already been effectively undertaken by the Government. What we now need from the international  community is objectivity in assessing  Sri Lanka’s efforts. More than anything we need ensure that the process is allowed to advance unimpeded. We do not need unwarranted incursions that will compromise successful implementation. Such interference by way of redundant resolutions before this Council, would only undermine the sentiments of this Council as expressed in the decisive adoption of the Special Session resolution on Sri Lanka in 2009. As you can observe, Madam President, Sri Lanka has taken clear and definite steps towards implementation of the recommendations of the domestic process, barely two months after the report was made public. We have evolved a mechanism to look into accountability issues raised in the LLRC report, both in the form of civil and military structures. This is coupled with a time bound plan in the form of the National Human Rights Action Plan catering to a number of other recommendations to move Sri Lanka towards comprehensive reconciliation. We as a Government, therefore, question the value addition of internationalizing through seeking to deliberate upon an effective ongoing domestic process in international fora. Such endeavours would only serve to detract from an expeditious resolution of the issues at hand. We also wish to emphasise that action initiated in the promotion and protection of human rights in a member State, must have the consent of that State and be based on the principles of cooperation and genuine dialogue.  We have good examples today of instances where this cardinal principle has been violated, and where even the application of a multiplication of special initiatives has nevertheless failed to establish peace, and has only contributed to exacerbating and at times externalising conflict situations. With regard to rehabilitation of LTTE ex-combatants, out of nearly 12,000, less than 900 remain in rehabilitation centres.  Psycho-social care has been provided to all, including counselling and drama, dance and music therapy.  Spiritual and religious programmes have also been conducted.  Adult cadres have been provided with extensive vocational training making them employable and potentially useful members of their communities. Those ex-combatants still to complete the process of rehabilitation remain in the Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centres (PARC) established by law. We have also continued to engage in Geneva and at other international fora, and briefed the international community about our progress, problems and solutions that we have devised.  We have hosted several high profile officials from several countries to visit Sri Lanka to view the reconstruction work.  We continue to engage the international community by inviting them to witness first-hand the progress being made on the ground. The material placed before the Commission points to several specific episodes which, in its view, warrant further investigation.  The Government is committed to a mechanism for gathering and assessing factual evidence relating to the episodes indicated, buttressed by a strong investigative arm.  The findings thus arrived at will form the basis of a decision on whether criminal proceedings can be instituted.  The material yielded by this investigation will be placed before the Attorney-General for a decision in respect of instituting criminal proceedings, where warranted.  The Attorney General is currently seized of and is studying the recommendations in the report with regard to allegations of violations of International Humanitarian Law. Military Courts of Inquiry in keeping with international practice have commenced investigations into specific incidents identified by the LLRC. The mandate of the Court of Inquiry is to investigate, inter alia, civilian casualties and the Channel 4 video footages; including whether any deliberate and intentional attacks were made by the Army on civilians, with a view to causing them harm or damage, or on any hospitals or no-fire zones. If so, the persons responsible for any such activity and to make recommendations with regard to the measures that should be taken with regard to such persons. Madam President, in respect of the controversial Channel 4 footage, the Court of Inquiry has been specifically mandated to ascertain whether any member of the armed forces was involved in the events depicted, authentic or otherwise and to recommend the measures to be taken. A similar Court of Inquiry has been convened by the Sri Lanka Navy to inquire into relevant allegations. You will be pleased to observe the establishment of normalcy and the re-democratization of the Northern and the Eastern provinces, including the holding of Provincial Elections in the East, local government elections, as well as restoration of civil administration including the network of  33 divisional secretaries and 912 village level officials in the North.  In keeping with the recommendations of the LLRC, the military has been withdrawn from aspects of civilian life, and are now confined to security-related matters.  As a result, development-related work which, during the conflict situation and immediately thereafter, came under the purview of the Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security of the Northern Province, is now carried out under the supervision of the relevant line Ministries, in coordination and consultation with the provincial and local government representation. Development activities in the 05 districts of the North, are channeled through the relevant line Ministries and institutions at the central government level; the provincial administration and the District Secretaries at the district level and Divisional Secretaries at divisional level.  The District Secretary or Government Agent functions as the Coordinating and Executing Officer of the district.  The civil service in the North and the East is largely representative of the Tamil and Muslim communities.  Chief Secretary/Northern Province and 03 out of the 05 District Secretaries/Government Agents in the North, i.e., in Jaffna, Vavuniya and Kilinochi, are Tamil women civil servants, while the other two are Tamil males.  The Chief Secretary of the Eastern Province is also from the Tamil community. It may be noted that the present District Secretary/Government Agent of Jaffna District served in the same capacity in the Mullaitivu District when it was under the LTTE’s control. The 595 LTTE child soldiers who were in Government custody have been rehabilitated under a UNICEF-assisted programme without setting in motion any criminal procedure, and returned to their families within one year. Several have successfully passed their Advanced Level examination last year, some having even gained entry to undergraduate programmes. With regard to Sri Lanka’s international commitments to safeguard and promote human rights, it may be noted that it has voluntarily engaged with UN mechanisms including special procedures and treaty bodies.  In this regard, Sri Lanka constructively engaged in the consideration of the 3rd and 4th Combined Periodic Reports on Sri Lanka to the Committee Against Torture in December 2011.  Sri Lanka will also engage with the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances at its 96th Session in Geneva in March 2012.  Sri Lanka’s National Report will be considered in October 2012 during the 2nd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, which will provide an opportunity to comprehensively discuss the progress made over a four-year period, as well as issues related to reconciliation.  Our efforts are directed towards engagement at this next cycle of the UPR.  Any and all questions pertaining to developments after 2008 may be raised there and will be fully and fairly answered. It is a matter of great satisfaction to the Government that our rapid and orderly process of resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has been recognized and commended internationally.  Out of over 290,000 IDPs housed in welfare centres at the end of May 2009, only 6,647 IDPs remained to be resettled by the end of 2011. The Government has spent over USD 360 million on its resettlement programme.  We will continue with our commitment to resettling all IDPs, including those termed ‘old IDPs’ who were displaced prior to April 2008. The United Nations OCHA Joint Humanitarian and Early Recovery Update for November and December 2011, records that by the end of December 2011, 421,056 people (belonging to 126,524 families) had returned to the Northern Province. This figure includes 223,745 people (70,625 families) displaced after April 2008 and 197,311 persons (55,899 families) displaced before April 2008. Further efforts to identify and assist IDPs in situations of protracted displacement to achieve durable solutions are ongoing. The number of persons in detention for suspected involvement in terrorist activity has been reduced to 225 out of a total of over 4,000. As many detainees as possible have been released or forwarded for rehabilitation and eventual release. The initiative to draw down the numbers commenced with the interim recommendations of the LLRC. We are still investigating several cases and these persons will be tried before ordinary courts of law in the shortest possible space of time. The Police have adopted stringent guidelines with regard to the treatment of persons taken into custody. This will have a salutary effect on the allegations of torture and mistreatment. These are also direct follow up activities relating to the recommendations of the Commission. Allied with this is the sometimes contentious issue of language. Sri Lanka has an official languages policy in place which gives equal place to the Sinhala and Tamil languages, mandated by the Constitution.  The right of all persons to function and communicate in a language of their choice is constitutionally entrenched.  The Trilingual Policy, announced by the Government in January 2012, will further consolidate the implementation of the Official Languages policy and make a valuable contribution to building bridges between the communities and strengthening national unity. This is a key component of the reconciliation process and language was an important focus of the LLRC’s recommendations. More than 1,600 Tamil speaking police officers have been recruited already, and the Tamil language capability of public servants and the police will be further enhanced in the future. I am happy to observe that advances have been made with regard to many of the recommendations in the Report. The Government will continue to address these issues in a systematic and thorough manner.  Some of the areas in which gains have been made include the resettlement of IDPs; demining; rehabilitation of ex-combatants; implementation of the language policy; the recruitment of Tamil speaking police officers; the removal of the military from facilitation of civil administration in the north making available land previously used for security purposes for resettlement/return; and carrying out a comprehensive census in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces. There are also other recommendations in the Report which need to be comprehensively addressed. The de-mining of former conflict-affected areas was carried out at a pace comparable with the best achievements in the world.  The Government has at present demined 1,412 square kilometres out of the 2,046 square kilometres that were contaminated with landmines.  More than 42,000 Antipersonnel Mines and 227 Antitank Mines, and more than 15,000 items of Unexploded Ordnance have been recovered from these areas.  The Sri Lanka Army is responsible for around 80% of the successful demining operations and is supported by other agencies.  It may be noted that with the establishment of the National Mine Action Centre under the Ministry of Economic Development in 2010, all coordination related to mine action and mine risk education come under the purview of civil administration. In light of Sri Lanka’s demonstrated commitment to an internal reconciliation process, including the implementation of the range of recommendations of the LLRC by the adoption of a road map for implementation as I outlined earlier, its continued engagement with the Member States of the Council and its participation in dialogue with treaty bodies and through modalities such as the UPR, the persistent request for engagement within the formal processes of the Council by some states can only be viewed with misgivings. We are of the view that this could be perceived as undue interference with internal processes of recovery and reconciliation containing strong elements of prejudgment and the application of double standards.  Given our bona fide actions on the domestic and international plane, this action would not be in keeping with established international procedure, where domestic processes must be exhausted before resorting to review before external fora. As we have done in the past, we will keep the Council informed of progress when we participate in the sessions in June, September and in the course of the UPR in October. We have already extended an invitation to the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Sri Lanka. I might add that there is already a senior advisor of the High Commissioner’s office working in Sri Lanka from as far back as 2005. In accordance with established practice of post-conflict decommissioning, the government has institutionalized a process with legislative oversight, to continuously record specific details on the number of weapons recovered, in order to bring about an end to the possession of unauthorized weapons. This will have important implications for human security in general and positively impact on the law and order situation as well. In our view, the Report contains a detailed and perceptive analysis of past errors, including those that led to the failure of the peace process, and several recommendations for the future.  The Report is comprehensive and contains detailed annexes, compiled following interviews with over 1,000 persons who gave evidence before the Commission, and over 5,000 submissions received. The proceedings were largely open and persons testified freely and openly before the Commission in public hearings unless exceptional circumstances required in camera proceedings. This was quite different to the Secretary-General’s Advisory Panel which held closed door hearings with unnamed witnesses who were guaranteed 20 years anonymity to secure their statements. This meant that the testimony could not be verified or tested for its probative value. The LLRC Report, on the other hand, places before us material of the basis on which the Commissioners arrived at their conclusions, which are substantive and verifiable.  The Commission has dealt with and made recommendations on a whole gamut of issues including aspects of accountability – something which several of our partners and interlocutors have failed to acknowledge; the resettlement of IDPs; the rehabilitation and re-integration of ex-combatants, the detention of suspects; bringing an end to the possession of unauthorized weapons; the deployment of security forces; land issues; issues with regard to restitution; implementation of the language policy; socio-economic and livelihood development; administrative issues; and on the need to arrive at a national consensus with regard to fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of all communities living in Sri Lanka. We must keep in mind that one of the major external challenges that Sri Lanka is faced with in the post-conflict context, is that the remainder of the terrorist organisation identified as the world’s most ruthless, is proscribed by 32 countries including the US, Canada and Member States of the EU, are still active in some countries and are engaged in clandestine activities, including fund raising, money laundering, drug trafficking and human smuggling.  They also wield considerable electoral and political influence in their host countries due to the concentration of large numbers in key population centres. They continue to advocate mono-ethnic separatism in Sri Lanka, while espousing a separatist ideology of the terrorist group, using the latter’s resources and being manipulated by its surviving leadership.  They also resort to exploiting the electoral influence of the expatriate Sri Lankan Tamil community living in these countries.  It is unfortunate that this group of the defeated terrorists, by attempting to pursue punitive action at the Human Rights Council through some of their host governments, should actually be resorting to undermining the genuine reconciliation process underway in Sri Lanka. Domestically, very specific measures have been adopted by the Government to safeguard human rights.  It may be recalled that during Sri Lanka’s last engagement with the UPR process in 2008, it pledged to devise a five-year National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.  We have worked hard on delivering on that pledge through a participatory process involving Government and civil society.  The result is the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in September 2011.  We are now at the implementation stage of the Action Plan, including monitoring and evaluation.  The Action Plan presents a structured framework to monitor the implementation of existing laws, policies and practices and to enhance a better understanding and respect of human rights.  It addresses 08 areas, viz, civil and political rights, economic, social, and cultural rights, children’s rights, labour rights, migrant worker rights, prevention of torture, women’s rights and the rights of IDPs.  We have completed the very first activity identified in the Plan which is the appointment of a sub-Committee of the Cabinet that will oversee its implementation. At the operational level, I will Chair a body of senior officials of institutions that will be charged with implementation. It should be apparent, therefore, that Sri Lanka is best placed to successfully conclude a home grown process of reconciliation acceptable to, and benefitting all of its people. It is most pertinent to state that any home grown process would take into account the culture, the values, traditions, customs and history of its people. Therefore, it is of critical importance that Sri Lanka be provided with the time and space required to continue with its genuine national endeavours towards achieving this objective.  We therefore urge the Council to be guided by the principles in the UNGA Resolution 60/251, and reiterate the importance of ensuring adherence to cardinal postulates of universality, objectivity and non-selectivity in the consideration of issues in the promotion and protection of human rights.  It is our sincere hope that all those who wish Sri Lanka well, would view progress made so far as a catalyst, and continue to engage with us in a constructive spirit.  The people of Sri Lanka expect and deserve no less. Full statement issued by Samarasinghe’s office: As ever, my delegation and I, assure you of our fullest cooperation in conducting the work of these Sessions. Sri Lanka is firmly committed to strengthening the international human rights system.  We are appreciative of the important work being carried out by the treaty bodies for the promotion and protection of human rights.  We welcome the initiatives undertaken to strengthen the treaty body system, given the current challenges faced in terms of resources and the increase in their work load.  We are however firmly of the view that such should be achieved through an intergovernmental process, which is both transparent and inclusive, and based on a legal mandate.  We are also of the view that greater synergy and harmonisation between, and not just within treaty bodies, but also with other human rights mechanisms such as the UPR and special procedures, is necessary to yield optimum results and to minimise duplication. The peace we have won at such cost to the nation and its people will not be a genuine peace until and unless the legitimate aspirations of all communities are met in a substantive and satisfactory manner.  The consensus formula to the national question thus evolved, needs to be democratic, pragmatic and home grown, in order to be sustainable.  As a central feature of the Government’s approach to evolving such a process, a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) is contemplated to achieve multi-party consensus in respect of constitutional changes, to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of the Sri Lankan people enabling them to work in unison and with a sense of national identity for a better tomorrow. Parallel with this multi-party mechanism, the Government has commenced bilateral discussions with Tamil political parties as well as Muslim representation. The Government has already nominated its members to the PSC and is awaiting the nomination of members representing the opposition, after which its sittings can commence. We are mindful that all previous attempts at evolving a constitutional formula have failed due to lack of consensus.  We are optimistic that the Parliamentary Select Committee process would help achieve such a consensus, given its inclusivity and transparency, and commitment to democratic ideals. The Minister also accused some countries of being bias towards Sri Lanka and “having eyes and failing to see or having ears and failing to hear” the truth. Similarly, Sri Lanka is deeply concerned to observe the continuing imbalance between the assessed and voluntary contributions to the OHCHR budget.  We are of the view that voluntary contributions should be subject to the same level of intergovernmental scrutiny and oversight as the regular budget.  We continue to support initiatives in this regard in the Sixth Committee as well as through constructive engagement with the OHCHR, with a view to ensuring that the principles of accountability and transparency are institutionally entrenched in the work of the Organization. Since the end of the conflict, a 22% economic growth has been recorded in the Northern Province, while Sri Lanka’s overall GDP recorded around 8% growth in 2011.  In terms of investment promotion, the Atchchuveli Industrial Zone, which is being developed in a 25 acre land area is expected to attract approximately 40 local and foreign investors and to generate employment to over 6,000 persons. A further 67 acres is scheduled to be added in the second stage.  The Palaly airport – which is to be upgraded, and the Kankesanthurai (KKS) harbor – are located less than 10 kilometres from the Industrial Zone, thus providing additional logistical advantages to investors. The Zone will enable small and medium enterprises to better tap into the post-conflict opportunities in the country.   The reconstruction of the Northern railway line which was totally destroyed by the LTTE, is currently under way.  Both initiatives are supported by assistance from the Government of India.  The rail link from Omanthai to Pallai and on to KKS, will provide connectivity and linkage to markets to the Northern province.  A Vocational Training Institute on par with international standards and certification that is being set up in Kilinochchi under the purview of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development with assistance from Germany, will enhance the skill levels and the employment opportunities of the youth in the Northern province.  We acknowledge with appreciation the assistance that has been received from several other countries. Minister of Plantation Industries and Special Envoy of the President on Human RightsLeader of the Sri Lanka Delegationto the 19th Session of the The Sri Lankan government informed the UN human Rights Council in Geneva today that it is committed to a mechanism for gathering and assessing factual evidence relating to some episodes which occurred during the war, buttressed by a strong investigative arm.The Minister in charge of human rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe, told the 19th session of the council that the findings thus arrived at will form the basis of a decision on whether criminal proceedings can be instituted. In the 2 years and 9 months since the end of the armed conflict against terrorism and the onset of peace, Sri Lanka has made significant progress towards recovery and achieving reconciliation, by incrementally overcoming many challenges posed to the nation and its people by almost 30 years of conflict.  The rollback and eventual abolition of emergency regulations in August 2011, in tandem with the gradual improvement in the country’s law and order situation in the post-conflict phase, has led to further consolidation of peace.  It has also demonstrated to the world Sri Lanka’s genuine aspiration in its approach to achieving a peace that is stable and sustainable. In particular, the Commission’s recommendations about the formulation of a land use plan for each district in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and, as a longer term initiative, the establishment of a National Land Commission for the country as a whole, require further study and careful planning.  A pragmatic initial step towards resolving issues related to state land ownership has already been adopted by the Government though in a more modest form. The initiative aimed at the construction of over 78,000 houses in the North, including those built under the North East Housing Reconstruction Programme (NEHRP) constructed with donor assistance. A Land Task Force was established at provincial and district levels to deal with land issues and to seek expeditious solutions, and is further evidence of our efforts.  I may also add that the Government is firmly resolved to ensure that all those who have been dispossessed of their lands, are afforded the opportunity to return to the lands they once owned. I am honoured and privileged to be able to once again share with this august body, Sri Lanka’s experience in promoting and protecting the human rights of its people, in accordance with universally accepted standards. read more

Marco Muzzo sentenced to 10 years in jail

Marco Muzzo has been sentenced to ten years in prison for the drinking and driving deaths of three children and their grandfather last fall. Today was the final chapter in the painful criminal case against Muzzo who learned his fate in a Newmarket courtroom this morning.There were tears from Muzzo as he sat in court. His sentence begins today, a sentence where he is eligible for parole in little over 3 years for the four counts of impaired driving causing death. After court finished today, it was the mother of the 3 young victims who delivered the most sobering reminder of the consequences that come with drinking and driving.A photo is the lasting image that Jennifer Neville-Lake has of her children Harry and Milley, holding hands on their hospital beds moments before being taken off life support.“I couldn’t pick which baby to turn off the machines first, I said can you put them together please? so they put them together and Edward and I crawled into bed with them.”The machines turned off, their second and third child slipped away. Their other son Daniel had died three hours earlier, as had Jennifer’s father Gary. Today Jennifer wanted to make clear that all of this is the result of a choice made by Marco Muzzo.“When you choose to drink and drive you’re hurting other families. You’re killing someone else’s babies like mine were killed. Like all of mine were killed on a beautiful Sunday afternoon just after 4 o’clock.”It was September 27th, and Muzzo was returning home from his bachelor party in Miami, he had been drinking on the plane. He landed in the families corporate jet at Pearson airport, got in his Jeep Grand Cherokee and began to drive home. At the intersection of Kirby and Kipling Muzzo ran a stop sign, crashing into the Dodge Caravan carrying the three kids, their grandparents and great grand mother. Muzzo was arrested on the spot.In February he pleaded guilty to 4 counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm. Today Justice Michelle Feurst handed down the 10 year sentence. Muzzo was credited for time served making the sentence 9 years and 4 months and a 12 year driving prohibition.The maximum sentence is life in prison. Outside court, Jennifer Neville-Lake put the sentence in perspective. “His sentence is 10 years and none of my children saw 10 years.” read more

Annan names Jean Arnault as new head of UN mission in Georgia

Mr. Arnault will replace Heidi Tagliavini as head of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG). The recommendation came in a letter to the Council President, spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.Mr. Arnault has a history of serving with UN offices deployed in various hotspots, including in Guatemala, where he was the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, and Burundi, where he held a similar appointment. Most recently, Mr. Arnault worked in Afghanistan as Special Representative to the Secretary-General and head of the UN mission there.He has held a variety of other appointments over the course of his UN career, including Political Affairs Officer in Namibia in 1989 and Senior Political Affairs Officer in Kabul in 1990.Ms. Tagliavini, in her final press conference on 12 July, said significant progress had been made in political dialogues between Georgian authorities and Abkhaz separatists, but stressed the importance of the role played by UN police in the region and the need for them to be allowed into both sides of the conflict zone.Tensions in Abkhazia escalated into a series of armed confrontations in 1992 when despite a ceasefire agreement, nearly 30,000 refugees fled their homes. Strategically located on the Black Sea, the conflict began with social unrest and attempts by the local authorities to separate from the Georgian Republic. read more

Exxon 2Q earnings fall on refining results lower production lowest profit since

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Jonathan Fahey, The Associated Press Posted Aug 1, 2013 8:27 am MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – Exxon Mobil reported its lowest quarterly profit in more than three years, as the oil and gas giant again struggled to boost production and results from its refining operations weakened.Net income fell 57 per cent in the second quarter. Exxon said Thursday that it earned $6.86 billion, down from $15.9 billion in the year-ago quarter, which included a gain from the sale of a Japanese lubricants division and other assets. Even without those year-ago gains, Exxon’s net income fell 19 per cent.On a per-share basis Exxon earned $1.55. Analysts polled by FactSet expected Exxon to earn $1.90 per share.Exxon shares fell $1.03 to close at $92.72, on a day when 24 of the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average moved higher.Exxon’s revenue fell 16 per cent in the second quarter to $106.47 billion from $127.36 billion a year earlier.Exxon pointed a finger at the global economy, saying growth in the U.S. remained sluggish, the Chinese economy grew slower than expected and Europe remained weak. This helped lower the average price of Brent crude, a benchmark used to price international oil used by many U.S. refineries, by $10 per barrel compared with last year, Exxon said.Exxon last posted earnings of less than $7 billion the first quarter of 2010, when oil prices averaged $79 per barrel. In this year’s second quarter, prices averaged $94 per barrel.Exxon’s lower earnings reflect higher drilling costs at a time of flat or declining production, analysts said. Exxon said oil and gas production fell 1.9 per cent in the quarter, making it the ninth straight quarter production has declined compared with the year earlier.Michael Kay, an analyst at S&P Capitl IQ, said in note to investors that Exxon’s disappointing oil production in the quarter is casting doubts on the company’s ability to hit its production goals for the 2014 through 2017 period.Exxon’s refining operations suffered in the second quarter because oil prices rose faster than wholesale gasoline prices. That narrowed the profit Exxon’s refineries made because input costs rose faster than the prices received for the refined fuel.These narrower margins reduced Exxon’s refining profit by $510 million in the quarter, the company said. The company also manufactured less fuel because refineries were undergoing maintenance. That reduced earnings by $370 million.“Refining stuck out the most, but they missed across the board,” said Brian Youngberg, an analyst at Edward Jones.David Rosenthal, vice-president of investor relations, said on a call with investors that the refinery maintenance outages were largely planned, and will allow Exxon to produce more fuels in the future.“We’re looking forward to the third quarter and getting these things again back up and running and producing product,” he said.Follow Jonathan Fahey on Twitter at . Exxon 2Q earnings fall on refining results, lower production; lowest profit since 1Q of 2010 read more

Baseball Ohio State prepares for first threegame road series of the season

Junior outfielder Tre’ Gantt is greeted by teammates outside the dugout after scoring a run over the weekend in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge in Surprise, Arizona. Credit: Courtesy of Press Pros MagazineFor the first time this season, the Ohio State baseball team will play a three-game weekend series against the same team rather than engage in a split-weekend series. After dropping three of the four games in the Big Ten/Pac-12 challenge over the weekend, the Buckeyes (3-5) will again travel south, this time to Buies Creek, North Carolina, to take on the Campbell University Camels (4-3). OSU coach Greg Beals said scheduling an away series this early was going to be valuable to the team in not only preparing for playing a full series in an away ballpark, but for playing against the same team three times in a weekend.“In a series, you get an opportunity to make adjustments as a team to compete against them the next day,” Beals said. “You also get to see what adjustments the other team is going to make. That’s going to give you an idea (of) what you think your opponents are going to do in the future, so you can see how other teams go about playing you as well.”Scouting CampbellThe Campbell Camels come into the weekend as match-up winners of their past two games, having combined for a total of 21 runs.Offense is the name of the game for the Camels, as they rely more heavily on their bats than their arms. This season, they have a team batting average of .281 with 49 runs scored in seven games. They tend to find most of their offense not in the air, evidenced by their low total of four home runs on the season, but rather on the ground. They already have stolen 24 bases this season while having only been caught twice. However, pitching has been an issue for them. The Camels’ pitching staff has a combined ERA of 5.43, and only four of their pitchers have an ERA below 4.50 (two of which have thrown fewer than three innings on the season).Beals said the best way to beat the Camels this weekend will be to get the bats going early, and keep their opponents off the bases.“Offensively, they like to run the bases. So we have to do two things to prevent that,” he said. “One, keep them off the bases. We pitch the ball well, play good defense and keep them off the bases. And then once they do get on base, we’ve just got to vary our looks and use things that we know. We have mechanisms for controlling the running game. We’re going to need to use those this weekend.”Tighten Up DefensivelyThis past weekend, against two Pac-12 teams, the Buckeyes were not able to play the consistent, strong defense they demonstrated last season.Over the weekend, the team combined for 10 errors and throughout the course of the season, those numbers are not looking much better. The team that last season had a fielding percentage of .975 has a team fielding percentage of .947 this season, with senior shortstop Jalen Washington and sophomore third baseman Brady Cherry tied for the team lead with five errors each. Last season, only three players had five or more errors. And while the bats did not consistently put up the kind of run totals the team would like to see, junior center fielder Tre’ Gantt said he believes that if the defense tightens up, they will start to find more consistency at the plate.“We just have to play clean baseball,” Gantt said. “I believe that when we play clean baseball and our defense is pretty solid, that’s when our bats really come alive because we’re not trying to focus on ‘we need to get runs, we need to get runs.’ We just focus on good (at-bats) and try not to stress ourselves.”Redshirt junior pitcher Yianni Pavlopoulos agreed, saying that if OSU can improve its defensive play, the team will be capable of competing with anyone. “I think, kind of like what we did against Oregon State Game 2, just play good defense, good all-around defense,” Pavlopoulos said. “If we can field the ball, I think we’re going to be a tough team to beat for sure.”First pitch of the weekend is set for Friday at 6 p.m. with redshirt junior Adam Niemeyer taking the hill for the Buckeyes. Redshirt senior Jake Post will start on Saturday, with sophomore Ryan Feltner starting in the series finale on Sunday. read more

Ebola nurse suspended for concealing Pauline Cafferkeys raised temperature

first_imgDonna Wood was accused of recording an inaccurate temperature on an airport screening form for a medic who had contracted the virusCredit:Simon Davis/DFID A nurse has been suspended for two months for concealing the fact that medic Pauline Cafferkey had a raised temperature before she tested positive for Ebola.The high temperature, noted on December 28 2014, should have triggered concerns that Ms Cafferkey was infected with the deadly virus.But Donna Wood suggested a lower temperature was recorded on Ms Cafferkey’s form so they could pass through the screening process at passport control at Heathrow Airport more quickly, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel found. You put Ms Cafferkey and anyone coming into contact with her at unwarranted risk of harmChairman of the panel Show more Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img But he said: “While the public interest in this case is high, the panel considers that there was also a public interest in retaining and allowing a highly-skilled and well-regarded nurse to return to practice.”He described the conduct as “an isolated incident in an otherwise long and unblemished career”.Ms Wood, who faced three misconduct charges, could have been struck off.Ms Wood and Ms Cafferkey, who were volunteer nurses returning from Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone, were going through passport control at Heathrow when their group was pulled aside for screening.The NMC panel found that Ms Wood was aware Ms Cafferkey’s temperature was above the nationally-set threshold, having been measured twice at 38.2C and 38.3C (101F).But it said Ms Wood suggested a lower temperature of 37.2C (99F) be recorded on her screening form so the group could leave the “uncomfortable” and “chaotic” area more quickly.A temperature above 37.5C (100F) required further assessment by doctors in the Public Health England (PHE) screening room.The panel could not prove Ms Wood had written the incorrect temperature on Ms Cafferkey’s forms. The panel, sitting in Stratford, east London, told Wood during a hearing on Friday that she would be suspended, after finding her fitness to practice had been impaired on public interest grounds.Najrul Khasru, chairman of the panel, said it had considered several aggravating factors when reaching a decision on sanctions against Ms Wood.”You put Ms Cafferkey and anyone coming into contact with her at unwarranted risk of harm,” he said.He added that the panel also considered: “The seriousness of your misconduct which could have contributed to the risk of Ebola – a very serious and dangerous illness – spreading into this country.”Mr Khasru said the panel was mindful of its duty to protect the public interest and public confidence in the professions and the regulatory body. Donna Wood was accused of recording an inaccurate temperature on an airport screening form for a medic who had contracted the viruslast_img read more

Diane Harkey on the race for the 49th congressional district

first_img KUSI Newsroom, November 6, 2018 KUSI Newsroom Diane Harkey, on the race for the 49th congressional district 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – KUSI’s Dan Plante ran into Diane Harkey, candidate for 2018 California’s 49th congressional district at the US Grant Hotel. Posted: November 6, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Decision 2018 FacebookTwitterlast_img read more