GECOM Chair sleight of hand masks pay increase deception

first_img…APNU’s divisive strategies eclipse that of Dictator Burnham — RamsaroopThe coalition APNU/AFC Administration has again given with one hand and with the other will now take considerably more. In the process, Government will deliver possibly its most lethal blow to the Guyanese people and the country’s economy.This assessment was made by Economic Advisor to the Opposition Leader, PeterPeter RamsaroopRamsaroop, who this week weighed in on the recent debacle engulfing the country over the unilateral swearing in of 84-year-old retired Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).Ramsaroop said the ruse is now being covered up in the collective face of the entire citizenry by the not-so-clever “sleight-of-hand game” being employed by the President, the Finance Minister, and his spin doctors under the hand of the Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.In an interview with this newspaper, Ramsaroop was adamant that while the GECOM development is deeply disturbing, there is an even wider and more sinister strategy at play.He told this publication that Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and his lawyers Anil Nandlall and others will be dealing in detail with the impact of the President’s actions, but as a Financial Analyst to the People’s Progressive Party, he is compelled to respond to this blatant and contemptuous action, which not only damages the much touted but hollow concept of social cohesiveness, but will also seriously affect the confidence of those who wish to invest in the country.“Always follow the money,” Dr Ramsaroop quipped as he reminded this publication that on the very day that the President decided to swear in Justice (rtd) Patterson as GECOM Chairman, the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, had announced a final offer to public servants.This Government has, in the face of a pleading private sector and an ailing public sector, refused to give the economy a stimulus shot, but has instead widened yet another of its revenue sources, Dr Ramsaroop said.Dr Ramsaroop reminded of the announcement made by Minister Harmon hours before the controversial and widely criticised action in the hasty swearing in of the GECOM Chairman, which immediately triggered a nationwide furor and genuine fears of a return to rigged elections.According to Dr Ramsaroop, Minister Harmon’s announcement was just a formality, since the Guyana Public Service Union — the union negotiating under the Collective Labour Agreement for public servants — has “no ability to tell this Government anything.”He was adamant that the GPSU has no kind of clout, and cannot go to President Granger or Minister Jordan to make any kind of demands.Speaking to the actual impact of the pay increase, Dr Ramsaroop said that what in fact will happen is that the pittance of an increase will not be felt in any meaningful way by individual public servants, whose increases will barely amount to “Chinese food money.”He reminded, however, “Increases in salary, however small, will mean increased taxes for the Government; and so, taken together, this means that whatever increases the clerk, typist or technician gets on his or her payslip means the Government gets a bigger share.”This, he said, “When taken in its totality, simply means the state will be pulling in more revenue from an already economically crippled people.”The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), by its own admission, is not functioning at full capacity. And with a system that employs people, mistakes will be made — mistakes that in some cases take years to fix, years the typist of the clerk will not have, said Dr Ramsaroop.On the matter of the minimum wage, Dr Ramsaroop said the amount is ridiculous in the first place, and while any increase is welcome, “unless the Government gets a hold of its management of the nation’s finances pretty soon, even the Ministry of the Presidency might have trouble to pay its light and electricity bills.”Perhaps Major General (retd.) Joseph Singh has seen the light before he is pushed out in the apparent ethnic cleansing that is taking place, according to Dr Ramsaroop; whoinsists that the GECOM development also has to be seen in the context of the coalition Government being a shackled administration that has gotten a taste for power but has already left in its wake a trail of mismanagement and an inability to act decisively against ministerial lack of responsibility for such serious catastrophies as the fire and escapes in our prisons.“I do not want to speak ill of the elderly, and Justice Patterson is of course an eminent legal luminary; but let’s face reality: he is 84 years of age, pushing 85, and would be 87 by the time of the next general elections. The President knows fully well that this choice for GECOM (Chairman) would not have been popular, but decided to go ahead and ride rough-shod over the majority of opinions in the country, and one would expect the international community. The fact that the announcement was made during Diwali period also makes nonsense of the concept to promote light over darkness.”Dr Ramsaroop posited, “It is for this very reason (that) the President made his announcement on the very day he swore in Justice Patterson. It was a sleight of hand to try to avoid any public scrutiny of an eight per cent increase on a $55,000 salary in an economy that has been contracting while taxes and inflation continue to increase.”Dr Ramsaroop questioned, “Why else would the President want to hide from his people the generosity of his administration in giving a pay increase? Everyone loves to hear that they are getting a pay increase… The answer is simple: (Government) intend to take a little bit more out of your salary.”Dr Ramsaroop said the effect of such a policy being carried out by the administration is already being felt across the country and more particularly among businesses.“The new taxes alone last year took more than $10billion out of the pockets of the ordinary man. Those increases in fees, those increases that even the donkey cart man had to pay, amounted to over $10 billion going into the Government’s coffers,” Dr Ramsaroop explained.The financial analyst said he is sure the Minister of Finance or some Government spinner at the Department of Public Information would want to point out that the increases take public servants wages to the highest it has even been, but he said that person would fail to say that the amount of taxes being collected by Government are also the highest ever collected.Dr. Ramsaroop told this publication, “The undemocratic and seriously divisive nature of the administration’s financial strategies eclipse (those) of Dictator Forbes Burnham.”He cautioned, “Burnham’s protégé is now displaying even more sinister dictatorial tendencies, and the rumblings surrounding GECOM can only mean a contentious, if not outright rigged, elections in 2020.”According to Jagdeo’s advisor, “The business community is already in outright revolt. We have religious leaders coming out against this too; but bear in mind, as troubling as it is, the Government will now be taking a little more out of your pockets every month….and the oil has not even started to flow.”last_img read more

Round-up: Hasselbaink speculation, Perch, Conte on Luiz, Fabregas and Alonso

first_imgLes Ferdinand told West London Sport on Thursday morning that QPR have no plans to replace Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager and are not considering Tony Pulis as a possible successor.After West Bromwich Albion boss Pulis was seen sitting alongside Ferdinand during Rangers’ 6-0 hammering by Newcastle this week, The Times suggested the former Stoke manager could end up at Loftus Road if he leaves Albion.But QPR director of football Ferdinand has insisted that the club have no intention of changing manager.Speculation that Pulis could take over at Rangers brought a mixed reaction from fans on Twitter.Meanwhile, swelling around James Perch’s injured knee means Rangers have had to wait for news on the extent of the problem.Perch was stretchered off against NewcastleAntonio Conte has confirmed that David Luiz will start for Chelsea against Liverpool on Friday – and is adamant he has full confidence in the Brazilian.Conte has also responded to ongoing speculation about Cesc Fabregas’ future by insisting the midfielder is in his plans and the club are not planning to sell him.And the Blues boss has indicated that recent signing Marcos Alonso will make his debut in Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie at Leicester.AC Milan are among the clubs lined with FabregasFulham winger Floyd Ayite has been ruled out for the next few games with an ankle injury.Brentford boss Dean Smith has revealed that a tactical change was behind their second-half dominance in the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.And in cricket, Middlesex will go into next week’s County Championship title showdown with Yorkshire nine points clear at the top after a draw with Lancashire at Old Trafford.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Cop held for consuming liquor in dry Bihar

first_imgA sub-inspector of police was arrested here on Friday while consuming liquor at a hotel in violation of the strict prohibition law, the district police chief said.Muzaffarpur SSP Manoj Kumar said that a raid was conducted at a hotel in Shukla Road locality under Town police station area following a tip-off. Among those arrested from the spot were the hotel’s owner Sanjeev Kumar and S-I Manoj Kumar Nirala, the SSP said adding that breath analyzer test confirmed that the S-I had consumed alcohol.last_img read more

RealSimplecom Partners with Top Tier Bloggers

first_imgAccording to Real Simple, Time Inc. made the magazine’s Web site a top priority for 2008. The site will continue to run its existing blogs, including “Adventures in Chaos,” written by the magazine’s managing editor Kristin van Ogtrop, and a wedding blog called “Nearly Wed.” Last year, saw a 50 percent increase in page views over the 2007, with total visits increasing by 68 percent. According to Singer, the refresh will “no doubt” increase the site’s current traffic. has launched a new blog called “Simply Stated,” featuring the work of “top tier bloggers” across categories like food, home and organizing, beauty and style, and life and home. According to executive director Tanya Singer, the bloggers—including a 20-year-old journalist and mother of five whose tech blog includes advice on balancing work and home—were “handpicked as the best names in their respective categories.” Blog content will be unique to Real Simple but will drive traffic to the bloggers’ sites as well, she said. The launch is part of what the magazine calls a “multi-phase online makeover,” leading to a full relaunch in August. last_img read more

LIVE MUSIC in Wilmington Week of September 23 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are several opportunities to catch live music in Wilmington this week:Karaoke with Winnell EntertainmentFriday, September 28, 8pmPacific Grove211 Lowell Street, WilmingtonJosh JacobSunday, September 30, 10am-1pmWilmington Farmers Market140 Middlesex Avenue, Wilmington (Swain Green)NOTE: Know of any other musical performances happening in town this week or in the coming weeks?  Let me know at Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLIVE MUSIC in Wilmington (Week of September 26)In “Business”LIVE MUSIC in Wilmington (Week of September 19)In “Business”LIVE MUSIC in Wilmington (Week of October 2)In “Business”last_img read more

New York ends religious exemption to vaccine mandates

first_img Share This! The Associated Press,Load Comments,Southern Baptists give greater attention to diversity but acknowledge more needed Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Catholicism The Associated Press By: The Associated Press Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York eliminated the religious exemption to vaccine requirements for schoolchildren, as the nation’s worst measles outbreak in decades prompts states to reconsider giving parents ways to opt out of immunization rules.The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly voted Thursday (June 13)  to repeal the exemption, which allows parents to cite religious beliefs to forego getting their child the vaccines required for school enrollment.Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the measure minutes after the final vote. The law takes effect immediately but will give unvaccinated students up to 30 days after they enter a school to show they’ve had the first dose of each required immunization.With New York’s move, similar exemptions are still allowed in 45 states, though lawmakers in several of them have introduced their own legislation to eliminate the waiver.The issue is hotly contested and debate around it has often been emotional, pitting cries that religious freedom is being curtailed against warnings that public health is being endangered.After the vote in the Assembly, many of those watching from the gallery erupted in cries of “shame!” One woman yelled obscenities down to the lawmakers below.The debate has only intensified with this year’s measles outbreak , which federal officials recently said has surpassed 1,000 illnesses, the highest in 27 years.“I’m not aware of anything in the Torah, the Bible, the Koran or anything else that suggests you should not get vaccinated,” said Bronx Democrat Jeffrey Dinowitz, the bill’s Assembly sponsor.“If you choose to not vaccinate your child, therefore potentially endangering other children … then you’re the one choosing not to send your children to school.”Hundreds of parents of unvaccinated children gathered at New York’s Capitol for the vote to protest.Stan Yung, a Long Island attorney and father, said his Russian Orthodox religious views and health concerns about vaccines will prevent him from vaccinating his three young children. His family, he said, may consider leaving the state.“People came to this country to get away from exactly this kind of stuff,” Yung said ahead of Thursday’s votes.Supporters of the bill say religious beliefs about vaccines shouldn’t eclipse scientific evidence that they work, noting the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1905 that states have the right to enforce compulsory vaccination laws. During the Assembly’s floor debate, supporters brought up scourges of the past that were defeated in the U.S. through vaccines.“I’m old enough to have been around when polio was a real threat,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan. “I believe in science…. Your personal opinions, which may be based on junk science, do not trump the greater good.”Supporters also suggest some parents may be claiming the religious exemption for their children even though their opposition is actually based on scientifically discredited claims about the dangers of vaccines.The bill would not change an existing state exemption given to children who cannot have vaccines for medical reasons, such as a weakened immune system.Cuomo told reporters on Wednesday that he believes public health — and the need to protect those who cannot get vaccinated because for medical reasons — outweighs the concerns about religious freedom.“I understand freedom of religion,” he said. “I have heard the anti-vaxxers’ theory, but I believe both are overwhelmed by the public health risk.”The current measles outbreak has renewed concern about the exemptions in many states. The nation last saw as many cases in 1992, when more than 2,200 were reported.The majority of cases are from outbreaks in New York in Orthodox Jewish communities.California removed personal belief vaccine exemptions for children in both public and private schools in 2015, after a measles outbreak at Disneyland sickened 147 people and spread across the U.S. and into Canada. Maine ended its religious exemption earlier this year.Mississippi and West Virginia also do not allow religious exemptions.Once common in the U.S., measles became rare after vaccination campaigns that started in the 1960s. A decade ago, there were fewer than 100 cases a year.(David Klepper writes for The Associated Press) By: The Associated Press News Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Ethiopia tour for gay, lesbian travelers in jeopardy amid backlash from faith groups Tagsbill Gov. Andrew Cuomo homepage featured immunizations measles outbreak New York State religious exemption vaccination vaccines,You may also like Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By: The Associated Press News • Photos of the Week Share This!last_img read more

How Might A New Supreme Court Justice Affect Abortion Law

first_img 00:00 /13:25 Front row, left to right: Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Back row: Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch.Credit: Franz Jantzen, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States X With the impending retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the U.S. Supreme Court, some are wondering if Roe v. Wade, the landmark case regarding abortion rights, might be overturned when a new — presumably conservative — justice is appointed by President Trump.But how much does the Supreme Court really affect abortion law? Or does the battle over abortion rights take place more often in state legislatures, regardless of the high court’s makeup?In the audio above, Houston Matters talks it over with a couple area political scientists: Jay Aiyer of Texas Southern University and Houston Public Media’s Party Politics podcast, and Charles “Rocky” Rhodes of South Texas College of Law – Houston. Listencenter_img Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: last_img read more

Knock on wood

first_imgThe expo will be held at India Expo Centre, Greater Noida, from February 4 – 7. It will comprise eight country pavilions, 450+ exhibitors from 20 countries including China, Germany, Italy, Canada, France, Taiwan, Turkey and USA along with India. Visitors will be able to access world’s most modern woodworking technology, over 500 varieties of machines, tools, materials, and furniture hardware and accessories. The expo is likely to be visited by more than 15,000 buyers which will include craftsmen, woodworkers, furniture manufactures hardware distributors /dealers etc. Buying delegations from Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and South East Asian Countries have also confirmed their participation. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The tremendous growth of the Indian woodworking industry and its continuous growth into a refined and mechanised sector have opened up immense business opportunities in India for global Woodworking majors. The Indian furniture manufacturing industry is pegged at Rs 120,000 crore and employs more than 300,000 people in the organised sector. But a mere 15 per cent of India’s woodworking industry is organised. Its semi-skilled carpenters, self-styled interior decorators and small-scale local manufacturers will need to be trained and organised to meet future market demands and exploit business opportunities. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDelhiWood 2015 will help in transforming the unorganised woodworking units in the country into adopters of material and manufacturing technologies for organised, industrial-scale production.In such a scenario, DelhiWood 2015 will offer a great opportunity to small, medium and large wood-based manufacturers to become competitive and benefit from the burgeoning market. The Expo will catalyze the growth and demand by opening opportunities whilst connecting the woodworking community with international and domestic innovations in production technologies.last_img read more

CM greets Sonia Gandhi on her 72nd birthday

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday greeted former Congress president Sonia Gandhi on her 72nd birthday and prayed for the senior Congress leader’s long life and happiness. Sources in Trinamool Congress said that Banerjee is likely to leave for New Delhi in the afternoon and meet Sonia Gandhi later in the day. “My best wishes on your birthday Sonia Gandhi Ji. I pray for your long life and happiness in all you do,” the Chief Minister tweeted on Sunday. In the national capital, Banerjee is likely to meet leaders of political parties opposed to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for talks on the proposed joint front for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.last_img read more

Bloomberg says Google Mastercard covertly track customers offline retail habits via a

first_imgGoogle and Mastercard have apparently signed a deal that was kept as a secret from most of the two billion Mastercard holders. The deal allows Google to track users’ offline buying habits. The search engine giant has been stalking offline purchases made in stores through Mastercard purchase histories and correlating them with online ad interactions. Both companies haven’t released an official statement about the partnership to the public about the arrangement. In May 2017, Google announced a service called “Store Sales Measurement”, which recorded about 70 percent of US credit and debit card transactions through third-party partnerships. Selected Google advertisers had access to this new tool, which tracked whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store in the U.S. As reported by Bloomberg, an anonymous source familiar to the deal stated that Mastercard also provided Google with customers’ transaction data thus contributing to the 70% share. It’s highly probable that other credit card companies, also contribute the data of their customer transactions Advertisers spend lavishly on Google to gain valuable insights into the link between digital ads, a website visit or an online purchase. This supports the speculations that the deal is profitable for Google. How do they track how you shop? A customer logs into his/her Google account on the web and clicks on any Google ad.  They may often browse a certain item without purchasing it right away. Within 30 days, if he/she uses their MasterCard to buy the same item in a physical store, Google will send the advertiser a report about the product and the effectiveness of its ads, along with a section for “offline revenue” letting the advertiser know the retail sales. All of this raises the question on how much does Google actually know about your personal details? Both Google and Mastercard have clarified to The Verge that the data is anonymized in order to protect personally identifiable information. However, Google declined to confirm the deal with Mastercard. A Google spokesperson released a statement  to MailOnline saying: “Before we launched this beta product last year, we built a new, double-blind encryption technology that prevents both Google and our partners from viewing our respective users’ personally identifiable information. We do not have access to any personal information from our partners’ credit and debit cards, nor do we share any personal information with our partners. Google users can opt-out with their Web and App Activity controls, at any time.” This new controversy closely follows the heels of an earlier debacle last week when it was discovered that Google is providing advertisers with location history data collated from Google Maps and other more granular data points collected by its Android operating system. But this data never helped in understanding whether a customer actually purchased a product. Toggling off “Web and App Activity”  (enabled by default) will help in turning this feature off. The category also controls whether Google can pinpoint your exact GPS coordinates through Maps data and browser searches and whether it can crosscheck a customer’s offline purchases with their online ad-related activity. Read more in-depth coverage on this news first reported at Bloomberg. Read Next Google slams Trump’s accusations, asserts its search engine algorithms do not favor any political ideology Google’s Protect your Election program: Security policies to defend against state-sponsored phishing attacks, and influence campaigns Google Titan Security key with secure FIDO two factor authentication is now available for purchaselast_img read more