N.S. BUSINESS INC.–Responsible Gaming Device To Be Tested inNova Scotia Techlink Entertainment and the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporationhave announced an agreement to field test Techlink’s newresponsible gaming device. Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) hasannounced an agreement to provide an equity investment which willaccelerate commercialization of the cutting-edge technology forthe Sydney-based company. “This is an important breakthrough for our company and thetechnology we have developed to empower people to gameresponsibly,” said John Xidos, president and CEO of TechlinkEntertainment. “Nova Scotia has taken the bold step of formallytesting a technology that many gaming jurisdictions around theworld are watching closely.” The responsible gaming device, unveiled by Techlink in November,is an individual console that can be attached to an electronicgaming machine, such as video lottery terminals. It incorporatesthe use of a card to provide players with responsible gamingfeatures. These features allow players to set spending limits,review historical spending and specify times when the playerwants to be limited from gaming. “Techlink is proactive in advancing product-based responsiblegaming features. We’re pleased to be conducting collaborativeresearch to explore the potential of this newest device,” saidMarie Mullally, president and CEO of the Gaming Corporation.”This initiative is in keeping with the Gaming Corporation’sfocus of integrating responsible gaming into its products.” Focusing on the commercialization of the technology, Nova ScotiaBusiness Inc. is providing Techlink with $2 million for theproject. Techlink will use this investment to adapt and refinethe device technology and support further testing. “Techlink has developed innovative new technology which showsgreat potential for niche and international export markets, saidStephen Lund, president and CEO of NSBI. “Nova Scotia BusinessInc. supports companies such as Techlink to grow their business.In doing so, we are working together to strengthen the NovaScotia economy, both by advancing the information technology andmanufacturing sectors and by enhancing export opportunities.” Techlink Entertainment is an innovative developer of gamingproducts that enable responsible gaming for the regulated gamingindustry. The Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation is a Crown corporationresponsible for the conduct and management of gaming in NovaScotia. It’s businesses include ticket and video lottery andcasinos. Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province’s business developmentagency. Private-sector led, the organization works with growth-oriented companies to deliver business solutions. It does so byattracting new businesses to the province and helping thosealready in Nova Scotia expand, through services such as exportdevelopment and financing.
Trois experts qui examineront le modèle de l’intégration en éducation en Nouvelle-Écosse ont été choisis pour former la Commission sur l’intégration en éducation. Karen Casey, ministre de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance, a annoncé les membres de la commission aujourd’hui 24 mars. Elles sont : Dre Sarah Shea, présidente indépendante, nommée conjointement par le gouvernement et le Syndicat des enseignants de la Nouvelle-Écosse Monica Williams, nommée par le gouvernement Adela Njie, nommée par le Syndicat des enseignants de la Nouvelle-Écosse Mme Williams et Mme Njie débuteront leur travail immédiatement. La Dre Shea se joindra à la commission le 1er juin. « Cette commission, ainsi que le Conseil pour l’amélioration des conditions en salle de classe, découle directement des commentaires reçus des enseignants et des parents, indiquant que des changements sont nécessaires, souligne Mme Casey. Il s’agit d’un autre exemple de notre engagement à travailler avec les enseignants et d’autres experts afin d’améliorer les conditions en salle de classe. Nous devons mettre en place les mesures de soutien appropriées pour tous les élèves dans les salles de classe. Ce comité d’experts examinera notre approche actuelle et la comparera aux pratiques exemplaires adoptées ailleurs. » La commission examinera le modèle de l’intégration en éducation pour les élèves. Elle examinera aussi les pratiques et politiques actuelles, et élaborera un plan qui inclura des recommandations d’amélioration, ainsi que des objectifs. Les recommandations aborderont le financement, les ressources, le perfectionnement professionnel et l’amélioration des conditions d’enseignement et d’apprentissage. La commission mobilisera les enseignants, les parents, les élèves et les associations, et évaluera les pratiques exemplaires à l’échelle du Canada. Elle publiera un rapport provisoire d’ici au 30 juin, et un rapport final dans un délai d’un an après sa formation.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the BHEL-installed 4×180 MW Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project at Thimpu, Bhutan in the presence of the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Dr Lotay Tshering. Notably, with the commissioning of the last 180 MW unit, BHEL has achieved yet another milestone overseas by successfully commissioning the 4×180 MW Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan. With this, BHEL has demonstrated its high quality engineering and project management skills and a firm commitment to undertake challenging jobs as part of its responsibility towards relation building with neighbouring countries. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority (MHPA) officials have appreciated the efforts put in by BHEL for effective and efficient completion of the project. BHEL has executed the electro-mechanical package for the project which includes design, manufacture, supply, transportation, storage, erection, testing & commissioning of generating units and associated auxiliaries including Pelton Turbines, Generators, Governors, MIV, etc. along with Balance of Plant items i.e. Bus Duct, DC System, EOT Cranes etc. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe equipment has been supplied from BHEL’s manufacturing units at Bhopal, Bengaluru, Rudrapur, Hyderabad, Jhansi and Mumbai, while erection and commissioning on site was carried out by the company’s Power Sector – Eastern Region, Kolkata. The run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant constructed on Mangdechhu river in Bhutan has a gross head of 692 meter, with four numbers Pelton Turbines generating 720 MW from the project. The project has been executed under difficult terrain conditions with limited road connectivity as well as frequent disruptions during monsoons. BHEL has accomplished major milestones with the successful execution of the project. This Pelton turbine is the highest rating vertical turbine, designed, manufactured and supplied by BHEL outside India. The state-of-the-art Valmet DNA-based plant controls have also been deployed by BHEL for the first time for a Hydro Power project outside India. BHEL has already executed major projects like Chhukha, Kurichu and Tala in Bhutan till date and with commissioning of the 4×180 MW Mangdechhu project, its total contribution has gone upto 90 per cent of the installed capacity in Bhutan. BHEL is presently executing export orders for 6×200 MW Punatsangchhu-I and 6X170 MW Punatsangchhu-II hydro power projects, which once commissioned, would take its share to 93 per cent of the total power generation capacity of Bhutan.
Mumbai: After nearly three years, budget carrier IndiGo has decided to hike the salaries of its pilots and cabin crew as well other categories of employees effective this month. The commanders at the largest carrier had last month objected to the hiring of pilots from the now-grounded Jet Airways with additional sops like joining bonus, alleging that their wages remained constant for the past three years. “I am pleased to announce a salary increment for both our crew and non-crew employees effective April,” the airline’s HR head Raj Raghvan said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe pilots and crew will receive an “upward revision” in their pay through invidulaised salary letters, while all the eligible non-crew employees will receive a “merit increase,” based on their performance and market benchmarks, he said. The Gurugram-based airline, which nearly controls half of the market, wiped of nearly three-fourths of its profit at Rs 191 crore in the December quarter. “Last fiscal year was challenging year for the airline. Our profitablity in the first few quarters was significantly impacted because of escalating oil prices and and a weaker rupee. “We, however, went through a high growth inducting new aircraft and opening new international and domestic destinations,” Raghvan said.
Disney is closing its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business in a move set to shake up the media landscape.The deal paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year.By buying the studios behind “The Simpsons” and X-Men, Disney aims to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers’ attention – and dollars.Disney needs compelling TV shows and movies to persuade viewers to sign up and pay for yet another streaming service. It already has classic Disney cartoons, “Star Wars,” Pixar, the Muppets and some of the Marvel characters.With Fox, Disney could add Marvel’s X-Men and Deadpool, along with programs shown on such Fox channels as FX Networks and National Geographic.Mae Anderson, The Associated Press
Three judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), sitting in The Hague, ruled today that the start of Mr. Miloševic’s defence case be deferred from this Wednesday until next Monday.The trial’s resumption on Monday also depends on a report, due by Friday, from a court-appointed cardiologist who will examine Mr. Miloševic’s condition and his fitness to participate in the trial.The judges received a separate medical report today indicating that Mr. Miloševic needs more rest. The former Yugoslav leader has a heart condition.Mr. Miloševic is facing charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes for his role in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. The trial, which began in February 2002, has already lost 66 days because of Mr. Miloševic’s health problems.
Form an orderly queue for the SLR superstar supercar Buyers increasingly Korea-conscious as Daewoo forges ahead New format show gets a public thumbs up Form an orderly queue for the SLR superstar supercar One of the fastest and most sought after cars under the NEC spotlights is the 207mph £313,465 Mercedes SLR McLaren which is being hand built at a high-tech bespoke plant in Woking, Surrey.While most of the visitors to the Sunday Times Motor Show live might fantasise about putting the carbon-fibre shelled supercar in their garages, even those with sufficient funds will have to form a plutocratic queue.Such is the clamour for the Anglo-German thoroughbred that those willing and able to put down the required £25,000 deposit will have to order in late 2006 for an early 2007 delivery.Potential buyers are believed to include Arsenal’s soccer superstar Thierry Henri, normally associated with promoting smaller Renaults.Mercedes-Benz and their McLaren Formula 1 partners are committed to building 3,500 V8, 5.5-litre, turbocharged SLRs over seven years, but for those waiting in line the company has not ruled out extending the production run.Asked why Mercedes had chosen the SLR as its sole representative at the NEC, Rob Halloway, Mercedes UK’s public relations’ manager, said: ‘We believe the motor show should be a celebration of the brightest, best and newest. This car combines the best of both worlds with German and British technological expertise.’Asked for a list of patient celebrities and wealthy enthusiasts Holloway said: ‘We offer discretion as standard so we cannot name existing or potential customers.’He claimed that while the lightweight slingshot would catapult from zero to 62mph it would also provide practical everyday transport and ‘immense’ braking power. Buyers increasingly Korea-conscious as Daewoo forges ahead GM Daewoo, vying with South Korean counterparts Kia, for leadership in the UK volume brand market share growth stakes, celebrated two years as a General Motors’ company with a second appearance at the show.Rory Harvey, sales director for GM Daewoo, predicted that its sales for this year will be up by 60% by the end of May, to register a similar percentage share rise to Kia, and well ahead of Kia’s higher-volume Korean parent company, Hyundai.He said: ‘We showed faith in the UK public by pulling out the stops to exhibit at the last NEC show and they have repaid us by buying and driving Daewoos in growing numbers.’The Daewoo sales executive forecast that Daewoo would sell 20,000 cars this year before moving up to 26,000 units in 2005 as a growing number of new products come on stream.Harvey said new products developed to embrace European tastes and an expanding network of dealers were the twin platforms for Daewoo growth.During the first quarter of next year the company will bring a new Matiz supermini and the three-door Kalos to market followed by early 2006 when an SUV, sized between Land Rover’s Freelander and Discovery, arrives.The un-named SUV has styling cues from the BMW X5, Audi A2 and Land Rover’s Freelander and will herald the introduction of Daewoo’s first and much-needed diesel engine .Built in Korea under licence from Italy’s VM Motori, the 1.5-litre and 2-litre turbo diesels will permeate the range, except Matiz. Both the Matiz and SUV will debut at September’s Paris motor show.Under the GM umbrella Daewoo’s retail network will grow to 100 centres by the end of this year with coverage stretching from Inverness to Cornwall.Further down the road Nick Reilly, the Briton who runs Daewoo in Korea, hopes to unveil an ‘affordable’ two-seater sports car, to provide a ‘hero or halo’ product to elevate the brand and generate showroom traffic.Reilly, former head of Vauxhall, describes Daewoo as the Tesco value for money brand of the motor industry. New format show gets a public thumbs up Visitors to The Sunday Times Motor Show Live public preview day gave resounding thumbs up to the new interactive format.Debbie Watson from Solihull was delighted to have the chance to get behind the wheel of a Daihatsu Terios Sport at the Taster Test Drive. She said, ‘I’m in the market for a new car which is why I chose to come on preview day when the show is a little quieter. It was a real added bonus to be able to have a go in one of the cars I’ve got my eye on.’ At the BSM Driving School, where kids as young as 14 can get behind the wheel, Grandfather Robert Thompson from Birmingham enjoyed watching his 14 year old grandson Daniel as he took to the road for the first time. He commented, ‘I read about the driving school and thought it was a great idea. What an opportunity for young would be drivers! It’s been a great day out for the family and worth every penny’. Lee Nicholls and Sue Worrall from West Midlands, who were two of the first through the door, were looking forward to the mix of cars and entertainment. Sue said, ‘I’ve brought my boyfriend here for his birthday today, he’s absolutely mad on cars. We’re looking forward to seeing the live action show and the Thunderbirds feature.’Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
Camp Echo, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, October 2005IT SOUNDS INCONGRUOUS as the rising sun bears down on the massive stars and stripes flying next to the steel ring-fence that surrounds Camp Echo.Camp Echo is markedly different from the single-storey steel and concrete cell blocks of Camp Delta. Architecturally, the newly built facility is ultra modern. Sheila tells me that it is modelled on Miami County Prison, Indiana.It is a fully automated, fully air-conditioned, all bells and whistles, state-of-the-art maximum-security prison. ‘It incorporates,’ Jim proudly announces, ‘the very best features of the most secure lock-down facilities in the United States.’ It is a frightening, forbidding building and is alien in almost every respect. It is space-age for certain. Like something out of a science fiction nightmare.Sheila tells me that Echo holds around 16 percent of Guantanamo’s prison population. She tells me that there is a mix of compliant and non-compliant detainees. What marks them out from their peers in the rest of the camp is their perceived intelligence value. Jim pipes up that some of them are on suicide watch. Sheila and Helen glower at him. He fails to notice and jabs at bits of Egg McMuffin with his toothpick. I’m taking notes as we go.A brooding building A marine opens the Sally Port in the perimeter fence and we approach the brooding building. The prison looks permanent. It does not have the transitional ‘internment camp’ feel that Camp Delta possesses. Camp Echo has been built with the medium- to long-term future in mind. We are met by a young lieutenant who shows us around. The front entrance is monitored electronically and opens automatically.Tom Clonan at Camp Delta.There are four wings within the prison, each capable of holding twenty-four prisoners.Each cell is painted white and has its own slit window permitting natural light to enter. They are each equipped with a bed, stainless steel sink and toilet. Camp 5 has an eerie feel to it – a sterile, sanitised building with security doors that crash shut.At the centre of the building behind one-way plate glass windows, a central control room monitors each cell remotely. The prisoners are under surveillance constantly, 24/7. There are multiple microphones in each room.The stillness within the airless chambers of the prison give it a tomb-like quality. The prisoners detained within it, for an indeterminate period, seem to me like the living dead. As a tropical thunderstorm rages outside Camp 5, the thunder is barely audible.Camp Echo has been suitably named; our footsteps reverberate around the artificial space. The entire complex has an air of permanency about it that fills me with foreboding as to the futureof Guantanamo Bay. The massive investment in this facility along with the fact that it is, as yet, only half-full of prisoners deemed to be of high intelligence value to the USA seem to indicate that Guantanamo will be in operation for some years to come.Interview roomThe marine lieutenant is keen to show me an interview room. ‘I believe you asked Captain Edmondson about our interrogation techniques yesterday?’ he enquires. ‘Let me show you a typical interrogation suite. Note, there is no bare light bulb or two-way glass wall, like in the TV cop shows.’ He laughs as a door buzzes open before us. The room, like the cells is painted white. It is carpeted.Sitting in the middle of the room – somewhat unexpectedly in this mausoleum-like structure – is aregular couch, of the type I have at home in my own living room. It is even the same colour. ‘See?’ says Jim. ‘Real home comforts. Don’t think I’d be sitting on something like that if Al Qaeda ever got me.’I ask if I can take photographs. Helen and Sheila tell me that it is better if they take the shots so as not to inadvertently include any detail that is prohibited. While Sheila takes some shots of the couch, I notice a stainless steel ring on the floor. I squat down and pull at it. It is firmly anchored to the reinforced concrete floor underneath. The lieutenant explains. ‘That’s where we shackle the detainees.’ He roots around under the couch and pulls out a stainless steel chain and a set of leg irons and handcuffs. ‘See, this is how we restrain ’em.’Guantanamo Bay prison cells.I’ve seen enough. My blood runs cold at the sight of these restraints in this room. Next to that couch. On that carpet. It seems obscene to me.The sick bay We leave this sad room and continue down the hall. I look to my left and notice a room that is being worked on by some plumbers and electricians. It looks like an operating theatre. ‘Oh, that’s a sick bay,’ the lieutenant tells me. I stop and everyone comes to a halt.I ask Sheila if they will execute any of the detainees. Sheila tells me that it is impossible to answer that question in advance of the deliberations of their court martial system, which is underway despite legal appeals in the US civil courts.‘So, you’re not ruling it out then?’ I ask. Sheila looks exasperated, and Captain Jim decides to help her out.‘Y’see Tom, this isn’t Nuremberg. We’re not going to hang people here, for like, war crimes and such.’ I remark that I’m relieved to hear it. Jim is undaunted. ‘Y’see Tom, believe it or not, the American people believe that hanging is a cruel and unusual punishment.’ Helen and Sheilalook anxious to move on.‘Can’t shoot’em’Sheila looks at her watch. Jim keeps going.‘And we can’t shoot ’em either.’ ‘Why not?’ I ask him. ‘Because, believe it or not, some of our young soldiers and sailors here build up an affinity with the detainees. So it would be bad for morale to shoot them.’ Captain Jim is ready for his finale. He inclines his head at the sick bay and announces, ‘That’s why it’ll probably be by lethal injection. The way we do it stateside.’I am writing furiously. In a rare moment, Helen speaks. ‘I think it’s time we went over to see the general.’I’ve been promised an on-the-record interview with the general in charge of the facility. We drive – in silence – over to his headquarters building. We are shown into the major general’s office by a Colonel Stack. Colonel Stack is a tall black man who looks not unlike Sidney Poitier. He grips my hand firmly and tells me, in a very soft-spoken voice, that he has something he wants to discuss with me after my interview with the general.The general enters the room. Major General Jay Hood. Everyone stands. Myself included. An old military habit I suppose. The general seems pleased and invites me to sit. I ask him, given the investment in Guantanamo, and given the negative public profile it attracts, on a cost-benefit analysis, how the US military is benefitting from the existence of the camp. The general lets out a long sigh.‘Twofold. One. Some very dangerous men associated with Al Qaeda and other related terrorist organisations are not free to come back at us on the battlefield. So, first off, this is the safe detention of detainees focused on preventing attack, preventing terrorist action by some of the men we’re holding, against the United States.’Al QaedaThe general continues. ‘The second thing is the gathering of intelligence. There are still significant pieces of information that we continue to learn about Al Qaeda and some of its key operatives. We know now how they recruit, train and compartmentalise its command and control. We also know how it funds and finances itself. We’re still filling in all sorts of small pieces of intelligence into a giant, international mosaic and we’re making progress. The intelligence value is less tactical and more strategic in nature.’‘Every single detainee here at GTMO Bay is under my control and any actions involving them are in accordance with DOD Directives at all times,’ he said. I ask him if he can guarantee that. ‘Absolutely. Unequivocally.’I ask him then if the fact that the prisoners have no exit date and no release date does not constitute a cruel and unusual punishment. The general is less clear. ‘You’re asking me to speculate what’s in their minds . . . I don’t think I’m qualified to do that. What I would point out though . . . It’s not clear when the Global War on Terror will end.’Incarceration I ask him then if the incarceration of the prisoners could be indefinite. The general is preparing now to leave. He has a busy schedule. ‘That’s a matter very much for the policy makers.What I can tell you is that I’ve asked my young soldiers and sailors to focus on their jobs as well as they possibly can and in a professional manner. That’s what will lead us to success and over time we will be able to show folks in the US and in fact around the world in the international community that we intend to do this job properly. For as long as it takes.’The general stands up and shakes my hand. He almost pulls my arm out of its socket. He retains his grip and looks me in the eye. ‘Tom. While you are here on Guantanamo, you’re my guest. If you have any doubts about the program or the dignity or safety of the detainees, call me. Colonel Stack will give you my cellphone. Call me if you have any questions. Even if it’s at 4 am. And if you want me to open any door on this facility. I mean, literally, any door. Call me and I’ll come open it.’ And with that, the general is gone.Colonel Stack invites me outside onto the porch for an orange juice. ‘You were in the service I hear.’ I nod. Colonel Stack nods gravely. He tells me that he has traced his cousins online and has made email contact. ‘I’m going home to Wexford next year, Tom, for a visit.’ I wish him well and he tells me.‘Look, the general is a good man. What he really means is that he is determined that what we do here saves lives on the battlefield. No one wants another 9/11 Tom. You’ve gotta understand that.’ I make a note.Trial The next morning, over a coffee, Sheila tells me that she has swung it for me to attend an ‘Administrative Review Board’ or ARB. This is a quasi-legal process conducted by the US military in order to ascertain if a detainee should be sent forward for court martial. A sort of pretrial hearing. The prisoner in question is ‘compliant’ but believed to be personally very close to Osama Bin Laden.According to Captain Salsman, for ‘security reasons and in order to protect valuable intelligence sources’, detainees at Guantanamo, on average, only get to hear around 20 percent of the charges or allegations made against them. Again, I’m not inspired.We enter the room where the ARB is to be held. ‘Hassan’ – the detainee in question – is seated beside an interpreter. He is a ‘compliant’ prisoner dressed in a tan uniform. Hassan is not his real name. I am directed by Sheila and Helen to use the alias ‘Hassan’ when writing about this detainee.Though aged thirty-one, Hassan looks to be in his mid-twenties. He is of average height and of slight build. He is bearded with braided hair and is shackled at the ankles and wrists. He is attached by a chain to a metal ring that has been embedded in the floor. As we enter he tries to stand. The chain, however, is too short to allow him to stand fully upright. He loses his balance and, unable to move his arms or legs, falls heavily to one side.PrisonerAn air force colonel seated next to him embraces him in an attempt to break his fall. He holds him in a bear-hug and lifts him back into his seat. It is an uncomfortable moment. Enemies held in an intimate embrace. The colonel in charge of the ARB asks him through the interpreter if he is OK and reassures him that it is not necessary to stand up.The officers take an oath in English to discharge their duties to the best of their abilities. The detainee takes an Islamic oath in Arabic. The detainee is then asked through the interpreter if it is true that he attended a Saudi training camp in Pakistan where he learned to fire a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle. Hassan answers the panel in English and, looking directly at me, says, ‘Yes, I did – do I look like Rambo to you?’ Everyone, including the detainee, breaks into laughter.‘I have told my interrogators time and time again, maybe six hundred times these things are not true.’ The chairman of the ARB assures the detainee that his observations will be noted ‘for the record’.Addressing the Irish-American colonel who is chairing the ARB, he states in English, ‘You are a very senior officer and an educated man, you can see that I am not a threat to the USA, I am not a threat to anyone.’ Looking around at everyone in the room then and in a barely audible voice, Hassan states, ‘I just want to go home and see my daughter. I want to make a new life, a new start, be with my family.’ The board concludes its business.On my last evening in GTMO, Sheila, Jim and Helen conduct the Security Review Panel. They scan my laptop and camera. All is acceptable it seems.For my part, the least I can do for the detainees is to publish the on-the-record intention of the United States to execute prisoners. I am the first journalist to wring this admission from GTMO officials. I am also the first journalist to get the US military to admit openly to the force-feeding of detainees on hunger strike. I hope and trust that these admissions will hasten the demise of Camps Delta and Echo on Guantanamo Bay.Tom Clonan served as an Irish Army Officer from 1989 to 2000. He is Security Analyst with the Irish Times, where he provides in-depth defence and military analysis of fast-moving international events. He also provides expert military and security analysis to RTÉ television and radio, and international broadcasters including the BBC and Sky News. His first book, Blood, Sweat and Tears, was published in 2012 by Liberties Press.Whistleblower, Soldier, Spy written by Tom Clonan and is available to buy now in all good bookshops. The book is published by Liberties Press. You can also buy the book from the publishers website here.
Bahamas DPM Turnquest, as IDB Governor, Talks Technology and Climate Change Resilience at IDB Conclave Two boys die, bicycle and van collide in St. Catherine, Jamaica Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, Sept. 24 (Jamaica Information Service): Government has signed a US$50 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Bank, to strengthen the business environment in Jamaica to enable further private sector investment.The loan agreement was signed by Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips and Senior Private Sector Development Specialist with the World Bank, Thomas Vis, during the launch of the programme at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge on September 24.The initiative, which has been dubbed the Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth project, will be implemented by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) over a six-year period from August 2014 to June 2020.Dr. Phillips said the project will enhance competition in the business environment, facilitate strategic private investments and support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).The Minister informed that the project will also provide resources for private businesses to undertake pre-feasibility studies in relation to strategic investment projects that are to be implemented.“It will also facilitate the development of technical studies for critical sectors that the country may choose to emphasise as part of its growth strategy,” he said. Dr. Phillips noted that in this vein there is a need to explore much further, the global dynamics of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, pointing out that this is an area where Jamaica can make a significant mark. “This is an area where we can put tens of thousands of Jamaicans to work,” he argued. For his part, Mr. Thomas said the project represents an element in a larger partnership between the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank, and is aimed at advancing the prospects for growth, as the country goes through a strenuous economic reform programme that forms part of the agreement with the IMF.Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Vivian Brown, said a part of the Government’s role, as it strives for greater economic growth and job creation, is to facilitate and enable private investment, both domestic and overseas, in the Jamaican economy.“It is our belief that this project will support that strategy,” the Permanent Secretary added.Director General of the PIOJ, Colin Bullock, said under the project, new and existing businesses will benefit from streamlined regulations and processes, opportunities for public-private partnerships as well as training and access to financing.“It is a timely initiative, as there are investment opportunities available to the private sector, which can be facilitated by enhancement of the business environment,” he noted.Mr. Bullock said the project seamlessly aligns with the Government’s growth agenda and directly supports the achievement of goal three of the National Development Plan, Vision 2030, which is to make “Jamaica’s economy prosperous.”Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, Dennis Chung, said the private sector strongly welcomes the initiative, noting that “it will finally allow us to tackle critical areas affecting our ability to be competitive and grow the economy.”He emphasised that sustainable economic growth is only possible with the growth of the SME sector, where new innovations tend to be created. Related Items:colin bullock, dennis chung, jamaica, peter philips, thomas vis, vivian brown Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Jamaica’s Senate Begins debate on National Identification and Registration Bill
Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, September 27, 2017 – Providenciales – As the Former Minister of Education and Deputy Premier of the TCI, it is my profound belief that we must return our Children to school sooner rather than later. Having had an opportunity to read the Minister of Education’s press release, like many parents I am concerned that there seems to be no contingency plan communicated to parents for the Country’s public school children. We are greatly concerned that the schools damaged were not assessed and repairs quantified within the week after the passage of Hurricane Irma.While we empathize with the Ministry of Education, we know the patience of our parents is waning, and even our teachers are ready to get back in to the classroom and to some semblance of normalcy as soon as possible. We commend the teachers who attended to their campuses and commenced the clean-up process in their classrooms, and recorded the damage.Special attention must be given to the 4th and 5th Form students across the Islands as the Caribbean Examination Council (“CXC”) has not (that we have seen) issued a notice that they will be suspending January exams in the wake of the storms which have affected many of the Countries that subscribe to the CXC and CVQ exams.The US$4,000,000.00 that is budgeted for in this financial year from the previous PNP Administration’s successful grant from the European Development Fund 11 be renegotiated quickly, to be utilized to repair all primary schools in the TCI which were affected, and in some instances expand them where they can be expanded. It would make very little economic sense to now construct a fourth primary school when there are 10 in serious disarray.Suspend the Grade Six Achievement Test for all Grade 6 students, as it will not capture a true assessment of student success in transitioning to high school in the upcoming academic year. Hurricane Irma and Maria were traumatic experiences and with delays of having students return to school there will be deficiencies in their learning found. Having students repeat Grade 6 because they do not pass the GSAT in this academic year will only compound matters and student placement numbers for the next two academic schools years. Grade 6 teachers should be provided with another mechanism to assess their students’ transition to high-school for the 2018/2019 academic school year.Assessments of all Teachers’ homes must be done. Especially those Teachers who may have suffered severe lost or are displaced be housed quickly, as it would be difficult to ask they provide services to our children when they themselves are displaced.Work closely with Food for Thought Charity, as many students may face nutrition deficiencies when they return to school, and provide assistance to Food For Thought to bring in food items at a no duty rate.We are committed to working with the Ministry of Education to ensure our youngest citizens have a chance to return to their schooling as soon as possible, as institutions are safe places where they can grow, learn and explore. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Updated: 10:50 PM Posted: February 5, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The statewide effort to overturn the 12-cent gas tax took an interesting turn Monday. Former San Diego council member Carl Demiao lured people into signing a petition with really cheap gas.“I came here for the cheap gas, but I also signed the petition,” said Jabulo Carls who drives an Uber and Lyft.The gas station owner agreed to lose money in order to entice people with $1.99 gas.“I’m taking a hit, but it’s ok,” said Les Kourie. “The public is happy, they seem happy. And they get the message, stop this gas tax.”Carl Demaio started this tax recall after a super majority of Democrats in Sacramento approved a 12-cent tax on each gallon gas and a huge increase in the car tax.“Look, the people up there are not accountable,” Demaio said. “They say this money will fix roads and bridges and it’s simply not true.”Demaio is hoping to collect almost 600-thousadn signatures to make the November ballot. He’s already collected about 500,000.While hundreds of people enjoyed filling up their tanks with cheap gas, they also signed the petition.One step closer to the people taking back control from elected officials. Dan Plante, Discounted gas sold in an effort to repeal gas tax Dan Plante February 5, 2018
The high tunnels at Oceanside Farms overlook Kachemak Bay. Certain kinds of produce can grow inside the tunnels even in the winter here. (Photo by Emily Schwing, Northwest News Network)The high tunnels at Oceanside Farms overlook Kachemak Bay. Certain kinds of produce can grow inside the tunnels even in the winter here. (Photo by Emily Schwing, Northwest News Network) “When people found that they could get a cost share in helping get them installed, I think that helped spark more interest than there otherwise would have been,” Faulker said.The NRCS provides assistance for high tunnels through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Mueller says an applicant has to compile a conservation plan as part of the process.“Where people are growing in high tunnels, they often do it much more intensively, and so if they also use some of those other conservation practices: nutrient management, conservation crop rotation, and managing based on information and data that they are collecting, that’s the benefit that we are looking for,” Faulkner said.The NRCS has obligated ten percent of the program’s funding – about 6.3 million dollars – in Alaska. The money defrays infrastructure costs associated with high tunnel construction, which costs about $11,000 dollars.Donna Faulkner and Don McNamara have eight high tunnels where they grow everything from pumpkins and asparagus, to corn and even grapes.“We’re hoping it’s going to work,” Faulker said. “That’s the plan certainly, so we’re all in. We’re all invested. We’re all in totally.”Homer area residents can stop into the roadside farm stand to pick up tomatoes, herbs, squash and many other kinds of fruits and vegetables grown on site at Oceanside Farms. (Photo by Emily Scwing, Northwest News Network)The two have found ways to save money elsewhere. Beyond what it takes to run the small fan, high tunnels don’t require electricity. They’ve rigged up a system to collect rain water for irrigation and they make use of the sun year-round.Faulkner said they can even grow food in the darkest months.“Some of the Asian greens and kales and things like that can keep going through the winter,” Faulkner said. “We often do covers within covers, so we might have for instance another low tunnel over those things in the winter time to give them that added protection and on a sunny day it warms up just by solar, there’s no extra heat added to any of our high tunnels.”If you spend a day at Oceanside Farms you’ll find what Faulkner describe as a “big government program that actually works” in a state where only five percent of fresh food is grown locally. So, despite all the labor, a business plan that’s only still coming together and questions about profitability, Don McNamara said he doesn’t regret their investment.“We didn’t know quite what to expect when we got into this, but it’s working out well for us,” McNamara said. “It’s so much fun. I get up every day and tell my sweet wife ‘We get to go farmin!”And what better way to spread that kind of enthusiasm than through home grown food. High Tunnels are heated by the sun. Depending on the size, they can cost roughly $11,000 to build, but once they are erected, overhead costs are low. (Photo by Emily Schwing, Northwest News Network)High Tunnels are heated by the sun. Depending on the size, they can cost roughly $11,000 to build, but once they are erected, overhead costs are low. (Photo by Emily Schwing, Northwest News Network) Inside one of eight high tunnels at Oceanside Farms in Homer, tomatoes seem to take over. (Photo by Emily Schwing, Northwest News Network)Inside one of eight high tunnels at Oceanside Farms in Homer, tomatoes seem to take over. (Photo by Emily Schwing, Northwest News Network) Alaska, a farming capitol? It seems far-fetched, but it’s fast becoming a reality. In the last six years, a federal cost chare program through the USDA means giant greenhouses are popping up all over the state. Most of them can be spotted on the Kenai Peninsula.Listen nowOver the last three years, Donna Rae Faulkner and Don McNamara have been building a farm with help from a cost share program through the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service. (Photo by Emily Schwing, Northwest News Network)If you take the one road a few miles past Homer, you’ll catch a fantastic glimpse of Kachemak Bay: in the distance there are glacier-covered mountains and rugged coastline, but if you turn around, you’ll find yourself facing a long row of giant greenhouses.These are high tunnels. A small fan whirrs inside one. It’s packed full of plants that bear the kinds of fruits and vegetables you’d expect to find on a dinner table closer to Mexico than Alaska?Farmer Donna Faulkner takes the lead. The tunnel is about 12 feet high. It as wide as a football field end zone and only a quarter as long, but it is packed from wall to wall and floor to ceiling with plants.“Yeah, this is the nightshades…”, Faulkner’s husband, Don McNamara said. “So, all things nightshade: eggplants and peppers and tomatoes and even tomatillos.”Two layers of heavy duty plastic form the walls. They’re pulled tightly over a large metal frame and a fan pumps air between the plastic layers for added insulation. The temperature is about 95 degrees – just right for the produce that appears to be taking over.“We do get pretty maximum production. We don’t have any problem putting out vegetables here,” Faulker laughed.Donna Faulkner has always been a gardener. The couple got serious about farming three years ago. That’s when Donna Faulkner said green-thumbed locals got wind of a government program.“We were in that sort of little clan of people that do that and we said ‘oh, we should partake in that little cost share program,’” Faulkner said.That ‘little program’ was funded in the 2008 Farm Bill. In 2010, the USDA launched it through the agency’s Natural Resource Conservation Service. Since then, 679 high tunnels have been erected in Alaska. More than half of them are right here on the Kenai Peninsula. Meg Mueller reviews applications for the program. 1 of 3
Senate District Q candidate Jesse Kiehl, a Democrat, talks to a supporter on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2018, in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)Unofficial returns show Democrat Jesse Kiehl comfortably winning a seat on the Alaska Senate.“It’s humbling how many people have put their faith in me to work on Southeast Alaska’s behalf,” Kiehl said Tuesday night.With most precincts reporting, the Juneau Assemblyman leads independent Don Etheridge by more than 3,600 votes.Until this spring Kiehl had been an aide to Sen. Dennis Egan, a Democrat, who retired this year for health reasons. There was no Republican in the contest.Etheridge told CoastAlaska he’d conceded.“We fought a helluva fight,” he said Tuesday evening.The Senate race had pit two labor-friendly, politically connected Juneau men to represent District Q, a constituency that includes all of Juneau, Haines and Skagway plus a number of smaller communities like Gustavus.But the two candidates received support from opposite ends of the political spectrum and differed on a number of key issues: Etheridge is a supporter of the now-stalled Upper Lynn Canal highway extension — “the road” — whereas Kiehl does not.Kiehl supports a state income tax — something that’s anathema to Alaska Republicans and was the subject of a controversial flier paid for by the Republican Women of Juneau.Etheridge didn’t think the flier – which he had publicly disavowed – was a factor.“I don’t think it hurt it that bad,” Etheridge said Tuesday evening. “No, I think it’s just that Juneau’s not ready to go to anything but a Democratic Senator. That’s the only thing that I can see; it’s been that way for so long I think we’ve gotten used to it.”Kiehl did not make the GOP women’s flier – which some saw as potentially anti-Semitic – into a campaign issue.“Don ran a positive campaign, I ran a positive campaign,” Kiehl said Tuesday.The 42-year-old Democrat was far and away the most successful fundraiser, reporting an income of nearly $120,000 whereas Etheridge reported a little over $50,000.Kiehl’s support included $10,000 from the state Democratic Party, though the lion’s share of contributions came from individuals — many giving $100 or $50 or even less.By contrast, Etheridge often received $1,000 — the maximum allowed under state law — by political action committees tied to organized labor, oil companies and mining interests.That’s likely because Etheridge campaigned on repairing the state’s infrastructure – popular with organized labor – but also promised to cut “waste” in government rather than institute new taxes, a line popular with Republicans, who did not field a candidate in the race.“I see a lot of waste in the state and I know where a lot of it is at and when I’m on the finance committee, I’ll take care of that,” Etheridge said at an Oct. 9 candidates forum when asked where he would find trim the state budget.Kiehl, by contrast, had said he’d look to tapping oil companies to help balance the budget.“I think there are still some parts of our oil tax structure that don’t make business sense for us as resource owners,” Kiehl said at the same forum.Etheridge, 66, worked for years as lobbyist for the state’s largest union and is close to Alaska’s most prominent union leader Vince Beltrami. He also served a single term on the Juneau Assembly about 20 years ago. More recently, he was an active member of Juneau’s Docks and Harbors Board. He said Tuesday he planned to return to lobbying work.Kiehl has served on the Juneau Assembly since 2011 and currently serves as chair of the finance committee. He’ll have to resign his Assembly seat to join the Legislature. The Juneau Assembly will appoint someone to fill-in until his term expires in 2020.KTOO’s Kavitha George contributed to this report.
.A patient of Dhaka Medical College Hospital died as he reportedly jumped off the 5th floor of a hospital building on Tuesday, reports UNB. The deceased was identified as Md Rubel Gazi, 22, son of Rabiullah Gazi of Sadipur Konabari village in Sonargaon upazila of Narayanganj district.According to DMCH officials, Rubel was admitted to the medicine department of the hospital on Sunday last.Victim’s mother Atojan said Rubel had been suffering from mental problem as saliva continued to come out through his mouth after he suffered a stroke.He was taken to the DMCH on Sunday for treatment, she said.Sub-inspector Bachchu Mia of DMCH police camp said Rubel suddenly jumped from the balcony on the 5th floor of the DMCH new building in the afternoon.Ansar members posted at the hospital rescued him and took him to the emergency department where the attending physician declared him dead around 3:40pm, he said.The body was kept at the hospital morgue for autopsy.
Carr appreciated the gesture:Thank you brother ????? https://t.co/I6VU2nmUnc— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) March 29, 2017 Advertisement Marquette King is a Pro Bowl punter and a social media All-Pro. King took to the bird yesterday to wish his franchise quarterback Derek Carr a happy birthday on Twitter.King didn’t sing a song, he opted to punt a full-sized birthday cake. Follow through and everything. Once the Raiders move to Vegas, maybe King can punt some dollar bills at the Spearmint Rhino.Happy B day @derekcarrqb pic.twitter.com/JH6RFsqfsW— Marquette King (@MarquetteKing) March 29, 2017
eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… GAYSTARNEWS- Liverpool Pride parade is on 28 July. | Photo: Courtesy of Liverpool Pride Day two of the festival will be a family-focused Sunday featuring dance, arts and craft activities, food market, and barbecue in the Bluecoat Garden, alongside Pride events at the International Slavery Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Museum of Liverpool and Liverpool Cathedral.Read the full list of events here.Winner of Celebrity Big Brother Courtney Act will join the lineup on 28 July. | Photo: Magnus Hastings/InstagramCome Out of the ShadowsReturning for the third consecutive year, the Come Out of the Shadows campaign lights up the city’s most iconic buildings in the colors of the rainbow and trans flags from 19 July to 2 August. Buildings lighting up include St John’s Beacon, Anfield, St Georges Hall, and Liverpool Town Hall.The origins of Liverpool PrideThe city which was home to the Beatles had its first Pride parade in 2010. Back then, the celebration started with a tragic meaning attached to it.Liverpool Pride was, in fact, set up in response to the aftermath of the murder of young gay man Michael Causer.18-year-old Causer was beaten up because of his sexual orientation during a house party on 25 July 2008. He later died of the brain injuries reported. To commemorate his death, the parade still takes place around the date of the attack.Read more about Prides:Forget all your bad dances: this inclusive Brighton prom is beautiful and queer AF Liverpool Pride Weekend will be a free two-day festival filled with music, entertainment, and food and drink stalls.Saturday’s events will take place at Tithebarn Street, a few steps away from the city’s Gay Quarter. Sunday’s events, on the other hand, will happen across the city with a Sundae Funday festival hub at The Bluecoat on School Lane.[embedded content]The paradeThe annual parade will take place on 28 July. Beginning at St. Georges Hall, participants will weave their way through the city in a sea of color to celebrate the festival’s theme #AllTogetherNow. The march will end at Moorfields.Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Courtney Act will performAfter Pride in London, Sophie Ellis-Bextor will take the main stage at Liverpool Pride | Photo: @sophieellisbextor/InstagramFollowing the parade, the festival will take the city with three different stages.The Barclays Main Stage, situated by the iconic Superlambanana (28 July)The Manchester Airport San Francisco stage, in the square between Vernon Street and Cunliffe Street (28 July)Sundae Funday at The Bluecoat (29 July)Headlining the main stage is pop icon Sophie Ellis-Bextor. International drag star and Celebrity Big Brother winner Courtney Act, the cast of Kinky Boots, House of Suarez, Rogue Minogue, Queen Zee will also join the lineup.The Liverpool Queer Collective created a unique cabaret programme for Manchester Airport San Francisco Stage. Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Now in its eighth year, Liverpool Pride will return to the city in north-western England for a festival to remember on 28 and 29 July. Hamburg Pride’s ten-day festival is back this weekend and it’s bigger than everWhen is Pride? Check out our international Pride calendar 2018Bristol Pride announces its first wave of acts for 2018 festivalRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/liverpool-pride-brings-alltogethernow-for-a-fun-loving-free-two-day-festival/
Police search for missing woman Punter found hiding in bushes Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA 48-year-old man was arrested after a accident on a Stoke-on-Trent street last night. Two people were trapped in the three-vehicle-collision on Milton Road in Sneyd Green just before 8pm on Thursday evening. Police set up a cordon while firefighters helped free the people stuck in the vehicles. This morning police confirmed a man had been arrested following the incident. A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Staffordshire Police was called to a report of a road traffic collision on Milton Road, Stoke-on-Trent at around 8pm last night (February 28). “The collision, between a Vauxhall Zafira and two other stationary vehicles, resulted in a 48-year-old man arrested on suspicion of a positive breath test.” Read MoreWeather Warning for wind issued North Staffordshire and South Cheshire as Storm Freya heads for UK A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called at 8.01pm to reports of a three car RTC. Two ambulances and a paramedic officer attended. “There were two patients, both men who were trapped in their vehicles as a result of damage and how the vehicles came to rest. “Both were treated for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening and taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital.” A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman added: “Fire crews were called at 8.05pm to a three vehicle collision in Milton Road, Stoke-on-Trent. “Appliances from Hanley and Sandyford attended and used hydraulic cutting equipment to release two people that were trapped. “The crews left at 9.30pm.” Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Driver named following fatal collision Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window
Shruti Dugar | Kolkata While exhibiting at OTM 2018, Tater Mize, District Tourist Officer, Government of Arunachal Pradesh highlighted the destination’s breathtakingly beautiful and scenic landscapes and invited film producers to shoot in the region.“Actor John Abraham is already the Brand Ambassador of Arunachal Pradesh. The tourism department is also working extensively on promoting film tourism. The last movie shot was Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon, the cast and crew of which were provided with accommodation and on-ground facilitation. Arunachal Pradesh is the state with hidden treasures and is a ‘must-visit’ travel destination in India,” he added.Speaking to Travel News Digest, Mize elaborated that Arunachal Pradesh is spread over 83,743 sq km and 80% of that area is still dense in forests. The state is rich in flora and fauna, and is proud to have the largest area of orchids in Asia. It also houses many rare species of birds, butterflies, flora and unique medicinal plants.Mize also pointed out that taking the government’s initiative to promote tourism and create more employment opportunities forward; the tourism department is promoting homestays in the region as well. The government is also working to train, educate and raise awareness among all the stakeholders. They are also giving subsidies of INR 5 lakhs each for the development of homestays.2017 witnessed more than 4,00,000 domestic travellers and 6,000 international travellers to Arunachal Pradesh. Top countries amounting to outbound travel were America, England, Australia & New Zealand.Speaking about the travel show, Mize asserted, “Exhibiting at OTM has been very eventful for us. We were acquainted with quality buyers and were able to conclude business on positive note. We’re hopeful that we have made good networking opportunities.”
June 12 , 2019 “We don’t compromise when it comes to excellence.”Nicknamed Driscoll’s Joy Makers, a team of agronomists, breeders, sensory analysts, plant health scientists and entomologists research and develop proprietary varieties. These include the new limited edition offerings, through traditional breeding methods and without GMOs, says the company.“Driscoll’s brand promise is to consistently delight consumers with the freshest, most delicious berries, and the release of Rosé Berries and Sweetest Batch does just that,” says Fran Dillard, senior director, brand and product marketing at Driscoll’s.“It’s taken a long time to perfect these offerings – not only for the trend-forward color and desirable texture but for the superior taste.”The corporation explains that its Rosé Berries get their beautiful light-pink hue from the non-GMO breeding methods its Joy Makers use. For example, it notes that Rosé Raspberries get their “sunset coloring” from being bred from golden and red raspberries.Meanwhile, the company says its Sweetest Batch category promises high flavor strawberries and raspberries.Naomi Sakoda, Driscoll’s product marketing manager elaborates. “With Rosé Berries and Sweetest Batch, we’ve introduced a premium new product that offers a depth of flavor variety remarkably different than anything else in the category.”“Our team has worked tirelessly to offer the flavor-forward, highly enjoyable berries consumers have come to expect from Driscoll’s.” With summer approaching, Driscoll’s is now offering two new “high-flavor” berries for the season as part of its curated collection, now available for a limited time.The first of these fruits are the company’s Rosé Berries. It describes these as “beautiful blush-colored strawberries and raspberries bred for their unique color and aromatic flavor.”The second consists of Driscoll’s Sweetest Batch strawberries and raspberries. According to the company, each is grown from one proprietary variety and selected for their extra sweet flavor.This limited-edition collection of berries marks the first in a series of the company’s offerings. It adds that they’re designed to give consumers a new way to experience the trademarked fruits, labeled Only the Finest Berries.Developing Driscoll’s new berry varietiesDriscoll’s is one of the few berry companies with a dedicated research and development department. It comments that this department is focused on breeding high-flavor proprietary categories exclusively for its network of independent growers.“Introducing an immersive berry eating experience with both Rosé Berries and Sweetest Batch is a testament to our thoughtful and dedicated breeding process,” says Rick Harrison, vice president of global variety development. You might also be interested in Driscoll’s takes California Berry Cultivars (CBC) …
Blatant mishandling of building rentals by the Limassol-based technical university (Tepak), which point to potentially unlawful action, is costing the taxpayer millions every year, evidence submitted to parliament by its financial director suggests.According to historical data handed over to the House watchdog committee last Friday by Tepak financial director Costas Hoppas, reported by daily Phileleftheros, the school has so far paid millions to property owners in down-town Limassol for buildings that were either in need of refurbishment or unsuitable for the intended use.In both cases, the data showed, Tepak shouldered the cost of refurbishment – a total €7mln – while the rental agreements had been made at going market rates, despite the need for capital expenditures.Tepak, which took in its first students in 2007, is funded by the state with an annual grant of over €30mln, whereas during its first years it received more than €45mln per year.According to the data, Tepak currently rents 26 buildings housing its schools and various departments at an annual cost of €3.3mln, as well as nine buildings used as dorms for an annual €901,000.The number of buildings has been reduced by eight over the last three years, when the university built one building and bought two more, saving €940,000 in rents every year.It is expected that the number of buildings rented will be further reduced by three in the second half of 2017, as three new buildings are being built or restored.All rental contracts Tepak has signed came under scrutiny by Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides, who found that some cases involved criminal offences.Some Tepak officials and building owners involved in the signing of rental contracts are already facing trial while ongoing police investigations are being supported by two Audit Service officials.Michaelides’ findings suggest buildings were rented in the state they had been on the day contracts were signed, many old and unsuitable for use, at going market rates for buildings suitable for immediate use.Rental agreements included the obligation for Tepak to shoulder any refurbishment or modification cost, which were also found to have been inflated, relative to going market rates. These were paid to owners on the basis of an estimate, without receipts reflecting the true cost of work done.Certain owners, Michaelides reported, took advantage of Tepak’s policy and bought old buildings, which they then rented out to the university at going-rate rent after also paying for any refurbishments or renovations, and then sold the renovated buildings at substantial profit.Contracts were also found to include clauses for Tepak to start payment of rent months before the building was to be handed over.In other cases, Tepak rented 12 buildings that were not immediately fit for the intended purpose but still paid rent until they were modified as required.According to Hoppas’ data, some of these buildings had been rented but left unused for as long as four years.The 12 buildings cost almost €7mln to refurbish and an additional €10mlm in rent so far.In a statement, Tepak said it remains “in close and full cooperation with the education ministry and the Audit Service”, and that “mistakes and omissions of the past are no longer tolerated by the university’s incumbent management”.“The rentals in question relate to the period before 2012, and some have already been referred to the justice system,” it said.“The university’s new policy promotes the use of own premises and disengaging from rental contracts with unfavourable terms.”You May LikeTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoFigLeaf Beta AppFigLeaf brings You 3 Easy Steps to Privacy on Your Terms…FigLeaf Beta AppUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementCardiologist: This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboola