Government is now desperate and scared (Pt 1)

first_imgDear Editor,Each time there is a sitting of the National Assembly, I would habitually take a walk to Demico House across the street, and to parts of Stabroek Market to interact with vendors and laborers during the lunch-break. I do this because I need to know how decisions we make in Parliament affect the lives of ordinary Guyanese. Very often they would comment that Ministers of Government are so aloof, they would never do what I’m doing until they’re campaigning for votes.This was evident when the entire Cabinet descended upon the Stabroek Market square, inviting vendors to “meet and greet your Minister” on Christmas Eve after they were earlier declared persona non grata.But they were scared from before. On the day of the No-confidence Motion, they were expecting thousands of supporters to amass in front of Parliament building, but only managed to scrape the barrel down to a disappointing hardcore few.Now that this elitist group of APNU+AFC Ministers need people, they’re now shamelessly asking them to come out in defence of the Government, the same Government that neglected them for three and a half years.Now we see Ministers dancing and partying with DJs when not too long ago, these same DJs were being hounded and forced to shut down the music by the 2:00 am curfew.The point has already been made by former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, other prominent lawyers and the Guyana Bar Association on the validity of the No-confidence Motion as it relates to Nigel Hughes’ fuzzy maths.I will only ask if those who now question the passage of this motion would have objected and demanded that Government needed 34 votes to defeat the motion had all 33 members of Government voted against it. I guarantee, this would never have happened and Nigel Hughes would not have come up with his jumbie equation to stir-up trouble.Immediately following the fall of the coalition Government, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo held a Press Conference in which he admitted that the opposition’s motion “was approved by a majority of all the elected members of the House.” This admission of defeat was echoed by President Granger and several Cabinet Ministers.Editor, you may recall that in 2014 Carl Greenidge, until recent, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in an interview, that “because a no-confidence vote in the Government is a major issue over the performance of the Government, the behaviour of the Government and the breaking of the law by the Government, it needs to be followed by the resignation of the Government and the calling of national elections.” But I wonder if he shares the same view now.Despite previous admissions that the government has fallen, we’re now being told that Cabinet is looking at the legal implications, and is likely to go to court to seek a reversal of the no-confidence vote taken in favor of the Parliamentary Opposition. The audacity of this Government to still have Cabinet meetings, flies in the face of Article 106 (6) of our Constitution which explicitly directs the entire Cabinet to resign.Article 106 (6) of our Constitution is unambiguous. It clearly states that “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.” This government has fallen, the President, the Cabinet and rest of Ministers must resign now! And since the APNU+AFC are so convinced that they have done great things for Guyana and its people, they should have no problem calling new elections now.Sincerely,Harry GillPPP/C Member ofParliamentlast_img read more

Half-time: QPR 0 Doncaster 1

first_imgQPR – without a win or even a goal in their previous three matches – went behind to Theo Robinson’s goal three minutes before the break.Niko Kranjcar had their best chance during a first half in which they lost Junior Hoilett to injury.Hoilett limped off in the 12th minute at Loftus Road, where Doncaster belied their lowly position – and the wet and windy conditions – by causing problems with their slick passing and movement.Charlie Austin, back in the Rangers side following a hamstring problem, had a header from Joey Barton’s right-wing cross well saved by goalkeeper Ross Turnbull.And when Danny Simpson’s low cross fell to Kranjcar, the Croatian shot wide of the target.Rovers have been a threat on the counter attack, with Mark Duffy just failing to connect with Robinson’s cross and Richie Wellens shooting narrowly wide after jinking his way into the box.The visitors’ deserved breakthrough came when Yossi Benayoun, making his home debut, was robbed by Federico Macheda, who sent Robinson through for the striker to fire into the bottom corner.QPR: Green; Simpson, Onuoha, Dunne, Assou-Ekotto, Barton, Kranjcar, Hoilett (Phillips 12), O’Neil, Benayoun, Austin.Subs: Murphy; Traore, Hill, Johnson, Carroll, Henry.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

The Ohio Pork Council partners with Brookside Laboratories to provide discounted soil and manure samples

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Pork Council is pleased to announce its partnership with Brookside Laboratories to provide discounted soil and manure samples for all Ohio pig farmers. To help farmers better utilize their resources, Brookside Laboratories has generously offered to provide soil samples for $3 per sample and manure samples for $20 per sample for all Ohio pig farmers.To qualify for the discount, farmers must complete a survey at www.ohiopork.org/soilsample.“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Ohio’s pork farmers as they work towards continual improvement of water quality and best nutrient management practices,” said Luke Baker, Brookside Laboratories.Once completed, farmers will be provided an email with further instructions, a unique identifying code and an order form to be submitted with their soil and manure samples. Special soil sample bags and manure containers will be provided though select integrators and county extension offices for farmers to use in this process.“This partnership is yet another example of how Ohio agriculture is joining together to achieve common sense solutions to complex problems like water quality and nutrient management,” said Rich Deaton, President, Ohio Pork Council.For more information please contact the Ohio Pork Council at 614-882-5887 or visitwww.ohiopork.org/soilsample.last_img read more

In Maine, A Battle Royal Over Energy Policy

first_imgNet metering is a “regressive tax”Echoing arguments made by any number of electric utilities, the governor’s energy office called current net-metering rules “regressive” and said they amount to unfair subsidies for those who can afford to install photovoltaic (PV) systems.“It’s a regressive tax that’s disproportionately placed on low-income Mainers, and we have a lot of low-income Mainers,” said Lisa Smith, senior planner in the energy office. “In Maine, someone who has a solar panel who applies for net metering not only gets credited the full retail value of the electricity, they’re not paying their fair share of grid maintenance because they’re not only being credited for the supply, they’re also being credited the [transmission and distribution] portion of the bill.“They’re getting everything for free and someone who doesn’t have a solar panel is paying for that,” she continued. “They’re paying for their own and they’re paying for the folks who have solar panels.”Because there are only a couple of thousand net-metered customers in the state now, she said, the costs are not significant, adding, “It has the potential to become quite significant.”Recently, a study conducted for the Maine Public Utilities Commission concluded the actual value of electricity generated by PV customers is double what net-metering now pays. And the latest news was greeted with “disbelief” by the co-founder of a Maine renewables company.“We are rubbing our eyes in disbelief at the governor’s new energy bills,” Phil Coupe, co-founder of ReVision Energy, told The Portland Press Herald in an article published on May 13.“They will take Maine’s energy policy back to the Stone Age,” Coupe said of the new proposals. In what’s shaping up to be one more clash over state energy policy, Maine Governor Paul LePage has proposed the elimination of both net metering and Maine’s renewable portfolio standard. Both policies are regarded as essential by renewable energy advocates but too expensive by the executive branch.Legislators already are doing battle with the Republican governor over how to fix a typo in a 2013 law that now threatens to gut the Efficiency Maine program. The new proposals, yet to be scheduled for a public hearing, will add fuel to the fire.Under current rules, Maine residents with small solar or wind systems are paid the full retail rate for excess electricity they sell to the grid. That would end, as would requirements that Maine electric utilities purchase an increasing amount of their electricity from renewable sources.In both cases, the governor’s energy office says changes are intended to simplify existing law and make electricity more affordable for both residential and industrial customers.Renewable energy advocates are outraged. Lower regulatory barriers for nuclear plantsAlso on the energy front: The governor recently submitted legislation that would eliminate the requirement for voter approval for any nuclear plant with a generating capacity of less than 500 megawatts.Maine hasn’t had a nuclear power plant since Maine Yankee in Wiscasset closed in 1996. There are still some 550 tons of spent nuclear fuel from the 900 MW plant stored on site.The new proposal hasn’t had a hearing to date, and Smith said she was unaware of any specific plans for bringing a new reactor into the state.“I’m personally not aware of it,” she said. “A couple of these proposals were put in to just start a discussion and try to eliminate some outdated language. We actually had language in our statute that said nuclear was bad, or something along those lines. So there were a couple of proposals to look into this issue again. I’m not aware of anything on the horizon.”LePage is actively working to increase the availability of natural gas in the state as a way of bringing down energy costs and making the state more attractive to new industry. Lower costs, not the source of the electricity, is key, Smith said.“The governor is completely agnostic as to the source of the energy,” she said. “He just wants the best deal and he does not want the electricity price hikes we’ve seen. We have large industrial customers who won’t come to the state because of the volatile electricity prices.” But it’s a blow to advocatesMaine is the only state in New England without incentives of its own for solar power, and installers and other renewable advocates were dismayed by the latest proposals from the governor.Vaughan Woodruff of Insource Renewables told The Press Herald that the legislative proposals will discourage customers because they will create uncertainty about the future of net metering, a key component in weighing the economics of a purchase.Coupe also pointed to the contribution renewable energy already is making to the state — a $2.6 annual contribution to the state’s economy every year and the creation of 12,000 jobs, according to a study funded by the Maine Technology Institute, the newspaper said.He called LePage’s proposals “mind boggling.”In an email, Coup raised another point: Maine’s economy increasingly relies on tourism, yet the state is the “worst air polluter in the region.”“Maine already has the lowest electricity rates in all of New England, but we also have the highest per capita carbon pollution in the region due to our over-reliance on oil, propane, natural gas, and gasoline,” Coupe wrote. “As our once-vaunted pulp and paper continues to decline due to global market factors and the advent of the digital (not because of energy costs), tourism has gradually become Maine’s strongest economic driver. Our tourism industry is predicated on Maine’s pristine environmental reputation — in reality we are the worst air polluters in the region.”He said ocean acidification and carbon pollution is already taking its toll on Maine’s lobstering and clamming industries as well as the $7 billion tourism industry.“Gov. LePage’s energy proposals will devastate Maine’s renewable energy and clean-tech industries and over the long term will harm our vital marine fisheries and tourism industries,” Coupe added. “It is the height of insanity.”Given that the Legislature will be in session another month, it’s unclear how far these latest initiatives will get this year. But, Smith pointed out, they can always be put back on next year’s session without being formally reintroduced. Portfolio standard is an “artificial subsidy”Maine has a two-tier renewable portfolio standard that separates renewable energy sources into two classes, Smith explained. Class 1 includes energy projects that existed prior to 2005 or 2006, such as combined-heat-and-power plants and waste-to-energy facilities. Class 2 includes solar, wind, small hydro, and biomass.Maine utilities are now required to purchase an increasing amount of the electricity they sell from Class 2 sources, rising to 10% by 2017.“What has actually happened in Maine is that over 50% of our electricity is already generated from renewable sources,” Smith said. “We have one of the cleanest, the second cleanest, [mix] in the nation as far as electricity generation already.”The real driver of renewable investment in the state, she said, is the demand from southern New England, where the prices for renewable energy certificates (or RECs) are higher.“A wind project in Maine,” she said, “they’re selling their RECs in Massachusetts or Connecticut. They’re not even using our market. We have this artificial, so to speak, subsidy that is not achieving the goal of driving renewable energy investment in Maine.”Smith said the renewable portfolio standard costs Maine ratepayers millions of dollars a year.last_img read more

Augmented Reality Game Gets Player Busted: The First Of Many?

first_imgcormac foster 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Ingress, the Alternate/Augmented Reality (AR) game from Google’s Niantic Labs, is a major evolution of mobile gaming. Apparently, it’s also a good way to get arrested.According to a post on Reddit (I know, I know – but stay with me on this), an Ingress player in Ohio was detained by police for his in-game actions. Specifically, he was “hacking a portal” near a police station. His phone had technical difficulties, which led him to linger by the portal/police station for a bit, catching the eye of local law enforcement and leading to the detention.After the original post, other Ingress players responded with similar stories. One aroused suspicions by wandering around an empty parking lot at night. Another, trying to hack a portal next to an air traffic control station, had to run from the local sheriff. A third was called in for questioning after hacking a portal outside of a “high-traffic drug area.”It’s In The GameAs Dan Rowinski mentioned in his earlier post, there’s plenty of “creep” factor built into the game. In fact, much like geocaching (Ingress’ non-digital ancestor), lurking in strange and hard-to-get-to places at odd hours is kind of the point.Getting detained (as many Redditors pointed out, the poster wasn’t technically arrested) probably adds to the intrigue, and certainly gives a player a certain amount of street cred. It could also call into question the boundary between the First Amendment and public safety. Legal, But RiskyAll of Ingress’ portals are on public land. There’s no law against walking past a police station, post office or airport. There are, however, very legitimate safety concerns held by the people charged with protecting those facilities and keeping an eye out for potential risks.As one law enforcement professional joked, “I hope they don’t put one of those in front of the White House.” In fact, there are apparently a bunch of portals in front of the White House, embassies and other sites that could be high-interest targets for vandalism or worse.At least Ingress doesn’t require players to dig up or bury physical objects, a phenomenon that has caused some high-profile problems in the geocaching community. Still, as similar games take off (and they will), we’re going to see more friction between gamers and law enforcement, particularly in full AR environments that use cameras. In addition to trespassing and loitering violations, there’s greatly increased potential for distraction, perhaps leading gamers to injure themselves or others. It’s all the danger of texting – plus headphones – with the added possibility of being labeled a terrorist by overzealous cops.The FutureBy all accounts, Niantic labs has been responsible about these issues. The game doesn’t encourage trespassing or dangerous behavior, like using your phone in a car. Other developers may not feel the same sense of duty, or their goals may encourage “creative” players to take unnecessary risks.If enough negligence, trespassing, and public nuisance suits (and maybe some claims of police harassment) hit the courts, we’ll eventually wind up with legislation governing the balance between gameplay and public safety. We might see an increase of no-device buffer zones around sensitive areas, or certain games limiting accounts to only users of age to accept legal responsibility for their actions. There could even be outright bans on AR games in certain areas.Until then, it’s up to game developers to police themselves and players to stay smart. One dumb move could lead to a ton of regulation that could really spoil everyone’s fun.Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts center_img 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#Augmented Reality#gaming#Google 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

Modi remembers Chhattisgarh’s Kunwar Bai on Women’s Day

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi said several women had left an “indelible mark in the history of mankind” through their “exemplary deeds” and paid tribute to the late Kunwar Bai, the mascot of his flagship Clean India mission.In his Twitter posts, the prime minister also urged people to write about women who had inspired them and use the hash tag ‘#SheInspiresMe’.Through their exemplary deeds, several women have left an indelible mark in the history of humankind. They continue to inspire generations. I urge you to write about some women who inspire you. #SheInspiresMe, Modi tweeted on International Women’s Day. Lauding Kunwar Bai, who passed away at the age of 106 earlier this year, the prime minister said she sold her goats, reportedly her only asset, to build two toilets at her home in Chhattisgarh’s Kotabharri village. Her contribution towards Swachh Bharat (Clean India) cannot be forgotten , he said I will always cherish the time when I had the opportunity to seek Kunwar Bai’s blessings during one of my visits to Chhattisgarh. Kunwar Bai lives on in the hearts and minds of all those who are passionate towards fulfilling Bapu’s dream of a clean India. #SheInspiresMe, he added. The prime minister also shared photographs and a video clip of him felicitating Kunwar Bai during a programme in the state two years ago.last_img read more

Flood situation improves in Odisha districts

first_imgThe flood situation in Odisha has shown signs of improvement as rain has stopped in almost all districts. Except for Malkangiri and Kalahandi, there was hardly any rain in any other district on Thursday. The floodwater flowing towards the delta region in the Mahanadi river was not likely to pose any major threat as its level was decreasing. People in low-lying areas close to the coast are, however, worried about possible overflowing of floodwater before discharge into the sea. At Naraj, the water level was gradually dropping. The water discharge at Kharimal into the Mahanadi was measured at 3.35 lakh cusecs and at Barmul, it was 5.88 lakh cusecs. In most major rivers, the water level has been found either falling or steady.Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said 64,354 people were evacuated and sheltered in 173 relief camps. Of them, 83 camps with 23,383 evacuees were operating on Thursday. An estimated 2.96 lakh people in 11 districts were hit by the floods. Balangir has so far been the worst-hit district where 2 lakh people have been affected.last_img read more

Freeland Carr meet with future Mexican cabinet ministers in Ottawa

first_imgOTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is hosting a pair of Mexican dignitaries who will hold key cabinet portfolios once their country’s incoming government take power.Freeland and International Trade Minister Jim Carr will sit down for bilateral meetings in Ottawa today with Mexico’s future foreign affairs minister Marcelo Ebrard and economy minister Graciela Marquez. The meetings come just a few weeks after Canada, Mexico and the United States agreed to an updated North American free trade pact.The agreement narrowly beat a deadline imposed by the U.S. Congress to get the deal fast-tracked and voted on by Dec. 1, ahead of Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s incoming government.The visiting Mexican officials, Ebrard and Marquez, will take on their ministerial roles once Lopez Obrador’s government takes office.Canada and Mexico are still dealing with stinging steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration _ and both countries have responded by slapping the U.S. with retaliatory duties of their own.last_img read more

Two Laurier professors sue former TA who recorded disciplinary meeting

first_imgTwo Ontario university professors who are being sued for defamation by controversial author and professor Jordan Peterson over comments made during a private meeting allege a former teaching assistant who recorded the conversation is responsible for its broader publication.Nathan Rambukkana and Herbert Pimlott, who teach at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., maintain their comments about Peterson were not defamatory but argue in a third-party claim that they could not have known the statements would be recorded or disseminated outside the November 2017 meeting.The pair allege Lindsay Shepherd, then a teaching assistant, had “power and control” over the recording and the distribution of the conversation, and meant for the contents of the meeting to potentially become widely available and discussed.Therefore, they argue, should the court find Peterson suffered damages or injuries, those would be “attributable to Shepherd and her publication and dissemination” of the recording.The allegations have not been proven in court and Shepherd’s lawyer says the young woman has not yet been served with the document.Howard Levitt says that while he has not seen the claim, his client will defend herself against the allegations. He further says the professors’ argument makes no sense considering the conversation was also shared by media outlets and others.“Why don’t you sue all the news agencies…that published it, if that’s really your position?” Levitt told The Canadian Press.Neither Rambukkana nor Pimlott immediately responded to requests for comment, but they have previously denied the allegations in Peterson’s lawsuit.At the heart of both suits is a 2017 meeting between the professors, a Laurier staff member and Shepherd, who was then a teaching assistant in Rambukkana’s communications class.According to Peterson’s unproven statement of claim, the disciplinary meeting was called after Shepherd showed students an excerpt of a TVOntario broadcast in which Peterson defends his opposition to gender-neutral pronouns.Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor who has gained international attention for his views on free speech and political correctness, alleges in his suit that the professors and staff member compared him to Adolf Hitler and accused him of being a “charlatan” over the course of the meeting.Shepherd recorded the discussion and later posted the audio to Youtube, where Peterson — who is seeking $1.5 million in damages — alleges anyone searching his name online could be exposed to it.“This has a significant impact on Peterson’s reputation among those with whom he deals, including fellow academics, future or existing students, the university where he works and those whom might read his books or listen to his lecture,” his statement of claim said.Peterson further alleges Wilfrid Laurier University is liable for the conduct of its employees.Shepherd, meanwhile, has filed her own lawsuit against Laurier claiming the university behaved negligently and left her unemployable in academia after the incident.Wilfrid Laurier University said it would fight both Peterson’s and Shepherd’s lawsuits.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Policy Bills Requirement for New Excess Capacity Study Appears to Be Delay

first_imgLanguage in the House version of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill requiring DOD to prepare a new, more detailed infrastructure assessment likely will do little to change lawmakers’ opposition to a new round of base closures, according to an op-ed in the Hill by Frederico Bartels, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. If nothing else, the pending study, due in February 2020, will provide Congress an excuse to postpone a decision on the need for a new BRAC. And while the requirements for the new study will allow for a more up-to-date assessment, the result is unlikely to change significantly from excess capacity studies the department prepared in March 2016 and October 2017. “Lawmakers are once again changing the parameters, in the hopes they will be able to avoid a new round of BRAC,” Bartels stated.The provision’s requirement for DOD to identify installations with either a capacity shortfall or excess almost certainly will serve to trigger opposition to a new BRAC from lawmakers representing districts with bases cited in the study, he said. The lack of detail in DOD’s previous estimates of its excess infrastructure probably frustrated lawmakers but was needed to avoid signaling possible actions in a future BRAC round. The best way for Congress to learn more about the military’s excess capacity is to authorize a new round of base closures, Bartels emphasized.“As it stands, Section 2812 is a delay tactic dressed up as a robust data call. The Pentagon has excess infrastructure. Whether that excess accounts for 22 percent of its holdings, or 19 percent, or even just half of that is largely irrelevant for starting a new round of BRAC,” he stated.Don’t miss a panel discussion covering the trends, politics and policies that will define the year ahead on Wednesday, June 20 at the 2018 Defense Communities National Summit. Featured speakers include Bartels along with Blaise Misztal, director of national security at the Bipartisan Policy Center; Mackenzie Eaglen, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; and Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Johnny Bivera Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more