Cops probing school feeding programme transferred

first_img– as AG decries slow pace of investigationInvestigations into discrepancies in the National School Feeding Programme are grinding along, with sources informing Guyana Times that some Police Officers who were handling the case were at one point transferred.A group of students enjoying lunch at the Shulinab Primary School, South Central Rupununi, Region NineWhile the Police Officers have been transferred, it is unclear if this was a routine rotation or a punitive act. Efforts to contact top officials in the Guyana Police Force (GPF) were futile. When contacted, Auditor General Deodat Sharma informed this publication that the investigation should have been completed by now.“I don’t know why it’s taking so long … I’m not very satisfied with that. We need to put a close to that aspect of it. I think they’re taking too long, because it was an area that was very clear-cut. I don’t know what’s happening there,” Sharma said.The National School Feeding Programme targets all nursery and primary school students in Grades One and Two. It was implemented in Regions One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, and 10 and Georgetown. Regions Seven, Eight and Nine are treated separately. The meals consist of biscuits and juices.But the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the education sector, which was completed since 2017, had recommended that an investigation be launched into the Feeding Programme to ensure Government was getting value for money.Following this recommendation, State Auditors had embarked on this very investigation targeting the Programme. They had reportedly found major “spending” inconsistencies plaguing the Programme in two remote villages in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) during the period 2016-2017.Notwithstanding the lofty ideals of the Programme, coordinators in the red-flagged region have reportedly been abusing the responsibility and power vested in them. Particular scrutiny was brought to bear on the expenditures for each meal and that revealed costs were inflated. This had raised further queries as to whether the correct procurement procedures were followed during the award of the contracts.Millions of dollars ($1.3 billion and $1.9 billion in 2016 and 2017 respectively) were injected into the initiative, which was implemented in the 10 administrative regions following its re-launch in 2010 by former President and now Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo.According to media reports, funds allocated to the Feeding Programme for the Kato Secondary School were even diverted to other areas.Still unaccounted forWhen it was released last year, the AG’s 2017 report had found that $52.5 million was still unaccounted for in the controversial programme. It was noted that State auditors examined the records of 11 schools in Regions Seven and Nine. Some $73.6 million was allocated to the programme in those schools which was supposed to go towards feeding 2189 students.But the report revealed that key documentation, such as bank reconciliation statements, was not presented to the auditors. As such, the AG could not even determine whether the sum, which was received by eight schools, was ever deposited into the bank in one lump sum.“The absence of this key control measure can lead to the perpetration of wrongdoing, without prompt detection,” the report notes, while adding that there was no evidence of supervisory checks of cash books by the management committee in three of the schools.“Supervisory checks were also absent in the stock ledgers and goods received book for six schools in Region Nine … the safeguarding of public funds was compromised. Moreover, cash was kept in the personal possession of the treasurers in eight schools. This unsatisfactory situation could lead to the perpetration of wrongdoing,” the report states.In its response, the Ministry acknowledged the AG’s findings, but it was pointed out that the programme itself was in the process of being transitioned from central management to community-based management.last_img read more

Woo-hoo for Wi-Fi

first_imgWIRELESS Internet service is not only the wave of the future, but the wave of the present. Wi-Fi hot spots are everywhere, and mobile Internet devices are so numerous, it’s impossible to keep track of them. It appears that the wireless revolution is getting along just fine without the help of Los Angeles City Hall. Perhaps creating a citywide Wi-Fi network, as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed, is hardly a top priority for the people of Los Angeles. By all means, if the mayor can, through his leadership and influence, help accelerate the process, that would be a good thing. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! And if city government can, through selling franchises or leasing public infrastructure to private telecom companies, make Wi-Fi access universal in L.A., that would be a great accomplishment. But the last thing L.A. needs is a cumbersome new public utility, or a major expense of public funds, to produce something the private sector is already quite ably producing on its own. City Hall ought to first focus its resources and energies on improving the dreadful services it alone can provide – such as policing and roadwork – before venturing into new ones.last_img read more

Department of Maritime to host STCW95 Basic Safety Training

first_img Recommended for you TCI Premier blasts Opposition side for “slop” information, sets it straight in HOA Related Items:#MagneticNewsMedia, #MaritimeSafetyTraining Bahamas Police Commissioner Greenslade gone to UK, appointed as High Commissioner Nearly 30 Haitians caught following illegal landing in Nassau, says Defence Forcecenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, January 18, 2017 – The Department of Maritime (MD), in collaboration with Sea School International, will be hosting the annual STCW/95 Basic Safety Training for local captains and skippers wishing to obtain a Boat masters License.  This licence is the legal document required by a person who wishes to participate in the water sports business as a local captain, or anyone who wishes to be the captain of a small commercial vessel.  The holder of a local Boat masters license will be permitted to operate a small commercial vessel up to twenty-four (24) meters in length or up to one hundred and fifty (150) gross tons and a pleasure vessel under four hundred gross tonnes.The training will be held in Providenciales at the Department of Environment & Coastal Resources, Lower Bight Road for a three day period, commencing January 23rd through to 26th 2017.The three-day training will include:* Basic Fire Fighting;* Personal Survival Techniques;* Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities;* First Aid/CPR* RefresherFees for the course for ‘First Time’ attendees will be $630 per participant for the three days. A refresher course, for individuals whose 5 year course certificate has expired, will cost $355.  For further information please contact the Maritime Department Providenciales at 338 -4171/4179 or the Maritime Office, Grand Turk at 649-338-3173.   Re-sits, are being asked to register on/or before 23rd January, 2017.*All interested persons are asked to walk with one form of Identification upon registration. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp #MaritimeSafetyTraining#MagneticNewsMedialast_img read more

Business Magazines Need to Find their Purpose for Being in Business

first_imgAs 2009 mercifully marches toward its long-awaited end, the magazine field is littered with battered, bruised, bleeding and sometimes even deceased bodies of America’s business magazines. In a turnaround of almost Biblical proportions, the business category, which enjoyed seven or so of the fattest years in magazine history in the 1990s now is suffering through seven or more of the leanest.Some of this pain and suffering is purely cyclical, of course, on several dimensions. What goes up must come down, and business magazines in the 1990s were so far up that it was almost inevitable that they’d fall to earth with a thud in the 2000s. You can chalk some of it up to category fatigue and even more to the bad behavior, malfeasance and criminal undertakings of many of the poster children whose faces graced America’s business magazines as heroes, shortly before they graced the cells of America’s prisons as inmates.And then, of course, in a recession with the depth and breadth of our current economic meltdown, business magazines—which traditionally depend on business-to-business advertising more than business-to-consumer magazines—find themselves hit harder than other categories. Business which themselves aren’t buying anything are hardly likely to spend money advertising to other businesses which also aren’t buying anything. It’s a perfect non-revenue producing feedback loop. Rules of Engagement Have ShiftedBut there’s also a structural problem that business magazines have been slow to respond to: business and the world of work have been changing at a rapid and dramatic pace. The rules of engagement seem to have shifted; how to play the game, how to win, what winning even means—all are undergoing massive and uncharted changes.Now, you’d think that this new and dramatic narrative would provide business magazines with exactly the kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explain the new world of business to baffled, scared, and fear-frozen readers. The problem is, of course, that the magazines are themselves so baffled, scared and fear-frozen, they are as more a part of the scene than they are seasoned observers helping make sense of it. Add to that the burden of reinventing old and tired brands that no longer seem relevant to a world of transforming technology, global competition, economic recalibration and career recalculation, and it’s not hard to see why most business magazines are concentrating on surviving rather than self-reinvention.Staying in Business vs. Having a Purpose for Being in BusinessStill, as 2009 drags to a weary and welcome close, there’s reason for hope that 2010 will promise new life. There’s the acquisition by Bloomberg of BusinessWeek for a song—a huge upside opportunity if it means leveraging Bloombergs multi-platform approach to business journalism and financial analysis to BusinessWeek’s historic capacity for smart essays and clever idea packaging. But that’s only one title. Every business magazine has the same opportunity—a chance to grab on to the fascinating and dramatic “story line” that is shaping up in the new, emerging world of business. If the surviving business magazines each finds its own distinctive voice to educate readers to the huge changes under way in the economy and in the world of work, and they commit to a publishing world where the job of the magazine is to start a useful, colorful, dynamic conversation with a community of readers who need help making new and valuable connections, then 2010 can be a great year of re-invention and re-commitment to the real purpose of business magazines. (On the other hand, if they keep doing what they’ve been doing, they may survive, but it won’t really matter; they’ll gradually become less and less relevant.)This isn’t just idle speculation on my part; for the last year I’ve been traveling and speaking extensively on the changing face and shape of business, and everywhere I go, both in the United States and abroad, I find eager, hungry, actively involved audiences—people who care deeply about what happens next in the world of business. These are business executives, but also political and non-profit leaders. They are dissatisfied with the current explanation of the role of the corporation in society and they are disgusted with a public conversation that seems stuck on matters of superficiality and celebrity. They want authenticity, integrity, and real dialog—and instead they feel they’ve been getting a steady diet of status-quo thinking, round-up-the-usual-suspects journalism, and convenient excuses for why things can’t change.The exciting truth is we are at the threshold of a new era in business. All over the world we’re witnessing massive discontinuities in how work gets done, who does it, how value is created, where it gets created—one epoch is ending, another is just being born. What business magazines need to do is to embrace the changes and challenges that are rocking the world of business—get in front of the evolving story line; engage readers in a conversation; challenge the status quo instead of offering bland reassurances that the status quo will prevail; generate useful, provocative debate; discover new voices who champion new ideas and unconventional practices.It’s not just a matter of finding a way to stay in business; it’s a matter of having a purpose for being in business in the first place. Entrepreneurship is the answer to the companies business magazines cover; it’s also the answer to the future of the magazines themselves. It’s not even a question of returning to profitability. It’s a question of returning to relevancy.last_img read more

Amy Jackson announces her pregnancy shares cute picture flaunting baby bump

first_imgAmy Jackson announces she is pregnantInstagramActress Amy Jackson surprised all her fans by making a big announcement of her pregnancy. Sharing an adorable picture and a beautiful caption, Amy confirmed that she is pregnant.Amy took to Instagram and shared a photo that shows her boyfriend George Panayiotou kissing her forehead. The picture also shows Amy having a baby bump.As United Kingdom celebrates Mother’s Day on March 31, Amy took this opportunity to share the big news. “I’ve been waiting to shout it from the roof tops, and today, being Mother’s Day couldn’t be more perfect… I already love you more than anything in this world, the purest most honest love. We can’t wait to meet you our little Libra one,” she captioned the picture.It indeed is a pleasant surprise for all her fans as there were no talks about Amy’s pregnancy. Amy is yet to get married, but the actress and her partner are all set and happy to welcome their little bundle of joy.As soon as she made the big announcement, series of congratulatory messages started pouring in on social media. Amy was last seen in the big movie 2.0 starring Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth.last_img read more

Oyesomya Military intelligence wing cautions soldiers over Instagram FB profiles

first_imgRepresentational ImageCreative CommonsThe Indian Army was warned by the intelligence units regarding suspected enemy spies with fake profiles on social media targeting officers and Special Forces, asking them to pass confidential information.Issuing a warning, the Directorate of Military Intelligence showed a profile of an Instagram account, ‘Oyesomya’ (now unavailable) along with the picture of the alleged spy.The Indian military is no stranger to honey trapping of soldiers with officers falling prey to spies online who try to glean confidential information regarding the country.In a similar case earlier in January, a soldier who was part of the Armoured Corp in Jaisalmer district in Rajasthan was arrested for allegedly giving military information to a Pakistani ISI spy. Identified as Sombir, the soldier was honey-trapped on social media by the spy, reports NDTV. However, since Sombir was a junior, he did not have access to important and confidential information and could not convey anything to the ISI spy with whom Sombir was regularly chatting with on Facebook. The spy was talking to Sombir with the name Anika Chopra and got information regarding Sombir’s unit and their movements.The Indian Army closely monitored the ISI activities and the activity of the soldier on social media. The investigation helped the intelligence uncover and track numerous social media accounts of suspected spies.In another case in February 2018, an Air Force officer had allegedly provided information and documents to two Pakistani spies posing as women on Facebook. The accused, Group Captain Arun Marwaha (51), had unknowingly met the spies on Facebook and spoke to them.Between 2015 and 2017, the intelligence reported five cases of honey trapping. The Air Force reported one, the Army reported four while the Navy did not report any case.last_img read more

Boarding aircraft with weapon impossible Minister

first_imgState minister for civil aviation and tourism Mahbub AliState minister for civil aviation and tourism Mahbub Ali on Monday said that it is not possible to pass through the airport security system and board an aircraft with a weapon.He was speaking to the media at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.The state minister said, any weapon being carried through the security system becomes visible. The matter has been investigated and there is no evidence of any weapon being taken through.The state minister then went on to demonstrate how the screening system at the airport functions.Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, air vice marshal M Nayeem Hasan, also addressing the media, said an inquiry committee is looking into the incident of the attempt to hijack Biman’s Mayurpankhi aircraft on Sunday at Chattogram’s Shah Amanat Ali International Airport.Members of the inquiry committee will speak to the pilots and crew who were in the aircraft at the time and all others concerned.The Biman flight (BG 147) was supposed to depart from the Dhaka Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 5:05 in the afternoon, en route Dubai, via Chittagong.The attempt to hijack the plane was made immediately upon take off. After a tense two hours, the drama finally ended through an eight-minute commando operation at 7:24 in the evening at the Chattogram Hazrat Shah Amanat Ali International Airport. The armed young man was killed in the operation.RAB claimed to have identified the young man killed in the commando operation as Md Polash Ahmed. According to the elite force, he appears on their criminal database.In the meantime, the body of the young man has been kept at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital morgue. No one has come to the morgue to claim the body.last_img read more

Democratic Megadonor Houston Trial Lawyer Steve Mostyn Has Died

first_img Share Pu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneHouston attorney Steve Mostyn in his office on Sept. 13, 2017.Steve Mostyn, a top Democratic donor and prominent Houston trial lawyer, has died. He was 46.According to a statement released by his wife, Amber, Mostyn died Wednesday after “a sudden onset and battle with a mental health issue.” She did not disclose the cause of death.“Steve was a beloved husband and devoted father who adored his children and never missed any of their sporting activities. He was a true friend, and a faithful fighter for those who did not have a voice,” she said.The statement also said: “If you or a loved one are thinking about suicide, or experiencing a health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right now at 1-800-273-8255.”  Asked why no major Democratic candidate for governor had yet emerged, Mostyn said “the problem is if we go and ask someone to run for governor then they expect us to fund them with a tremendous amount of money, and you’re talking about a state that has 20-plus media markets, right? I mean it’s an expensive proposition to do.” “You know we’ll be there to do our part, for sure, and other folks have got to step up to do their part,” Mostyn told the Tribune. “People say I’m not here to do the politics, and I say we’re slowing down on a lot of things. We’re just a little bit slowing down. We were running pretty hard for 20, 25 years.” Mostyn said he had deliberately decreased his political activities in part to encourage other Democratic donors to open their wallets.“We’ve lowered our head down because a lot of times what’s happened is people just think we’re going to do it,” Mostyn said.  “And so we’ve asked other people to do it, and they want to do it, and I want other people to get credit for doing it. I mean this is a giant, giant state. If we were trying to flip Vermont, we’d be done.”Mostyn seemed wistful when he talked about his desire to spend more time with his children and enjoy the simpler side of life.“I want to go watch Friday night football with my son and go to my little girl’s swim meets and I want to do all those things,” Mostyn said. “I’ve got a nephew we raised who’s 19 and he’s off at college, and I’ve got a 16-year-old and I’ve got a 10-year-old. And we’re at the point where, you’re running, running, running, and you look up one day and you say, ‘We’re doing fine, but are we really enjoying the things we want to be enjoying?’ I’m not saying I’m going away anywhere, but we’ve formed these groups and we’re on these boards and certainly we’re there participating with them, but we’ve asked people to — you know, guys, you’ve got to build a broader coalition.” The Mostyns were among the top contributors to former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte‘s failed 2014 run for lieutenant governor, giving her campaign more than $100,000.“Mine is just shock,” Van de Putte said tearfully Thursday. “He was a very dear friend. He loved his state and he loved his kids. … He felt fervently about Democratic candidates and politics. He will leave a void that will be very difficult to fill,” she said.U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Mostyn “an extraordinary, luminous person who poured himself into securing justice for the voiceless and underrepresented.”“Our nation has lost a great hero, and the Mostyn family has lost a beloved husband and devoted father,” Pelosi said in a statement.In Amber Mostyn’s statement, she asked those wishing to honor her husband’s life to consider supporting the Mostyn Moreno Foundation, which helps children with special needs, or the Special Olympics of Texas. The Texas Tribune interviewed Mostyn in mid-September right after Hurricane Harvey struck Houston. Mostyn made it clear he was taking a wait-and-see approach on any Harvey-related lawsuits.He was far more effusive about his other passion — politics.Toward the end of the interview, Mostyn candidly spoke of his increasingly diminished role as a Democratic mega-donor. He said he was growing tired of almost single-handedly funding top Democratic candidates in a state hostile to their party. Mostyn is also survived by his daughter, Ava, his son, Mitch and his nephew, Skyler Anderson.Mostyn grew up in Whitehouse, a small town in East Texas, and graduated from the South Texas College of Law. He made his fortune suing insurance companies on behalf of homeowners after hurricanes. He and his wife, also an attorney, have long been considered the state’s most powerful Democratic backers, spending millions on Democratic campaigns in Texas and beyond.But Mostyn didn’t just spend money behind the scenes. He often made his opposition to Republican leaders and policies known in plain and public terms. In 2010, he famously paid for full-page ads in Texas newspapers calling Gov. Rick Perry a “coward” for refusing to debate his Democratic rival, former Houston Mayor Bill White.“Steve was a giant,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement. “He was the epitome of a Texas Democrat – big, bold, fearless, and caring. He dedicated his professional and personal life to fighting for the little guy.”Mostyn gave more than $2.3 million toward Democrats’ 2014 efforts to elect candidates including Wendy Davis, who ran for governor. In total, he had given Davis more than $3 million over the course of her political career. Since 2000, he had donated more than $24 million to political causes in his name and in his law firm’s name, according to Texas Ethics Commission records.“I am heartbroken,” Davis tweeted Thursday. “Texas has lost an extraordinary person. Steve was a committed and effective fighter for justice, a wonderful husband, father and friend. He leaves behind a lasting impact on everyone who’s life he touched.” last_img read more

Groovy melody

first_imgGet your monthly dose of the newest music with artists launching their LPs, EPs and albums. Hauz Khas social’s Social Spotlight gives artists all the ingredients for an ideal launch – a jam-packed space with mind-blowing energy complete with top-notch production. A platform to display an artist’s creativity, it seeks to showcase the mad musical output and bring music enthusiasts together every month. The purpose of Social Spotlight is to put a spotlight on the most cutting-edge sounds being made in the country. Social Spotlight will take off with MalcolmBraff’s immensely talented band – Greenwoman on 26 November. Malcolm Braff’s new Jazz Pop Electro project is kicks off in Delhi  at Hauz Khas Social. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’There has never been a better time to be an independent musician in India. There’s an influx of untapped musical talent across the country waiting to be explored, and the current Indian music scene has a larger following than ever before. With regular gigs becoming an urban fixture as well as the outburst of music festivals, the audience suddenly has access to different platforms to experience various genres and exploding talent. With live sets, eclectic tunes, massive energy and the emergence of experimental music. The much-awaited India tour is in collaboration with ProHelvetia Swiss Arts Council. Greenwoman is a band led by pianist Malcolm Braff, featuring Claire Huguenin on vocals, Björn Meyer on electric bass, Lukas Koenig on drums and Alexandre Gaeng on video.last_img read more