Division, distrust and fear now pervade Guyana Police Force

first_imgDear Editor,A report in another section of the media (Sept. 17, 2017) screamed, “Seelall must go: Sanction Ramnarine”. Why? Because, according to the report, Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud, “had improperly inserted himself into the investigation into the alleged plot although he was on leave.”Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine, on the other hand, reportedly “failed to ensure proper probe while acting as top cop.”Paul Slowe, a former Assistant Commissioner of Police with a seeming grouse against the Guyana Police Force, its top leadership, and the former Government, has pelted the mega stone. He came out with vengeance, venom, and unreserved bias, which were obvious from day one of the CoI. He is long suspected to be an active behind-the-scenes advisor to the PNC, and the perfect hatchet man to ensure preconceived political objectives are achieved.On what limb does the accusation against Commissioner Persaud stands? Is it a fact that he was on leave? The answer is yes. Is it a fact that he became involved in the matter? Again the answer is yes. Then did he obstruct justice, improperly insert himself into the investigation, or in any way compromise the investigation? The answer is that he could not have. Why? Because the power and authority at all material times remain vested in him, even though he was on leave!Let’s consult Article 211 (c) of the Constitution.  It states, “If the office of the Commissioner of Police is vacant, or the holder thereof is unable to perform the functions of his or her office, a person may be appointed to act in that office…”  A legal luminary forcefully concluded that none of the above applied to the office of the Commissioner of Police or the person of the Commissioner of Police, therefore a Deputy Commissioner could not have been appointed to act in that office. Neither was the office of the Commissioner of Police vacant, nor was the Commissioner disabled from performing the functions of Commissioner.  Authority, therefore, still resides in the Commissioner of Police.Further, Article 228 (2) of the Constitution continues to provide guidance and clarity. “Where by this Constitution a power is conferred upon any person or authority to make any appointment to any public office, a person may be appointed to that office notwithstanding some other person may be holding that office when that person is on leave of absence pending the relinquishment of that office; and where two or more persons are holding the same office by reason of an appointment made under this paragraph, then for the purpose of function conferred upon the holder of that office, the last person appointed shall be deemed to be the sole holder thereof.”  What is the main element here? Leave of absence pending the relinquishment of the office of the Commissioner!Legal luminary again asserts that Commissioner of Police Persaud was not on leave of absence pending the relinquishment of the office of Commissioner! He remains the last and only holder of that office, even though he was on leave.Assistant Commissioner Ramnarine could not have been appointed under Article 228 (2) to the office of Commissioner of Police. Therefore, he was never Commissioner of Police while Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud was on leave. As such, the power and authority of Commissioner remained vested in Seelall Persaud at all material times. It follows therefore that notwithstanding Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud was on leave, he had at all material times the administrative power and authority to act in accordance with the powers vested in him.Therefore, he could not have improperly inserted himself into any investigation, as reported by the State newspaper. One would dare say it was his duty to ensure justice is done following the rule of law.Assistant Commissioner Ramnarine, though a good administrator, cast his bet on the wrong side of the coalition. Maybe he’ll repose in the knowledge that at the TSU Square, all dressed in AFC colours, he championed the cause of change, and then regaled in victory at the same square with the words, “Is a-we time now.” Like his political friends, he is now learning that the PNC plays hard ball in diabolical ways. He is now caught in the middle, a victim of the power struggle between the dominant PNC and the subservient AFC. Wherever his career takes him will be dependent on the outcome of the power struggle within the PNC+AFC.The plot unfolds in a surreal spectacle, deja vu, a replay of history. “After the 1968 election, Burnham began to purge Indo-Guyanese from the GDF officer corps. By 1970, Afro-Guyanese dominated both the officer and the enlisted ranks of the GDF.  The ruling PNC began using political and ethnic criteria in selecting officer cadets… attempted both to consolidate and expand the loyalty of the GDF by manipulating racial symbols and by materially rewarding loyal soldiers … 1973 an aide to Forbes Burnham openly advocated that the GDF pledge its allegiance to the PNC…This recommendation was made policy the following year. Although the recommendation was unpopular among career officers, disagreement was not voiced openly for fear…” (Guyana and Belize Country Studies: Federal Research Division (Library of Congress) Edited by Tim Merrill. Jan. 1992).   Obsessed with control, the aide to Burnham truly walks in the footsteps of his deceased master.Albeit, it is now the Guyana Police Force in which he plays out his role as President and Commander-in-Chief, with Paul Slowe as his surrogate advisor/hatchet man. The resultant effect, however, is unparalleled damage to the Guyana Police Force. Division, distrust and fear now pervade among the officer corps. Esprit de corps has been savaged, sacrificed on the altar of executive lawlessness in the guise of a Commission of Inquiry, the outcome of which would appear to have already been determined.Romesh V. Singhrailast_img read more

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What happens if constitutionally due elections are not held?

first_imgDear Editor,If National and Regional Elections are not held by March 21, 2019 — as ruled by the Chief Justice (Ag) — and there is no two-thirds majority (by the way, what number is two-thirds of 65?) vote in Parliament for elections to be deferred beyond the date stipulated above — as outlined under Article 106 (7) of the Constitution of Guyana — will the new elections be deemed unconstitutional?Will the new Government formed by the party which wins the elections be deemed illegal? What will be the constitutional issue/s if any?I am no expert as it relates to Constitutional Law. I do not have the competence to debate complex legal issues. I am only an ordinary layman; but, as a citizen of Guyana, my conscious is pricking me. I am wondering. Perhaps I am just a lonely wonderer. Let the confabulation continue.Yours faithfully,Clinton ConwayAssistantCommissioner ofPolice(Retired)last_img read more

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Ruimveldt man jailed for gun, ammo

first_imgA South Ruimveldt man was on Friday sentenced to four years in jail after he was found guilty of two counts of illegal gun and ammunition charges when he appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court before City Magistrate Judy Latchman.Nabadaninge Gobin, 33, of Lot 149 Aubrey Barker Street, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown, was charged for the illegal possession of a 9mm Gluck pistol and for having 13 rounds of live ammunition in his possession.Magistrate Latchman in her bid to use Goblin’s case an example, told the court that her ruling is based on the seriousness of the offence committed which is a direct result of the rampant spike in gun crimes nationwide.Gobin, who is a repeat offender, was also fined 0,000.last_img read more

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Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester City: Toure and Aguero magic saves stale champions

first_imgTwo late goals from Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero rescued a stale Manchester City, who depended on their stars to seal a 2-0 win over a stubborn Aston Villa side at Villa Park.The result was harsh on the hosts, who had marshalled the defending champions superbly throughout the 90 minutes.Despite dominating proceedings there was a distinct lack of intensity in City’s play, but, while they squandered chance after chance in front of goal, all they needed was two pieces of magic to claim all three points.Toure was a largely anonymous figure during the game, but popped up when needed to curl a shot past Brad Guzan with eight minutes left, while Aguero – who hit the post earlier in the match – smashed in an unstoppable effort moments later to hand City their fourth victory of the season.Attending supporters saw very little action in a drab first-half, with neither team landing a shot on target.City started the better, though, and were denied by the woodwork early on when Aleksandar Kolorov’s rasping drive nicked the outside of the post.The Serb was perhaps Manuel Pellegrini’s brightest performer in the first 45 minutes, though his team-mates couldn’t give the finish his whipped crosses and penetrating passes in and around the box deserved.Edin Dzeko was next to squander a chance, firing over from close-range, but Villa didn’t sit back and proved lively on the counter, with Toure having to bolt into his own box to deny Andreas Weimann from getting his shot away.Defender Nathan Baker was also a constant thorn in City’s side, as his well-timed tackles thwarted the likes of Aguero, Dzeko and the impressive David Silva, and while City did have a flurry of chances on the stroke of half-time, Paul Lambert’s men managed to hold on.The Premier League holders came quickly out of the half-time blocks, with Aguero twice going close and once hitting the post with an arrowed hit, though Villa maintained pressure themselves with another swift counter-attacking move.The game’s first shot on target came from Silva, who swivelled in the box before getting his shot away, though Guzan was equal to the Spain international’s effort.That effort seemed to boost City’s confidence as they began to pepper Villa’s box, with Pellegrini’s men registering a hearty 27 efforts on goal.Villa weren’t out of it though, and Lambert may have been left to curse Charles N’Zogbia’s lack of vision as, having bamboozled defenders with a bustling run, he failed to pick out Weimann in acres of space on the edge of the box and eventually ran down a blind alley.But the Blues continued to pile forward, with centre-back Eliaquim Mangala testing Guzan with a power header, and their patience was rewarded with two quick goals in the last ten minutes as the Villans’ plucky resistance finally relented.Toure has so far failed to rediscover his best form since a summer of wild speculation over his future, but this was a classic finish from the Ivorian powerhouse as he ran into a rare gap in Villa’s defence and tucked a neat shot past the American stopper.And the game was put well a truly to bed two minutes from time, Aguero this time finding himself in a patch of space near the box and firing an arrowed strike into the top corner for his 81st goal for the club.It was a cruel finale for Aston Villa, who no doubt deserved more from the game, but City’s expensively assembled side eventually came out trumps as they closed the gap on table topping Chelsea to just two points. 1 Man City striker Sergio Aguero last_img read more

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Season of dry anxiety

first_imgMeanwhile, the Department of Water and Power has cleared dry brush from all its major properties, including the Encino and Chatsworth reservoirs, and lots in Franklin Canyon, Stone Canyon, Hollywood and Pacific Palisades. Clearance is key Work at a handful of 31 smaller properties is scheduled to be completed next week, LADWP spokesman Joe Ramallo said. Officials stepped up efforts after a downed power line in Franklin Canyon sparked a fire that charred three homes in April. “We take brush clearance very seriously and we work very cooperatively with the Fire Department to ensure our properties are cleared by their crews,” Ramallo said. But some people still don’t seem to get the message. Just over the weekend, firefighters in Benedict Canyon responded to reports of someone burning trash in a backyard. And the LAFD has received at least 36 reports of illegal burning just this month. “They need to be more careful and not just consider what they’re doing, but consider the community,” McKnight said. “You’re not supposed to burn your trash. You’re not supposed to burn your yard waste. But we still find people doing things like that.” As hot, dry and windy conditions forced a second day of a red-flag warning over Los Angeles County on Wednesday, the parched region experienced three small fires – a blaze in Sunland charred 10 acres; a fire in the Santa Clarita Valley burned about 3 acres; and a grass fire burned briefly near Bel Air Presbyterian Church in the Sepulveda Pass. The red-flag warning was expected to continue until 9 tonight. But the looming wildfire threat will linger for many, including Ana Bebekian of Stevenson Ranch. When flames raged along the dry hills cradling her upscale community in 2003, Bebekian and her husband took photographs and video of their home before fleeing with their two young children. “We’ve just been really careful and afraid,” she said. She pointed across the street. “This whole hill was burned.” Meanwhile, dry brush filled trash cans and Dumpsters along Running Horse Road in Placerita Canyon, where the 6,000-acre Foothill Fire roared through in 2004. Defensible space The neighborhood “was like an island; both sides of it were burning,” said Ken Price, a retired studio prop maker. Price said he spends at least an hour a week now clearing brush around his property. For firefighters, that 200-foot buffer between a home and brush is the difference between survival and tragedy. “It gives firefighters a defensible space for the home, and a space to retreat in case the fire gets away,” McKnight said. “If you live in a very high-hazard zone, you have to clear your brush.” An early start In Los Angeles County, Brown said officials this year began brush clearance inspections in January – two months before the typical start in March. “The field moisture is extremely low,” Brown said. “If a fire gets going, it could be really serious.” The LAFD also conducts inspections, but McKnight said homeowners shouldn’t wait until a fire inspector is at their door. “If you live in those areas, you know already what needs to be done,” McKnight said. In Benedict Canyon, resident Cory Wellman, 57, said she can still picture the dense black smoke that covered the region when a fire raged on the hill across from her last year. For her, every driver along the windy road with a cigarette dangling from the window spells trouble. “It is always scary,” she said. “And people are really concerned. … Fire season here – there’s no beginning and no end. It’s just constant.” Staff Writer Brandon Lowrey contributed to this story. eugene.tong@dailynews.com (818) 546-3304 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With today’s official start of summer and a record dry year, some hillside residents’ and fire officials’ nerves are increasingly on edge as they confront what has seemed like an endless, year-round fire season in Southern California. Since July, Los Angeles has received a scant 3.21 inches of rain, and wildfires – including the nearly 1,000-acre blaze that burned a quarter of Griffith Park last month – have increased from 296 in the first six months of last year to more than 2,100 so far this year. “There has not been a break,” said Capt. Antoine McKnight, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman. “The fire season has been one continuous one. We just have to be very vigilant.” Capt. Mike Brown of the Los Angeles County Fire Department agreed. Officials have augmented crews stationed in the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, he said. “The faster you attack a fire, the less time it has to spread,” McKnight said. Firefighters trying to show homeowners the do’s and dont’s of brush-fire protection could simply point to Rodney Kemerer’s backyard in Benedict Canyon. On the hill behind Kemerer’s house, a 200-foot-wide fire break dotted with water sprinklers extends across the length of his property – the recommended barrier between brush and structures in this hilly area between Studio City and Beverly Hills. But thick, tinder-dry vegetation covers the same slope behind Kemerer’s neighbor’s house, posing a serious fire risk. “It’s the flip of a cigarette,” Kemerer, vice president of the Benedict Canyon Association, said Wednesday. “It’s an easy ignition point, and it becomes an example to the rest of the community. If that guy didn’t clear it, why should I?” last_img read more

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A network of support

first_imgKelson also said resources like the society’s 24-hour help line can answer questions about the disease or life with cancer, and long-term resources are available for those who have survived their illness. “ACS has a survivor network,” Kelson said. “They can actually go online and communicate with other survivors. Also we have survivors just stay in the support groups and become a support to others.” Dr. Nathan Honda, medical director for the Ruby L. Golleher Cancer Program at Intercommunity Presbyterian, said the services of the American Cancer Society are underused, but he hears of the benefits they give to patients from the many doctors he works with. “A lot of the oncologists I work with, the medical oncologists, stated that they have seen a positive impact with patients,” Honda said. Honda said awareness of all that is offered is critical for the community. “We just wanted to spread the news and create awareness of the hospital’s partnership with the American Cancer Society,” Honda said. One unique service offered through the partnership is the Mariposa Boutique, which specializes in fitting women with prostheses after mastectomies, as well as providing wigs, jewelry, purses and even lingerie in the store. Debbie Nunez-Lowis of Chino Hills is the coordinator for the boutique. A longtime resident of the Whittier area, Nunez-Lowis worked for the hospital as a financial counselor for the maternity ward, but heard about an opening to head the boutique. She earned certifications in fitting prostheses and took over the boutique, in part because of her mother, a 20-year breast cancer survivor. “Because my mother had breast cancer, I wanted to get involved,” Nunez-Lowis said. “This was an opportunity for me to get involved more.” Nunez-Lowis has been with the boutique for seven years. Mariposa has a cozy shop atmosphere that makes it a kind of oasis after time in the hospital, Nunez-Lowis said. Being fitted for a prosthesis or learning how to dress a new body can be intimidating and sad for women, and Nunez-Lowis makes it her goal to make the experience one of healing. “One of the roles of the center is that we are usually one of the first people to see a woman after surgery,” Nunez-Lowis said. “Lots of times, they haven’t even looked at themselves. We are able to reassure them about how beautiful they still look.” Nunez-Lowis calls the underclothes and accessories the boutique provides “non-surgical reconstruction,” and partners with the American Cancer Society to help patients who cannot afford to pay for products in the boutique on their own. “I know that if a patient comes in and they are unable to purchase a wig, we can refer them to the American Cancer Society,” Nunez-Lowis said. “We also let them know about programs like Look Good … Feel Better.” Most support groups and activities for patients with cancer through the society are led by social workers, but volunteers also staff the office at the hospital and help with many activities. Lorraine Tibbets is a retiree who volunteers at the American Cancer Society one day each week. Tibbets said she helps with a variety of activities at the office at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, including making spreadsheets, answering questions for those who come in and helping with activities put on by the center, like makeup tips for women with cancer. For Tibbets, the job is all about helping those who come to her in search of help. “We’re here mainly to work with the patients,” Tibbets said. “So many people have come in here and said they couldn’t believe what we do here, and for free.” Tibbets said that while many with cancer believe they can rely on family for support, some find themselves needing someone outside the situation to talk to. “People are afraid and they become very emotional,” Tibbets said. “We find that patients can’t talk to their families because it upsets the families and the patients don’t want them to worry. It allows them to unload and heal their mind as well as their body.” To contact the American Cancer Society about services offered at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, call their 24-hour hot line at (800) 227-8345. news.wdn@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3015 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! • Video: Counseling and support services for cancer patients Cancer. For many, the diagnosis is more than an illness; it is the beginning of a struggle that will touch every aspect of their life. But according to the American Cancer Society, most cancer patients in the Los Angeles area do not take advantage of the services offered to help them with their multi-faceted needs. According to the American Cancer Society, about 26 percent of patients in Los Angeles take advantage of the programs they offer, while 74 percent choose to cope alone. For patients at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, however, no one needs to brave cancer on their own. The facility is one of just a handful of hospitals that houses its own American Cancer Society office, where volunteers and social workers offer myriad services to patients battling all forms of cancer. Services include support groups for the families of patients, an all-male support group for those with prostate cancer, a special support group for women with breast cancer that features a chance to talk with survivors, and “Look Good … Feel Better,” a service that teaches female patients beauty techniques to restore their looks during treatments that often mean hair loss and skin problems. Rosa Kelson is the director of Health Programs for the American Cancer Society for the Long Beach area. She said the support groups help people meet others who have had similar experiences. “I think it helps because newly diagnosed people like to talk to someone who has been there, who really understands what they’re going through,” Kelson said. last_img read more

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Fiorentina star ‘waiting for offers’ amid reported interest from Chelsea

first_img Milan Badelj in action for Fiorentina 1 Chelsea target Milan Badelj is ‘waiting for offers’, according to his agent.The midfielder’s contract with Fiorentina expires in under 18 months time and he is ready to leave for a new challenge.Chelsea have been linked with the Croatian over the past six months, while he is also a target for AC Milan and Roma.And now the 27-year-old’s agent, Joksimovic, has revealed he will be standing by his phone waiting for bids as the transfer deadline draws ever closer.“Over the last two days of the transfer window I will be in Milan waiting for offers, but at the moment there is nothing concrete,” Joksimovic told ForzaRoma.info.last_img read more

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Healthcare plan puts UCT students in line for Hult Prize

first_imgBongani Siamtinta, Bachelor of Business Science student. (Image: Bongani Siamtinta)• Bongani SiamtintaBachelor of Business Science studentUniversity of Cape Town+27(0)83 505 7236 bongani.j.siamtinta@gmail.com • Healthcare in South Africa• Universal healthcare for SA? • Bridging the public healthcare gap • Universal healthcare plan on track Aneshree NaidooA team of six University of Cape Town (UCT) students has submitted a project for the Hult Prize, which this year has issued a challenge to address global healthcare.The students – Hlaka Mamabolo, Noah de Villiers, Chiedza Museredza, Barnabas Sungayi, Patrice Madurai and Bongani Siamtinta – propose that a better record-keeping system is a key aspect in providing better healthcare. Their idea has got them as far as the regional finals, and the team will be competing in London on March 7 and 8.They built their idea out of an observation by the World Health Organization (WHO). In its South Africa Country Co-operation Strategy 2008 – 2013, the WHO points out: “The health profile suggests that in South Africa, health policy and systems strengthening, maternal, child and adolescent health, HIV and Aids, tuberculosis, malaria, and road traffic accidents require priority attention.”Social entrepreneurshipThe Hult Prize invites the world’s brightest college and university students to help solve the world’s most pressing issues through social entrepreneurship. It is the world’s largest student competition, with teams competing in six cities: Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. The regional winners enter an incubator programme, where they receive mentorship and strategic planning advice. During this time, they create prototypes and set up to launch their business. The overall winner receives $1-million seed capital towards their business.Siamtinta, who is in his fourth year of a Bachelor of Business Science degree in quantitative management, explains the thinking behind the team’s proposal: “We live in an age where keeping health records for patients is no longer done via the file system. Now we have the ability to use cloud storage and this ensures that health records are kept safe and can easily be accessed.”Their proposal focuses on how healthcare record-keeping has become more sophisticated.“Cloud-based record-keeping is better because it allows health care providers to have patient history on the go. It’s easier to share information on a global scale, and with the network of health care workers all working together with this information they can easily come up with an ideal treatment plan for patients. This idea is based on the old adage that ‘two heads are better than one’ and given the technology available, solutions are supposed to be more effective and efficient,” says Siamtinta.“If cloud-based storage became a standard for securing patient history, this would make it imperative for local municipalities to include in their budgets expenditure to invest in technology so that primary healthcare providers can do their job effectively. This is why we also need to raise awareness about the problem of healthcare provision, to make public servants aware that they have to serve all the needs of their constituents. In so doing, every key partner involved in improving the health care provision to informal settlements is an active citizen and making their communities and ultimately their country better.”Specific details of their idea are being kept confidential until the competition winner is announced. It rests on the students believing that with a medical history, better treatment can be administered. The team also believes that social entrepreneurship can change the world, as “enterprise signals the imperative to drive social change”. They count social entrepreneur Daphne Nederhorst, the founder of Sawa World, as an inspiring figure in the field. Sawa World works with local communities to decide on the best entrepreneurial solutions to their problems.Young leaders with a global impactMamabolo, who is in his second year of a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering, talks about being selected to compete in the Hult Prize regional finals. “This platform allows us to solve problems faced in our rural setting in South Africa and globally. We are excited and well-prepared to compete with our friends from prestigious universities globally to solve social issues surrounding healthcare.“I think that this competition shows the world that as students we are not only concerned about getting a degree and leaving to big companies. We are an example of young leaders who are dedicated to having a global impact,” he adds.His colleague, De Villiers, is completing his Bachelor of Business Science degree in economics and law. “Being regional finalists in the Hult Prize 2014 has provided us with a unique opportunity to be involved in addressing one of the most complex challenges hindering growth and development in Africa,” he says. “Our team’s idea is unique in its own right, providing a comprehensive incentive to sufferers with an NCD [non-communicable disease] to get treated and be healthier.”The team is excited about competing with international students. Museredza, a final year Bachelor of Law student, says: “I’m ecstatic and also a little anxious. It’s exciting to be chosen; however, we’ve only made it if we actually go to London. I’m hoping society at large chips in to help us fly the African flag high.”Madurai is in his third year of a Bachelor of Commerce degree in management studies, while Sungayi is in his third year of a Bachelor of Commerce degree in financial accounting.The students need at least R66 150 to fund their trip to compete in London. They are sourcing sponsors and private donations. In keeping with the competition’s entrepreneurial bent, regional finalists are expected to raise their own funds to compete in the regional rounds.The Hult PrizeAn initiative of Ahmed Ashkar, who is the chief executive, the Hult Prize was set up in 2009 by Swedish-born billionaire entrepreneur Bertil Hult, who also founded the world’s largest private education provider, EF Education First. In an interview with Fox News, Ashkar said: “As a business student, I thought that if my peers around the world could also understand what it meant to do good, do well, help the poor make money, that we could essentially turn this problem on its head and tip the market.”The Hult Prize was a response to the global financial crisis that started at the end of 2007, which raised concerns about ethical businesses practices. It encourages business students to propose ethical ideas to tackle social problems such as poverty and energy provision. It supports social entrepreneurship, an ethos that encourages entrepreneurs to consider the social benefits of their business ventures.Working with former US president Bill Clinton and his Clinton Global Initiative, each year the Hult Prize sets a challenge for students to address. Established in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative, an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, “convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges”.Previous challenges include tackling education provision, housing and energy, and providing clean water for people in need. This year’s challenge is “to build sustainable and scalable social enterprises to address non-communicable disease in urban slums”. The competition estimates that about 250 million people live without adequate healthcare in urban slums.Clinton has lauded the competition, saying: “The Hult Prize is a wonderful example of the creative co-operation needed to build a world with shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity, and each year I look forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces.”The Hult family provides the annual $1-million in seed capital awarded to the winner.Sponsors who want to help the UCT team get to London can contact Siamtinta on bongani.j.siamtinta@gmail.com, or call him on +27 (0)83 505 7236.last_img read more

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Australian government bans employees from flying Lion Air

first_imgThe Australian government has banned its employees and contractors from flying Lion Air and its subsidiaries after Monday’s crash which claimed 189 lives.The Department Of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued the warning on its website saying;“Following the fatal crash of a Lion Air plane on 29 October 2018, Australian government officials and contractors have been instructed not to fly on Lion Air or their subsidiary airlines. This decision will be reviewed when the findings of the crash investigation are clear.”Those subsidiaries are Batik Air which operates into Perth, Australia from Bali and Wings Air.It is not clear if the ban applies to KL-based Malindo which is a joint venture with Lion Air.However, Batik Air operates under and separate AOC.AirlineRatings.com is seeking clarification of the ban.Sources at Australia’s regulator the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Melbourne tell AirlineRatings.com that the government did not consult it or the industry but just applied the ban.Lion Air recently passed the world’s most stringent safety audit the International Air Transporation Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) which covers over 1000 safety and operational parameters.The last crash involving a fatality for Lion Air was in 2004, however, the airline has experienced some hull losses in recent years.The is the first time the Australian Government has banned staff from flying on a major airline.Indonesian airlines were cleared to fly to the US in 2016 and that year Europe lifted its ban on Lion Air.READ:  Lion Air’s erratic speed and altitude graphs revealed.The European Commission also lifted its blanket ban on Indonesia carriers in mid-2018 after the country returned mostly above average results in a 2017 review by the  International Civil Aviation Organisation Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program.The EC has said it has no immediate plans to reintroduce the ban on Lion Air as a result of Monday’s crash.ICAO’s audit reviews the national aviation system and looks at operations, airworthiness, accident investigation, aerodromes, organization, legislation, air navigation services and licensing.The 2017 audit saw Indonesia score above the global average in six of the eight areas, was average in one and slightly below average — by about 0.1 of a percentage point — when it came to the organization.Its highest ICAO score of 90.91 percent was for airworthiness.last_img read more

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Best getaway options around Mumbai

first_imgIs the big city life getting to you? Can’t wait to get away from it all? Simply Mumbai has caught the travel bug too this month so give in to temptation before the good weather runs out and take the first road out. Get set and read on as we,Is the big city life getting to you? Can’t wait to get away from it all? Simply Mumbai has caught the travel bug too this month so give in to temptation before the good weather runs out and take the first road out. Get set and read on as we scrounge through popular travel hubs and adventure hotspots as well as carefully hidden secrets to bring you the best weekend getaway options.Vertical limitMahuli: The highest point in the Thane district, Mahuli fort is a favourite with those who like adventurous getaways. Located at a height of 2,815 feet, Mahuli is a trekker’s paradise. It has a strong local trekking and rock-climbing fraternity, and there’s plenty of assistance even if you’re a beginner. Enroute is the Manas Mandir, an important religious place for the Jain community. Once you reach Mahuli, at the foot of the fort is a resplendent Shiva temple.The forest cover that surrounds the fort makes for an exciting and challenging trek from the Shiva temple to the fort. Many of the paramount temples in Maharashtra like Sangameswara, Visveswra, Boleswara and Rameswara, are located in this region. With a backdrop of mountains, lush green forests and the river flowing by, it makes for a breathtaking experience. For the brave-hearted, there are caves to explore in the mountains, but they aren’t very easily accessible. Surrounded by a sanctuary, this fort has no history of who built it. But in the 15th century, it came under the rule of Nijamshahi dynasty. Soon afterwards, it came under the rule of the Marathas and after a long tussle with the Mughals, it was retained under Shivaji’s rule till 1817, when the British took over. Just the idea of the adventure that lies ahead makes this trip one worth taking.advertisement Fact fileGetting there: Take the train to Asangaon and then a cab to Mahuli.Distance: 95 kms from Mumbai.Stay: Harshgiri Lake Resort.Contact: 25113897.Cost: Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per night.Nature’s trailIgatpuri: Standing tall at 1,900 feet, Igatpuri is nestled in the lap of the majestic Sahyadris. The hill station is perfect for its splendid sunrises and boasts of housing the largest Buddhist Pagoda for Vipassana meditation at Dhammagiri village at the base of the mountain. Full of challenging treks and ample opportunities for rock-climbing, it is close to Mount Kalsubai-the highest peak of the Sahyadri Range. For those who love history, there are the forts that were built on the hill tops during the Satavahana dynasty’s rule. A popular destination for tourists, both domestic and foreign, Igatpuri is full of picnic spots such as Bhatsa River Valley, Camel Valley and Five waterfalls that are bound to reinvigorate your tired bones. The beauty of this hill station is best experienced during the monsoons. For the religious, there’s the Amruteshwar temple that was built 1200 years ago in Hemadpanti style and is best known for its elaborate design. Fact fileGetting there: Take the NH3.Distance: 140 kms.Stay: Manas Lifestyle Resort.Contact: 9833941515.Cost: RS 3,500 onward per night.Ride the tideKarjat: If you want to trek, hike, climb mountains, go river rafting or just have a quiet picnic with your family, Karjat is the place to go to. An hour and a half’s drive from Mumbai, Karjat prides itself as the land of farmhouses. With the longest chain of farmhouses in the country, it is fast developing into a popular weekend hotspot in the state of Maharashtra. With the Ulhas valley that has the Ulhas River flowing through it, white water rafting is a favourite sport here. The historical port of Bhor Ghat is what used to connect the trade routes on the Konkan coast. Then there are the Buddhist Kondana caves that give you a sneak peak into the lives of the ancient Buddhists through their intricate sculptures and the Kotligad fort, a conical structure in the Matheran ranges, a vantage point that leaves you with a breathtaking view of the foothills.Fact fileGetting there: Take the Eastern Express Highway.Distance: 91 kms.Stay: Mohili Meadows Resort.Contact: 28625858.Cost: Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,500 per night.Back in timeMatheran: Get away for a whiff of clean air with no honking cars or traffic lights at Matheran. The state’s only hill station which prohibits the entry of vehicles, it’s all about enjoying nature’s vast beauties here. With mist-soaked valleys and a grandiose landscape stretching out as far as the eye can see, explore Matheran on horseback or simply walk around. The highlight here is the 100 year old toy train that crawls through the hills ferrying passengers from the base to the 803 meter high hill station. What’s charming about Matheran, which was discovered by Sir Mallet in 1860, is that despite modern amenities and hotels, the holiday spot still retains its colonial aura. While here, enjoy the local treats like coal roasted maize or freshly churned candy floss. Another relic is the 100 year old Lords Hotel known for its grand colonial architecture. Take a moment by the placid Charlotte Lake, watch the sunrise at Panorama Point or trek up to the One Tree Hill.-Aditi PaiadvertisementFact fileGetting there: Take the train to Neral and change to the toy train to Matheran.Distance: 120 Km.Stay: Lord’s Central Hotel.Call: 02148-230228.Cost: Rs 4,500 per night.Eco cool Hide-Out: If you’re looking for tranquility and want to escape the maddening crowd of the metropolis, then look no further. Head to Hide-Out, an organic farm in a tribal hamlet tucked away in the lap of nature. There’s a plethora of nature-related activities to choose from. You can go camping or try your hand at organic farming. For those who wish to connect with their inner selves, there are spiritual activities such as workshops in yoga, meditation, alternative medicine and holistic healing to help you find yourself. Ecologically viable camping amidst waterfalls and streams where you can dive in and swim or just sit by and have a conversation with a loved one are other tempting options. For the religious, it has the Mahalaxmi temple to offer, the seat of the Worli tribal deity. From simple vegetarian food cooked in earthen pots to eco-shopping, Hide-Out is perfect for the nature-lover. There is an option of visiting other places in the vicinity, such as Jawahar, famous for its cashew orchards and Dahanu, a quiet seaside town with an Iranian heritage. Fact fileGetting there: Take the Eastern Express Highway.Distance: 91 kms.Stay: Mohili Meadows Resort.Contact: 28625858.Cost: Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,500 per night.Fort townMurud-Janjira: A quaint little port town on the west coast, Murud-Janjira is a packaged deal that caters to all kinds of sensibilities. Janjira, derived from the Arabic word Jazeera, meaning an island, was built in the 12th century by the Siddis of Abyssinia. It is the only fort in Maharashtra which was not subjugated, although the British, the Portuguese, the Dutch tried attacking the city several times. Even the great Maratha King Shivaji tried to dominate the fortress more than six times but failed in all his attempts. The 19 rounded bastions that surround the fort look like they rise from the sea. All that is left now are ruins of what was once an invincible city. Three kilometers into the sea from Murud, the fort allows you a glimpse of the grandiose medieval architecture. Murud Janjira is the only place in Maharashtra where one can get the best of the quiet beach along with a visit to historical and religious sites the town is famous for. Apart from the fort, one can visit the Dattatreya temple, Nawab’s palace inside the fort, the Padmadurg fort or simply unwind at the Murud Janjira beach, where you can also indulge in water sports. Accommodation isn’t a problem since there are plenty of options to stay at.advertisement Fact fileGetting there: Take the Mumbai-Goa Highway 17 via Revdanda.Distance: 165 kms.Stay: One can choose from several resorts along the beach.Cost: RS 1,000 onward per night.Flying highKamshet: If your idea of a holiday is soaring high in the skies, then Kamshet is the destination for your next weekend retreat. One hundred kilometres from the city, the area’s windy hill tops are an ideal location for paragliding activities with two popular schools here-Temple Pilots and Fly Nirvana. You can do a beginners’ course, an advanced level programme or simply go for a joyride. They even have special flying workshops for children if you are planning a family outing.With trained pilots and instructors, you know you are in safe hands as you soar. At both centres, you’ll find other entertainment once you are done with flying. At Fly Nirvana’s home stay resort called The Native Place, you often find founder Sanjay Rao playing chef and cooking up a feast for guests. Non-flyers can have their share of fun with nature trails and treks in the surrounding hills, visits to the ancient Bhedsa and Karla caves nearby or occasional inhouse yoga sessions at Fly Nirvana. So, if adventure is what you are looking for this weekend, strap on your gear and enjoy the aerial view of the picturesque Sahyadri hills.-Aditi PaiFact fileGetting there: Take the Mumbai-Pune highway.Distance: 128 km.Stay: The Native Place.Call: 9920120243.Cost: Rs 5,000 onward per night.Natural wonderLonar: Situated in the Buldhana District, the Lonar Crater, which is now a lake, was first discovered in 1823 by British officer, J.E. Alexander. While the dates are still uncertain, this crater, which also happens to be the world’s third largest, is said to have been created by a two million tonne meteorite more than 50,000 years ago. Even though its creation was the outcome of a natural disaster of sorts, its evolution is anything but. The brilliant blue water surrounded by thick green forests makes it one of the most beautiful natural wonders that exist. Whether you like photography, science or just the wilderness, Lonar has plenty to offer. The crater houses hundreds of peafowl, chinkara and gazelles that can be spotted in the shrubbery growing around the lake. There are egrets, moor hens, herons, coots, white-necked storks, lapwings, grey wagtails, grebes, black droungos, green bee-eaters, tailorbirds, magpies and robins as well. There’s also the famous Daitya Sudan temple, which has been carved in a style similar to the Khajurao temples. And that’s not all-if you’re lucky, you’ll even spot some migratory birds stopping by in their journey across the world. Fact fileGetting there: Take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.Distance: 600 kms.Stay: Government Rest House.Contact: 07260 221602.Cost: RS 900 to Rs 1,100 per night.Nature’s spectacleSilvassa: The capital city of the Union Territory of Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Silvassa is a popular holiday destination for many in the state. From a Roman Catholic Church built by the Portuguese to the Silvassa museum, it’s a perfect family vacation destination. If you like wildlife, there’s the deer park at Dapada and a lion safari at Vasona in store for you. A fun-filled weekend packed with activities is what you’ll take home from Silvassa.There’s boating at Madhuban dam, the lush Dadra Park, the Dudhani lake about 35 kms from Silvassa (which also houses a water sports park), the Vrindavan and the Balaji temples and the Ban Ganga Lake- a location so beautiful that one can get lost in its scenic grandeur. Fact fileGetting there: Train from Borivali station to Vapi.Distance: 170 kms.Stay: khavel Resort.Contact: 0260 2677401.Cost: Rs 6,000 onward per night.View from the topThe Machan: There’s nothing like a quiet secluded tree house in the middle of a forest to make you forget about blaring horns and constantly ringing mobile phones. The Machan offers just that with a secluded tree house set up in Jambulne village in the Western Ghats. Cradled in the branches of a huge tree at the edge of a precipice 45 feet above the ground, the luxurious structure overlooks acres and acres of lush forest land. Climb up to the loft, aptly called the Crow’s Nest and the stunning aerial view from there is bound to take your breath away. For those who want the thrill of camping out, the Machan has also introduced three well-furnished tents atop raised platforms. With little to do here except soak in the natural beauty or explore the village, this is a perfect place to get your much needed dose of peace and tranquility to hide in the trees.-Aditi PaiFact file Getting there: Take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.Distance: 80 Km.Check out: Koraigad and Tungi forts.Contact: 09594053113; themachan.comCost: Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000 per day for two.last_img read more

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