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Liberia Fights ‘Tax Haven Blacklist’

first_imgMinister Nagbe: “That’s just the method of dig hole, cover hole…” The Government of Liberia has rejected a publication branding the country as being on a tax haven list for Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.A publication by an unidentified journalist reveals that the European Union will announce a new “tax haven blacklist” in mid-2016 that will likely involve Liberia that it claims since the late 1940s, has “been running a tax haven laws more secretive than Panama’s.”The Panama Papers is a massive leak of documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that showed how the law firm set up secret companies, allowing sanction breakers, senior politicians and others to hide their identities while moving money and accumulating wealth.In response to the publication, Information Minister Eugene Nagbe said in a release April 27 stating that “It is an attempt by a free-lancer who associates with a small London-based NGO for journalists to initiate a smear campaign about Liberia and its Maritime Program.”The publication, according to Minister Nagbe, is trying to publish an issue which is a “no-story” because the steps required to being fully compliant are far advanced and concluding.“The Liberia Maritime Flagship Program,” Minister Nagbe said, “was started in 1948 as an entity registered in the United States with activities that involved the registration of ships and the registration of corporations that run the Shipping Registry.”The publication said Liberia’s secret offshore companies made an appearance in the Panama Papers when a secret Liberian company connected to the family of Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif was used to move funds.“In that case, there was no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of the Sharif’s family,” the publication noted.It further noted that while Panama is found near the top of international rankings of financial secrecy, Liberia is one of a handful of countries that ranks even higher, noting, “Under the Tax Justice Network’s Financial Secrecy Index, Liberia had a secrecy score of 83 out of maximum of 100. Panama scores 72.”To this point, Minister Nagbe reacted that “Liberia is noted to have one of the best records under the shipping registry. Over the past years, the Government of Liberia has been evaluating this program and has taken measures to improve upon the transparency and management of the program to meet all of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) requirements.”But the publication also countered that Liberia is one of the few countries in the world that has not made it past the first phase of the OECD’s Global Forum for Tax and Transparency peer review process.The OECD-led initiative accordingly examines the legal systems of each member country and assesses them against international tax and transparency standards.Explaining further, the publication said “for a few hundred dollars and a matter of hours online, anyone in the world can set up a tax-free Liberian company that offers total anonymity to its owner. Such anonymity allows individuals to hide their assets from tax and law enforcement agencies.” In another counter reaction, the Information Minister said “Liberia currently meets the requirements of the OECD and is in fact a ‘white listed’ jurisdiction.”According to him, the final step required to concluding all of the requirements is the passage of a legislation which is currently before the National Legislature and expected to be passed by next week (meaning this very week).Minister Nagbe, however, recalled that the government is aware that OECD deadline for the ratification of such legislation is the end of next week, a deadline the government is committed to meeting.“The government is also aware that falling short of meeting such deadline in time does not suggest an act of criminality by Liberia except for obtaining a ‘non-compliant’ status by OECD for at least 1 year,” he added.The publication quoted a campaigner for Global Witness, Jonathan Gant as saying, “Secret companies have been used to hide ill-gotten money from drugs, corruption, and terrorism, and it would be very damaging to Liberia’s hard-won reputation for transparency if it was shown the country is harboring secret companies.”The unidentified journalist’s report said former Maritime Commissioner, Binyah C. Kesselly spoke to him in February and said Kesselly expected Liberia to be removed from the current European list once the country has ratified its tax information exchange treaty with Poland, which it signed in 213, noting that Kesselly said the Liberian government was taking active steps to improve compliance ahead of a review by the OEC later this year.Minister Nagbe, too, said it was disingenuous for a person to attempt maligning the reputation of the Liberian Presidency and the image of the country as a substantive complaint regarding the ROL simply on account of delays in the passage of a piece of legislation.“The country remains committed to cooperating with the OECD, which has given Liberia reasonable extensions on this legislation during and after the Ebola crisis,” Minister Nagbe said.He dispelled allegation that “Liberia is a financial center and a tax haven, saying the claims made for secrecy regarding the registry are just attempts to sensationalize the story.”Minister Nagbe clarified that “Financial Secrecy Index” cited in the article ranks Liberia as a far less “secret jurisdiction,” corporate registry modeled off Delaware laws, the affairs of the Corporate and Maritime Registries are made public, LISCR maintains the highest standard of scrutiny and universally praised by international bodies.Local Banking Reactions:A senior executive in a local bank in Monrovia told the Daily Observer that what the story alleges is quite plausible because Liberia is indeed among the top ten countries through which money laundering takes place.The reason is that Liberia is a dual currency country and businessmen may freely import and export US dollars in Liberia. Both the Liberian dollar and the US dollar are used interchangeably and this makes it easy for anyone to import and export any amounts of US dollars. That is why it is difficult for certain banks in Liberia with the exception of such international banks as UBA, and EcoBank to maintain a strong relationship with foreign banks that could be called corresponding banks. Only UBA and EcoBank have corresponding banks abroad, sources told the Daily Observer.However, the president of the Liberia Bank for Investment and Development (LBDI), Mr. John Davies refuted the claim and said LBDI’s main corresponding bank abroad is City Bank, New York, one of America’s leading banks. He said “There is a problem for Liberia being exposed to money laundering. That exposes us to increased scrutiny because of the unequal environment in terms of the legal framework or laws governing our relationship with foreign banks. Foreign banking institutions represented, especially by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) contend that our laws concerning the transfer of money are not strong enough.”For example, Mr. Davies said when an international bank or the FIU suspects an illegal transaction taking place or about to take place in Liberia, the international banking system wishes that suspect banking transaction to be frozen.” The Liberian government, on the other hand, says that under the Liberian Constitution, the freezing of that transaction cannot be automatically done without due process. In other words the matter has to go to court.This, according to Mr. Davies has created an impasse between Liberia and GIABA, which is the West African Ant-Money Laundering agency. Mr. Davies said this is the main problem between banks in Liberia and international banks.The Liberia Bankers Association (LBA) president suggests that the Minister of Justice, the Central Bank of Liberia and the legal advisers to the President should get together and draft an amendment to that law requiring due process before a suspect banking transaction can be frozen.But Mr. Davies, the LBA President, insists that the onus for this should be on the Minister of Justice to draft that amendment.Mr. Davies then gave this warning: “Liberia has until the 31st of May to enact an amendment, or else, Liberia will be downgraded by the West African Anti-Money Laundering Agency.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Another extension of the community walking trails

first_imgMap:  This map shows the location of the proposed new trail from 110ave to the North Bypass Road – ProvidedThe walking trail system in Fort St. John could be expanded. – Advertisement -Council on Monday approved a report that will see city staff apply for another Local Motion Grant from the Province. This grant will allow the current trail system to be expanded from the North Bypass Road to 110ave along 100th street. The cost of the project is approximately $990,000. The grant would cover up to 50% of the project cost and the remainder of the funds would come from the city. The city is planning for its portion to come from the Community Works grant or the program better known as the gas tax grant. The project would also include a pedestrian controlled crossing to be installed across 100th street at the North Bypass Road.last_img read more

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Sports Wire: Olympian Gardner OK after crash

first_imgScrambling out of a downed, waterlogged airplane, swimming to shore through an icy cold lake, spending the night exposed in the freezing, desert chill, then walking away with little more than bumps and bruises and the urgent need of a nice, warm bed. Harrowing close calls are becoming a habit for Rulon Gardner, Olympic wrestling champion-turned-escape artist. There was the time he lost a toe to frostbite after being stranded in the wilderness. He also was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and way back in third grade, he impaled himself with an arrow. Now this. Gardner’s weekend brush with death was the third since he unbelievably captured the gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. It happened when a small airplane he was riding in crashed into the aptly named Good Hope Bay, near the Arizona-Utah border. “I should be dead,” Gardner told The Associated Press on Monday. “I shouldn’t be on the earth today.” Gardner and the two other men in the plane, brothers Randy and Leslie Brooks, swam to shore through the 44-degree water and spent Saturday night on the banks without shelter. On Sunday morning, they spotted a fisherman, chased him down and got a ride back to safety. None of the men were left with major injuries. The 35-year-old Gardner said his hip hurt and he believed he might have sustained a concussion when the plane hit the water. But he never lost consciousness. If he had, he might have drowned. “I don’t know where to put it,” he said when asked to compare this to his other near escapes. “It was pretty intense.” Garcia upset Jeff Garcia is disappointed he never got a contract offer from the Eagles after leading them to five straight wins and a playoff victory following Donovan McNabb’s season-ending knee injury. center_img “I was surprised I wasn’t offered a contract. There was never anything to negotiate over,” Garcia said Monday in an interview with Comcast SportsNet. “We never know what it would’ve amounted to. It wasn’t about the money. It was about being in a great situation.” The Eagles agreed to a three-year contract extension with backup quarterback A.J. Feeley on Sunday, eliminating the chance Garcia would return to Philadelphia. Garcia, who turned 37 on Saturday, will become a free agent on Friday. Calling no player “untouchable,” Bills coach Dick Jauron said the team would consider trade offers for starting running back Willis McGahee. “It’s in our best interest to listen to everybody, and no people are untouchable,” Jauron told The Associated Press at the NFL’s annual scouting combine at Indianapolis on Monday. “He’s a good back. He’s our starting running back right now. It’s no surprise to me at all that people are interested.” The Rams have released veteran guard Adam Timmerman, a team stalwart who played in two Super Bowls for the team. Timmerman was informed by Rams coach Scott Linehan on Monday that he was being released from the club, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, said. Timmerman, 35, has no plans to retire. Defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins has signed a four-year, $16 million contract extension with the Packers. Defensive end Chris Kelsay signed a four-year contract with the Bills, avoiding the uncertainty of becoming an unrestricted free agent. Kings deal Sopel The Kings’ trade for Brent Sopel last March turned out to be a one-year rental. Sopel, acquired from New York Islanders at the trade deadline last season, moved to Vancouver on Monday when the Kings received a second-round draft pick in 2007 or 2008 and a 2008 fourth-round pick for the 30-year-old defenseman. The NHL trade deadline arrives at noon today and the Kings, who already parted with Craig Conroy and Sean Avery, might have Aaron Miller’s name on the table but otherwise aren’t likely to make moves. – Rich Hammond The Canucks also acquired center Bryan Smolinski from Chicago in another trade on Monday. The Islanders acquired winger Richard Zednik from the Capitals for a second-round draft pick in 2007. In other moves, forward Kyle Calder ended up in Detroit as part of a three-team deal that saw Philadelphia get defenseman Lasse Kukkonen from Chicago, and the Red Wings send forward Jason Williams to the Blackhawks, and the Capitals sent defenseman Lawrence Nycholat to Ottawa for defenseman Andy Hedlund and a sixth-round draft pick. ‘SC hires Morton John Morton, an assistant coach for the Saints last year, was hired as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at USC. Ullrich retires Former Tour De France champion Jan Ullrich ended his cycling career Monday, still defending himself against lingering doping suspicions. The 33-year-old German, who won the Tour in 1997 and was runner-up five times, announced his retirement eight months after being implicated in a Spanish doping scandal. “I am ending my active career,” Ullrich said. “It’s not easy, but you have to listen to the voice inside you that the time is right. It was a good time and I would do it the same way again, even the bad times.” Briefly Spencer Haywood’s No. 24 was retired at halftime of Monday’s game between Seattle and Portland. And while Haywood was proud about the moment finally arriving, there was sorrow too, following the last week’s death of Dennis Johnson, who also wore No. 24 in his time with the Sonics. “For me it’s a high, and then it’s a little bit of a low because I know DJ would have loved to have been here,” Haywood said before Seattle played Portland. “He’s here in all of our hearts.” Wisconsin forward Brian Butch is expected to be out at least four weeks after dislocating his right elbow in the Badgers’ loss to Ohio State. Roger Federer struggled to a first-round victory at the Dubai Open on Monday, the day he broke Jimmy Connors’ streak of consecutive weeks at No. 1. Federer, who broke Connors’ 30-year-old mark with his 161st week at the top of the ATP rankings, defeated Kristian Pless 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3 in his first match since taking a month off after winning the Australian Open. Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters will not play for Belgium in its Fed Cup match against the United States in April. Both cited a busy schedule, the Belgian tennis federation officially announced on Monday. The first-round match takes place April 21-22 in Delray Beach, Fla. Serena and Venus Williams have committed to play for the United States. Buffalo Man, a promising 3-year-old colt owned by Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, sustained a minor ankle injury and was pulled off the Kentucky Derby trail Monday. The injury occurred during a Sunday morning workout at Gulfstream Park. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Atletico, Atalanta reach last 16, Bayern cruise past Spurs

first_imgDiego Simeone’s Atletico went into their game knowing defeat, coupled with a Bayer Leverkusen win against Juve, would see them dumped out.Kieran Tripper had a second-minute penalty brilliantly saved by Lokomotiv goalkeeper Anton Kochenkov at the Wanda Metropolitano, but Joao Felix made no mistake from the spot a quarter of an hour later.Atletico wasted a string of chances and Alvaro Morata had a goal ruled out by VAR for offside.But their place in the knockout rounds was secured when centre-back Felipe volleyed home Koke’s cross after a short corner routine.Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second Champions League goal of the season as Juve, who were already sure of top spot, saw off Leverkusen 2-0 in Germany in the other Group D game.Substitute Paulo Dybala was the creator of the 75th-minute opener, crossing low for Ronaldo to tap in a record-extending 128th goal in the competition, before Gonzalo Higuain’s injury-time clincher.“Ronaldo and Higuain led by example, they were always the first to work hard for the team,” Juve ‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon told uefa.com.Champions League debutants Atalanta claimed a famous 3-0 triumph at Shakhtar Donetsk to qualify with Manchester City despite having lost their first three games.The Italian outfit, who finished third in Serie A last season, conceded 11 goals in their opening three matches, but drew with City at the San Siro before beating Dinamo Zagreb to keep their hopes alive.Atalanta famously qualified for the last 16 © AFP / Sergei SUPINSKYTimothy Castagne stabbed in the crucial first goal in the 66th minute, before Mario Pasalic found the net shortly after Shakhtar full-back Dodo was controversially sent off in Kharkiv.Robin Gosens grabbed an injury-time third as Shakhtar tired, sparking wild Atalanta celebrations in front of the visiting fans.“It will remain in the history of football and of this club. I think it’ll also stay long in the memory of everyone who was in the stadium,” captain Alejandro Gomez told Sky Sport Italia.Atalanta’s win ensured that all 16 of the sides in the knockout stage are from Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues of England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France for the first time.Dinamo needed to beat English champions City to progress, but despite taking an early lead through Dani Olmo, were sent packing by a Gabriel Jesus hat-trick before teenage midfielder Phil Foden wrapped a 4-1 win for Pep Guardiola’s side.– PSG run riot –Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham failed to exact revenge on Bayern Munich for their 7-2 humbling in London in the reverse Group B fixture.Kingsley Coman put Bayern ahead as they looked to bounce back from successive Bundesliga defeats, although Ryan Sessegnon marked his first Spurs start with a goal to equalise.Mueller scored as Bayern denied Tottenham revenge for their 7-2 humbling in the pair’s first meeting © AFP / Christof STACHEBut Thomas Mueller, on as a substitute for the injured Coman, and Philippe Coutinho ensured the Bavarian giants became the first German side to win all six group games.Youseff El Arabi’s late penalty saw Olympiakos edge past Red Star Belgrade 1-0 and pip their opponents to a place in the Europa League last 32.Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Edinson Cavani all scored as PSG thrashed Galatasaray 5-0 at the Parc des Princes.Thomas Tuchel’s French champions had already wrapped up top spot in Group A ahead of Real Madrid, but ran riot in the capital.Icardi and Pablo Sarabia put PSG in control at the break, before Neymar and Mbappe teed each other up for second-half strikes and Cavani came off the bench to score a penalty.Real Madrid also rounded off the group stage in style by beating a spirited Club Brugge 3-1 with goals from Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric.0Shares0000(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Atletico won 2-0 to reach the last 16 © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYSPARIS, France, Dec 12 – Atletico Madrid claimed the final spot in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow, after Atalanta completed an impressive comeback in Group C to qualify.Bayern Munich sealed consecutive victories over Tottenham with a 3-1 success at the Allianz Arena, while Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus also finished their group campaigns on winning notes.last_img read more

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DONEGAL COACH DRIVING DUO WIN MAJOR AWARDS AT PASSENGER TRANSPORT AWARDS

first_imgPamela Deery.Paddy Melaugh.Paddy Melaugh from Manorcunningham and Pamela Deery from Quigley’s Point were celebrating this week after winning major awards at the Federation of Passenger Transport (NI) Awards ceremony.Paddy Melaugh won the Coach Driver of the Year 2015 and Pamela Deery won the Hidden Hero Award, an award that recognizes those people who remain behind the scenes but are integral to the business.Companies all over Northern Ireland are judged by an industry expert from the UK and the competition is fierce. The pair who both work for their renowned and highly reputable Airporter service are overwhelmed by the awards.A spokesman for Airporter said,” Both of these Donegal citizens are exceptional ambassadors for our business and or the North West as a whole.“We are extremely proud of them both!  DONEGAL COACH DRIVING DUO WIN MAJOR AWARDS AT PASSENGER TRANSPORT AWARDS was last modified: February 12th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BusinessFeaturesnewslast_img read more

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JUDGE ORDERS PSYCHOLOGIST’S REPORT ON MAN WHO BURGLED 96 YEAR OLD GRETA

first_imgA judge has ordered a psychologist’s report on a man who had pleaded guilty to burgling a 96 year old woman in Co Donegal.Thomas Alcock pleaded guilty to burgling the home of Ms Margaret ‘Greta’ Lilly between January 4th and 5th last at Aghilly, Buncrana.Alcock, of no fixed abode, wore a grey t-shirt and black trousers and spoke only to plead guilty. He has been in custody since February.Barrister Patricia McLaughlin told Letterkenny Circuit Court this afternoon that the victim is very elderly and a victim impact statement will be prepared for the next court sitting.Judge John O’Hagan adjourned the case until the next sitting of the circuit court in Letterkenny in October.JUDGE ORDERS PSYCHOLOGIST’S REPORT ON MAN WHO BURGLED 96 YEAR OLD GRETA was last modified: July 16th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:buncranaburglaryMargaret Greta LillyThomas Alcocklast_img read more

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ELECTION 2014: O’DONNELL – “HOW CAN IRISH WATER CHARGE FOR A PRODUCT NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE?”

first_imgIndependent local election candidate John O’Donnell is challenging Irish Water to clarify how it can charge customers for a service and product that is not fit for purpose. From the start of this year, Irish Water took over responsibility for the management of drinking and waste water services throughout the state.The company now plans to charge for the services it provides, despite the fact that many communities across Donegal have an extremely poor water supply, which is regularly subject to boil notices. O’Donnell is also questioning whether or not the landowners consent has been obtained for the abstraction of the water resource, as outlined in the Water Supplies Act 1942.O’Donnell told Donegal Daily, “Irish Water is providing a service to the people of Donegal and, when you buy goods or services, you enter into a contract with the seller.“Consumer contracts in this country are protected by the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act, 1980.“Under this Act the purchaser of goods and services has a number of rights, namely that the product must be of ‘merchantable quality’, ‘fit for purpose’ and ‘as described’, i.e. the buyer must not be mislead into buying an inferior product or service. “Likewise, people can expect that the supplier has the necessary skill to provide the service, the service will be provided with proper care and diligence, the materials used will be sound and that goods supplied with the service will be of merchantable quality.According to O’Donnell, homes across Donegal have water that is neither of ‘merchantable quality’ or ’fit for purpose’, and he poses the question, how can Irish Water charge these homes?”O’Donnell continued, “Why should people be expected to pay for water that is not fit for consumption? Take, for example, the town of Rathmullan, where I met local residents who voiced their frustration at years of neglect in relation to the quality of the area’s water supply.“People cannot drink the water coming from their taps, yet they are expected to pay fees to Irish Water. If consumers are legally protected from purchasing inferior goods, then why should the purchase of water be any different?”O’Donnell concluded, “€800 million has been spent on setting up Irish Water but there’s been no money paid towards the upgrade of a completely inadequate water service. “It’s no wonder people are outraged. The government must ensure that Irish Water undertakes whatever work is required to deliver a proper and adequate service to the people of Donegal. To do otherwise, is simply ripping people off.”ELECTION 2014: O’DONNELL – “HOW CAN IRISH WATER CHARGE FOR A PRODUCT NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE?” was last modified: May 21st, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Election 2014: John O’DonnellnewsPoliticslast_img read more

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HIV stabilising, but ‘more must be done’

first_img12 November 2010 Motsoaledi noted that KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape had the same socio-economic conditions when it came to HIV. The report, presented by Motsoaledi on Thursday, showed that HIV prevalence remained constant among 15- to 24-year-old pregnant women, with 21.7 percent in 2009. This was the same as the figure in 2008, which was a decline of 0.4 percent from 22.1 percent in 2007. The 2009 National Antenatal Sentinel HIV and Syphilis Prevalence survey was conducted in all nine provinces and 52 health districts, where 337 841 pregnant women booking into 1 457 public antenatal clinics for the first time were sampled during October. The survey, released in Pretoria this week, shows that South Africa’s HIV prevalence has remained constant at around 29 percent over the past four years. He added that it remained to be seen how far South Africa was from achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in this age group – the MDG target for 2015 is a reduction by 25 percent, to an HIV prevalence rate of 17.3 percent. “This is the most important group to provide evidence when monitoring new HIV infections,” Motsoaledi said. Motsoaledi acknowledged that while he was satisfied that the government had done everything possible with regards to HIV/Aids intervention on paper, he was concerned as to whether it was being implemented on the ground. While South Africa’s latest antenatal prevalence survey shows a stabilisation in the country’s HIV prevalence rate since 2006, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi wants more to be done to implement the government’s plans to combat the epidemic. “We are reviewing this,” he said. As in previous years, KwaZulu-Natal had the highest HIV prevalence, followed by Mpumalanga and Free State, with overall prevalence greater than 30 percent. The North West, Limpopo, Gauteng and Eastern Cape had prevalences of between 20 percent and 30 percent. Source: BuaNews The HIV prevalence among women in the 30 to 34 age group showed an increase, from 39.6 percent in 2007 and 40.4 percent in 2008 to 41.5 percent in 2009. The department will observe this age group closely to assess what impact ARV treatment has. Socio-economic factors The Northern Cape and Western Cape were the only provinces that had HIV prevalence rates below 20 percent.last_img read more

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EPA Hires Scientific Integrity Advocate

first_imgFor more than a decade, Francesca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) advocated for improving scientific integrity policies at government agencies. When she commented on a draft of the policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011, she wrote: “These are great principles but how will this happen? Who will monitor? Who will detect problems and enforce these strong words?”Well, it turns out, she will. EPA announced today that it has hired Grifo to oversee its new policy on scientific integrity. “It’s great news,” says Rena Steinzor of the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, who studies environmental regulation and the misuse of science in environmental policy.Grifo is charged with overseeing the four main areas of EPA’s policy: creating and maintaining a culture of scientific integrity within the agency; communicating openly to the public; ensuring rigorous peer review; and encouraging the professional development of agency scientists.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)It sounds like a gargantuan task, but Grifo won’t actually be checking the integrity of every committee, scientific document, and peer review. Instead, she will be focusing on improving the process, says Michael Halpern, her former colleague at UCS. Part of the job will be educating staff members. Last week, EPA launched an online training guide for its staff members to make them aware of the policy and its protections. “It’s a cultural change so that [EPA] scientists feel they can participate in public life and the scientific community,” Halpern says, and better prepare them to deal with political pressure.If problems come to light, Grifo will help investigate. She will work with an internal Scientific Integrity Committee, as well as the inspector general. Her job is not a political appointment, so it comes with civil service protections. She will report to Glenn Paulson, EPA’s science adviser. Grifo will also issue an annual report about any incidents with scientific integrity at the agency.UCS has ranked EPA’s policy, which was finalized about a year and a half ago, as one of the stronger ones in the U.S. government. Unlike most other agencies, EPA’s plan called for a full-time position. “While strong improvements have been made on paper, we recognize that the agency is challenged in fully realizing those improvements” Halpern wrote in a blog post.Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility in Washington, D.C., says he is hopeful for progress. “She is coming from an organization that is probably responsible for the adoption of scientific integrity policies,” he says. “We think that these policies are potentially revolutionary. But progress has been slow and uneven.” It’s not clear, he says, what power she would have to bring relief in individual cases.last_img read more

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Metta World Peace says Fil-Am son gets PH passport, hopes to play for Gilas

first_imgAVC: Philippines loses second straight as Korea stays undefeated The former Lakers star, who is in town thanks to the efforts of SnippetMedia, shared that his son is working on his game in hopes of one day getting a nod to join Gilas Pilipinas, even going to as far as applying for a Philippine passport before he turned 16.READ: Metta World Peace arrives in Manila, satisfies Filipino food cravingFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“My son has been coming over to the Philippines and he’s very motivated. He’s working very hard. He’s going to be a senior next year. He’s very good academically and he got an offer from Yale and a lot of Ivy League schools. He can also play in Division I college also so he’s a very smart kid,” the NBA legend said.The younger Artest, who is a 6-foot-1 guard, is currently studying at Beverly Hills High School in California and is about to graduate in 2018. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes Read Next LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LATEST STORIES Metta World Peace. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netFor Metta World Peace, having his Fil-American son Jeron Artest don the Philippine colors will be one of his biggest achievements considering that he has never been called up for national team duty.“I was never invited to play to the Olympics. They said that they don’t need a player like myself for the team. That was tough for me because I wanted to play in the Olympics. So anytime your kid gets a chance to play for the national team, I do feel like it’s special. To play for the national team is really something different,” he said on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT READ: Metta World Peace says he can still make an impact But World Peace knows that his son’s path to the national team—or any team for that matter—won’t be easy just because he’s the son of the former Ron Artest.“I told him it doesn’t mean that you’re my son is that you can play basketball in America, or you can play anywhere in the world and you’ll get to the team. You have to earn it,” he said. “And he’s working really hard. I’m so proud of him and I hope it all works out. He definitely wants to be on the team.”RELATED VIDEOMetta World Peace says Fil-Am son gets PH passport, hopes to play for Gilas4.9K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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