News Follow the news on Cuba CubaAmericas CubaAmericas Organisation RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiago Reporters Without Borders took issue today with comments by Cuban communications minister Ramiro Valdes yesterday describing the Internet as a “tool for global extermination” and as a “wild colt” that needed to be tamed.Valdes also insisted that, if few Cubans were online, this was due to a US embargo that prevented Cuba from have decent Internet connections. In Reporters Without Borders’ view, it is in fact due to the Cuban government’s desire to control the flow of information throughout the country.“The US embargo prevents Cuba from connecting to the Internet by underwater cable and this obviously does not favour development of the Internet, but we published a report in October that shows that the authorities deliberately restrict online access,” the press freedom organisation said.“It would anyway have been astonishing if a country that has no independent radio or TV station or newspaper did allow unrestricted access to the Internet,” Reporters Without Borders continued. “We await the creation of a better Internet connection via Venezuela, as the minister announced, and we will then see if the government finally allows its citizens access to an uncensored Internet.”Valdes made these comments, which were reported by the Associated Press, at the opening of a conference on communications technologies in Havana. He also accused the United States of using the Internet to “undermine the communist government.”Going online in Cuba – Internet under surveillance (extract of the October 2006 report) :”With less than 2 per cent of the population online, Cuba is one of the world’s most backward countries as regards Internet usage. The worst off by far in Latin America and with a thirteenth of Costa Rica’s usage, it is down there with Uganda or Sri Lanka. This is quite surprising in a country that boasts one of the highest levels of education in the world. The authorities blame this disastrous situation on the US trade embargo, which supposedly prevents them from getting the equipment they need for Internet development. In particular, they say they are unable to use underwater fibre optic cable to connect to the Internet outside Cuba and are therefore reduced to using costly and less effective satellite links.This may indeed explain the slowness of the Cuban Internet and the endless lines outside Internet cafes. But in no way does it justify the system of control and surveillance that has been put in place by the authorities. In a country where the media are under the government’s thumb, preventing independent reports and information from circulating online has naturally become a priority.An investigation carried out by Reporters Without Borders revealed that the Cuban government uses several mechanisms to ensure that the Internet is not used in a “counter-revolutionary” fashion. Firstly, the government has more or less banned private Internet connections. To visit websites or check their e-mail, Cubans have to use public access points such as Internet cafes, universities and “Youth computing centers” where it is easier to monitor their activity. Then, the Cuban police has installed software on all computers in Internet cafes and big hotels that triggers an alert message when “subversive” key-words are noticed.The regime also ensures that there is no Internet access for its political opponents and independent journalists, for whom reaching news media abroad is an ordeal. The government also counts on self-censorship. In Cuba, you can get a 20-year prison sentence for writing a few “counter-revolutionary” articles for foreign websites, and a five-year one just for connecting with the Internet in an illegal manner. Few people dare to defy the state censorship and take such a risk.”Read the full report————————Create your blog with Reporters without borders: www.rsfblog.org May 6, 2020 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders took issue today with comments by Cuban communications minister Ramiro Valdes yesterday describing the Internet as a “tool for global extermination” and as a “wild colt” that needed to be tamed. Valdes also insisted that, if few Cubans were online, this was due to a US embargo that prevented Cuba from have decent Internet connections. In Reporters Without Borders’ view, it is in fact due to the Cuban government’s desire to control the flow of information throughout the country. New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council to go further Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet February 13, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Minister blames US embargo for low number of Cubans online October 15, 2020 Find out more News October 12, 2018 Find out more News RSF_en
Gregg Allman has been on and off the road for the better part of 2016. With health concerns leading him to regretfully cancel most of his summer tour, fans were pleased by last week’s fall/winter tour announcement that added over 20 dates through January 2017. The tour was to begin tonight at City Winery in NYC, but Gregg has to cancel his appearance for the next two nights due to a bruised vocal cord. Ticket holders will receive full refunds, but the show will go on with his band who will still play the music of Gregg Allman, The Allman Brothers Band, and the members of the current Gregg Allman Band tonight and tomorrow at City Winery NYC.City Winery sent the following email to ticket holders and patrons to make sure they knew what was going on:It is with great disappointment that we reach out to inform you that Gregg Allman will not be performing with his band for the Sunday, November 6th and Monday, November 7th shows.Please know that we will be issuing full refunds to all ticket holders for Sunday and Monday night’s shows.We hope you’ll consider joining us on Sunday and Monday evening for a FREE concert. Please come in to enjoy dinner and a great glass of wine with some great music as Musical Director and guitarist Scott Sharrard leads the Gregg Allman Band through the greatest hits of various historic catalogs. This will be a free, general admission event celebrating the Allman Brothers and Gregg’s solo career as well as Sharrard’s original work! It looks to be a great couple of nights as we anticipate special guests in advance of Gregg’s return to the stage later this week!We thank you in advance for your patience as we accommodate your refunds and your inquiries about the later dates of this run. We will respond to emails and phone calls in the order they are received.If you do have questions, additional concerns or if you have inquiries about availabilities in ticketing for the remainder of the Gregg Allman run at City Winery, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] apologize for the inconvenience that this late breaking change in programming poses.“I know all about guitar players —I’ve seen the very best — and Scott Sharrard is the perfect guitarist for my band. He understands that you don’t need to play just for the sake of playing; Scott isn’t one of those guys who thinks they’re getting paid by the note. He never steps on the vocals, and leaves plenty of room for everyone else to do their thing, but when it’s time to solo, Scott delivers, boy.” -Gregg AllmanScott Sharrard also issued the following statement: “We ask all the Gregg Allman Band fans to come join us and celebrate the music of Gregg Allman, The Allman Brothers and the members of the current Gregg Allman Band tonight and tomorrow at City Winery. I know that Gregg is very disappointed by the circumstances but he needs a couple days of vocal rest. We are gonna carry on and get the joint warmed up for him. We are also reaching out to some good friends to come down and join in. Let the music play on and you will see us back up there with Gregg come mid week.”Gregg Allman Band Full Schedule:NOVEMBER6 – New York, NY – City Winery without Gregg7 – New York, NY – City Winery without Gregg9 – New York, NY – City Winery10 – New York, NY – City Winery11 – New York, NY – City Winery13 – New York, NY – City Winery14 – New York, NY – City Winery16 – New York, NY – City Winery17 – New York, NY – City Winery18 – New York, NY – City WineryDECEMBER30 – Savannah, GA – Lucas Theatre For The Arts31 – Savannah, GA – Lucas Theatre For The ArtsJANUARY3 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre4 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre6 – Biloxi, MS – Beau Rivage Casino7 – Lake Charles, LA – Golden Nugget Lake Charles10 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City11 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City13 – Robinsonville, MS – Horseshoe Tunica Hotel & Casino14 – Chattanooga, TN – Tivoli Theatre17 – Macon, GA – The Grand Opera House18 – Macon, GA – The Grand Opera House20 – Macon, GA – The Grand Opera House21 – Macon, GA – The Grand Opera House
The two-day state visit of the President of the Republic of India Rama Nat Kovinda, who is staying in the Republic of Croatia at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar, began yesterday with a welcoming ceremony at the Office of the President, a tête-à-tête meeting of the two Presidents and a bilateral meeting of official delegations of the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of India. -Kitarovic. Also, Indian tourists made 2017 million foreign trips in 23,94, an increase of 9,5% compared to 2016, and spend between $ 800 and $ 1000 on travel, depending on the destination and type of trip. Photo: Pexels.com On that occasion, President Nath Kovind pointed out that Croatia was recognized as a tourist destination in India, especially after the success of the Croatian national football team at the World Cup, and revealed that Bollywood, the Indian film industry, intends to shoot in Croatia. According to the eVisitor system, in 2018 there were 65 arrivals and 145 overnight stays of Indian tourists, which is an increase of 13 percent in arrivals and 15 percent in overnight stays compared to 2017. Most overnight stays were realized in the clusters of Dubrovnik and Split and in Zagreb. Karlovac and Zadar. About half of all overnight stays were spent in hotel accommodation. The number of arrivals from India is increasing The Indian emitting market is characterized by a large number of leisure trips and visits to friends and relatives with a modest budget and a small number of luxury trips. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Croatia’s tourism potential in the Indian market was confirmed in early 2018, when Croatia was awarded the prize in the category “Most promising new destination” at the OTM business fair in the Indian city of Mumbai, ie recognition for the most attractive new destination. Members of the Croatian and Indian delegations discussed the possibilities of intensifying bilateral relations between Croatia and India through the newly signed Memorandum on Tourism Cooperation, the establishment of direct air connections i investment potentials in tourism whereby the Indian side expressed interest in making movies in Croatia. On that occasion, the Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, as an envoy of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, concluded a Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of India on tourism cooperation. This is the first agreement between the two governments, which, as Minister Cappelli points out, makes cooperation between the two countries even more concrete, with an action plan and deadlines that will strengthen passenger traffic and tourist services. They travel to Europe from May to July and from October to December, mostly in organized tours lasting 10 to 21 days, with two to three days in each country. Indians choose to stay in three- or four-star hotels on organized trips, while individuals more often choose accommodation offered in the market. From 2011 to 2018, the growth of tourist traffic from the Indian emitting market in Croatia is evident. The number of arrivals and overnight stays in that period increased by almost ten times.
A Treasure Coast teacher is learning a tough and embarrassing lesson, after a student turned the tables when the educator least expected.Our news partner, WPTV NewsChannel 5, reports that an unnamed teacher at Sebastian River High School was apparently busted Monday afternoon, after a student noticed him opening pornographic sites and videos after a virtual class session had just ended.A successful day at SRHS! @Bass_SDIRC @IRCSchools @SDIRC_SUP @CristenM_PIO @ pic.twitter.com/1IJDFJElMb— Sebastian River HS (@SRHS_SHARKS) August 24, 2020 The report from the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office goes on to say that the student called the incident “very disturbing” and that he “quickly made a video for evidence.”In addition, the Indian River County released a statement saying that the employee has been reassigned while the investigation takes place, and that the district has a zero tolerance policy for employee misconduct.
JACOBSON A ‘NEW OLD FACE’ AT SANTA ANITA David Jacobson was in his teens when his father sent him to work with Bobby Frankel at Santa Anita four decades ago. Now he’s here from the East Coast with a string of his own for the marquee Winter Meet that starts Saturday.Jacobson has a multitude of memories of Frankel, who will be honored Sunday with the running of the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes, named for the late Hall of Fame trainer who died Nov. 16, 2009, at the age of 68.“I wish I had a horse to run in there, but I don’t,” Jacobson said. “Bobby was really good to me and very close with my father back in the day. It brings back memories when I see his picture hanging at Clockers’ Corner. Frankel was a trendsetter.”David’s father was Hall of Fame trainer Buddy Jacobson, who died in May 1989 at 58.Multiple graded stakes winner Salutos Amigos is among the horses Jacobson has at Santa Anita. He is scheduled to run in the Grade III Midnight Lute Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track Jan. 2.“I came out here for the weather and the free coffee,” Jacobson said, joshing about the hot cups of java now available gratis at Clockers’ Corner. “Seriously, the racing looks good and I have some horses that fit.“I was at Santa Anita in the 70s as an assistant with Bobby when my father sent me out here, and I’ve had fond memories of Santa Anita ever since. (Santa Anita Racing Director) Mike (Lakow) approached me and I decided to give it a shot and see what goes. Right now I’ve got 15 horses here and another 10 coming at the beginning of the year.”Trainer Eddie Truman, who turns 69 on Jan. 23, was excited to see Jacobson back at The Great Race Place.“I’ve known David for 40 years,” Truman said. “We both worked for Bobby way back when. David’s a good guy. I knew his dad in Florida, even rode for him in the 60s at Hialeah when he was stabled real close to our barn.“At Santa Anita after the races, I would play volley ball with David’s brother, Douglas, who works for him now.“Like most of us, I’ve got many memories of Frankel. I respected him so much. He was a genius. He knew his horses and we really worked well together. He was really good to me; he respected my opinion.“But I’d wonder why he did some of the things he did and ask myself, ‘Why’s he doing that?’ but it worked. He just knew what to do.” FOUR DECADES LATER, JACOBSON’S AT SANTA ANITARATTATAPTAP READY FOR GRADE I LA BREA STAKESOM OK OUTSIDE IN GRADE II MATHIS BROTHERS MILETRAINER HOPES IT’S MILLER TIME IN DAYTONA STAKESMANDELLA ENTERS TWO FOR SUNDAY’S FRANKELLIVE RACING AT SANTA ANITA WEDNESDAY, DEC. 30WALL CALENDAR AND MORE FREE ON OPENING DAY MILLER HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY IN DAYTONAPeter Miller entered two horses in Saturday’s Grade III Daytona Stakes scheduled for about 6 ½ furlongs on turf, Big Cazanova and Richard’s Boy.Big Cazanova has been routing and has never run down the hill. Richard’s Boy has been sprinting and is one-for-one on Santa’s unique downhill course.“We thought we’d give it a shot,” Miller said in explaining Big Cazanova’s participation. “A lot of the milers run really good down the hill, and he’s doing very well. The post (two) isn’t very good, but the horse is doing very well, so we’re going to give it a go.“Richard’s Boy fires every time I run him. He’s just a rock-solid horse.”As for an overview of the meet, Miller always looms a threat to win the training title, or at least be a major presence.“We feel good about it,” Miller said. “We’ve got a lot of live horses. Hopefully, we can carry on from 2015.”Big Cazanova worked three furlongs on a muddy main track Wednesday in 36.60 with Flavien Prat aboard, while Richard’s Boy went the same distance in 37.80.The field for the Daytona: Richard’s Boy, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; Big Cazanova, Joel Rosario, 8-1; Mystery Train, Martin Pedroza, 30-1; Rocket Heat, Edwin Maldonado, 12-1; Big Bane Theory, Flavien Prat, 12-1; Alert Bay, Martin Garcia, 5-1; Bench Warrant, Abel Lezcano, 20-1; Holy Lute, Santiago Gonzalez, 9-2; The Great War, Kent Desormeaux, 8-1; Somethings Unusual, Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1; No Silent, Gary Stevens, 7-2; Toowindytohaulrox, Tiago Pereira, 12-1; and Coastline, Tyler Baze, 20-1. LA BREA TIMING GOOD FOR RATTATAPTAPTrainer Phil D’Amato, who finished with a flourish at the recent Los Alamitos meet, hopes to continue on a roll when he sends out Rattataptap in the Grade I La Brea Stakes for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs, one of four graded stakes on opening day, including the Malibu for three-year-olds at seven furlongs.“She’s doing well,” D’Amato said of the gray daughter of top sire Tapit, winner of a one-mile allowance race at Del Mar Nov. 21 by 4 ½ lengths. “The timing is right for the La Brea.“We’re backing up from two turns to one. Hopefully we can get the money in a Grade I.”The La Brea: Birdatthewire, Mike Smith, 6-1; Hot City Girl, Jose Ortiz, 3-1; Cavorting, Irad Ortiz Jr., 5-2; Maybellene, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; Lily Pod, Mario Gutierrez, 20-1; Ben’s Duchess, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Rattataptap, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Pleasant Tales, James Graham, 20-1; Moyo Honey, Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1; and Finest City, Gary Stevens, 8-1.First post time opening day is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m.OUTSIDE POST NO CONCERN FOR OM IN MATHIS MILE Del Mar Derby and Twilight Derby winner Om drew post position 10 in a field of 12 for Saturday’s Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile on turf but trainer Dan Hendricks was not unduly concerned about the outside post. “He’ll be able to break right on out and he’s got a long run to the first turn,” Hendricks reasoned. “He’ll get a good position, either be first or second, and hopefully run a big race.“If they go silly-fast, he’ll just sit right behind them. If they set a moderate pace, he’ll be in front; pretty simple.”Owned by the Sareen Family Trust, the chestnut son of Munnings has been a gem of consistency, with a 4-1-2 record from nine starts with earnings of $430,500.The field: Ground Rules, Rafael Bejarano, 12-1; Perfectly Majestic, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1; Crittenden, Martin Garcia, 12-1; Professor Berns, Brice Blanc, 15-1; Soul Driver, Tyler Baze, 8-1; Mister Brightside, Mike Smith, 4-1; Acceptance, Alonso Quinonez, 12-1; Ike Walker, Victor Espinoza, 20-1; Vigilante, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Om, Gary Stevens, 5-2; Ocho Ocho Ocho, Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1; and Fueled by Bourbon, Joel Rosario, 10-1. MANDELLA PLANS ONE-TWO PUNCH IN FRANKELRichard Mandella has two horses entered in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 1/8 miles on turf, and seems covered whether the race stays on grass or comes off due to recent rains.“Alexis Tangier is a nice mare; she would run only if it stays on turf,” Mandella said. “If it happens to come off the turf, Gas Total will run anyway. She’s a pretty good mare on either surface. It would probably be to her advantage if it did come off.”Alexis Tangier won the restricted Swingtime Stakes at a mile on grass Oct. 3 at Santa Anita. Eight of her 11 lifetime races have been on turf. Gas Total was 10th and last by 33 lengths in a one-mile dirt race at Del Mar Sept. 2, but won the restricted Osunitas Stakes on a “good” dirt track at the seaside course on July 18. She was second in the Possibly Perfect on turf at Santa Anita last June and second in the Grade I Vanity here in May.The Frankel: Nancy From Nairobi, Drayden Van Dyke; Three Hearts, Joe Talamo; Alexis Tangier, Gary Stevens; Rusty Slipper, James Graham; Star Act, Kieren Fallon; Peace and War, Joel Rosario; Stormy Lucy, Kent Desormeaux; Fresh Feline, Victor Espinoza; Warren’s Veneda, Tyler Baze; Sweet as a Rose, Brice Blanc; Gender Agenda, Rafael Bejarano; Glory, Mike Smith; Honey Ride, Abel Lezcano; Gas Total, Flavien Prat. LIVE RACING AT SANTA ANITA WEDNESDAY, DEC. 30Santa Anita will offer a five-day racing week beginning Wednesday, Dec. 30, through Sunday, Jan. 3. First post time throughout the week will be at 12:30 p.m.Excluding weekday holidays, live racing usually is conducted Thursday through Sunday, but with the holiday season in full swing, an exception was made. Santa Anita will be dark on Monday, Dec. 28, and Tuesday, Dec. 29.LONGTIME TRACK EMPLOYEE STEVEN GUINEY KILLED IN ACCIDENTLongtime backside employee Steven Guiney, son of former jockey and trainer Irv Guiney, was killed early Tuesday morning while riding his bicycle to work in Austin, Texas, according to his mother, Francis.Steven, 55, was employed by the late Willard Proctor as a groom and hot walker for nearly 20 years and worked a total of 30 years in Southern California for other trainers such as Tom Proctor, Howard Zucker and Gary Mandella.Guiney is survived by his parents, a sister, Cindy, and brothers, Michael and Irvin, Jr.Funeral services will be private.FINISH LINES: Santa Anita will give away its popular full color Wall Calendar free on opening day to all fans at the track with paid admission while supplies last. The theme of the artfully crafted 2016 calendar is “What’s in a name,” describing how some Thoroughbreds come by their peculiar monikers . . . The first 20,000 paid attendees will receive a $100 Mathis Brothers Furniture gift certificate, and the first 5,000 kids 17 and under accompanied by a paid adult will get a plush, mini-Thoroughbred toy, courtesy of the Mathis Brothers . . . Santa Anita will offer an opening day Trackside Package that includes special trackside seating, a free first drink, and an officially licensed American Pharoah T-shirt commemorating the first-ever Grand Slam champion of horse racing. Use promo code PHAROAH for $5 off the package price . . . There will be a $1 million guaranteed pool on the Late Pick 4 opening day, and a $150,000 guaranteed pool on the Pick 6. Each Thursday, Friday and on holiday Mondays, there will be $300,000 guaranteed in the Late Pick 4, and Saturdays and Sundays, it will jump up to $500,000, while the Pick 6 guarantee will remain at $150,000 . . . Belvoir Bay, an English-bred filly formerly trained by Bill Mott, worked five furlongs Wednesday on a muddy main track in 1:04 for Sunday’s $75,000 Blue Northern Stakes scheduled for one mile on turf. Flavien Prat was aboard for new trainer Peter Miller . . . Harlington’s Rose, who won the Kalookan Queen Stakes last year, will be back to defend her title in the $75,000 race at 6 ½ furlongs Dec. 30, trainer Steve Knapp said. Joe Talamo, who was aboard for the Kalookan Queen win in 2014, again rides the bay daughter of Harlington. Talamo also won the Grade III Las Flores Stakes on Harlington’s Rose in March of this year . . . The Elite Racing Network, with former jockey Corey Black an on-air host, is up and running. For further information, visit www.eliteracingnetwork.com.
Like Narnian children finding a zoo of lifeless stone statues in the White Witch’s wintry realm, scientists have come across frozen trees, leaves and seed pods deep in the Canadian arctic. “The dry, frigid site is now surrounded by glaciers and is completely treeless,” said National Geographic News. What deep magic left this mummified forest “exquisitely preserved”? The scientific wizards say it was a landslide, up to 10 million years ago. Other frozen forests have been known (03/22/2002), but this one on Ellesmere Island is the farthest north found so far. Science Daily said the find is the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Researchers at Ohio State “also suspect that many more mummified forests could emerge across North America as Arctic ice continues to melt,” Science Daily said. “As the wood is exposed and begins to rot, it could release significant amounts of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – and actually boost global warming.” While that reporter was fascinated by whatever “Clues to Future Warming Impact” might be gained, perhaps more astonishing is how wood that could rot today remained frozen for 2-8 million years – the age range claimed in the article. For him to worry about global warming, he must be talking about a lot of wood: “Walking through the area, they’re everywhere,” said Joel Barker, an environmental scientist at Ohio State University and leader of study of the mummified forest. “You’d have trouble not tripping over them.” The article described the forest as similar to those covering a wide area: “The mummified forest seems to resemble modern forests growing hundreds of miles to the south, suggesting the forest must have grown during a time when the Arctic was much warmer.” The National Geographic story led off with a photo of a cross-section of a log that looks like it would burn in a fireplace. “The mummified trees were likely preserved so long because they were buried quickly by landslides and thus protected from air and water, which hastens decomposition.” But can it protect them for millions of years? How many landslides must be invoked to cover enough rotting mummified trees to raise concerns about greenhouse gases? Even so, no living material lasts forever in its original state, unless replaced by minerals, as in petrification and fossilization. This is real wood. “When we started pulling leaves out of the soil, that was surreal, to know that it’s millions of years old and that you can hold it in your hand,” one of the researchers announced to the American Geophysical Union last week. A colleague familiar with fossil forests called this find “extraordinary,” speaking of “Finding wood that is millions of years old in such good condition—almost as if you just picked it up from the forest floor….”The millions of years exist only in their imagination. So tenacious are these moyboys* in their faith, they cannot see the trees for the forest, or the forest for the trees, because the fogma** is so thick. These trees are not that old. Neither are the dinosaur bones with blood vessels intact (04/09/2009). Why do they tell such tales? They must keep the tale going, because they live in a fantasyland, the world of Blarneya, where it is always winter and never Christmas. They like it that way, because they serve the White Beard, who rules Blarneya with an iron fist. The Chronicles of Blarneya stretch backward and forward billions of years, they teach the children, turning their minds to stone. They fear global warming because it will portend the day the lyin’ will be revealed.*See definition in the 03/31/2007 commentary.**See definition in the 05/14/2007 commentary.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
23 May 2008From the beginning of June, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) will accept social grant applications from eligible applicants who are having trouble getting official identity documents and birth certificates.As stipulated in the regulations of 2005, Sassa will accept sworn affidavits deposed to before a commissioner of oaths testifying to, amongst other details, the names, age, parentage of the child and any other applicant.Although this policy shift was initially designed to accommodate applicants for the child support grant, the Department of Social Development has made a policy decision to extend its implementation to all grant types.“The IT systems of Sassa will be ready to accept applications from 1 June this year,” said Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya following a meeting with provincial social development ministers at Sun City in the North West province.“People who apply before 1 June will be able to receive social relief of distress while waiting for 1 June starting date.”The value of the social relief of distress, in the form of a cash amount, would leave applicants in the same position they would have been had they applied for the grant with a valid ID.The benefit will be for people who apply for the child support, care dependency and foster care grants, provided they meet the eligibility and means test criteria.The relief is aimed at people awaiting an ID document or birth certificate and those pleading that poverty prevents them from applying for such identification documents, and as a consequence prevents them from accessing social security.“If applicants apply today, they will get social relief of distress, but within a month, we will be able to covert it to a full application and register the application as such and continue providing the benefit for as long as the eligibility criteria are met,” said Sassa CEO Fezile Makiwane. “We will however work with the applicant and the Department of Home Affairs to expedite the processing of applications for identity documents.”Skweyiya added that as the department intensified efforts to eradicate poverty, the government would review the means test for the child support grant and it would no longer distinguish the means test threshold between rural or urban beneficiaries.“This will gradually be applied to other grant types,” he said. “Details of the commencement of this will be elaborated on in my budget vote speech on the 30th of May.”Source: BuaNews
Waddle: England will not have better chance of winning Eurosby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer England winger Chris Waddle says the country will not have a better chance of winning the European Championships than next year.The 2020 edition will be held throughout 12 countries, with the semi-finals and final to be played at Wembley in London.Speaking to racingpost.com, Waddle said: “With the semi-finals and final being held at Wembley, England are not going to get a better chance of winning the European Championship than next year.”Gareth Southgate has done a good job and he has not been scared to bring players through. Against the Netherlands and Switzerland, they didn’t really perform and they didn’t play like England have been in the last 18 months.”But they have been generally playing well and I would be surprised if England don’t at least reach the last four at Euro 2020.”In qualifying it can be difficult going to hostile atmospheres across Europe, but they hammered Czech Republic at home and football-wise I haven’t seen a team in their group who are even 50 or 60 per cent as good as England are.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Nicolas Pepe agent: I was convinced of Napoli moveby Paul Vegas9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe agent of Nicolas Pepe has revealed how the winger almost didn’t join Arsenal this summer.Pepe was on the verge of leaving Lille for Napoli before the Gunners broke their transfer record by paying £72m for his signature.Relayed by Corriere dello Sport, Mario Giuffredi said: “I was in Dimaro, convinced Napoli had got him.”Unfortunately, however, other factors come into play and when we talk of commissions, Napoli are limited in certain operations.”Then the agents have also made their interests”.
EDMONTON, A.B. – Alberta is putting an expiry date on proposed legislation that would allow the province to regulate oil and gas shipments.The government has said it might use such a law against British Columbia if that province continues to block an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.Parties on both sides of the house voted on Wednesday to accept an Alberta Party amendment to put a two-year limit on the bill. It proposes that Alberta have the power to restrict and redirect flows of oil, gasoline and natural gas to maximize profits, given the bottlenecks in pipelines.The amendment gives the government the option to extend the bill after the two-year limit, but it would need to go back to the legislature for approval.Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd told the house that two years is a reasonable time and the amendment doesn’t tie the government’s hands.Premier Rachel Notley has threatened consequences to B.C. for opposing and delaying Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain project.The bill has the potential to cause gasoline and other fuel-related prices to spike in B.C.The dispute is heading for a showdown on May 31. That’s the date Kinder Morgan Canada has set for a decision on whether it might cancel the $7.4-billion project. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)