Following the announcement that President David Granger had unilaterally selected a new Chairman for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) in the person of Justice (retd) James Patterson, there has been much debate and controversy surrounding the legality of such a move.More importantly, this decision has, to a large extent, created deep fear and anguish over the prospect of future elections.This is according to former Speaker of the National Assembly, Attorney-at-Law Ralph Ramkarran, who, in his weekly column, ‘Conversation Tree’, declared that Guyanese have been victims of rigged elections in Guyana since 1968. More specifically, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and its supporters have been those victims.Ramkarran recalled that for democracy to be restored to Guyana, it took 24 years of hard and painful struggle, during which Guyana’s economic and social development was severely damaged; and he said the country is still recovering from that period.“The deep fears of the PPP, arising from the initial impasse over the selection of the Chair and now the eventual breakdown of the process, must be instilling deep fear and anguish over the future and the prospect of being rigged out of office for another twenty-five years,” he opined.Ramkarran was keen to point out that the PPP went to extraordinary lengths over the past 10 months to find 18 Guyanese willing to agree to have their names submitted to President Granger for consideration to be appointed to what he described as one of the most difficult, controversial and thankless of jobs – Chair of GECOM.And according to him, of the last six names submitted, two immediately stood out and met the President’s criteria of ‘fit and proper,’ which he has been referring to continually.While many of the other nominees are also well qualified, Ramkarran said, no one can seriously assert that the political persuasion of either of these two men, if any, would influence their decisions. He was referring specifically to retired Major General Joe Singh and Attorney-at -Law Teni Housty. Ramkarran noted that Singh had been a highly respected Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, and was Chair of GECOM for the 2002 elections, which were credibly held. And Housty is a well-respected, well-qualified, senior experienced, lawyer and former President of the Guyana Bar Association.Meanwhile, in addressing another matter, Ramkarran said that while the PPP has announced that it would mount a constitutional challenge to the President’s appointment of a Chairman for GECOM, he believes the best time for this was after the President had rejected the first six names, and in so doing had suggested that the names should be of only judges, former judges, or persons qualified to be judges.“The results of the case, which was filed after the Leader of the Opposition had submitted a second set of names, showed that it could have been possible to obtain an order from the court directing the President to choose a name from that first six,” he explained.But having submitted two further sets of six names, each at the invitation of the President, the Opposition Leader had been deprived of the opportunity of having the court issue an order in relation to the first six names.He insisted that the Constitution provides thus: “If the Leader of the Opposition FAILS to submit a list as provided for,” only then can the President proceed unilaterally to make an appointment of a judge, former judge, or person qualified to be a judge to the post of GECOM Chairman.Ramkarran pointed out that the Opposition Leader had submitted a list which was amended twice by the substitution of names. He said that in that case, the Opposition Leader did not fail to submit a list, and the President’s appointment is therefore void.Touching on the PPP’s decision of declaring non-cooperation with the Government, Ramkarran said it is not the first time in the PPP’s history that non-cooperation was declared.He recalled that after the 1973 elections, at which the People’s National Congress (PNC) had seized a two-thirds majority, the PPP had declared non-cooperation and did not take up its seats in the National Assembly for 18 months.“The PNC did the same after 1992, and did not take up their seats in the National Assembly for long periods of time in the years thereafter.In both cases, the respective governments had carried on their business with little disruption, but with great bitterness.“Based on past history with the PPP and PNC, the PPP’s non-cooperation would mean very little in practical terms to the government’s agenda,” Ramkarran asserted.
Jann Turner, the director and joint writer and producer of White Wedding. . (Image: White Wedding) South African hit movie White Wedding is now showing in the US to rave reviews. Jann Turner, who directed and jointly wrote and produced the film, writes about the place that inspired it – South Africa.Are there lions in the streets? Do you live in a mud hut? How come you ain’t … ?As a South African, I get the strangest questions from Americans. Their impression of Africa ranges from the lions-snakes-loincloths version, all the way to the guns-Aids-ghettos version. Often they are wildly off the mark, although, since we hosted the World Cup soccer tournament, they do know that we have stadiums, TV and vuvuzelas.What they don’t know is that we have it all! Wild animals and guns, Aids and ghettos are here, but we also have highways, high schools, high-tech, high-life and high hopes. We’re on Twitter and Facebook and all the other social networks. Charlize Theron is one of us. So is Elon Musk, the PayPal founder and Dave Matthews of the band. We invented super-glue, open-heart surgery and short-range tactical nuclear weapons and we were also the first to ever give up the latter voluntarily.Our country is hauntingly beautiful – beaches, mountains, deserts, forests, cities, jungles. It’s the size of California and Texas combined and 50-million of us live here, of all colours, speaking 11 different languages. Since Nelson Mandela led us out of our painful past, we’re all working hard to get along and make our country a success. And slowly, we’re getting it right. Most of us even have rhythm now.Take Beyonce, Denzel, Obama and Oprah. Throw in LeBron and Tiger. Sprinkle with Bill Gates, Al Sharpton, Pat Buchanan, Spike Lee and Paris Hilton. Make most of them poor, but some rich. Given them each a different language. Now tell them to sort out the US, quickly and peacefully. Get the idea? Ask anyone who visited us for the World Cup. We live in a crazy, mixed-up, fun loving, rich-and-poor, up-and-down place, and we are immensely proud of it.The point I’m trying to make is that South Africa is fast becoming just a normal, crazy mixed-up country. So we – that’s my two partners, Kenneth Nkosi and Rapulana Seiphemo and me – want to tell stories that are fun, real, and normal.So White Wedding came about from a road trip the three of us took across the country about seven years ago – two black dudes and white girl and all the bizarre, funny, typically South African things that we encountered.It was on that long drive that we made up the story about Kenneth (Elvis, the groom) and Rapulana (Tumi, the best man) trying to get from Johannesburg to Cape Town to Elvis’s wedding. Things go wrong – but not in the way you might expect. George (the goat), played by Bella (the goat) isn’t a guest at the wedding – he’s the lunch – a gift from Grandma. Befriended by Rose (the heartbroken British hitch-hiker), George sits in the back seat of the car with Elvis, while Tumi and Rose flirt in the front. Tony, the ex-boyfriend of Ayanda (the bride), pays for her wedding dress. Elvis hasn’t made the transfer from the bank, because he’s lost in mountains, and there’s no phone signal. It’s not really George’s fault that they crash, but in the end, poor George ends up getting cooked and eaten. Or does he?We ended up with a funny, romantic, feel-good road-movie, reminiscent of Sideways and Little Miss Sunshine. We shot the film in 18 days, for a budget of less than U$1-million (R7-million). And South Africans loved it. When did you last see a film in which you laugh at different scenes to the person next to you – and you don’t understand the jokes you are missing? Or when, at the climax, people stand and dance to the soundtrack, shouting in excitement? We heard many stories of black and white strangers hugging each other as the credits rolled, or of employers and their housekeepers sitting side-by-side, shedding simultaneous tears when the story gets weepy.We sent Nelson Mandela a copy for his 91st birthday and he loved it. Mandela is a Xhosa, like Grandma and the beautiful Ayanda, but he wouldn’t mind the gentle fun that is poked at their laid-back, stubborn stereotype. The film gives everyone a bit of a rev.But you don’t need to be South African to appreciate it. At heart, it’s a universal story about love and prejudice. It’s warm, charming, and reminds us that our similarities are greater than our differences. President Obama, you should see it!So … I’m not black. I live in the suburbs, and the lions I hear at night are in the Joburg zoo. But I am South African, and I think Americans are going to like our movie. If you do see it, don’t be afraid to laugh aloud, whistle, dance, cry and applaud during the show. And tell your friends.That’s how we do it.
Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… The use of drones is evolving from their role in military strikes to support, commercial and recreational roles around the world. These include the use of drones as first responders in Denmark for firefighting, chemical accidents and larger car accidents in urban and over-water environments, shark harvesting in Australia, delivering medical aid in Rwanda and in tests by German lifeguards for sea rescue drowning scenarios.Then there’s the intended drone delivery services planned by online retailers such as Amazon and the bizarre stunt to deliver beef jerky by drone. Not to mention that almost every start-up tech conference will have a low flying drone or two observing the action.It would be fair to say that the potential applications of drones in our daily lives are only limited by our imagination. But as the commercial application of drones expands on an almost daily basis we can see evidence of a legal and regulatory minefield that is struggling to keep up with the evolution of drone technologySetting laws for hobby and commercial dronesThe Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) published new regulations in August pertaining to the commercial use of drones. Previously commercial drone operators needed to have a sports pilots license or higher. Now, all you have to do is pass a new aeronautical exam. Under the new rules, operators can’t fly drones higher than 400 feet or at night. The drones must also weigh under 55 pounds and must remain in the visual sight of a human operator — something that prohibits any kind of long-distance drone use, including even the most basic delivery drones. Commercial drones will also only be allowed to operate during daylight hours or civil twilight. Also disallowed are any operations from a moving vehicle — unless you are in a “sparsely populated area.”Hobbyist and recreational drone users are required to register their drone with the FAA (a mere $5 for 3 years) and adhere to some fairly common sense rules consistent with that of commercial drones like remaining in site of the drone, avoiding aircraft, sports stadiums and emergency response scenarios and not flying under the influence of drugs or alcohol.A technology ripe for insurance claimsHowever as the use of drones expands, so does the need for insurance. I recently spoke with Sentil Rajamanickam, FSI Strategy & Operations Manager at data analytics company InfoGix about the challenges of underwriting drone insurance. He explained:“Today, drone insurance underwriting is based on a geospatial map used to determine the likelihood that a drone will have a safe flight. Simply basing underwriting on geospatial mapping can wrongfully calculate the risk of an accident. What if unexpected weather hits or a temporary structure (e.g. construction equipment) gets in the way that isn’t picked up by the mapping?One inherent flaw we’ve observed with non-traditional insurance, like drone insurance, is that it tends to be driven by past data. Past data doesn’t always accurately predict the future and when something unpredictable happens there is a higher probability of very large losses.”One way to offset such unpredictable, complex risk underwriting is to leverage risk models that are based on the statistical data across a particular region or country and that constantly correlate risk events with pricing. The challenge for underwriters is that they are limited by the data available for such complex underwriting analysis due to non-scalable management information systems or core systems that cannot support complex data requirements.The somewhat contradictory situation is that drone insurance metrics can be improved by increased drone flights, where drone users fly drones which record flight paths, height, speed, aerial mapping etc. and can be used as a leverage for the price point of insurance or as a precedent of good ‘flying’ history in the case of future litigation.Are hobbyists just waiting to get sued?Rajamanickam cautions that many recreational users may not be aware of the regulations such as the need to register and weight and aerial height regulations and note that “as recreational users are slowly increasing there’s a real need to educate them.” Retailer Best Buy, has posted safety brochures in more than 1,000 stores and Amazon posts links to the Know before you fly website in its retail section. But it’s easy to imagine scenarios where an errant drone user operates the drone upon receipt on their birthday morning only to cause havoc with a neighbour’s garden, pets, windows or small children. Could a scary scenario, during Halloween this year result in a lawsuit of emotional distrust? Maybe add a clown or two.Then of course, there’s the potential for breaches of privacy just waiting for those who operate drones with filming capabilities. In terms of privacy protection on a national level, there are the Voluntary Best Practice Guidelines issued by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).They essentially warn drone operators to give notice before flying, to secure data that is collected and don’t share it and comply with state and local laws. Note that these are as of yet, only voluntary guidelines. Yet this could potentially be the biggest catalyst for potential lawsuits, particularly against commercial drone companies who undertake aerial surveillance and filming.The reality is that the insurance needed by drone operators will evolve as our range of drones and use expands. If you’re planning on buying a drone as a gift for a loved one this Christmas, adding an insurance policy might not be a bad idea. Related Posts Cate Lawrence For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Tags:#aviation#commercial drones#Drone delivery#drone regulation#drones#FAA#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#recreational drones#top 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…
Southampton boss Hasenhuttl happy with ‘Klopp of Alps’ nicknameby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says he is fine being called the ‘Jurgen Klopp of the Alps’ after his excessive celebrations against Arsenal on Sunday.The Austrian was criticised after celebrating the win rather than shaking Unai Emery’s hand.”I ran on the pitch, and when I returned my colleague Unai Emery was gone already,” Hasenhuttl told kicker. “This was an issue over here, and also that I left the technical area twice following our goals. They don’t like it here.”Although Hasenhuttl has been compared to Klopp’s style of football, he admits his celebration style is also similar to the Liverpool boss.Asked about the nickname, he added: “I don’t have a problem with it at all,” Hasenhuttl said. “I guess they draw the comparisons with Jurgen because, just like him, I tend to live the technical area and I am as emotional when celebrating.”But I must control my emotions better here, otherwise those fines will be damn expensive.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Leicester to offer fans free beer and mince pies after traumatic yearby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City have told fans they have them covered for Boxing Day.Fans will be handed free beer and mince pies ahead of Leicester City’s game against Manchester City on Boxing Day, the club has announced.The gesture from the Foxes is a show of appreciation for the support the fans have shown in one of the most traumatic years in the club’s history.Owner and chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was tragically killed in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium in October.And at the end of tragic 2018, the club are planning a host of activities before the 3om kick-off.There will be a Fan Village set up opposite the Foxes Fanstore.It will include a live band, fairgrounds rides and face painting for families between 12pm and 3pm. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Watford boss Sanchez Flores: Guardiola changed football in England for the betterby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores is full of praise for Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.Sanchez Flores says Guardiola has changed football in England for the better.”The philosophy I think is really new,” said Sanchez Flores.”When he arrived in England, English football was changing, it was in the middle of some big changes.”Many good coaches are coming here, introducing this idea to touch the ball, but we know the English fans they don’t like to touch horizontal, they like to touch forward, so it’s completely different.”Pep is putting the stamp for this change, this kind of big change, so of course finally he defined a little bit the change.”When he was coaching Barcelona you could see that he’s a clever guy and he’s thinking very well and really passionate with football.”If you look like this, you have the possibility to change a lot. If you have very good players like he has, you have more possibilities to change things, so the ingredients they are really good for him.”
TUSCALOOSA, AL – NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during the game against the Western Carolina Catamounts at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Tuesday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban went on a bit of a rant about satellite camps, recruiting rules and the need for a college football commissioner. While he specifically mentioned that his words weren’t meant as a shot at Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, his point didn’t get through. Harbaugh took to Twitter a few hours later, blasting Saban for both his rant and the fact that Alabama’s staff broke recruiting rules.Well, now Saban has responded to Harbaugh. In a quote to ESPN, Saban said that he doesn’t “really care” what Harbaugh thinks or tweets. It’s a strong response.Nick Saban tells @ClowESPN about Harbaugh: “I don’t really care what he thinks or tweets. I say what I think is best for CFB & the players”— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) June 1, 2016Harbaugh and Saban are two of the most hard-headed in the profession, so it’s no surprise that neither wants to back down here. We’ll keep you updated.
Christina Cressman, a tour presenter with WorkBC Find Your Fit says the program goes to different schools all around British Columbia, two schools a week, travelling to 40 cities.Cressman said, “We come into the schools and set up for the whole school day and then stay open for the community session from 3 to 7 p.m. and we have about 12 different stations here. The stations show them an idea of different careers”.Some of the stations included a 3-d printer, carpenter’s table, computer programing and even a flight simulator.Students were also given the opportunity to use an Ipad station to access software that displays an up-to-date list of careers currently available in B.C.“The main goal of this event is to get students thinking about post-secondary and what they want to do with their lives once they’re done school,” said Cressman.The program started in October and finishes up in March. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Students were given the opportunity to explore career paths at the ‘Find Your Fit’ event at Dr. Kearney Middle School on Friday.The event offered a wide range of hands-on displays featuring many career possibilities.Hosted by WorkBC, the event aims to get students enthused about the workforce. For more information on Find Your Fit, you can visit https://www.workbc.ca/Jobs-Careers/Find-Your-Fit-Tour.aspx
CALGARY, A.B. – Precision Drilling Corp. says it is entitled to a $20-million break fee after Ensign Energy Services Inc. announced Tuesday that it will take control of Trinidad Drilling Ltd. by acquiring a majority of Trinidad’s shares.Calgary-based Precision, the largest driller in Canada, said the fee is owed as part of the Oct. 5 arrangement it had with Trinidad after terminating the friendly deal following Ensign’s success.Ensign says 56.38 percent of Trinidad shares have been tendered by its Tuesday deadline. The 154.1 million shares are in addition to the 26.9 million it also owns, raising its stake in Trinidad to 66.18 percent. Each Trinidad shareholder will receive by Thursday $1.68 per share for a total of about $470 million, with the offer price representing a 17.2 percent premium over the all-share Precision proposal.With all conditions of its offer satisfied or waived, Ensign has extended the deadline until Dec. 10 for Trinidad shareholders who have not done so to tender their shares.Ensign had given Trinidad shareholders less time to consider its hostile takeover bid by pushing its offer deadline ahead of a planned Dec. 11 meeting where Trinidad shareholders were scheduled to vote on the proposed merger with Precision.
Manila: The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the release of police documents on thousands of killings of suspects in the president’s anti-drug crackdown, in a ruling that human rights groups said could shed light on allegations of extrajudicial killings. Supreme Court spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka said the court ordered the government solicitor-general to provide the police reports to two rights groups which had sought them. The 15-member court, whose justices are meeting in northern Baguio city, has yet to rule on a separate petition to declare President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign unconstitutional. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USSolicitor-General Jose Calida had earlier agreed to release the voluminous police documents to the court but rejected the requests of the two groups, the Free Legal Assistance Group and the Center for International Law, arguing that such a move would undermine law enforcement and national security. The two groups welcomed the court order. “It’s a big step forward for transparency and accountability,” said Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, who heads the Free Legal Assistance Group. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHe said the documents will help the group of human rights lawyers scrutinize the police-led crackdown that was launched when Duterte came to office in mid-2016, and the massive number of killings that the president and police say occurred when suspects fought back and endangered law enforcers, Diokno said. “This is an emphatic statement by the highest court of the land that it will not allow the rule of law to be trampled upon in the war on drugs. It is a very important decision,” said Joel Butuyan, president of the Center for International Law. “These documents are the first step toward the long road to justice for the petitioners and for thousands of victims of the ‘war on drugs’ and their families,” Butuyan said.