Agreement Signed to Improve Lives of Persons with Disabilities

first_imgThe Government has signed a grant agreement with the Japanese Government for US$2.9 million to implement the Social and Economic Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities project.The signing took place during the opening session of a two- day conference on ‘Labour Market Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities’, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in downtown Kingston, on June 11.The project is being funded by the Japan Policy Human Resources Development Grant and implemented through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank).Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, signed on behalf of the Government, while Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Yasuo Takase, signed on behalf of his government and Francesca Lamana signed on behalf of the World Bank.Mr. Kellier said the Ministry remains committed to the recognition and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities through the provision of access to services and other opportunities, aimed at improving their quality of life.The Minister encouraged companies in the private sector to embrace the skills-set of members of the disabled community.The main objectives of the project are: to increase the employability and skills development of Persons with Disabilities (ages 18-36); and to improve the service delivery of special education needs to children with disabilities between 0-6 years of age.Meanwhile, Director of Social Security in the Ministry, Denzil Thorpe, informed that the Social and Economic Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities project will establish linkages with the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).He explained that under the project, there will be provision of skills training and access to employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, targeting at least 600 persons, 300 of which should be beneficiaries of PATH.“This is being done as part of efforts to facilitate the economic independence of persons with disabilities on PATH, who we have been unable to reach under the Steps to Work Programme, which is the welfare to work programme being implemented by the Ministry,” Mr. Thorpe said.He further informed that the project will enhance the service delivery of the Early Stimulation Programme, which provides services to children with disabilities between the ages of 0-6 years, inclusive of the provision of assistive and adaptive aids, rehabilitative sessions and support to parents in caring for children with disabilities.The Director added that the Ministry is implementing an electronic register of persons with disabilities islandwide, which will provide relevant empirical data that will be useful for proper planning. He encouraged persons to register with the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, the organization established by the Government to implement policies for persons with disabilities.In the meantime, the Ministry also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), to refurbish the office of the Early Stimulation Programme at a cost of US$1 million.Minister Kellier said this project is an attempt to ensure that a programme of inclusion is initiated at the earliest possible opportunity. He explained that the MoU is part of a larger loan with the Inter-American Development Bank, which was signed in December of 2013.This project will see rehabilitation and construction works done to the Early Stimulation Programme Assessment Centre at Hanover Street and Stimulation Plus, the school operated at Ostend Close in Kingston.Mr. Kellier thanked the Ministry’s international and local partners for their unwavering support to the effort of creating an inclusive Jamaica.“I also wish to salute those companies in the private sector that have already made the choice to hire, retain and promote persons with disabilities,” he said.The conference is being held under the theme ‘Support to Improving the Lives of Persons with Disabilities’.Contact: Andrea Brahamlast_img read more

6,292 New Titles Issued by NLA in 2012/13

first_imgThe National Land Agency (NLA) issued 6,292 new titles during the 2012/13 fiscal year, as the Government continued efforts to put the important document into the hands of Jamaicans.Minister of State in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, made the announcement during his recent Sectoral presentation in the House of Representatives.He informed that the NLA during the last fiscal year, also brought 1,022 new Certificates of Title under the operation of the Registration of Titles Act; registered 45,928 dealings on existing titles; and checked 17,562 survey plans.Meanwhile, Mr. Hayles said there are 8,044 Certificates of Title in the name of the Commissioner of Lands, and 975 certificates in the names of the purchasers, some of whom have died or cannot be located.He said that Probate Unit of the NLA was established to deal with these estate matters in land settlement schemes and the unit has been assisting the beneficiaries of the deceased land settlement allottees to acquire ownership of these lands.There are 344 land settlement schemes island-wide comprising approximately 50,000 lots.“Currently, 17,000 lots are yet to be titled and are at various stages of the process, that is, they either need to be surveyed and or need subdivision approval from the parish councils,” Mr. Hayles informed.Contact: Chris Pattersonlast_img read more

Governor says TCI Police will not be Garlick Security defends his decision

first_img Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 27 Aug 2015 – The security for Helen Garlick and the SIPT will not be the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, the Governor’s Office does not say who will get the job, but we did hear from His Excellency that he sees the current compliment of local officers as ‘stretched’. The Governor responded to a series of Magnetic Media questions following his statement explaining why he will take the CFO’s advice and pursue getting $2.2 million in the Budget Supplementary for security for the SIPT despite disagreement of the move by the Cabinet. While the Governor will not elaborate on the specific threats to Helen Garlick and her team, nor will he detail who will be hired; he does say he does not believe it is appropriate to report on the finances while the trial is ongoing. “Once the trial has been concluded, there should be a transparent breakdown of these costs providing as much detail as possible. It is not appropriate to release figures of this nature while the trial process is ongoing.”H.E. agreed with the Premier that there should be a report; but is convinced that should come later. We also asked the Governor why he would bypass the democratic process of debate in the House of Assembly, he said: “The UK respects the views of those who have been elected to govern in the territory to the greatest extent possible. Instructing the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to arrange a special appropriation is not taken lightly and is only done in extremis.” It was also said, but not expounded upon that the $2.2 million will be sufficient; the figure is nearly cut in half from the original request of $4.3 million. Related Items:governor peter beckingham, Helen garlick, Sipt TCI: Judge rules there is ‘a case’; all nine defendants will go to trial in September More motor mishaps; PDM Leader calls for Govt attention to illegal jitneys, again DR wants consulate office in TCIlast_img read more

Trump Twitter Facebook Google are colluding to silence conservatives

first_imgPresident Donald Trump said “we have to do something” about social media companies.  Getty Images President Donald Trump is again alleging that social media companies are biased against conservatives.During a joint press conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday, Trump said “we have to do something” about social media companies discriminating against conservatives on their platforms. “Something is happening with those groups of folks that are running Facebook, Google and Twitter,” said Trump. “I do think we have to get to the bottom of it … It’s collusive and it’s very, very fair to say that we have to do something about it.”Trump’s comments came after he was asked whether he’d consider laws that made social media platforms liable for content posted on their sites and his support for a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter over allegations of “shadow banning” conservatives. “It’s different from what it used to be. Things are happening, names are taken off, people aren’t getting through,” said Trump. “It seems to be if they’re conservative, if they’re Republicans, if they’re in a certain group, there’s discrimination, big discrimination.”Neither the White House nor Facebook nor Google immediately responded to requests for comment. Twitter declined to comment. This isn’t Trump’s first time alleging that social media companies are silencing conservative voices on their platforms. In August, Trump took to Twitter to accuse social media companies of “totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices.” His tweets also came amid more general concerns among some conservatives about perceived bias on the part of social media and tech companies.On Tuesday, Facebook apologized to Trump’s social media director, Dan Scavino, for temporarily blocking some contents on his account on Monday, according to CNN Business. Facebook’s artificial intelligence system reportedly mistook Scavino for a bot.  Tags Share your voice 8 Comments Politics Internet Mobile Digital Media Facebook Googlelast_img read more

UNOs arrest stuns PM HT Imam

first_imgHT Imam. File PhotoPrime minister’s adviser HT Imam has claimed that the arrest of Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) for Barguna sadar upazila Gazi Tariq Salman over distortion of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s portrait has stunned prime minister Sheikh Hasina.The prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s political adviser made the claim in an interview with the BBC Bangla on Thursday night. The BBC Bangla has also come up with an article based on that interview in its online version.The BBC Bangla online quoted HT Imam as saying, “We all – all the officials at the Prime Minister’s Office – were astonished to see the arrest of the UNO. He who has filed the case [against the UNO] has done a very distasteful act.”According to HT Imam, he immediately showed the prime minister the picture of the arrest of the UNO and the prime minister became astonished by seeing the photo.HT Imam told the BBC Bangla that the prime minister has rather said the UNO has done a very good job by arranging the painting competition among the school children.“The portrait is in front of me. There has been no distortion in the portrait. The portrait rather deserves reward and this officer should be awarded,” prime minister was quoted as saying by Imam in BBC Bangla.Imam said prime minister Hasina condemned whatever is being done to the UNO centring the portrait.HT Imam held Barisal district’s deputy commissioner (DC) and assistant police super (ASP) responsible for the arrest of the UNO. “Maybe, we should take action against them,” he added.Ruling Bangladesh Awami League’s (AL) Barisal district religious affairs secretary and president of Barisal Lawyers’ Association Obaidullah Saju filed a Tk 5 crore deformation case last month against Tariq Salman after he printed the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, painted by a child, on an invitation card.The case was readily accepted and he was arrested.last_img read more

Two Weeks After Border Patrol Agents Death Many Questions Remain Unanswered

first_img Share ALEX SMITH / WIKIMEDIA COMMONSMore than two weeks after the death of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, questions remain about how he and a fellow agent were seriously injured while on patrol around Van Horn in west Texas.After the incident, prominent politicians wasted no time weighing in, saying the officers had been attacked. Sen.Ted Cruz called it a “stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities.” President Donald Trump tweeted “We will, and must, build the wall!”The investigation was quickly taken over by the FBI, which steps in whenever there’s a potential assault on a federal officer. Since then, they’ve released few details on the case.Because this is a sensitive story, few people are willing talk about it on tape. But I did catch Rush Carter, who is with the Big Bend Border Patrol sector, where Martinez worked.“The lack of answers makes it really tough…as we move forward and have to take care of our jobs and mourn the loss of Agent Martinez all at the same time,” Carter says.He says agents are eager to hear exactly what happened that night. They’re patrolling as usual, albeit…”with a little bit of sadness in our heart… We still are waiting on the FBI to fill in the blanks because everything else is gonna be speculation.”And here’s been a lot of speculation. Almost immediately after Martinez died, politicians started tweeting condolences, and stating he’d been attacked. Governor Abbott said the agent was murdered and offered a reward to help catch the killer. Cruz and Trump also said Martinez was killed. Trump tweeted “We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible.”Around the same time, I talked to Chris Cabrera with the border patrol union.“What we understand from our agents that responded is Agent Martinez and his partner were struck repeatedly in the head and face with a rock or rocks by either one or a number of individuals,” Cabrera says.Here’s the thing: None of this has been confirmed by the FBI…nothing beyond Martinez and his partner having head injuries.At a press conference a few days after the incident, FBI Agent Emerson Buie chose his words carefully.“We are investigating this matter as a potential assault on a federal officer. And we’re trying to gather the facts. And if the facts support that then we will pursue it legally. If they support that the incident was caused by something else, then we’ll present that,” Buie said.The FBI representatives wouldn’t talk on tape for this story. But they did tell me they’re continuing to follow up on all tips from the public.The surviving agent working with Martinez that night hasn’t been named. Reportedly, he’s suffering from memory loss.And officials are raising doubts about those early claims that this was an attack. The Culberson County sheriff was one of the first responders on the scene. He’s said the evidence doesn’t point to violence – and that Martinez might have fallen to his death.So why, more than two weeks later, are there still so few answers? According to Victor Manjarrez, it’s not totally unusual. Manjarrez is a retired border patrol chief, now with the Center for Law and Human Behavior at UT El Paso.“What makes it so difficult in cases of border patrol agents and in this particular case in Van Horn is they’re so remote areas,” Manjarrez says.Plus, there weren’t any witnesses. Manjarrez says it’s also possible the scene was disturbed as first responders rushed in to help.“You come in and your first mindset’s…where’s that agent or officer that’s down? How can I render assistance?” he says, rather than thinking about preserving evidence for a future investigation.But what is more unusual about Agent Martinez’s death are those immediate statements from top politicians. Alfredo Corchado is covering this story for the Dallas Morning News. Corchado’s been reporting on the border for decades and says he’s never seen anything like this.“Where there’s a real rush to judgment. I think what shocked me from day one, from the moment it happened, was sense of certainty that this had happened, this was the way it happened…without any real factual information,” Corchado says.And that could explain why the FBI is being so cautious.“How do you come back after you have the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, you have the senator Ted Cruz, you have President Trump, you know, with such certainty that this is what happened. I mean how do you contradict them? And I think the best way, at least from what I’m told, is you have to be 120 percent accurate. I mean you have to get to the truth,” Corchado says.One other possibility Corchado has heard from sources is that Agent Martinez and his partner might have been sideswiped by a tractor trailer. It’s a theory more people are considering, especially since the FBI announced late last week that they’re expanding their investigation. The FBI is now running digital billboards in four border states, seeking out drivers who passed through the Van Horn area the night both agents were injured. FBI officials say could take weeks or even months before they can issue a full report.last_img read more

Alphabet Becomes Most Valuable US Company Gmail Hits 1 Billion Users

first_img Alphabet Inc easily beat Wall Street’s quarterly profit forecasts on Monday, helped by strong mobile advertising sales, sending the shares of Google’s parent higher in after-hours trading to surpass Apple Inc as the most valuable U.S. company.For the first time, the company disclosed the profitability of Google’s search engine and its other online services, and how much it is spending on ambitious technology projects such as self-driving cars.The numbers were lapped up by investors, who saw room for growth in Google’s traditional business, and were relieved to see that spending on new projects it calls ‘Other Bets’ was not as lavish as some had feared.”It’s pretty interesting that 80 percent of YouTube views come from outside of the United States. I didn’t think it would be that high,” said Kevin Kelly, managing partner at Recon Capital. “It demonstrates that the value of YouTube can continue to be extracted,” he said.The operating profit margin for its Google unit was 31.9 percent in the most recent quarter, compared to 25 percent for Alphabet.Alphabet spent $869 million on capital expenditures for the Other Bets in 2015, up from $501 million in 2014. It has not made any projections about if or when those bets cumulatively would become profitable.”As long as the core business continues to operate well with accelerated revenue… investment in those businesses can continue,” said Ronald Josey of JMP Securities.The company said consolidated revenue jumped 17.8 percent to $21.33 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $18.10 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected $20.77 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.Revenue for Other Bets was $151 million, up 29.8 percent from $106 million in the same quarter last year, primarily from its smart-home monitoring unit Nest, Google Fiber, which provides high-speed Internet access, and its life sciences business Verily.Adjusted earnings of $8.67 per share handily beat analysts’ average estimate of $8.10 per share.In a call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat attributed the strong earnings to “increased use of mobile search by consumers,” as well as “ongoing momentum” in YouTube and programmatic advertising, referring to the automatic buying of ads.Kelly at Recon Capital said he would not be surprised if YouTube saw a surge in advertising revenues beyond the 17 percent increase it saw during the 2015 fiscal year.Total operating losses on the Other Bets – which include glucose-monitoring contact lenses and Internet balloons – increased to $3.57 billion in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, and $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter.The Google unit houses its Internet and related businesses such as search, ads, maps, YouTube and Android as well as hardware products such as its low-cost Chromebook laptops.Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said on the call that its Gmail service crossed one billion monthly active users last quarter, joining Search, Android, Maps, Chrome, YouTube and Google Play in topping that mark.He also touted the company’s performance during the holiday shopping season, saying that programmatic video impressions doubled this season compared to last, and that 60 percent of them came from mobile devices.But Porat, without providing figures, said the company planned to accelerate capital expenditures in 2016 compared to the previous year.Google’s shares rose almost 5 percent in after-hours trading. Alphabet’s combined share classes were worth $549 billion, compared with Apple, which had a value of about $534 billion.Alphabet will officially overtake Apple in market value if both companies’ shares open around current levels on Tuesday.Google’s advertising revenue increased nearly 17 percent to $19.08 billion, while the number of ads, or paid clicks, rose 31 percent, the company said. Analysts had expected paid clicks to increase 21.8 percent.Advertisers pay Google only if someone clicks on their ad.Net income in the fourth quarter rose to $4.92 billion, or $7.06 per Class A and B share and Class C capital stock, from $4.68 billion, or $6.79 per share. (bit.ly/1WY8V19)Adjusted earnings of $8.67 per share excluded certain one-time items.(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru and Deborah M. Todd in San Francisco; Editing by Savio D’Souza, Stephen R. Trousdale and Bill Rigby) February 2, 2016 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 4 min read Register Now » This story originally appeared on Reuters Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more