Medical leave of GECOM chair extended

first_img– statutory meeting postponed until his returnGuyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman, retired Justice James Patterson, has had his medical leave extended, even as the three-month deadline mandated by the Constitution for elections after a successful no-confidence vote approaches and preparations are at a standstill.GECOM Chairman retired Justice James PattersonPatterson, who is recovering after being hospitalised last month, was expected to return to GECOM on Tuesday to host a statutory meeting. On Tuesday, the Commission revealed that Patterson did not return as scheduled and in fact received an extension of his medical leave.According to a statement, Patterson is recovering but has been advised by his doctors to take additional rest to ensure full recovery. The statement added that, “the Chairman will provide further updates on his resumption.”Contacted on Tuesday, GECOM Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward revealed that the statutory meeting will be postponed until Patterson returns. She also said that GECOM has to wait on the executive before beginning its election preparations.“There’s a procedure to be followed for GECOM to conduct an election. First of all, the executive arm needs to write to GECOM indicating a date for election. So when the letter comes to the Chairman that is deliberated at the level of the Commission to say, well we agree, this is the time we can work with and this is the time we cannot work with.”“Based on that confirmation and that deliberation, that is where GECOM kicks in to say elections will be held in this time and we need to roll out our operations,” Ward further explained.GECOM PRO Yolanda WardeShe noted that since they have gotten word or have not been written to by the Executive, in the current circumstances, legal proceedings have in fact been filed by the Government against the no-confidence vote.Meanwhile, there are reports that Patterson’s leave has been extended by two weeks. His absence comes at a time when Government, having fallen to a no-confidence vote on December 21, 2018, has to call elections within 90 days from that date.The No-confidence Motion brought by the parliamentary Opposition – the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – against the Government succeeded when Charrandas Persaud, a former Alliance For Change (AFC) parliamentarian, broke rank and made a conscience vote in favour of the motion.A total of 10 MPs had previously debated the motion, but when a vote of division was called, Persaud’s vote changed the numbers to 33 versus his colleagues’ 32 votes against the motion.While Persaud’s former coalition colleagues have complained about being betrayed by the vote, the parliamentary Opposition has thrown its support behind the MP’s right to vote in whichever direction his conscience lead him. Persaud has since left the country.With the Government’s defeat, the next steps are spelt out in the Constitution of Guyana. Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet, including the President, shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”Meanwhile, clause 7 goes on to state that “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”Government has gone from promising to respect the vote to denying the vote’s validity on grounds that include an argument that 34 should have been a majority vote in 65. A court case has been filed seeking, among other things, a stay of the elections pending a ruling.Meanwhile, a meeting has been scheduled between President David Granger and Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo for today. One of the issues expected to be raised is GECOM and its readiness for elections.Jagdeo has already warned that if elections are not facilitated within 90 days and there is no parliamentary agreement to extend this time, Guyana will have in place an unconstitutional Government.last_img read more

Raiders Gruden to put in bye week work with new receiver Zay Jones

first_imgALAMEDA — Through bloodshot eyes and and dealing with jet leg after returning home from London, Raiders coach Jon Gruden greeted the media with a “Good morning” at 1 o’clock in the afternoon Tuesday at his weekly press conference.In the delirious aftermath of a 24-21 win over the Chicago Bears, Gruden gave his players the week off rather than hold any bye week practices. The Raiders are back at practice Monday in preparation for another road game against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 20.In …last_img

JK womens football team nets a goal, led by stone-thrower-

first_imgturned goalie(Eds: Minor changes in para 2)New Delhi, Dec 5 (PTI) As a disgruntled student, Afshan Ashiq led other girls in throwing stones at the police on Srinagar streets. Today, the poster girl of stone throwers is the captain of Jammu and Kashmirs womens football team — a dream transformation that also speaks of the governments success in winning the hearts of Kashmiris.The 21-year-old Ashiq walked across the lawns of the residence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today, saying she does not want to “look back.””My life has changed forever. I want to be an achiever and do something to make the state and the nation proud,” said Ashiq, whose life story may soon be turned into a biopic.A renowned Bollywood filmmaker, who for now wishes to remain anonymous, plans to make a film on the tall Ashiq, her teams goalkeeper who is studying for her B.A. in Srinagar.She led her 22-member football team that called on Singh, along with three officials. Ashiq said she was pleasantly surprised to see how he wasted no time in redressing their grievances over the lack of sports-related infrastructure in the state.”When we told the home minister that Jammu and Kashmir lacks sports infrastructure, he immediately called up the Chief Minister (Mehbooba Mufti) and requested her to do the needful to help us,” Ashiq, who is from Srinagar, said.Ashiq, who defends the 24-foot-long and 8-foot-high goal post for her team, said the youth in Kashmir Valley was talented and all that they required was a platform.advertisement”The minister also told us that Rs 100 crore had already been sanctioned (under the Prime Ministers special package) for the state,” the captain of the CM?s-XI team told PTI.She agrees that her life and career had made a remarkable U-turn since the days when her picture was splashed in the national media as a stone pelter.The same hands that threw stones at the forces now ward off many a hard kick as she guards the goalpost.During the 30-minute meeting with Singh, the team members conveyed to him that if proper infrastructure — such as training facilities — came up in Jammu and Kashmir, the youth could be motivated to hone their talents and bring laurels to the state, staying away from terrorism and other unlawful activities.Team manager Tsering Angmo said the sports infrastructure in the border areas was particularly poor and needed urgent attention so that young Kashmiris could be weaned away from illicit acts.”With proper infrastructure in place, the youth can take up sports to nourish their talents and no one can brainwash anyone. No one will join terrorism or indulge in stone pelting,” Angmo, who is from Ladakh, said.Ashiq and Angmo thanked Singh for listening to them and for speaking to the chief minister about their problems.Later, the home minister tweeted, “Met the young and energetic girls of JKs first ever Women Football Team. They are highly motivated and driven when it comes to football.”He also said they were examples for others to follow.”Playing the role of new age Gender Benders, these girls are setting an example for others to follow. I wish them success and a great future,” he tweeted. PTI ACB SKL VJ BDS BDSlast_img read more

Grand Council in Akwesasne taking different path to resolve cannabis issues

first_imgDanielle RochetteAPTN NewsThe council of Akwesasne has decided to take another path towards settling its issues with cannabis stores in the community.This was the decision after two police raids split the community.The stores were raided because they didn’t have a license from the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, but instead, they were licensed by a group called the Indian Way Longhouse.Now, despite the different perspectives on the issue, ongoing efforts are being made to encourage a peaceful solution.“We have since been in conversation with various representatives of the community into discuss what a more fullsome collective process would look like for the ongoing development of a framework regulatory for our community to be able to regulate and license the cannabis industry within Akwesasne,” said Abraham Benedict, grand chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.Roger Jock Kanerahtiio has been sitting on the men’s council for 13 years in the Indian Way Longhouse.As one of the representatives of the Longhouse, he denounced the interference of the Akwesasne Mohawk police and other non-Mohawk police on the Cannabis dispensaries.“Two times they were robbed,” he said. “Two times they were set back but they open the next day.“We do not live in a dictatorship we are Onkwehonweh and Onkwehonweh they are free.”Kanerahtiio says that things can be turned around in a positive way.“Communication is the most important thing and I think by working to come to peaceful understanding because basically I see that we can do that without having to say he won or we won or they won you know the people has got to win,” he said.Kanerahtiio is also hoping that the police will cooperate to the ongoing discussions.“I hope we do not see the aggression of the police again I really hope that they see that we are working it out and they need to stay out of the business as we know tensions get high really quick.”There is one thing that everybody agrees on – that some aspects of the cannabis business are good.“We want to create jobs in our community, we want to have small businesses,” said Abraham. “We want to have an economy that supporting our community as well as having a collective benefit for everybody it is just a matter of getting through the framework what the framework will look like.”drochette@aptn.ca@danfromestlast_img read more

Probe Robert Vadra but also investigate PM Modi Rahul Gandhi

first_imgChennai: Asserting that law must not be applied selectively, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said if his brother-in-law Robert Vadra can be probed so can Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his alleged role in the Rafale deal. He also said economic growth is directly related to the mood of the nation and one cannot expect it to happen in a negative and fearful atmosphere. The Congress will change the mood of the country and make people feel happy and empowered, the Congress chief said while addressing women students at a college here. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day Gandhi, who asked students to refer to him as Rahul, said the law must apply to everybody and not be applied selectively. He said this in response to a question on Vadra, who is being probed in connection with a money laundering case related to purchase of assets abroad and a land case in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district. During his informal interaction with the students, he also brought up the issue of the Rafale deal and reiterated his allegations about the pricing of the aircraft and the process. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty “I will be the first person to say it… Investigate Robert Vadra but also investigate Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said. Modi is a “corrupt” man, he bypassed negotiations and ran parallel negotiations on the Rafale deal, Gandhi alleged while responding to the question. The Congress chief said the prime minister should have the guts to face the media and asked why Modi was “hiding”. The BJP and the government have repeatedly rejected the Congress’s allegation of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal. He also alleged that the BJP’s idea is to capture every institution of the country and run them from Nagpur, the RSS headquarters. Gandhi said the Congress would pass the women’s reservation bill if it comes to power. “Don’t see enough women in leadership positions. You cannot have women in power in India until the attitude towards them changes,” he told the cheering crowd. In response to a question, he said he had learnt the lessons of humility and love from his mother Sonia Gandhi. He asked the gathering, “Did you like demonetisation?” When the audience answered, “No”, he said, “I think it’s pretty clear the damage demonetisation did. PM should have taken your advice.” Gandhi, who asked the students to challenge him and “make him uncomfortable”, also questioned whether the prime minister could stand in a large audience and answer people’s questions. Referring to Modi’s policies on Jammu and Kashmir, he said these were setting fire to the state and blamed the Centre for not strategically and systematically handling terrorism. As soon as Modi assumed power, he made a “huge mistake” of forging an alliance with PDP just for the sake of power. “Today Narendra Modi ji’s policies are actually setting fire to Kashmir,” he said, alleging that it was his policies that were allowing Pakistan to carry out terrorist acts in India. Gandhi underscored the need to engage the people of Kashmir and bring them “on our side.” The prime minister’s policies “pushes the people away so you cannot fight terrorism with one off gestures,” he said. Noting that it was “our responsibility” to stop the neighbouring country from carrying out terror strikes and save our people, Gandhi said, “It is not good enough to say that 45 CRPF men died and now we will do something.” He sought to know why the attack (in Pulwama) was not stopped in the first place. Forty CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying explosives into their bus in Pulwama district. Claiming that the Congress pursued a policy of systematic and strategic approach in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the NDA government had not followed a similar policy. “We actually crushed terrorism,” he said and referred to the “drastic fall” in the number of soldiers and people killed during UPA’s tenure. The Congress followed a multi-pronged approach when it came to power in 2004 and toed both systematic and strategic lines, he said. “And it was successful,” he said adding it led to diplomatic isolation of Pakistan. Gandhi also called his party’s minimum income guarantee scheme a revolutionary idea.last_img read more

Will stick to fiscal prudence lower tax rates if elected Jaitley

first_imgNew Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Thursday said the BJP-led NDA will continue with fiscal prudence and lower tax rates if elected back to power. He further said the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council has cut tax rates on consumption items to 12 or 18 per cent from the highest slab of 28 per cent and lowering rate on cement is next on agenda. “I speak in terms of taxation policies… I’m quite clear in my mind that on two issues at least we had – a lot of good fiscal prudence and we brought the rates down, these are two areas, if we are in power we will continue the same glide path,” Jaitley said while addressing the CII AGM here. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe general elections will be held in phases beginning April 11 and counting of votes will take place on May 23. Jaitley said India’s growth has stabilised between 7-7.5 per cent and irrespective of global trends, domestic consumption is going to increase. “We have come to 7-7.5 per cent (growth rate) range despite the fact that there is no global boom or support of any kind, and we have stabilised at that, you need to graduate further,” he added. The Reserve Bank of India Thursday cut its GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal by 20 basis points (bps) to 7.2 per cent. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe minister said that over the last 5 years the government did not increase tax rates, and in some cases doubled tax base and increased tax collection. “In the last 20 odd months of the GST except for Cement that is because of affordability, … every item of consumption has come down to 18 per cent and 12 per cent category from 28 per cent. So, it is only a matter of time that the last one also comes down,” Jaitley said. Asked what steps would be taken if the government comes to power, Jaitley said, “Wait for a couple of days, when our manifesto comes out, you may find some of the views expressed in that”. The government had revised upwards the fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 fiscal to 3.4 per cent from 3.3 per cent projected in the budget. For current fiscal, which begun on April 1, the fiscal deficit target has been set at 3.4 per cent.last_img read more

Make it womenfriendly

first_imgIn a significant decision, the Bombay High Court has clarified the law on abortion in India. It is legal. Every woman has a fundamental right to her sexual and reproductive autonomy and choose whether to retain her pregnancy or not. But this is not an absolute right, and is subject to certain exceptions in law, as prescribed in The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP Act) which seeks to provide for the termination of certain pregnancies by registered medical practitioners. Section 3 of the Act provides that a registered medical practitioner can terminate a pregnancy up to 12 weeks, or two registered medical practitioners can terminate a pregnancy up to 20 weeks if they are of the opinion that continued pregnancy would involve a risk to the pregnant woman’s life or cause grave injury to her physical or mental health, or there exists a substantial risk to the child’s health. The MTP Act further allows termination of pregnancy beyond twenty weeks, if the doctor opines that such termination is immediately necessary to save the woman’s life. However, doctors are highly reluctant to conduct abortions beyond 20 weeks without court approval. In most cases, women seeking abortion after 20 weeks have to approach the High Courts or the Supreme Court, who then set up a medical board consisting of a panel of doctors to decide whether abortion could be allowed or not. In Ms. Z v. State of Bihar (2018), a woman was raped in a shelter home, and her request for abortion in 17 weeks was not allowed by the hospital. When she approached the High Court, she was again denied, which was overturned by the Supreme Court. However, she was already 26 weeks’ pregnant by the time her matter was heard in the Apex Court, and she was not allowed to abort. The Supreme Court held that “the duty cast on the authorities under the Medical Termination Pregnancy Act, 1971 is not dutifully performed, and the failure has ultimately given rise to a catastrophe, a prolonged torment”. In the present case, referring to various High Courts and Supreme Court decisions, the Bombay High Court gave certain interim directions for the implementation of the MTP Act. The High Court categorically held that a registered medical practitioner is entitled to terminate a pregnancy beyond 20 weeks if she is of the opinion that such termination is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. But if she opines that there is no immediate danger to the life of pregnant woman, then she is not entitled to terminate the pregnancy beyond 20 weeks without court’s approval, even if such pregnancy may cause grave physical or mental harm or there is a substantial risk to the child. In the latter case, the pregnant woman has to approach the High Court directly to seek permission for termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks. The Court further directed the State to set up medical boards in each district in order to examine pregnant women and assess the feasibility of termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks. It is argued that though the High Court attempted to clear the confusion regarding termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks, by doing so, it has made the law on abortion more difficult for women in India. As noted before, the issue of termination of pregnancy exceeding 20 weeks is a vexed one plaguing the courts for the last many years. The High Court’s distinction between cases with an immediate risk to woman’s life, and those where the same risk is not there, but there’s a substantial risk to her physical/mental health or to the child is a flawed one. The High Court failed to take note that while there may not be an immediate risk to her life, to force her to approach the Courts which would then take their own time to set up a medical board to assess pregnancy would cause irreparable damage to her physical/mental health, especially if there is a delay in adjudicating the matter, like what happened in Ms. Z v. State of Bihar. In many cases, by the time the Supreme Court or the High Courts allowed the termination of pregnancy, several weeks had passed, thereby making it impossible to conduct the termination, and forcing women to bear unwanted pregnancy. It is an irony that a law like MTP that primarily pertains to women’s bodies has not been enacted from women’s rights perspective, but to exempt medical doctors from penalty vis-à-vis offences in the IPC regarding causing miscarriage and causing fetal death. Despite referring to women’s rights to privacy, dignity and autonomy enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution, the Bombay High Court failed to make the women’s reproductive autonomy central to the interpretation of the MTP Act. If a pregnant woman seeks to terminate her pregnancy beyond 20 weeks, then her physical/mental health should be of main concern, even if there is no immediate risk to her life. To compel her to get involved in complex bureaucratic procedures of court approval, which includes examination by a medical board, is an affront to her sexual and reproductive autonomy. It is hoped that this rigidity of interpretation is relaxed in the future, and a truly progressive regime on abortion is ushered in this country soon. (The author is an Attorney. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Walkon receiver hopes to remain involved in sports after OSU career

Ricky Crawford, from Lewis Center, Ohio, followed his dream and joined the Ohio State football team as a walk-on wide receiver during spring drills in 2008. “To come to Ohio State has been my dream since I can remember,” Crawford said. “I never wanted to go to a different school.” Despite only being on scout team, Crawford worked hard helping OSU prepare for upcoming opponents. In his first two seasons at OSU, Crawford received the scout team workhorse award five times. It should also be noted that Crawford has never missed a practice. Going into his senior year in 2010, Crawford changed his position to tight end adding a little bulk to his 6-foot-3-inch, 215-pound frame. “I had to work hard to gain the weight,” Crawford said. “I’m helping with being a receiver/tight end, just going out there doing whatever I can do to help the team.” Crawford’s hard work, dedication and willingness to help the team have finally paid off. He was awarded a scholarship this season and has earned playing time in five games. “It’s a little different. I really haven’t noticed it too much other than the fact that I can stay after practice and eat,” Crawford said. After the season is over, Crawford said he wants to work out for the OSU pro day. However, if professional football falls through for Crawford, he has a backup plan. “I want to go back to school and get a degree in education and maybe coach high school football,” Crawford said. “I just know I want to stay close to sports.” read more

Football Ohio State embraces Coach to Cure MD program this past Saturday

The Ohio State coaching staff wore Coach To Cure MD patches during the Ohio State-Rutgers game on Sep. 30. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorAmerican Football Coaches Association coaches across the nation participate in Coach to Cure MD during one college football game per season. Last Saturday, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes made an effort to raise awareness and tackle muscular dystrophy. The coaching staff wore patches during its game at Rutgers to spread awareness of MD. The team also raised over $10,000 collectively to fight the disease. MD is close to the heart of the football team as one of its biggest fan, Jacob Jarvis, is a person with the disease. Jarvis has been an honorary captain for the team, and scored the winning touchdown at the spring game in April.“When he comes into a room, it gives you a little perspective on your life,” redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett said in a statement. “He brightens up everybody each and every time he comes around us. He is a Buckeye and just a kid that loves Ohio State and the people around Ohio State.”Jarvis first met Meyer in 2013, and the Buckeyes have been raising money to help Jarvis win his battle since that season.To donate to help those suffering from MD, fans can visit CoachtoCureMD.org or by texting CURE to 50555 to make a $10 donation. read more

Miracles do happen Sarfaraz Ahmed speaks about possible semifinals qualification

first_imgRelatedWho will face India? Two possible scenarios emerge – Semi-finals matchups explainedICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Pakistan’s dream of qualifying for semi-finals trolled on social media After England’s win over New Zealand, Pakistan is all but out of the semi-finals race and their skipper, Sarfaraz Ahmed is under no illusion as he too concedes that his side need a miracle to qualify for the next stage. Pakistan need to beat Bangladesh by a ridiculously large margin, well and they need to bat first for starters. “Obviously, we are here to win all the matches,” said Sarfaraz ahead of the match. It is not going to be an easy task as Bangladesh have got the better of Pakistan in their last four one-day internationals. “We will do our best to win the last game as well to end on a high and we will do our best to achieve that but we need to be realistic, but if Allah helps then miracles can happen,” the skipper further added.He did, however, say that such is the margin of victory, that they can only try to score 600, 500, 400 on a pitch and then try to bundle out Bangladesh by 50 runs in order to win by a 316-run margin. He said his team can only give it their best shot. Pakistan’s highest total at the tournament is the 348-8 Pakistan’s highest total at the tournament is the 348-8, which they scored batting first against England, a match which they went on to win. The highest score of the tournament has been scored by England when they peeled off 397-6 against Afghanistan. However, the Pakistan skipper assessed that the pitches being used in the tournament are good sporting wickets which is the reason behind scores ranging between 280-300. “If you look at the tournament then, realistically, the tournament is of 280-300 totals. If you look at the pitches, they were not for free-scoring. They were tough for batting with spin and the ball was not coming onto the bat,” Sarfaraz further added.It has been a very mixed campaign for Pakistan, but the fact that they were bundled out for 105 in their very first match against West Indies has come back to haunt them. West Indies then chased down the target in just 13.4 overs, and the impact on the net run-rate has been massive and now, at this crucial juncture, this aforementioned loss has all but ended their campaign.As things stand now, Australia, India, England and New Zealand will be the four sides to battle it out in the semi-finals.last_img read more