America votes today

first_imgDear Editor,A majority of Americans will go to the polls today to vote for a Presidential candidate of their choice who will lead them for the next four years. Under normal circumstances, this would have been a normal routine every four years but this time around the stakes are as high as the sky, perpetuated by devious and divisive campaign tactics from both sides of the political aisle.In all the years I have lived in the US I have never seen such high levels of anxiety, such high levels of ambiguity and such high levels of disappointment and despair amongst Americans so associated with the general election season. For some Americans, the election polling stations have become metaphorically a damp and dangerous zone to be avoided rather than a datum for expressing political prerogatives.How can this can happen in one of the safest but not necessarily the soundest democracies in the world is a question that can be easily answered by an average American? The answer is dirty politics and the predilection for power predicated upon the agenda of inclusion and exclusion.I will not belabour the obvious of what have been said about the US election, particularly with regard to prejudicial and prelapsarian views, in the age of information technology. I am sure Guyanese are very much familiar with the dynamics of the US election.What I would like to share is that the definition of an immigrant in the US during this election, and perhaps beyond, has changed to mean something new and nauseatingly worrying. Initially, the word immigrant means anyone who has entered the US from somewhere else and someone who is not born in the US.Now, the word immigrant means a non-white person, and all the negative trappings that come with this label. Certainly, one presidential hopeful has not addressed the East European immigrant problems in the US.I believe that this US election season has provided an opportunity, opening the door for the entrance for the formation of a political party driven by immigrant/resident/citizenship sentiments.For too long, immigrants turned citizens in the US have been comfortable with their own insular development and their partial participation in politics. The time has come to step beyond this comfort zone.While this might be a far-fetched thought right now to entertain further, I do hope the losing candidate concedes. My bet is on Hilary Clinton to win, a limited choice really.Sincerely,Lomarsh Roopnarinelast_img read more

Boxer accuses EPA official of blocking smog control

first_imgA decision will be made by year’s end, he said. Congress, however, might not wait for either the EPA process or the lawsuit to settle California’s fate. Legislation introduced by Boxer and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson would force the agency to decide on the state’s request by Sept. 30. Boxer said the measure faces a key committee vote next week. Johnson also maintained Thursday that he had nothing to do with an effort by the Department of Transportation to rally congressional opposition to California’s emissions law. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, exposed the lobbying attempt last month in a series of e-mails he obtained and released to the public. The e-mails showed detailed conversations among agency officials about the best ways to urge lawmakers to combat California’s waiver request. While lawmakers have condemned the calls as improper and possibly illegal, DOT attorneys have maintained that contact between the agency and Congress are routine. (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – California Sen. Barbara Boxer accused a key Environmental Protection Agency official Thursday of trying to sabotage the Golden State’s efforts to implement a first-in-the-nation smog-control law. In a morning of political theater in the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, Boxer also rebuked EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson for a Bush-administration lobbying effort against California. And she warned Johnson against using emerging national energy-efficiency standards as a pretext for blocking the state’s ability to set tailpipe-emission levels. “When history is written, I think they’ll look back on your tenure as a missed opportunity. And that’s the nicest way I could put it,” Boxer, who chairs the Senate panel, told Johnson. California applied in 2005 for the federal waiver it needs to carry out a state law cutting car emissions 25 percent by 2009. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed to sue the administration in October if no decision has been made. Meanwhile, 11 other states that adopted similar emissions laws also are waiting for a decision in the California case. “I believe the administration has already decided they don’t want to grant this waiver, and the only thing you can do to dispute that is grant it,” Boxer said Thursday. “We have states that are taking the lead and you are standing in their way. You are blocking them.” But throughout the hearing, Johnson maintained that the EPA is fairly and independently considering California’s request. He noted the agency received more than 60,000 written comments – what he called an “unprecedented number” – and said officials are meticulously reviewing them. last_img read more

Islamic school infiltrated

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Khan’s testimony came at the end of the third week of Hamid Hayat’s trial. The 23-year-old Lodi man is charged with attending an al-Qaida camp in Pakistan and then lying about it to federal investigators. His father, Umer, also is charged with lying to the FBI. The Hayats are the only people charged in the federal government’s terrorism probe of Lodi, a winemaking town about 35 miles south of Sacramento. The region has had a tight-knit community of Pakistani immigrants since the early 1900s. The Hayats were not the intended targets of the government’s investigation, but attention began to focus on Hamid Hayat in early 2003. Khan, a 32-year-old immigrant from Pakistan, had befriended the younger Hayat months before. Conversations between the two were recorded on hundreds of hours of audiotape that have become central to the prosecution’s case. The conversations were recorded before and after Hamid Hayat left for Pakistan in June 2003. Khan repeatedly pressed Hayat about attending a camp, expressing frustration when Hayat said he had been unable to make arrangements to attend because the camps had been closed down after the 2001 terrorist attacks. “He never told you that he went to a camp, correct?” asked Hamid Hayat’s attorney, Wazhma Mojaddidi. “No, he did not,” Khan replied. That was true in all the conversations Khan had until he lost contact with Hayat in October 2003, and in a face-to-face meeting in May 2005, after Hayat returned to Lodi. Hayat confessed to attending a camp during a videotaped FBI interrogation, but Mojaddidi said her client was pressured and told agents only what they wanted to hear without realizing the consequences. Under cross-examination Thursday, Khan said he could recall few details of his first meetings with Hayat. He recalled meeting Hayat in “June, July, August, I don’t know the exact month,” even after he was handed an FBI report showing his first meeting was Aug. 6, 2002. “We just met. I was not out there looking for him or anything,” Khan told jurors. Khan said their first conversations were about computers and e-mail, not about terrorist training camps or anti-American Pakistani politics. Khan, whom the FBI code-named “Wildcat”, told Mojaddidi that he was recruited while he was managing a convenience store in Oregon and said his arrangements with the FBI were informal at first. “They asked me if I would be willing to help them with some work in the Sacramento area because I spoke the language. I said, ‘Sure,”‘ Khan testified. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – A government informant who is the key witness in a terrorism-related trial said Thursday that he began focusing on an Islamic school after the FBI sent him to a Central Valley town as part of its investigation into the region’s Pakistani community. Informant Naseem Khan testified that he was interested in the membership and activities of the Farooqia Islamic Center in Lodi. The government sent him there shortly after recruiting him following the 2001 terrorist attacks. In response to a defense lawyer’s questioning, Khan said he and an undercover FBI agent who was working with him became so trusted that mosque officials allowed them to work on the center’s Web page unsupervised. Khan used the opportunity to search through desk drawers, where he discovered an address book. The FBI reprimanded Khan after he accessed a private e-mail account without permission. No one from the mosque was ever criminally charged, although two imams and one of the imam’s sons were deported to Pakistan on immigration violations. last_img read more

The most successful Prem player combos for assists to goal scorer revealed

first_imgSo far this season Mesut Ozil has benefitted from Alexis Sanchez’s work at Arsenal, with three Premier League goals to his name.In addition, Dimitri Payet has created three for West Ham team-mate Michail Antonio and Romelu Lukaku has Yannick Bolasie to thank for three of his six Premier League goals.Here, talkSPORT looks at who the best combinations for assists to goals are this calendar year.All stats correct on 28 October 2016. 2 The most successful player combinations in 2016 revealed center_img 2last_img read more

Larwin proposal stalled by panel

first_img(661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.After residents spoke out about traffic, density and other changes the project would likely bring to their neighborhood, the council voted to delay a decision. The council agreed to create a committee of residents, business people and some council members who will meet with Larwin officials to further discuss their concerns. “If they want to develop this property, let’s see that they do it in a way that fits into the community,” said Lloyd Carder, council president. In 2005, the developer presented plans to build 24 condominium units on the same parcel. It was met with resistance from neighbors living close to the proposed development. CASTAIC – Plans to build 17 homes on a local hillside were stalled Wednesday after residents again challenged a major developer’s proposal. Seeking a recommendation in favor of the development, Larwin Co. presented plans to the nine-member Castaic Area Town Council, an advisory body to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. Proposed homes would be larger than 1,700 square feet and are estimated to sell for up to $650,000, said Valerie Borstein, vice president of forward planning. Larwin aims to build the homes on 3.5 acres of its 40-acre parcel, north of Park Vista Drive, in a project called The Highlands. last_img read more

Glasgow Warriors ace Wilson cleared of grabbing opponent’s testicles

first_imgGlasgow Warriors star Ryan Wilson has been cleared of grabbing an opponent by the testicles.A London hearing dismissed the case against the Scotland international, after he was cited for the incident on Monday. The flanker attended the hearing in London, following an altercation with Northampton scrum-half Lee Dickson in the Warriors’ 19-15 defeat at Franklin’s Gardens.  Wilson was found not guilty of engaging in unsporting conduct and is free to play against Racing 92 this weekend. If he had been found guilty then he could have faced a ban ranging from 12 weeks to 208 weeks. Wilson has turned out for his club side on nine occasions this term.The Aldershot-born player was not included in Scotland’s Six Nations squad.Coach Vern Cotter insisted the incident did not influence his selection process, adding: “We made a decision. “He has been improving but we feel that other players are playing better than he is at the moment”last_img read more

Celtic and Rangers learn Europa League play-off opponents

first_imgCeltic will take on Lithuanian side Suduva in their Europa League play-off, while Rangers face Russian outfit Ufa.Suduva sealed their spot as Celtic’s opponents by defeating Spartaks Jurmala 1-0 on aggregate.Rangers, meanwhile, were denied a rematch with Progres Neiderkorn after last year’s loss when the Luxembourg minnows conceded late on to Ufa.With Progres leading 2-1 and the tie heading for extra-time, Ufa struck a last-gasp equaliser to go through 4-3 on aggregate. Rangers now instead face a long-haul trip to the Republic of Bashkortstan in central Russia.last_img read more

IDC boost for goat farming

first_img20 March 2008The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has given the Northern Cape goat farming industry a R15-million capital injection, to help transform local herders into commercial farmers.Unveiling the Goat Commercialisation Programme in Grobblershoop on Tuesday, Northern Cape Premier Dipuo Peters said the joint initiative between the IDC, the Department of Agriculture and the Kalahari Kid Corporation would enable locals to engage more actively in the economy.“Today’s launch is a moment in which we are saying the playing fields for the diversification of the province’s goat farming are being levelled,” Peters said. “Our emergent goat farmers now have the opportunity to capture their share of the spoils in the goat value-chain.”She added that the programme would expand the goat population in the province beyond the current 700 000, helping to develop the live goat market, increase supply of meat to retailers and allow for the further processing of goat meat for exporting and goatskin for leather.The agriculture department, through Kalahari Kid Corporation, has to date procured 2 000 goats for the two production farms and a further 900 goats from individual emerging farmers and cooperatives.Peters explained that Kalahari Kid had in turn partnered with LAW Abattoir, an European Union approved abattoir, for the slaughtering and processing of goats for both national and international markets.“These two entities will ensure that all offshore and local logistics that include traceability of the product are met,” she said.The department also donated a total of 300 female goats and nine bucks to three cooperatives, including Kagisanong Women Dipudi in Kuruman, Britstown Small Farmers and Chevon Youth in Globblershoop.To ensuring that the province meets the required demands of the local and international markets, two farms in Rooisand and Boegoeberg have been acquired at a cost of R19-million to be used as production farms.Since 2003 the department has spent an average of R6-million per year on commercialising goat farming.“The intervention of this programme encapsulates research, training, marketing, traceability and production that speaks into the immediate objectives of Asgi-SA and the provincial growth and development strategy,” she said.Asgi-SA – the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa – seeks to halve unemployment and poverty in the country by 2014, and increase economic growth to 6%.SAinfo reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Annual Filing Season Program Survives AICPA Challenge

first_imgThe AICPA lost its bid to stop the IRS’s Annual Filing Season Program. The IRS created the program after losing its battle to regulate unenrolled tax preparers.Annual Filing Season ProgramThe IRS grants an annual Certificate of Completion to anyone who completes the program requirements. These include:obtaining a prearer tax identification number;taking the annual filing season refresher course or taking 18 hours of continuing education;passing an exam; andconsenting to be subject to the rules in Circular 230.As incentives for preparers to take part in the program, the IRS:lists unenrolled agents with a Certificate of Completion in its online directory of tax preparers; andgives them limited practice rights during audits of returns they prepared.Before the IRS began the Annual Filing Season Program, all unenrolled tax preparers had limited practice rights.Constitutional and Statutory StandingThe AICPA had standing to question the program because it injured some of its members. The program extends the scope of Circular 230 to unenrolled preparers, including those employed by AICPA members. Thus, it imposes new supervisory duties on AICPA members who employ preparers who complete the program. So, the AICPA had a grievance that supplied both constitutional and statutory standing.Authority for the ProgramHowever, the IRS has the statutory authority to establish and operate the program and publish its results. Contrary to the AICPA’s argument, the IRS does not tie Circular 230 violations to return preparation. Instead, it ties Circular 230 violations to the limited practice rights. Thus, the program did not run afoul of the restrictions in Loving.Also, the IRS followed the applicable procedure when it announced the program. The IRS did not have to adopt the program through notice and comment rulemaking under the APA.In addition, the program does not bind unenrolled preparers. Because the program is voluntary it provides an opportunity for those who chose to satisfy the requirements. Also, it does not impose any new or different rules upon supervisors of unenrolled preparers who do not participate in the program. .The procedure the IRS used to create the program was interpretive, not legislative, guidance. The guidance interpreted what the statute meant by competency.Also, the IRS gave unenrolled preparers limited practice rights through a revenue procedure. And, the IRS issued that procedure without notice and comment. Thus, the IRS did not violate the APA by failing to follow the notice and comment procedures.Program Not Arbitrary and CapriciousThe IRS’s Annual Filing Season program is not arbitrary and capricious. The IRS considered the AICPA’s concerns when setting up its return preparer database. Users can filter the directory to show each category of service provider. This includes those identified as Annual Filing Season Program participants.The IRS did not violate its obligations under the APA to consider reasonable alternatives to the program. The AICPA did not propose an alternative way to deal with:the problem of incompetent tax preparers; ortaxpayers who cannot tell whether an uncredentialed tax preparer is or is not competent.Reversing DC D.C., 2016-2 USTC ¶50,376.American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, CA-D.C.Other References:Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

Concussions the Tip of an Iceberg, NFL Adviser Says

first_imgIn football, “We need to start monitoring more than the occurrence of concussions,” said Constantine Lyketsos, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, speaking to the press yesterday after a meeting on head injuries in sports. He and other experts at a closed program in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the National Football League considered the risks and frequency of brain injury. “We are concerned they’re being underestimated,” said Lyketsos, who directed the 1-day session. The event, titled “Traumatic Brain Injury in Professional Football: An Evidence-Based Perspective,” was intended primarily as continuing education for NFL team physicians. Department of Defense clinicians also attended, hearing about topics such as biomarkers for brain injury and potential long-term effects, including depression, dementia, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a dementia-like disease first identified in boxers. Lyketsos described to reporters a video presented earlier in the day: In the middle of a game, a charging football player barrels into an opponent. An accelerometer on his helmet measures a whopping 100 G’s, enough to give him a concussion. But he keeps playing. It was a powerful illustration, Lyketsos said, of how players sustain harmful impacts without showing symptoms for physicians to flag. 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He cited 2007 research by Kevin Guskiewicz, a sports concussion researcher at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in which Guskiewicz equipped Tarheel players’ helmets with accelerometers and recorded impacts over five seasons. Lyketsos said that a player averaged 950 hits per season that “might be of concern,” while the “vast majority [resulted in] no symptoms.” Getting a handle on these invisible injuries is possible using electroencephalography and imaging, says Robert Stevens, a critical care doctor at Johns Hopkins. “[In] many individuals who clinically appear normal when we perform extensive batteries of neuropsychological and cognitive tests, when we use these biomarker tests, we see extensive brain damage,” he says. But the most sensitive techniques, such as diffusion tensor imaging, which measures the directional preference of water molecules in white matter, “are highly sophisticated and require technical expertise,” he says. Team doctors need a simple but powerful test—such as checking blood for proteins specific to brain injury—that they can “implement bedside or on the sidelines.” Curiously, Lyketsos downplayed the link between such repeated head injuries and long-term effects such as depression, drug use, and dementia, a position reiterated in the program’s brochure and recently criticized by the chairperson of the NFL’s concussion committee. “There’s been a smattering of evidence, but it’s not terribly strong,” Lyketsos said. An earlier study commissioned by the NFL and conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan found that the proportion of former NFL players who had been diagnosed with a dementia-related disorder (according to their own accounts) was five times higher than that in the general population for players ages 50 and older, and 19 times higher for players between the ages of 30 and 49. (For an overview of research on dementia and NFL players, see this recent article in Science). Still, larger samples and longer studies are needed, Lyketsos said, adding that among NFL doctors, “there’s a very strong will to get studies under way.”last_img read more