After days of public outrage over the treatment of a pupil, who was shamed after he turned up to school in Indigenous attire for Culture Day, Mae’s administration has agreed to apologise to the nine-year-old boy.This was during a meeting held on Monday afternoon at the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) Head Office, which saw APA Executive Director Jean La Rose; GIS Specialist & Forest Policy Officer Michael Mc Garrell; Communications & Visibility Officer Nicholas Peters; Mae’s Schools Director Stacey French and Administrator Lucinda Mc Curdy; and the boy’s parents, Jason Chacon and Karen Small, as well as other stakeholders sitting down to discuss the incident.Karen Small recounts the incident during a meeting with representatives from the APA and Mae’s SchoolsAccording to a statement from the APA, French agreed to apologise to the boy and his parents, but made no commitments on a public apology.“After some back and forth on the matter, and with the APA stressing on what culture really means to Indigenous peoples in Guyana, the school’s director agreed that she would apologise to the young man on the turn the incident took and the trauma that he experienced shortly after,” the missive from the APA detailed.However, the Association pointed out that a public apology was necessary, since not only the boy and his family but the Indigenous people were hurt by this incident, which has been denounced across the country.Monday’s meeting, which was organised by the APA, was the first time the boy’s parents had come face to face with the school’s administration since the incident and Small, the mother of the child, was able to recount directly to the school’s top administration how the incident took place and to express her concerns about its impact on the nine-year-old. She also took the opportunity to highlight some inaccuracies contained in a statement released by the school on the incident.Meanwhile, the school‘s representative also said that she too was not happy about inaccurate media reporting that the child was not allowed to enter the school. However, the APA pointed out that the issue was bigger than whether the child was allowed entry or not, it was a matter much larger that deemed a people’s culture as “inappropriate” which in turn resulted in the child feeling that he should dislike his culture after being made to feel uncomfortable in his ethnic dress.Moreover, the organisation posited that the incident should be used both as a teaching and learning opportunity for the students and faculty of the school. To this end, the APA offered to help the school in sensitising students and others on larger issues affecting Indigenous peoples and their role in society.The school has agreed to host a session in collaboration with the Association to inform students and faculty of Indigenous culture and overcoming the negative stereotypes which continue to exist.Nevertheless, the APA sees the outcome of the meeting as a step in the right direction towards not only resolving this particular incident, but also addressing cultural prejudices that may persist today.Apart from this meeting, the school’s officials also met with representatives from the Ministries of Education, Social Cohesion, and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs on Monday.
SOCU chargesActing Chief Justice Roxane George, SC heard further arguments from attorneys representing former Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh and former Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington, as the challenge to their misconduct in public office charges continued at the High Court on Monday.Attorneys Anil Nandlall and Ronald Burch-Smith appeared on behalf of the defendants, who were released on $6 million each.During Monday’s proceedings, Nandlall disputed the application of the British common law principle to Guyana’s laws, having cited conflicts with this country’s Constitution with the definition of a public officer. With several legal citations, the former Attorney General noted that the particulars of the offence for which the duo is charged has “no reference” that Singh and Brassington are public officers.“This is a fundamental defect, as the offence is misconduct in public office. They have made no allegation that the two men were public officers, so an important ingredient is missing in the charge, on the face of it,” Nandall outlined to JusticeDr Ashni Singh and Winston BrassingtonGeorge.He held to his position that the charge only has two elements; namely, ‘misconduct’ and ‘public office’. He outlined further that for misconduct to be occasioned, evidence would be needed to show high degree of recklessness or great dishonesty.“There must be an element of culpability,” the lawyer stressed.He stated that his legal team intends to exhibit an advertisement for the lands under question, to which the Judge responded that it should have already been done. Nevertheless, Nandall told the acting Chief Justice that it would be a worrying development for citizens to face charges for having accepted a lower valuation ($6 million against $12 million) where the lower valuation was calculated by Government’s own Chief Valuation Officer.“Our criminal law can never be so subjective, so unpredictable, so dysfunctional…If there’s another Executive Government that starts to review this Government’s Executive Policies and starts to pursue charges, where will it end?” Nandlall questioned.His colleague Burch-Smith observed that the former NICIL Head, Brassington, “never signed” the agreement.He referred the Queens Atlantic deal, where “a midpoint was chosen”, though reiterating that his client never signed the document. Burch-Smith stressed that the entire South Georgetown (including East, West, North and South Ruimveldt) and areas beyond Sherriff Street, Georgetown were all developed by Government. On these grounds, the lawyer stated, he could not understand how these actions with reference to the current case could be deemed misconduct.Justice George, however, reminded both attorneys to stick to evidence presented at the bar table.Singh, 45, of Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara, and Brassington, 50, of Florida, USA, are accused of selling various properties at prices the State contends were grossly undervalued. These charges have to do with the sale of several plots of land on the East Coast of Demerara to National Hardware Guyana Ltd for over $598 million; the sale of land to Scady Business Corporation at a cost of $150 million, and to Multi-cinemas Guyana Inc. at a cost of $185 million. Bruch-Smith on Monday that he has not seen the documents relating to Scady Business Corporation.These charges were filed by Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) at the Magistrates’ Court following advice obtained from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DDP), but the two former Government officials denied the allegations. Their lawyers subsequently secured stays of execution to halt the lower court proceedings while they challenge the misconduct charges in the High Court.But then another set of charges were filed against Singh and Brassington, this time over the sale of the former Sanata Textiles Complex to Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII). This, like other charges, was also challenged in the High Court, and back in July, acting Chief Justice Roxane George consolidated the four ‘misconduct in public office’ charges into one substantive challenge.It was alleged that between October 26 and December 20, 2010, the duo acted recklessly when they agreed to the sale of the Sanata Textiles Complex to QAII. According to the charge, the 18.976-acre property was sold for $697.8 million, but it was valued at $1.04 billion. However, according to privatisation documents published by NICIL, the property was valued at $245 million by the Government’s Chief Valuation Officer, but QAII paid $809.5 million for the property – more than three times the Government valuation as Guyana Times had reported. The case continues on October 23.
Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation More about the book: Nelson Mandela in his own words 27 January 2011 Nelson Mandela’s new book, Conversations with Myself, released in October 2010, has taken readers in France and Portugal by storm. By early December, the French edition, entitled Conversations Avec Moi-Meme, had been on the list of best-selling books in France for over five weeks, reaching number 15, and has been reprinted three times. The book was just as well received in Portugal, and had been on its best-seller list for over three weeks. The Portuguese book, entitled Arquivo Intimo, was launched in Lisbon, Portugal at an intimate affair at the South African Embassy, and presented by former Portuguese president Mario Soares. Proceedings were broadcast on Portuguese television. Conversations with Myself, which was released worldwide in 22 editions and 20 languages, takes the reader on an intimate journey through the life of Mr Mandela, from the time the politician in him was born, through the 27 years he spent in prison for the liberation of his country, to his inspiring role on the world stage. The book contains extracts from letters written in the darkest hours of his years in prison, as well as from an unfinished follow-up to his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. The unique archive of Mr Mandela’s thoughts was compiled by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Music is a great way to foster social cohesion and nation building. This is the basis upon which Music is a Great Investment (MIAGI) was established by opera singer, Robert Brooks and pianist, Ingrid Hedlund in 2001. This is a Pretoria based Non-Profit Organisation with a vision of bringing people, particularly children and youth, together through music while creating platforms for creativity, self-expression, learning, employment, cultural exchange, social development and leadership development. The idea is that music transcends many differences and cultivates innovation. South Africa contends with factors of racial, cultural, religious, class, gender and age differences. These factors, if not addressed in an intentional manner, can have an impact on the unity of members of society and their ability to work together towards the wellbeing of all its members; as well as the development of a common identity. MIAGI aims to address this through three main methods namely, the MIAGI Orchestra, the MIAGI Music and Community Centres and using the MIAGI international profile to attract investment for development work in South Africa. The MIAGI Orchestra is made up of group of young South African men and women of all races. This is a classically trained orchestra that have created a unique sound by infusing elements of African Jazz into their compositions. The orchestra, in its makeup, symbolises South Africa’s diversity and through its unique sound demonstrates the country’s distinct Nation Brand to the world. The MIAGI Music and Community Centres aim to provide arts and culture education for children in informal communities. MIAGI has built, developed and managed a music centre on the premises of the Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto. The success of this Centre has inspired the development of an Arts Complex in Khayelitsha aimed at young children. Through the high level visibility of the Orchestra’s international events and the success of Music and Community Centres, MIAGI has attracted investment from the international donor community. The investment has gone a long way in propelling MIAGI’s success. Follow MIAGI on their official website and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to find where you can catch the orchestra performing and how you can play your part.
Pakistan’s suspended Test captain and opener Salman Butt says he is confident of having his name cleared in the spot-fixing scandal that shook international cricket.Butt told mediapersons at the National Cricket Academy yesterday that he was looking forward to the appeal hearing being held by the ICC at Doha on October 30 and 31.Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif were suspended by the ICC in the first week of September while in England.Their suspensions came after the ‘News of the World’ tabloid broke a story claiming that the agent for the three players, Mazhar Majeed, had on video confessed that he had paid bribes to the trio to do spot-fixing in the fourth Test against England at Lord’s.The trio have appealed against their suspensions and the ICC has now scheduled their hearings in Doha under the supervision of Michael Beloff QC.While the ICC is carrying out its appeal process, the three players continued to be under investigation by the Scotland Yard for alleged spot fixing and conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.The 26-year-old Butt, who has played 33 Tests and 78 ODIs, claimed the allegations had disturbed him and his family.”But I am ready to fight on and I am confident of positive result at the hearing,” he added.”Everything was going well when this happened and it was very disturbing and disappointing. But it has also been big lesson for me,” he said.”It has taught me a lot about how to deal with the people around you and how to be aware of the people around you.It has made me realize to differentiate between friends and foes.”advertisementThe opener, who led Pakistan in the Tests in England including two victories over Australia and England before the spot fixing allegations broke out, said he had not given up and was continuing his daily training and practice sessions at the national academy.”I keep on doing my training and practice for two hours daily. Because I want to remain in touch.”Butt didn’t rule out the possibility of getting a chance to play against South Africa in the UAE next month.”I am working hard and doing my bit. The conditions in Lahore and the UAE are the same so I am preparing hard on playing spin,” he said.Meanwhile, the lawyers for Butt and Aamir confirmed on that they had received the charge sheets and all related material and documents from the ICC for the appeal hearing.”We have got details of the charges against the players but it is strictly confidential and we are not allowed to discuss it publicly,” Butt’s lawyer, Aftab Gul said.With inputs from PTI
Arsenal whiz Bukayo Saka hopes to make Europa League his competitionby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal whiz Bukayo Saka hopes to make the Europa League his competition.Saka scored in their 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night.He said: “There will be a lot of opportunities in the Europa League. That’s how I made my debut last season and I hope I can continue to get more and more opportunities and keep progressing so I can maybe one day play in the Premier League and start playing for Arsenal’s first team.”I feel like I’ve been with the first team a lot this season, I’ve been training with them a lot, I know the players, they know me and I don’t think it was too different for me because I train with them every day.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–The Conservative government has axed a First Nations-led Crown corporation created to fill the statistical “gap” that exists when it comes to getting numbers from First Nations reserves and the urban Aboriginal population.The First Nations Statistical Institute (FNSI), which was created through legislation passed in 2005 during the Liberal government under Paul Martin, will see its $5 million budget cut in half this year and eliminated next year, according to the federal budget unveiled Thursday.Keith Conn, the FNSI’s chief operating officer, said the agency was in the midst of 25 projects across Canada working with First Nations communities and organizations.“Now we have to figure out what we can do for this year,” said Conn.Conn said he found out about the cut while sitting in the budget lock-up in Ottawa Thursday. The information was buried near the back of the budget document under a section outlining total cuts to the federal Aboriginal Affairs department.Aboriginal Affairs will see cuts of $26 million this fiscal year, $60 million the next and $165 million the year after for a total 2.7 per cent reduction of the $6.22 billion that was put on the table for review, according to the budget.“I saw something in the tea leaves,” said Conn. “I told my board of directors that I had an inclination. “I was connecting the dots on several activities and inactivities.”The institute currently has 23 people on staff, but they won’t all be laid off immediately, he said.“We will have to determine what some of those priorities are as an organization”, he said. “We have projects that we may want to wrap up.”The FNSI was created, through legislation along with three other Crown agencies: The First Nations Tax Commission, the First Nations Financial Management Board and the First Nations Finance Authority.Conn said the institute didn’t really get going until 2009 because it took the Conservative government two years to pick a board, which was created through cabinet orders in council.“Most Crown corporations have a pre-existing infrastructure, but this particular one was a new concept, so essentially it was created out of thin air,” he said.The institute was created to make up for the data gap that exists when it comes to getting a clear picture of the demographics on reserves and from the Aboriginal population in general.Many First Nations communities refuse to participate in the national census and Aboriginal people living in urban centres often slip through the data cracks because of their social conditions.“There are social and economic disparities that are widespread and so it was important to provide data to measure progress,” said Conn. “There are gaps in the urban populations for First Nations, Metis and Inuit people that are either missed or excluded from the survey processes.”The institute was also helping communities make sense of their administrative data to better plan for the education, housing and labour force needs, said Conn.It was also preparing economic data for a project in conjunction with the First Nations Financial Management Board that would see several communities create a borrowing pool for bond debentures to access long term debt financing to pay for infrastructure like roads and schools.“We were the first on the planet to deal with First Nations bond debentures,” he firstname.lastname@example.org
An unnamed Tricolor TV shareholder has applied to acquire an additional 50% stake in the Russian pay TV operator.The country’s competition regulator FAS has received an application from an existing shareholder. The identity of the person in question has not been revealed but if they are successful they will hold an 87.4% stake in Tricolor TV.
French telco Orange and telecoms-to-construction conglomerate Bouygues are open to including the latter’s 44% interest in leading commercial broadcaster TF1 in any deal between the pair, according to French newspaper Le Monde.Orange and Bouygues have confirmed that they are in talks over the future of the latter’s telecom unit, Bouygues Telecom, but have not mentioned Bouygues stake in TF1.According to Le Monde, citing unnamed sources, Orange and Bouygues are open to the idea of Orange taking a stake in TF1 of around 10%.Orange CEO Stéphane Richard told TV station RTL that convergence between telecoms and content in general was again coming to the fore. He said that while there was a need “to leave the door open” on this topic, it was not on the agenda “for the moment”.A deal over TF1 could be controversial because the French state retains a 24% stake in Orange.French economy minister Emmanuel Macron told journalists earlier this week that the French state plans to remain a key shareholders in the telco and will assess a deal over Bouygues Telecom with consumer protection, jobs and investment in mind.
The Noose Around Your Wealth Is Tightening Out-of-control taxes… investment controls… predatory lawsuits… the risks to your capital are growing by the day. And the unfortunate truth is the more of your wealth you have in your home country, the greater the risk. That’s why it’s critical to internationalize as much of your hard-earned assets as you can – as fast as possible. Going Global 2013 will help you do just that. Featuring investment experts Doug Casey, Peter Schiff, Mike Maloney, and more, this must-see webinar will reveal offshore strategies you can easily implement to protect what’s rightfully yours. Click here for details. The silver price was much more ‘volatile’, as it traded in a two percent price range through Far East and London trading. It also had the New York rally at the same time as gold…and it ended at the same time as gold, just before 11:00 a.m. EDT. According to Kitco, the high at that point was $22.13 spot, but got sold down back below the $22 spot price almost immediately. Silver closed at $21.79 spot…up 11 cents from Tuesday’s close. Net volume was very light at only 22,000 contracts. (Click on image to enlarge) Maybe the 20-day moving average is being defended…but I’m speculating on that one. However, as I’ve mentioned on countless occasions, the dollar index is not much of a factor as far as the precious metals are concerned…and if there is much correlation, it’s usually when the index is rallying, as it becomes a cover for “da boyz” as they hit the p.m. prices…and the main stream media is always quick to jump on that particular bandwagon. And as you can see lately, even though the dollar index is down sharply, the precious metals aren’t up at all…as there’s always a seller of last resort waiting in the wings the moment that occurs…the last three trading days being a case in point. I note in overnight trading in the Far East, that the Japanese stock markets got crushed for over 6 percent…and gold and silver’s attempts to break above the $1,400 and $22 price ceilings ran into a seller of last resort around 11:00 a.m. Hong Kong time on their Thursday morning. After that, they both traded flat into the London open. But once London began to trade, all four precious metals got sold down a bit…and all are trading below their New York closes yesterday as I hit the ‘send’ button on today’s column at 5:10 a.m. EDT. Volumes are pretty decent in gold and silver already. The dollar index is down another 21 basis points. That’s it for another day…and I’ll see you here tomorrow. The gold stocks rallied right from the open…and at their high of the day, just before noon in New York, they were up 2.5 percent…but then faded [along with the gold price] as the trading day progressed…and the HUI finished up only 0.91%. Another day when there aren’t that many stories…and I hope there a few in here that catch your eye. [The] gold mining industry, for the most part, is dumber than the rocks it digs out of the ground. Too dumb to defend itself, purporting to be represented by the World Gold Council, which exists only to make sure that there never is a real world gold council. – Chris Powell, GATA…04 April 2013 It was another day where there wasn’t much volume…and not a lot of price action either. However, it’s obvious the $1,400 price mark in gold…and $22 silver is still being vigorously defended. By whom…and for what reason…is unknown. There’s certainly a scarcity of gold and silver-related stories at the moment…and I even checked some of the websites myself and there was nothing. The only event of any importance coming up is the COT Report tomorrow…a lifetime away at the moment. I’ve noted that since the dollar index high/gold-silver low of May 20th, the dollar index has declined from 84.3 down to 80.7…and the gold price has been capped at the $1,400 mark…and every close above that price, no matter how brief, has been sold down to below the $1,400 price ceiling. During that dollar index decline of 370 basis points…4.4 percent…the gold price has not been allowed to reflect that decline…and is basically trading unchanged from its May 20th price. Here’s the 30-day dollar index chart. It’s obvious the $1,400 price mark in gold…and $22 silver is still being vigorously defended. The gold price did nothing in the Far East and most of the London trading day on their Wednesday. The New York low came at the 9:30 a.m. EDT open of the equity markets, just like it has for the last three days in a row. The subsequent rally got cut off at the knees shortly before 11:00 a.m. in New York…and a few minutes before the London close…just as it was about to get a sniff of the $1,400 price mark. The high tick at that point was $1,395.80 spot. From there it traded sideways into the Comex close…and then got sold down a bit in the New York Access Market. The gold price closed at $1,388.40 spot…up $10.20 on the day. Gross volume wasn’t overly heavy at 121,000 contracts. But the silver stocks finished slightly in the red…as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.19%. Here’s the 30-day gold chart, with the 20 and 50-day moving averages shown. (Click on image to enlarge) The CME’s Daily Delivery Report was another non-event on Wednesday, as only 3 gold and 17 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday. We’re getting on in the June delivery month, so unless there are some big surprised between now and June 30th, we shouldn’t expect big deliveries, as most are done within the first week of the delivery month. There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday…and there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint, either. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday, they reported receiving 99,690 troy ounces of silver…and didn’t ship any out. The link to that activity is here. In gold on Tuesday, these same depositories didn’t report receiving any, but did ship out 45,371 troy ounces of the stuff…all out of Brink’s, Inc. The link to that activity is here. No charts or graphs again today…but here’s your ‘cute quota’… Sponsor Advertisement It was obvious to me that if a willing seller hadn’t shown up in the Comex gold and silver markets just before 11:00 a.m. in New York, both metals would have closed materially higher. The dollar index closed at 81.05 late on Tuesday afternoon…and began to rally slightly right from the open in Far East trading on their Wednesday morning. The high tick of the day…81.30…came at 8:00 a.m. EDT right on the button. From there it got sold down to its low tick…80.78…which came just before noon in New York. The subsequent rally didn’t make it back above the 81.00 level…and closed at 80.91…down 14 basis points on the day.