Local contractors stand to benefit from the implementation of road and bridge projects under the US$350 million Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP), being undertaken by the Government.Scheduled to begin this financial year and end in 2016, the programmes covers the rehabilitation of 430 kilometres of prioritised roads; upgrading or reconstruction of 27 critical bridges, retaining walls and other protective works; and complete sub-projects started under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP).Opening the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 7, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, informed that local contractors will be allocated projects with a total value of US$130 million, of which US$80 million will be supervised by the National Works Agency (NWA), and US$50 million through the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP). [RELATED: CHEC to Invest US$1.5 Billion in Port and Other Facilities]China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) will be given responsibility for major projects up to a value of US$220 million.He further pointed out that CHEC will utilize Jamaican sub-contractors and a selection of the projects in each category will be made known to Parliament.The Minister informed that due to restrictions placed on this year’s budget only $2.5 billion will be allocated to the project.“The Minister of Finance and I have discussed the implication of this capped amount in the first year and have agreed that, in the next two fiscal years, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016, the amount allocated to MIDP will be significantly increased,” Dr. Davies said.MIDP is being funded with a loan from the China Ex-Im Bank valued at US$300 million and a contribution of approximately US$50 million from the Government of Jamaica (GOJ).[RELATED: 37,000 Persons Benefit from JEEP]The undertaking is a departure from the JDIP, which was implemented by the previous administration and has now ended.Dr. Davis explained that whereas JDIP was routed through the Road Maintenance Fund, the new project was deliberately placed in Capital B of the Estimates of Expenditure.“Another clear difference between the two projects is the amount to be paid to China Harbour for supervision of the projects, which will be undertaken by local contractors. A major issue of concern with JDIP was that China Harbour was paid 25 per cent of the value of those projects, which they were not directly implementing. This supervisory management fee for MIDP projects has been capped at 12½ per cent of the value of contracts,” Dr. Davies said.Contact: Andrea Braham
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness has reassured residents of Mount Salem, St. James, that the security forces will be in the community for the full 60 days as prescribed under the law governing the zones of special operations. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness has reassured residents of Mount Salem, St. James, that the security forces will be in the community for the full 60 days as prescribed under the law governing the zones of special operations.He noted that he was frequently asked the question on his tour throughout sections of Mount Salem on September 3, adding that “we will stay for as long as it takes to meet our objectives”.Mount Salem and its environs were declared the first zone of special operations under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act by the Prime Minister on September 1.The law seeks to contain crime while safeguarding the human rights of residents and promoting community development through social-intervention initiatives.Mr. Holness said the security forces will “control the space” and that criminals will no longer have any room in which to operate.“The security forces will be there. Now is the grand opportunity to once and for all have your community cleared of weapons that have for many decades destroyed many lives. The criminals will never again have the chance to control this space here in Mount Salem,” the Prime Minister told the residents.Mr. Holness said that every area impacted by rampant crime and gang warfare will now come under the radar of the security forces, and are prime candidates to be included in the zones of special operations.“We intend to displace, disrupt and dismantle all criminal networks, organisations and gangs,” the Prime Minister said.“There will not be a space for criminals anywhere in Jamaica. They need to know that their days are numbered, as we are about to take back our communities,” he added Mr. Holness said that every area impacted by rampant crime and gang warfare will now come under the radar of the security forces, and are prime candidates to be included in the zones of special operations. Story Highlights
Opposition Leader responds to Throne Speech 11 days later; says PDM Govt plan puts TCI in ‘deep doo doo’ Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales – This week the dialogue on those possibilities begin… and the Chairman of that all-important constitutional review commission is convening his first press conference today… Daniel Malcolm Sr, a South Caicos businessman was the seventh and final person named to the constitutional committee… which has as its main mandate to identify ways the 2011 TCI Constitution could be made less ‘regressive’ as it has been dubbed and to lead the exploration of whether independence for The Turks and Caicos Islands is a viable option, now. Mr. Malcolm who served as Chairman on the Constitutional Modernisation Reform Body, presented on Decolonization at the United Nations and is a former leader of the Progressive National Party. He was unanimously supported by the house of Assembly; his name submitted by the Premier. Other members of this bi-partisan committee: from the PNP side, Hon Don Hue Gardiner, Border Control Minister and Member from North and Middle Caicos; Hon Akierra Missick who is Deputy Premier with Education, Youth, Sports and Library Services in her portfolio as the member from Long Bay and Leeward; and Carlos Simons, Deputy Leader of the PNP and all island candidate in the last general elections – all are attorneys by profession. For the Official Opposition, PDM: Leader Sharlene Robinson, first All Island member and a lawyer; North and Middle Caicos Caretaker, Ashwood Forbes, also an attorney and party Deputy Leader and Five Cays member, Sean Astwood, a businessman and Chamber of Commerce Vice President. Mr Malcolm in a media invite said the committee will hold a first meeting this Friday, in Grand Turk. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes Olive branch extended by Opposition Leader, says it is time for Turks and Caicos leaders to unite Related Items:2011 constitution, ak, ashwood forbes, chamber of commerce, daniel malcolm, donhue gardiner, Pdm, pnp, sean astwood, sharlene cartwright-robinson, tci constitutions
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, December 7, 2016 -The seventh annual Green Aruba Conference, held at the Marriott Resort & Stellar is Casino in Aruba during the week of November 15, served as an exceptional platform to showcase Aruba’s progress in sustainable energy transition, a process which began since 2004. This conference provided an ideal opportunity for countries, institutions and experts from all over the world to share valuable information, knowledge, experiences and best practices.Energy Analyst – Ms. Sparkle Prentice participated as a mentee of the Women in Renewable Energy (WIRE) network, an initiative of the Clinton Climate Initiative, connecting women energy leaders from islands worldwide, providing up-to-date information on the status of women in the energy industry and highlighting women doing world-changing work. Ms. Prentice was one of ten women selected as a WIRE Mentee who will benefit from one-on-one mentoring, sharing goals, successes and learning opportunities to develop personal leadership styles and refine tools to progress and excel; thereby achieving professional and personal goals in a male-dominated energy industry. At the Green Aruba Conference, as a WIRE Mentee, Ms. Prentice participated in the panel discussion, “Islands as Leaders in the Evolving Energy Portfolio: The Opportunities and Challenges.” Ms. Prentice spoke about island governments working to create and reform policies that benefit utilities, government, industry and residents, as well as the opportunities or incentives that can be offered to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. She was joined in Aruba by her 2 WIRE Network Ambassadors, Juliet Carvalhal and First Lady of Aruba, Doina Eman Neagoy, as well as other WIRE Network Ambassadors and mentees from Jamaica, St. Lucia, Anguilla, US Virgin Islands and San Andres. Ms. Prentice also participated in the WIRE Mentor Network sessions on leadership, self-awareness, and realizing and embracing power and influence.Energy and Utilities Commissioner – Malike Cummings was a speaker on the first day of the Green Aruba Conference, presenting on the topic, “Energy Sustainability and the Regulator.” He addressed the emerging role of the regulator in promoting sustainable energy, and underscored the increasing complexity and challenges the implementation of sustainable energy brings to the role, function and duty of the regulator, especially in small Caribbean markets. The involvement of the regulator in policy development is fundamentally important in order to contribute and transfer knowledge to the process, and to ensure processes are transparent and actions predictable in order to minimize risks and transaction costs, and instill and reinforce investor confidence in renewable energy initiatives.Cummings also spoke to the many regulatory challenges, namely; having to justifying the value of benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives, which are realizable in the long term, against relatively high costs that must be borne in the short term; the challenge of managing special interests to minimize regulatory capture; dealing with archaic legislative and regulatory frameworks and the challenges of modernizing them; and the coordinating role of the regulator with relevant departments and agencies to minimize conflicts, duplication of efforts and delays in the successful and effective implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. He also spoke about the pivotal role of the Regulator in the Integrated Resource Planning for the electric utility, to ensure a least cost energy mix and acquisition of assets. Fundamental to the successful execution of the regulator’s duties is the adequate allocation of resources, especially in this increasingly complex and emerging energy sector, where roles, tasks and functions continue to accrete, Cummings elaborated. Related Items:
Twitter’s dark mode has now an option to turn your app’s background black. Twitter Twitter users have new options when it comes to how dark they want to make the app’s background.The social media company said Thursday it’s releasing a new dark mode for its iPhone app that turns the background black instead of blue-gray.Turning on dark mode not only gives your eyes a break from bright light, but can help save your phone’s battery life. Twitter first introduced a setting in 2016 to make it more comfortable to tweet in low light. But some people complained that Twitter’s dark mode wasn’t dark enough because it was only blue-gray.Now Twitter users have three choices: Dim, Lights Out and Automatic Dark Mode.Dim will turn your Twitter app’s background to the blue-gray color that the company introduced in 2016. Lights Out will turn the background to black and emits no light. Then there’s Automatic Dark Mode, which will automatically turn on the dark mode that you choose when the sun sets.Users can turn on Twitter’s dark mode by going to their account’s settings and clicking on “Display and sound.” Share your voice Post a comment Tags “Giving more people options to personalize their experience on Twitter based on what makes them most comfortable is what the latest update to Dark Mode is all about,” said Bryan Haggerty, Twitter’s senior design manager in a statement. Mobile Tech Industry 0 It was dark. You asked for darker! Swipe right to check out our new dark mode. Rolling out today. pic.twitter.com/6MEACKRK9K— Twitter (@Twitter) March 28, 2019 Twitter
Getty ImagesAn Indian man was found dead in his room at the Taj Palace in New Delhi on Saturday morning.Munni Jaitely, a 35-year-old Indian-born US citizen, travelled frequently to India due on business needs and had landed in the national capital on Thursday. His father felt something amiss when his calls to Munni went unanswered. His father then called the hotel reception and asked them to check, reported IANS.”His father called the hotel reception and requested them to check his son’s status. The hotel staff tried to connect with Jaitely through the landline, but didn’t succeed,” Eish Singhal, the Additional DCP, was quoted as saying by IANS.Singhal said that the manager went to Munni’s room on the sixth floor and knocked on the door. Upon getting no response, the manager used his master key card and opened the door to find Munni lying unconscious.Munni was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Due to the uncertainty surrounding Munni’s death, the police were informed and an investigation was launched.The preliminary investigation revealed that there was no foul play since no one, including the hotel staff, was in the vicinity of Munni’s room between Friday night and Saturday morning, according to the CCTV footage.”A medical board would conduct an autopsy on Monday to ascertain if he consumed any drug, causing the death,” said the Additional DCP.
. In a “tit-for-tat” operation, five highly-trained Indian army commandos went some 300 meters across the line of control (LoC) and killed at least three Pakistani soldiers, two days after four Indian Army men, including a Major, were shot dead in a surprise attack by Pakistan, sources said on Tuesday.Defence sources called it a “tactical retaliatory strike”, decided at a local level by the brigade commander. But the sources did not name the battalion that carried out the operation.”It was a short-distance and short-duration operation unlike the surgical strike (last year),” said a defence official, who did not want to be named.The sources said four to five Ghatak Commandos were involved in the operation. Ghatak Commandos are drawn from infantry and trained to carry out covert special operations.”It was a tit-for-tat action… Whatever Pakistan does to us, we will do the same,” the official said, warning that more such operations would be conducted if Pakistani forces continue targeting Indian troops.The sources said the action was taken around 6 p.m. on Monday after some Pakistani military personnel tried to cross over apparently to plant IEDs on the Indian side of the border.They said Pakistani forces belonging to 59 Baloch Regiment had set up a temporary post close to the LoC in Rukh Chakri sector of Rawalakot and “at least three Pakistani soldiers were killed while one was injured”. They said it was possible that the casualty figure may be higher.The incident took place along the LoC in Pooch.The sources, however, didn’t term the action a surgical strike — like the one conducted on 29 September, 2016, when Indian army commandos crossed the Line of Control (LoC) to target terror launch pads inside Pakistan-controlled territory, killing dozens of terrorists and their sympathisers.Since the 2016 Surgical Strike, this is the first publicised incident of Indian soldiers crossing the LoC, though sources said from time to time Indian troops do cross the de facto border to target Pakistani forces.Pakistan army confirmed the death of three soldiers in an “unprovoked heavy cross-border shelling by Indian forces” at Rukh Chakri sector.The incident took place two days after four Indian soldiers, who were part of a patrol party, were killed by Pakistan troops in heavy cross-border targeted firing in the Rajouri sector.On Sunday, two Pakistani snipers, who were trying to target Indian soldiers on the LoC, were killed in Indian firing on the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts.The Monday deaths take the Pakistani casualty toll to five in two days.India claims that Pakistan violated the 2003 ceasefire accord along the LoC between the two countries at least 820 times this year.
Prothom Alo illustrationBangladesh ranks third among the world’s top countries with the fastest millionaire population growth, shows a report published by a US based research organisation, Wealth X.The country’s High Net Worth (HNW) population is set to grow by 11.04 per cent each year in the next five years according to the findings of the research firm.The report defines the HNW population as those with a net worth between $1 million and $30 million. The research firm on Wednesday published the report titled “Global HNW analysis: The high net worth handbook” of top 10 countries that are eyeing growth from 2018 to 2023.Nigeria tops the list with millionaire population growth of 12 per cent while Egypt is in the second position. Bangladesh is followed by Vietnam, Poland, China, Kenya, India, Philippines and Ukraine respectively in the list.Although rich with oil reserves, Nigeria is much talked for its corruption.Earlier, Bangladesh surpassed all the countries with fastest growing class of rich people, according to the World Ultra Wealth Report in September, 2018 by Wealth X.The report, then showed ultra rich with a net worth of US $30 million or more , were growing faster in Bangladesh.According to its estimate, the ultra-rich increased by 17 per cent in five years till 2017 in the country.On the other hand, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics’ report shows a widening inequality between the income of the poor and the rich.Experts, however, believe this sudden increase of rich population in the country occurred as result of crony capitalism, as well as bribery and corruption in the banking and financial sectors, contracts and other sectors.According to the BBS household survey of income and expenditure released in 2016, the income of five per cent of the richest families went up by 57 per cent in six years from 2010 to 2016.At the same time, the income of five per cent poorest decreased to 59 per cent. Their per capita income lowered to 733 taka per month which was 1791 taka in 2010.Executive chairman of Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) and former advisor to caretaker government Hossain Zillur Rahman said that there was no doubt that Bangladesh is heading towards a sustainable economy.“It is to find whether these rich people contributed to the economy or became rich in an unethical way. Because, the corruption and irregularities in banking and other sector refers to such likelihood,” he added.However, some of the economists believe that in the initial phase of development, inequality in income increases. This discrimination decreases after the economy goes to a sustainable position. Also, they note that crony capitalism is a common picture of developing countries.There are debates among economists about income inequality.“It is not necessary that the income disparity increases in primary phases of development. The best instance is South Korea,” economist Wahiuddin Ahmad said in a citizens’ dialogue organised by the PPRC and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).“If we cannot create effective institutional resistance against corruption and it continues like this, our economy will not be able to take the burden in the future,” he added.Planning commission member Shamsul Alam told Prothom Alo that the government also is concerned about the increasing inequality in income.“The government is putting emphasis on social security programmes in this regard. We are also introducing a number of initiatives to reduce the inequality in upcoming the eighth five-year plan which is underway,” he added.Shamsul Alam also said that the overall GDP growth in Bangladesh is high. “New resources are being created and so the growth is increasing. Therefore it is only natural that the number of millionaires will increase,” he added.*This piece originally published in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat
In this 10 July 2018, file photo, Ever Reyes Mejia, of Honduras, carries his son to a vehicle after being reunited and released by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Grand Rapids, Mich. Photo: APThe Trump administration said Thursday that it has reunified 364 children ages 5 and older with their families after they were separated at the border, still leaving hundreds to go before a court-imposed deadline a week away.The justice department reaffirmed in a court filing that it has identified 2,551 children who may be covered by US district judge Dana Sabraw’s order. More than 900 are either “not eligible or not yet known to the eligible,” the vast majority of them undergoing evaluation to verify parentage and ensure the children are safe.ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said he was concerned about the high number of children who have not been cleared for reunification.The administration and the American Civil Liberties Union are due back in court Friday for the fifth time in two weeks as the judge holds tightly to a 26 July deadline for all children to be reunified. He set an earlier deadline of 10 July for dozens of children under 5.The government has identified eight US Immigration and Customs Enforcement locations to reunify children 5 and older, and people have been getting released throughout the Southwest this week.The US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service are taking the lead on helping families that have been released into the US The faith-based groups provide food, clothing, legal aid and often money for a bus or a plane ticket, usually for them to join relatives across the country.Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, has served dozens of families. The shelter’s director, Ruben Garcia, said “the actual reunification process is a logistical nightmare.”On Monday, the judge put a temporary hold on deporting parents while the government prepares a response to the ACLU’s request for parents to have at least one week to decide whether to pursue asylum in the US after they are reunited with their children.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s homicide rate fell in January for the first time since unrest in April.Media outlets report that that the city recorded 14 killings in January. That’s less than half of the 33 homicides in December and lower than the 25 in January 2015.Last year, the city counted 344 homicides. That was Baltimore’s second-highest homicide count on record. It also was the city’s deadliest year on record per-capita.Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says the decline in homicide rates last month bodes well for the rest of 2016.Nonfatal shootings in the city have not decreased, however. As of Jan. 23, nonfatal shootings increased by 36 percent compared with the same period last year. There were 38 reported last month, compared with 35 in January 2015.