GECOM will be ready for elections in February 2020

first_img…Opposition expresses disappointment with timeline…Jagdeo reiterates confidence in GECOM ChairAfter weeks of deliberation, Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), retired Justice Claudette Singh, has finally advised President David Granger that the Commission will be ready to host General and Regional Elections in February 2020.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoThis was indicated via a letter sent to the Head of State on Thursday.“Given all the objective factors, in addition to the deliberations of the Commission and my most recent consultations with our Secretariat, I have concluded, and take this opportunity to officially inform you that the Guyana Elections Commission will be able to deliver credible elections by the end of February 2020,” the GECOM Chair detailed in the three paragraph letter.DisappointmentWhile President Granger indicated to reporters that he will first have to discuss the letter with his ‘Cabinet’ before commenting on the advice he received from the GECOM Chair, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has expressed his surprise and disappointment with the date.The letter sent by GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh to President David Granger on ThursdayThis, he noted, is especially so since only last week, Justice Singh gave assurances to both Opposition and Government delegations that they are working toward an elections timeline before the end of the year.“We’re extremely disappointed with the date, but happy that the excuse has been taken away from the caretaker President. So, he no longer can blame GECOM for his unconstitutional acts of staying in office illegally,” he stated.Nevertheless, the Opposition Leader contended that while the party does not agree with her timeline, it still has faith and confidence in the GECOM Chair’s ability to deliver credible elections.“I have great faith in the fairness and in the impartiality of the Chair of GECOM and I don’t think she will do anything to rig the elections,” the Opposition Leader said.Distrusts Secretariat’s staffAt the same time, however, he expressed reservations about other actors within the elections body, whom, he said, have been working to sabotage the hosting of early elections.“I sympathise with the Chair of GECOM, who has to deal with three Government Commissioners whose efforts at every single meeting are to raise extraneous issues – ID preparations, merging of [House-to-House Registration] data – and then the Secretariat issuing press releases that seem to be written at Congress Place, and some of the key officials absenting themselves from meetings, falling sick conveniently. All in an effort to delay preparations for elections,” Jagdeo noted.According to the Opposition Leader, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP)-nominated Commissioners at GECOM had a proposal with a timeline for elections to be held on December 16, 2019, but this was not submitted to the Commission.He explained that had they gone ahead and submitted the proposal, the Government Commissioners would have asked for time to review it and further delay the process of GECOM finally advising the President on its readiness for the hosting of polls.“There are individuals in that [Elections] Secretariat that we don’t trust. We’ve already spoken to the international community because having seen their performance in the last several months about how their timelines have all been extended and how they match APNU and how they disappear, we don’t believe they will fully support the Chairperson or give her proper advice. In fact, that is a big concern of ours,” he posited.Nevertheless, Jagdeo noted that while they are disappointed in the advice given by the GECOM Chair, the PPP is going to work hard to ensure that elections are held by the end of February 2020 and not anytime later.On this note, the Opposition Leader stated that one good thing coming out of this extended timeline is the additional time that observers, both oversees and local, will have to scrutinise the preparation process for the hosting of elections.“More international observers will come and they will get here early to look at the quality of the voters’ list, polling day logistics, as well as elections day activities. So you not gonna have people only coming in on Elections day. So that’s a good thing coming out of this [situation]… And local observers may have enough time to prepare for elections”.Furthermore, Jagdeo noted that while the coalition will have another two months more to squat and enjoy the perks of the office, the PPP will use this time to ensure Guyanese on the ground across the country are educated about their transgressions and their lack of respect for the Constitution.“So we’re a bit disappointed [about the timeline] but we’re patient too,” he asserted.The February 2020 timeline submitted by GECOM will take elections to more than one year after the December 2018 passage of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against the APNU/AFC coalition government. It will also be one month shy of one year when early elections were constitutionally due, that is, March 21, 2019.According to Article 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution of Guyana, upon the passage of a motion of no confidence, the Cabinet, including the President, shall resign and call elections within three months. However, with the legal challenges which ensued, that timeline was on pause but was subsequently reinstated after the July 18, 2019 Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruling, which validated the passage of the motion.Noting that Article 106 is clear, the Trinidad-based regional court also stated that both the Government and GECOM have the responsibility to abide by the constitutional provisions regarding the hosting of early elections.last_img read more

Things to know: Erik Karlsson admits he’s feeling more comfortable with Sharks

first_imgST. PAUL, Minn. — Erik Karlsson is starting to hit the right notes with his new band.As Karlsson struggled to find his groove through his first six weeks with the Sharks, it became clear that the two-time Norris Trophy winner needed time to figure out how to make music with his new teammates and vice versa.Heading into game No. 35 against the Minnesota Wild Tuesday, Karlsson acknowledged that he’s feeling more comfortable with his new team. At the same time, he insists his best hockey is yet …last_img

SA, Australia share cricket honours

first_imgOne-day international seriesThe teams played two Twenty20 internationals – on Friday, 27 March at the Wanderers in Johannesburg and on Sunday, 29 March at SuperSport Park in Centurion – before facing off in a five-match one-day international series. The Australian and South African cricket teams were recognised for their achievements over the past year when the ICC’s test championship mace and one-day championship shield were presented to captains Ricky Ponting and Graeme Smith in Johannesburg on Wednesday. “I think the way we performed in the first two tests of the series was as good as we have played in a long time, and it gave me perhaps more pleasure than any other series I have been a part of, either as a player or a captain.” After winning both the test and ODI series when they toured Australia at the end of the 2008, the Proteas had an opportunity to finish top of both rankings. To do that, they would have to repeat their test series victory over the Australians in South Africa. Australia fought back to win the series by a 2-1 margin and hold onto their number ranking. “It is one thing getting to the top, but it much harder to stay there, and when they were beaten in the series in Australia, Ricky and his players came to South Africa in real danger of losing their number-one spot. Australian skipper Ricky Ponting praised his team for their hard work, especially for their focus and improvement to beat South Africa in South Africa after thye Australians had lost a test series at home for the first time since 1992/93. He then turned his attention to the country he represented in 42 tests and 122 one-day internationals. “South Africa has been pushing Australia in both the Test and ODI formats of the game for quite some time and is deservedly top of the ODI Championship,” said Richardson. He also spoke about the enthralling rivalry that has developed between South Africa and Australia on the cricket field; their competition in Australia at the end of 2008 and the ongoing series in South Africa has been marked by good cricket that has drawn strong support from South African cricket supporters, and has also been keenly watched by cricket fans around the world. ‘A remarkable achievement’“Australia has been at the top of the Test Championship table for a very long time now and that is a remarkable achievement,” said Richardson. SA captain Graeme Smith reflected on the improvement of his team in recent years, saying: “If you look back a couple of years, we were probably fourth or fifth in both the test and ODI rankings, so to be second in the test rankings and number-one in one-dayers is a great feeling and is testament to how far we have come. With the one-day international series yet to come, South Africa’s position at the top of the rankings was not threatened. Former South African wicketkeeper Dave Richardson, now the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) general manager, made the presentations. “These awards are a recognition of excellence,” he said. “Playing the game in the right spirit’“I want to congratulate both sides for their dedication, ability to entertain us all, and for playing the game in the right spirit. I wish them all the best for the coming year,” he added. The curtain comes down on the series on Friday, 17 April when the Wanderers in Johannesburg hosts the fifth ODI. Clearly, though, Smith wants to achieve even more success. He said: “The hunger is there and we have shown that we can compete with Australia in both those formats of the game, and I am optimistic that we can eventually lead both sets of rankings because we have the right plan and the right attitude at the moment.” The series then moves to Cape Town’s Sahara Park Newlands on Thursday, 9 April, with the start scheduled for 14:30. Then it’s on to Port Elizabeth’s Sahara Oval Saint George’s Park for the fourth ODI on Monday, 13 April, which starts at 10:00. The awards are presented to the top ranked test and one-day international (ODI) teams, with the annual cut-off date being 1 April. “But they showed great character and skill in the first two tests to make sure of winning the series and remaining on top.” Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship StandingsAustralia, 128South Africa, 119India, 118Sri Lanka, 108Pakistan, 100England, 98West Indies, 89New Zealand, 81Bangladesh, 0 26 March 2009 The first ODI takes place at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban on Friday, 3 April, starting at 14:30. SuperSport Park in Centurion hosts the second ODI on Sunday, 5 April, with the match starting at 10:00. Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship South Africa, 125Australia, 124India, 122New Zealand, 112Pakistan, 111England, 107Sri Lanka, 105West Indies, 92Bangladesh, 46Zimbabwe, 23Ireland, 19Kenya, 0 The much anticipated Indian Premier League starts the next day, 18 April. Prize moneyFor finishing top of the ODI and test rankings, Cricket South Africa and Cricket Australia also received $175 000 respectively. The Proteas finished second in the test rankings and Australia second in the ODI rankings, which meant more money for Cricket South Africa and Cricket Australia: $75 000 each. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

The 5 Ways IoT Is About to Change Healthcare as We Know It

first_imgTrends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Related Posts Frank Landman Follow the Puck The internet-of-things (IoT) is about to take over the healthcare industry. By the end of this year, there will be more than 23 billion connected devices, with that number set to grow to more than 75 billion by the end of 2025. While many of these devices will be used to toast your bread to the perfect level of doneness, or give your drone a full onboard GPS navigation system, the remainder are going to have vital roles to fill—and may even save lives.The healthcare industry as we know it is about to undergo an evolution, the likes of which we’ve never seen, and we’re all destined for better care because of it.The Most Important ChangesThese are some of the most important ways IoT could change healthcare for the better:1. Training. Doctors, nurses, and medical students will be equipped with advanced healthcare training devices, which can give them real-time feedback, and mimic patient symptoms. The sophistication and widespread availability of these devices will make it easier to train new medical professionals over vast distances, and may even be able to self-guide them toward a more complete education.2. Remote patient monitoring. IoT will also revolutionize remote patient monitoring, especially for patients who have medical devices to manage. For example, IoT could make it simpler and easier to check your blood sugar on a regular basis, or could tell you when your blood pressure is rising above normal. Connected devices could send this feedback, in real-time, to your primary care physician, who may be able to take intervening action faster than ever. When applied to patients at risk for heart attack or stroke, the benefits become even clearer.3. Preventative care. The least expensive and most effective way to get healthcare is gradually, during the times when you don’t think you need it. Preventative medicine is underrated and frequently neglected by people who don’t believe they need regular checkups. IoT could make those regular checkups more convenient, and could even make them a part of everyday life; imagine having a device that could proactively monitor your vitals, and tell you exactly when you need to seek further care.4. Workflow optimization. Medical professionals are also looking forward to IoT’s ability to control workflow optimization. This may not mean much to you as a patient, but ultimately, it’s going to result in better care. Nurses, doctors, and patients may all walk around with RFID bracelets, with a centralized system that indicates who’s supposed to be where and when. Doctors will see you faster, and there will be fewer opportunities for confusion.5. Inventory management. Though not the sexiest application, IoT will also be important in inventory management. Hospitals and doctor’s offices often contain controlled substances, medications, and other important equipment; using IoT tech can help keep track of all these important items, and ensure they aren’t being used for the wrong patient or falling into the wrong hands.The ObstaclesMany of these applications already have prototypes or early models in circulation, so what’s stopping IoT from truly taking off in healthcare?Pace. The healthcare industry isn’t well-known for its ability to adopt new technology quickly. In fact, your local hospital may still be using computers from the 90s. Slow adoption will prevent IoT from taking off as quickly as it otherwise could.Cost. New technology costs lots of money, which some hospitals won’t be willing to provide—especially with a constant stream of new, more cost-efficient generations on the horizon. Worse, hospitals that adopt this new technology may start charging even more exorbitant prices to make up the difference.Security. One of the biggest concerns is security. If you have a connected device controlling some important biological function in your body, and someone seizes control of it, you could be held hostage by a cybercriminal. Your personal data may also be at stake here.Training. Learning to use IoT devices ethically and appropriately is going to require weeks, if not months of new training for doctors, nurses, and other admin staff who are already overworked.Unfortunately, these obstacles have the power to hold back the growth of healthcare IoT for years to come. But as we figure them out, we’ll start to see the gradual introduction of devices, processes, and systems that can increase our lifespans and the quality of our care.center_img Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

M.P. returns over 25% of target under PMAY

first_imgMadhya Pradesh has surrendered more than a quarter of its allotted Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) houses for this financial year, giving up 2.32 lakh out of a total 8.32 lakh houses. This is the first time any State has done so, according to senior officials from the Union Rural Development Ministry which administers the scheme.The housing scheme aims to ensure that every rural Indian family has a pucca house with basic amenities by 2022, and expects to build a total of 2.95 crore houses by then. The nationwide target for this financial year 2019-20 is 60 lakh houses.“The State targets were determined in February 2019 and Madhya Pradesh was allotted a total of 8.32 lakh houses under the Annual Action Plan approved by the Empowered Committee. However, on July 31, we got a letter from the MP government that they wished to surrender 2.32 lakh houses this year,” a senior Rural Development Ministry official, who did not wish to be named, told The Hindu. “The State indicated that it was not in a position to construct [the original target] this year.”“This is an unprecedented situation and it is not good for the State to reduce its target. At the end of the day, it delays housing for lakhs of its people,” said another senior Ministry official, who also did not wish to be identified. “It seems that the Congress government’s farm loan waiver scheme may be reducing the State’s ability to meet its share for other schemes.”Under PMAY (G), each beneficiary is given a total of ₹1.2 lakh to construct a pukka home, with a hygienic kitchen space. (The amount is ₹1.3 lakh for hilly States, difficult areas and tribal and backward districts which come under the Integrated Action Plan.) The cost is split in a 60:40 ratio between the State and Central governments in plain areas, and a 90:10 ratio in northeastern and Himalayan States. Thus, State governments must bear a share of the cost of the flagship Central scheme.In the last three financial years, Madhya Pradesh has been second only to West Bengal in the number of houses constructed under PMAY (G), completing more than 13 lakh houses since 2016, according to government data.Soon after the Union budget was presented in July, MP Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot had complained that the State’s share of tax revenue had been slashed by ₹2,700 crore, calling it a “huge loss” and a “betrayal” of the people of the State by the NDA government.When the State’s Congress government presented its own maiden budget, it increased its budgetary allocation for farmers by 145% over the previous year to ₹22,736 crore. In keeping with poll promises to implement a farm loan waiver scheme, the State’s Finance Minister said the loans of 20 lakh farmers had been waived, to the tune of ₹7,000 crore, over two months. Asn additional ₹8,000 crore was set aside for the remaining farmers, he said.The Congress government has been slow to come on board with some other flagship schemes of the Central BJP-led government. Only 9,304 of MP’s approximately 80 lakh farmers had received the first instalment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)scheme’s annual income support of ₹6000, Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the Rajya Sabha in June. With regard to the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat, on the other hand, MP has created its own version of the health insurance scheme and re-christened it as Maha Ayushman, increasing the amount of coverage and the number of beneficiaries as well.last_img read more