RelatedJIS Jamaica 50 Photo Album Wins International Award Gov’t to Put Public Assets into Productive Use InformationApril 5, 2013 RelatedArchives Critical to Jamaica’s History RelatedNo Let Up in NHT Housing Provisions FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Government of Jamaica will be renewing its effort to dispose of several public sector assets during the new financial year, through a managed privatisation process.Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, informed that the assets will be divested to either the private sector or communities, where it is determined that they would be used more productively, on a sustainable basis. “In doing so, the Government will seek to balance, the well-understood need for getting the best price possible for certain assets and the urgency to put these assets into productive use to create jobs, goods or services,” the Governor-General stated, while delivering the Throne Speech at the opening of the 2013/14 Parliamentary Year on Thursday, April 4, at Gordon House.He explained that Government has arrived at this position because it has found that many assets have been allowed to remain idle for years because it has been trying to secure some incremental increase in price, at or above, the perceived worth of these assets.He advised that the Parliament would be kept informed of any action that will be taken in this regard and the reasons for so doing.The Governor-General noted too that the model of Public/Private Partnerships, some of which are currently being undertaken, will continue to be pursued as a matter of policy.By Andrea Braham, JIS Reporter Advertisements
This spring the management committee of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) decided to conduct a survey of its 5,500 members across England, Wales and Scotland to gain a clear understanding of their experience as representatives in employment tribunals. The exercise involved canvassing opinion on suggestions for reform, with the aim of improving efficiency and saving time and cost for all users of the employment tribunals (including the employees and employers our members represent). Our survey struck a nerve with our members. Some 20% responded, which, when taking into account individual responses and those who responded on behalf of their firms, was a significant proportion for such a survey. Most respondents were solicitors in private practice (81%). The ELA survey results coincided with the Tribunals Service announcing in July that, from April 2009 to March 2010, there was a staggering 56% rise in the number of claims being accepted by employment tribunals. The ELA survey revealed substantial dissatisfaction with the current performance of the employment tribunal system – hardly surprising perhaps, given the huge rise in the number of claims issued against the backcloth of recession. Some 31% of ELA members indicated that they were dissatisfied and 4% very dissatisfied with the service the employment tribunals provide. Only 33% indicated they were ‘satisfied’, in contrast to the 71% quoted in the recent Annual Statistics for Tribunals as a whole for 2009-10. And 56% of ELA members had experienced a decline in service, with the majority pointing to inadequate resourcing as the main cause. One key theme to emerge was concern about the lack of consistency around the country, with 83% indicating members believed employment tribunals do not adopt a consistent approach to practice and procedure. Some 75% indicated they believed employment judges were not being consistent in their judicial approach to handling cases. A very high proportion (over 93%) believed users would benefit from greater consistency. A number of suggestions were made to achieve greater consistency including the introduction of standard directions. Several problem areas in practice were raised, including: short notice postponements of substantive hearings; delays in listing procedural hearings; and cases going ‘part heard’ because of lack of judicial time. Only half were satisfied with the employment tribunals’ approach to costs applications and 68% said something needs to be done to deal more effectively with vexatious litigants. Several procedural reform proposals attracted widespread support, such as improved case tracking, more correspondence by email, use of standard agendas for case management discussions and holding discussions by telephone. A large proportion (79%) wanted large-scale equal pay claims to be handled by a single employment tribunal office. Many respondents also favoured judges sitting alone on cases such as unfair dismissals, to ease pressure on the system. ELA members were also surveyed on more radical suggestions taken from practices of other courts in the UK and around the world, including listing main hearings from Monday to Thursday, and reserving Fridays for procedural hearings, which attracted 60% support. In contrast, only 26% either strongly or fully supported ‘out of hours’ hearings with 32% completely opposed to the idea. One factor which increases the length of hearings is the reading out by witnesses of all or part of their witness statements. Somewhat surprisingly, only 27% of survey respondents fully supported taking witness statements as read, with 42% being strongly opposed to imposing a time limit on a witness for reading all or part of their statement. ELA hopes the large number of positive suggestions made for reform will be considered fully by those with the unenviable task of running employment tribunals in these difficult times. Joanne Owers is chair of the Employment Lawyers Association and chair of the ELA Working Party on Employment Tribunals
Share Tweet Sharing is caring! 8 Views no discussions Share Share NewsRegional US court rules law targeting smugglers in Caribbean Sea is illegal by: – December 5, 2012 US federal prosecutors in Miami said they have intensified efforts to crack down on drug smuggling in the CaribbeanMIAMI, United States – A United States Federal Court of Appeals has ruled that a law targeting drug smugglers in foreign waters, including the Caribbean Sea, is illegal.In what has been described as a blow to the unrelenting war on drugs, the Appeals Court concluded that the 1986 law used to charge defendants is illegal.The court’s ruling came in a case in which, two years ago, the US Coast Guard spotted a wooden fishing boat without lights and a flag off the coast of Panama and reported the suspicious vessel to the Panamanian Navy.The Coast Guard said the Navy then pursued the boat until its occupants jumped out and fled. The Coast Guard said it then found 760 kilos of cocaine on board.US officials said Panamanian authorities later arrested the four occupants on the beach and turned them over to US law enforcement authorities for prosecution.But the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals here has now vacated the drug traffickers’ convictions after finding that the US Congress exceeded its constitutional power when it passed a portion of that law that was used to prosecute the smugglers.The appeals court found that the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act could not be used for prosecuting drug smugglers arrested within the 12-mile territorial waters of foreign countries.In the 35-page decision, the appeals court concluded that the US Congress lacked the authority to pass part of the maritime act under its constitutional power to “define and punish offenses against the Law of Nations.“Drug trafficking was not a violation of customary international law at the time of the Founding [of the United States], and drug trafficking is not a violation of customary international law today,” the appeals court ruled.In the Panama case, US authorities said three of the four defendants have already served their US prison terms and have been deported, but one defendant is still serving a seven and a half year sentence.But, despite the appeals court’s ruling, US authorities said the case is of “first impression” that is likely to be challenged by the US Justice Department because of its unique significance.Authorities said it does not apply to the US prosecution of drug smugglers arrested in international waters. Those prosecutions make up the majority of maritime drug cases filed in federal courts, officials said. Officials also said the ruling does not affect the US federal prosecution of traffickers charged with using “stateless” submersible or semi-submersible vessels to import drugs on the high seas.“If this decision stands, it’s not going to be a deadly blow to the war on drugs,” said Miami attorney David Weinstein, who once headed the narcotics section of the US attorney’s office in South Florida.“But it is going to increase the level and depth of communications between the United States and foreign countries as they battle drug-trafficking together,” he added.In the meantime, US federal prosecutors in Miami said they have intensified efforts to crack down on drug smuggling in the Caribbean.US Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said he has launched an initiative to target narcotics shipments from Colombia through the Caribbean basin, stating that authorities have detected an increase in drug smuggling activity.In highlighting the Caribbean crackdown, Assistant US Attorney George Karavetsos and Ferrer attended for the first time the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police meeting in the Bahamas last May.“We are here because we recognize we share a common threat,” said Ferrer in his address, warning Caribbean police officials about the dramatic increase in drug trafficking in the region.Caribbean 360
Johannesburg, Monday, 26 March 2012 – South Africa will be sending a high powered team lead by its president, Jacob Zuma, and including government ministers and business leaders to the 4th BRICS summit in New Delhi India from 28 – 29 March 2012.The BRICS group of emerging super powers composed of Brazil, Russia, India and China was joined by South Africa in 2011. The theme of this year’s summit: “BRICS Partnership for Stability, Security and Growth” will provide an opportunity for the member countries to debate and agree on issues of mutual interest and concern.Business leaders from the five countries will hold high level discussions on enhancing financial connectivity by improving banking services to support intra-BRICS trade and investment; cooperating to achieve energy security with focus on green and renewable energy; enhancing cooperation in technological innovation to accelerate growth; cooperation in life sciences to improve development and quality of life; and achieving food security and through sharing scientific research and technology transfer.Explaining the increasing stature of the summit, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said, the relative decline of the West’s traditional political and economic power has coincided with rising global stature of emerging nations. “The BRICS grouping is the most concrete and rapidly evolving example of this phenomenon. In just four years, the formal agenda for cooperation and consultation has expanded dramatically to span politics, trade and business, science, academic and cultural interactions.Matola went on to say; “Naturally the BRICS countries won’t agree on everything – in fact in some areas we are competitors. But we have adopted many common positions such as most recently when at the G20 meeting in Mexico when the BRICS finance ministers agreed that the presidency of the World Bank should be open to all candidates and not restricted to American candidates. The United States’ recent nomination of a non-American candidate suggests these views are increasingly gaining traction. Likewise South Africa has found resonance within the BRICS grouping for its calls for the reform of global governance systems such as the UN system, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to make them more responsive to the needs of the developing world and Africa.”Closer cooperation between the BRICS nations also promises enormous opportunities for trade and investment within and through all five member countries. Last year in South Africa, seven BRICS securities exchanges announced plans to cross-list each others’ indices and to jointly develop new products by June 2012. The seven exchanges represent a combined listed market capitalisation of more than $9-trillion and 9481 listed companies.Matola said the BRICS summit provided an opportunity to promote not just South Africa but also the extraordinary opportunities in Africa which the IMF estimates will be home to seven of the 10 fastest growing economies between 2010 and 2015.“We believe South Africa is an integral part of Africa and works to increase its stability, unity, prosperity and international influence. We are actively driving Africa’s regional integration efforts including developing continental north-south rail and road links, expanding ports and energy capacity and skills. Simultaneously 26 African countries agreed to create a single free trade area by mid-2014, covering the Southern, Eastern and Central Africa. The $1-trillion free trade area will effectively expand South Africa’s market from 50 million to 600 million – placing us in a similar category in terms of market size as our BRICS partners.”The 2013 BRICS summit will be held in South Africa.EndsBrand South Africa, previously known as the International Marketing Council of South Africa, officially changed its name to best align with its mandate of building South Africa’s nation brand reputation in order to improve its global competitiveness.www.brandsouthafrica.com
Big data is rapidly being adopted by many companies worldwide. IDC expects healthy revenues from Big Data globally, with Big Data revenues even doubling in some locations like Asia over the next two years. Big Data helps businesses derive business insight from the analysis of large amounts of data. Industry sectors where Big Data has the greatest impact include telecom, health care, and oil and gas.Rajesh Janey, EMC India and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) President, said that “The future of information is digital. It is increasingly reflecting in the way we store it, the way consume it and the way we transact whether it’s ticketing for travel or entertainment, retail, banking or otherwise.”In order for businesses to most productively apply Big Data to their business problems, IDC recommends:Big Data capabilities be aligned with Business Case objectivesThe Big Data framework selected should best match the characteristics of the data problems being analyzedDeploying new technologies like Big Data come will require that barriers be overcome. Both patience and planning are required.Craig Stires, Research Director for Big Data and Analytics at IDC Asia Pacific, said that “Big Data solutions are going to be a significant differentiator for the businesses that are able to use them to change their competitive positions. These projects will challenge the current organization and potentially impact numerous business processes. Choosing the right first Big Data project, and having a sponsor with foresight will be a major factor in the success of the organizations Big Data journey.”
After its disappointing IPO last month cast doubts on the company’s ability to monetize its vast user base, Facebook today announced a subscription pricing model – potentially adding a recurring source of revenue for itself – and for developers of Facebook apps.The new service, announced on Facebook’s Developer Blog this afternoon, will launch in July.Subscriptions will bring Facebook app producers a recurring revenue stream that will ideally normalize an app’s overall revenue stream, instead of depending on the spiky ups and downs of one-time payments for virtual items. The new system will be launched on both the Web and mobile versions of Facebook.Altimeter Group analyst Chris Silva sees subscription-based pricing as a real value for app developers to offer to users. “A subscription that buys me access to specialized content rather than a virtual item with maybe a more fungible value is a more successful way for developers to bring in revenue,” Silva said today. Specialized content is more of a value-add to users, he believes.Subscriptions have already been tested by popular game producer Zynga for its FarmVille and Pioneer Trail games. Kixeye, a smaller game developer, will sell exclusive items in its Backyard Monsters game for a $9.95 monthly fee – with Facebook picking up 30% of every subscription.Local Currency PricingAt the same time, Facebook is also moving away from its Credits payment system to pricing that supports local currencies. “By supporting pricing in local currency, we hope to simplify the purchase experience, give you more flexibility, and make it easier to reach a global audience of Facebook users who want a way to pay for your apps and games in their local currency. With local pricing, you will be able to set more granular and consistent prices for non-US users and price the same item differently on a market-by-market basis,” Facebook Product Management Director Prashant Fuloria told developers in today’s blog.That last point contains the real gem in the move: setting market-to-market pricing will let app developers maximize their revenue by lowering prices in markets where their items might be too expensive, or charge more if the market can bear it.The new subscription program will support local currencies, and apps that use the Credits system will be flipped over to local currencies automatically.“We hope new features like subscriptions and local currency pricing help you monetize more effectively and reach more users globally,” Fuloria added.Generating alternate and optimized revenue streams is pretty much Job #1 for Facebook after the lukewarm reception investors gave its IPO this month. And for Fuloria, it’s personal – this is why he was hired away from Google in 2009.The Mobile ConundrumOn the mobile version of Facebook, there are no ads and Facebook is seeing phenomenal growth. A recent report revealed that nearly a third of Facebook’s users in India access Facebook exclusively through mobile devices. The local currency and subscription changes will make it much easier for developers obtain revenue from mobile customers in developing countries.That’s critical for Facebook’s future: Facebook’s mobile platform “must be front and center with the massive growth in mobile users in the US – and more so, abroad,” wrote Silva earlier this year. “Facebook should expect the device, be it feature phone, smartphone or tablet, to be the central interaction point for users. It’s going to have to adjust its monetization model to match if it wants happy investors because mobile matters.”Today’s announcement is a fulfillment of Silva’s prediction: an adjustment of Facebook’s monetization model to start getting stronger and more predictable revenue streams from mobile users, and those in developing countries. And it won’t hurt the revenue channels from the rest of Facebook’s users, either. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Facebook#web brian proffitt Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos
Kentucky NBA Draftee VideosThursday night was a good night for the Kentucky men’s basketball program. The Wildcats had six players get selected – Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker, Andrew Harrison and Dakari Johnson – and could have had seven if undrafted shooting guard Aaron Harrison had sneaked into the second round. Kentucky’s video production team released congratulatory videos for each of its draftes. Towns, who was picked by Minnesota: Cauley-Stein, who was picked by Sacramento: Lyles, who was picked by Utah:Booker, who was picked by Phoenix: Harrison, who was picked by Phoenix: Johnson, who was picked by Oklahoma City:
YouTube/CSU Rams AthleticsColorado State guard Antwan Scott’s college career has taken a long, winding road, but he’s not quite done yet. Today Scott, who only played in four games for the Rams last season before missing the rest of the year with a broken foot, received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. The reaction from his teammates to the news is absolutely priceless. Scott began his college career at JuCo Ranger College, where he played two years before transferring to Idaho. Before playing for the Vandals, Scott transferred to Grambling State to be closer to family, and averaged 15.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 steals for the Tigers in 2013-14. Scott was immediately eligible for Colorado State last season after transferring post-graduation.
Kolkata: A day after criticising the Central government for the highest unemployment rate in the country in 45 years, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged youths to raise questions on growing joblessness.Banerjee also promised her support to youths on the occasion of the International Youth Day. “Today is International #YouthDay. In #Bangla, we celebrate Youth Day on January 12, Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary. I appeal to the youth, the students & the new generation: be strong and ask for answers. There is no answer to unemployment problems,” she tweeted. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja Referring to the Central government data that put West Bengal at the top of the states with highest GDP growth, the chief minister said unemployment in the state has dipped by 45 per cent under her government’s rule. “Our State #Bangla has brought down unemployment by 45%. The GDP growth of #Bangla is highest in the country. My support is always with the youth, students and the new generation. May you be inspired to reach new heights,” she said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway On Sunday, Baneeje had said West Bengal topped the list of states in terms of SGDP, at 12.58 per cent in 2018-19. “West Bengal achieves No 1 position in the country in growth rate. As per reports of Govt of India, growth rate of West Bengal for the financial year 2018-19 is 12.58%, the highest in India. Our achievement is in sharp contrast to the state of deep recession and complete policy paralysis perpetrated by Central Government leading to significant decline of overall growth rate of the country and highest unemployment in 45 years,” she had written in a Facebook post. As per the government data, the unemployment rate in the state was at 6.1 per cent in 2018-19.(With inputs from Indian Express)
A view of Ohio Stadium during a game against Penn State on Oct. 17 at Ohio Stadium OSU won 38-10. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorFor the second year in a row, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been named the most valuable football program in the NCAA. A study composed by Ryan Brewer, assistant professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University in Columbus, Indiana, valued the Scarlet and Gray at a whopping $946.6 million. Findings from the study first appeared in the Wall Street Journal. To put the figure in perspective, it nearly doubles the worth of the average NHL hockey team, which is about $505 million. In fact, the Scarlet and Gray are valued higher than every NHL team except for the New York Rangers ($1.2 billion), the Montreal Canadiens ($1.18 billion) and the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.15 billion), according to Forbes Magazine. Astoundingly, the Buckeyes’ value is worth more than 19 of 30 NBA franchises as well, including the Oklahoma City Thunder ($930 million) and the Cleveland Cavaliers ($915 million), according to Forbes.OSU Vice President and athletic director Gene Smith said he believes Brewer’s numbers are accurate. Smith leaned toward several reasons why OSU is valued so high, but he primarily pointed to fan support. “We are the most watched (Football Bowl Subdivision) program since 1991,” Smith said in an email. “Last year only four regular season games drew over 8 (million) viewers, and we were part of three. Buckeye Nation is the largest and most passionate fan base in the world.”Joe Odoguardi, the university’s chief financial officer of athletics, said in an email the Buckeyes’ TV media rights revenue earned $24.7 million alone in 2015. Smith said donations to the university are at an all-time high, exceeding more than $200 million over the last few years. Pair that with OSU’s apparel deal with Nike, which after being extended late last week, is valued at $252 million over the next 15 years, and the recipe for OSU’s financial supremacy is clear.Performance from the student-athletes is also a large contributing factor to OSU’s success, Smith said, as the Buckeyes’ football team was ranked in the AP Top 10 for the entire 2015 season, including holding the top spot for the first nine weeks.“I am extremely proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff,” Smith said. “Our focus on the total student-athlete development model continues to be a national model.” OSU was the only school to place above $900 million in the study. Texas ($885 million), Michigan ($811.3 million), Notre Dame ($723.6 million) and Alabama ($694.9 million) round out the top five schools in the study.In 2016, OSU athletics will be represented by more than 1,000 student-athletes across 36 intercollegiate sports, which, in turn, requires a lot of funding. Odoguardi said OSU’s athletic budget is set at $153 million for the new year. Smith said in OSU’s yearly strategic plan, “A Higher Purpose,” it is the athletic department’s goal to develop the student-athletes while continuing to build on the university’s rich history.“The department exists to motivate student-athletes to develop into exemplary champions, who in turn inspire future Buckeyes,” Smith said. “The department of athletics also is committed to financial self-sufficiency while contributing to the university’s academic priorities.”In what may come as a surprise to some, the Buckeyes projected value actually dipped from the previous year, as in 2014, Brewer’s study valued OSU at $1.1 billion, but that was mainly due to the championship run it had in the inaugural College Football Playoff.Without that occurring again, the dip below the $1 billion mark took place, but Smith said he does believe it to be possible for OSU to surpass that value plateau again in 2016.“As long as we stay the course with our values and focus on the student athlete, we have a chance to,” Smith said. Brewer, the study’s author, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.