Administrative law judge will hear charges

first_imgThe city’s Ethics Commission voted Tuesday to have an administrative law judge hold a hearing on allegations that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa violated ethics laws in his 2003 campaign for City Council. Commissioner Bill Boyarsky wanted the panel itself to hold the hearings in City Hall because the violations involved the city’s highest-ranking official. “He’s the leader of the city. This ought to be aired in public and we, as commissioners, should be involved,” Boyarsky said. But Commission President Gil Garcetti agreed with Villaraigosa’s attorney, who noted that two similar cases involving city officials have been referred to administrative law judges, and the mayor shouldn’t be treated differently because of his position. “I think it’s a very slippery slope to single out the mayor in this particular instance,” Garcetti said. Administrative law judges conduct hearings off-site and do not allow questioning by ethics commissioners. Villaraigosa’s hearing will take about four months to schedule and will be open to the public. Ethics Commission staff allege that Villaraigosa’s campaign improperly failed to disclose the contents of 23 mailers and also failed to provide a copy of a campaign script. He is also accused of receiving four contributions in excess of the $500 limit and exceeding the total contributions allowed by corporations. Villaraigosa is challenging the corporate contribution accusation, saying the money was received after the election and was used for his officeholder account. kerry.cavanaugh@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390last_img read more

Program targets run-down boats in cleanup effort

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Some 200 derelict boats in nearly a dozen Port of Los Angeles marinas are the target of a $300,000 disposal program that crushes such vessels into oblivion. “These boats are a pollution threat,” port Deputy Operations Director John Holmes said. “Beyond that, when they sink, they become a mutual problem for fire and police authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard, all of whom have more important things to do with their time.” The plan is to get rid of up to 200 derelict boats by January and improve the quality of life in the area’s 11 marinas. The boats are towed to Berth 194, where they are lifted out of the water by a giant claw crane and crushed. The disposal service is offered free to people who agree to sign their vessel over to the port. Fuel tanks are drained and flammable and toxic chemicals removed. Doomed boats are identified by bright red identification numbers. The practice has become troublesome because the numbers lure scavengers. “We’re trying to deal with that problem by making the time between cleanup, towing and destruction as quick as possible,” Holmes said. One of the first boats into the crusher was the 44-foot fishing trawler Nereid. Owner Nadine York said it was the pride of her late husband, but it languished in the marina after he died in 1998. The 74-year-old woman said it was painful to have the Nereid destroyed, but preferable to having it languish. “I want her crunched down to splinters so that no one else can touch her,” York said. “She’s going to heaven so that my husband can fix her up for me.”last_img read more

Judge jails ‘one woman shoplifting industry’ for ten months

first_imgA woman who appeared in court on dozens of theft charges has been called a “one woman shoplifting industry” by a Judge.Lisa Mongan appeared at Letterkenny District Court various a litany of thefts from various stores including Iceland, Dealz, Aldi, Spar and various other private shops. The mother-of-three pleaded guilty to all the charges.Among the items stolen were trolley-loads of grocery shopping, cosmetics, dog beds, bins, bathroom sets, flowers, cleaning products and television brackets.Prosecuting Garda Inspector Goretti Sheridan was forced to spread out the charge sheets across a large table because of the volume of charges.Ms Mongan’s theft spree started in September, 2016 and finished May of this year.Ms Mongan even used her children while she went on shoplifting trips.Among the items she stole was a ‘dog bed’ while she later admitted to Judge Paul Kelly that she didn’t even own a dog.On one occasion, Ms Mongan and another woman was captured on CCTV opening a one-way door and pushing a shopping trolley full of groceries worth €284 out of a LIDL outlet in Milford.On another occasion at Bargain Homewares at Lower Main Street in Letterkenny, she stole a bin and filled it with various items worth almost €90.Some of the other local shops she hit included Magees Chemist in Letterkenny and McElhinney’s Stores in Ballybofey.The court was told that she became so well-known for shoplifting in some stores that staff had barred her.Ms Mongan’s solicitor, Mr Donough Cleary said it was clear that his client, of Cashel Park, Letterkenny, was simply not stealing out of necessity.He suggested there was some sort of psychiatric issue with Ms Mongan.“There is no doubt she has an appalling record but the vast majority of the items appear to have been recovered.“The question is why she persists. The thefts appear to be pointless and that it forms some form of escapism.“There are self-esteem issues and it appears to manifest itself in this type of behaviour,” he added.But Judge Paul Kelly it appeared that “it just seems to be whatever she can stuff in her pockets.”He added “This lady appears to be a one-woman shoplifting industry. Her offending is extraordinary. She has been granted bail numerous times. She has left court and reoffended the next day if not the same day.”Judge Kelly also included charges of driving without insurance in his summing up and sentencing.He took the vast majority of theft charges into consideration but jailed Mongan for a total of 10 months and backdated it to September 6th when she went into custody.Judge jails ‘one woman shoplifting industry’ for ten months was last modified: September 18th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegaljailJUDGELisa Monganshopliftinglast_img read more

BUS EIREANN HITS BACK AT FINE GAEL SENATOR WHO QUESTIONED ‘CHEAP’ DONEGAL BUS FARES

first_imgBUS Eireann has hit back today over claims that Donegal people are getting cheaper bus fares that other customers.Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone wanted to know why passengers between Donegal and Dublin were charged around 8c per kilometre whilst passengers between the capital and Navan are charged 22c per km.“While I understand that the popularity and frequency of routes may have an impact on prices, I don’t think such large differences can be justified,” Noone said today. “Bus Eireann runs 36 buses to and from Navan each day, and yet customers are being penalised with the highest price per kilometre. Other locations, close to the city, are also being hit by relatively high prices.“The service to Newbridge works out at 20 cent a kilometre, whereas commuters travelling to Monaghan are charged just half this rate.”Bus Éireann said however its fare structure is based on a graduated scale that relates to the fare paid to the distance of the journey travelled“For longer inter-city journeys such as Dublin-Donegal customers are charged a lower rate per kilometre than commuter journeys, which reflects the economies of scale inherent in all forms of long distance travel ie longer journeys on planes, trains and bus are generally always proportionally cheaper than shorter journeys,” the company said in a statement.  BUS EIREANN HITS BACK AT FINE GAEL SENATOR WHO QUESTIONED ‘CHEAP’ DONEGAL BUS FARES was last modified: December 20th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bus eireannbus faresdonegallast_img read more

Writing the slate clean

first_imgHONOLULU – It was only a year ago that Kobe Bryant said he would rather read “The Lord of the Rings” in one sitting than anything from Phil Jackson’s “The Last Season.” The paperback version might not change Bryant’s mind, but it does have some interesting additions. You can’t rewrite history, but you can add a 17-page epilogue, as Jackson did to his best-selling diary. The tone toward Bryant is conciliatory, with Jackson even writing that Bryant’s reluctance to meet with him this summer was a “sign of new maturity.’ AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “Yet I still felt a great deal of compassion for this young man, for the difficulties he endured while awaiting trial, and for the challenges he will face in repairing his tarnished image.” As the Lakers opened training camp Tuesday at the University of Hawaii – coincidentally the same day the book went on sale in paperback – Jackson rose to Bryant’s defense again, this time in regard to the Shaquille O’Neal trade. “Kobe had to take some heat for that as if he was the one that manufactured that trade,” Jackson said. “All those things were made to look like there was a scapegoat in the situation and indeed there wasn’t.” He also wanted to meet with Bryant before deciding about returning as coach, but came to appreciate the superstar guard’s reasons for keeping him at arm’s length. “He’s been blamed for enough already in this town without having to play the role of villain once again if, after our meeting, I were to decide not to accept the position,” Jackson writes. “His reluctance to get together is, actually, a sign of new maturity. As early as last November, when he returned from his book tour, Jackson writes of a change in attitude toward Bryant. It was Jackson’s portrayal of Bryant as uncoachable and insubordinate when the book was first released that created so much controversy. “I found myself, despite the criticism I had given him, becoming very protective, even defensive,” Jackson writes. “I was no longer his coach or mentor. In fact, I was quite sure he was angry at me for the things I wrote about him in the book. center_img “He has decided to relinquish any desire to control the situation, letting the organization control it. I am proud of him, and more optimistic than ever that he will reach his true potential both as a basketball player and a man.” Jackson’s harshest words are saved for the Lakers’ decision last October to put out a statement on behalf of general manager Mitch Kupchak and owner Jerry Buss claiming there were “several inaccuracies” in Jackson’s book. “Hmmm, was there a typo I missed, a name I misspelled, a date I got wrong?” Jackson writes. “I simply could not imagine what they were talking about. … The Lakers, it seemed, were trying to damage the book’s credibility, my credibility, without being held accountable.” Special guest: Only two months after undergoing open-heart surgery, Ronny Turiaf made a surprise appearance at camp, with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak saying he would not rule out Turiaf’s return before the end of the season. “There are certain scenarios where if our roster dictates it and he’s well and ready to go,” Kupchak said, “then I guess it’s a possibility.” Turiaf still is recuperating from the July 26 surgery in Spokane, Wash., where he is working out daily and taking classes at Gonzaga. He has regained much of the 25 pounds he lost and is back up to 240, but still needs another month for his sternum to fully heal. “I have no issues or anything,” Turiaf said. “I have no issues putting my socks on. I have no issues not doing anything. I’m pretty close to being back to normal and living a good life.” McKie’s role: Jackson said he would “just as soon not put the burden” on guard Aaron McKie of being a starter. “I’d like to see him play a 28-minute role on this team,” Jackson added. “But we’ll see what needs to be done.” Ross Siler, (818) 713-3610 ross.siler@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Merged AT&T Inc. subtly changes logo

first_imgNEW YORK – The new AT&T Inc., freshly formed by SBC Communications Inc.’s purchase of its former parent company, on Monday unveiled its new corporate logo: a variation on the familiar blue AT&T globe, with the company’s name – now in lowercase letters – just below. Customers will see the new logo design with their monthly bills starting in December, but only on the envelopes. It will start appearing on the actual invoice in February. The re-branding of SBC’s services under the AT&T name may take longer. The switch won’t be made until all legal and regulatory name-change filings are complete, company officials said. The changeover also entails replacing both the SBC logo and the old AT&T logo on 50,000 vehicles, 6,000 buildings and 40,000 uniforms and hard hats worn by employees, a process expected to take several months. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Giants use 20 players (nine rookies) in loss that highlights 2019 season’s theme

first_imgST. LOUIS — When pitchers and catchers reported to spring training on a crisp, sunny day in Scottsdale back in February, dreams were big and external expectations were low.The Giants had lost 187 games in their previous two seasons and their top free agent signees were pitchers Derek Holland and Drew Pomeranz.Regardless of the hope that springs eternal in camp, results like Thursday’s 10-0 blowout loss against the Cardinals in St. Louis were supposed to be the norm.“Rough day for the club …last_img read more

State of the Nation address

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma and his teamputting final touches to his speech a daybefore his State of the Nation address tothe joint sitting of parliament in CapeTown.(Image: The Presidency)The full text of South African President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address, delivered at the opening of parliament on 3 July 2009.Honourable Speaker,Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces,Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP,Deputy President of the Republic, Kgalema Motlanthe,Former President of the Republic, Thabo Mbeki,Our icon, the First President of a democratic South Africa, Isithwalandwe Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,Former Deputy Presidents,Distinguished Premiers and Speakers of our Provinces,Esteemed members of the Judiciary,Chairperson of SALGA, mayors and leaders in our system of local government,Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders and our honoured traditional leaders,Heads of Chapter 9 Institutions,Governor of the Reserve Bank,Religious leaders,Directors-General and other leaders of the public service,President of the Pan African Parliament, Honourable Idriss Endele Moussa,Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners,Distinguished guests, comrades and friends,Fellow South Africans,Dumelang, Abusheni, Molweni.On the 22nd of April, millions of South Africans went out to cast their votes. They exercised their democratic right spurred on by the desire to change their lives for the better.In their overwhelming numbers, they confirmed that working together we can do more to fight poverty and build a better life for all.They were encouraged by the vision of an inclusive society, a South Africa that belongs to all, a nation united in its diversity, a people working together for the greater good of all.We are humbled by this decisive electoral mandate given by the people of our country, who have chosen their government in a most convincing manner.Honourable Members,Our nation has over the past few years gone through very challenging times.It is thanks to the fact that we have a strong and fully functional constitutional democratic system, with solid institutions, that we overcame these difficulties smoothly and with dignity.Today’s occasion is a celebration of what makes this democracy work. It is also a celebration of our culture of continuity and collective responsibility.This is evidenced by the presence here of our icon Madiba, who laid the foundation for the country’s achievements, and that of former President Thabo Mbeki, who built on that foundation.The continuity is also evident in the fact that former President Kgalema Motlanthe is now the Deputy President of the Republic, after a seamless transition, making us a unique country in many respects.Fellow South Africans,As you would be aware, the fight against poverty remains the cornerstone of our government’s focus.On the 9th of May, during the Presidential inauguration, we made a commitment to our people and the world that:“For as long as there are South Africans who die from preventable disease;For as long as there are workers who struggle to feed their families and who battle to find work;For as long as there are communities without clean water, decent shelter or proper sanitation;For as long as there are rural dwellers unable to make a decent living from the land on which they live;For as long as there are women who are subjected to discrimination, exploitation or abuse;For as long as there are children who do not have the means nor the opportunity to receive a decent education;We shall not rest, and we dare not falter, in our drive to eradicate poverty”.In pursuit of these goals, our government has identified 10 priority areas, which form part of our Medium Term Strategic Framework for 2009 to 2014.The programme is being introduced under difficult economic conditions.The past year has seen the global economy enter a period of crisis unprecedented in recent decades.While South Africa has not been affected to the extent that a number of other countries have, its effects are now being clearly seen in our economy. We have entered a recession.It is more important now than ever that we work in partnership on a common programme to respond to this crisis.We take as our starting point the framework for South Africa”s response to the international economic crisis, concluded by government, labour and business in February this year. We must act now to minimise the impact of this downturn on those most vulnerable.We have begun to act to reduce job losses. There is an agreement in principle between government and the social partners on the introduction of a training layoff.Workers who would ordinarily be facing retrenchment due to economic difficulty would be kept in employment, for a period of time and re-skilled.Discussion on the practical detail is continuing between the social partners and the institutions that would be affected by such an initiative, including the Sector Education and Training Authorities.We will support the work of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to assist employers and workers to find alternatives to retrenchments through the relevant legal process.To date, CCMA commissioners have saved over four thousand jobs through facilitation processes, and provided ongoing advice and support to retrenched workers.The Industrial Development Corporation has developed a programme to fund companies in distress. We will also ensure that government buys more goods and services locally, without undermining our global competitiveness or pushing up costs beyond acceptable levels.Building on the successes of our industrial policy interventions, a scaled up Industrial Policy Action Plan will be developed.The lead sectors already identified are automobile, chemicals, metal fabrication, tourism, clothing and textiles as well as forestry. In addition, attention will also be paid to services, light manufacturing and construction amongst others, in the quest to create decent jobs.As part of Phase 2 of the Expanded Public Works Programme, the Community Work Programme will be fast-tracked.It offers a minimum level of regular work to those who need it, while improving the quality of life in communities.The economic downturn will affect the pace at which our country is able to address the social and economic challenges it faces. But it will not alter the direction of our development.The policy priorities that we have identified, and the plans that we placed before the electorate, remain at the core of the programme of this government.Laat ons mekaar se hande vat, en saam oplossings vind in die gees van n Suid Afrikaanse gemeenskap. Die tyd het gekom om harder te werk.Ons regering gaan vorentoe kyk, nie agtertoe nie!The steps outlined in our Medium Term Strategic Framework had to take into account the constraints posed by the economic crisis. The downturn should not cause us to change these plans. Instead it should urge us to implement these with speed and determination.The Framework focuses on 10 priorities.We make a commitment that working together we will speed up economic growth and transform the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods.We will introduce a massive programme to build economic and social infrastructure. We will develop and implement a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security.We will strengthen the skills and human resource base. We will improve the health profile of all South Africans.Working together with all South Africans, we will intensify the fight against crime and corruption. We will build cohesive, caring and sustainable communities.Working with Africa and the rest of the world, we will pursue African advancement and enhanced international co-operation.We will ensure sustainable resource management and use.And, working with the people and supported by our public servants, we will build a developmental state, improve public services and strengthen democratic institutions.It is my pleasure and honour to highlight the key elements of our programme of action.The creation of decent work will be at the centre of our economic policies and will influence our investment attraction and job-creation initiatives.In line with our undertakings, we have to forge ahead to promote a more inclusive economy.In this regard, we will utilise state levers such as procurement, licensing and financial support to assist smallmedium enterprises as well as to promote the implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment and affirmative action policies.The implementation will be done in recognition of the need to correct the imbalances of the past.The transformation will be undertaken in support of women, youth and people with disabilities.We will reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses. The matter of being stifled by regulations has been raised by the sector several times.In another intervention to create an enabling environment for investment, government will move towards a single integrated business registration system.This will improve customer service and reduce the cost of doing business in South Africa.Another important element of our drive to create job opportunities is the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The initial target of one million jobs has been achieved.The second phase of the programme aims to create about four million job opportunities by 2014.Between now and December 2009, we plan to create about 500 000 job opportunities.While creating an environment for jobs and business opportunities, government recognises that some citizens will continue to require state social assistance. Social grants remain the most effective form of poverty alleviation. As of 31 March 2009, more than 13 million people received social grants, more than 8 million of whom are children.We are mindful of the need to link the social grants to jobs or economic activity in order to encourage self-reliance amongst the able-bodied.Most importantly during this period, neighbours should assist each other.Jwale ke nako yakopano. Are thusaneng jwale ka baahisane.Are dumalaneng hore ho sebane le ngwana ya tla robalang ka tlala hobane batswadi bahae bafeletswe ke mosebetsi. Hare ka kopana ra sebetsa kaofela re ka etsa ho feta mo.Distinguished guests, as part of the second strategic priority we will continue with our programme to build economic and social infrastructure.The newly-formed Infrastructure Development Cluster of government will ensure that the planned R787 billion infrastructure expenditure as provided for in the budget earlier this year is properly planned for and executed.This funding includes allocations for the school building programme, public transport including the bus rapid transit system, housing, water and sanitation.One of the biggest infrastructure investment projects is in the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. We have, as government and the nation at large, pledged that the World Cup will leave a proud legacy from which our children and our communities will benefit for many years to come.We are on track to meet all our obligations and are determined to give the world the best World Cup ever.We are putting all systems in place to make the Confederations Cup, which kicks off on the 14th of June, a huge success.In April this year, I gave an undertaking to the taxi industry leadership to defer negotiations relating to the operation of the Bus Integrated Rapid Transit system until after the elections.We undertook to allow more time to deal properly with the concerns of the industry. On the 11th of June the Minister of Transport will resume discussions with the industry.The meeting will kick-start a series of engagements with the stakeholders affected by the BRT system. We are confident that unresolved issues will be dealt with to the satisfaction of all parties.This will include the important issue of how all stakeholders will benefit from the initiative.Honourable Members,Another development which should boost the World Cup is the roll-out of the digital broadcasting infrastructure and signal distribution transmitters.Overall, we will ensure that the cost of telecommunications is reduced through the projects under way to expand broadband capacity.We have to ensure that we do not leave rural areas behind in these exciting developments.As part of social infrastructure development we will provide suitably located and affordable housing and decent human settlements.We will proceed from the understanding that human settlement is not just about building houses.It is about transforming our cities and towns and building cohesive, sustainable and caring communities with closer access to work and social amenities, including sports and recreation facilities.In this spirit, we will work with Parliament to speed up the processing of the Land Use Management Bill.Working together with our people in the rural areas, we will ensure a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security, as our third priority.I would like to use this opportunity to extend our condolences to the family of the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dirk du Toit, who passed away this week. His contribution will be sorely missed.Abantu basemakhaya nabo banelungelo lokuba nogesi namanzi, izindlu zangasese ezigijima amanzi, imigwaqo, izindawo zokuqeda isizungu nezemidlalo kanye nezindawo zokuthenga eziphucukile njengasemadolobheni.Nabo banelungelo lokusizwa kwezolimo ukuze bazitshalele imifino nokunye, bafuye nemfuyo bakwazi ukuziphilisa.Sizimisele ukuwuqala lomkhankaso wokwakha izingqalasizinda ezindaweni zasemakhaya. Uma sibambisene nezakhamizi, amakhosi, amakhansela nezinduna siyokwazi ukuwusheshisa lomsebenzi.Sicela abahlala ezindaweni zasemakhaya baqale balungiselele ukutshela uhulumeni ukuthi yiziphi izinto abazidinga ngokushesha.Uma sisebenza ngokubambisana sizokwenza okuningi.Hon. Speaker and Chairperson,While having drawn the necessary lessons from earlier rural development initiatives, we have chosen the Greater Giyani Local Municipality in Limpopo as the first of the pilot projects for the campaign. Out of these projects will emerge lessons for the whole country.In addition, we will work on the targeted renewal of rural towns, through grants such as the Neighbourhood Development Grant programme. In this way, areas around the towns will benefit from the economic boost.With all these interventions, we are poised to change the face of rural areas in our country.Compatriots,Education will be a key priority for the next five years. We want our teachers, learners and parents to work with government to turn our schools into thriving centres of excellence.The Early Childhood Development programme will be stepped up, with the aim of ensuring universal access to Grade R and doubling the number of 0-4 year old children by 2014.We reiterate our non-negotiables. Teachers should be in school, in class, on time, teaching, with no neglect of duty and no abuse of pupils! The children should be in class, on time, learning, be respectful of their teachers and each other, and do their homework.To improve school management, formal training will be a pre-condition for promoting teachers to become principals or heads of department.I will meet school principals to share our vision on the revival of our education system.Fellow South Africans,We will increase our efforts to encourage all pupils to complete their secondary education.The target is to increase enrolment rates in secondary schools to 95 per cent by 2014. We are also looking at innovative measures to bring back into the system pupils who dropped out of school, and to provide support.Honourable Members, we are very concerned about reports of teachers who sexually harass and abuse children, particularly girls.We will ensure that the Guidelines on Sexual Harassment and Violence in Public Schools are widely disseminated, and that learners and teachers are familiar with and observe them.We will take very serious, and very decisive, action against any teachers who abuse their authority and power by entering into sexual relationships with children.To promote lifelong learning, the Adult Basic Education and Training Kha ri Gude programme will be intensified.Compatriots, Honourable Members,We have to ensure that training and skills development initiatives in the country respond to the requirements of the economy.The Further Education and Training sector with its 50 colleges and 160 campuses nationally will be the primary site for skills development training.We will improve the access to higher education of children from poor families and ensure a sustainable funding structure for universities.Fellow South Africans,We are seriously concerned about the deterioration of the quality of health care, aggravated by the steady increase in the burden of disease in the past decade and a half.We have set ourselves the goals of further reducing inequalities in health care provision, to boost human resource capacity, revitalise hospitals and clinics and step up the fight against the scourge of HIV and AIDS, TB and other diseases.We must work together to improve the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan for the Treatment, Management and Care of HIV and AIDS so as to reduce the rate of new HIV infections by 50% by the year 2011.We want to reach 80% of those in need of ARV treatment also by 2011.We will introduce a National Health Insurance scheme in a phased and incremental manner. In order to initiate the NHI, the urgent rehabilitation of public hospitals will be undertaken through Public-Private Partnerships.We are also paying urgent attention to the issues of remuneration of health professionals to remove uncertainty in our health services.Working together let us do more to promote quality health care, in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to halve poverty by 2014.Fellow citizens,Together we must do more to fight crime. Our aim is to establish a transformed, integrated, modernised, properly-resourced and well-managed criminal justice system.It is also critically important to improve the efficiency of the courts and the performance of prosecutors and to enhance detective, forensic and intelligence services. This work has started in earnest, and it will be undertaken with new energy and vigour.Among the immediate targets is to ensure that we increase the number of prosecutors and Legal Aid Board personnel. We will do the same with police detectives.We changed the name of the relevant Ministry from Safety and Security to Police to emphasise that we want real operational energy in police work. This will contribute to the reduction of serious and violent crimes by the set target of 7% to 10% per annum.The most serious attention will also be given to combating organised crime, as well as crimes against women and children.Honourable Speaker and Chairperson,While appreciating the investment of the private sector in the security industry, we will improve the regulation of this industry.Amongst other key initiatives, we will start the process of setting up a Border Management Agency; we shall intensify our efforts against cyber crime and identity theft, and improve systems in our jails to reduce repeat offending.Compatriots,I wish to underline our support for the continued transformation of the judiciary.The transformation should address key issues such as the enhancement of judicial independence, entrenching internal systems of judicial accountability as well as ensuring full access to justice by all.The success of the democratic system as a whole depends on good relations of mutual respect and a spirit of partnership among the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. This is very important for our constitutional democracy.Honourable Speaker and Chairperson,We have repeatedly stated our commitment to fight corruption in the public service.We will pay particular attention to combating corruption and fraud in procurement and tender processes, application for drivers’ licences, social grants, IDs, and theft of police case dockets.Let me emphasise that we all have a role to play in this war against crime.We must actively participate in Community Policing Forums. We must stop buying stolen goods, which encourages crime.We must report crime and assist the police with information to catch wrongdoers. In this way, we will move forward towards a crime-free society.Honourable Members, since 1994 we have sought to create a united cohesive society out of our fragmented past. We are called upon to continue this mission of promoting unity in diversity and to develop a shared value system, based on the spirit of community solidarity and a caring society.Our shared value system should encourage us to become active citizens in the renewal of our country. We must build a common national identity and patriotism.We must develop a common attachment to our country, our Constitution and the national symbols. In this spirit, we will promote the National Anthem and our country’s flag and all other national symbols.Our children, from an early age, must be taught to pay allegiance to the Constitution and the national symbols, and know what it means to be South African citizens.We will ensure a common national approach to the changing of geographic and place names. This must provide an opportunity to involve all South Africans in forging an inclusive national identity, to deepen our understanding of our history and heritage.Sport is a powerful nation-building tool. Working together we must support all our national teams from Bafana Bafana to the Proteas and the Springboks; from Banyana Banyana to Paralympians.Our teams can only do well with our support.Allow me to use this opportunity to congratulate our national teams for their performances in the past week, indeed in pulling off a hatrick.The country’s women’s netball team has done us proud by winning the Tri-Nations Netball Challenge. Congratulations to the Sevens Springboks who have become the IRB Sevens World Series Champions – and not forgetting the Blue Bulls who have won the Super 14 finals in a convincing fashion!We take this opportunity to wish the Springboks well in the upcoming series against the British and Irish Lions.It is clear that we need to invest on a large scale in sports development. We will speed up the revival of school sport and ensure that it forms part of the school curriculum. In addition we will ensure that the provision of sport facilities in poorer communities receives priority.Hon. Speaker and Chairperson,We have committed ourselves over the years to contribute to building a better Africa and a better world.The main goal of government for the medium term is to ensure that our foreign relations contribute to the creation of an environment conducive to sustainable economic growth and development.To this effect, we will continue to prioritise the African continent by strengthening the African Union and its structures, and give special focus to the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.Equally important, and closer to home, is the strengthening of regional integration with particular emphasis on improving the political and economic integration of SADC, towards the AU goal of a Union government. We will establish a South African Development Partnership Agency to promote developmental partnerships with other countries on the continent.South Africa will continue to assist in the reconstruction and development of the African continent especially in post-conflict situations. We will continue to encourage a peaceful and sustainable settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two- state solution.We will support the peace efforts of the African Union and the United Nations on the African continent, including in the Saharawi Arab Republic and Darfur in Sudan.As the Chairperson of SADC and Facilitator, we will participate in promoting inclusive government until free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.The plight of the Zimbabwean people has had a negative impact on the SADC region, especially South Africa. We call upon all peace-loving countries in the world to support the inclusive government to achieve economic recovery.We will support efforts of the SADC region to resolve the situation in Madagascar.Allow me, distinguished guests, to pay tribute to the SA National Defence Force for their sterling role in peace building in the continent.Through continental and regional bodies, we will work towards the entrenchment of democracy and the respect for human rights on the African continent.We will contribute to the strengthening of South-South relations and pursue mutually beneficial agreements with key countries of the South.We will continue to enhance relations with the developed North including the G8, and our strategic partnership with the European Union.We will continue to play an active role in ensuring the conclusion of the WTO Doha Development round of negotiations.Honourable Speaker and Chairperson,South Africa, being a dry country requires urgent action to mitigate adverse environmental changes and to ensure the provision of water to citizens.Amongst various programmes, we will implement the Water for Growth and Development strategy, which will strengthen water management. We will continue to improve our energy efficiency and reliance on renewable energy.Honourable Members,A developmental state requires the improvement of public services and strengthening of democratic institutions.We have established two Ministries in the Presidency to strengthen both strategic planning as well as performance monitoring and evaluation.To ensure delivery on our commitments, we will hold Cabinet Ministers accountable through performance instruments, using established targets and output measures, starting in July.We will also involve State-Owned Enterprises and Development Finance Institutions in the government planning processes and improve the monitoring and evaluation of their performance.Honourable Members, fellow South Africans,To ensure that all three spheres – local, provincial and national – improve service delivery, we will speed up the establishment of a single Public Service.This administration will insist on putting people first in service delivery. We will ensure courteous and efficient service from front-counter staff in the provision of services in all government departments.In this era of renewal, we will move towards a more interactive government.To lead by example, work has begun on the establishment of a public liaison capacity in the Presidency.In addition to receiving letters and emails from the public, we will also establish a hotline for easier access.Staff will handle each public inquiry as if it was the only one, following it through all the channels until it receives the attention it deserves.Honourable Speaker and Chairperson,The National Youth Development Agency, formed through the merger of Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission will be launched on June 16 in Ekurhuleni.The institutions are being merged to enhance service and development opportunities provided to the youth.The Agency will link up unemployed young graduates with economic opportunities; strengthen efforts to expand the National Youth Service Programme and support young entrepreneurs.Speaker and Chairperson, Distinguished Guests,Next month our beloved Madiba will turn 91. People all over the world still continue to clamour for his presence and for him to address their crises.His values and his example of dedication to the service of humanity is a shining example in today’s troubled world.An international campaign has been initiated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and related organisations, called Mandela Day, which sums up what Tata stands for.Mandela Day will be celebrated on the 18th of July each year. It will give people in South Africa and all over the world the opportunity to do something good to help others.Madiba was politically active for 67 years, and on Mandela Day people all over the world, in the workplace, at home and in schools, will be called upon to spend at least 67 minutes of their time doing something useful within their communities, especially among the less fortunate.Let us wholeheartedly support Mandela Day and encourage the world to join us in this wonderful campaign.Honourable Speaker and Chairperson Fellow South Africans,We have presented to the nation our programme for the next five years. Attached to each commitment we make is a detailed project plan, with targets and critical milestones.This information will in due course be made public. Indeed as citizens we should at the same time ask ourselves what is it that we can do on our own to help promote this national programme.To be a citizen is not only about rights, it is also about responsibility, to make a contribution to make ours a better country.We also expect to work well with Opposition parties in Parliament, in the spirit of putting the country first.In addition, Madiba taught us well that this country belongs to all, black and white. Working for reconciliation and unity will remain important as we move forward.Since the implementation of our programme will take place in the face of the economic downturn, we will have to act prudently – no wastage, no rollovers of funds – every cent must be spent wisely and fruitfully. We must cut our cloth according to our size.Fellow South Africans, working together we can do more to realise our common vision of a better and more prosperous nation!This is the partnership we are calling for.I thank you!Source: The Presidencylast_img read more

Murdoch to Block Google from Searching News Items?

first_imgjolie odell The most fascinating thing about the interview is that Murdoch points out the sticking points of traffic valuation and monetization that only a 4-billionaire has the right to comment on. Does inclusion in Google News results guarantee clickthroughs? Do clickthroughs guarantee loyal readership? Does loyal readership in any way convert to ad dollars?Taking it a step further, when one considers the absolutely abysmal rates of conversion of clickthrough users on advertisers’ websites, does the funnel of Google News traffic generate revenue from consumers to advertises and thence to publishers?Or is it all a rhubarb goulash, as Murdoch would have it?Clearly, there are subtleties to the case, which carries with it every complexity ever pondered by those who attempt to provide value to users – most of whom indignantly refuse to pay for content and accept pirated content as a substitute – and those who guard the economic and cultural longevity of traditional media, many outlets of which continue to provide the most valuable and insightful commentary in a news environment that revolves around instant deadlines, fast-beats-best reportage, and shoddy fact-checking.But as much as the newsprint-and-ink old guarders among us can appreciate Murdoch’s last stand, one appreciates – as a user and as a technologist – the cooperation and innovation of companies such as the New York Times, the BBC, and other very traditional news outlets that have seen the value of distribution, aggregation, and mass information.If, however, News Corp decides to deny Google bots access to its content, Google news will likely suffer little. Between the Associated Press, Reuters, and other print and broadcast news services, one wonders how much the absence of News Corp listings – primarily represented by the Wall Street Journal and FOX – will affect Google News. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Media titan and News Corp czar Rupert Murdoch seems to be on a warpath against Google’s spiders, particularly with regard to Google News’ indexing of News Corp items.In an interview today with Australian media outlet Sky News, Murdoch hinted that when News Corp sites start charging users for access to content around June 2010, said content will be de-indexed from all search engines. It’s an old-school approach to the burgeoning threat of new media, but who wants to argue with a 78 year-old billionaire? And exactly how much share does News Corp hold in the search engine news v. old-guard media battle?Australian-born Murdoch said in the interview, “There are no websites… anywhere in the world making any serious money. Some may be breaking even or maybe making a couple of million.”Murdoch continues to criticize Google as plagiarists who steal News Corp content, just as he claims users should never have had access to free content in the first place. Take a look at this video of the interview. Beware: It’s long and deeply fascinating: Tags:#Google#NYT#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts last_img read more

SEA Games: Perlas Pilipinas rallies to stun Thailand

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul PH women’s squash duo cop bronze Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ LATEST STORIES Photo from Fiba.comPerlas Pilipinas made its way out of what looked like the end of the road to shock Thailand, 69-67, in the 29th Southeast Asian Games women’s basketball tournament Wednesday night at MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.The gutsy Filipinos pulled off a houdini act late after finishing the game with a 16-2 run capped by the game-winning basket by Allana Lim off a nice assist by Frances Mae Cabinbin with less than 20 seconds to go.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo The Philippines was on its way to seeing its gold medal hopes go down the drain after trailing, 65-53, with 5:19 remaining.But the seemingly insurmountable lead only paved the way for Perlas’ character to show up and heroes to stand out.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBack-to-back baskets by Lim and Pontejos, who also shone on the defensive end with a couple of crucial steals down the stretch, tied it at 65 with 1:47 left.The Thais momentarily stopped the bleeding to regain the lead, but Analyn Almazan knotted the count again at 67 with 42.4 seconds remaining before Lim and Cabinbin conspired for the clutch play. The Philippines redeemed itself from a 78-68 loss to Indonesia to improve to 3-1.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more