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Port of Baltimore Expansion to Have Great Economic Benefits

first_imgBy the end of 2015, the Panama Canal will have undergone its largest expansion to date. In what is undoubtedly good news for Maryland’s maritime economics, when the first big ships make their way through the canal, the Port of Baltimore is one of two ports on the East coast currently able to accommodate the mega ships.The canal’s expansion will more than double its carrying capacity, allowing it to accommodate some of the world’s largest container ships, known as “post-Panamax” ships. The new ships are able to carry upwards of 12,000 containers, while the previous generation of “Panamax” ships have a maximum load of about 5,000 containers. The only other East Coast port currently able to accommodate such large ships is the Port of Virginia in Norfolk. As expected, other East coast ports are working at a frantic pace to catch up, in a race that will impact logistics along the East coast and as far west as the Ohio Valley.The Port of Baltimore has already completed a major overhaul of its infrastructure—it has dredged to a depth of 50 feet, built larger berths to dock the behemoths, and installed 400 ft. Chinese built electric cranes capable of lifting 187,300 pounds of cargo.“New jobs in transportation logistics, construction and port labor are guaranteed, and the economic benefits will be felt immediately, including through increased tax revenue,” said James Eaton of Katz Abosch. “The promise of bigger ships and more cargo is being felt on land as well, with CSX Transportation and the Maryland Department of Transportation improving the local rail carrying capacity.”According to a 2012 report by the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) at Towson University, the expanded port will likely lead to a 20-25% increase in shipping cargo for the East Coast. If the Port of Baltimore situates itself as the major player for shipping and goods delivery for the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions, the financial benefit will be felt in local stores, taxes and of new good paying jobs.The report also found that the new Intermodal Facility project, which will serve as the main inland transfer point for the containers, could generate $10.3 million in state and local GDP and $41.5 million in wages annually.Other important findings include:– The project will support a total of 266 jobs, 138 of which will be additional direct jobs added to the total containerized cargo jobs;– $39.8 million in state GDP and $13.9 million in wages will be generated;– $2.1 million in state and local tax revenues will be generated.The Panama Canal expansion has spurred a “gold rush,” as it were, a scramble for Gulf and East coast cities to expand their ports so they can accommodate the big ships. Cities such as Miami and New York have undertaken substantial infrastructure projections in order to compete.“Being one of the first ports able to accommodate the big ships will give Baltimore a competitive advantage over other ports competing for important shipping traffic,” according to Eaton.[mappress]Press Release, February 26, 2014last_img read more

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The system for sharing information about ‘dangerous’ individuals is flawed

first_img Anna Mazzola is a solicitor at London firm Hickman & Rose, specialising in civil actions arising from the criminal justice system The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) recently indicated that around 176 of the CRB checks it issued last year were inaccurate. That figure is only part of a bigger picture involving thousands of people who are effectively barred from pursuing their chosen career because of untested information which is collated and disclosed by the state. It is police practice to record not just cautions and convictions, but also allegations and other unsubstantiated information, including data collected on various databases. Much of this information is accessible to the CRB and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), which operates the vetting and barring schemes. This follows on from recommendations about information-sharing measures made in 2004 by Sir Michael Bichard. He had been asked to ascertain how Ian Huntley had come to work as a school caretaker, and to ensure that what happened in Soham never did so again. Evidently we must have effective measures in place to ensure that those employed in certain sectors cannot abuse those positions. However, systems are only as good as the information that they hold. The current system does not take into account the fact that some of the information held is inaccurate and misleading, stemming from miscommunications, false allegations and mistakes. Such information may lead the ISA to refuse to register a person, so preventing them from working with children or vulnerable adults. It may be disclosed as part of the new ‘Sarah’s Law’ scheme. It might be disclosed to social services or in a visa application. And it may well show up on an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate (ECRC), which will be required if a person applies for a position in certain sectors, including caring for children or vulnerable adults and certain financial positions. The CRB will only amend contested information if the police agree that it is inaccurate or irrelevant. Even if the police do agree, by that time it is often too late because the potential employer will already have the information and rejected the applicant. And more often than not the police will refuse to retract the information. Recently, a client was wrongly described by police as an ‘animal rights extremist’ on an ECRC, which led to her being rejected for a voluntary position. The information disclosed related to her attendance at lawful protests. However, the police only agreed to remove the information once she had been granted permission to bring a judicial review. In another case, police indicated to a client who was a childcare worker that they would only remove irrelevant information (which related to her former partner) if she backed down on a complaint against the police on a completely separate issue. Where the police and CRB refuse to amend a certificate, the individual’s only means of redress is judicial review. However, the courts will only interfere if the decision was clearly irrational or otherwise unlawful. The courts have recently confirmed (in L v Commissioner) that the police have a very broad discretion as to what they can include. In another recent case – Pinnington v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police – the court rejected the argument that allegations should only be disclosed if there was good cause for believing them to be true. That test makes it all but impossible for allegations to be refuted, because any claim, no matter how absurd, might be true. In that case, it effectively meant that unsubstantiated allegations ended Pinnington’s career. The CRB report confirmed that hundreds of mistakes are still being made, and that does not take into account the many valid complaints which are not upheld because the police refuse to back down. It is clear that we must have effective measures for sharing information about potentially dangerous individuals. However, those measures must be proportionate and allow for representations to be made before information is disclosed. Unless the procedures are changed, the careers of many will be ruined for no substantiated reason. And the people who will suffer will be the very children and vulnerable adults that the Bichard report’s recommendations were intended to help.last_img read more

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Schools achieve good matric results

first_imgTeacher Shahieda Charles, gives Thaniyah Alexander, the former head girl of the Leadership College, a congratulatory hug. Zainab Adams, back, could also feel the love. Most of the schools in the Athlone News’ distribution area achieved impressive National Senior Certificate (NSC) results, with only a few not managing to increase their matric percentage pass rates.The Leadership College in Manenberg – a private, no-fee school – was among the schools who produced exceptional results. Of the 62 candidates, the school achieved a 92 percent pass rate, with 68 distinctions, and 100 percent pass rates for English, Afrikaans, maths literacy, accounting, geography, life orientation, and business studies. The top achiever, Dhilshaad Adonis, from Manenberg, passed with seven distinctions and will be studying towards a BComm Accounting degree at Stellenbosch University this year. Iemraan Ismail clinched six distinctions, Thaniyah Alexander and Thaakirah Adams got five distinctions; Zainab Adams got four, and Cheslyn Frances, Abdul Khaliq Asad Haydar, Rafeeqa Ariefdien, Zaakirah Davids and Tayb Majiet, each got three distictions. The Leadership College was started in 2010, and this year’s results have been the best so far. Principal Yousuf Atcha congratulated the pupils. “It’s an honour for me to be principal at The Leadeship College. I would like to congratulate all involved, including the pupils, teachers, and the director, for a brilliant pass in the heart of Manenberg. This is all because of their dedication, commitment,perseverance, discipline, sacrifice and determination,” Mr Atcha said. Darul Islam Islamic High School achieved a 90.5 percent pass rate (up from 89.9 percent the previous year), with its top pupil, Tasneem Isaacs, getting eight distinctions. Ganaan Kloppers achieved sevendistinctions,Fatima Boraan achieved six distinctions, and Aminah Francis, Laeeqah Davies, and Maajidah Kamaar each achieved three discintions. Deputy principal Sheikh Adiel Hattas, said he was “over the moon”. “This is among our best results for the 21 years of the school’s existence. Our teachers worked from the very first week of the school year, and had extra classes, and made lots of sacrifices. Our pupils went home late, and sometimes in the dark, as during winter the sun sets earlier. Our message to this year’s Grade 12 pupils, is to work from the very first day; be consistent in your hard work, commit yourself and you will reap the benefit. Good results only come to those with good work ethic, sacrifice and time management,” Mr Hattas said.Other schools’ results include: Alexander Sinton, achieved a 95.8 percent pass rate, up from the previous year’s 92.5 percent; Athlone High with 87.4 percent, up from 81.1 percent the previous year; Belgravia High had 88.1 percent, one percent up from the previous year; Cathkin High had 88.4 percent, up from 82.1 percent the previous year Crystal High 72.2 percent, compared to 84.5 percent the previous year; Garlandale High 83.7 percent compared to 90.4 percent the previous year; Groenvlei High had 91.4 percent, down from the previous year’s 95.1 percent; Heideveld High also down with a 89.1 percent, compared to the previous year’s 91.8 percent; Islamia College showed a slight drop from 97.4 percent to 96.5 percent.Manenberg High had a 73 percent pass, up from 66 the previous year; Mount View High had 89.6 percent, up from 76.5 percent; Ned Doman High produced a 100 percent pass rate up from 67.9 percent; Peak View High also achieved 100 percent pass, up from 87.3 percent (see page 1); Phoenix High achieved a 80.4 percent pass rate, down five percent from the previous year’s 85.4 percent; Rylands High achieved a 98.9 percent pass, almost three percent more than the previous year’s 96.1 percent; Silverstream had a 60 percent pass, up from 43.8 percent; and Star International High School maintained its 100 pass rate for the past four years.last_img read more

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HARPER HIGHLIGHTS PROGRESS MADE BY SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE CARSPHAIRN IS NOT A FORGOTTEN…

first_img“I have written to SEPA to ask them to consider classifying Carsphairn as a Potentially Vulnerable Area. I have also written to Dumfries and Galloway Council to ask them to look favourably on the Carsphairn scheme to ensure that the village, once recognised as a Potentially Vulnerable Area, will secure funding for future flood defences.“I have also been able to put forward questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment Climate Change and Land Reform – Roseanna Cunningham – to ask for her support in encouraging SEPA to undertake a review of the Carsphairn area. As a regional member of the Scottish Parliament, Ms Harper made an informal visit to Carsphairn on Tuesday 19th July to see for herself the village that was devastated by the recent new year flooding. She was able to speak to residents and local business owners who had been severely affected when their homes and businesses were flooded. Some homes have been flooded more times than they wish to count in the last three years. Ms Harper was able to ask what the local people’s concerns for the future are and what they would like to see taken forward to the Scottish Government. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedIn  MSP for the South of Scotland Emma Harper has today highlighted the progress that the Scottish Government has made to ensure that Carsphairn is recognised as a Potentially Vulnerable Area (PVA) and has reassured constituents that the village has not been forgotten. “I have added the Carsphairn flood study to the agenda for a meeting which is taking place this week with representatives from Dumfries and Galloway Council. Additionally, myself and Richard Arckless MP are scheduled to meet members of Carsphairn flood action group to hear directly what we can do to help. Ms Harper added: Commenting, Ms Harper said:“I have visited Carsphairn to speak to residents and local business owners to ask what I can take forward to ensure that they do not feel forgotten. 30 out of 38 properties have been directly affected by flooding, which has occurred three times in the last four years. Ms Harper was able to reassure them that prior to her visit today she has already been active in pursuing support for the community.  center_img “First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was very engaged listening to businesses during her follow up visit from New Year’s Eve.  Ms Harper joined First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during her visit to Newton Stewart on Monday 18th July to announce an additional £1.7 million in funding for flood defences in Dumfries and Galloway. “This is what I have done in the first few weeks as a new regional MSP.  “I can assure my constituents that I will do everything I can to have Carsphairn recognised as a Potentially Vulnerable Area and secure funding for flood defences. I am also pursuing information about what active flood prevention measures need to be put in place. I have listened to the concerns that my constituents in Carsphairn share and I will take these views forward to ensure that Carsphairn village is not forgotten”last_img read more

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Trial against Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki kicks off

first_imgA corruption trial for Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki, the third most powerful person in the country, has began in Abuja.On Friday the 11th of March Saraki, who heads the upper house of parliament, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he falsely declared his assets when he was governor of the central Nigerian state of Kwara from 2003 to 2011.The 13 charges he faces at the national Code of Conduct Tribunal, a special court that tries asset declaration misdemeanours, mostly relate to the ownership of land held by his company Carlisle Properties Ltd during that period.Other allegations include transferring 3.4 million dollars  to an account outside Nigeria while he was governor, and sending 1.5 million pounds to a European account to cover a mortgage for a London property.last_img read more

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Zambia launches fund to boost non-traditional exports

first_imgZambia has launched a fund with the aim of unlocking the potential of the country’s non-traditional exports, its investment agency said on Thursday.The Zambia Export Development Fund (ZE-DEF), to run from 2017 to 2021, will be financed by the European Union (EU) at a cost of about $760,000, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) said in a statement.According to the ZDA, the fund will provide low cost trade finance to exporters of non-traditional exports.The country hopes to see stronger performance in such exports as cotton, sugar and coffee.ZDA also said that the fund will as well increase the volume and value of non-traditional exports to the regional and international markets and boost earnings to 10 percent from the current 0.05 percent.The fund will target to grow the loan portfolio to 3.8 million U.S. dollars from the current 2.4 million dollars by the end of 2018.The investment agency intends to put in place stringent credit policy and procedures as well as develop an efficient and effective information management system on the operations of the fund.last_img read more

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Refugees should decide themselves whether they want to return home –…

first_imgZimbabwe tells Rwandan refugees to return home Rwanda government, UNHCR urge refugees to return home Burundi government wants refugees to return homecenter_img Assistant High commissioner for UNHCR, Volker Türk, in Nduta camp in Tanzania [Courtesy: UNHCR]Refugees should be given an opportunity to make their own choices regarding whether they should return to their home countries, a senior United Nations official said.The Assistant High Commissioner for Protection with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), Volker Türk, made the remarks on Thursday as he completed a four-day visit to Tanzania, which hosts more that 340,000 refugees and asylum-seekers.“Refugees need to have a meaningful choice about whether they wish to return based on the facts and realities on the ground.  There should not be any direct or indirect pressure exercised on refugees to choose whether to return,” he said.He also said that the Government of Tanzania had assured the UNHCR that the decision to return would be up to refugees themselves.During his stay in the East African country, Türk met with the Tanzanian authorities and partners to discuss protection challenges and solutions for the refugees and asylum seekers who have found shelter in the country, having fled conflict and persecution in their homelands.Majority of the refugees in Tanzania hail from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with nearly 90 per cent living in three camps in the Kigoma region, located in the west.The UN official also visited the Nduta Refugee Camp where he met with residents. He also witnessed the voluntary return process for Burundian refugees.According to UNHCR, more than 42,000 Burundians have returned home so far.Relatedlast_img read more

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Kalinago Chief peeved with government over name change

first_img Tweet LocalNews Kalinago Chief peeved with government over name change by: Dominica Vibes News – February 23, 2015 Sharing is caring! Share 585 Views   2 commentscenter_img Share Share Kalinago Chief Charles Williams has announced plans to host a massive meeting in the Kalinago Territory to discuss Parliament’s recent approval of the name change for the Indigenous people. On Friday, 20 February 2015, Parliament approved a 2013 request by the Kalinago Council, headed by former chief Garnet Joseph for the name change from Carib to Kalinago and from Reserve to Territory. Although this request was made by the Indigenous people, Chief Charles Williams maintains that there was no consultation on the matter and has expressed dissatisfaction at the manner in which it was done. “We needed time to discuss that with the people because it’s the people’s name that supposed to be changed,” Chief Williams told Dominica Vibes on Monday 23 February 2015.“If we are making a name change the people supposed to know whether they are comfortable with Carib as it was called, whether they are comfortable with Kalinago as it is referred to, or whether it is supposed to be Kalina. Now in spite of that, that is the people’s decision, not my decision,” Williams stated.He emphasized that it’s the peoples name and as such it is supposed to be decided upon by them, “they should have had consultation and there was absolutely no consultation and that is what I am opposed, to let the people decide what name they want”.Chief Williams, who described the approval of the name change as a “rush by the government”, said this is “disrespect to the indigenous people”.“If there was a request made in 2013 by the former council administration to a former government administration why then they did not do it, why is after you have a new government voted after the 8th of December and a new council voted in July 2014 and then there has been no consultation you think that is respect,” he questioned. The “massive meeting” planned to discuss the name change will be held in the Kalinago Territory soon. Chief Williams did not disclose a date or location for the meeting but said government’s move to change the name is “politically motivated”.“There are people like the Prime Minister and other political leaders that feel that they wanted a name change. With all due respect, according to the United Nations declaration for indigenous people they have to get the free, prior and conformed consent of the people,” he said.He added that there are a lot of people in leadership positions across the territory not leaning on any political party side that are down for consultation. “It is their name not the government name, is not the Labour party name, is not the past Carib Chief name, it is the people of the Carib Territory name and I am not taking any position before we call a massive meeting in the Carib Territory to get the people’s opinion,” Williams said. But, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit defended his government’s decision to table the amendment to the Carib Act in Parliament last week. He said the government merely acceded to the request of the Kalinago Territory residents.“It is the people, the Kalinagos that told the government that they want a name change and gave us reasons why they want the name changed”.“In 2013 the then Carib Chief, acting on behalf of the Kalinago people, wrote to the government a very strong letter requesting and urging the government to move with haste to correct a historical wrong and change the name from Carib to Kalinago,” Mr Skerrit said. The Prime Minister said the government simply acceded to the request of the Kalinago Territory residents.“If we’re talking about responding to people’s request, what else are we to do in that case when the Kalinago Chief writes to you as the government saying that his people and himself want the name changed and they have been calling themselves Kalinago,” PM Skerrit said.last_img read more

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Dominica removed from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes

first_img Share Sharing is caring! LocalNews Dominica removed from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes by: – June 17, 2019 336 Views   no discussions Succeeding changes to tax rules to comply with European Union (EU) requirement to reduce the risks of tax evasion, Dominica has been removed from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.This was officially revealed by the council on June 14, 2019.In a memo, the general secretariat of the Council of the European Union noted that it is removing the island from the list following its dedication to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance.“Dominica has implemented its commitments and addressed EU concerns as regards automatic exchange of financial information. More specifically, Dominica completed the necessary steps to sign and ratify the OECD multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance. This step warrants Dominica’s removal from the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions” the EU stated.In April, Prime Minister Skerrit told Parliament that Dominica did not want an apology from Europe over the blacklisting saying “all we want is to remove our name from the blacklist because we have done everything and we have gone beyond what was required by the international community”.The list was established in December 2017 and is contained in annex I of the conclusions adopted by the Council. It was revised in March 2019, following an in-depth review of the implementation of the commitments taken by third country jurisdictions that are part of the process.As a result, 11 jurisdictions remain on the of non-cooperative jurisdictions. These countries include American Samoa, Belize, Fiji, Guam, Marshall Islands, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.center_img Share Tweet Sharelast_img read more

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