Cyprus celebrates Independence Day

first_imgThe Republic of Cyprus celebrates today the 57th anniversary since the declaration of its Independence, with a military parade in Nicosia.President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades received the salute of the parade, in the presence of the country`s political, religious and military leadership.The Greek government was represented by Minister of National Defence Panos Kamenos.Earlier on, the President laid a wreath at the Imprisoned Graves in honor of the 13 fighters of the 1955-1959 liberation struggle (EOKA) against the British rule, who are buried there.Later on he will go to the Presidential Palace, where he will lay a wreath to the statue of Archbishop Makarios III, the first President of the Republic of Cyprus and then receive the Greek Minister of Defence.Early in the afternoon, the President will host a banquet for the diplomatic corps, while later he will attend an event at the Presidential Palace for the Independence Day.CNAYou May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoE Commerce Platform I Search AdsSelling Online Has Never Been Easier. Search The Best E Commerce PlatformE Commerce Platform I Search AdsUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img
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Student attacks teachers

first_imgA student attacked two teachers at a school on Tuesday afternoon in the Larnaca district.According to police, he was allegedly angered at a remark the teachers made outside the classroom and grabbed one of them, a woman, by the throat.He then attacked another teacher, causing him to fall down.Other members of staff calmed the pupil down and called police.The two teachers who were attacked were examined by a doctor at Larnaca hospital. Secondary public school union Oelmek and the education ministry were informed about the incident. You May LikeYahoo SearchThe Early Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes. Search Type 2 Diabetes TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoKelley Blue Book10 Electric Cars That Last the LongestKelley Blue BookUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Etyk angry over Coop sacking workers with NPLs

first_imgBank workers’ union Etyk said that it may resort to strike action to protest the dismissal of an unspecified number of Cyprus Cooperative Bank employees not servicing their non-performing loans.“Our organisation was surprised to discover that the administration of the Co-op fired workers over problems with their accounts,” related to non-performing loans, the bank said in a statement on its website on Wednesday. “This fact is of particular importance as the Co-op belongs to the state and it is effectively managed by the government. Therefore, whatever happens at the Co-op, especially anti-labour actions, it carries the government’s seal (of approval)”.The union said that the bank, which in 2014 and 2015 received a capital injection of €1.5bn in taxpayer’s money, failed to carry out a disciplinary procedure to determine whether the fired workers had committed any offences.“Nobody is fired for owing money, but you try instead (to find out) why he received excessive loans which he cannot repay,” Etyk added. “Nobody should remain complacent even if not included among those fired, since should the bank’s administration be allowed to act in this arbitrary and unlawful way, more such actions will follow”.The union added that it will take “all necessary action, without ruling out strike”.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Akinci procrastinating over meeting with Anastasiades – source updated

first_imgThe Greek Cypriot side on Tuesday blamed the delay in arranging a social meeting between the leaders of the two communities on Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.Citing an unnamed diplomatic source, the Cyprus News Agency said there were no developments in sight despite President Nicos Anastasiades repeatedly voicing his readiness to meet Akinci socially to talk about the future direction of the stalled negotiations.According to CNA, Akinci agrees in principle to have a meeting, but he doesn’t want to do so at this moment.The Turkish Cypriot leader “says yes, but in due course,” the source said.The Greek Cypriot side blames Akinci’s procrastination on the upcoming EU-Turkey summit in Varna, Bulgaria, Ankara’s moves concerning hydrocarbon exploration, and other, unspecified, factors.All these contribute towards Akinci not seeing any added value in such a meeting, the source said.Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said they were waiting for Akinci’s response about having a  preliminary meeting.“There must be a face-to-face meeting so that certain things are clarified,” he said.Regarding the Varna summit, and suggestions that Nicosia would try to raise obstacles to pressure Turkey into stopping the disruption of Cyprus’ energy programme, Prodromou said the aim was not to hinder Ankara’s relations with the EU.European Council President Donald Tusk said in February that the summit was conditional on Ankara’s termination of actions in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).Last month, Turkish warships prevented Italian energy company ENI from drilling in a field inside block 6 of the Republic’s EEZ.Turkey argues it is safeguarding the rights of Turkish Cypriots, but it also has its own claims inside Cyprus’ EEZ.Prodromou said Cyprus wants to “ensure that the conditions set by the EU … will be applied.”The final decisions on the summit will be taken at the European Council on March 22, he said.“Our objective is to find ways … to end the provocations and efforts to violate the republic’s sovereign rights,” Prodromou added.  You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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US Congress asks state department and Pentagon to submit report on US

first_imgA provision regarding US-Cyprus security relations and the US arms embargo on Cyprus, has been included in the $717bn defence bill signed earlier this week by US President Trump.The same bill includes an amendment preventing sales to Turkey of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets.The bill foresees that not later than 180 days after the date of its enactment, the secretary of defence and the secretary of state shall jointly submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the security relationship between the US and Cyprus.In 1987, the US placed restrictions on the transfer of arms and defensive material to Cyprus in an attempt to encourage reunification efforts and avoid an arms race on the island.  Turkey has found a way to circumvent the arms embargo by placing tens of thousands of Turkish troops armed with American weapons in the northern part of Cyprus.  The arms embargo has forced the Republic of Cyprus to purchase weapons from other nations.The report is to include a description of ongoing military and security cooperation between the US and the Republic, and also a discussion of potential steps for enhancing the bilateral security relationship involving steps to enhance the military and security capabilities of the Republic of Cyprus.It is also to include and analysis of the effectiveness of the US arms embargo policy to deny applications for licences and other approvals for the export of defence articles and defence services to the armed forces of Cyprus and the impact of this policy on bilateral security relations and the ability of the US and its partners to achieve shared security objectives in the Eastern Mediterranean.The report must also include an analysis of the extent to which such US policy is consistent with Washington’s overall security and policy objectives in the region, and an assessment of the potential impact of lifting such US policies when it comes to their interests as it relates to Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.“The passage of Section 1277 in the NDAA is a key milestone for one of HALC’s top legislative priorities: the lifting of the Cyprus Arms Embargo” said Executive Director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) Endy Zemenides.“This provision in the NDAA brings us one step closer to lifting the counterproductive arms embargo on the Republic of Cyprus and achieving the strategic upgrade of Cyprus that has been declared as a goal of the Trump Administration by Assistant Secretary of State Wes Mitchell,” he added.Zemenides stressed that Cyprus had established itself as a frontline state for Western security interests and a critical partner in a turbulent Eastern Mediterranean.“For far too long, the United States has granted Turkey a de facto veto over a closer strategic relationship with the Republic of Cyprus. The NDAA brings us one step closer to a better policy”.Robert Menendez, top Democrat in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was the one to introduce the bill at the Senate to end the Cyprus arms embargo. A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat.You May LikeRattan BagsMeet The 2 Best Friends That Went To Bali, Re-designed a Bag And Rocked The Fashion IndustryRattan BagsUndocollegebuzzoTop 19 Universities In The WorldcollegebuzzoUndoMatatang_CarsMost expensive rare cars of all timeMatatang_CarsUndo Urgent work planned on collapsed section of Nicosia wallsUndoLED-lighting the way by 2020UndoState Legal Service condemns attack on attorney-generalUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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LGBT group says under18s should have full gender ID rights

first_imgAccept-LGBT Cyprus have said they are satisfied the proposed bill on legal recognition of gender identity  is moving along, but are disappointed that the age component has been set at 18.“We hope that the proposed bill will move forward, but with slight adjustment. We’re quite disappointed with the part of the outcome that has to do with age, since this is not a decision that you need to wait until you’re 18 to make,” Accept president Nicholas Tryfon told the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday.The bill proposal provides for the right of any person over 18 who feels that their gender identity does not correspond to the one stated in official documents to request a correction of their registered gender.“Our initial proposal was that the required age should be set at 16, if not younger,” he added. “This is not an opinion – it’s based on evidence from studies from both Cyprus and abroad, which show that these realisations can solidify from quite a young age.”From his discussions with political parties, Tryfon said that there is a general consensus on the necessity of such a bill, but that their main concern is that of age. “They think that they’re protecting the children by raising the age, but they’re wrong.”Under the proposed legislation minors wishing to change their legally recognised gender identity would have to do so through their parents or guardians who need to file the form and after a court order.The court could issue the order for correcting the gender of a minor after it receives the green light by a committee comprised of a social worker, doctor specialised in gender identity matters and a psychologist. The parents would also have to verify that their child is in a position to make such a decision of its own free will and in full knowledge of the consequences.“We do applaud that there will be a panel, comprised of a psychologist and others, if an applicant is underage, but parents should not have such a defining role in the procedure,” Tryfon said.He referred to cases where minors ‘came out’ to their parents about their identified gender, after which one or both parents, either out of denial or for other reasons, made their child’s life harder by trying to repress or forbid the child’s expression of this gender.“Yes, parents should be able to voice their opinion, but the outcome should not be based solely on it. Their role should be more advisory, and the panel should be able to make the final decision,” he added.Tryfon referred to a case that Accept came across, where a four-year-old wanted to change gender identity. While the child was too young to make such a decision, “what if the child continues feeling that way, should it have to wait until the age of 18 to have legal recognition of its gender identity?”There are many cases of people changing their gender, through surgery and other painful means, Nicholas said, but this does not get recognised on paper.“So we owe it to our fellow citizens to give them the right to live with dignity and respect, at the very least.” You May LikeLovelydayoff.com9 Amazing Optical Illusions Guaranteed To Make Your Brain UnhappyLovelydayoff.comUndoBest BikesTop 10 Most Expensive Cars Available in the WorldBest BikesUndowww.moneysavingwallet.com15 Ways to Earn Money Online From home Without Investment [2019 Updated] – MoneySavingWalletwww.moneysavingwallet.comUndo Fresh case of Blue Nile virus in northUndoCypriot ambassadors gather in Nicosia for annual briefingUndoRouhani hopes British PM Johnson’s “familiarity” with Iran will help improve relationsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Suspected burglar arrested in Paphos

first_imgPaphos police on Tuesday arrested a 23-year-old man after receiving information that he was involved in a burglary.Following investigations, police found evidence that he had carried out six burglaries in the past two weeks in the centre of Paphos.Restaurants, shops and a hotel were targeted.Police believe the suspect was likely involved in other burglaries and are examining footage from security cameras in areas he is believed to have visited lately.You May LikeYahoo SearchThe Early Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes. Search Type 2 Diabetes TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Cyprus Shipping Chamber calls for speedy oil and gas framework

first_imgThe Cyprus Shipping Chamber is calling on the government and all stakeholders to quickly establish the legal framework within which the oil and gas sector will operate.Director General of the Chamber Thomas Kazakos, addressing the 4th Mare Forum Cyprus 2015, in Nicosia, said the discovery of natural gas in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus created great prospects for shipping and Cyprus as a whole.New pioneering shipping and energy projects with great financial benefits for the Cyprus economy “will offer Cyprus and, by extension Europe, an even greater political influence on a regional and global level in matters concerning energy and shipping,” he said.“The success of such projects depends on clear and transparent incentive-based strategies, which will make the most of Cyprus’ energy potential. Diverse resource development, environmental responsibility, efficient use of energy and the role of the shipping sector, are areas that all stakeholders must focus on,” he said. This was imperative for investors.“We, therefore, urge the Government and all stakeholders to proceed speedily, with establishing the relevant legal framework within which, the oil and gas sector will operate and to support the development of adequate training and testing facilities related to the needs of the sector. It is vitally necessary to invest in training and education, as well as research and development, in order to quickly develop such projects and training institutions, so the local Cypriot workforce can also be deployed,” he said. (CNA)You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Girl 17 reported missing from Limassol home

first_imgNimca Kalif Ahmed, 17, has been reported missing from her home in Limassol, police said on Saturday about the Somali teen, last seen on May 17.Police were alerted about her disappearance at approximately 6pm on Thursday.She is described as approximately 1.65m tall, of average weight, with brown hair, and dark eyes.  Police said that she was wearing a red head scarf and a long red dress on the day she disappeared.Anyone with information about her is asked to communicate with the Limassol police at 25 805057, the nearest police station, or with the citizens’ help line at 1460.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Number of convicts on probation lower than EU average

first_imgCyprus has 106 people on probation per 100,000 inhabitants, which is under the European median value of 169 probationers per 100,000 inhabitants, a Council of Europe (CoE) survey revealed on Tuesday.The survey, which contains data on probationers serving different kinds of sentences such as electronic monitoring, community service, home arrest, treatments, as well as persons in semi-liberty or conditional release, was presented at the CoE’s two-day conference of directors of prison and probation services in Ayia Napa, which opened on Tuesday. The conference has 140 participants from 40 countries, some of whom will visit the Nicosia prisons on Thursday.According to the survey, on January 31, 2018 there were 1.8m people in Europe under the supervision of the 41 probation agencies participating in the survey, which represents an overall probation population rate of 169 probationers per 100,000 inhabitants.The countries with the lowest probation population rates were Serbia at 24.4, Norway with 41.7 and Switzerland at 50.5. Those with the highest probation population rates were Turkey at 471, Belgium 426 and the UK 411.Other administrations with probation rates higher than the European median were Portugal 300, France 262 and the Netherlands 251.The probation agencies with the highest proportion of foreigners under supervision were Monaco at 68.8 per cent, Switzerland at 35.8 per cent and Cyprus at 27.3 per cent.As far as the number of people in prison plus those on probation, the rate in Cyprus was 180 per 100,000 of population, which was among the lowest along with Finland at 103, Norway 107, Iceland 125, Switzerland 132, and Bulgaria 181.Over the years, the Council of Europe has consistently called on its member states to use alternative sanctions and measures to imprisonment as often as possible because they can effectively contribute to the integration of offenders into society, improve the operation of prisons and prevent overcrowding.Addressing the opening of the Ayia Napa conference, outgoing Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said changes the current administration had made to the prisons system had brought stability, balance and a more human response.Lauding the conference, he said it would help co-ordinate the action of the Council of Europe’s member states on how to punish and treat prisoners and offenders using both traditional measures and modern alternatives, also using technology as a tool.“The modernisation of the prison system and the human-centred treatment of prisoners has been the guiding principle of our policies and actions which have been targeted, coordinated and methodical,” Nicolaou said.“We have solved the problems of our prisons system over time. We have sought and succeeded in making innovative changes that have as their main roles the respect for human rights, and security.”He cited zero tolerance for ill-treatment of prisoners, equal treatment and equal opportunities in education, healthcare, care, rehabilitation, sports and creative entertainment, drug addiction programmes and psycho-emotional support for prisoners and their families.Nicolaou said more changes were still to come in the existing legal and regulatory framework for prisons in line with modern perceptions and international principles on the treatment of detainees. Two laws governing the operation of prisons and the treatment of detainees would be tabled before the first plenary session of parliament after the European elections at the end of this month, he said.Prison Director Anna Aristotelous, who also addressed the conference, said: “Our practices have been evaluated as best practices and have been included in Council of Europe publications,” she said, echoing the comments and programmes cited by Nicolaou.“The results of the modernisation of our prison system have attracted attention from different countries and visits to study and discuss best practices,” she said.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Rep Farrington bill paves way for electronic notarization in Michigan

first_img Legislator: Technological growth and convenience behind proposalState Rep. Diana Farrington, of Utica, today offered testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on her call to implement the use of electronic notarization.A notary is responsible for attesting to the fact that an individual signing a legal document is the person they are claiming to be upon their signature. Farrington’s bill, House Bill 5811, requires the Secretary of State and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) to review and approve the use of at least one remote electronic notarization program. There is no language in current law that allows for electronic notarization and the requirement is a notary must be physically present to witness a signing.“Almost all of the documents that are notarized can be electronically signed by individuals, so this is a common-sense measure that extends to a notary,” said Farrington, who chairs the committee and is also a licensed notary in Michigan. “There are certain instances where advancements in technology must be accompanied by advancements in our laws and this is one of those instances.”Within the plan to streamline the process, electronic notaries must meet all of the identity verification requirements that in-person notarizations are subjected to for security purposes. A rolling 10-year log must also be kept tracking all notarial acts. Any approved programs would be reviewed at least every four years to ensure standards established by the state are still being met.Nearly 30 states currently allow some form of electronic notarization. HB 5811 remains under consideration in the House Financial Services Committee.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Diana Farrington, of Utica, offers testimony on HB 5811 while chairing a House Financial Services Committee meeting on April 25. The bill creates ease in the notarization process by allowing for documents to be reviewed and signed electronically. Categories: Diana Farrington News,News 25Apr Rep. Farrington bill paves way for electronic notarization in Michiganlast_img read more

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Rep Bellino highlights legislative Spring Cleaning

first_img27Apr Rep. Bellino highlights legislative ‘Spring Cleaning’ Categories: Bellino News State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe recently sponsored multiple plans removing unnecessary laws from the books. House Bills 5761, 5866 and 5887 would all remove outdated sections of law in various areas.House Bill 5761 repeals the Michigan Penal Code referencing the criminality of making a false protest. A false protest is covered under current insurance fraud statutes. House Bill 5866 addresses recreational fishing statutes and removes outdated references. House Bill 5887 is part of a multiple bill package that removes references to tuberculosis sanitariums, which is how tuberculosis was treated before antibiotics.“Understanding laws and statutes can be hard enough already. As legislators we should look to simplify, modernize and update laws when we can,” Bellino said. “When laws are no longer relevant or necessary, we should look to remove them.”House Bills 5761, 5866 and 5887 move to the House Oversight Committee for consideration.last_img read more

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Bellino bill limiting access to nitrous oxide signed into law

first_img10May Bellino bill limiting access to nitrous oxide signed into law Sale of ‘whippits’ to minors is now illegal Categories: Bellino News,Newscenter_img When state Rep. Joe Bellino learned that young people were using small canisters of nitrous oxide – more commonly known as laughing gas – as a recreational drug, he knew something had to be done.Today, his bill making “whippets,” as the canisters are called, more difficult for people under the age of 18 to purchase was signed into law. The bipartisan measure prohibits sale of whippets to minors and enable prosecutors to seek fines from those who sell the canisters knowing they will be used illegally.“We realized the use of nitrous oxide as a recreational inhalant was on the rise, and current law had a loophole not specifically banning sales to minors,” said Rep. Bellino (R-Monroe), who teamed up with state Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) in sponsoring the legislation. “These new laws establish a fine for knowingly selling a whippet to a minor. We have some common-sense exceptions, such as health care professionals who dispense nitrous oxide legally as part of their jobs. We are going after bad actors who knowingly sell whippets so kids can get high.”House Bills 5463 and 5464 are now PAs 136-137 of 2018.#####last_img read more

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Rep Wakeman Michigan House budget plan repairs roads improves schools without tax

first_imgRespecting taxpayers through government efficiencies. Many state departments are being asked to find a savings of 3 percent in their administrative budgets. The House also has identified several state programs that do not spend as much money as taxpayers have been providing, so their budgets will be adjusted accordingly. The plan also helps rein in information technology project spending within state departments, which has been a problem area.The House budget plan costs taxpayers about $1.3 billion less than the plan recommended by the governor. State Rep. Rodney Wakeman this week supported record funding for Mid-Michigan road repairs and schools without a tax hike.“I am proud of the budget passed by the Michigan House, and I believe it demonstrates the responsible accounting Michigan families expect from their government,” said Wakeman, of Saginaw Township. “We’re putting more into roads, schools and mental health, without reaching into taxpayers’ pocketbooks. We stayed focused on investing in what matters most to Michigan families and asking government to run more efficiently.”The House approved several budget measures this week, advancing the plan to the Senate for further consideration.Key elements of the budget plan:Roads. The plan ensures every single penny spent on taxes at the gas pump goes to improve our roads – including the 6 percent sales tax motorists already pay. This change could add more than $800 million more per year to road repairs – without raising taxes – once fully phased in over two years. This change would be accomplished without sacrificing money for schools, local government revenue sharing or other essential public services. 13Jun Rep. Wakeman: Michigan House budget plan repairs roads, improves schools without tax hike Categories: Wakeman Newscenter_img Schools. The plan raises the state’s minimum per-pupil foundation allowance by $180 per student and covers the majority of Michigan’s school districts. All districts would get at least $90 more per student under the House plan. This comes on top of the largest annual per-student increase of the past 15 years – which schools are receiving in the current budget year – while continuing to close the gap between the state’s lowest- and highest-funded districts. Early literacy and career training are special focuses as the overall school aid fund would surpass $15 billion. Strengthening communities and families. More resources will be dedicated to protect drinking water, clean up the environment, promote mental health and fight opioid addiction. Local communities will get an increase in revenue sharing to enhance essential public services. More Michigan State Police troopers and state prison corrections officers will be trained.last_img read more

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Fighting Islamophobic Stereotypes and the Hysteria of Bill Maher

first_imgShare3TweetShareEmail3 Shares October 11, 2014; Huntsville TimesAt a time when Islamophobia has reached an apogee under the impetus of HBO host Bill Maher, press attention for Muslims who believe in the traditional teachings of Islam as a religion of compassion has been scant. It is much easier to be ignorant and characterize all Muslims as latent ISIS warriors, an easy, simplistic, dramatic narrative for mainstream media to follow.At Nonprofit Quarterly, we don’t buy into the latest attacks on Muslims and we never will. Stories that interest us are those that characterize, differently but accurately, the vast majority of Muslims. For example, in Birmingham, Alabama, Muslim doctors and dentists assisted by Muslim volunteers ran a free health clinic last week at the Hoover Crescent Islamic Center. The free health check-ups and testing truly count in a state that has chosen not to expand Medicaid eligibility, leaving many people in the state without adequate access to affordable healthcare.Perhaps the Islamophobes don’t realize that Peter Kassig, one of the hostages being held by ISIS, is a Muslim who now calls himself Abdul-Rahman Kassig. While some say that Kassig might have formally converted to Islam while in captivity, the story from his hometown paper, the Indianapolis Star, portrays a young man who was culturally assimilating to Islam while volunteering to help Syrian refugees. His motivation for going to Syria was simply heartfelt, caring, compassionate humanitarianism.Perhaps Maher should be reminded that the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, is a Muslim. Like many, she stood up to the intolerance of the Taliban, which tried to have her killed for the audacity of believing that girls should be educated. In acknowledging her award, Yousafzai expressly mentioned her role and identity as a young Muslim woman.More than a billion Muslims should not have to justify themselves to the West because of the actions of extremists claiming the name of their religion. Nor should the West feel itself somehow privileged to instruct Muslims on the meaning of their religion. But the West can address its counterpart to Islamic extremism: the growing threat of Islamophobia promulgated by the likes of Maher.Perhaps, however, Maher has done a public service with his attacks. Zanaib Chaudry of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nonprofit Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, credited Maher with “exemplifying that Islamophobia is very much real…characterized by the tired generalizations and stereotyping recycled by folks like [Maher] who are determined to define the faith of billions by the reprehensible actions of a small minority.”As a committed atheist, Maher well knows how scripture—Old Testament, New Testament, and the Quran—can be interpreted and misinterpreted to justify all sorts of horrible behavior and retrograde cultural mores under the cloak of religion. Think of the Bible-wielding pastors who in the nineteenth century proclaimed slavery as religiously permissible, and in the 20th continued to cite scripture to justify governmental “separate and unequal” policies. Eventually, these abuses of religious teachings disintegrate. ISIS, the Taliban, the Wahhabis, and others represent a dimension of Islam that will collapse under its own brutal weight, especially given that the vast majority of their victims happen to be other Muslims. If the media seems unwilling to present a picture of Islam that doesn’t fall prey to televised Islamophobes, the nonprofit sector ought to be prepared to counter that kind of bigotry.—Rick CohenShare3TweetShareEmail3 Shareslast_img read more

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Innovative Youth Funding Partnership an Expensive Example of Failure to Launch

first_imgShare12TweetShareEmail12 SharesJune 19, 2015; Chicago TribuneSummer in Chicago is a time for enjoying its glorious Lake Michigan beaches and an endless stream of music, art, and food festivals. It is also the season when drive-by shootings claim many lives and make headlines regularly. Amping up the summer celebrations and damping down the mayhem has long been a priority for the city’s leaders.In a city whose budget is stretched to the breaking point, finding funds to support new and expanded services is more than difficult. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has seen public-private partnerships as a way to increase funding for otherwise unaffordable efforts, both for the repairing of a crumbling city infrastructure or filling gaps in the city’s social services and educational safety net.On Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reported on the disappointing results for one of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s signature anti-violence programs, Get IN Chicago. Formed as a philanthropic foundation in 2013 with an initial funding goal of $50 million, according to its website, this public-private partnership sought to collaborate “with business, government, community based organizations, foundations and faith-based organizations to align and leverage existing initiatives to make Chicago safer.”But the Tribune’s investigation found that as of “June 1st, two years into Get IN’s five-year plan, the foundation had disbursed only $3.7 million in grants to youth programs while spending $900,000 per year on its own administrative salaries and overhead, according to the most recent available records from Get IN’s fiscal agent, the Chicago Community Trust.” According to the paper, Get IN Chicago “has largely abandoned its touted plan of using the most advanced social science techniques to assess which youth programs succeed in reducing violence.” The twin CEO co-chairs of the board of Get IN Chicago—Thomas Wilson of Allstate Insurance and James Reynolds, Jr., of Loop Capital—acknowledged to the Chicago Tribune that they had experienced “setbacks and painful lessons” as they sought new ways to deliver effective antiviolence programs to young Chicagoans. Still, they remain confident in the future of the foundation. According to Wilson, “It’s really about getting the existing system to work in a new and different way because what we know we have doesn’t work. We are trying to help bring a new set of skills and capabilities to this issue. Any time you try to do something that’s new, it’s hard.”Beyond increasing the amount of funding available for needed violence prevention efforts, Get IN Chicago wished to use its financial heft to shape the very nature of the service system. It took on a coordinative and directing role that might otherwise have been played by the appropriate city or state agency:“Identify and support the expansion of proven programs to reduce violence and make the city safer.”“Coordinate and align these programs with existing public and community-based efforts.”“Monitor program implementation and measure actual performance to ensure improvements are sustainable.”The dangers this power holds were described by Beth Gazley in a recent NPQ feature: “They include a virtual Pandora’s box of potential ripple effects, including reduced public accountability and citizen access, less donor transparency, more-challenging power dynamics, and less-stable public services.”While the level of funding has been small, there are already indications that the foundation’s approach is raising concerns in the service community. As the Tribune reports, the paper obtained an internal memo from Evelyn Diaz, then-commissioner of the city’s Department of Family & Support Services, who served until recently on the Get IN board of directors. In this memo, Diaz claimed that Get IN “was not aligning its work with ongoing youth programs run by the city and other government agencies,” calling the results “a waste of time and effort.”Diaz went on to suggest to the other members of the board, “We need to leverage what’s out there and what is already being paid for and organized.” But the Tribune found that at least some of the organizations Get IN had tried to collaborate with were disturbed by the nature of the relationship:“In interviews, officials from nine nonprofit agencies criticized the way Get IN treated their organizations, with some calling its grant system disruptive to the families and youths they serve. Most spoke on condition that they not be identified because they feared upsetting the foundation’s politically connected leaders and further jeopardizing funding.”The lack of transparency for an effort that is filling a government-like role has already been demonstrated. “We have no obligation to share detailed financial and operating statistics with people broadly as it relates to how we spend our money. That’s true of all (private) foundations,” board member Wilson told the Tribune. Reynolds added, “The dollars spent on youth programs will accelerate in the next three years, and not a penny will be left in the bank after five years. When this money’s gone, hopefully we’ll go out for more, and do it again, and grow it.”Can the business leaders who guide Get IN Chicago learn the needed lessons from their beginning efforts and learn to collaborate more effectively? Or will we see growing tension between the vision of the boardroom and the realities of work on the streets?—Marty LevineShare12TweetShareEmail12 Shareslast_img read more

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Lynching in America Seeks to Spark National Conversation about Racial Injustice

first_imgShare30Tweet5Share18Email53 Shares“Black Lives Matter” by Phil RoederJune 25, 2017; Washington Post and North Star News TodayThe visibility of the problem of police violence against Black people has, over the last few years, been illuminated by grassroots organizing. These groups have spotlighted the fact that no cohesive government systems are in place to track the profiles of those who had been shot by law enforcement or the resolution of any measures taken against the shooters. This has since been remediated at least in part, as reported here, where a database started by the Washington Post reveals that black men were seven times as likely as whites to be killed by police gunfire. (Over the last few years, we have also run stories on the disproportionate shootings of people with disabilities and Native American people.) Thus, understanding and documenting race based violence against black people in this country becomes enormously important. Jonathan Capeheart, writing for the Post, reports that Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative had this to say:“The narrative of white supremacy, the narrative of racial difference that was used by people to legitimate and sustain slavery was not addressed by the 13th Amendment.” Stevenson said. Also, the communities that participated in lynchings never “had to feel shame about their history of lynching.” Because of that, lynchings went “indoors” after pressure finally succeeded in stopping such public displays of violence, Stevenson said. “They started trying people inside and they had the same kind of unreliable verdicts and the same kind of death sentencing and the same kind of abuse of people of color in the courtroom that existed outside the courthouse during the lynching era.”“The second thing is that, when you live in a country where this history has been unchallenged and where you don’t actually talk about it, the shame quotient remains pretty low,” Stevenson continued. “We can’t get to liberation without some acknowledgement of the wrong…until we do that, we’re gonna practice this denial tactic, this silence tactic, when young African Americans, who are unarmed, are shot and killed by the police.”A new, interactive search engine called “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Terrorism” seeks to spark a national conversation about our troubled history of racial injustice.The project, which is led by the Alabama-based nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in partnership with Google, seeks to “better understand the implications of our past for addressing the challenges of the present” in order to advance collective and equal justice. The site chronicles how lynching emerged as “a vicious tool of racial control to reestablish white supremacy and suppress black civil rights,” after slavery was abolished.The site contains videos, a high school lesson plan, and reports on an in-depth study by EJI that revealedBetween 1877 and 1950, 3,959 blacks were lynched in 12 Southern States, 800 more than previously reported. The states were Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.Attaching numbers and stories to the lynching of black men, women, and children throughout the United States humanizes the impact of this gruesome, racialized, social control technique.Toward the end of the life of Michel Foucault, leading philosopher on power, in the 1980s, he wrote about biopower, the literal control over the bodies of other(ed) people. In “Right of Death and Power over Life,” the last chapter of The Will to Knowledge, he wrote, “One of the characteristic privileges of sovereign power was the right to decide life and death.” It is the ultimate show of domination power.Rather than following linear progress, social change is spiral, which opponents seek to flatten into a circle by seeking to repeat the past. In these cases, the unapologetic use of extreme forms of power—direct power over life—reappear. As covered in a recent NPQ article on Google data, an analysis of U.S. Google searches in the U.S. during the last election found a high level of racial hatred that started during Obama’s presidency. An article in Northstar News Today via New America Media, describing the “Lynching in America” project, writes, “Recent discoveries of hangman’s nooses at or near the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., has shown that lynching blacks is still very much in the minds of many whites.”Nonprofits have our work cut out for us. In addition to defending basic rights and public services, there is also work to do at the level of stories and symbols. This project may help us by reminding us what our national shadow looks like, and how it can emerge at any time, murderous and unreasonable.—Cyndi SuarezShare30Tweet5Share18Email53 Shareslast_img read more

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More Attempts to Repeal Johnson Amendment Irk Nonprofits

first_imgShare67Tweet11Share36Email114 SharesJune 29, 2017; Cleveland Plain Dealer and PatheosYesterday’s markup of the 253-page FY2018 financial services bill by a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee was cause for nonprofit proponents of the Johnson Amendment to express continued opposition to changing existing tax law on political involvement by tax-exempt charities.NPQ has written about the so-called “Johnson Amendment,” the 1954 tax law provision that prohibits 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations from direct participation in partisan political campaigns. Repeal advocates believe that the law violates charities’ First Amendment free speech guarantees, and especially those of religious congregations, which are treated as 501(c)(3) public charities even though they are not required to apply to the IRS for federal tax exemption. NPQ believes the amendment is sound policy, protecting charities against charges of campaign partisanship. The Johnson Amendment denies candidates and donors the opportunity to obscure political donations by passing them through tax-exempt entities that do not have to disclose their donors publicly. Moreover, it denies donors the opportunity to claim a charitable deduction for political donations.A Wednesday press release from the House Appropriations Committee includes several bullet points about how the appropriations bill under consideration would make changes at the IRS. Those of most direct interest to nonprofits include:A prohibition on a proposed regulation related to political activities and the tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4) organizations. The proposed regulation could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of many nonprofit organizations and inhibit citizens from exercising their right to freedom of speech.A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs.A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights.A new prohibition on funds to determine church exemptions unless the IRS Commissioner has consented and Congress has been notified.Section 116 of the bill reads as follows:None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Internal Revenue Service to make a determination that a church, an integrated auxiliary of a church, or a convention or association of churches is not exempt from taxation for participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office unless(1) the Commissioner of Internal Revenue consents to such determination; (2) not later than 30 days after such determination, the Commissioner notifies the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate of such determination; and (3) such determination is effective with respect to the church, integrated auxiliary of a church, or convention or association of churches not earlier than 90 days after the date of the notification under paragraph (2).Tim Delaney, president and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, issued a statement objecting specifically to Section 116.Charitable nonprofits, including houses of worship, and foundations vigorously object to any and all efforts to weaken the protections in tax law that prevent politicians, their operatives, and donors from demanding political endorsements and campaign contributions.Delaney’s statement also linked to a letter sent to the House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee by 50 organizations and associations opposed to Johnson Amendment repeal as expressed in the appropriations bill. The letter pointed to the specific language in the bill singling out religious congregations. “By giving houses of worship special treatment in the enforcement of IRS restrictions on intervention in political campaigns, the amendment raises serious concerns under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and undermines religious freedom.”The marked-up bill will be combined with markups from the House Appropriations Committee’s 11 other subcommittees and scheduled for a committee vote in the near future. Now would be a perfect time to let your Congressional representative know how you and your nonprofit stand on Johnson Amendment repeal for religious organizations.—Michael WylandShare67Tweet11Share36Email114 Shareslast_img read more

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Fox Inernational Channels FIC has extended the r

first_imgFox Inernational Channels (FIC) has extended the responsibilities of its general manager for Spain, Pilar Jiménez, to cover Portugal.Jiménez, previously general manager, FIC spain, has been promoted to executive vice-president, Spain and Portugal, reporting to FIC Europe and Africa president Jesús Perezagua. In Portugal she will work alongside FIC’s country manager, Assunçcao Loureiro.Jiménez joined FIC in 2002 as FIC Spain’s ad sales director. She became general manager for Spain in 2009.“Pilar Jiménez has proven herself over many years at Fox International Channels, handling new challenges and new responsibilties with efficiency and professionalism. She is a tremendous asset to FIC, and I am confident she will excel in her new role”, said Perezagua.last_img

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French media regulator the CSA is considering eigh

first_imgFrench media regulator the CSA is considering eight candidates to head the country’s external media organisation the AEF, following the recent forced departure of president Alain de Pouzilhac.The candidates reportedly include former France Télévisions president Marc Tessier, current AEF strategy director Franck Melloul, former France 24 editorial director Jean Lesieur and former deputy CEO of the Institut national de l’audiovisuel (INA) Jean-Marc Bordes.French president François Hollande asked the CSA to handle the recruitment of a new president of the organisation, which groups together news channel France 24 and radio service RFI as part of a policy of transferring responsibility for recruiting public broadcasting executives away from the executive branch.last_img

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