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National Payment System Bill passed after contentious debate

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first_img– Opposition worries about excessive BoG powers, weak ICT sectorMuch contention attended the National Payment System Bill when it was introduced to the National Assembly for a second reading, and eventually passed on Friday. Before that could happen, several Opposition Members of Parliament expressed worry over several sections.At first, Opposition Parliamentarian Juan Edghill noted the potential of the bill, which was initiated by the former Government. In fact, he questioned why Business Minister Dominic Gaskin did not speak on provisions in the bill; provisions that would allow non-traditional sectors to do business on a wider scale.“When I read the bill, I thought about how good this is for us in terms of bringing about the necessary convenience in doing business, paying bills, settling issues… this bill provides a great opportunity for Guyana. The community that makes its hammocks in the Rupununi can now advertise on the web, can sell and receive payments in this modern architecture. The person in the Pomeroon selling coconut water can sell their product. This bill provides access to markets way beyond…Guyana,” Edghill said.“While I’m speaking about the good of the bill, there is still some worry,” he continued. “And I hope that the Minister of Finance will address the fact that a sugar worker getting a pension will no longer get that pension paid (in) cash, but will be forced to open a bank account. And what is even more troubling (is that) they are told which bank to go to,” Edghill declared.Pointing to Section 4 (2) of the bill, where the Bank of Guyana is cited as both a regulator and a participant, Edghill, former Minister within the Ministry of Finance, also pointed out Clause Six of the bill, and suggested that the National Regulator should have consumer representatives to ensure the interests of consumers are safeguarded.“So the Bank of Guyana is the regulator, which is excellent and needed to manage the system. But the bank then moves from being a regulator to an operator. We need a regulator; there will be excessive tariffs, there will be inadequate services and quality assurance… But why would the bank want to be an operator? The Bank of Guyana will be regulating itself; and that, as it relates to competition, creates some concern,” Edghill forewarned.He also expressed concern over Clause 18 (2) of the bill, which allows the regulator to enter the premises of someone suspected of operating without a licence and carry out searches, as he urged the inclusion of stipulations that such searches can only be carried out after a warrant has been obtained.ConsultationsDuring his presentation, Finance Minister Winston Jordan was adamant that thorough consultations had been carried out with relevant stakeholders. He explained that a World Bank team had “met with various departments of the Bank of Guyana, two commercial banks, the Guyana Securities Council, the Guyana Post Office, Global Money Guyana, the Accountant General’s Office and the National Insurance Scheme.”In stressing the need for the bill, Jordan noted that there have been dire consequences attending the continued use of cash payments and physical interactions…including heightened criminal activities. Then he cited the changes the bill would bring to the financial landscape.Other jurisdictionsJordan had also cited examples of other jurisdictions, for instance in Jamaica, where he noted that the Bank of Jamaica has oversight of the payment system there. This includes ensuring financial institutions adhere to the rules and regulations.Jordan noted that a National Payment System Act was also implemented in Belize with technical assistance from the World Bank.But Edghill, in his presentation, had something to say about this. Edghill noted the importance of being cognizant of the local context.Meanwhile, Opposition Member of Parliament Nigel Dharamlall had harsh words for the environment in which the bill is being introduced — such as the crime situation.Dharamlall raised a number of considerations, including how Government would ensure the participation of hinterland residents in the national payment system. Those persons, he noted, will be hampered by both location and ineffective ICT facilities.DefenceMinister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, defended the bill in his presentation. For instance, Sharma noted, the Central Bank cannot revoke licences in a “willy-nilly” manner, but persons with grievances would instead be given time to defend their licences.Upon his return to close the debate, Jordan made it clear he is not afraid that sugar workers would not be able to use a bank account, or even open one. According to Jordan, there is always a resistance to change when modernity and reform is at stake. He recalled that there was once resistance to implementing ATM machines, but this is now widespread.Besides urging that the general public be educated about the new system, none of the Opposition entreaties found sympathetic ears on the Government side. The bill was eventually passed without any amendment.A National Payment System (NPS) is an infrastructure that provides the economy with information communication technology (ICT) options for processing payments resulting from the many different types of economic transactions that take place daily. In other word, this includes e-payments, credit cards, and wire transfers.The Bank of Guyana (BoG) was tasked with leading the development and implementation of a strategic approach to advance the development of Guyana’s NPS, by establishing the parameters to guide policy and set priorities.last_img read more

China concerned over robberies of Chinese businesses in Guyana

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first_img…Ambassador meets Top Cop, MinisterAmbassador of the People’s Republic of China, Cui Jianchun, on Friday raised his concern over the high number of Chinese stores being robbed and burglarised as he met with Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and the Commissioner of Police Leslie James, to discuss security issues related to the Chinese community.In a statement issued on Friday, the Public Security Ministry highlighted these concerns even as it acknowledged that a “number of Chinese business places have been burgled, with property stolen, sometimes under circumstances of violence.”This, the Ministry said, has led the Chinese business community to feel that it is aTop Cop Leslie Jamestargeted group. However, Ramjattan is contending that this is a misperception.In dismissing the concerns of the Chinese Ambassador, Ramjattan and James assured that crime statistics and the motives of those caught does not suggest such profiling.In fact, the Ministry said those “who are victims are generally as a result of opportunistic criminals who prey on those who may have been unalert and vulnerable.”The two, who met with Ambassador Jianchun, nevertheless assured that every effort is being made to ensure additional Police patrols are prominently positioned in the commercial areas of the City and other communities which will deter criminal activities across the board.The Ambassador further agreed that a meeting with the Chinese businessPublic Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattancommunity should be held as early as possible so that a number of concerns and questions can be directly answered.During Friday’s meeting, the parties also discussed the Smart City project, which will be funded by a loan from China. In addition, discussions were forged on the China-Caribbean Countries Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Conference held in Grenada recently. Ramjattan seized the opportunity on Friday to thank the Ambassador for the numerous contributions the country has made to the Force, which include providing assets and training for its ranks.Only recently, three armed males pounced on the owner of the Real ValueChina’s Ambassador to Guyana, Cui JianchunSupermarket located at Lot 246 Church and Thomas Streets, Georgetown and relieved the Chinese businessman of a significant amount of foreign and local currencies among other valuables.Some weeks ago, three armed bandits were caught after they broke into a Chinese supermarket at Grove, East Bank Demerara.Meanwhile, on Tuesday the Guyana Police Force said it recorded a whopping 23 per cent increase (37 against 30 cases last year in the same period) in robberies. According to the Force, no instruments were used by perpetrators while a one per cent hike (405 against 402 cases) in armed robberies where firearms were used was recoded. It stated that robberies with violence saw a five per cent increase (104 against 99 cases), while burglaries went up by four per cent (142 against 136 cases).last_img read more

Local non-profits get gaming grants

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first_imgListed below are the Non-Profit Organizations in Fort St. John and the amount of money they will receive through the grants.North Peace Ride for the Disabled: Additional 3 month funding of $1,250.00Fort St. John Literacy Society: Additional 3 month funding of $1,313.00Order of the Eastern Star-Alcan Chpt #91: Additional funding of $1,457.00Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks #288: Additional funding of $1,604.00North Peace Mental Health Society: Additional funding of $3,750.00Fort St. John Assoc. for Community Living: Additional funding of $4,750.00Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society: Additional funding of $5,000.00Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Fort St. John: Additional funding of $6,750.00Totem Nursery Preschool Society: Child Care programs of $7,312.00Child Dev. Centre Society of Fort St. John and District: Additional funding of $8,125.00North Peace Cultural Society: Additional funding $8,250.00North Peace Out-of-School Child Care Society: Child Care Programs $22,500.00 Non-profit organizations in Fort St. John have received funding from community gaming grants, totaling almost $80,000.The grants will go to support 13 human and social service community organizations within the city and is part of a $33 million payment to thousands of non-profit organizations around the province. According to the B.C. Government, the province continually looks for ways to support families within B.C. and the human social sector. This includes the distribution of unallocated funds where they are needed most. – Advertisement -According to Communications Officer Ryan Shotton, these “bonus” grants, awarded from unallocated funds, help provide these organizations with extra funding in between regularly scheduled grants, which usually are granted twice a year. Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm, says “the people of Fort St. John depends on the services provided by these groups. This funding will help these organizations continue to deliver valuable programs in the community. Along with the gaming grants, daycares will receive $2 million from unallocated funds, bringing their grants for this year up to the same level received last year. Advertisementlast_img read more

Unearthing local history

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first_img“(They) were very compassionate to our needs of finding more around the area where we found the metate,” he said. Work resumed the next day. Monitors such as Guzman-Folkes, 43, help identify historically significant areas and protect discoveries from harm. They represent tribal interests and serve as liaisons among tribes, the city and developers. Guzman-Folkes has been on hand since October and could remain for five months more. The general area was found to be rich in cultural resources when Caltrans built a junction years ago. Remains of 34 ancestral tribe members were found within in a half-mile radius of the project site. Tribal administrator Rudy Ortega Jr. said similar bowls were packed for travels from village to village. Native villages dotted outposts such as Sumo, Camulos, Piru, Castaic, the downtown Newhall area and Towsley Canyon. Newhall Land is hands-off with the finds, he said. “The ownership of the land is (theirs) but since they’re artifacts of our ancestors they (agreed) they should rightfully belong to the tribe,” Ortega said. Earlier, grinding stones and arrowhead fragments likely used by members of the Tataviam hundreds of years ago were found adjacent to where the extension of Newhall Ranch Road will be built. They were spotted by an archaeologist hired by Newhall Land to survey the area where its 1,089-home River Village development was planned, at the eastern end of Newhall Ranch Road north of the Santa Clara River. Significant artifacts were found in two areas. The lower of the two sites will be preserved in perpetuity and artifacts were collected from the upper site, a terrace above the riverbed. The surveyed area made up fewer than 10 acres of the 695-acre site. Of the recent discovery, Ortega said: “It takes us back. Everyone in our tribal government was very excited – it gives us our connection to our ancestors.” They may have more connections in the next 20 years as Newhall Land develops Newhall Ranch, a 21,000-home project west of Valencia and stretching to the Ventura County line. judy.orourke@dailynews.com (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Tataviam inhabited the Santa Clarita Valley hundreds, and possibly thousands, of years ago. Some groups lived in the area year around. They hunted small animals and gathered yucca, acorns and berries. Metates were used for milling and grinding acorns. Guzman-Folkes has been on the premises since October and could remain for months more as the Newhall Land and Farming Company erects the center on a parcel near state Route 126, adjacent to Interstate 5. Dirt has been redistributed by dozers and flooding over time. Unlike archaeological digs, which tie items to a fixed plot of land, the bowl may have migrated from points unknown. It was found March 26. Earth-moving ceased for two hours after it emerged as workers searched for more items – including a pestle that would have partnered with the bowl – but none was found. Guzman-Folkes praised efforts made by Concord, Calif.-based Independent Construction Co., particularly foreman Kit Sauer. VALENCIA – As earthmovers flatten land near town for a new commerce center, they’ve unearthed a relic of the past: a stone bowl used by indigenous peoples for grinding food. The bowl – called a metate – was found under the watchful eye of a tribe member standing guard as the land near Castaic Junction is graded. “You can’t stop development … that’s why it’s important for us to be the protectors and caretakers of our land,” said Randy Guzman-Folkes, cultural and environmental director for the Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. “The Tataviam people consider this a shrine area, that’s why we take caution with cultural resources.” The artifact measures 10 inches in diameter. Tests will be performed to determine its age. last_img read more

DDTV: WATCH INCREDIBLE VIDEO OF LIGHTNING STORM WHICH STRUCK DONEGAL

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first_imgDDTV: Simply click play on the video above to watch the incredible footage of the lightning storm that lit up the Donegal skyline.We’ve already shared some amazing images of the lightning storm across our social media platforms over the last number of days. The lightning storm effected the entire county and many homes were left without electricity following the freak storm which lasted on and off for hours.This incredible video was made by Noel Keating and captures the lightning storm in all its glory in Ballintra just outside Donegal Town.Simply click to play to watch the video.DDTV: WATCH INCREDIBLE VIDEO OF LIGHTNING STORM WHICH STRUCK DONEGAL was last modified: January 15th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:BallintraDDTVdonegalFeatureslightning stormnewslast_img read more

GARDAI BLITZ ON REVENUE-DODGING DONEGAL DRIVERS

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first_imgGARDAI have launched a blitz on drivers without tax, NCT and insurance across the county, donegaldaily.com can reveal.They were out in force yesterday in many towns – but particularly in Letterkenny.The operation is ongoing, say sources, but part of a new drive to put illegal vehicles off the road. “No doubt there will be usual complaints from the usual suspects,” said one garda source.“But the fact is that there are a large number of vehicles being driven illegally across the county and they are a danger to those motorists who do tax and insure their vehicles.“If a legitimate motorist is in a collision with one that isn’t, it is the legitimate motorist who ends up suffering.”It’s the latest clampdown on illegal motoring in the county following a large number of Revenue-led checkpoints looking for illegal diesel in recent weeks. The costs of motoring continue to soar, forcing many drivers to skip NCT and tax payments.GARDAI BLITZ ON REVENUE-DODGING DONEGAL DRIVERS was last modified: September 15th, 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)last_img read more

Beating hunger with the ‘Miracle Tree’

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first_img1 September 2010South Africa’s 2010 Female Entrepreneur of the Year, Mavis Mathabatha, heads up a community project to cultivate the Moringa or “Miracle Tree”, the leaves of which have astounding nutritional properties.The Lammangata Moringa project, based in Tooseng village in the Ga-Mphahlele region of Limpopo province, produces and packages up to 10 000 tons a year of all-natural Moringa Leaf Powder.The project was launched in March 2009 by community-based organisation Sedikong sa Lerato in partnership with charity organisation Starfish Greathearts Foundation.The leaves of Moringa oleifera are loaded with essential nutrients, far surpassing the vitamin and mineral content of carrots, spinach, bananas and oranges combined. They also contain more protein and calcium than milk, plus all nine essential amino acids.The Moringa tree is easily cultivated in semi-arid areas, grows quickly, and is not invasive.The project, which employs 12 women and five men, also offers Moringa seedlings and education on nutrition, at no cost, to rural communities in the province. In 2009, they disseminated over 500 seedlings to rural households and child-care projects in the area, and brought nutrition education and Moringa awareness to more than 1 000 people.“I want to make an impact in my area, province and across the country through this project,” said Mathabatha, who walked away with the top award and R365 000 in prize money at the Female Entrepreneur of the Year awards ceremony in the Eastern Cape on the weekend.Mathabatha was the founder of Sedikong sa Lerato, which aims to alleviate hunger and poverty and promote healthy living and a strong sense of self for the orphans and vulnerable children of Tooseng.According to Mathabatha, using Moringa tree products has reduced malnutrition among over 350 children supported by the organisation.“Before we started, malnutrition was very prevalent,” she says on the Starfish Greathearts Foundation website. “But since we’ve started adding Moringa to the children’s food, we have seen remarkable results – the children no longer suffer from malnutrition.”Speaking after the award ceremony on the weekend, Mathabatha said a 25-hectare Moringa plantation had recently been planned. “This will drastically increase the production and sales of Moringa Leaf Powder, and proceeds from leaf powder sales will generate income to support our child-care initiatives,” she said.SAinfo reporter and BuaNewslast_img read more

5 Cloud Startups to Watch in 2011 # 4: RethinkDB

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first_imgRelated Posts klint finley As 2010 draws to a close we’re taking a look at a few cloud startups that show promise and that we haven’t covered on ReadWriteCloud.RethinkDB is a MySQL data store optimized for solid state drives. Solid-state drives do away with moving parts and are extremely low-latency. Most database stores are designed for traditional hard drives and assume relatively high-latency. RethinkDB aims to allow database developers to take full advantage of the performance benefits of solid-state drives.RethinkDB features:Append-only algorithmsLock-free concurrencyLive schema changesInstantaneousness recovery from power failureSimple replicationHot backupsFrom cloud-based databases to NoSQL, developers are looking for new ways to manage the deluge of data they must now manage. RethinkDB is doing some important work towards building the database of the future.RethinkDB is based in Mountain View, CA and received seed funding from Y Combinator in 2009. It’s other investors include Highland Capital Partners, Avalon Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and Charles River Ventures. Tags:#cloud#Vendors Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Microsoft Is Trying To Build – And Sell – A Kinder, Gentler Windows 8

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first_imgRelated Posts How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Several times during our visit my wife and I were approached by a salesperson offering to answer any questions – and one specifically offered more information about Windows 8. When we wandered back into the rear aisles with the older, cheaper, non-touch Windows notebooks, however, no one followed. Unfortunately, there were about four or five rows of these older PCs versus just two specifically dedicated to Windows 8.(For comparison, at Best Buy a week earlier, I found an aisle of rather lonely Windows 8 machines sitting by themselves, with Microsoft promotional materials but little sales support.) Is This A Mea Culpa From Microsoft?What matters here is that Microsoft finally seems willing to listen to its customers, to work with them to craft an experience that’s both productive and entertaining. And yes, when the occasion calls for it, help them over the purchasing hump. To be honest, though, after looking at them, my wife didn’t really want a Windows 8 machine. She seemed to like the Start screen, and swiping back and forth, but she didn’t really grasp how to launch a program within the Start screen by typing its name, nor how to how to enable the Charms by swiping in – or even what they were used for. Microsoft and the PC industry now seem to feel that the solution to the Windows 8 problem is a little hand-holding, and making sure everyone feels comfortable. That’s the right approach, let’s hope the coming changes to Windows and renewed emphasis on helping customers upgrade hasn’t arrived too late. Tags:#Microsoft#Windows 8 markhachman Last weekend, the busiest spot at Fry’s Electronics in Concord, Calif., was the notebook PC aisle, where eager salespeople buzzed about from customer to customer, eager to show off Windows 8. It appears that this new, kinder, gentler approach to selling Windows 8 is part of a larger Microsoft strategy that involves both altering the software itself and improving the retail experience. Changes Coming For Windows 8In a Wall Street Journal blog post earlier this week, Windows marketing chief Tami Reller described how Microsoft is working to overcome the perception that Windows 8 is frustrating and difficult to use – and said the company is working to both make Windows 8 easier to use and to better explain to shoppers the new operating system’s benefits and how to take advantage of them:Without offering many details yet, Ms. Reller outlined how Microsoft is working on changing software features, helping people overcome obstacles to learning the revamped software, altering the shopping experience for consumers, getting more of people’s favorite apps available for Windows 8 and making sure a wider array of Windows 8 computing devices will be on sale.The Journal also said Reller confirmed that Windows Blue is “both the codename for a coming update to Windows 8 – with additional features and improved services – as well as a name for a broader strategy shift to provide faster changes to its key software.” Significantly, Reller also promised a Windows Blue update “before late June” that would address user complaints about Windows 8.How Is Windows 8 Selling?Reller’s six-month update also revealed that Microsoft claims to have sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses, and that 250 million apps have been downloaded from the Windows Store in the same period, surpassing what Apple’s iOS store accomplished during the same period. The number of apps within the Store has grown six times since launch, Reller said, and almost 90% of the company’s app catalog has been downloaded each month.Bob O’Donnell, an IDC analyst whose firm has blamed Microsoft for holding the PC industry back, told Bloomberg that he didn’t understand where Microsoft was getting its numbers, given that his sources at the PC were telling a different, less optimistic, story. Changing Perceptions Of Windows 8?Whatever the numbers, the first small signs of the push to change perceptions bout Windows 8 were visible at Fry’s:Placards that refer to the “familiar” Windows 8 desktop experienceShifting the older, cheaper non-touch laptops away from the main floorThe constant attention from sales staff.That last bit is a big deal: Fry’s is known for its sprawling stores and massive selection, but customer service and friend salespeople traditionally haven’t been its strengths. center_img My wife and I were doing a bit of showrooming to find a touch-based Windows 8 notebook for the house. Fry’s Concord location boasted five or six aisles of notebooks. Each PC boasted two placards: one touting the benefits of a Fry’s card or financing, and one that promoted an Office discount. Microsoft’s card also highlighted ow to learn more about the PC, how to get to the “familiar” desktop, and how to “go back to Start.” Clearly, Microsoft does recognize that using Windows 8 isn’t as natural as it originally claimed, and is trying to help. Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more

IPL 2011: IPL seeks teams’ opinion on unsold capped Indian cricketers

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first_imgEven as no teams bid for former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly during the auction held earlier this month, he might still get to feature in the fourth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL).Sourav GangulyThe IPL governing council has written to all 10 franchises asking if they have any objection signing Indian players who went unsold in the auction.The governing council letter specifically mentioned Ganguly as one of the players whom some franchises want to hire. Wasim Jaffer and V.R.V. Singh were two other international Indian cricketers who too remained unsold in the players’ auction.The IPL rules presently do not permit unsold players to be signed after the auction.Reports had earlier suggested that Kochi IPL had shown interest in signing Ganguly and contacted the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seeking its permission.The franchises have been asked to respond to the letter by February 3. The BCCI is expected to decide on the matter during the IPL governing council meeting on February 4.last_img read more