Moldovan government proposes awareness-raising strategy on EU integration

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, December 31, 2007

File:MoldovaEU.jpg

This week the government of Moldova approved an awareness-raising strategy on Moldova’s integration into the European Union.

The strategy was proposed to the Government by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration; the Ministry has argued that Moldova’s citizens must be educated about the impact of the forthcoming European integration.

The draft strategy document states that Moldova does not currently have any organised system for distributing information about the European Union to its populace, and that the Government has failed to perform any targeting of information to specific demographic groups. Taking into consideration the priority placed on EU integration by the current government of Moldova, the strategy document suggests methods to improve the situation and proposes a mechanism to enable the Moldovan public to participate actively in the European integration process. It is intended that an integrated system for providing information on EU integration will provided by the Government as a result of this draft.

The new information provisions will include such projects relating to EU – Moldovan cooperation such as information centers, a free-of-charge phone line, a website, information bulletins, improvement of information held in public libraries, etc. The strategy also proposes the instruction of journalists, press officers, and functionaries working in the local public administration on the topic of EU integration.

Public tender will be invited to select the businesses that will supply key components of these projects, as the government lacks the resources needed to fully finance the implementation of the strategy from the current budget. The strategy was planned with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Eurasia Foundation.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Moldovan_government_proposes_awareness-raising_strategy_on_EU_integration&oldid=4590014”

Excellent Pediatric Services In Richmond Hill}

Category : Home Care Services

Excellent Pediatric Services in Richmond Hill

by

Angela Gluck

Some people can be president; some people know the best talent in the world- i.e Pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentist is those dentists who take care of the child from the birth to the adolescent. Kids are not the adults. They are the small creatures of this universe. Dental examination is the crucial task for the kids. They are not as patient and cooperative as the elder one. Many dental offices advertise themselves as family dental clinics but the Best kids dentist in Richmond Hill is kids dentistry. Service provided by the Pediatric dentist Richmond Hill is as follows:

The first service that is provided by the kids dentistry is infant oral health exams.

Another preventive treatments include cleaning and fluoride treatments.

Habit Counseling includes the usage of pacifier and thumb sucking.

The fourth highlighted treatment is striating of the teeth.

The five services include repairing of the tooth cavities and defects.

The next service involves diagnosis of oral condition with the various diseases.

Another is the management of the gum diseases.

The last service is to cure various dental injuries like fractured, displaced etc.

Those persons get the name or fame in the society, who has designed by the creator of the universe with unique qualities. There are number of profession in the society to earn money. But the only one, with service quality is Pediatric service. The main objective of pediatric doctors is to reduce the pain of the victim.

No company can grow without skilled and talented professionals. Kids dentistry is the best dentist for children in Richmond Hill because of professional talent it has. Various Pediatric dentists take care of the following requirements of the kids.

The Dentists make atmosphere according to the children needs: The atmosphere doesnt include only toys in the waiting room but make the whole office comfortable for the kid. The area must be child safe .so that child cannot get any harm from the equipments nearby.

The dentist must take care of the child size appliances. For example: Xray process can be made easier with child size movie.

The dentists use very polite language so that they become friends of the kids.

The dentists adjust with every type of the child like every girl is the princess of her father and boys love to talk on action things. The dentists handle them according to the psychology of the child.

The dentists in order to get trust of children before treatment give respect, care and patience to the children so that they will win in gaining trust from them.

When firstly goes to the pediatric dentist, one can go freely and tension free to the best dentist is Kids Dentistry Richmond Hill. There will be proper care of the child with the various facilities required to make ones child comfortable. For more detail visit at: http://kidsdentistrichmondhill.com/

Angela Gluck is an experienced content writer who has written various articles on Best dentist for children in Richmond Hill, Best kids dentist in Richmond Hill, Pediatric dentist Richmond Hill and much more. To read more about these articles you can click here:

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Wikinews interviews academic Simon Li?en about attitudes towards US Paralympics

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, November 16, 2013

File:Paralympics 2014 stamp 30 RUB.jpg

On Thursday, with 110 days until the start of the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, Wikinews interviewed Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership, Sport Studies and Educational/Counseling Psychology at Washington State University Simon Li?en about attitudes in United States towards the Paralympics.

Licen has recently joined the Sport Management Program at Washington State University to develop its sport media and communication research and teaching contents. Originally from Slovenia, he served as the Director of Media and Communications of a WTA Tour event and was a member of the UNESCO Slovenian National Commission. He was also the Team Manager of the Slovenian wheelchair basketball national team.

((Wikinews)) : Why do you think the Paralympic movement has so little visibility in the US compared to other countries like Australia, the United Kingdom and even Canada?

Simon Li?en: Sports in the United States largely reaffirm existing relations of power in society. It emphasizes consumerism, the belief that success always goes to people who merit it due to their abilities, dedication and qualifications, and reinforces, rather than changes, existing ideas related to gender, ethnicity and nationality. Paralympic sport brings attention to athletes who are typically overlooked in American society because the majority of the population does not want to identify with people who are disabled. Although disability is not contagious, interest in disabled sports might put into question the masculinity of the males following it. Disabled athletes also challenge existing relations of power by displaying dedication, hard work and perseverance in different contexts than those most sports fans are accustomed to.
Other countries, including the ones you mention, have stronger social orientations in all aspects of society. Even though legislative support may be less strong than the one provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, many social institutions including the media are more receptive to this form of diversity.

((WN)) : What do you think the impact will be for the Paralympic movement will be with the Games being televised live in the United States for first time?

Simon Li?en: The impact depends on a number of aspects. One of them is the channels that NBC as the broadcasting rights owner for the United States will use to air the Paralympic Games on. Will they be shown nationally or regionally, on NBC or on any of the company’s multiple cable networks? A second aspect is the parts or hours of the day the Paralympics will be shown. Remember that there is a nine-hour difference between Sochi and New York, and a 12-hour difference between Sochi and the US West Coast. So daytime events will be shown live in the United States in the middle of the night, and evening prime-time events will be shown — indeed live — in the morning U.S. time. So showing the Paralympics live on United States television might turn out to be less glamorous than it appears. A third important factor is the way the event will be mediated: will NBC have its best sports broadcasters following the event after having worked the Winter Olympics? Will they treat and announce the competitions as they do all others — for better and worse? Will they take it as an opportunity to educate viewers about disability and diversity while showing superb athletic performances without engaging in a discourse of pity? All in all, I think this is a terrific opportunity to improve sports coverage in a multitude of aspects; but we will have to wait until after the event to assess to what extent the broadcasters will meet these expectations.

((WN)) : What role should the media be playing in promoting the Paralympic Games? Why does the US media provide so little coverage of the Paralympics compared to other sports?

Simon Li?en: I don’t think the media should be promoting any sports event. I think the role of the media is to inform about the event and to cover it fairly. It is not just the Paralympic Games, or disable sports in general that yield very little media coverage; a recent study has shown that women’s sports only account for 1.3%–1.6% of televised news media. The situation improves considerably during the Olympic Games and prime-time Olympic coverage comes close to equal coverage of both men’s and women’s sport. Outside of that, however, U.S. media coverage is largely limited to the men’s four major leagues, college football and college basketball. Again, the media decide which sports to cover based on their perceived entertainment value and its potential of generating sponsor revenues. The Paralympic Games are complex to understand and its participants hard to identify with because there are less instances of dominating performances and long-standing rivalries, which are concepts that are understandable even to the casual fan.

((WN)) : What role does the fact that the Paralympics are about people with disability competing at sport play in the American public’s reception of the Paralympics?

Simon Li?en: I would speculate that the American public is largely indifferent to the event as it is currently represented in the media. The majority of people are oblivious of the Paralympic Games. They might greet an American medal winner as this would reaffirm the success, supremacy and tenacity of an American representative in a global field. In more general terms, however, the American public chooses to largely overlook disabled sports as the average able-bodied person likely does not want to be represented by, and thus identify with, a disabled person.

((WN)) : Is the fact the US Olympic Committee is the national Paralympic Committee a hinderance or help in the development of the Paralympic movement in the US?

Simon Li?en: In general terms, this is both an opportunity and a risk: it can activate its sizable financial, promotional and media influence to bring attention to the Paralympic movement, but at the same time might choose to push disabled sports to the side in order to accommodate influential sponsors. I am not familiar with the specific work done by the US Olympic Committee in terms of supporting, popularizing and expanding the Paralympic movement so I cannot speculate which way the actual work done by the USOC sways.

((WN)) : What conditions need to exist in the US for Paralympic athletes to get sponsorship similar to their Olympic counterparts?

Simon Li?en: Sport sponsorships are indeed strongly influenced by the media prominence of competing individuals. Individual disabled athletes have already been able to secure profitable sponsorship and endorsement contracts; perhaps the most notable example is Oscar Pistorius who was in this sense a true groundbreaker before falling off the pedestal due to his pending trial. This is even more true when one considers that not all Olympic athletes are able to secure profitable or even exaggerated contacts: an Olympic archery champion is less appealing than an Olympic champion javelin thrower, a female javelin thrower is less appealing than a male sprinter, and a Jamaican champion sprinter is less appealing than an American elite basketball player. Sporadic media appearances, such as those during the Paralympic fortnight, will hardly suffice to land disabled athletes major contracts; an athlete has to be in the constant media and popular spotlights to secure lucrative contracts. Until Paralympic athletes […] [are] able to achieve that kind of media presence, high sponsorships are likely to elude them.

((WN)) : Many countries provide federal money to support their Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Should the US consider this as a way of increasing visibility for the Paralympics, supporting increased opportunities for people with disabilities and increasing the US Paralympic medal count?

Simon Li?en: Focusing on the US medal count will successfully keep the Paralympic Games away from mainstream attention! A focus on the medal count as a means to establish supremacy is typical for American professional sports, and the Paralympics will never be able to beat the Olympic Games or the major leagues at their game. This is why the Paralympic Games should involve a different narrative.
Countries typically allocate governmental support to the more vulnerable groups in society because those who are strong can protect their interests through their vast financial and social means. In this sense, the United States should support participation in the Paralympic Games to promote adaptive sports in general and thus increase sports participation among people with disabilities. People with disabilities are among those who most benefit from participating in sports and physical activity due to their health and social advantage; however, they also have much fewer opportunities for sport participation and often require expensive adapted sports equipment. Public funds should contribute to their sport activity in general, and federal funding of Paralympic athletes could certainly provide an excellent example for local communities. Unfortunately, I fear that even the most progressive congresswomen and congressmen will be [reluctant] to increase that funding given the current federal budgetary situation.
Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_academic_Simon_Li?en_about_attitudes_towards_US_Paralympics&oldid=4635181”

New South Wales government announces ‘Bradfield’ as name for third city of Greater Sydney

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Yesterday, the state government of New South Wales (NSW), Australia announced “Bradfield” as the name for the planned third city in Greater Sydney.

Bradfield is located at west of City of Parramatta and Sydney, in vicinity of the then currently in construction Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport. The city is to be named in honour of John Bradfield, the engineer who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney rail line. The name came after a public consultation earlier last year.

In a press release on the New South Wales official website, Premier Gladys Berejiklian commented on the significance of the chosen name, “Bradfield was a renowned engineer who designed and oversaw the construction of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney’s original railway network”. “The name Bradfield is synonymous with delivering game-changing infrastructure and it sets the right tone for the area we have referred to as the ‘Aerotropolis Core’ until now”, Berejiklian added.

According to the announcement, the planned city area is more than 1 km2 (100 hectares) positioned to the north of the Bringelly suburb. In the official announcement, Premier Gladys Berejiklian wrote the city would be a “high-tech manufacturing and research hub” and it would create 200 thousand jobs. Premier Gladys Berejiklian clarified the scope of the planned city, saying “[t]his area will be transformed into a thriving city centre, home to advanced manufacturing, research, science and education and we want Bradfield to be as iconic as the existing major city centres of Sydney and Parramatta. […] What are paddocks now will be a thriving, bustling city centre offering the best job opportunities anywhere in Australia.”

Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres commented on the prior public consultation and the large community involvement, saying “The number of suggestions the community put forward to ‘Name the Place’ was overwhelming and we are thrilled with the level of participation and interest this project attracted. […] We thank everyone for having their say and want to assure the community the remaining suggestions will be considered as names for streets, parks and other landmarks in the new city centre. […] I look forward to Bradfield being the first name that people think of when starting a new job, creating a new business, learning a new skill and investing in NSW.”

Per a report from Sydney Metro published in June 2020, the Western Sydney International project of the airport and the metro is planned to be inaugurated in 2026.

With some comments on social media having indicated concerns over the hotter climate in the area, Wikinews has retrieved the mean maximum temperatures for the three areas — Sydney, Parramatta, and Badgerys Creek location — and has found arithmetic mean of annual of monthly mean maximum temperatures for these locations to be 23.13, 23.8 and 24.04° Celsius, according to the data from 1996 to 2020 from the Bureau of Meteorology.

According to official data from local authorities, City of Sydney was founded in 1842 and has an area of 26.15 km2; while Sydney was converted from a penal colony in the year of 1788. Parramatta was also founded in 1788, and has an area of 84 km2.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=New_South_Wales_government_announces_%27Bradfield%27_as_name_for_third_city_of_Greater_Sydney&oldid=4614635”

Employee Embezzlement: Detect And Deter

Category : Management Software

Employee Embezzlement: Detect and Deter

by

i-Sight Software

Kickbacks, payroll fraud, false reimbursement claims and the use of company credit cards and accounts for personal expenses are all issues of employee embezzlement. Employers are faced with these issues on an all-too-frequent basis. As employees try to become more creative with their embezzlement schemes, employers can fight back and put up internal “road blocks” to help deter employees from getting their hands on money that isn’t theirs.

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One of the harshest realities regarding employee embezzlement is that it’s usually conducted by employees who have gained significant levels of trust from their superiors. Embezzlers usually begin by taking small sums of money, and if they realize they have yet to be caught, can continue taking money for many years, equating to significant losses to your company. Signs of Embezzlement There are many different signs that signal the presence of embezzlement. Sometimes it’s can even be company policies and the roles and responsibilities outlined in employee job descriptions that make it easier for embezzlement to take place. According to the article ‘Embezzlement: Everything You Need to Know ‘ by Stephen Linker, organizational conditions that create an open door for embezzlement to occur include the inadequate segregation of duties, lack of employee training and understanding regarding company policies and the consequences for violating them, high turnover rates, failure to consistently enforce standards and policies or punish violators and operating in an environment that frequently acts in ‘crisis’ mode. Aside from the organizational conditions that increase the opportunity for embezzlement, you can also observe changes in employee habits and discrepancies in financial reporting and accounting statements to identify embezzlement. In the FindLaw.com article “Embezzlement Warning Signs”, they state that other key signs that point to the occurrence of embezzlement within the workplace include: – Untimely and unorganized financial statements and reports. – Unbalanced accounts, altered check amounts and the occurrence of duplicate payments. – Creation and payments made into false accounts that have matching addresses to that of an employee. – Unexplained losses of company funds. – Missing documents related to account, payments, etc. – Unexplained or unauthorized charges to company accounts. – An employee refuses to take vacation, works long hours. – Alterations in an employee’s lifestyle- high medical bills, divorce, gambling problems, living beyond means for salary level, etc. – Bank deposits delayed or made on an inconsistent schedule. Embezzlement Prevention There are a number of measures that employers can take to reduce the number of opportunities within the workplace that allow embezzlement to occur- the chance that you can prevent embezzlement altogether is a bit of a stretch. 1. The separation of duties and task rotation are some of the best measures an employer can use to reduce the opportunity for employee embezzlement. When rotating tasks, if an employee is guilty of embezzlement, chances are, they will protest and try to remain in control of any process that involves access to or the handling of money, so that another employee cannot uncover their scheme. 2. When creating job descriptions, outlining employee responsibilities, company codes of conduct and ethics, as well as any other workplace policies, conduct a risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities that may expose the company to embezzlement. Also identify pressures or tasks that could motivate an employee to turn to embezzlement, money handling procedures that do not require enough checks throughout the process, compliance with legal guidelines and any other weaknesses that increase the risk of embezzlement. 3. Another way to help detect and prevent embezzlement is through the use of internal reporting systems. Internal reporting systems allow employees to report any issues of observed misconduct or awareness of financial fraud that is occurring within the organization. Sarbanes-Oxley requires financial firms to have an anonymous reporting system in place, making employees more comfortable when reporting misconduct, since their name isn’t attached to the allegations. Internal hotlines and reporting systems are the number one tool for identifying misconduct within the workplace, as it is usually an employee’s peers who are aware of any forms of misconduct before they make their way up to top level executives to deal with. Solutions such as i-Sight Investigation Software make it easy for new cases to be documented and reported through a variety of intake channels. i-Sight is a customizable solution, designed to meet the unique needs of each individual company and has built in rules to maintain compliance with legal regulations throughout the investigation process. i-Sight uses alerts and centralized case information, making it easier to manage the investigation process from the time a new misconduct tip is received, through to the reporting stages and conclusion of the investigation. The article “Embezzlement Prevention and Detection” by Vincent Ruocco, LLC, CPA, advises management to conduct the following three steps when establishing policies to make embezzlement difficult for employees to conduct: – Adopt a policy of mandatory vacations and mandatory duty rotations. It is not uncommon for the embezzler to interfere with the customary workflow to effect the embezzlement. However, if your policies require the embezzler to give up control of his/her work, he/she will recognize that the fraudulent scheme might be more easily detected, and thus be detoured from committing the illegal act. – Don’t hire thieves. This means that if you intend to place an individual in a position of trust, you should conduct a background check. The typical background check involves employment and education verifications, reference checks, criminal conviction checks, drug screenings and a credit check. You may need the candidate’s consent prior to conducting some components of your background check, so you should seek the advice of a qualified attorney. – Conduct periodic surprise internal audits. These are most effective after identifying high risk areas and designing procedures to achieve the desired objectives. It is not uncommon for management to engage a qualified CPA to help them plan the audits and perform the procedures. It is important to note that simply knowing that the organization has a policy of conducting surprise internal audits can act as a deterrent to the would-be embezzler.

http://www.artcpas.com/Embezzlement%20Prevention%20and%20Detection.htm

http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/business-operations/accounting/accounting-embezzlement-signs.html http://www.envoynews.com/rwcpas/e_article000990340.cfm

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Employee Embezzlement: Detect and Deter


Wikinews interviews Stephen Murphy about the upcoming by-election in the Higgins electorate of the Australian parliament

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

With two by-elections coming up in Australia, many minor parties and independents will be looking to gain a seat in the House of Representatives. Stephen Murphy is one of the independents.

Mr Murphy is a computer programmer from the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick.

“After growing up in South-East Melbourne I studied Science at Monash with first class Honours, worked in Europe for 10 years and have recently returned to Australia. I work in finance as a computer programmer and speak five languages,” Mr Murphy said.

Wikinews reporter Patrick Gillett held an exclusive email interview with Mr Murphy, candidate for the Division of Higgins.

((WN)) Why do you want to get into parliament?

Stephen Murphy: I am standing up for what I believe is the correct course of action on the biggest issue in Australian politics in 100 years – Kevin Rudd’s flawed emissions trading scheme (ETS).

((WN)) What would the three main policies you are taking into this by-election be?

SM: I will oppose the emissions trading scheme, ensure that all government policy is based on accurate scientific evidence and return common sense to Canberra

((WN)) How would you address these policies?

SM: By asking for a Royal Commission into climate change so that the facts (such as that global warming stopped in 2001 and the emissions trading scheme will not change the climate one bit) are openly presented to the Australian people.

((WN)) Sending asylum seekers to Indonesia: good or bad?

SM: Any government policy that does not properly consider all implications (be it emissions trading, or any other issue) is a bad one.

((WN)) Is the Australian dollar’s near parity with the US dollar a sign that the Australian economy is healthy, the US economy in chaos or both?

SM: It’s a sign of both. Many countries around the world look with envy at how well (relatively) Australia is doing, to our credit! It is of concern that the American economy is in such bad shape and that their levels of debt seem unsustainable.

((WN)) How do you rate the governments economic stimulus package?

SM: The economic stimulus package was poorly targeted and poorly carried out. When we could have been building roads, dams, railways and hospitals yet instead we were paying for tattoos, PlayStations and overseas holidays.

((WN)) Should it be wound back?

SM: The question about levels of stimulus spending is a complicated one and requires expertise in economics, however one could say in general terms that all government spending should be well targeted and spent in the most efficient way.

((WN)) Is Kevin Rudd a better Prime Minister than John Howard?’

SM: Australian voters are the best judge of that and we will know in 2019 🙂

((WN)) Is the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme an effective solution to climate change? Why?

SM: Absolutely not. The CPRS will not change the climate by any amount that we can measure – it’s just a new tax that will hurt Australians and drive businesses and jobs overseas. Since 2003 there has been mountains of new scientific data which contradicts the popular theory that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing significant global warming. Recently, many of the scientists who wrote the IPCC report (on which the ETS / CPRS is based) have been reported as manipulating scientific data to create scary global warming scenarios. The science is definitely not settled

((WN)) Is there a better solution?

SM: We can very easily refocus the momentum and goodwill that has been generated on climate change and channel this energy into other worthwhile environmental projects in Australia that will make a difference.

((WN)) Why should the electorate vote for you?

SM: I will oppose the ETS and support responsible environmental policies instead of radical environmental policies that could end up costing every Australian taxpayer $4550 per year in new taxes.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_Stephen_Murphy_about_the_upcoming_by-election_in_the_Higgins_electorate_of_the_Australian_parliament&oldid=4567772”

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further

Category : Uncategorized

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “Old deeds threaten Buffalo, NY hotel development” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Buffalo, New York —The Common Council of Buffalo voted on Tuesday to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal “to committee for further discussion”, after citing the need for more public involvement.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a development proposal by the Savarino Construction Services Corporation, a project designed by the architect Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on the southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo.

To make way for the project, at least five buildings located at 1109 to 1121 Elmwood Ave would be demolished. At least two properties on Forest Avenue could also be demolished. The Elmwood properties, according to Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarion Construction, are “under contract”, but it is unclear if Savarino Construction actually owns the Elmwood properties. Hans Mobius, a former mayorial candidate, is still believed to be the current owner the properties. Mobius also owns 607 Forest Avenue.

The properties 605 and 607 Forest Avenue could also be included in the proposal according to Hassett.

“We would use a Special Development Plan to rezone 1119-1121 Elmwood and 605 Forest to a C-2 zoning category,” stated Hassett. It is possible that Savarino Construction may try to obtain a variance for 605 Forest, which would allow them to enforce eminent domain, should the hotel be allowed to go forward.

The building at 607 Forest was also discussed to be rezoned, but it is unclear what the plans would be for that property. During the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett stated that the properties 605 and 607 were “now off the agenda”.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood, owns the property at 605 Forest and attended Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“Having a hotel is a bright idea. We all love the idea of a hotel, but the way that it is presented, is wishful thinking. This hotel does not fit. It’s like putting two gallons of water in a gallon jug, it does not fit. At the last meeting, the architect admitted that they are planning to put the undergound parking lot and the hotel, right at the property line. If I open my window, I will be able to touch the wall, that goes fifty feet high”, said Georgiadis.

“There is a problem having a seventy-two room hotel and fifty-five parking spaces. That means that all the other cars will spill all over the neighborhood. The footprint is simply too small. If you have a bigger [parking] lot, and a smaller hotel, I will welcome a hotel. I have a parking lot at my own business, and I am chasing people all day long. Remember, the city says it has ‘zero tolerance [for illegal parking]’. Try telling that to the guy from Albany who came to see his kids, that are going to Buffalo State, who would get tickets totaling over a hundred dollars”, added Georgiadis.

The city’s Planning Board is scheduled to meet on March 14, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. about the proposal. Although a discussion will take place, no vote is expected to be taken.

At the moment, none of the properties are zoned for a hotel. Savarino Construction plans on asking for a C2 zoning permit. If that does not work, they plan to implement a new zoning plan called a “special development plan” which would allow for only a hotel on the site. That zone would not be able to be changed.

“This [project] justifies Mobius’s refusal to invest in any maitenance[sic] or improvements”, on the properties said Clarence Carnahan, a local resident. “Where were the Council persons over the years? Where were the city inspectors over the years, to make sure that he maintained and improved his properties? The government was supposed to be protecting, not being preditorial. I see a predatorial issue here when it comes to this hotel. Over the years: Why has the local government been disfunctional when it came to Mobius’s properties? Refusal to invest in improvements, doesn’t that sound like a slumlord? Maybe I am missing a point here, but what kind of messages does this send to other slumlords that havn’t[sic] been jailed or fined? It’s [the hotel] trying to be pushed through.”

Carnahan also presented signs for residents and or business owners who are opposed to the hotel, that could be placed in windows or on stakes in the yard. Some of the signs said, ‘No tell hotel’, ‘Hans off, no hotel’, ‘It takes more than a hotel to make a village’. and ‘Keep Elmwood free, no hotel’. Carnahan plans on making more signs for a protest to be held on Saturday March 18, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Elmwood and Forest. Some signs were given to individuals after the meeting.

“First things first, Hans is the problem, and I don’t think it has been addressed. Let’s roll back the clock on this project. What can we do with Hans? There is such thing as eminent domain, which could be of greater interest to the community, to seize the property at its lowest assessed value”, said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood. “There are so many ideas that have not been explored and we are about to give this parcel away, to a big developer.”

Mobius has not returned any calls by Wikinews regarding the situation.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews has obtained a letter, exclusively, addressed to one of the five business owners from Hans Mobius stating:

There is a proposal to develop my property which you are currently renting. Because of opposition to this development, it does not look like it will happen. I will let you know if there any changes.

Despite the letter, there have been no plans or decisions made to end the proposal.

To date, none of the business owners or residents of 1119-1121 Elmwood have received an eviction notice.

Business owners and residents gave an indication of what they would like to see happen at the corner; a project similar to one done locally last year. There, developers renovated two buildings on Auburn and Elmwood Avenues, merging the buildings into one thus allowing for more shop space. Among some of the shops to move in after the development were Cone Five Pottery, The Ruby Slipper, and Abraham’s Jewelers. Prior to the renovation work, the left building in the picture was boarded up for several years. Many of the concerned locals would like to see a similar development on Forest and Elmwood.

Rocco Termini, a developer in Buffalo, proposed a similar design at the February 28 community meeting

In an interview after the February 28 meeting, Termini stated, “I will be willing to take a look at this myself, or I would be more than happy to be partners with Sam, Sam Savarino”, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Savarino Construction Services Corp.

So far Savarino Construction has no plans to team up with Termini.

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Final bidder submits SGD5.5 billion plan for Singapore casino

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The third and last bidder for Singapore’s Sentosa Integrated Resort (IR) project, Eighth Wonder, submitted its development plan yesterday: a SGD 5.5 billion(USD 3.52 billion) eco-friendly casino known as “Harry’s Island”.

Harry’s Island will boast 10 luxury, family-oriented hotels, a tree house with family suites, and a 7,500-seat Caldera theater which will feature nightly spectacular shows.

Eighth Wonder says it wants to make Harry’s Island a world-class, must-see tourist destination and has roped-in several big names in its tender. If selected, the resort will have spas and health centers run by health guru Deepak Chopra, Vera Wang hotels with access to her entire wedding collection, and a soccer academy with Brazilian soccer icon Pele giving his input.

Harry’s Island will create around 15,000 jobs, including 5000 in the food and beverage industry.

The company believes it can recover its investments by 2015 by generating over $5.6 billion in five years; it hopes to bring nearly 15 million visitors annually by 2014.

The Sentosa IR project is the second of two IR tenders offered by the Singapore Government: the first was located in Marina Bay.

The Singapore government is expected to announce the winner in December.

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Incredible Halt At Rajasthan With Varanasi

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Submitted by: Erco Travels

India is a country which has uncountable tour opportunities and most varied culture and travelling options. Tourists from different part of world tend to attract themselves when they come across the travelling options of this beautiful country. Here they get worthwhile and fascinating travelling alternatives that they prefer touring to India as frequent as they can. In India, you can find various options to travel like huge mountains, enchanting lakes and springs, hill stations, churches, temples, wildlife sanctuaries, historical monuments etc. But if you want to experience the real royal and regal environment, you should visit the Rajasthan, a state with real royal ambience.

As the name suggests, Rajasthan is a Land of Kings. While travelling through India, one can not think of not visiting Rajasthan. You can visit Rajasthan for beautiful and enchanting palaces, huge and gigantic forts and havelis, alluring gardens, monuments, Thar Desert and the very famous camel safari.Wild Life is a place which attracts most of the travelers in India. This majestic land is full of unconquerable and splendid forts and palaces which are the most uncommon and unique quality of the state. Glowing Desert, golden sand, enchanting flora and fauna, amazing wildlife or National Parks ads on to the qualities of the place to make it a worth place to visit. Rajasthan is a beautiful land of rich and colorful culture and heritage. The different festivals of the state make its culture vibrant,colorful and bright. Each city of the state has one unique and important quality to make the state a complete travelling option.

Jaipur, known as pink city is the capital of Rajasthan. It has so many things to visit like Amber Palace; City Palace, Hawa Mahal etc. Udaipur is the city of lakes which is blessed by green hills and blue lakes. Jaisalmer is known as the golden city having various touring options. Rajasthan also has a hill station named as Mount Abu which is the only hill station in Rajasthan. All of these cities in Rajasthan are worth to visit. Apart from these cities, other cities in Rajasthan are rich in wildlife and exotic flora. Rajasthani cuisine is also a positive point of the state to experience.

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This tour can be more worth if you combine Rajasthan tour with Varanasi. Varanasi is situated on the bank of the holy river Ganges in the state Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi is also known as the city of temples. It is one of the most scared cities in India. There are numerous temples and ghats to be visited. These all are so very beautiful that one can lost in the enchantment here. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that if somebody has a bath three times on these scared ghats, he or she reach paradise after the death. One point which makes Varanasi so unique is that here the holy River Ganga flows in an upturned direction that is, in Southern east direction for a while.

Varanasi is not very far from Rajasthan. So, you should not miss the chance of being a witness to such a sacred place where you can have a blissful and amazing experience.Visiting varanasi Tour with Rajasthan is an incredible halt during your astounding tour to India.

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Rajsthan Tour with Varanasi to all the Tours and Travels destinations in Rajsthan.

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US Court of Appeals reduces sentence for former Philippines officer in spy case

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, February 9, 2009

Michael Ray Aquino, a former Philippines National Police officer serving six years imprisonment in McRae, Georgia for espionage could now be eligible for immediate release after a United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit judge panel Friday modified a United States District Court for the District of New Jersey‘s judgment, ordering a resentence of the accused under more lenient guidelines.

“I feel relieved for Michael Aquino and his family. We won the appeal. Michael will be resentenced. His new sentencing range will be 36-46 months (that is, essentially time served). Aquino has now served exactly 41 months in prison to the day on Feb. 9, 2009,” Aquino’s lawyer, Mark A. Berman, Esq. said. “The accused pleaded guilty to merely to possessing military secrets, and a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Walls erred in using harsher sentencing guideline reserved gathering or transmitting classified documents,” Berman added.

But Federal prosecutors had argued for Walls’ sentence, alleging “his guilty plea included acknowledging the stolen documents could have been used to harm the United States, making him eligible for the stiffer sentence,” Christopher J. Christie, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey submitted. “Crimes like these strike at the heart of our national security because they involve our keeping our secrets secret. These defendants will face the full weight of federal prosecution,” said US Attorney Christie.

“The arrests of Leandro Aragoncillo and Michael Ray Aquino affirm the FBI’s commitment to apprehending those who would seek to reveal classified information to foreign nationals,” explained FBI Special Agent in Charge Leslie Wiser Jr. Both accused were ordered in judicial custody without bail by United States Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz in September 2005.

“While Aragoncillo was an active participant in the offense, Aquino’s role was purely passive,” wrote Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry in a written opinion promulgated Friday, in “US v Aquino” (No. 07-3202), an appealed case originating from D.C. Crim. No. 05-cr-00719. In the judgment, federal judges Barry, Michael Chagares and Jane A Restani, Chief Judge of the United States Court of International Trade, sitting by designation, have acknowledged that Judge William H. Walls’ interpretation of the harsher sentencing guideline was understandable, but the statute is imprecise. “Accordingly, we will vacate the judgment of sentence and remand for resentencing,” the panel ruled.

“The Honorable Maryanne Barry” is a United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit judge, daughter of Mary MacLeod Trump, who hails from Tong, Western Isles. Barry is the older sister of real estate mogul Donald Trump and the mother of David Desmond, who is a neuropsychologist and the author of the satirical novel Oliver Booth.

The espionage case was the first of its kind, obliging the Court to turn to the dictionary instead as a legal tool to resolve the landmark case. Circuit Judge Barry then used the 1993 version of the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary to define the word “obtain.” The pertinent part, pages 9 to 10 of the 13-page decision provides as follows:

First, Aquino never admitted—at least in so many words—that he “obtained” the documents found in his possession. According to Webster’s, “to obtain” means “to gain or attain possession or disposal of usu[ally] by some planned action or method.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 1559 (1993). This has an active connotation. At his sentencing hearing, Aquino answered in the affirmative when asked whether he had “receiv[ed]” documents (App. 44) that Aragoncillo “was providing” (App. 45) or “transmit[ting]” (App. 46). At no point was “planned action or method” on Aquino’s part even suggested. While Aragoncillo was an active participant in the offense, Aquino’s role was purely passive. In short, there is no sound textual basis for selecting either § 2M3.2 or § 2M3.3 to address Aquino’s retention offense at Step One. Fortunately, at Step Two, the Sentencing Commission provided guidance that makes it functionally irrelevant whether we begin our analysis at § 2M3.2 or § 2M3.3. Critically, the District Court did not heed what the Commission had said.—”USA v. Michael Ray Aquino,” Case No. 07-3202, Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry

Judge Walls sentenced Aquino to 76 months imprisonment for violation of 18 United States Code 793(e), punishable under the harsher United States Sentencing Guidelines, 2M3.2, (Gathering National Defense Information, which imposes 35 years sentence if top secret and 30 years, if not) instead of the more lenient 2M3.3 (Transmitting National Defense Information, etc.)

Because of the Barry decision which modified the original Hall’s sentence, Aquino now faces 37 to 46 months imprisonment when he is resentenced by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Since he has already served 40 months, he could be immediately released.

But since he was initially arrested in September 2005 for tourist visa rules violations, he will be delivered by the judicial authorities to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services when he leaves McRae Correctional Institution in Georgia. Aquino will be processed for deportation. McRae is a city in Telfair County, Georgia, United States.

Michael Ray Aquino was a former Deputy Directory of the Philippines National Police Intelligence Group and former senior superintendent of the now-disbanded Philippines Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force under former Philippines president Joseph Estrada.

On November 24, 2000, PR man Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito were kidnapped along the corner Zobel Roxas Street in Manila and the South Super Highway by gunmen believed to be members of the PNP. Four days after, the victims’ charred remains, consisting of burnt bones, metal dental plates and a ring, were later found in Barangay Buna Lejos, Indang, Cavite. Both victims were killed by strangulation.

P/Col. Glenn Galapon Dumlao, one of the accused, named former Po/Supt. Cezar O. Mancao II and former S/Supt. Michael Ray Aquino as the brains behind the crime. Mancao and Aquino were members of Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force or PAOCTF, headed by then Gen. Panfilo Lacson. Suspects Mancao and Aquino left the country after being implicated in the heinous crime. Dumlao disappeared afterwards but later resurfaced in the US.

In 2005, murder cases were filed in Philippine courts and arrests warrants were issued against accused Dumlao, Aquino and Mancao. Dumlao, a resident of Patchogue, New York was arrested and held without bail on November 20, 2008 by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge William D. Wall. On December 10, Dumlao was ordered extradited to the Philippines by Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Long Island, New York.

The initial hearing of the extradition case of Dumlao’s co-accused, Mancao II, now detained in Florida, was held on December 3, in the US District Court in Southern Florida in Fort Lauderdale. Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez had requested the US Justice Department to extradite Mancao and Dumlao to face murder charges in the Philippines. An extradition hearing has yet to be initiated for Aquino, although, as trusted officer of then PNP chief, now senator, Panfilo Lacson, was also requested for extradition by the Philippine government to face trial for the Dacer-Corbito double murder.

“Sir, the other day Leandro ‘Lean’ Aragoncillo called me. … He wants to talk to you and give you some updates on the political situation in the country,” wrote Aquino in an e-mail of January 2005 to his former boss Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson. “I find all the information that you are sending me very useful. I hope you will continue sending more,” replied Sen. Lacson in an e-mail he allegedly sent in January 2005 to Aragoncillo. “By no means would you show this information. … I will be affected severely. Again, please protect the source – Me,” said Aragoncillo in an E-mail he allegedly sent in August 2005 to former Philippines President Joseph Estrada.

In March 2005, Aquino was arrested by immigration authorities for overstaying his visa. He contacted his friend, Leandro Aragoncillo, a Philippine-born civilian FBI Intelligence Analyst, who worked in the White House (between 1999 and 2002) as “administration chief” of the security detail assigned to the Vice President (Gore and then Cheney). However, Aragoncillo’s efforts on Aquino’s behalf eventually led to Aragoncillo being investigated by the FBI. In the course of that investigation, evidence of espionage against the United States Government was uncovered.

According to reports complied by Filipino intelligence professionals, there were indications of a link between Aragoncillo and the French intelligence service, Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure. Frequent visits by Aragoncillo to Manila allegedly were interspersed with clandestine meetings between identified, French operatives and several “illegals” (i.e. unregistered agents) around 2002 to 2004.

“What it means is that there is a hole in White House security. There are two kinds of people at the White House: Those that have been very well-vetted and those that have been extremely well-vetted and have access to the top secret computer network. This man had access to the top secret computer network.” said Richard A. Clarke, a former White House adviser.

“The FBI said Aragoncillo was concerned about e-mailing from his personal account so many classified documents from FBI computers, and he asked one recipient, Filipino opposition Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, whether he was a nuisance. “The reply, court records say, came back two days later in a cell phone message intercepted by the FBI: “What you are sending are never a nuisance to me. They are in fact informative and very useful,” Clark added.

In September 2005, Aragoncillo, a retired US Marine Gunnery Sergeant with 21 years service was suspended by the FBI, and arrested for violation of Title 18 of the US Code, Sections 371 and 951, admitting espionage activities from August 2000 to August 2005, and taking files while working under VP Cheney from 2001-2002, including giving information to another country.

In July 2007, Aragoncillo, age 50, a naturalized US citizen residing in Woodbury, New Jersey was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for “transferring classified information to assist in overthrow of Philippines government.” Aragoncillo, admitted passing information by cellphone text messages and e-mail messages through Hotmail and Yahoo accounts, to Aquino, former President Joseph Estrada, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and opposition politicians, who wanted to oust Mrs. Arroyo, including former House Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella, according to court documents. He will be released from Federal Correction Institute in Big Spring, Texas on May 28, 2014.

The court fined Aragoncillo $40,000. “I never intended to cause harm or injury to the United States,” Aragoncillo told the judge. In July 2007, Sen. Panfilo Lacson as well as deposed president Joseph Estrada have admitted to receiving information from Aquino, but they denied any conspiracy. “Aquino is determined not to return to the country,” said Sen. Lacson, who admitted extending financial support to Aquino and his family.

In July, 2008, Sabina and Carina Dacer, the daughters of missing public relations man Salvador “Bubby” Dacer testified at the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC), after almost eight years of self-exile in the United States. “In his exact words he said, ‘mga anak, kung may mangyari sa akin, walang ibang may kakagawan noon kundi si Ping Lacson, (my daughters, if anything happens to me, no one but Ping Lacson is responsible)” Sabina Dacer told ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs. “Hindi naman kilala ng daddy ko si Michael Ray Aquino as far as we know eh. So kung hindi siya kilala ng daddy ko, sino yung kilala niya na kilala ng daddy ko? (My dad does not know Michael Ray Aquino as far as we know. So, if my dad does not know him, whom does he know that my dad knows?)” Carina Dacer said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson has vehemently denied any involvement in the Dacer-Corbito murder case. “For the Nth time, I will assert the truth that I had nothing to do with it,” said Lacson in a text message. “They can lie and make people lie even under oath and before a court of law to make me look bad and guilty in the Dacer case. In fact, right after Dacer disappeared, the family sought my help… And I responded the way I should as a law enforcement officer at that time,” Lacson explained.

On Saturday, September 10, 2005, Aquino was also arrested at Queens, New Jersey and was charged with conspiracy and acting as an agent of a foreign official in the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, presided by U.S. District Judge William H. Walls. Aquino was accused of helping Aragoncillo transmit classified United States documents regarding President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to her opponents in the Philippines, including both former President Joseph Estrada and current opposition leader, Panfilo Lacson, who had been Aquino’s superior in the police force.

In an indictment of 6 Oct 2005 signed and filed by United States Attorney Christopher J. Christie, the Grand Jury sitting at Newark, New Jersey, accused Aquino with charges of – “knowingly communicating classified information by a government employee to an agent or representative of a foreign country (i.e. receiving classified information), acting as an agent of a foreign official without notification of the Attorney General, in violation of Title 18 of the US Code, Section 951, conspiracy to commit all of the above offenses in violation of Title 18 of the US Code, Section 371, and not cooperating with authorities, under Title 18 of the US Code, Section 2.

Under an eventual plea-bargain agreement, Aquino entered a plea of guilty to illegal possession of classified documents, but avoided the more serious charge of espionage which Aragoncillo received. On July 17, 2007, Aquino was sentenced to six years and four months in prison by U.S. District Judge William H. Walls. Federal prosecutors had sought the maximum 10-year term.

Aquino “did subject our nation to some peril,” ruled Judge Walls. “I am sorry for what I did. I never had the intention to harm the United States. I love this country,” said Aquino who addressed the court for three minutes before sentencing, and apologized. On November 21, 2008 his reduced sentence request was submitted to the appellate court.

Meantime, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is monitoring developments in the Aquino espionage case. “Of course we are interested in his case, but all we can do is to wait for the outcome of the case of Michael Ray in the US,” said a police official.

The Alliance for A Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines has criticized the judgment: “For the AJLPP the news of the release proves that the charade of injustice is ever present when it comes to the cabal of AFP men who served as worst human rights violator and proven puppets of the United States military like the Lacson boys,” the AJLPP said. “On the other cases of oppressed immigrants like the Baoanan case languishes in courts and not acted upon. So much for double standard of American justice system.” The AJLPP statement concluded.

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