Ramnarine bashes reckless behaviour of Police on roadways

first_img…says $2.3M in damages to vehicles being repaid by ranksRanks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) who have found themselves involved in vehicular accidents, whether in their personal vehicles or in the Force’s vehicles, were at the receiving end of a verbal bashing by acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine.Addressing senior and junior ranks as well as stakeholders at the Force’s 179th Anniversary Awards Ceremony on Wednesday morning, Ramnarine reminded members of the Force that road regulations are applicable to all road users, while admonishing those ranks who have been involved in vehicular accidents.He pointed out that from July 2016 to June 2017, eighteen members of the Force were involved in various category of accidents while driving GPF vehicles. This compares to an increase of 23 ranks involved in accidents during the period July 2017 to June 2018.“A total of 41 ranks, including seven subordinate officers and 34 constables [were fingered in these accidents]. Add this to another 18 ranks over the two years’ period being involved in various accidents while driving private vehicles. The occurrences cannot be ones that we are satisfied with. We have taken an oath, we are here in uniforms, we have higher learning and training; and therefore we must conduct ourselves a lot better than we do,” the acting top cop asserted.According to Ramnarine, those ranks who fail to better conduct themselves on the roadways will face the same fate as those who have been made to pay over $2.3 million for damaging the Force’s vehicle thus far this year.“They are being made to repay for the costs of those damages. Some 10 ranks have already completed payment, and the others have some more time to pay.Police Commissioner (ag) David RamnarineThat is the position we have to enforce,” Ramnarine posited.The acting Top Cop is accordingly urging ranks to be more responsible on the roadways while executing their duties.“We have permitted [speeding] in only emergency situations and in situations where, for example, you’re fired upon and there is great danger to public safety if you don’t take a certain course of action. But in normal circumstances — for instance following a motor cycle without a number plate; the motorcyclist got away, you didn’t get the motorcycle, but you end up slamming into a civilian vehicle, damaging beyond repair a Police vehicle; and for what? For a minor offence? Please use your judgement, or you will have to pay as others have started to pay. This is the position,” he outlined.Further, Ramnarine went on to say that the Force will no longer tolerate such reprehensible and disrespectful behaviour from ranks who continue to breach road rules and traffic regulations.“We cannot move forward in the same way… Of course the leadership of the Force has not feigned or neglected to take condign action, but the reality of this prior unacceptable situation is that, at this juncture of our 179th anniversary, let us assure that there is significant positive improvement and set the example by good private and public conduct regarding the use of the road and adherence to the regulations that are attached,” the acting Top Cop encouraged. Complaints downA crashed Police vehicleEven as Ramnarine reprimanded ranks for their conduct on the roadways, he revealed that general complaints against members of the Police Force has significantly declined over the last two years. In fact, he said, there was a 39.5 per cent decrease in complaints against ranks over the past year when compared to the previous corresponding period.“There were 394 complaints between July 2016 and June 2017; and between July 2017 and June 2018, we have 283 complaints. Additionally, for the first half of this year, against that of last year, we record a 50 per cent decrease in complaints with 140 complaints this year for the first six months, against 280 for the first six months last year,” the acting Police Commissioner disclosed.The nature of the complaints that have been reduced against members of the Force include neglect of duty, Police harassment, assaults, wrongful arrests, corrupt practices, sexual harassment, and fraudulent conversion.According to the Ramnarine, the decline in complaints has been found to be as a result of a number of factors.“A preliminary analysis suggests that improved and increased supervision, swift and condign action by senior leadership of the Force, severe punishment, support through speedy and timely legal advice, and some degree of reluctance on the part of complainants are the main reasons for this significant decline in complaints,” he stated.However, while these complaints have declined, the offence of ‘Acts in a manner likely to bring discredit on the reputation of the Force’ has shown an increase of 30 per cent, with a total of 56 complaints against 39 over the two-year comparable period.Nevertheless, the acting Police Commissioner posited that various efforts are afoot to build much needed professionalism as well as capacity and capability within the country’s premier law enforcement agency.These include consistent training under various local and overseas-sponsored initiatives, such as the Canada-funded Justice Education Society (JES) programme, as well as ongoing efforts under the Security Sector Reform Project (SSRP), being executed by the British Government. (Vahnu Manikchand)last_img read more

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HSU women dig early hole, rally late but lose to East Bay

first_imgArcata >> The Humboldt State women’s basketball team showed flashes of what they could be on Friday against Cal State East Bay. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t show it consistently enough.HSU, which fell behind by as much as 25 points in the game, mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback but it was too little, too late as they fell to the Pioneers, 79-71, Friday at Lumberjack Arena.“It’s been about four or five games now where we dug ourselves a whole and had to fight like cats and dogs …last_img read more

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Biometric cards to beat social grant fraud

first_img14 June 2012South Africa has begun rolling out a new biometric card to social grant beneficiaries that will cut down on fraud and corruption in the country’s grants system, improve on the delivery of grants, and reduce the costs involved in making payouts.Between June and December, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will hand out the new, branded, biometric magstripe cards to grant holders, replacing the current Sekulula cards.The biometric cards will also replace temporary smart cards that social grant beneficiaries in Gauteng, Western Cape, the southern part of the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and Free State – provinces which don’t use the current service provider – have been using since March.The first phase of the project, which began in March and ended in May, saw new beneficiaries being enrolled onto the new system.Second phase under wayThe second phase, which began this month and will end in December, will see existing eligible beneficiaries, including bank beneficiaries and children, being enrolled on to the new system at SASSA pay points, local offices and designated sites.SASSA will conduct home visits to those older than 75 years old as well as for bedridden beneficiaries at their homes and institutions such as hospitals.Beneficiaries of the child support grant will be required to bring their babies, along with their birth certificates, for re-registration. The child’s fingerprints will be taken to verify his or her identity. Beneficiaries will then be issued with a SASSA-branded smart card.The new cards, and the verification process attached to the issuing of the cards, will help SASSA to reduce the incidence of fraud and corruption, over which Auditor-General Terence Nombembe has repeatedly raised concern.A 2008 report by the Institute of Security Studies estimated that before the commencement of investigations by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in 2006, the government had been losing about R1.5-billion a year through corruption and the maladministration of social grants.The risk of fraud and corruption is ever more important, with the 15.7-million social grant beneficiaries registered as of 30 April this year expected to grow to 16.8-million in three years.Progress in reducing fraudulent beneficiariesHowever, in recent years, SASSA has made several advances in reducing the incidence of fraudulent grant beneficiaries.Between 2006 and March 2012, the SIU was able to prosecute 20 554 people for fraud and corruption relating to grants, which resulted in 17 880 convictions.In all, 46 237 individuals who have been incorrectly receiving social grants have signed acknowledgement of debts totaling R304.9-million.Individuals that sign acknowledgement of debts, which has the effect of a civil court order, commit to repaying the money received in installments that are financially viable for them.To this end, a total of 132 603 beneficiaries have been verified for eligibility and existence and 7 133 were found to be fraudulent.Kgomoco Diseko, SASSA’s senior manager: media relations, said grants paid to the 7 133 beneficiaries who defrauded the system had been cancelled and criminal charges had also been brought against them.Monitoring irregular practices by employees, publicSASSA has also successfully implemented its integrity model, which serves to address and monitor irregular practices by both its employees and the public.Diseko says the integrity model represents a more proactive fraud management approach which encapsulates all aspects of fraud management, namely prevention, detection, investigation and resolution.“Its emphasis is on regulating the behavior of staff, while improving systems and processes,” Diseko says. “The greatest feature of the model is the integrity policy, which allows the agency to conduct random checks on its high risk employees to determine their level of integrity.”The agency is also participating in anti-corruption forums driven by the Department of Home Affairs.The Department of Social Development will also be setting up an inspectorate to help the department weed out fraud.R30-million anti-fraud inspectorate to be set upSocial Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said in her budget vote in May that R30-million had been allocated to set up an inspectorate, which is expected to be up and running by 2015.Also in May, Dlamini told Parliament that an Inspectorate Establishment Framework had been developed, as well as the Inspectorate Programme Management Unit structure comprising various functional work streams.“The process to recruit specialists and work stream project managers is at an advanced stage,” Dlamini said.She said the inspectorate unit was currently in the process to commission various research projects, and had prioritised the Comprehensive Legislation Review Project as well as the Systems Integrity Evaluation baseline study.“This will enable office to determine the actual levels of fraud and misconduct and help to project savings for the South African Social Security Agency, once the Inspectorate is fully legislated and adequately resourced to commence with the execution of its investigative mandate,” Dlamini said.Over R104-million in fraudulent grants recoveredMarika Muller, the SIU’s acting head of communications, says that since the SIU’s investigation into the SASSA began in April 2005, the unit has helped the government recover over R104.6-million.She says the SIU is still collecting an average of over R2.3-million a month in cash repayments from those who claimed grants irregularly.The SIU has recommended to SASSA that it remove all improperly received grants, involving savings to the government (and the taxpayer) of over R1-billion, and the prevention of future losses of over R11.8-billion.Three types of wrongful beneficiaryMuller says individuals receiving grants to which they are not entitled generally fall into three categories. These include individuals who have been found to have purposely lied about their income, employment status and or state of health in order to receive grants.They also include individuals who initially qualified to receive a grant, but then saw an improvement in their financial status which generally disqualified them from receiving grants.In many cases these individuals do not notify the SASSA of this change in status in order for their grant to be stopped; in some cases, they are not aware they needed to do so, says Muller.Finally, there are individuals who are receiving social grants as a result of errors in the process.Muller says that in the first category of individuals – those who purposely lied about details to gain access to grants – the SIU concludes initial investigations before handing the cases over to the SAPS for a decision on further action.Criminal charges, she explains, are also laid in instances where individuals had gone more than 12 months without notifying SASSA of their change in circumstances.“A decision was made with SASSA and other role players that criminal charges would not be laid against individuals who did not understand the reporting obligation, or who erroneously received grants as a result of process errors.“These individuals are, however, required to pay back the money they were not entitled to, either in a lump sum or installments through an AoD (acknowledgement of debt),” says Muller.Biometric cards to save R800-million a yearThere are also other benefits to the new biometric cards. For instance, the new smart cards will allow beneficiaries to access grants through multiple channels across the country, such as points of sale, banks, merchants and cash pay points.Dlamini said in her budget vote speech that the new payment system would help the government save R800-million a year.The new system provides for a service fee of R16.44, totaling R2-billion collectively in fees a year – R800-million less than the total fees generated by the former service provider.However, the former service provider, All Pay, has launched a court bid to have the current contract, run by Cash Paymaster Services, set aside, alleging irregularities in the tender process.The Legal Resources Centre has joined the case as an amicus curiae over concern that the court action may disrupt the disbursement of grants and SASSA’s verification process.Sarah Sephton a lawyer from the Legal Resources Centre, says Judge Elias Matojane had assured the court that interim processes would be considered should a ruling be made to halt the tender.In 2000, Sephton assisted thousands of grant beneficiaries in the Eastern Cape in a class action case against then minister of social development, Zola Skweyiya, after a botched verification process, intended to consolidate grant beneficiaries from the former homelands of the Transkei and the Ciskei and old Cape Province, resulted in thousands not being able to obtain disability grants.However, SASSA had assured Sephton that there would be no disruption in the disbursement of grants with the current verification process.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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Glen Newcomer, April 24

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are off to a very slow start here in Northwest Ohio. I can only think of a handful of operators who have put any corn in the ground. I can only think of one operator who has put any soybeans in the ground. We had a good run last week. We completed a lot of spraying. We did some tillage work and we planted corn for one day last week. We are only about 5% done with everything we have to plant this spring so we have a long way to go. On average, we received over 1.5 inches of rain in our area on Thursday and Friday. There will not be any field work performed in our area this week. We are at a standstill.We hit the spraying pretty hard for three days putting down pre-emerge products on our soybean acres that we plan to no-till. We did tillage for two days and the ground conditions were excellent last week.I am not really concerned yet about a late start. Last week conditions were about perfect. I wish we could have continued, but just getting some field operations done this early was a good feeling. We were fortunate to get some field work started. Many in our area were still holding back because of the cold weather forecast this past weekend. We still have plenty of time and we still have the opportunity for a great crop. We just have to be patient and wait until the time is right.There was some light frost over the weekend, but nothing has emerged at all around here. One operator planted some corn a week earlier which has sprouted but not emerged. It was nice that we had that window of opportunity to get the planter set and make sure everything was programmed correctly. It was nice to take the extra time necessary to be particular about how everything was set up. Now we will be ready to roll when the time is right.last_img read more

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Meet The Internet Video Stars: Hak5 & TechnoBuffalo

first_img4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App veronica henry 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… There was a time when YouTube – and all of Internet video – was dominated by cat videos. dumb stunts and crotch kicks. And while we’ll never be free of such lowbrow gems, the genre has grown to accommodate decidely more sophisticated content – particularly in the technology arena.While websites have traditionally dominated this space, thanks to YouTube, Revision3 TV and their competitors, a new breed of video content producers are building careers. Though YouTube’s turbulent relationships with talent have been widely publicized, other video makers tell a different story – one that sees the online medium as a critical component to their professional visibility and ultimate success.For more insight, I sat down with a couple of top content creators: Jon Rettinger, known by his legion of followers as TechnoBuffalo, and Shannon Morse, Linux aficionado and co-host of Hak5.Where It All BeganBetween them, their fans number in the millions, but it took years of hard work to get there. Tech geekdom for Morse began at home. The theater and choir club enthusiast grew up watching her father build computers – and he helped her build her first machines. When she didn’t make it into the theater program at college, her love for all things entertainment never waned. On a whim, she traveled with friends to Toronto to watch a live performance of Pure Pwnage, and met the cast and crew. Several return trips later, she met the talented guys at Hak5 and had an epiphany. As Morse puts it, “Talking about tech tied together my entertainment and geeky technology sides.”Shannon MorseFor Rettinger, it was addressing a market niche that wasn’t there. “About 6 years ago, my computer broke and I thought about switching to a Mac. When I couldn’t find any videos on YouTube that talked about how to use a Mac, I figured it was a good excuse for me to document my own experience.” Those initial YouTube videos, produced while he held a full-time job running a marketing department, quickly attracted lots of viewers. He knew a business idea when he saw it.Soon, Rettinger joined the YouTube partner program, at a time when he had about 8,000 subscribers. Still in search of funding, he pitched the idea for TechnoBuffalo to a venture capital firm – and was promptly laughed out of the room. But one of the VCs took pity on him, pointing out that he was inexperienced and suggested he get an MBA. Rettinger signed up for school and during his first semester, he pitched his idea again to a private equity firm and landed the funding he needed to launch the TechnoBuffalo website.Jon RettingerGrowing An AudienceTechnoBuffalo launched in 2010 and focused on strategically incorporating social media as a business tool. Today, the website has seen seven consecutive months of traffic growth – with a combined 15 million page and video views in October. “By trade, I’m a marketing guy, so I was able to quantify social media effectiveness,” Rettinger says. He used social media to get people involved and invested in the content of the site. He gave previews, incorporated feedback and essentially crowd-sourced the launch.Morse grew her audience organically. “When I first started, I didn’t know a thing about growing an audience. I just decided to be myself and talk to people. Being friendly was actually a key component to my growth in Internet media.”Both talk about the importance of maintaining that connection to the audience. But they warn you need a thick skin to deal with some of the trolls.Revision3 TV Enters The PictureHak5 started in 2005, around the same time as Revision3. After three years of operating independently, Hak5 co-host Darren Kitchen ran into Revision3 co-founder Jay Adelson in a Tekzilla IRC chat room. As luck would have it, the pair were invited to a Diggnation taping in NYC.After just a few meetings with CEO Jim Louderback, they had a new distributor and network. Kitchen and Morse still produce the show themselves and it is the longest-running show on the Revision3 TV network.Rettinger’s initial discussion with the Revision3 didn’t end in an immediate deal, but when he ran into Louderback at CES in 2010, things resumed moving forward. “They gave me the freedom I wanted,” he recalls. “Which was a really big deal for me.”The benefits of working with Revision3: their network, industry connections and reputation for growing and nurturing talent. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Related Posts What’s On The Backend?In addition to writing and hosting, Morse runs the Hak5 webstore – so if you have any order problems, you know who to turn to.Throughout the day, she’s researching, plugging through emails and writing show notes. In the studio, the co-hosts do a quick rundown of the episode and set up the shot. Paul Tobias – cameraman and editor – handles the technical aspects, using Panasonic cameras and a slew of wireless microphones. Recording takes about an hour and then it’s off to prepare for the next episode while Tobias edits and sends the finals off to Revision3 for distribution.At TechnoBuffalo, the setup is simple. Ralph Liernas does all the filming. They shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II, use a Zoom H1 and Rode microphone for audio. Rettinger does all the video editing himself with Final Cut Pro. He’s got this down to a science: filming to editing to upload in just 1.5 to 2 hours.The Nitty Gritty – CompensationSo how much do these folks make? The compensation model is pretty much what you’d expect. With Revision3 as their exclusive advertising and distribution partner, the Hak5 team gets a cut of ad revenue. Additionally, their fans support the show through their purchases at the Hakshop, where the duo personally make and sell hacking gadgets.For TechnoBuffalo, there is also ad revenue both from the website and videos. So ad clicks, page views and cost-per-action (CPA) deals – where for example, they get a cut if viewers sign up for Netflix (or other partners) using a special code linked to the show. A salary from TechnoBuffalo, sponsored videos and featured content on the website round out the revenue stream.Is there still room to succeed in this crowded field? Rettinger and Morse say yes. While professionalism is important (minimizing the um’s and like’s), Morse says, “Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself in front of people. They’ll laugh with you and appreciate your work.”Rettinger, who is a bit miffed that he chose the twitter handle @jon4lakers, adds, “And please, please, pick a good name.” Tags:#Streaming video#YouTube last_img read more

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Free Cinema 4D Textures and Materials

first_imgGive your projects realistic surfaces with the following FREE Cinema 4D textures and materials!In this post we’ve rounded up the best sites online to grab some free Cinema 4D textures and materials!  Using a lifelike texture will add greater realism to your Cinema 4D renders!  Now that Cinema 4D  (Lite) has integration with Adobe After Effects you can expect to see quite a bit more C4D love here on the blog!Start building your free Cinema 4D texture library !1.  Industrykidz Free Cinema 4D TexturesThe first two free C4D material packs by “Industrykidz” are free to download over at Deviant Art. A nice range of unique textures with shine:Download C4D texture pack 1 here.Download C4D texture pack 2 here.2. Free Cinema Objects, Textures & MaterialsThe folks over at C4D Exchange have quite a FREE Cinema 4D elements for download. While you’re there check out their Cinema 4D tutorials and more complex 3D models for sale (many for as low as $1). 3. MotionSquared Free Cinema 4D TexturesThis one is a whopper – over 450 free C4D textures!  Our friends at Motion Squared recently emailed in to let us know that their popular Cinema 4D texture pack is now free – a DEEP discount off the previous $100 price. To get the pack  you’ll need to sign up for the Motion Squared newsletter, but it seems like a small price to pay for a high quality C4D textures.4. Design Devil’s C4D TexturesA texture pack by motion designer Ivan Savkov of Design Devils. While you’re on the site be sure to check out the free tree bark texture pack.5. Cinema 4D MaterialsCinema 4D Materials is probably the most popular repository of all FREE Cinema 4D Textures and Materials online. All the downloads are free and include fabric, wood, plastic, cloth, paint and metals.6. 8 Bit Factory’s Cinema 4D Medical Shaders8 Bit Factory is a UK based design firm that specializes in 3D and motion design. This pack was created by 8 Bit Factory specifically for use in medical animations, but you could use these free CInema 4D shaders in a variety of creative ways:7. C4DTextures.com Free Cinema 4D TexturesC4DTextures.com is the largest online library of FREE C4D textures that we’ve seen and a great place to find unique materials. You will need to create a membership on the site (FREE) if you’d like to download the C4D textures:Do you know a great online resource for FREE Cinema 4D textures and materials? Share links in the comments below!last_img read more

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