Failure of the Board of Tax Appeal (BOTA) to resolve a US$19.2 million “tax fraud” complaint brought against the Ministry of Finance (MOF) by Lonestar Communication Corporation, (LCC) prompted a Tax Court Judge to caution the Board’s existence, after reviewing the ruling.BOTA was established in 2009 by the government to hear complains growing out of Ministry of Finance (MOF) audits of business and other tax payers.In reviewing BOTA’s ruling in March 2014, Judge Mozart A. Chesson said, “the court must caution BOTA to remember that it is not a mediator, but an adjudicator, as complained by LCC.”He went on to say that “BOTA directed the parties to “walk together” to resolve their differences. The parties came to BOTA, because they had been unable to resolve the differences,” adding, “They should not have dodged a responsibility that is the primary reason for Bota’s very existence: an obligation to reach a final decision.”Judge Chesson concluded, “The appeal is hereby dismissed because of a lack of jurisdiction of this court to entertain a matter in which a final decision had not yet been rendered. The matter is remanded to BOTA for a resumption of its hearing.”In January 2013, MOF informed LCC that its forensic investigation discovered that LCC during the period of 2007 to 2011, that LCC had engaged in a series of tax fraud, to the tune of US$19.2 million. The MOF had demanded that LCC made available its business records, in connection with 11 business transactions.But, LCC objected, claiming that MOF already had given them a tax clearance for those years in question.Lonestar filed an appeal to BOTA, requesting an emergency hearing.But at the hearing, MOF did not produce the forensic evidence it relied on, when it accused LCC of tax fraud; nor did it submit or explain its calculation of the US$19.2 million re-assessed tax bill. BOTA ordered the ministry to submit said evidence within 72 hours, so that LCC could access that information; Bota also ordered the two parties to work together over the next 30 days to resolve and dispute.In that ruling, BOTA did not specify whether the parties were to return to them, after the 30 days with the result of their discussion.It was based on that ruling that LCC prayed the Court for review.In their complained, LCC argued that BOTA’s ruling was not in fact final, because it dispose of nothing, thereby leaving all issues unresolved, and no option than to appeal to the Court.LCC further argued that charged with fraud as it was, the burden of proof rested on the ministry. The ministry, LCC pointed out, had failed to present and prove any of their allegations, when the case was brought before BOTA.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
On Friday, September 26, 2014, President Barack Obama extended Protected Status (DED) to certain Liberians, who fled a brutal civil war and entered the USA before October 2002. While it is commendable that this group of Liberians have been protected, there are over 7000 similarly situated Liberians excluded from this “foreign policy” inspired immigration relief, whose plights have been overlooked for over a decade. Additionally, as winter approaches in North America, there are thousands of vulnerable (Africans) Liberians, Guineans and Sierra Leoneans stranded in America because of Ebola who deserve temporary protection. In our efforts to fight Ebola (www.fightebola.us), I call on President Obama to exercise compassion and on humanitarian grounds designate Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as countries appropriate for Temporary Protected Status (TPS/DED). This request is consistent with the Immigration Act of 1990 (“IMMACT”), P.L. 101-649, established by Congress to provide TPS to immigrants in the United States, who are temporarily unable to return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.The world is witnessing the height of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy initiatives overseas, which includes “Operation United Assistance”-the deployment of 3000 American soldiers ($500 million dollars) to fight the worst Ebola epidemic in the world and a bombing campaign ($7.5 million dollars daily) against a brutal Islamic terrorist organization called ISIL to protect ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. Even so, President Obama’s foreign policy inspired immigration relief must also be inclusive, compassionate, and humane.Among those excluded from President Obama’s immigration relief are over 7000 Liberians, including Liberian mothers of American children who accompanied their American born children evacuated over a decade ago. Also at serious risks are citizens of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone stranded in the United States because of the deadly Ebola epidemic.It may be recalled that in June 2003, President George Bush ordered “Operation Shinning Express” to protect US Embassy in Monrovia and evacuated Americans citizens to safety. The young Americans are still without protection for over a decade. There are no justifiable reasons why vulnerable people from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone stranded in America this winter because of Ebola and Liberian refugee women and American children evacuated by the US Military over a decade ago should continue to suffer denial of protection, despite repeated pleas from many, including the late Senator Edward Kennedy-D-MA.There are at least six compelling reasons why designating Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for TPS is an urgent necessity:1. There is an existing statute; the Immigration Act of 1990 (“IMMACT”), P.L. 101-649, established by Congress to provide TPS to immigrants. 2. There is a clear and present danger facing these people both in their homeland and in America as winter approaches.3. Unlike the deployment of 3000 Troops ($500 million dollars) and the bombing of ISIL (Up to $10 billion in a year), TPS costs US tax payers nothing. In fact TPS generates revenue for government ($350 per person). 4. The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution supports equal treatment of people in similar situations.5. Commonsense dictates that if America protects ethnic and religious minorities overseas, America ought to also protect its own citizens and Africans stranded by Ebola on American Soil.6. Justice and fairness by American policy makers represent potent and cost-free complementary arsenal of ammunition in the fight against terrorism overseas.The worsening Ebola Outbreak ravaging West Africa has killed over 3000 people and infected over 6000 people and it seems to be getting “out of control.” There are no vaccines for Ebola. To contain Ebola, a state of emergency is in effect in Liberia- all schools, hospitals, government offices and borders are shut down. Flights have been cancelled. Many nationals from the worst hit countries stranded in the USA cannot return home. Designation of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS/DED) would bring relief and work permits to stranded nationals in the USA. If there were no other reasons for compassion, fairness and justice in granting temporary protection which opens access to the basic human needs of food, clothing and shelter to vulnerable refugee women from Liberia, a former colony of the United States or affording protection for American children evacuated from Africa to safety in America or for extending protected status to Guineans, Liberians and Sierra Leoneans stranded in America because of Ebola- one thing is certain: At a huge cost, America is risking the lives of American Service men and women to protect ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.This fact begs the question: So who is going to protect vulnerable Africans and African American children in the winter of 2014 on American Soil, if the Obama Administration fails to grant temporary protection which costs American tax payers nothing? Not Russia, Not Cuba, North Korea, Not China and certainly not Venezuela. Alas, “Charity begins at home.” Mr. President, I ask that you kindly consider designating Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone countries appropriate for TPS/DED. Thanks and God bless America!Rev. Torli H. Krua is founder of the Universal Human Rights International (UHRI) and YOUNG-Africa Inc. UHRI promotes immigrant rights in the USA and democracy through ballot initiatives in African countries. Rev. Krua may be contacted:www.fightebola.us or UHRI-20 Roche Brothers Way Suite 6-182 North Easton, MA 02356 or firstname.lastname@example.orgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Sugar woesBy Jarryl BryanIn one of the few times he has publicly addressed the issue, Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Chairman Dr. Clive Thomas recently defended the “downsizing” of the sugar industry by pointing to the possibilities of a regional Common External Tariff (CET) and United States markets.But according to Financial Analyst Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, an Economic Advisor toFinancial AnalystDr Peter Ramsaroopthe People’s Progressive Party (PPP), this is a plan fraught with implications for Guyana’s economy. He emphasized that what Guyana needed was an ambitious diversification plan for GuySuCo, and the PPP had conceptualized such a plan prior to 2015.Dr Ramsaroop questioned the quality of advice the coalition Government has been receiving, noting that advice like Thomas’s recent utterances are long on theory and short on practicality.“Dr. Thomas continues to demonstrate his lack of working business management (knowledge). His advice to Granger and the Government has essentially torpedoed the entire economic situation in Guyana, with rippling effect not just on people’s well-being, but it has affected numerous other industries.“Sugar needed to be managed in its entirety, with diversification as proposed by the PPP in (its) 2015 – 2020 (proposal). A well-thought-out plan had been started prior to 2015 in order to ensure a successful diversification transition by 2020. The PPP/C had planned a minimum investment of G$20 billion for the viability of the industry,” Ramsaroop revealed.MechanizationRamsaroop explained that the PPP’s plan entailed investing in the continuedGuySuCo ChairmanDr Clive Thomasmodernisation of the existing factories; investing in sugar refinery and distillery facilities; generating more packaged and specialty products; and increasing mechanisation of the industry in a bid to boost production.It is understood that, with mechanisation, jobs would not necessarily have been cut, but rather job specifications would have changed and new opportunities for workers would have been created. This also runs counter to the Government’s contention that the PPP had no plan for the industry.“We actually needed to grow more sugar cane with a goal of 400,000 tons by 2020. The key — which Dr. Thomas failed to understand — is not just about lowering the cost of the remaining estates, but about what a diversification plan would have done for the industry. Our goal was to expand packaged sugar to 50,000 tons by 2020, and expand the production of bottled molasses as a commercial product for the local and international markets,” the financial expert disclosed.“In addition, the goal was to expand the Albion Ethanol Plant to produce up to 50,000 liters of ethanol per year, and to be able to use other substrates, includingAn aerial view of GuySuCo’s Albion Estatecassava,” Dr Ramsaroop explained.“The economic downturn in our economy is directly linked to the bad advice that Dr. Thomas has given, and the failed policies of the Granger Government,” he charged.In an interview with the state media, Dr. Thomas, an economist, had claimed that the three estates Government would leave operating — Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt — can still make a positive contribution to the economy, and be competitive.“We are hoping that, in the end, it can produce what we call plantation white sugar, which we can sell to the other CARICOM region, and have a Common External Tariff (CET) which will protect the sale in that market,” Dr. Thomas was quoted by the media as saying.A CEF is a multilateral arrangement between a group of countries where the same customs duties regime, import quotas and other trading barriers remain constant. It is supposed to sustain and protect the profitability of trade within the group.Dr Thomas expressed hope that a CET, combined with the limited access Guyana has to the United States market and Guyana’s own domestic market, would make GuySuCo profitable. He spoke of the possibility that Guyana could secure a price of between 25 and 28 (US) cents per pound of sugar. At present, the world price for sugar is 14 US cents per pound.“We are hoping to drive the cost down to that level in these three remaining estates. With the most productive estates being utilised by us, we will get a better price and (be able to) lower cost,” an optimistic Dr. Thomas was quoted as saying.Already, the closure of the estates and the sacking of workers is having an effect on the economy, and even Government has acknowledged this. Blaming missed production targets from sectors, including sugar, Finance Minister Winston Jordan recently announced a downwards revised economic growth target.Jordan said the economy was expected to grow by 2.9 per cent, having failed to meet the revised growth projection of 3.1 per cent for 2017. The initial projected growth of the economy was 3.8 per cent, but this was revised by midyear to 3.1 per cent after the economy had grown by only 2.2 per cent by July.Sugar output in Guyana fell by nearly a quarter from last year, with close to 140,000 metric tonnes being produced in 2017. This is the lowest output in over two decades.
GECOM fallout…calls for rewriting of agreement with APNUMembers of the Alliance For Change (AFC) Canadian Chapter have pulled out from the AFC party, as the fallout over the unilateral appointment of Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) Chairman deepens.AFC Chairman Khemraj RamjattanIn a letter to the AFC, Secretary of AFC-Canada, Laurence Williams, expressed grave concerns about James’ appointment.Williams said his party’s group in Canada agreed that the AFC should publicly call for the appointment to be rescinded and for one of the 18 persons nominated to be appointed.He also stated in that missive that AFC-Canada will no longer be associated with the AFC. However, it said it would “continue to support the Guyanese people’s quest and struggle for national unity, democracy, transparency, accountability and peace and progress”.However, on Tuesday, AFC Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan and AFC General Secretary Marlon Williams have different opinions on the matter. While criticising the move, Ramjattan told sections of the media on Tuesday that the party will not backpedal on the decision based on the opinion of one support group.But in a new twist, General Secretary Marlon Williams, claimed that the letter was “fake” and does not represent the position of AFC-Canada. Marlon also went on to state that several media entities had contacted him around midnight on Tuesday to clarify whether the statement was true and whether the AFC will support such a call. He again reminded this newspaper that the letter is fake.AFC General Secretary Marlon Williams“There is a process by which we do things and every statement has a channel that it passes through. All statements are sent to the party and approved by our Vice Chairperson Catherine Hughes and disseminated to the media by Imran Khan,” the party’s General Secretary said.However, AFC-Canada Secretary Williams told Guyana Times on Tuesday that the missive is not fake, and the content of the letter was decided on following a meeting with members. He went on to state that he was in communication with Ramjattan via email minutes before the statement was issued.“Our meeting last Friday evening was well attended, with full capacity with the exception of few. We had a unanimous decision which we had to go public. We also informed the Leader (Raphael Trotman) and the Chairman (Ramjattan) of the AFC before we went to the press,” he explained.<<
To date, 375 small contractors have graduated from the boot camp, receiving more than $25 million in contract awards. Some 462 local workers have been able to start a career in construction through the We Build program. And the program has received numerous awards and recognitions from many minority and local business advocacy organizations. But now, all that is threatened. Under an outdated state funding formula, urban school districts like the LAUSD become ineligible for state funds sooner than they should, threatening the district’s ability to continue building the schools our schoolchildren so desperately need. Not only that, but under current state rules, the state will not fund a school for a child in its own neighborhood if there is room anywhere else in a school district. So, for instance, the state will not help fund a school in Watts if there is room at a school in Woodland Hills, expecting the LAUSD to bus the child all that way, every single day. This is simply unfair. WHAT if you heard that one local business created 239,000 jobs, would pay $1.2 billion in local and state taxes, would pay its workers, on average, more than $27 per hour and provide $944 million to local small business? More than likely, you would want to make sure that business thrived and ensure that it was able to successfully continue. It may surprise you to learn that the “business” I am referring to is the Los Angeles Unified School District’s construction program. Not only has this program already completed 67 schools throughout the district, and not only has it already stopped over 7,000 kids from being bused into neighborhoods that are not their own, but it also has provided a tremendous economic impact throughout the region. The LAUSD offers an eight-week “boot camp” for small contractors to help them do business with the district. Through its “We Build” program, the LAUSD offers a 10-week apprenticeship and placement assistance program for local workers to join contractors or local trade unions. And the LAUSD offers a five-month MoneyWorks program for contractors to improve their financial literacy and capacity for growth. AB 1014, a bill introduced by Assembly Majority Leader Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, would help fix that. It would make the funding formula more equitable and more attuned to real-world conditions. In short, the bill would provide the critical state funding needed so that this school district can continue its success in building these schools. AB 1014 is awaiting its fate on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. Voters in Los Angeles have generously passed three school bonds because they understand how dire the need has been for decades. The district has proven it can meet this need by getting these schools completed. But the state had always promised to do its part, getting state school bonds passed to match these local funds. But if AB 1014 doesn’t pass, the LAUSD will get nothing from the most recent state school bond – to say nothing of future bonds. Much-needed neighborhood schools, being built on time and on budget, provide a tremendous economic impact in a region that needs it. The Legislature has done its part to give the LAUSD its fair share by passing AB 1014. Now it’s up to the governor to do the right thing and sign it. Gregory Weinberg is co-chair of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association’s Workforce Development Committee.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
5 5 Arsenal v West Ham (The big opener): 08/08/15 – Click the arrow above, right, to see four other exciting Arsenal games next season… – Arsenal have struggled in their opening match over the last two Premier League campaigns. They lost to Aston Villa in 2013 and were rescued by Aaron Ramsey’s injury time winner against Crystal Palace last year, meaning fans will watch the London derby against West Ham rather nervously. They have to get off to a good start if theyre to challenge for the Premier League title last season they won this fixture 3-0 thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini. Chelsea v Arsenal (The big test): 19/09/2015 – Click the arrow above, right, to see three other exciting Arsenal games next season… – The Gunners sixth game of the campaign will see them travel across London to rivals Chelsea. If Arsene Wengers men can put on a show they might just prove their title credentials but if they crumble under the pressure it might be a case of same old, same old. They will also want to avenge last years 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge. Tottenham v Arsenal (The big derby): 05/03/16 – Click the arrow above, right, to see another exciting Arsenal game next season… – Famous Gooner Bully embarrassed himself last season by asking who’s Harry Kane? only for the Spurs hotshot to strike twice and help his side to a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane. This campaign, Arsene Wenger will want to put Tottenham back in their place having only beaten them once in five Premier League games at N17. After a promising end to the 2014/15 Premier League campaign, Arsenal fans can’t wait to get the new one underway.Thankfully, to whet their appetite, the fixtures for next season are already out so they can plot their title bid.With rivals already bolstering their ranks, Arsene Wenger will have to decide whether to stick or twist with some of their stars.And if the Frenchman gets it right, it could be a thrilling time at the Emirates, but what are the key matches to watch out for? talkSPORT takes a look…For the full fixture list, click here and let us know which game you’re looking to most. 5 Man United v Arsenal (The chance for revenge): 27/02/16 – Click the arrow above, right, to see two more exciting Arsenal games next season… – The Gunners only managed one victory over rivals Man United last season, which came in the FA Cup. In the Premier League, Arsenal scraped a late draw with the Red Devils at Old Trafford, thanks to Tyler Blacketts own goal, while Wayne Rooney helped their foes to three points at the Emirates last November. A win in the north west will be key to any title challenge. Arsenal v Crystal Palace (The title run-in ruiner?): 16/04/2016 – Arsene Wengers men have been gifted an April where they will face none of the top nine. That might not bode well though seeing as last year, towards the end of the season, they lost to Swansea City and drew with Sunderland. Any slip-ups could see their title bid in tatters. Alan Pardews Eagles might just be the men to cause Arsenal problems. 5 5
A 21-year-old man could face prison after a high-speed 18km chase through narrow Letterkenny roads.Sparks flew when a car became airborne during the pursuit involving a Corsa being driven by John McKelvey, of Correnagh, Letterkenny on January 25, 2017. At 2.58am, Garda Kilcoyne was operating a static speed checkpoint at Dromore when he detected McKelvey driving at 147km/h in a 100km zone.Letterkenny District Court heard how McKelvey ‘didn’t slow down or make an attempt to stop’.Gardaí pursued McKelvey, who made a left turn towards Lurgybrack and then an immediate right onto Bonagee Lane.“He was traveling at 115km as we approached a humpback bridge,” Garda Kilcoyne said.“The vehicle became airborne and there were a large amount of sparks.”After manoeuvring back onto the Port Road and back towards Lurgybrack, McKelvey turned left towards Dromore.Garda Kilcoyne said: “He was traveling at approximately 110-120km/h. I followed along the road at he turned right, a narrow, single lane road that would lead to the top of Lurgybrack. He was going at 115 plus and I decided that it was unsafe to continue.”A short time later, Garda Kilcoyne saw the vehicle, a black 10-DL Corsa, coming to a stop when it crashed into a ditch. McKelvey was arrested at 3.11am.McKelvey, who was accompanied by family members in court, has since moved away from Donegal and is living and working in Wexford.The family, the court heard, were ’very thankful to still have their son’ following the incident.“It was lunacy what happened,” said McKelvey’s solicitor, Patsy Gallagher, who handed in a number of references for his client.“He can’t give an explanation except that something happened in his own head.“It was an almost-fatal mistake. He understands that it could have been fatal and what he did was stupid. He saw the blue lights and he panicked.“He is very well aware of what could have happened.”Garda Kilcoyne said that McKelvey later came in to apologise for the incident.The solicitor pleaded with the judge to show leniency.He said: “He has had this hanging over him for nine months. He has been a recluse since then.“He wants to repay society for what he has done. What good will it do to imprison this young man? Give him an opportunity.”Judge Paul Kelly said that the case ‘undoubtedly’ warranted a custodial sentence.He said: “It is hard to see anything other than a custodial sentence. I take into account the plea and he has put his hands up. I am giving an opportunity to see if a custodial sentence can be avoided, but I am making no promises.“You behaviour between now and the next time will be of significance.”The case was adjourned to December 7.Judge considers prison for man after ‘almost fatal’ Letterkenny chase was last modified: September 8th, 2017 by Staff WriterShare 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:Garda KilcoyneJohn McKelveyJudge Paul KellyletterkennyLetterkenny District CourtPatsy Gallagher
THE Defence Forces are set to splash more than €1 million on new locker rooms for soldiers in Co Donegal, donegaldaily has learned.Contractors have already been given the go-ahead for the work which is taking place at a time of massive cutbacks in healthcare and in schools.The mechanical and electrical sub-contractors have now been appointed for the construction of a new locker changing facility at Finner Camp, Ballyshannon. Thomas Hanna & Company plus Eamon McGauran & Son Limited will carry out the work.The works will comprise of the construction of a building to house lockers, changing areas and associated shower and toilet facilities.It is expected to take six months to complete the works.Asked about the scheme, a Defence Forces source insisted the work was ‘incredibly urgent’. The source insisted: “The old facilities belonged to the dark ages. They were well past their ‘use by’ date.“Soldiers at Finner have been waiting for years for this upgrade and we believe it is money well spent.”The source added that the work had created local jobs.GOVERNMENT SPLASHES OUT €1 MILLION ON NEW LOCKERS FOR DONEGAL DEFENCE FORCES BASE was last modified: May 25th, 2011 by gregShare 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)
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA FE SPRINGS – Richard Evans is thankful to be alive today – more alive than he has been in 30 years. “Every day is a blessing,” Evans said. “I feel God’s work in my life every day since I’ve been clean and sober.” Evans, 52, said he entered Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse’s Allen House residential program six months ago, after detoxifying from a 30-year heroin addiction. On Wednesday, he spoke to a room full of CADA residents and staff, city officials and volunteers at the “Changing Lives Thanksgiving Luncheon” held at Town Center Hall. For the previous five years, Evans said he had been homeless and addicted. Last Thanksgiving Day, he had no goals and no hope for a future. “Now, I’m enjoying being in my right mind. I can do whatever I want to do without worrying about drugs. I’m just living a regular life – it’s great,” he said. He is looking for a job and hoping to move into his own apartment soon. Residents of the Family Foundations Program, an alternative-sentencing residential program for women who are pregnant or who have children and who have low-level felony convictions, also attended the luncheon – and gave thanks. “I’m thankful to wake up every morning to my child’s smile instead of a prison cell,” said one woman, who is in the program after a conviction for possessing stolen property. Councilwoman Betty Putnam, vice president of L.A. CADA’s board of directors, attended the luncheon. “Please remember how pleased we are to see you accomplishing positive things,” she told residents. “We’re here for you. Rely on us.” The Thanksgiving lunch is a 15-year tradition that began before L.A. CADA Executive Director Brenda Wiewel started working at the centers. She believes in the importance of continuing the tradition. “It’s our way of creating a family for residents who can’t be with their families for the holidays,” Wiewel said. “It’s for them to feel loved and cared about. It’s also to show our gratitude to those who help us in so many ways.” email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026