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The Greek government has promised to hike taxes on shipping companies in its latest proposal submitted to its euro zone creditors on Thursday, Reuters reports.The latest debt restructuring proposal comes as Greece struggles to avoid bankruptcy having defaulted on its USD 1.7 bln debt with the International Monetary Fund that led to a range of capital control measures as the country had ran out of Euro.Under the latest proposal, Greece is asking for a USD 59 billion loan to refinance its debt until 2018 in turn for tax hikes to tourism and shipping sectors. Additional measures include defense spending cuts, privatization of state assets including the port of Piraeus and regional airports.The chairman of Eurogroup finance ministers confirmed receiving the documents but refused to comment before an assessment of the proposal was made. The country’s government is to determine today a list of priority actions to be made before any funds get approved, according to Reuters.As World Maritime News reported earlier, Greece had already made the first steps in this direction with a proposal to implement an effective taxation framework for commercial shipping and increase the tonnage tax prior to the referendum on austerity measures that took place on July 5th.Based on the system currently in place, the shipping companies are enjoying lucrative tax breaks which allow them to pay a voluntary amount, all with the aim of keeping owners in Greece. These include no taxes on profits from shipping operations, and no taxes on ship sales.Greek owners make up 20 % stake in the global commercial shipping fleet and the industry has been a major profit source for the country as it makes up 7.5 % of the Greek economy.Fears have been raised by the Greek shipowners union that should the tax hike move forward ship owners would flee the country and move somewhere else.World Maritime News Staff
Launch ramp conditions at Lake Mead have improved significantly thanks to an ongoing $1.5 million construction project that began in late July.The project involves underwater excavation, dredging, grading and construction of reinforced concrete ramps.The concrete ramps will extend down to the water’s edge, and concrete panels or steel pipe mat will extend roughly six feet below the current lake water surface.Construction is ongoing at five launch ramps, Echo Bay, Callville Bay, Hemenway Harbor, Temple Bar and South Cove.At Boulder Harbor, which has a launch ramp down to an elevation of 1,060 feet, crews are dredging the harbor channel approximately 15 to 18 feet below the water surface. Navigational aids are in place to guide boaters around dredging.All ramp work is scheduled to be completed by the end of September. Funding for the project was provided by fees collected at entrance stations and the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.The contractors are Catworks Construction from Battle Ground, Washington, and DH Ortega Construction from Show Low, Arizona.[mappress mapid=”21055″]
Campaign group Justice has run an experimental fully remote jury trial to test whether it could be a fair alternative to face-to-face hearings during the coronavirus lockdown.In the experimental trial, the volunteer participants appeared from different physical locations and dealt with a fictional case of a man charged with wounding.A preliminary evaluation by Professor Linda Mulcahy of Oxford University and Dr Emma Rowden from Oxford Brookes University found ‘much that worked well’. Describing a ‘success for open justice’, they said the videolink had a ‘positive impact on “sightlines” in the trial’ which, unlike in a physical court, meant all parties could see each other ‘very clearly and were accorded equal visual status’. Experimental remote jury trial conducted by JusticeSource: Justice They found the defendant ‘was treated with much more dignity than when they are placed in an enclosed dock’ in a courtroom.However they pointed to ‘numerous technical problems’ including jurors disappearing from screen, which they warned could be the subject of an appeal in an actual trial.The researchers noted that the virtual trial placed ‘a huge amount of trust’ in the jurors, who were instructed to locate themselves alone in private rooms, to comply with their legal responsibilities during the trial.They suggested the judge could make an opening statement indicating how it is different from a physical trial, but that the rules are the same, with photography and recording forbidden.To minimise distraction and avoid informality, the report suggested standardising the background environments and degree to which each person’s face and torso was in shot, and putting a coat of arms behind the judge.Jodie Blackstock, legal director at Justice, said: ‘Our primary concerns are for the safe administration of justice, upholding fair trial rights and effective participation. We are continuing to test whether remote jury trials are possible, refining the platform and addressing concerns raised in the evaluation process.’Even if the technology exists to enable remote jury trials, the legal profession is divided on whether they are desirable. Before the crisis halted trials, the backlog of Crown court cases had risen to almost 33,000, due to budget cuts that reduced the number of sitting days.
INDIA: Commending Indian Railways as scaling ‘a new pinnacle every year’, buoyed by a steady year-on-year increase in freight and passenger output during the last five years, Railways Minister Lalu Prasad told the Lok Sabha on February 26 that IR was now standing at ‘the zenith of success’.Introducing the IR budget for 2009-10 and reporting preliminary results for 2008-09 to the lower house of the Indian parliament, Prasad clearly had an eye on the general election due in May. He said IR had achieved an ‘historic landmark’ by earning a cash surplus before dividend of more than Rs900bn in five years. Reporting that the Indian Railway Finance Corp had successfully raised an Rs5bn loan in November, despite the global financial turmoil, Prasad suggested that IR’s strong performance gave it the credibility to raise debt from international markets at a competitive rate of 4%.Freight volumes have been increasing by an annual average of 8% over the past five years. This has helped to improve productivity and cut the unit cost of operations, with payloads increasing by 15% on selected routes. Together with market pricing to incentivise traffic at quieter times and on back-haul routes, IR has improved its utilisation to 2 963 net tonne-km per wagon per year and 9·05 million net tonne-km per route-km.Table I shows IR’s budget for 2009-10 compared to the latest estimate for the current financial year. But this has been set in the context of the country’s 11th Five-Year Plan for 2007-12, which takes little account of the downturn in the global economy. Prasad admitted that freight growth in October and November had been ‘adversely impacted’ by the financial situation, with a steep reduction in iron ore for export and container traffic. But he was ‘confident’ that IR’s targets for passenger and freight revenue in 2008-09 would be surpassed.Freight tonne-km are forecast to grow from 475 billion in 2006-07 to 702 billion in 2011 and passenger-km from 692 to 942 billion over the same period, and the minister said capacity building remained a critical task. Total investment during the current plan period has been set at Rs2 300bn, which is three times the level in the preceding plan (RG 4.08 p245). Around 9% of this is expected to be raised through PPPs. Over the five years, IR is due to complete 4 900 route-km of gauge conversion, 1 800 km of double-tracking and 3 500 km of electrification, as well as opening 1 100 km of new line. Prasad reported that the current financial year had seen completion of a rail connection from Assam to Agartala, capital of the northeastern state of Tripura — the first new connection between state capitals since independence. Rail services in the Kashmir Valley have also been expanded, and the line to Qazigund would be ready in about four months, he said.
Share 403 Views 4 comments LocalNews Forestry Division’s progress hindered due to looting by: Dominica Vibes News – November 21, 2017 Tweet Section of the Botanic Gardens road (Photo credit: Panoramio)The Forestry Division’s progress in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria has been hindered due to the looting which took place in the days following the storm. Acting Forest Officer responsible for Research and Monitoring, Steven Durand told Vibes News in an interview last week the department is now unable to efficiently conduct its work. “What the looting has done it has affected the work in a lot of ways so we are not able to do the things we need to do we lack certain things we wish that things we different in terms of support we do not have vehicles to help us, we are at a setback of what the storm and the looters did,” he lamented. Durand said the Forestry Division “suffered tremendously” at the hands of the looters as most of their chainsaws, brush cutters, wheelbarrows and tools which were used by the gardeners. He added that there is still a lot of work to be done at the Botanical Gardens however equipment is not readily available to the workers due to the looting. Share Sharing is caring! Share
Share Share Tweet Share LocalNews Telecommunications Minister calls for unified and resilient network by: Dominica Vibes News – March 22, 2018 73 Views 2 comments Sharing is caring! Minister for Information, Science, Telecommunications and Technology Kelver Darroux has recommended that discussions to look into legislation and regulations for the facilitation of a unified and resilient network begin.The minister who spoke during a handing over ceremony on Tuesday March 20, 2018 where the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) donated $350, 000 to the government and the National Regulatory Commission, (NTRC), said this network should be available for use by all subscribers irrespective of service providers’ platform.This he said is important “particularly where two or more networks are operational in any member state for the preservation of life, property and to safeguard the security of the State through adequate and reliable communications”. The minister said that in Dominica there are two main service providers, FLOW and Digicel, and is therefore of the view that during a disaster these service providers should be able to share equipment. “[This is] to ensure that if one of the service providers have their towers up that because you are not subscribed to that service provider, you won’t be denied but we can quickly move the process forward so that they can utilize the same towers and they can have communication restored to consumers who may not be subscribed to that particular service provider and that is critical,” Darroux explained.
Sharing is caring! Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, August 13, 2018: The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has concluded that Zika virus transmission in the Caribbean Region has been interrupted, and that the risk to residents and visitors to the Region of acquiring Zika is low. This follows a review by CARPHA of the data of the last 30 months pertinent to the situation. Zika Virus (ZIKV) was first detected in the Caribbean Region in late 2015. The number of cases increased in the first half of 2016 and reached its peak circulation in August 2016, and then declined rapidly by December 2016.Before, during and after the introduction of the virus, CARPHA has been conducting surveillance and laboratory testing activity for ZIKV and has worked assiduously with its 26 CARPHA Member States (CMS) and partners to strengthen the ability to detect and diagnose cases; to enhance the capacity to reduce transmission of this and other vector-borne diseases; and to improve coordination and use of information for prevention. At this time, ongoing surveillance and laboratory testing in CMS indicate that the epidemic circulation of ZIKV has been interrupted in Caribbean territories. This is based on congruency of data available from several sources and on experience of previous outbreaks of mosquito-borne viral diseases in the Region:• Local surveillance in Member States has demonstrated both a decrease in general fever-related illness as well as a specific absence of ZIKV reports over the past year.• CARPHA Regional Laboratory continues to test samples for mosquito-borne disease, including ZIKV, Dengue virus (DENV) and Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). These tests have shown the drastic decrease from the peak of ZIKV circulation in 2016 to a situation where no cases of ZIKV have been confirmed among samples received from any CMS over the past 12 months • CARPHA has reached out to international public health agencies, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the European Centres for Disease Control (eCDC), for information on cases of ZIKV in travelers returning from the Caribbean to Canada and Europe respectively. The data shared indicate a similar pattern to that seen in our regional data – a drastic decrease from a high-point in 2016, to sporadic cases in the immediate aftermath and no cases this year.CARPHA advises that there is still a need to be vigilant given the ongoing risk for dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases. The Agency maintains continuous vigilance of health and disease trends and risks for residents and visitors in the Region.We continue to work closely with other public health partners including US CDC, PAHO/WHO, tourism organizations public health agencies in Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union to find innovative ways of mosquito control including behavior change communication and research. Working alongside CMS we will support vector control activities and educate the public to protect the health of all within their borders. There is a need to strengthen surveillance in member states, set up registries for babies affected in the 2016 epidemic, enhance laboratory testing capacity, document the findings of countries to ensure evidence-based policy and practice and to look at ways to deal with climate-sensitive, mosquito-borne diseasesAs we work towards the elimination of the vector and their breeding sites CARPHA encourages visitors and residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellents, wearing protective clothing and staying in screened or air conditioning accommodations. Tweet Share Share HealthLifestyleNewsRegional CARPHA Concludes Risk of Getting Zika in the Caribbean Low at this Time by: – August 14, 2018 Share 17 Views no discussions