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Haiti’s Prime Minister resigns , President promises to respond to demands of Haitians

Haiti’s Prime Minister resigns , President promises to respond to demands of Haitians

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Jul. 15, CMC – Haiti’s Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant, resigned  on Saturday, just after days of violent protests against fuel price rises.

Jack Guy Lafontant

Lafontant, who faced a motion of no confidence following the protest that led to the death of at least seven people, told Haiti’s Chamber of Deputies that he had sent President Jovenel Moise his resignation letter.

The deputies had called on the prime minister to answer questions after riots erupted from July 6-8 to protest the government’s attempt to raise fuel prices by up to 51 per cent as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 

Earlier this year, the French speaking Caribbean nation signed an agreement with the IMF to carry out structural reforms to promote growth.

The IMF said that getting rid of the fuel subsidies would free up cash for other things like education, health and job creation.

However, on Thursday, the Washington based lending agency suggested   “a more gradual approach” to ending fuel subsidies which were expected to generate around US$300 million.

Shortly after Lafontant resigned, President Jovenel Moise in an address to the nation said his administration is doing all it can to respond to the demands of the public.

“I did a lot of consultations, I consulted people who were victims, political parties, civil society, grassroots organizations and many other groups in society. I engaged in dialogue with international partners. I have listened to the demands of all people and sectors.”

President Jovenel Moïse

“When the sectors speak, the leaders must listen to them, that is how democracy will become stronger, that is how the solidarity of the Haitians for one another will become better,” the president said.

He also urged Haitians to “cut bridges with old practices that are putting the country behind.”

“As Head of State, I have issued instructions to every official in the State, to every person in his or her own interest, to ensure the safety of the lives and property of people across the country.”

According to Moise, he will continue consultations in order to choose another Prime Minister “ to lead the Government and gather all the forces in the Nation without wasting time, to form an inclusive Government whose mission will be to relieve the misery of the people, develop agriculture, energy and infrastructure in the country, take all measures and actions to maintain political and social stability, encourage investment to create wealth and conditions that will allow all Haitians live better in their country.”

“You have given me a five-year term, as you can see, we have started the work, I will continue, stability, economic and social progress must become a reality in the country of Haiti,” he said.

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Judge to hand down decision on request to strike out case against Opposition Leader

Judge to hand down decision on request to strike out case against Opposition Leader

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, July 13, CMC – A High Court judge will today, Friday, hand down his decision in the Dominica diplomatic passport case brought against Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas by a private citizen.

Justice Trevor Ward’s decision is expected to be delivered at 1:30 p.m.

Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas

Douglas’ lawyers, Anthony Astaphan SC, Delano Bart QC, Sylvester Anthony and Angelina Gracey Sookoo-Bobb, during a two-hour hearing last Friday, asked Justice Ward to strike out a claim by Cuthbert Mills that their client is not qualified to be the Parliamentary Representative for the constituency of St Christopher 6 because he has a Dominica diplomatic passport.

The team submitted a number of reasons why Mills’ claim ought to be struck out in its entirety or, in the alternative, certain paragraphs.

“Our reason for trying to strike out the entire claim is that under Section 36 (4) of the (St Kitts and Nevis) Constitution which allows a challenge to a member of the house who is duly elected but since then there is an allegation arose that challenges his qualification to remain the house, only allows for a single challenge to be brought and in the circumstances where a challenge is brought by a voter, the Attorney General can intervene, however there is no such provision where the Attorney General has first filed and so because of the very strict nature of the section 36 of the Constitution, there is no provision allowing for what is considered a second challenge, particularly given the way that Mr Mills has chosen to prosecute his case,” said Sookoo-Bobb.

The defence team contended that Mills failed to specifically point out what are the laws of Dominica that he alleges amount to Douglas being in allegiance to the Commonwealth of Dominica as a foreign power.

She also referred to Mills’ attachment, as evidence, of the front page of the St Kitts-Nevis Observer newspaper which he purported to have a copy of Douglas’ diplomatic passport.

“Mr Mills cannot exhibit that document. We argued that it is inadmissible,” said Sookoo-Bobb, who further pointed out that looking at the document there is absolutely no passport number tying his client to the diplomatic passport, and it is an incomplete document seemingly Photoshopped.

Mills also relied on Facebook postings which Douglas’ lawyers described as “hearsay”.

She said it was curious as to how Mills was able to obtain documents which are private and ought to be kept in the custody of the Supervisor of Elections.

Mills submitted a copy of Douglas’ Nomination Paper that was obtained without an order of the High Court in which the National Elections Act specifically states that those documents are to be kept in the private custody of the Supervisor of Elections unless there is a court order allowing disclosure.

“We also challenged the three public officers who are attached to the Immigration Department who went into the immigration system and provided Mr. Mills with Dr. Douglas’ alleged date of travel, the aircraft number that he travelled on and his alleged dominica diplomatic passport number. We thought that is a serious and obscene breach of Dr. Douglas’ right to privacy that public officials can use their positions to retrieve private information about Dr. Douglas and give that to an ordinary citizen for the purposes of bringing what we consider a politically-malicious claim against Dr. Douglas.

“The court should strike out these immediately and they ought not to be in this matter one day longer,” Sookoo said.

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Diplomatic passport case filed by private citizen - ruled abuse of process

Diplomatic passport case filed by private citizen – ruled abuse of process

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, Friday July 13, CMC – Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas scored a legal victory on Friday when a High Court judge threw out a challenge filed by a private citizen to his right to sit in Parliament on the basis of his ownership of a Dominica diplomatic passport.

High Court Judge Trevor Ward ruled that the civil suit brought by Cuthbert Mills “was an abuse of the process”, since it had come after Attorney General Vincent Byron had already filed a similar claim.

Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas celebrates after the ruling.

Mills had submitted a claim that Douglas is not qualified to be the Parliamentary Representative for the constituency of St Christopher 6 because he has a Dominica diplomatic passport. But during a two-hour hearing last Friday, Douglas’ lawyers, Anthony Astaphan SC, Delano Bart QC, Sylvester Anthony and Angelina Gracey Sookoo-Bobb asked the judge for the claim to be struck out.

Sookoo-Bobb told the media after the ruling that Justice Ward had agreed with the former prime minister’s legal team that Mills’ claim amounted to an abuse of the process of the court, having been filed one month after Byron’s claim.

The court ruled that under the constitution, Mills was not allowed to bring a second claim or to intervene.

The issue of cost has been reserved and submissions will be made as to whether or not Mills will pay Douglas’ cost and how much he should pay.

“Those submissions are to be filed by July 19, 2018,” said Sookoo-Bobb.

The case brought by the Attorney General is to be heard on September 28.

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America is a nation of narcissists, according to two new studies

America is a nation of narcissists, according to two new studies

 

July 3

Is America a narcissistic country?

On a day when America gathers together to celebrate itself, this seems a fair question. The answer is a resounding yes, according to new research — but some states are more narcissistic than others.

In a study published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers asked more than 2,800 residents how much their home state contributed to the history of the United States.

Residents of Delaware believed on average that their state helped create 33 percent of the nation’s history. Georgians believed their state played almost as central a role, with 28 percent. Texans and Californians — two states famous for their braggadocio — ranked themselves at 21 and 22 percent, which was massive but nowhere near Virginia’s 41 percent and Massachusetts’s 35 percent.

“The question we asked is crazy in one sense, because there’s no correct answer, but it told us a lot about people and what they believe about themselves,” said Henry L. Roediger III, a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

What was universal was the self-aggrandizing view people have when it comes to their own states — a kind of communal selective memory and self-importance that psychologists are just beginning to study and have dubbed “collective narcissism.”

Even folks in state like Kansas and Wyoming — which weren’t part of the original 13 colonies or historical powerhouses — had outsize opinions of their role in American history.


How residents ranked the percentage their home state contributed to all of U.S. history. (Psychological Science)

When researchers added up the average estimations from each state, it equaled a whopping 907 percent. “We thought the numbers would be high, but not this high,” said Roediger, who studies memory theory.

He and the other researchers then had some participants first take a history quiz that emphasized the breadth of American history and the fact that there are 50 states. “We thought maybe if people had their face rubbed into U.S. history it would change the results,” Roediger said. “We thought they would say to themselves, ‘Hmm, none of this happened in Wyoming.’”

The prerequisite quiz had no effect at all.

To create something they call a “Narcissism Index,” the researchers compared the estimations by home state residents to how other people around the country ranked a state. Virginia and Delaware led the nation with the highest levels of collective narcissism, according to their index. New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia and New Jersey followed close behind.


Researchers created a Narcissism Index by comparing how residents rated their home state’s historical importance compared with nonresidents’ rankings. The only outlier was Washington state, which researchers believed was caused by people’s confusion with Washington, D.C. (Psychological Science)

The researchers involved in the state-by-state study attribute the seeming narcissistic behavior of residents to a few factors: that state history is often drilled into residents in school, that people are bad at math when it comes to estimating with small numbers, and a psychological tendency in people to think of themselves as better than average and to associate themselves with successful groups.

In a second study also published last month, some of the same researchers applied this approach on a global scale, asking residents in 35 countries how much their nation contributed to world history.

The results showed an even stronger phenomenon of collective narcissism at play. With 195 countries in the world, residents in every country surveyed had astronomically high estimations of their role in world history.

Even the residents in the lowest-ranked country, famously neutral Switzerland, believed on average that their nation contributed 11.3 percent to global events.

Relatively small countries had outsize estimations of their importance. Malaysians believed they contributed 49 percent of the world’s history. Portugal said 38 percent and Canada 40 percent.

Perhaps surprisingly, the United States — the world’s leading power in recent decades — landed in the middle of the pack, with a self-rating of 29.6 percent, behind Peru, Bulgaria and Singapore.

The leading narcissist in the world, according to the study, was Russia, whose residents on average believed their country contributed 60.8 percent of the world’s history

That remarkable result parallels other studies of Russia in the past decade. James Wertsch, an anthropologist and expert on collective memory, compared how differently Russians and Americans viewed their contributions to World War II. When asked to name the most important events of that war, American students consistently listed Pearl Harbor and D-Day. By contrast, Russian students named events such as the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Moscow. There was almost no overlap between the two groups.

In recent years, psychologists have become increasingly interested in the intersection of collective memory, narcissism and the way it plays out in the real world.

“On some level, you could say this narcissism and collective memory is bad because it can promote racism, nationalism, xenophobia,” said William Hirst, a psychologist at the New School in New York who was not involved in the two new studies. “You might ask why Mother Nature even gave us this kind of memory. But there are advantages to it, as well. It is what promotes common understandings of our past, what grounds our identity as a country or people.”

 

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Premier Romeo attends conference of Heads of Government Meeting

Premier Romeo attends conference of Heads of Government Meeting

Premier Donaldson Romeo

Premier, the Honourable Donaldson Romeo will be attending the ‘39th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community’ to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, this week.  

The Heads of Government Meeting from July 4 to 6 will bring together Heads from CARICOM and Associate Member States, to discuss a number of matters of importance for the Caribbean community.  The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and how to make it more effective, is one of the agenda items. 

Other matters to be discussed include, ‘Building Resilience’ specifically as it relates to disaster resilience in the Caribbean Community Post Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  A draft declaration on climate change which was requested by the Council for Foreign and Community Relations is also on the agenda for approval by the Heads.  Security and boarder issues, the report on the marijuana commission, matters related to the Caribbean Court of Justice and a CARICOM Regional strategy for the development of statistics are also carded for deliberations.   

The Conference of Heads of Government meeting also includes the ‘24th Meeting of the Prime Ministerial Sub Committee (PMSC) On External Economic Negotiations’ to be held on Thursday, July 5.  During this meeting, the PMSC will receive an overview of the regional and global developments relevant to CARICOM’s external trade agenda.  There will also be discussions on future trade relations with the United Kingdom post Brexit. 

Premier Romeo will be accompanied by the Deputy Financial Secretary, Mr. Phillip Chambers.  

 

Posted in Announcements/Greetings, Business/Economy/Banking, Government Notices, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is one of six governors who wrote the letter

Today’s the first family reunification deadline

 

Live Updates

By Meg Wagner and Brian Ries, CNN

Updated 1 min ago1:29 p.m. ET, July 6, 2018
15 min ago

What happens if a parent is deported without his or her kid?

From CNN’s Catherine Shoichet

A US judge has ordered the Trump administration to reunite the families it separated at the border — but does that include kids with parents who have already been deported?

In their latest court filing, the government asked the court for clarity about whether officials need to reunite children with with deported parents, noting that the judge’s ruling did not specify whether deported parents should be included. If that is required, the filing said, officials would need more time “given the complexities involved in locating individuals who have been removed, determining whether they wish to be reunified with their child, and facilitating such a reunification outside of the United States.”

How common is this scenario? Asked about what would happen in such cases Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, “If any parent has been deported … without their child, that likely would be a scenario where the parent had actually asked that the child remain.”

Immigration authorities are offering parents separated from their children at the border the option to be deported with or without their kids, according to a government document obtained by CNN this week.

Parents have also been offered the option to sign voluntary departure orders to speed up their cases even if they still have other legal options — and told they’ll be reunited with their kids before they are deported if they do.

Immigrant advocacy groups say they’re concerned that some parents may have been coerced or may have signed documents they didn’t understand.

Governors from 6 states want answers to these 6 questions about separated children

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is one of six governors who wrote the letter

Governors from six states — New York, Washington, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Oregon — sent a letter Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen “demanding answers concerning the reunification of immigrant families separated at the border,” according to a press release from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. 

The letter demands that the following six questions be answered:

  1. How many separated migrant children in HHS custody have already been reunified? 
  2. Of those children who have already been reunified, how many have been placed with the parents they arrived with at the U.S. southern border?
  3. If any were placed with a non-parent sponsor, what policies do your agencies intend to put in place to enable long-term reunification between children and their parents? 
  4. What steps is the federal government requiring separated parents to comply with before gaining back custody of their children?
  5. What safeguards are being put in place to ensure the results of any DNA testing of parents and children are not used for any purpose other than familial verification?
  6. How many of the separated migrant children in HHS custody have been provided with legal services and representation?

How many families have been reunited?

From CNN’s Catherine Shoichet

The only firm statistics we’ve gotten from officials about reunions came from US Customs and Border Protection, which said last month that 522 children who were separated from their family’s under the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy had been reunited with their parents. 

Important note: That number came before a judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite the families it separated at the border.

Federal agencies have repeatedly declined to respond to questions since the court ruling about how many families have been reunited.

34 min ago

What steps is the government taking to meet reunification deadlines?

From CNN’s Catherine Shoichet

US District Judge Dana Sabraw last month ordered the Trump administration to reunite the families it separated at the border — and laid out a series of deadlines in his ruling.

By Friday, officials must make sure every separated parent has a way to contact their child. By July 10, children under 5 must be reunited with their parents. And by July 26, all children should be reunited with their parents.

In a court filing ahead of today’s status hearing, the government outlined a series of steps it’s taking to comply with the court order, including

  • DNA testing
  • Increased staffing
  • Expediting existing processes. 

It’s likely more details will come out during the hearing.

 
53 min ago

Mike Pence attacks Democrats for calls to abolish ICE

From CNN’s Liz Landers

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in DC, blamed Democrats for “reckless” language calling to abolish ICE.

“Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and the Mayor of New York City have all already called for ICE’s abolition,” he told ICE officers gathered in a conference room here in DC. 

“These spurious attacks by political leaders on ICE must stop,” he said to some applause in the room.

What this is about: Gillibrand called for an end to ICE last month, and Warren called on the US replace it with “something that reflects our morality.” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, “ICE’s time has come and gone.”

Watch more from Pence:

This group says they were hung up on when they called looking for detention center information

From CNN’s Nick Valencia

The executive director of a Texas non-profit group tells CNN that the organization has faced significant hurdles as they work to reunite parents with their children.

Jonathan Ryan, with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (also known as RAICES), said representatives from his group have been hung up on when they call detention centers seeking information.

He added that he was turned away Thursday when he tried pay bonds for five women at a detention center.

“There are five women who should be free right now,” Ryan told CNN. “We were rejected at the front desk because we didn’t have bus tickets and airport tickets for them.”

Ryan says he hopes to pay the bonds for the five women today.

A little about this group: RAICES is the intended recipient of several online fundraisers that’s collecting money to help reunite the families, including one that has already raised more than $20 million.

You can learn more about the organization here.

2 hr 34 min ago

The government won’t say exactly how many kids are separated from their families

From CNN’s Clare Foran

The Department of Health and Human on Thursday estimated that there are fewer than 3,000 kids who may have been separated from their parents are in government custody.

But 10 days ago, the department reported that it had 2,047 children from separated families in its care.

During a Thursday call with reporters, HHS Secretary Alex Azar did not provide an exact number of children separated from families, but said “a review and comprehensive audit of multiple data sets” indicated that fewer than 3,000 total children — including an estimated 100 under the age of 5 — are in the care of Office of Refugee Resettlement-funded grantees. 

Watch more:

They were separated on Mother’s Day. 55 days later, this mom and daughter were reunited

From CNN’s Ray Sanchez and Linh Tran

She wept as she embraced her 8-year-old daughter Thursday afternoon at Boston’s Logan Airport, more than 2,500 miles from the Arizona detention center where Gonzalez-Garcia said an immigration agent wished her a “Happy Mother’s Day” before the girl was taken from her without explanation.

 

“Forgive me for leaving you all alone,” Gonzalez-Garcia cried. “Forgive me, my daughter. Forgive me.”

“I was very nervous,” Gonzalez-Garcia told CNN in an exclusive interview. “I was waiting for the moment she walked through that door. … She is all I have. She is my whole life. It’s been so long.”

Watch the moment:

4 hr 7 min ago

Government may ask court for extension on reunification deadlines

The Justice Department has informed a federal judge in San Diego that the administration is in compliance with stopping family separations, except under prescribed conditions (such as the safety of the child), as well as ensuring communication with separated parents and children by today. 

There’s a hearing in San Diego this afternoon, and the DOJ said the government may ask for extended deadlines. Officials laid out certain challenges in meeting the reunification deadlines of July 10 for children under age 5 and July 26 for children over 5.  

In the court filing, the government says in order to confirm parentage, the department of Health and Human Services is using DNA testing which can take time, and asks if the court will permit reunifications outside of the ordered timelines “in cases where parentage cannot be confirmed quickly.” The government says it is willing to propose an alternative timeline.

Additionally, HHS must determine that a “parent is not ‘unfit or presents a danger to the child,’’ which means HHS must also have “an independent finding that the individual has not engaged in any activity that would indicate a potential risk to the child,” before reunification. This process can be slowed down if the court order is interpreted to mean ICE must release parents from detention by compliance deadlines, and says “such release might slow reunification.”

Learn more about the DNA testing in the video below:

4 hr 9 min ago

The US government is supposed to make sure separated families have contact today

From CNN’s Emanuella Grinberg and Nick Valencia

Today is the first of three major deadlines for US officials working to reunited families that were separated at the border under President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy.

  • By July 6, officials must make sure every separated parent has a way to contact their child, US District Judge Dana Sabraw said in a June ruling.
  • Then, by July 10, officials must reunify all parents with their children under the age of 5.
  • They must reunify parents with children 5 and older by July 26.

So how is all of this working?

For many parents of separated families, one phone call is not enough, and a second one seems like a distant hope. Making contact does not necessarily bring clarity to a family’s situation, lawyers say. Sometimes, it can add to the confusion and deepen a parent’s despair.

Six lawyers working with dozens of detained parents have told CNN their clients had at least one phone call with their children. Most times, those phone calls last less than five minutes, said human rights lawyer Sara E. Dill, who is working with detained parents at Port Isabel Service Detention Center in Los Fresnos, Texas.

Posted in International, Kids, Local, News, Politics, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Chris Cillizza

The 11 most dangerous things Donald Trump said in his Montana speech

(CNN) On Thursday night, President Donald Trump flew to Montana to headline a rally for Matt Rosendale, the Republican nominee against Sen. Jon Tester (D) this November. Trump’s speech was, like most of his addresses, a remarkable mix of stream-of-consciousness thinking, fact-challenged claims and demagoguery.

Normally, I go through the transcript of Trump’s speeches to pick out 30 or 40 (or 50) of the most eye-popping lines, the sentences that stood out most to me for whatever reason. I tend to take a light-hearted approach to this exercise because Trump’s word-salad tendencies when speaking extemporaneously are exacerbated when reading a transcript of his speeches.
Today, I am going to take a different approach.
Trump’s speech on Thursday night contained a number of genuinely dangerous lines, lines no president before Trump would even considering uttering among a small group of friends — much less in front of thousands of people. Below, then, are the 11 most dangerous lines Trump said last night — and why each one poses a real risk to the body populace.
1. “She gets special treatment under the Justice Department. … Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. She gets special treatment under the Justice Department.”
Trump is talking here, of course, about Hillary Clinton. He’s interrupted in his attack by chants of “lock her up” from the crowd. Trump’s undermining of the Justice Department — which he has done on an almost-daily basis since winning the White House — is deeply dangerous to how people perceive those who are tasked with enforcing our laws. When the President of the United States insists the Justice Department is biased and can’t be trusted, it erodes one of the long-standing pillars of civil society.
2. “It’s a rigged deal, folks. It’s a rigged deal. I used to say it. It’s a rigged deal. It’s a disgrace.”
It’s not entirely clear to me what Trump is referring to here — whether he’s reiterating that the FBI is biased or, more likely, casting aspersions on the whole system of government. Either way, he’s fomenting (for political gain) the resentment that lots of people feel toward their government and toward societal establishment more generally.
Trump is provoking people to believe that there is some “they” out there working to keep you down. And enjoying doing it.
3. “But we signed a wonderful paper saying they’re going to denuclearize their whole thing. It’s going to all happen.”
Trump’s assertion that North Korea has agreed to denuclearize and that “it’s going to all happen” is a massive overstatement of the facts. What Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed in Singapore last month was a sort of outline of an agreement. There was nothing binding in it. And this week we got word that satellites have picked up what looks to be more construction at a ballistic missile site in North Korea. So yeah, this version of the North Korea story via Trump misses some major points.
4. “They are so dishonest. Fake news. They’re fake news media.”
Eight days ago, a man walked into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland and murdered five staffers. His motives were his own — he held a grudge against the paper for its coverage of a criminal harassment claim against him — and had nothing to do with Trump’s repeated rhetorical attack on the media as “fake.” Full stop. That said, one might think that in the wake of such violence committed against reporters, the President of the United States might be more mindful of savaging the media to a crowd of his supporters. That would be the responsible thing to do. That isn’t what Trump did.
5. “You know what? Putin’s fine. He’s fine. We’re all fine. We’re people.”
This is a dangerously naive view of the Russian president. First of all, the US intelligence community has unanimously said that Russia actively meddled in the 2016 election. Under Putin, Russia invaded the Ukraine and annexed the Crimean peninsula. Then there’s the fact that people critical of Putin — including journalists — keep winding up murdered under very suspicious circumstances. These are not the actions of a “fine” person.
6. “They’re fake. They’re fake. They quote sources — ‘A source within the Trump organization said’ — a source. They don’t have a source.”
Trump’s impugning of the media’s use of unnamed sources is part of a broader attempt on his part to undermine a free and independent media. For those who cheer that effort — and insist the media deserves what they get — I would ask you a simple question: Have you ever seen what life is like for the citizenry in a country in which the media is state-run?
7. “A vote for the Democrats in November is a vote to let MS-13 run wild in our communities.”
Campaign rhetoric can be a bit over the top. But this feels beyond the pale to me. Trump is purposely weaponizing fear here. Democrats do not, in fact, want to let the violent MS-13 gang “run wild in our communities.” But Trump knows that the image of tattooed thugs marauding your neighborhood strikes terror in the hearts of many people. And that terror is useful to him in a political context.
8. “Democrats want anarchy, they really do, and they don’t know who they’re playing with, folks.”
Two things here. First, Trump is saying Democrats want “anarchy” — total chaos to be loosed on the United States. Again, weaponizing fear. Second, the threat inherent in “they don’t know who they’re playing with” is purposeful and dangerous. If the 2018 or 2020 election is regarded by people as a war between the rule of law and anarchy or between war and peace, then there will be people out there who feel as though using any means necessary to win is totally justified. And that is a scary proposition.
9. “I said it the other day, yes, she is a low-IQ individual, Maxine Waters. I said it the other day. High — I mean, honestly, she’s somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe that.”
What Trump is saying: A prominent African-American female politician is very dumb. And, no, none of this is by accident.
10. “Winning the Electoral College is very tough for a Republican, much tougher than the so-called ‘popular vote,’ where people vote four times, you know. Much tougher. Much, much tougher.”
Study after study has shown that claims of widespread voter fraud and abuse are simply not borne out by the facts. Which doesn’t stop Trump from pushing the idea to his base by insisting that people “vote four times” in the popular vote. And if you don’t think trying to disqualify the results of an election without evidence is dangerous, then you aren’t thinking straight — or at all.
11. “We will take that little kit and say, but we have to do it gently. Because we’re in the ‘#MeToo’ generation so I have to be very gentle. And we will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm even though it only weighs probably two ounces. And we will say, I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test so that it shows you’re an Indian.”
Truly remarkable. In his usual riff about the questions surrounding Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native-American heritage, Trump shows his true colors on the #MeToo movement. He seems to suggest that the movement, which grew out of a series of news stories of powerful men sexually harassing women, is about political correctness run rampant. Trump seems to think — or at least say — that he has to be careful not to offend the #MeToo movement by throwing a DNA heritage kit at Warren. Which both deeply misunderstands what the #MeToo movement is about and denigrates the entire idea of women feeling safe to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.

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Caribbean Court Rules Guyanese Presidential Term Limits Legal

Caribbean Court Rules Guyanese Presidential Term Limits Legal

CCJ rules two terms only for presidents of Guyana

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jun. 25, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ruled that   an amendment, that barred Presidents of the Republic of Guyana from serving more than two terms in office, was a valid amendment to the Constitution.

In the ruling handed down on Tuesday, the court said that after examining the  historical background of the amendment to the constitution of Guyana, it was noted that it was passed unanimously by the National Assembly during the administration of President  Bharrat Jagdeo.

“The CCJ felt that it was clear that the amendment did not emerge from the desire of any political party to manipulate the requirements to run for the office of President. The Constitution was amended after extensive national consultation and therefore represented a sincere attempt to enhance democracy in Guyana,” the regional court said.

The challenge to Act No 17 of 2001 amended Chapter 90 of the Constitution to set presidential term limits and qualification for presidential candidates was made by a private citizen, Cedric Richardson who challenged the amendment on the basis that he should have the right to choose whomsoever he wanted to be President. 

He also stated that the amendment disqualified Jagdeo, who had previously served two terms as President, from running for office in upcoming elections. Richardson argued that the amendment was inconsistent with his rights under Articles 1 and 9 of the Constitution which declared that Guyana was a “sovereign democratic state”.

He said that in order for the National Assembly to amend the Constitution, the amendment had to be supported by a majority vote in a referendum. He said that no referendum was held before the amendment in 2000 and therefore the amendment was unconstitutional.

The High Court, and a majority of the Court of Appeal, agreed with  Richardson.

They said that an essential feature of a sovereign democratic state was the freedom enjoyed by its people to choose whom they wish to represent them.

The  court said the amendment was therefore unconstitutional because it “diluted the opportunity of the people to elect a President of their choice.”

The Attorney General of Guyana had appealed to the CCJ challenging the majority ruling in the Court of Appeal.

The challenge to the term limit came in the run up to the historic 2015 general elections, when the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) lost to the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition after 23 years in office of which Bharrat Jagdeo served two terms as President.

The challenge  sought to allow Jagdeo to contest elections again.

The main issue in the appeal was whether the additional qualifications set out in the amendment diluted the rights of the electorate or undermined the sovereign democratic nature of the state of Guyana as prescribed by Articles 1 and 9. 

All seven judges of the CCJ heard the appeal.

The CCJ also stated that new qualifications can be introduced by valid constitutional amendments and that the National Assembly had the power to amend the Constitution by a vote of at least two-thirds of all members of the Assembly, without holding a referendum.

The Court also outlined guiding principles for assessing when new amendments to the Constitution did not require the holding of a referendum.

 

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Jamaica prepares for CARICOM Heads of government conference

Jamaica prepares for CARICOM Heads of government conference

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jun 29, CMC – Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith says the country is  gearing up to welcome 200 foreign officials to the  39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that gets underway next week.

The meeting, scheduled to take place in the western capital of  Montego Bay,  , will be hosted by Prime Minister  Andrew Holness, who assumes Chairmanship of the Conference on July 1.

The foreign officials expected include Heads of State and Government of the Community and their respective delegations, officials from other regional hemispheric and international bodies and institutions as well as members of the diplomatic corps, both local and overseas, who are accredited to CARICOM.

During a press conference on Thursday, Johnson Smith, said Jamaica welcomes the opportunity to host the conference, which is expected to address several critical issues that impact the economic and social advancement of the countries of the region.

“We are honoured by it (chairmanship), as it gives us the great chance to play a major role in the development of the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and, of course, the general integration movement in line with our development objectives and those of CARICOM member States,” she said.

She told reporters that all 15 Heads of CARICOM and heads of associate members have confirmed their attendance – adding that for the first time in 15 years, there will be full participation.

“We take the strong presence as a signal of confidence in Jamaica’s chairmanship as well as, perhaps, a positive and renewed energy and vigor around CARICOM and the potential that it holds for us all,” she said.

The Foreign Affairs Minister further noted that two special guests will attend the conference – President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, and President of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel.

“We welcome both Presidents with open arms and look forward to hosting them here…they will both have the opportunity to engage with Heads in that context, and we very much look forward to strengthening our partnerships with both countries,” she said.

In addition, United States Deputy Secretary, John Sullivan, will be hosting a breakfast for foreign ministers on July 6.

Among the key agenda items are crime and violence, disaster management and climate change, and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The Conference of Heads of Government, which consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States, is the supreme organ of the Caribbean Community and determines and provides its policy direction.

Jamaica’s hosting of the conference this year is in keeping with the regular system of rotation within CARICOM. Prime Minister Holness’ tenure will last until December 31.

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Clarification – Montserrat’s volcano at risk of imminent eruption? – 22 June 2018

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RODERICK STEWART • MONTSERRAT VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

TMR: Bennette Roach: June 29, 2018 – As a result of that article, On March 16, 2018 we front paged the following “UK newspapers endanger
Montserrat”. https://www.themontserratreporter.com/uk-newspapers-endanger-montserrat-again/ We noted: “It wouldn’t be the first time that UK Newspapers have distorted and published information that turned out unfavourable and detrimental to the Island…Following the publication on 7 March 2018 of two articles in UK newspapers members of the public have expressed concerns about the current status of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat (SHV)…The newspaper articles are misleading and, in the case of The Express, alarmist!”

The following article comes three months later and will help to restore some credibility… we would like to hear from ‘The Guardian’, who earlier had, according to sources, refused to recant.

The Expess: On 07 March 2018 we published an articled headline “Montserrat’s volcano update: Is the terrifying volcano at risk of imminent eruption?”.

The article said that the volcano was showing signs of intense activity. The article was subsequently amended on 03 April 2018.

The article claimed that ‘Montserrat’s dormant volcano last erupted in 1997, when the fiery mountain reared its ugly head after a two-year-longperiod of activity.’ This is incorrect.

The eruption started in 1995 and has continued ever since that date, with five “pauses” in the surface activity.

According to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) the volcano is currently in such a pause, which started in February 2010.

Inflation, earthquakes and gas characterise these pauses. The first paragraph said that volcano-tectonic earthquakes in February had ‘sparking fears of eruption.

The MVO state that nobody in the Monserrat government, or scientific community has developed a fear of an eruption because of these earthquakes.

According to the MVO five earthquakes in a week is not unusual for the Monserrat volcano because the average weekly rate since February 2010 is four.

One week recorded 62 such earthquakes.

This type of earthquake activity, known as a “swarm”, is considered to be perfectly normal at this stage in the eruption.

The article also said “But volcanologists monitoring the volcano have noted increased volcanic stirring underneath Montserrat.”

We have been asked to clarify that the MVO has regularly reported on activity and that since 2010 there has been gradual inflation of the volcano and the entire island due to the influx of magma at depth.

Professor Neuberg had been re-examining some of the data in a quest for an alternative explanation and concluded that there is no reason to change MVO’s interpretation.

The rate quoted of “35 cubic feet of magma building up beneath the island every seven seconds” is a new estimate, but remains the average rate since 2010.

Consequently there has been no “increased volcanic stirring”.

Since February 2010 the advice from MVO has always been that the eruption is not over and that surface activity may restart.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/clarifications-corrections/978179/Montserrats-volcano-clarification

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