Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica has brushed aside suggestions of a link between his administration and a Chinese billionaire charged in the United States for providing bribes to a former Antigua and Barbuda top United Nations diplomat.The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has been calling on Skerrit to come clean on the issue ever since court records in the United States showed that a complaint had been brought by the United States attorney for the Southern District, charging Dr. John Ashe, who once served as president of the United Nations General Assembly and five others, including a billionaire developer from the Chinese territory of Macau.The complaint alleges that the five, including billionaire Bg Lap Seng, also known as David Ng, paid bribes to the former Antigua and Barbuda diplomat in exchange for “benefits from the UN and the government of Antigua and Barbuda.”In addition, the complaint claims, the former diplomat received more than US$800,000 in bribes from “various Chinese businessmen” and that he “shared a portion of the bribe payments” with senior Antiguan government officials, including the prime minister.Skerrit, who, was seen in a photograph, taken before the arrests, with the men in Macau, brushed aside questions from reporters on the issue at a news conference. But Skerrit told reporters he has no diplomatic immunity protecting him.“As Prime Minister I do not have diplomatic immunity anywhere in the world including Dominica,” he said. “If I were to commit a crime in Dominica I could be arrested or in Grenada or in the United States. So I do not have diplomatic immunity. Courtesies are extended to me as the Prime Minister of this country but I do not have diplomatic immunity in any country in the world at any time.”Skerrit confirmed the authenticity of the photograph with him Chinese investor, saying he was not the only leader whose photo had been taken during the function.
Robert Voets/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2017 WBEI. All rights reserved.(LOS ANGELES) — Actor Bill Paxton died of stroke days after undergoing surgery to fix an aortic aneurysm and repair a heart defect, according to his death certificate.The 61-year-old actor died on February 25, just 11 days after undergoing surgery to repair the aneurysm and replace a valve in his heart.His death certificate also revealed that the longtime actor, star of films like Twister and Aliens, was born with a form of heart disease called bicuspid aortic valve. It is a birth defect characterized by the aortic valve having only two small leaflets that help regulate blood flow in the heart instead of the usual three.The defect is associated with increased risk of aneurysm, stroke or heart failure. It is one of the most common cardiac birth defects and is estimated to be present in two percent of the population, according to the Cleveland Clinic.Paxton’s death certificate does not specify the cause of his fatal stroke or whether it was related to his birth defect.Paxton’s representative did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for additional comment about the cause of death.In an earlier statement, his family said the actor and Texas native died due to complications from surgery.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico Related
This is a continuation from the contentions put forward last week on this subject matter. On the other suggestion put forward, the one having to do with farming, opportunities exist in the supply of fruits etc., and indeed those are good initiatives; but as far as this author is aware (and I stand corrected), no lands were transferred to the ownership of these workers, as was promised to them, to get into farming of other crops. This notwithstanding, while the idea sounds ambitious, in practice there are some completely different peculiarities altogether.Again, hypothetically, if a few thousands of these people do get into farming, who will they sell to? The process to convert cane lands into alternative agricultural lands would attract a financial cost which sugar workers and farmers would certainly not be able to bear. Consideration must be given to what other crops will be planted. There is excessive production of the common provisions and cash crops, and lack of export market for these produce is another concern.In addition, without value-added mechanisms in place, excessive production would ultimately lead to wastage and depressed pricing.There is also the other initiative of training with new skills, such as carpentry, plumbing, and so on; as the sacked workers themselves said – speaking to the press not too long ago – how much work will they get as carpenters, and how often? Most of the homes already have plumbing. Ironically, too, the administration of the day has squashed the housing drive that was pioneered under the previous administration, which had seen thousands of homes being built and the development of huge housing schemes and other such like developments across the country – a time when there was virtually a housing or construction boom.So it is very ironic that there is no substantive policy to fuel a construction boom in which carpenters and other tradesmen could have a steady flow of work, and ultimately income to support their livelihoods.In the most basic sense, demand side policies versus supply side policies in the context of GuySuCo’s fiasco is such that, in order for there to be sustained and increasing demand for goods and services in an economy, the consumers need to have the spending power. More disposable income drives a demand which in turn propels economic growth.On the supply side of things, if people don’t have the spending power, how will businesses get sales? Sales will fall, which could also lead to unemployment. If someone decides to invest $500,000 into a business, selling clothing or any other commodity or venture, if people don’t have money to spend and support that business/investment, then it will simply fail.That being said, advising the sacked sugar workers to take their severance and invest in a business is totally nonsensical. Who will buy? Who have the power to buy?This author understands that the sugar workers were also advised to invest in stocks; meaning, shares in companies on the local stock exchange. Again, this is hilarious. If one were to invest one million dollars in shares, first of all, companies are not necessarily obligated to pay dividends; that depends on the financial state and strategic plans of the company; and return on that would be very minimal or insignificant, bearing in mind that dividends are paid only once or twice a year. People invest in those kinds of investments only when they have excess cash or liquidity. This means that they have a steady flow of monthly income to maintain their normal lifestyles, pay their bills, travel, go on a vacation, party, have properties and vehicles, enjoy a good quality of life, could afford to send their children to school and university, and still have excess cash; which would more or less be in a savings account.It is those savings – referred to as excess cash – that are usually invested in company shares and other financial instruments in the financial markets.And last, but not least, this retrenchment will cost the economy approximately $10 billion in income distribution annually, which in turn is utilised for consumer spending. Consumer spending fuels economic growth; sustains the livelihoods of businesses, such as retailers, the fisher man, the taxi driver, hire car drivers, minibus operators, the vendors on the streets, the village shops, and the wider retail and distribution sector, in addition to spending in their own village economies; and the list goes on.And this is how approximately 40,000 plus dependents are affected adversely in ways that will have far-reaching implications for the economy. Unemployment will increase, poverty will be on the rise, and social and economic hardships will be activated for a wide cross-section of the Guyanese people, and by extension the economy.