Environmental levy not ‘earmarked tax’ – Jordan

first_img…admits no concrete plans outlined for usageThe Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has reportedly collected close to $1.2 billion in environmental taxes as at the end of 2017, but no specific usage has been earmarked for this new tax, nor has a fund been set up for it to be deposited into.Finance Minister Winston JordanThis is according to Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who has said the environmental tax is not an “earmarked tax.”The minister recently told Guyana Times that even if Government were to collect the entire $1.2 billion of that money, it would be used for various reasons. Jordan said this tax only adds to the total revenue that is collected on an annual basis and used for multiple development projects.“There is no environmental fund which these taxes are put into and the fund has specific uses. What we have is an environmental tax designed to not destroy the environment and to discourage certain types of consumption. And that money now, since it’s gone into the Consolidated Fund, is in the wash,” he said.Jordan explained that the $400 million given in subsidies to City Hall could be described as money used towards an environmental cause, but the money did not necessarily come from a specific fund set up to collect the environmental tax and used only for environmental purposes.“When we have enough money to put into a fund and do specific things in the environment, we will do that,” he explained.The minister said some people are under the impression that all taxes collected by Government through the GRA are massive sums, but in actuality this does not cater for everything.He said the country has never had a balanced budget, wherein revenues are just equal to, or greater than, expenditure.“When I presented the last budget, and I’ll tell you again: despite all the revenue projections we have made for 2018 budget, we still have to borrow a net amount of in excess of $40 billion. So even if we were to collect the $1.2 billion this year — which we are budgeting to collect — until we can improve revenue collection and different sources of financing, and until our expenditure can plateau, we will always have deficit budgets. And to answer (the query): the environmental tax is not an earmarked tax.”GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia told this newspaper recently that since implementation of this tax, some progress has been seen in recycling and re-exporting of bottles, something that had never happened in the past.The Commissioner General noted also that there has been a substantial reduction in plastic being used by local manufacturers; because “the GRA has a way in which we check the weight and so on,” he explained.“And there is at least one company other than Banks DIH that recycles their plastic, and we give them a credit for what is recycled. It has been helping in a major way,” he posited.The new environmental tax was implemented by the GRA with effect from February 1, 2017. A fee of $10 per bottle on non-returnable containers is being charged.However, even as Government rakes in millions from this tax, environmental analysts are worried that not much is being done to ensure that Guyana’s environment remains pristine. This concern arose since no concrete plan has been outlined by Government on how this money would be used for proper environmental management.The levy, which accords with amendments to Section 7A (1) of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01, became applicable to non-returnable units imported, locally manufactured, or produced in Guyana.The Customs Act provides for the levy to be charged on every non-returnable unit of metal, plastic or glass container of any alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage or water, whether imported, locally manufactured, or produced in Guyana.The levy also applies to the said products whether they are imported and not warehoused, or imported and removed from a warehouse, factory, bond or other place of storage.Exports, on the other hand, are exempt from the environmental levy.The law outlines that any person who fails to pay the levy would, upon summary conviction, be liable to a fine of $50,000 together with a sum of twice the amount of the levy payable.last_img read more

Harrison says he will answer critics

first_imgAudley Harrison insists he will answer his critics by seeing off Ali Adams and putting himself back in the frame for a major title.Wembley’s former Olympic champion faces the Iraq-born Adams, who lives in Chelsea, at the Brentwood Centre in Essex on May 26.It will be the 40-year-old Harrison’s first bout since he was beaten by David Haye in a one-sided world heavyweight title fight in November 2010.Harrison said: “I know it’s dangerous to look past an opponent, especially when they’re hungry and motivated like Ali Adams. But let’s be honest, I’m in a different league.“After I give Ali Adams a lesson in the sweet science, I’m looking for a challenge with one of the upcoming heavyweights. I’m throwing my name into the hat with David Price, Tyson Fury, Jonathan Banks or Seth Mitchell.”The much-maligned Harrison says he will retire if he loses to Adams, who has pledged to end his career.A victory could set up a clash with the likes of Price, who fights Sam Sexton for the British title this weekend.“I found a way to create some goodwill with my appearance on Strictly Come Dancing and I made my body heal,” Harrison added.“I’m ready to put in not one, but a succession of Olympic-type performances to finish my career on a high and go out as a British bad-boy-done-good, who turned his life around and did himself, his family and his country proud.“Through my trials and tribulations, people will come to understand the power of never ever giving up and rising up each time life knocks you down.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Jurassic “Beaver” Raises Fur

first_imgAnother mammal has been found smack in the middle of the age of dinosaurs.  Science reported the discovery of Castorocauda lutrasimilis, an aquatic mammal about 17” long, found in China and dated according to evolutionary reckoning to 164 million years old – some 40 million years older than the previous record holder (see also 04/01/2005 and 01/12/2005 finds).  Though not a beaver (perhaps more like a platypus or echidna), it resembled beavers and otters in several ways, including having webbed feet and a flattened tail with various grades of real mammal fur.  It’s name means “beavertailed otter-like” animal.  The discoverers, Qiang Ji et al.,1 were amazed to find soft-tissue features, including webbing between toes, carbonized underfur and fur impressions.  This pushes back the origin of fur by millions of years.    Thomas Martin put this find in context with other known mammal kin,2 and delineated the “unexpected diversity” of Jurassic and Cretaceous mammals.  Not too long ago, TV documentaries were portraying even Cretaceous-era mammals as little shrew-size wimps scurrying underfoot the ruling dinosaurs.  The aquatic adaptations of Castorocauda demonstrates that land mammals were already diverse and well-adapted to a wide variety of habitats.  This implies that any common ancestor has to be pushed farther back in the evolutionary tale.    The story was picked up by MSNBC News, which said this fossil “overturns ideas about mammals’ lowly status in dinosaur era,” and by National Geographic, which said this “rewrites the history of mammals.”  Finding fur and soft tissues on a mammal assumed this old clearly astonished all the reporters and experts.1Ji et al., “A Swimming Mammaliaform from the Middle Jurassic and Ecomorphological Diversification of Early Mammals,” Science, 24 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5764, pp. 1123 – 1127, DOI: 10.1126/science.1123026.2Thomas Martin, “Early Mammalian Evolutionary Experiments,” Science, 24 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5764, pp. 1109 – 1110, DOI: 10.1126/science.1124294.How many anomalies like this is it going to take?  This completely-unexpected find pushes the evolutionary ancestry tale and timeline to the breaking point.  Imagine finding a good-sized, well-adapted, aquatic mammal way back in the mid-Jurassic.  You didn’t see these in Jurassic Park.  LiveScience and the other Charlie-worshipping news outlets expect us to believe that this pushes back the origin of aquatic mammals 100 million years.  How can you believe that?  This critter pops out of nowhere, goes extinct, and a hundred million years later, the Beav pops up out of nowhere?  LieScience also claims this animal was not a monotreme or a beaver, but a close relative, and achieved its lifestyle adaptations by “convergent evolution”.  When are people going to get sick and tired of these cop-out excuses?    Darwin defenders have long claimed that it would be easy to falsify evolution: just show a vertebrate in the Cambrian.  So we did.  Or find a mammal in the Cambrian.  We’re getting close.  There have been a steady stream of discoveries that have push advanced life-forms farther back in time (e.g., next story), meaning that mucho evolution had to take place in poco tiempo.  At the other end, the Cambrian explosion (02/14/2006) with its sudden emergence of all the major body plans in the blink of a geologic eye has gotten tighter.  These problems arise even assuming the geologic timetable.  Now, mix in the discovery of flexible, soft tissues in as much as half the dinosaur bones found (see 02/22/2006) and the Darwin storytelling machine is pushing past the red line.    Adding to the crisis from another angle, consider the situation in planetary science.  At a public lecture at JPL today, the speaker described the huge puzzle of supersonic winds on Venus (driven probably by active volcanoes), and the completely unexpected discovery of water geysers on Enceladus (see 11/28/2005) – impossible to maintain for billions of years.  He had no answers.  He stressed how baffling Enceladus is in particular, because scientists can’t invoke tidal flexing or any of the other tricks used to explain Io’s volcanoes.  These are just two samples among a number of recent anomalies that have scientists scratching their heads and scrambling to explain things that, in an old solar system, simply cannot be.    These problems each stem from trusting in a timeline that is no longer plausible.  Lyell, the lawyer, was wrong about his quasi-eternal, steady-state earth.  Like the other Charlie, he is dead, and the ideas of both of them have outlived their 15 decades of fame.  Let them rest in peace, and let’s move on.  Who in the science community will be first to state the obvious?  That fur is not 164 million years old, and neither are those blood vessels in the dinosaur bones, or those geysers on Enceladus.  They look young because they are.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Selfishness and Responsibility Are Just a Game

first_imgIt’s become increasingly common for evolutionists to explain human behavior in terms of games.  Another entry in this genre was published by Science Daily, which began, “‘Game theory’ is used to predict the behaviour of individuals when making choices that depend on the choices of others.  First developed as a tool for understanding economic behaviour, game theory is increasingly used in many diverse fields, ranging from biology and psychology to sociology and philosophy.”    Researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Bristol devised a mathematical model and applied it to humans, in order to provide “a new explanation as to why a wide range of personality traits has evolved in humans and other social species.”  Their basic idea is that if you seed the mathematical model their colleague developed with variation and monitoring by others, a diversity of selfish and cooperative individuals popped out as an artifact.   In evolutionary terms, this trend is self-perpetuating: variation begets more variation, increasing the gap between those who trusted and co-operated, and those that exploited trusting individuals….    Although the model focuses on individuals, the findings have implications for understanding whole societies  They are also significant because they offer an explanation as to why variation has evolved in human beings and other social species.They seem to be implying that politics, economics, law, national security, charity, and love have now all been subsumed under the game of evolution.  But does a game really qualify as a scientific explanation?  It seems to suffer the same flaw as natural selection: just as selection implies a selector, a game implies a game-maker who sets up the rules.  Is that not what they did with their mathematical model? OK, let’s play their little game.  Let’s punish these non-cooperators for exploiting the gullibility of individuals.  How could they complain?  We’re just more clever at the game than they are.  While they are scratching their heads about our strategy, we move in for the checkmate: pointing out that, by sacrificing their own queen of rationality, they have exposed King Darwin to self-refutation.  For more detail, read the entries from 10/02/2008, 06/03/2008, 05/02/2008, 04/23/2008, 03/21/2008, 03/12/2008, 02/03/2008, and 01/20/2008 – and that’s just from this year.  It gets so tiring to beat the evolutionists at their own game all the time when we’re trying to get some work done.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Earthbound Martians Go Nuts

first_imgHow 90,000 Earthlings sent greetings to imaginary friends on Mars, and other Martian nuttiness.Beam me up:  PhysOrg reports that 90,000 people sent greetings to Mars.  The occasion?  The 50th anniversary of NASA’s Mariner 2, the first spacecraft to orbit the red planet.  It seems there could be other ways to celebrate, but it’s the touchy-feely thought that counts.  The mission of uwingu.com is to help “create new ways for people to personally connect with space exploration and astronomy.”  Presumably, sending one-way signals via radio to non-sentient dust and craters counts as one of those ways.Martian meteorites alive? Not again:  Echoing the 1996 Martian meteorite that launched the new science of Astrobiology, the French are trying that public titillation tactic again.  With a silly video on the website of Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne, scientists are tantalizing readers with “Traces of possible Martian biological activity inside a meteorite” that its promoters think “shows that martian life is more probable than previously thought.”  It’s a pretty convoluted tale about organic molecules in a piece of meteorite named Tissint; the story is high on the perhapsimaybecouldness index.  It seems more a publicity stunt to “rekindle debate” about Martian life, the press release suggests.  (Live Science doubts the claim.)  At least one of the scientists recognizes that “Insisting on certainty is unwise, particularly on such a sensitive topic.”  Ah, but there’s power in suggestion.Here’s another suggestion for personally connecting with space exploration: take a vacation to Venus.We won’t waste your time with other recent articles flaunting the “suggestion” of life on Mars.  Many of these people detest theists for having an “imaginary friend” in the Creator.  Well, someone said wisdom is known by its children.Question: is it intelligent design when one party initiates a communication channel with dirt? (Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Court sides with ag retailers on process safety management standard

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The D.C. Court of Appeals last week ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when it issued an enforcement memorandum on July 22, 2015, redefining the “retail facility” exemption to the Process Safety Management Standard.The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute, which brought the suit to court, are pleased with the decision.“OSHA made a bad decision in regulating ammonia in response to an ammonium nitrate incident, and the agency made that decision incorrectly,” said Daren Coppock ARA President & CEO. “Although ARA could only challenge on the procedural point and not the decision itself, we’re still very pleased to see the Court rule in our favor and to provide this relief to our members.”Ag retailers are exempt from PSM until OSHA completes a notice-and-comment rulemaking process regarding PSM, which could take several years to finalize. ARA is currently reviewing the court’s decision and will provide additional analysis once our assessment is complete. For now, retailers can celebrate a victory on the legal front.“It’s a big win. Given the significant economic costs and absence of any safety benefit, the court made the correct decision,” said Harold Cooper, ARA Chairman. “The retail exemption has been in place for more than 20 years and OSHA should not have redefined it without an opportunity for stakeholders to comment.”Cooper said this could have easily gone another way.“As an industry, ag retailers tend to be complacent about regulations that come our way. We keep our heads down and do what’s required,” he said. “But this rule would have limited farmers and retailers options through an agency’s improper regulatory overreach. Thankfully, ARA was uniquely prepared and positioned to defend our industry. They gave us a vehicle to fight and win this battle.”last_img read more

Nov. Ethanol, DDG Exports Up From ’17

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest OMAHA (DTN) — The U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday that U.S. exports of goods and services totaled $209.9 billion in November, down $1.3 billion from October. Imports totaled $259.2 billion, down $7.7 billion on the month. The resulting trade deficit of $49.4 billion for November was down from $55.7 billion in October. USDA later provided more details for exports of ethanol, biodiesel, and distillers grains.USDA said U.S. exports of ethanol totaled 147.9 million gallons in November, down from 175.4 million in October, but up 43% from a year ago. Brazil was the top destination again in November, accounting for 35% of total exports and followed by Canada and India. In the first 11 months of 2018, U.S. ethanol exports were up 30% from a year ago.U.S. exports of biodiesel totaled 22,036 metric tons (mt) in November, slightly less than October, but up 217% from a year ago. Once again, Canada was the top destination in November, taking 64% of all U.S. exports, followed by Netherlands and Mexico. So far in 2018, U.S. exports of biodiesel are up 9% from a year ago.U.S. exports of distillers grains totaled 1,016,544 mt in November, a little less than October, but up 16% from a year ago. U.S. distillers grains continue to find broad interest with Mexico, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea listed as the top five destinations, accounting for 58% of exports in November. The first 11 months of 2018 showed exports of U.S. distillers grains up 9% from a year ago.(AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Tenure of Rajasthan Lokayukta cut

first_imgThe Rajasthan Assembly on Monday passed the Rajasthan Lokayukta and Up-Lokyuktas (Amendment) Bill to reduce the tenure of the Lokayukta from earlier eight years to five years. The Bill was presented by Energy Minister B.D. Kalla in the House on behalf of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and was passed by voice vote. Under the amendment in the Bill, which was brought to replace an ordinance issued in March this year, the tenure of the Lokayukta has been reduced to five years from eight years. The previous BJP government had increased the Lokayukta’s tenure to eight years from five years last year. “Recently, the term of office of the Lokayukta was increased from five years to eight years by amending section 5 of the Rajasthan Lokayukta and Up-Lokayuktas Act, 1973. But in most of the States of the country the Lokayukta holds the office for a term of five years. “Moreover, the term of the chairperson under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 (Central Act No. 1 of 2014) is also five years,” the statement of objects and reasons of the Bill said. “In order to maintain parity with the term of Lokayukta in other States of the country and, chairperson of Lokpal in the Centre, it was decided by the State government that term of five years is adequate for the office of the Lokayukta,” it further said. Heated argumentsDuring the debate on the Bill, heated arguments broke out between Speaker C.P. Joshi and Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore when the latter was asked to be specific on the topic.last_img read more

TCI Police Crime Update

first_imgChargesOn Monday, March 5th, a 19-year-old male was arrested and charged in relation to a Burglary report. The man who remains in Police custody is scheduled to appear before the Magistrates Court on March 19TH, 2018. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, March 6, 2018 – Providenciales –ArrestsA man was arrested on South Caicos on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018, for the offence of wounding in connection with a report made to Police. The man was granted bail in the sum of USD$2000 and scheduled to return to the Police Station on South Caicos on March 7TH, 2018.A 39-year-old woman of Five Cays was arrested on Monday, March 5th, 2018 on suspicion of theft of USD$3000, at a major grocery store on Providenciales. The woman was granted bail in the amount USD$3500. Related Items: Burglary Police are investigating a Burglary that took place at a home in Blue Hills on March 2nd, 2018. The complainant reported to police that upon arriving at home he noticed two black flat screens and personal items missing.Police in South Caicos is investigating a Burglary that was reported on March 1st, 2018. Stolen were five packs of Peal and Seal and 19 pieces of wood. Value Unknown.Providenciales Police are investigating an Aggravated Burglary that took place on Monday, March 5th, 2018.  The victim who was held up by gunpoint in her Kew Town home was robbed of her handbag, iPhone 8 valued USD$1000, Black Samsung valued USD$250, three passports, other identification cards and cash.  The incident took place around 8:00 p.m.center_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Accident The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Traffic Department is investigating a two-car collision that took place on Monday, March 5th, 2018 on Paradise Road, Cooper Jack around 5:30 p.m.  The silver Toyota Harrier received total damages, while the Honda Civic Ferio car received frontal damages. Both drivers were taken to Cheshire Hall Medical Centre for treatment.Release: RTCIPFlast_img read more