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What Freelancers Living Abroad Need to Know About Taxes

first_imgEditor’s Note: Guest blogger Jonathan Medows is a New York City-based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for freelancers across the country. He has a resource section with how-to articles specifically for the self-employed at his website, www.cpaforfreelancers.com.Freelancers living outside the United States have a whole set of unique tax issues to deal with – things they never had to worry about when living in the United States.The first is something everyone wants to avoid: the possibility of being required to pay income taxes in both the U.S. and the country where you are living and working abroad.One way to avoid double taxation is by claiming what is called the “foreign income exclusion” with the IRS. It allows qualifying individuals who live and work abroad to exclude up to $97,600 from the gross income they report on their U.S. tax returns, beginning in tax year 2013.**Who can take advantage of the foreign income exclusion? **U.S. citizens living in a foreign country for an entire tax year who have foreign income, U.S. resident aliens who are citizens of a country with which the U.S. has an income tax treaty in effect and who reside there for an entire tax year, and U.S. citizens or U.S. resident aliens who live in a foreign country for at least 330 days during any 12 consecutive months.What if you earn income over the excluded amount of $97,600?You may be eligible for U.S. tax credits for any foreign taxes you pay.The foreign income exclusion does not apply to freelancers who work for an American employer, such as the U.S. government or a U.S. corporation or its foreign affiliate. Those freelancers pay only U.S. income taxes, not income taxes to the country where they are residing.Self-employment taxAlong with income tax, even if you are working abroad, you still owe U.S. self-employment tax (Social Security and Medicare) on your freelance income of $400 or more annually. That’s because the rules for paying self-employment tax are the same whether you are living and working in the U.S. or in another country. For 2013, up to $113,700 in net earnings from self-employment is subject to Social Security taxes. All your net earnings are subject to the Medicare portion of your self-employment tax.Just as with income tax, you shouldn’t be forced to double-pay self-employment taxes. Fortunately, international agreements between the U.S. and many foreign countries ensure that you don’t get stuck paying Social Security taxes to two countries for the same work.Foreign bank accountsHere’s another important item to keep in mind, one that we find many freelancers overlook: the reporting of foreign bank and financial accounts to the U.S. Treasury Department. New reporting requirements passed in 2010, aimed at tightening up IRS oversight of foreign bank accounts, have landed these accounts in the news recently.If you’re an American freelancer with a foreign bank account, mutual fund or stock account that held more than $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, you must file Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). It is not filed with your 1040 tax return. It must be filed electronically with the U.S. Treasury Department by June 30 of the year after the calendar year that is being reported.You may also be required to file IRS Form 8938, the Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Accovunts. That form is similar to the FBAR but the financial threshold is higher and it applies only to specific individuals with specific foreign financial assets. Unlike the FBAR form, Form 8938 is filed with your individual 1040 tax return.Sound complicated? It is.But you do get one break for residing overseas, and that’s on the due date for your tax return. While those of us living stateside have until April 15 to file (or request an extension) every year, you are allowed an automatic two-month extension, to June 15, to file your return and pay any amount of taxes you owe.At CPAforfreelancers.com, we specialize in freelancers’ taxes and have partnerships with accounting firms overseas. We can help answer your questions about what you owe – and don’t – if you’re living and working abroad.last_img read more

Drive customer loyalty with your newsletter

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.I’ll get right to the point: For the past six months, I’ve been trying to cancel the water delivery to my office – but I just can’t do it.Not only has the price kept going up, but they’ve installed a real kitchen in my office building. I’m no longer faced with having to refill my water glass in the men’s room, a fallback option that always struck me as a bad idea.Now, there’s a kitchen right down the hall, outfitted with a real sink and access to all the cold water you could ever want.But I still haven’t picked up the phone and cancelled. You know why? It’s because the guy who delivers my water is so damn friendly.No matter how cold or hot it is outside, no matter how many of those heavy containers he’s got on his back, the man never stops smiling and he’s never too busy to stop and chat.The funny thing is, if six years ago, the people at Poland Spring had tried to sell me on the concept of water delivery by highlighting how friendly their truck drivers were, I would have laughed in their soggy faces.But now, and despite a cheaper, more convenient option, it’s the reason I’m still a customer.Guess what – your E-Newsletter works the same way.No stranger signs up because they want to get to know you better – they don’t care about you. Or your dog. Or your kids.They come for the water, or the useful information and a solution to their problems.But along the way, and if all goes well, a funny thing happens: They get attached to you as an individual.Sure, you still need to give them the information they come for. But over time, the differentiator – the stickiness that holds their attention and makes them think twice about moving on – is the human being who delivers the product.Join the Union (it’s free!)Become a memberWhat’s that mean for your newsletter? I can think of at least two things:#1: You need to tell stories and share personal tidbits when you write.I know, I know, your brother-in-law with the MBA warned you of the dangers of appearing “unprofessional.”The thing is, appearing unprofessional is a much smaller and less likely to occur problem than the big one you already have: The information you possess, within your field of expertise, is no different than that of your competitors. Everybody is selling the same water.When you tell stories and share personal information, on the other hand, you become my delivery man. I see you as a human being. A likeable expert, if you will.#2: You need to write the way you talk.Uh oh, here comes the brother-in-law again. But here as well, your readers can’t make a personal connection with someone who says things like, “we have a proven track record of supercalifragilized best practice stakeholder solutions.”Big companies get this. Their ads use words that are clear and simple. They understand that common, everyday language is what builds connection. And connection is what helps people buy. Why else would they hire a British lizard to try and sell you insurance?You, happily, don’t need a lizard. As a solo professional, you’ve already got an authentic, friendly, human voice, sitting right there below your nose. Time to start using it.Here’s the bottom line. Humans like to do business with other humans. We like to connect, we like to chat, we like to smile, we like to shake hands.Yes, we need to do business as we go.But if you can figure out a way to deliver a friendly bit of yourself alongside every gallon of useful water, you’ll keep people coming back for more, even when they’re faced with cheaper, more convenient options.Give my best to your brother-in-law.Michael Katz is a Boston-based marketing consultant and founder of Blue Penguin Development. He specializes in developing email newsletters for professional service firms. Download a free copy of his latest book, “It Sure Beats Working: 29 Quirky Stories and Practical Business Lessons for the First-Time, Mid-Life, Solo Professional,” when you subscribe to his free, twice-monthly newsletter here.last_img read more

PTI highlights at 5 pm

first_imgNew Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) The following are PTIs top/ expected stories at 5 pm: STORIES IN THE PIPELINENew Delhi_BJPs Ram Madhav to address Raisina DialogueNew Delhi_Army chiefs interaction with children taking part in Republic Day ParadeVadrad (Guj)_Modi, Netanyahu to visit Indo-Israel agriculture centre NATIONBOM6GJ-LD ROADSHOW Modi, Netanyahu bond in Gujarat; hold grand roadshowAhmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu today held a roadshow in the city under a heavy security blanket as thousands of people lined up along the route to greet them.DEL11DEF-SITHARAMAN LD SUKHOI Defence Minister Sitharaman flies in Sukhoi-30 MKIJodhpur: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today undertook a sortie in IAF?s frontline combat jet Sukhoi-30 MKI in the western sector of Rajasthan.DEL7DEF-ARMY CHIEF Both political and militant fronts of terror groups must be dealt with: RawatNew Delhi: All terror outfits have a militant and a political front and to deal with the menace of terrorism, both need to be addressed simultaneously, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said today.BOM13GJ-NETANYAHU-MODI Making efforts for innovation-friendly systems: ModiAhmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today his government is making efforts to create systems that are innovation-friendly to build an innovation-driven new India. BOM7GJ-NETANYAHU-GANDHI Netanyahu describes Gandhi as humanitys great prophetAhmedabad: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today described Mahatma Gandhi as one of the great prophets of humanity.DEL9UP-CURRENCY-ARRESTUP: 16 held in connection with seizure of Rs 96cr in old notesadvertisementKanpur: As many as 16 people, including a builder, were arrested by the Kanpur police in connection with the seizure of over Rs 96 crore in demonetised currency notes from the builders ancestral house in Swaroop Nagar here.DEL1TN-HAASAN-POLITICSKamal Haasan to announce political partys name on Feb 21Chennai: Kamal Haasan will announce his political partys name on February 21 at Tamil Nadus Ramanathapuram and begin a state-wide tour the same day.DES4HR-RAPE-BODY Teen rape incident: Body of suspected abductor foundChandigarh: The Haryana Police today said the body of a 19-year-old youth, who was named in the FIR as the alleged abductor in the savage rape and murder case of a 15-year-old Dalit girl from a village in Kurukshetra district, has been found from a canal near Jyotisar. LEGALLGD2SC-JUDGES-CHELAMESWAR Justice Chelameswar on leave todayNew Delhi: Justice J Chelameswar, one of the four Supreme Court judges who had openly castigated the functioning of the top court headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, is on leave today as he is unwell, sources said.LGD3SC-PADMAAVAT Padmaavat producers move SC against ban by various statesNew Delhi: The Supreme Court today agreed to hear the plea of producers of controversial Bollywood movie Padmavaat against the ban imposed on its release by various state governments.LGD5DL-HC-GAMBHIR PUBS HC notice to pub, owner on Gambhirs plea to restrain them from using his nameNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court today sought the response of a city-based restro-bar chain and its owner on Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhirs plea seeking to restrain them from using his name as their tagline. FOREIGNFGN3TRUMP-2NDLD HEALTH Doctor says Trumps health excellent, has no cognitive issuesBy Lalit K JhaWashington: Donald Trump is in “excellent” health and has passed the cognitive test with flying colours, the White House physician said after the US president underwent his annual medical check-up to quell questions about his mental abilities.FGN4IEA-INDIA Huge opportunity to export LNG to India, China: IEA chiefBy Lalit K JhaWashington: There is a huge opportunity for the US to export LNG to India and China in the next five years as they push to replace coal, the head of the International Energy Agency has said as he highlighted the growing importance of the two nations in the energy market.FGN5US-LD IMMIGRATION Trump admins must list for immigrants: skills, EnglishBy Lalit K JhaWashington: The Trump administration wants to admit immigrants who have skills, talent and can speak English, a top official has said, giving insight into the proposed merit-based system that may benefit individuals from countries like India.FES15US-UN-ROHINGYA US, UN for safe, voluntary return of Rohingyas to MyanmarWashington/United Nations: The United States and the United Nations today insisted on safe and voluntary return of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar.FES13US-JAYAPAL-TRUMP Indian-American Congresswoman to boycott Trumps State of the Union addressBy Lalit K JhaWashington: Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has announced that she would skip President Donald Trumps State of the Union address, in protest against his policies and rhetoric against immigrants. SPORTSadvertisementSPF8SPO-HOCK-IND Hockey: India hammer Japan 6-0 in Nations InvitationalTauranga (New Zealand): Dilpreet Singh and debutant Vivek Sagar Prasad struck a brace each as the Indian mens hockey team thrashed Japan 6-0 in its opening match of the double-leg Four Nations Invitational Tournament here today.SPF15SPO-DAKAR Santosh 40th after stage 10 of Dakar RallyBelen (Argentina): Indian driver C S Santosh recovered from a crash to be 40th overall for the Hero MotoSports Team Rally after the 10th stage of the gruelling Dakar Rally here. PTI MG BDSlast_img read more

India vs South Africa, 5th ODI: SA batsmen not threatened by India’s wrist spinners anymore?

first_imgThe Indian spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav caused havoc as the visitors took a 3-0 lead against South Africa after first three ODIs in the six-match series.However, the spin threat was neutralised in the fourth ODI as the opposition batsmen counter-attacked to register a five-wicket win and stop India from creating history – their first bilateral ODI series win on South African soil.For the first time in the series, the Indian wrist spinners took a beating and proved to be expensive. Pacer Andile Phehlukwayo was the most brutal of the hitters. The 21-year-old smashed 23 off 5 deliveries to lead his team to their first win in the series.Phehlukwayo now believes the hosts will go into the fifth ODI as a more confident unit, having learnt from their mistakes against the Indian spinners.”We have a good momentum now from the last game we played. We have come really far that victory because the guys have been working really hard in the nets and we have been very specific about our training (against spin), said Phehlukwayo.”(In the last game) We were looking to be positive now. We got into good positions and tried to pick the ball, watch the ball and played really straight, he added.The pitch for this fifth ODI bore a brownish look, resembling more the wicket in Durban for the first ODI than Wanderers. Historically, this pitch helps spinners more.Talking about the match wicket, Phehlukwayo said, “We train really specifically. Guys know their individual game plans and what they need to do. I think the most important thing when you are batting is to watch the ball and try executing our game plan.”advertisementIndia have a poor record at St. George s Park. Since 1992, they have lost all five ODIs they have played here. More than that, the Men in Blue have never scored 200 runs in an innings at this venue, which doesn’t bode well given the frailty of the Indian middle order.”If you take game by game, obviously they’ve been batting really well. It would be really nice to expose their middle order and hopefully see what they can do. At the same time we don’t want to really look too forward.”The Proteas setup is really positive. We’ve got a good fighting spirit a good culture. It’s never done and out. We’re always looking to fight back. We really are encouraging around the change room. And as I said, we weren’t far away from a victory, he added.The South African batsmen had struggled consistently against Indian spinners in the first three ODIs. The duo have picked 12 wickets each so far in the series, with Chahal registering his first five-wicket haul in the second ODI at Centurion.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Arena suggests MLS require more U.S. players

first_imgUnited States Arena suggests MLS should require more American players Ben Valentine @bvalentine14 Last updated 1 year ago 08:30 11/15/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Kellyn Acosta United States FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images United States World Cup Portugal v United States Portugal Friendlies The former U.S. boss does not believe the nation’s developmental system is broken but thinks MLS needs to get more young Americans on the field Bruce Arena thinks Major League Soccer needs to feature more young American players and is open to the league requiring teams to have a quota of U.S. players. The former U.S. national team manager voiced his thoughts on Fox Sports 1 following the U.S. national team’s 1-1 draw with Portugal in its first friendly since a shock World Cup elimination in October.Arena was asked about the idea that the U.S. was not doing enough to discover young players and dismissed that thought, arguing that U.S. Soccer is not broken and talent on display at the youth levels is proof. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I do not agree with [the idea there are talented players falling through the cracks of the U.S. system] at all,” Arena said. “I think all the talented players are involved in our systems. We need to do a better job developing them. We see a variety of levels at the youth competition, we have very talented players on the field. When we look four or five years later, we can’t find them.”Later, Arena praised the younger players on display in the Portugal draw and noted MLS must do a better job at finding them playing time.“Today you saw a bunch of young players on the field,” Arena said. “They’re coming out of our system. So there’s some hope there. Obviously a number of them have moved on to European clubs as well.“I think our system has to find a way to get younger players on the field. Major League Soccer is predominantly international players now.”When asked by Alexi Lalas if MLS should mandate teams use players eligible for the U.S. national team, Arena replied: “It’s certainly a thought.”Arena also addressed questions of what mistakes he may have made during the team’s unsuccessful qualification campaign. He specifically pointed out making changes from the lineup that defeated Jamaica in the 2017 Gold Cup final to the 2-0 September qualifier loss against Costa Rica.The U.S. made multiple changes to the team that beat Jamaica, bringing in European-based players Christian Pulisic, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Tim Ream and Bobby Wood.“I think a mistake we made in the Costa Rica game was changing our team from the Gold Cup where we went away from that XI that won a Gold Cup and brought in five new players from Europe and on the day we didn’t play well,” Arena said.He went on to defend the decision to start the exact same team from the victory over Panama in Trinidad, which ultimately resulted in the disastrous 2-1 defeat.“We go back to the last game against Trinidad,” Arena said. “Did we do the same thing we did against Costa Rica and bring in new players when against Panama we felt we played one of our better games of the year? Eight of those players helped us win the Gold Cup. They had a lot of understanding for each other. They all passed physical tests. They felt right and were ready to go.“The next day after the Trinidad loss, you reflect and say ‘Yeah, I’d have to make changes here, here and there’, however, we don’t get the luxury of doing that as coaches. So we went with the team we felt could win or at least get a result that day in Trinidad, and we failed and there’s no excuses.”last_img read more

Lord Ouseley opted to quit Kick It Out over trustees’ handling of staff issues

first_img Read more The trustees have agreed to hold a review of the staff and personnel issues and are due to agree at a meeting in January how that review will be conducted.The former employees are concerned more generally about the governance of Kick It Out, which is required to hold the football authorities and clubs to account over racism and discrimination, but relies on the game’s establishment to fund it, and as trustees. One former employee described this structure to the Guardian as “dysfunctional” and said staff are constrained in how strongly they can highlight issues. Ouseley, who has regularly spoken out strongly, has nevertheless long acknowledged this to be a tension.The Charity Commission confirmed: “We have been made aware of concerns about the charity Kick It Out. We have opened a regulatory compliance case to assess these concerns.”In a statement Kick It Out said: “The trustees take their responsibilities very seriously and have begun the process of an independent inquiry into the issues that have been raised. The trustees are made up of representatives from the football authorities, who naturally have an interest in how their money is being spent, but the board also has independent trustees, including the chair for the last 25 years, Lord Ouseley.” Share on WhatsApp Read more Herman Ouseley to stand down as chairman of football’s Kick It Out news Herman Ouseley, the chair for 25 years of football’s anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out, announced he would stand down from the role because he was infuriated by his fellow trustees’ handling of personnel issues, the Guardian has learned.Kick It Out, funded by the Football Association, Premier League, EFL and Professional Footballers’ Association, which each has a trustee on the board, is in some turmoil as it faces up to replacing Lord Ouseley, having just marked a quarter of a century since its formation in 1993 to combat racism in the game. Topics Share on LinkedIn Herman Ouseley Share on Messenger Kick It Out Share on Facebook Share via Email Kick It Out at 25: progress made but lots still to do in anti-racism fight Share on Pinterest The Charity Commission is due to start a “regulatory compliance case” after a group of former employees complained to it that Kick It Out’s trustees and senior management have not fostered an environment where staff can comfortably raise workplace concerns. One serious incident cited to the commission was a sexual assault suffered by a female member of staff, committed by a man from outside the organisation, in the evening of an away-day event. The woman did not want to report the assault to the police and was ultimately supported by an outside organisation to resolve the issues via restorative justice.Kick It Out management are understood to have felt they tried to support the employee as well as they could, with time off and offers of counselling, but she felt they did not have the expertise and procedures in place to help her sufficiently. The former employees believe that the incident was so serious it should have been reported by the trustees to the Charity Commission but it was not until more than a year later.One trustee in particular is understood to have begun making inquiries since the summer about the turnover of staff; in a small organisation 10 are understood to have left over the past couple of years. Gradually other trustees were informed there were staff concerns and the issue was put on the agenda for a meeting in September. Ouseley is understood to have been infuriated he was not included in the communications and deliberations before the meeting and that prompted his decision to announce his departure, which was confirmed after it leaked earlier this month.He stands by the reasons he gave publicly, that he had been ready for several years to stand down having worked unpaid for so long at Kick It Out, but this issue prompted him to finally make the move.The organisation’s chief executive, Roisin Wood, is understood to have defended the handling of the issues at that meeting of trustees in September. However, after the meeting she was suddenly taken seriously ill and has been off work since. Share on Twitter Reuse this contentlast_img read more

a month agoSolskjaer: Man Utd rebuild no quick-fix. Rome wasn’t built in a day

first_imgSolskjaer: Man Utd rebuild no quick-fix. Rome wasn’t built in a dayby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called for patience as he continues the rebuilding process.A concerning start to the campaign has seen United take just six points from their first eight Premier League games, while the club haven’t won the title since 2013. Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “It’s not like the situation we had last year. There’s no lack of desire there. “For us it’s about building a new culture, building a new team, bringing everybody together. Is it the job I expected? Yes. I never said this was going to be a quick-fix job. It’s step after step after step. “Of course, we’ve hit a few bumps in the road, I never said this was going to be a quick-fix job. Rome wasn’t built in a day. “We need time, and the attitude of the boys has been great. [We must] keep working on improving the understanding and relationships between all players, and the style we want to play.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

College Football Player Taken To Hospital With Serious Head Injury

first_imgThree footballs next to a pylon(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)A college football player had to be taken to the hospital tonight with what’s being described as a “serious” head injury.Christion Abercrombie, a linebacker at Tennessee State, had to be transported to the hospital at Vanderbilt during today’s loss.The linebacker was stretchered off of the field at the end of the first half.“Christion Abercrombie a LB at Tennessee State sustained a head injury during today’s game at Vanderbilt. He was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center, where it was reported by the TV crew he was not responding & will undergo some type of surgery. Prayers to him & team,” Tennessee Sports Net tweeted.Christion Abercrombie a LB at Tennessee State sustained a head injury during today’s game at Vanderbilt. He was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center, where it was reported by the TV crew he was not responding & will undergo some type of surgery. Prayers to him & team.— ~TennesseeSportsNet~ (@TSNSports) September 29, 2018Players and coaches from both teams gathered together on the field to pray for Christion after the game.Great scene at Vanderbilt as teams come together after game… pic.twitter.com/ZeVkgsn9lA— ~TennesseeSportsNet~ (@TSNSports) September 29, 2018Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason said “football’s what we do, not who we are,” when asked about the postgame moment.Our thoughts are with Christion and his family. Stay tuned for updates.last_img read more

Yogi launches toll free CM helpline 1076

first_imgLucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government on Thursday launched the Chief Ministers toll-free helpline that will enable people from across the state to register their complaints. The helpline number 1076 will work 24×7. It will not only establish a direct contact between the people and the Chief Minister’s office, but will also cast a shadow on bureaucrats who do not respond to people’s complaints. Yogi said that he will review the complaints every month and if a department gets more than 100 complaints in a month, action will be taken against the concerned officials. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! The 500-seater call centre for the helpline has the capacity to handle 80,000 inbound and 55,000 outbound calls on a daily basis. Yogi said that the helpline would not only make the administrative system more responsive but would also save the people the trouble of having travel to Lucknow to lodge their complaints. When the complainant calls the helpline, he will get an SMS informing him/her that the complaint has been sent to the department concerned. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed “A proper follow-up of the complaint will be done to make sure it is redressed and the complainant will be duly informed on his cell phone number about it,” said an official of the IT department. This helpline was conceptualized after the Chief Minister expressed concern over people coming from across the state to get their problems solved, which should have been addressed in their respective districts itself. However, action will be taken against those who make false complaints and play mischief with the helpline.last_img read more

BJP will get more seats than in 2014 Modi

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the BJP will win the Lok Sabha elections with full majority, and with more votes and seats than in 2014. “BJP will win with full majority and with more votes and seats than we won earlier. Even our alliance partners will get greater number of seats and our vote share will increase in different states The country has decided to elect a strong government with full majority. The country has decided to elect BJP again,” he said in an interview with Times Now news channel. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Modi referred to an old brainstorming meeting of the Congress and said unlike the opposition party which had said they do not need allies, the BJP is not arrogant. Answering a question on Jammu and Kashmir, he said there can only be hitting touch for terrorists. “We will have to make a clear demarcation that healing touch is for the citizens and hitting touch for the terrorists.” Replying to a query on the Citizenship bill, he said “some hyper-secular people” give communal colour to every issue. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday He said Congress had promised National Citizenship Register (NRC) but did not fulfil the promise for 30 years. “There should be a debate over NRC. Can any country in the world be a ‘dharamshala’? Is there any country in the world which doesn’t have a register of citizens,” he asked. Answering a question on Rafale deal, he said for the Congress, “defence deals have been an ATM”. He said the CAG had rejected “lies” of the opposition and these had also been rejected by the Supreme Court rejected it. “But keeping elections in mind, they are dragging the matter.” Answering a query on jobs, Modi said record loans have been taken under Mudra scheme to boost employment and self-employment and infrastructure was being developed at fast speed “Is it happening without jobs,” he asked. Modi said more than 80 per cent of informal economy and informal employment exists. Only 15-16 per cent is formal for which new mechanism is needed to arrive at employment data. He also rejected allegations of political vendetta by the opposition. “The biggest fact is that the money that was recovered in Madhya Pradesh was meant for the care and nutrition of children, which was for poor pregnant women. They are eating off those funds. The country must debate on why even today the Congress dares to commit such sins as soon as they come to power. It’s barely been a few months since they came to power in Madhya Pradesh. And to stifle debates on these issues, they keep crying foul over the raids,” the Prime Minister said. He said that the government has brought the corrupt to the door of jails and will work to get them inside if he comes to power again. Attacking Congress, he said many of its leaders were facing cases. “Congress, which has ruled for four generations, could they have ever fathomed that today their leaders would be out on bail. The man who used to be their finance minister, every second day he goes to the court to get a date,” he said. Modi said the government had succeeded in bringing back several offenders .last_img read more

Government to study Supreme Courts suggestions on RTI

With the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka holding as unconstitutional several clauses of the Right to Information Bill, the Government is to study the Apex Court’s determination before proceeding further, The Hindu newspaper reported.The Court, after hearing four petitions questioning the constitutionality of the Bill, concluded that four clauses of the legislation, which was taken up for the first reading in Parliament on March 24, violated certain Articles of the Constitution. If the Government wanted to have the Bill to be adopted in the present form, it had to get a two-thirds majority and the approval of people through a referendum. However, the Court suggested a way out for the government to get the parliamentary approval for the proposed law with a simple majority if the Court’s suggestions were incorporated in the text. Recently, Speaker of the Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, informed the House about the decision of the Supreme Court.The Bill envisages the establishment of a five-member Information Commission, which will monitor the performance and ensure the due compliance by public authorities. It also requires Ministers to provide information on projects, which come under the jurisdiction of the latter, to the public generally and people likely to be affected by the projects, three months prior to the commencement of such projects. The Part II of the Bill, dealing with denial of access to information, cites various grounds including defence and economy. On the Court’s findings, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Justice Minister, told The Hindu on Saturday morning that “we have not yet examined the Court’s ruling closely.” To a query whether the government would go by the Court’s advice on the amendments, the Minister replied that “we would look into it.” The failure to stipulate the provision on maintenance of the authority and impartiality of the judiciary as a ground for denial of information and the discrepancy in the definition of public authority to cover private educational institutions were among the provisions challenged. read more

Violence continues in northeast DR of Congo as rebels vie for Bunia

Fighting was taking place within 500 metres of the UN headquarters compound in Bunia, while at the airport, where the UN also has a base, mortar fire was reported, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said in New York.Bunia, in the volatile, gold-rich Ituri Province, has been the scene of bloody violence for months. The warring Hema and Lendu – vying for control of the town in the wake of the withdrawal of Ugandan troops – have clashed repeatedly.Mr. Eckhard said staff from the UN Organization in the Mission in the DRC (MONUC) were particularly concerned about the welfare of some 8,000 civilians that have taken refuge at both UN locations. “I cannot confirm a wire service report that a woman in the headquarters compound was killed by a stray bullet,” he said. “UN soldiers, however, in limited patrols of the town, spotted at least 40 bodies in the streets.”On his arrival this morning at UN Headquarters in New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that France had indicated its willingness, in principle, to participate in an international force to be sent to the DRC to calm the situation, provided it has a clear Security Council mandate and other governments join in.”So we are in touch with other governments, trying to see if they will join France in such an effort,” Mr Annan said.The Secretary-General added that he had been in touch this morning with President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, who is talking to other leaders in the region about how to respond to the crisis in the DRC, and that he had also asked the Ugandan Government to use its influence in the region “to ensure that the militia and the people in the region restrain themselves.”Last week, the Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, warned that although nearly 700 UN troops had been deployed to Bunia, without decisive action, the situation might spin out of control, leading possibly to the massive killing of civilians. read more

UN official in Moscow meets with Russia on Lebanese selfdetermination

Terje Roed-Larsen, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, which concerns those matters, is currently conducting a round of broad consultations with key partners on the issue and related matters.Mr. Roed-Larsen described the meeting as productive and said he will remain in close contact with his Russian counterparts.Resolution 1559, adopted in September 2004 by a margin of nine in favour with six abstentions, declared Council support for polling free of outside influence and called for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon, the disbanding of all militias and the extension of Government control over the entire country.This past May, the Council welcomed “significant progress” towards those goals after significant withdrawals of Syrian troops, but expressed concern that other requirements of the measure had not been met. read more

Longtime civil servant JeanPierre Blais appointed head of the CRTC

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Long-time civil servant Jean-Pierre Blais appointed head of the CRTC by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 8, 2012 4:30 pm MDT OTTAWA – Jean-Pierre Blais has been named the new chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.The longtime civil servant replaces Leonard Katz, who was appointed acting CTRC chairman in January after Konrad von Finckenstein ended his five-year term as head of the broadcast regulator.In a news release, Prime Minister Stephen Harper described Blais as well-qualified for the position, having held senior positions in government as well as at the CRTC itself.“I wish him all the best as he takes on the challenges of his new role,” Harper said.The appointment is effective for five years.Blais takes over the regulator at a time of rapid change in the industry, in particular the explosion of broadcasting online.New Internet frontiers for broadcasting have created challenges for the CRTC because it doesn’t regulate the web.Upon leaving his post in January, von Finckenstein suggested the new environment requires a new form of regulation.“Whether you talk, whether you send video, whether you send a fax, an email … it’s just bits that are being sent over the same wire,” he said in an interview.“That has completely changed our traditional definition of broadcasting and telecom. It’s now essentially the same thing.”Von Finckenstein called for a single law that would cover both sectors and a single regulator for broadcasting, telecom and even wireless spectrum — an area currently managed by Industry Canada.“It’s time to review this legislation, it’s 20 years old,” he said. “We want a system that carries bits, carries them efficiently and gives Canadians as much access as possible.”Von Finckenstein and the Conservatives butted heads several times during his tenure on issues such as how Internet companies bill their subscribers and foreign ownership of telecom companies.Just after he left, the Tories announced they were lifting foreign-investment limits on small telecom firms.But Blais’ recent positions at Treasury Board and Canadian Heritage suggest he’s likely to have a far more cordial relationship with the government.Decisions he’s facing include whether to create a national set of standards for wireless telephone contracts.The regulator is also reviewing whether to allow CBC to run ads on some of its French-language radio channels as the broadcaster grapples with a major budget shortfall. read more

Appeal Court upholds former officers dismissal

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPolice Sergeant slapped with 12 fraud chargesAugust 13, 2018In “Court”Appeal Court throws out Bisram’s request for DPP to withdraw murder caseJuly 31, 2018In “Court”NBS wrongful dismissal case: After 6-year wait compensation should be swift- LuckhooJuly 20, 2017In “Court” Appeal Court Justices Dawn Gregory, Rishi Persaud and acting Justice Dr Arif Bulkan upheld the 2013 decision of High Court Judge Brassington Reynolds who ruled that the June, 15, 2002 dismissal of police corporal Patrick Austin was fair.He was dismissed via a letter signed by the then Police Commissioner Floyd McDonald after Austin was found guilty by disciplinary action of receiving a bribe. Austin was the subordinate officer in charge of the licencing and certifying office in Anna Regina, Essequibo back then.According to the case file, the police force received an anonymous letter in January 2001 from a concerned citizen with claims that Austin solicited a bribe to obtain a driver’s licence in the year 2000.Investigations later revealed that he obtained $50,000 from Abdul Khan to secure two driver’s licences,The ex-corporal implicated in the illegal act was informed of the investigation in November 2001.He took his case to the High Court but after Justice Reynolds ruled against him, he appealed.However, according to the Appellate Justices, while there may been procedural lapses in the conduct of the investigation, the purpose of the Police Discipline Act was exercised in Austin’s matter.The Appeal Court affirmed Justice Reynolds’s May 2013 decision. read more

SF SPCA Retires Security Robots at Citys Request

first_imgStay on target Evan Rachel Wood Just As Disturbed by Humanoid Sophia As Everyone ElseMIT’s Thread-Like Robot Slides Through Blood Vessels In the Brain Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img The San Francisco SPCA has been ordered by the city to stop using security robots to clear the area near its Mission District offices.Last month, the local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals launched bot cops to patrol the parking lot and sidewalks around its city-block-sized campus.Their objective: to prevent crime.The shelter, a spokeswoman told TechCrunch, was broken into twice over the summer, the inside vandalized and property and cash donations stolen. And while the organization employs security guards, its large campus is too big for human patrollers.In response, the SPCA rolled out autonomous guards, dubbed K9, from robotics startup Knightscope (maker of now-infamous bot Steve, caught lying down on the job). Both organizations claim that, in the month since the digital units launched, crime dropped significantly.So did the nearby homeless population. Which, according to SPCA and Knightscope, was not intentional (but perhaps a fringe benefit).“Contrary to sensationalized reports, Knightscope was not brought in to clear the area around the S.F. SPCA of homeless individuals. Knightscope was deployed, however, to serve and protect the SPCA,” a company spokeswoman told Geek in an email. “The SPCA has the right to protect its property, employees, and visitors, and Knightscope is dedicated to helping them achieve this goal.”“[We were] exploring the use of a robot to prevent additional burglaries at our facility and to deter other crimes that frequently occur on our campus—like car break-ins, harassment, vandalism, and graffiti—not to disrupt homeless people,” S.F. SPCA President Jennifer Scarlett said in a statement emailed to Geek.“We piloted the robot program in an effort to improve the security around our campus and to create a safe atmosphere for staff, volunteers, clients and animals. Clearly, it backfired,” she continued. “We sincerely hope our robot pilot program does not overshadow the incredible work our staff and volunteers do to serve animals and people—all people, regardless of their living circumstances.“We are also hopeful that it has drawn attention to the challenges facing the homeless, a problem that needs all of our attention,” Scarlett added.Resident Fran Taylor recounted to the San Francisco Business Times an incident when the K9 robot approached her and her dog near the SPCA campus. Taylor, who had coincidentally been working with an advocacy group to limit sidewalk delivery bots, emailed the non-profit and several government officials about the episode.Soon after, the Department of Public Works ordered the SPCA to shut down K9—or face a fine of $1,000 per day for operating in the public right-of-way “without a proper approval,” the Business Times reported.“Effective immediately, the San Francisco SPCA has suspended its security robot pilot program,” Scarlett said. “Although we had already limited the use of the robot to our parking lot, we think a more fully informed, consensus-oriented, local approach on the appropriate use of these new devices will benefit everyone—whether it’s on public space or in private parking lots. We welcome guidance from the city on policies for the use of autonomous security robots.”Since the story went viral this week, the group has received “hundreds of messages inciting violence and vandalism against our facility, and encouraging people to take retribution,” according to Scarlett, who reported two acts of vandalism on the campus.“We are taking this opportunity to reflect on the ‘teachable moment’ afforded by the negative reaction on social media and in the press,” she said.Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Dec. 15 with comment from the San Francisco SPCA.last_img read more

Congressman Issa discusses the latest issues in Washington DC

first_img Posted: August 17, 2018 Mike McKinnon III, Carlos Amezcua, Lauren Phinney Congressman Issa discusses the latest issues in Washington D.C. August 17, 2018 Updated: 10:21 AM I have a problem with Robert Mueller ignoring the Steele Dossier, yet still investigating @realDonaldTrump. We have seen no evidence of collusion between the President and the Russians. It’s time for this investigation to end. pic.twitter.com/PaHe8MBBue— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) August 17, 2018Congressman Darrell Issa was on KUSI’s Good Morning San Diego where he spoke about a variety of topics including security clearances, President Trump’s decision to cancel the military parade, the ongoing Russia investigation, tariffs, and how the almond industry is impacted in California. Mike McKinnon III, Carlos Amezcua, Lauren Phinney, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – President Donald Trump has said he’s yanking former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance and threatened to do the same to other current and former officials tied to the federal investigation into Russian election interference.Trump told The Wall Street Journal he made the move because he believes the probe is “rigged” and he felt he had to act. The decision has drawn sharp criticism as an extraordinary act of retribution. But what is the practical impact? And what can Brennan do about it?Currently, the White House is reviewing security clearances for at least nine former officials in addition to Brennan. Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Darrell Issa FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Save 400 on Vizios toprated 65inch TV

first_img Amazon Best Buy Vizio TVs Comments 1:34 Tags Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Vizio P-Series Quantum leaps ahead of the picture quality… The Cheapskate Share your voice Note: This post was updated to correctly indicate that the Vizio TV is the current, 2019, model. It was also updated regarding pricing and availability. The bonus deal was removed due to expiration. CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. 9 Now playing: Watch this: Vizio makes a great TV. And the P-Series Quantum, thanks to its quantum dots, wide color gamut and incredible brightness, is “hands down Vizio’s best TV ever, and one of the best-performing LCD TVs I’ve ever tested from any brand,” says David Katzmaier. Sarah Tew/CNET What’s better: A pretty good budget TV with a great price or a really good high-end TV with a great discount? TCL now rules the budget-TV space, while former budget champ Vizio is now focusing more on premium models. Case in point: The P-Series Quantum, which debuted in 2018 to sky-high praise from CNET’s David Katzmaier. His primary complaint: The $2,100 price tag, though it later dipped to around $1,500. Today, however, the newer, better, 2019 edition of the TV is on sale for an all-time low: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the Vizio P-Series Quantum 4K HDR 65-inch Smart TV for $989 shipped. That’s $9 less than a week ago. If Amazon happens to sell out again, you might try Best Buy, where the TV is selling for $999.99. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. See it at AmazonI’m not a TV expert — again, you’ll want to read Katz’s P-Series Quantum review — but I know a good deal when I see one. This is a decidedly popular model among people who know their stuff. And because this is the just-released 2019 model, it has just nine user reviews at Amazon. Meanwhile, over 100 Best Buy customers collectively rated it 4.6 stars. Search elsewhere and you’ll find similarly enthusiastic praise. Why? Because the P-Series offers the best picture this side of OLED. Said Katz: “It’s blindingly bright, offering a superb HDR image and great performance in a bright room. Effective full-array local dimming creates deep black levels and minimizes blooming.” Meanwhile, it offers not only Vizio’s smart UI, with access to all the major streaming services, but also built-in Chromecast so you can branch out into what your phone or tablet has to offer. So again I’ll ask: Are you better off paying $800 for TCL’s 6 Series model, which is great by all accounts, or $998 for the previously $2,100 Vizio, which is “wow” by all accounts? last_img read more

US Waived FBI Checks On Staff At Growing Teen Migrant Camp

first_imgIvan Pierre Aguirre/APMigrant teens held inside the Tornillo detention camp sit inside the facility in Tornillo, Texas. The Trump administration announced in June 2018 that it would open the temporary shelter for up to 360 migrant children in this isolated corner of the Texas desert. Less than six months later, the facility has expanded into a detention camp holding thousands of teenagers – and it shows every sign of becoming more permanent.The Trump administration has put the safety of thousands of teens at a migrant detention camp at risk by waiving FBI fingerprint checks for their caregivers and short-staffing mental health workers, according to an Associated Press investigation and a new federal watchdog report.None of the 2,100 staffers at a tent city holding more than 2,300 teens in the remote Texas desert are going through rigorous FBI fingerprint background checks, according to a Health and Human Services inspector general memo published Tuesday.“Instead, Tornillo is using checks conducted by a private contractor that has access to less comprehensive data, thereby heightening the risk that an individual with a criminal history could have direct access to children,” the memo says.In addition, the federal government is allowing the nonprofit running the facility — BCFS Health and Human Services — to sidestep mental health care requirements. Under federal policy, migrant youth shelters generally must have one mental health clinician for every 12 kids, but the federal agency’s contract with BCFS allows it to staff Tornillo with just one clinician for every 100 children. That’s not enough to provide adequate mental health care, the inspector general office said in the memo.BCFS acknowledged to the AP that it currently has one mental health clinician for every 50 children at Tornillo.Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, said Tuesday that overriding background checks is “absolutely appalling” and called for the immediate shutdown of the shelter.The Trump administration announced in June it would open a temporary shelter for up to 360 migrant children in this isolated corner of Texas. Less than six months later, the facility has expanded into a detention camp holding thousands of teenagers — and it shows every sign of becoming more permanent.By Tuesday, 2,324 mostly Central American boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17 were sleeping inside the highly guarded facility in rows of bunk beds in canvas tents, some of which once housed first responders to Hurricane Harvey. More than 1,300 teens have arrived since the end of October alone.Rising from the cotton fields and dusty roads not far from the dark fence marking the U.S.-Mexico border, the camp has rows of beige tents and golf carts that ferry staffers carrying walkie-talkies. Teens with identical haircuts and government-issued shirts and pants can be seen walking single file, flanked by staff at the front and back.More people are detained in Tornillo’s tent city than in all but one of the nation’s 204 federal prisons, yet construction continues.The camp’s population may grow even more if migrants in the caravans castigated by President Donald Trump enter the U.S. Federal officials have said they may send teens from the caravans to Tornillo, according to a nonprofit social service provider who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to publicly discuss the matter.An AP investigation has found that the camp’s rapid growth has created serious problems, including costs that appear to be soaring more than 50 percent higher than the government has disclosed. What began as an emergency, 30-day shelter has transformed into a vast tent city that could cost taxpayers more than $430 million.Federal plans to close Tornillo by New Years’ Eve will be nearly impossible to meet. There aren’t 2,300 extra beds in other facilities and a contract obtained by AP shows the project could continue into 2020. Planned closures have already been extended three times since this summer.The teens at Tornillo weren’t separated from their families at the border this summer, but they’re held by the government because federal immigration policies have resulted in the detention of a record 14,000 migrant children, filling shelter beds around the country to capacity. Almost all the teens at Tornillo came on their own hoping to join family members in the United States.Some children have been detained at Tornillo since the tent camp opened in June. As the population inside the tall wire fences swells, the young detainees’ anguish has deepened.“The few times they let me call my mom I would tell her that one day I would be free, but really I felt like I would be there for the rest of my life,” a 17-year-old from Honduras who was held at Tornillo earlier this year told AP. “I feel so bad for the kids who are still there. What if they have to spend Christmas there? They need a hug, and nobody is allowed to hug there.”After his family passed extensive background checks, the teen was recently released to them, but said he still has nightmares he’s back inside. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal from immigration authorities.Confining and caring for so many children is a challenge. By day, minders walk the teens to their meals, showers and recreation. At night the area around the camp, that’s grown from a few dozen to more than 150 tents, is secured and lit up by flood lights.The nonprofit social service agency contracted to run Tornillo says it is proud of its work. It says it is operating the facility with the same precision and care used for shelters put up after natural disasters.“We don’t have anything to hide. This is an exceptionally run operation,” said Krista Piferrer, a spokeswoman for BCFS Health and Human Services. “This isn’t our first rodeo.”She said they have no guidance from the Trump administration regarding what will happen after Dec. 31.A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mark Weber, said no decisions have been made about whether Tornillo will close by year’s end as scheduled.“Whatever it is we decide to do, in the very near future, we’ll do a public notice about that,” he said.NO FINGERPRINTSIn June, as detention centers for migrant children overflowed, Scott Lloyd, director of HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, signed a memo granting BCFS a waiver to staff up Tornillo without the required child abuse and neglect checks, which raise a red flag about any job candidate with a record of hurting a child. There were two reasons for the waiver, according to the inspector general: first, the agency was under pressure to open the detention camp quickly, and second, Lloyd’s agency assumed Tornillo staff had already undergone FBI fingerprint checks. They had not.Help-wanted postings quickly popped up, seeking case managers for $15 an hour, youth care workers for $11.27 per hour. And many signed up, eager to work the 12-hour shifts in the hot sun to bring the extra money home.Two days after Lloyd waived the safety checks, BCFS opened the tent city. Lloyd, under fire for his handling of the migrant crisis, was transferred out of the refugee resettlement branch and to a different division of HHS last week. Weber did not immediately respond to questions as to why the department waived background checks, and referred inquiries to the inspector general.Three service providers who were brought on to work in the camp in recent months told AP they were not fingerprinted, including one who started work there just two weeks ago.Failing to properly check staffers’ backgrounds “can lead to potential abuse and neglect of these kids,” according to Dr. Colleen Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.Since the facility opened, BCFS has been checking job candidates’ national and local criminal histories and doing multi-state sex offender registry checks, Piferrer said.“Those are pretty comprehensive,” she added. “It’s no easy feat, but we know what right looks like.”BCFS has filed more than 30 reports on “significant incidents” at Tornillo since June, including some involving interactions between the children and staff, but none of a sexual nature, Piferrer said. Weber did not immediately respond to questions about the incidents Tuesday.FBI fingerprint background checks can be completed in a few minutes and reveal much more information about job candidates than checks that simply run a person’s name against criminal history databases, said Jeffrey Harp, a retired FBI assistant special agent in charge.“How do you know the person is who they say they are unless you do a fingerprint check? They can’t lie about their fingerprints, but they can lie about their name or take on someone else’s identity who has a crystal clean record,” Harp told AP. “More and more employers are finding out they have an employee who is problematic only after the fact, and that’s because their employment screening isn’t really comprehensive.”‘NOBODY KNOWS’More than 50 years of research show institutionalizing young people is traumatizing, with harmful impacts on their psyche and life trajectories, prompting policymakers to seek alternatives to locking up children, said Naomi Smoot, executive director of the nonprofit Coalition for Juvenile Justice.“Hearing that more than 2,000 kids are in any kind of detention facility is alarming to me,” she said. “That’s not where kids should be around the holidays, particular when they haven’t broken the law.”Most of the children locked inside Tornillo are never charged with a crime; crossing illegally into the U.S. is a civil offense. By law, migrant children traveling alone into the U.S. must be sent to a government shelter where they stay until they can be united with relatives or other sponsors while awaiting immigration court hearings. Migrant children’s time in government custody has grown longer this year, in part due to the Trump administration’s new requirements for deep background checks on sponsors who agree to take in young immigrants.Tornillo currently has 3,800 beds for the teens, with 1,400 of those on reserve.Annunciation House director Ruben Garcia, whose El Paso nonprofit works with recent immigrants, said Tornillo is far more secretive than other government shelters, where he and his staff are routinely allowed inside. At Tornillo workers must sign non-disclosure agreements and visitors are rarely allowed.“What’s happening inside? Nobody knows. They cannot speak about what they see,” he said. “We’ve been doing this work for 20 years and we’ve never seen anything like this.”BCFS says the shelter at Tornillo has actually had more media, elected officials, advocacy organizations, child welfare experts and attorneys tour the site than any other HHS facility. The nonprofit said confidentiality agreements are standard, to protect the privacy and rights of clients and those served.‘COUNTING THE DAYS’In June, as migrant child detention centers overflowed, HHS announced it was opening a rapidly built tent city at Tornillo, with the idea that most kids would only stay a few days. But within the week there was talk of making a detention camp 10 times as big.Because the detention camp is on federal property — part of a large U.S. Customs and Border facility — it is not subject to state licensing requirements.BCFS, a San Antonio nonprofit, runs Tornillo as it operates evacuation centers for hurricanes: There’s food, first aid, activities and bunk beds, but no normal-life activities for stressed-out teens, like formal school, therapy or unsupervised stretches.Federal officials have said repeatedly that only children without special needs were being sent to Tornillo. But facility administrators recently acknowledged that the Tornillo detainees included children with serious mental health issues who needed to be transferred out to facilities in El Paso, according to a person with knowledge of the discussion. The person spoke on a condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk publicly about the discussions.The inspector general said staffing ratios were “dangerously low” for a population that has experienced significant trauma.“The disproportionately high number of children to clinicians is especially worrisome in light of the continued increase in the number of children and length of stay at Tornillo,” the memo said.BCFS said the current ratio of clinicians to children is 1 to 50, and that each child sees a mental health specialist every day.“When a child is found to have a mental health need that cannot be best provided for at Tornillo, a request is made to HHS to transfer the child to a more appropriate facility,” said Piferrer.Dr. Ryan Matlow, a Stanford clinical psychologist whose work addresses the impact of early life stress, questions the facility’s capacity to identify kids with special mental health needs given the large number of children and their tendency to suppress emotional distress in order to cope.“The kids are able to get by in there, but the more time they spend in these sorts of facilities, the greater the consequences, especially when it comes to their emotional and psychological well-being,” said Matlow, who recently interviewed teens at Tornillo. “It’s a dangerous and harmful system for kids to be caught in.”Nonprofit Hope Border Institute advocacy director Camilo Perez-Bustillo and Kristen Torres, who heads the child welfare and immigration division of the nonprofit group First Focus, said they were concerned when Tornillo officials told them they could staff one mental health clinician per 100 kids.Perez-Bustillo, who served as a Spanish-language interpreter at the camp earlier this month, said most of the two dozen children he met showed signs of depression and anxiety over when, or whether, they would be released. About two thirds are boys, and half of the teens are Guatemalan. There are no on-site interpreters for teens of indigenous origin who speak Spanish as a second language.“They are all counting the days they are inside the way prisoners do,” Perez-Bustillo said. “Many of the kids have the sense of being suspended, and anxiousness about how much longer they will be held there.”Dr. Elizabeth Carll, a teen and trauma specialist who heads the American Psychological Association’s Refugee Mental Health resource network, said institutionalizing so many teens in a geographically remote place makes it harder to recruit qualified clinicians.“You have to find people who are licensed, who are experts in trauma, who speak Spanish and have worked with teens,” she said. “Where would you find all these qualified professionals?”Making things worse, Carll said migrant youth are likely to have higher emotional needs after going through hardship, enduring the journey north and being held in detention. They would do better if placed with trained, bilingual foster families, she said.One shy 16-year-old from Honduras held at Tornillo told an AP reporter as she awaited her immigration court hearing that she was worried that it was taking so long to reunite her with family in Pennsylvania.“I’m getting tired of waiting because I’ve been there three months,” said the girl, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by staffers who were monitoring her and other Tornillo detainees. “I’m trying to keep the faith that I will be liberated soon.”$1,200 PER NIGHTFor each night each child spends at Tornillo, taxpayers spend up to $1,200 to pay the direct care workers, cooks, cleaners, teachers and emergency services workers, according to information staff at two congressional offices said they were provided on a recent visit. That’s well above the $775 officials have publicly disclosed, and close to five times more than a typical youth migrant shelter costs. The most expensive hotel room in El Paso is about $200 a night.BCFS did not dispute the cost, but said on average, actual costs are closer to $750 a day, which would bring current operations to more than $12 million a week.The costs at Tornillo are so high because everything — water, sewage, food, staff and detainees — must be trucked in and out of the remote site. Every few hours, two teams fill up 2,000-gallon tanks of water from a hydrant outside the facility, then drive them back through the fences. Each day, 35,000 gallons of diesel are trucked in as well, to run massive generators that power air conditioners in the summer and heaters on winter nights.The teens can play soccer during closely watched recreation periods. They are given yarn to pass the time making brightly colored bracelets and scarves. There aren’t regular classes, but teens have textbooks and workbooks.Piferrer said BCFS was not charging the government for the tents, fire trucks and ambulance on site.“Everything that is being provided has been directed by the federal government to be provided,” she said.Scant details about how those funds are spent motivated New York-based software developer Josh Rubin to set up residence in an RV just outside the gates, where he keeps a vigil on the vehicles going in and out. In recent weeks, he said, he has spotted new trends: construction trucks moving equipment in to build another tent, a vehicle carrying heaters, more buses with tinted windows taking children to immigration court.Staffers are transported to the camp from motels near the El Paso airport, where the tour buses take pains to park on side roads, far from view. On a recent evening outside the Hawthorn Suites hotel, Tornillo workers filed off to bed in the darkness, many talking of feeling sick or exhausted.Twice a day, the desolate stretch of highway outside Tornillo comes alive as more than a dozen tour buses pull up. Bells sound, lights flash. Workers walk in two by two, wearing khaki pants, neon jackets and backpacks, some wrapped in scarves to guard against the cool desert air.Many days, Rubin is there alone, holding up a sign saying “Free Them” at the tent city’s entrance. Sometimes the train rumbles by, or cotton drifts in the wind. Black birds fly in geometric patterns in the sky above.Protests began at Tornillo almost as soon as it opened. State and federal elected officials joined local activists and Hollywood stars deriding the administration’s immigration policies. But public attention turned elsewhere, and now demonstrations are rare.On a recent afternoon, a group of about 60 activists including rabbis from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and students from a local Catholic girls’ school assembled to pray for the teens’ release and sang a throaty version of “Let My People Go.”After a Department of Homeland Security official blocked them, the group ventured through a fence onto a private dirt road behind the facility. A group of teen boys could be seen across marshland, and a hole in the wire fence had been visibly patched.“You are not alone!” the activists cried out in Spanish to the youth being led between tents. Some of the teens waved back. One protester wiped away a tear as another banged on a plastic drum, calling out “We love you! We miss you!”Dalila Reynoso-Gonzalez, a program director for the Methodist immigration advocacy group Justice for our Neighbors of East Texas, said she was moved to demonstrate at Tornillo after helping an immigrant father reunite with his son held there. The boy told her stories of a stark and lonely place and spoke of isolation, fear, disorientation.He still has a foil blanket issued to him when he first was taken into custody, she said.“It’s really heavy on my heart,” said Reynoso-Gonzalez. “How did we get to this place, why do we have so many children out there?” Sharelast_img read more

Tailoring the optical dipole force for use on molecules

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — “Scientists have been working with dipole fields for quite some time,” Peter Barker tells PhysOrg.com. “However, most of the work is focused on very small particles, like atoms, or on larger particles, such as for use as optical tweezers. There is an interim region between atoms and large particles, and that is what we are looking at. We want to be able to control molecules a little differently.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Barker is a professor at University College London, and has been working on a process by which an optical field can be used to align molecules. Along with Simon Purcell, Barker has found a way to not only align molecules through the tailoring of the optical dipole force, but to also move them around. “This is, we believe, the first time that alignment and the ability to move molecules around have been brought together using the dipole force,” Barker says. Barker and Purcell report their work in Physical Review Letters: “Tailoring the Optical Dipole Force for Molecules by Field-Induced Alignment.”“In order to do this, we have a gas sitting at a relatively high pressure in a chamber. Using strong optics, we send a beam through the chamber, forming a hole of sorts. The optical field acts as a tractor beam, grabbing the molecules present in the gas and bringing them to rest. This makes them ultra cold,” Barker explains. Laser cooling in a similar fashion has been done with atoms for quite some time. It is standard practice for many experiments. However, Barker says that it is harder to produce ultra-cold molecules than it is to bring atoms to a state of rest. “This could provide a way to cool molecules to just above absolute zero, which is of interest for a number of research applications.”The process introduced by Barker and Purcell could also have use as a way to separate rotational states. “In some cases, scientists want to be able to separate out different states. Unfortunately, there is a whole range of molecules that can’t really be singled out in this way. With our dipole tailoring process, though, it is possible to separate out these states. We could also separate molecules of different types.”Another use for this process could conceivably be the use of light to focus molecules onto a particular surface. “We haven’t done this yet, but it should be possible get molecules to act as a lens, and then rotate the polarization to change the focus. We think that it should be possible to get features down to the nanometer size by focusing molecules in this manner.”“Being able to tailor the optical dipole force in this way is a big step,” Barker says. “In our experiment, we were able to both align molecules and move them around by tailoring the optical dipole force. Being able to align and position molecules simultaneously is something that hasn’t been done before with this force, and it has a great potential, both for fundamental research, and for possible practical applications.”More Information: S.M. Purcell and P.F. Barker, “Tailoring the Optical Dipole Force for Molecules by Field-Induced Alignment,” Physical Review Letters (2009). Available online: http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.153001Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Tailoring the optical dipole force for use on molecules (2009, October 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-10-tailoring-optical-dipole-molecules.html ‘Voltage Patterning’ could be next step in nanostructure lithographylast_img read more