President-elect Michel Martelly Promises “A New Era” in Haiti

first_img On 5 April, Michel Martelly promised the arrival of “a new era” in Haiti, the day after his victory in the presidential election, but his rival, Mirlande Manigat, said that she was “indignant” about the result of the balloting. “People of Haiti, a new era has begun,” the 50-year-old former pop singer declared during his first press conference as president-elect. “I’m proud of having been called to serve my country. I, the bad boy, have received your trust.” “You’ve decided to entrust me with the country, in order to bring it to a safe harbor, to leave aside the old demons and the old quarrels of Haitian politics in order to lead the country in a different way. I want to work with everyone; I’m the president of all Haitians, without exceptions,” he insisted. Michel Martelly, much better known until recently by his stage name of “Sweet Micky,” won the presidential election with 67.57% of the vote, compared to 31.74% for his rival, academic Mirlande Manigat, according to preliminary results from the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), announced on the evening of 4 April. “I love my country, I love Haiti, but I’m legitimately indignant,” Manigat affirmed from her campaign office, although she did not clearly say whether she is going to contest the results. “I will keep fighting,” promised the former first lady, who complained of electoral paralysis. The CEP announced last week that the voting on 20 March was tarnished by fraud and that hundreds of returns submitted by various polling places had been annulled. Definitive results will be announced only on 16 April, following a period during which both candidates may submit appeals, as Martelly did after the first round on 28 November. In a historical irony, the singer had been relegated to third place, behind the ruling-party candidate, Jude Célestin. His supporters held violent demonstrations throughout the country before the Electoral Council approved him to go on to the second round. The international community expressed its satisfaction with the conduct of the second round, which contrasted with the chaos of the first. The United States greeted “the people of Haiti” as they “move forward to rebuild their country,” while France paid homage to “the patience and maturity of the Haitian people, who clearly showed their respect for the electoral process.” The European Union also welcomed the results: “This is an important step (…) and should lead to greater political stability,” said the chief EU diplomat, Catherine Ashton, who is from Great Britain. “The European Union will continue to support Haiti in its endeavors to promote democracy and the rule of law and further the process of reconstruction,” she added. As René Preval’s successor, Martelly will head a government reduced in size following the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010, without a majority in Parliament, and threatened by instability because of the return of exiled former presidents Jean Bertrand Aristide and Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier. “The fact that there’s no majority in Parliament could give Martelly the possibility of maneuvering as he likes,” AFP was told by Robert Fatton, a professor of political science at the University of Virginia (in the eastern United States) and a specialist in Haiti. “The problem is that we don’t have any idea of his capacity to confront this kind of political challenge,” he added. “We don’t have any precedents. This guy is totally new, and his party is almost non-existent in terms of representation in Parliament.” “His first priority is forming a government. After that, he will need to manage all Haiti’s problems: reconstruction, displaced populations, security.” The current president, René Preval, will turn over power to Martelly on 14 May, since his presidential term, which was to end in February, was extended by Parliament because of the electoral uncertainty. By Dialogo April 11, 2011last_img read more

The law made simple

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

COVID-19: PKS pushes for lockdown as Jokowi demurs, again

first_imgTopics : Earlier on Tuesday, Jokowi once again said that his administration would not implement a nationwide lockdown and cautioned regional heads who sought to impose stricter movement restrictions in their respective regions.“I have gathered data about countries that have imposed lockdowns and after analyzing them, I don’t think we should go that way,” he said on Tuesday.The COVID-19 outbreak was labeled a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11. Indonesia, which announced its first two positive cases on March 2, declared COVID-19 to be “a non-natural national disaster” on March 14. The country has so far recorded 686 positive cases, with 55 deaths.Twenty-four of the country’s 34 provinces had reported COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday. Jakarta is the worst affected area with 424 cases and 31 deaths. It is followed by the neighboring provinces of Banten and West Java, with 65 and 60 cases respectively. The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has called on the government to implement a lockdown in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, even as President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reiterated his opposition to such a policy.”The party has called for a lockdown on various occasions, at least partially, in areas that are the most affected [by the outbreak],” PKS spokesperson Ahmad Fathul Bari said in a statement seen by The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.He said that such a measure was regulated in the 2018 Health Quarantine Law, which specifically states that a lockdown “is an effort to ward off a disease that can potentially cause public health emergencies.”center_img “It’s clear that the current state of the coronavirus can already be categorized as ‘a public health emergency’, so this is the time to implement a lockdown in some of Indonesia’s regions,” Fathul said.Read also: Jokowi must make case for lockdown as COVID-19 may spark social unrest: ReportThe implementation of the lockdown should also be followed by the fulfillment of citizens’ basic needs, including medical and food needs, as stipulated in Article 8 of the law, he added.”If [the Health Quarantine Law] is not carried out, the President is potentially violating the Constitution,” he said.last_img read more

Statements both bold and subtle hit the mark

first_imgThe self-contained living wing.“As soon as Brad walked in he knew by moving a few walls around and knocking a few walls out we could turn this into something special,” Mrs Welten said. “It was always a huge house but it had no flow, so we’ve basically just made it flow.”Feel mesmerised by the sheer space from the moment you step through the front door with the water vistas of Lake Hugh Muntz instantly grabbing your attention. “Brad is all about that wow factor when you walk in and see the water,” Mrs Welten said. As soon as you step inside you can see the water.The lounge area leads out to the deck and new pool as well as the lawn with lake access.“It’s a priceless lifestyle here,” Mrs Welten said. “All the kids in the area have kayaks, so on a weekend there could be 10 kayaks out in the middle of the lake and people swimming.” Also on this level are two bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry and a self-contained living wing complete with a bedroom, bathroom, lounge and kitchen. “The beauty of the granny flat is it has its own separate entry,” Mrs Welten said. “I feel like family accommodation is really important these days.” Upstairs has also been tastefully renovated — what was one bedroom and a large lounge has been transformed into a luxury master suite with ensuite, living area, balcony, two bedrooms and a bathroom. 51 Barrier Reef Drive, Mermaid Waters. The kitchen features are mermaid tiles, spotted gum timber on the walls, Smeg appliances and a walk-in pantry. The pool overlooks Lake Hugh Muntz.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach Northless than 1 hour ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa20 hours agoThe void is the perfect place for a quirky chandelier, while the timber floating staircase is set off by a large render feature wall. In front is just as inviting with the dining, lounge and kitchen providing space to relax or entertain. “We transformed a bedroom into the kitchen,” Mrs Welten said. “We wanted to create a house where if you’re in the kitchen you can see the kids and the pool and also look out to the water.” Among the kitchen’s standout features are mermaid tiles, spotted gum timber on the walls, Smeg appliances and a walk-in pantry.Subtle touches of timber on the cabinetry also show Mr Welten’s attention to detail. Soak up that view! 51 Barrier Reef Drive, Mermaid Waters is set to go to auction later this month.WIDE water views, earthy vibes and an urban industrial twist.Welcome to 51 Barrier Reef Drive — a six-bedroom north-facing masterpiece in sought-after Mermaid Waters.The edgy design is the work of Brad and Tracey Welten, who spent four months transforming an ’80s brick house into a statement property. 51 Barrier Reef Drive, Mermaid Waters. 51 Barrier Reef Drive, Mermaid Waters.All bedrooms offer stunning water views with floor to ceiling windows. “We wanted to have the layout so you go upstairs and see the water again,” Mrs Welten said. “At night time it’s really nice, you can even see the Q1.” The pair, who have three children, Sunny, 7, Bentley, 4, and Harvey, seven months, said they would be sad to leave. “We did actually renovate this to make it our forever home,” she said. “We have put a lot of heart and soul into this. We wanted to do something that wouldn’t date either.” Nicky Cunningham of Harcourts Broadbeach — Mermaid Waters is marketing the property.It’s scheduled to go to auction on January 20.last_img read more

Live above the treetops and wake up to nature in this tranquil family home

first_imgThe home at 312 Bielby Rd, Kenmore Hills.Mr Van Der Giessen said they instantly fell in love with the seclusion and surrounding bushland. “As soon as we walked into the living room and saw the view over the treetops and hills, that was it,” he said. Above the treetops at 312 Bielby Rd, Kenmore Hills.On the same level, there is a foyer that leads to the three car lock up garage and self-contained guest house, tennis court and in-ground swimming pool.Above the foyer on the top level, there is an art studio. On the lower level, there is a bedroom with ensuite and covered deck area, rumpus room, kitchenette, laundry and storage. There is also a stand-alone cottage or home office with storage on the property. A bird’s eye view of the home at 312 Bielby Rd, Kenmore Hills.The impressive three-level home sits on 1.87ha of land.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours agoOn the ground level, there is three bedrooms with built-in-robes plus a master suite with walk-in-robe and ensuite. There is also a family room, open-plan kitchen, living and dining room, study, bathroom, two separate toilets and covered deck areas. The home at 312 Bielby Rd, Kenmore Hills.Mrs Van Der Giessen said along with the peacefulness of the bushland, buyers would enjoy the multiple living quarters.“It allows you to have privacy when you need it,” he said.Mr Van Der Giessen said he will miss the location and lifestyle. center_img Inside 312 Bielby Rd, Kenmore Hills.“You can’t beat walking up to the sounds of nature,” he said.“I ride my bike to work and I love arriving home at the end of a long day.“The closer I get to home, the more the city sounds disappear and the birds and insects take over.” 312 Bielby Rd, Kenmore Hills.This home is a nature lover’s haven.Owners Rose and Maaren Van Der Giessen bought the property at 312 Bielby Rd, Kenmore Hills in 2011.last_img read more

Dutch REITS to grow in competitiveness after change to tax regime

first_imgRonald Wijs, a member of EPRA’s tax committee, said the changes to legislation came about after EPRA and the industry consulted the government on the system’s negative impacts.“This legislation is a major improvement,” he said. “It should allow Dutch REITs to manage their property portfolios in a more dynamic way and to meet the changing demands from investors and tenants.”However, the changes to the tax regime came with several stipulations, EPRA said.The government will only provide tax allowances if the ancillary activities take place in a legitimate subsidiary, and if the activities directly relate to the core investment.It also said the total value of shares in the subsidiary may not exceed 15% of the value of the FBI as a whole, while turnover may not exceed 25%.In line with this, the subsidiary providing the ancillary activities may only be financed by equity.The government said this was to prevent companies from keeping their value artificially low. Changes to the tax regime for Dutch real estate investment trusts (REITS) will see them grow competitively within Europe, according to the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA).The organisation said the changes, which came into force in 2014, would now allow the Dutch funds, known locally as FBIs, to compete against other REITS.It said the changes would allow FBIs’ ancillary services – such as providing meeting space, in-house catering or energy to tenants – to qualify for the same special tax regime as their core activities.This falls in line with the structure elsewhere in Europe and now sets Dutch funds on a level playing field, EPRA said.last_img read more

Regulator responds to call for ‘swift action’ over UK media group sale

first_imgFor example, the PPF has said that it did not “understand why there was an apparent rush to complete the pre-pack administration” and that it had been led to believe that the publisher had “more than adequate cash reserves”, including to pay the next pension contribution of around £800,000 (€895,000) that was due on 18 November.Commenting on this, Field yesterday said: “It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a company that dumps its pensions liabilities just days before it has to put £800,000 into the pension fund might be up to no good.“It’s clear that the PPF, which is left to foot the bill, has serious doubts about this pre-pack deal.”A spokesperson for TPR said it was looking closely at the circumstances of the Johnston Press pre-pack deal, including timing of the company sale.However, pre-packs could happen at short notice and “it is not possible to launch an investigation into a pre-pack that has not taken place”.“Regulating the process leading to a pre-pack is a matter for the other agencies,” added the spokesperson.“Our role is to focus on a pre-pack’s impact on an employer’s pension scheme.”TPR did not have the power to stop a pre-pack taking place, as there was no requirement for either it or the PPF to pre-approve it. The UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) is investigating the bankruptcy of media company Johnston Press amid pressure from politicians over the fate of the company’s defined benefit (DB) pension scheme.TPR did not have the power to stop the ‘pre-pack’ deal, it said in a response to influential MP Frank Field, who had raised concerns about the sale of Johnston Press after it was put into administration. This meant its DB scheme automatically entered the Pension Protection Fund’s (PPF) assessment period, with some members set to have their benefits reduced.In a statement issued yesterday, Field, the chair of the UK parliament’s work and pensions committee, said: “The Pensions Regulator has promised to be quicker and tougher — now would be a good time to start.”The politician had already challenged about the sale of Johnston Press and the offloading of the DB scheme, but followed up on this yesterday after “worrying details” about the circumstances of the sale had come to light.last_img read more

LR gives AIP for Japanese LNG-powered coal carrier

first_imgMitsui O.S.K. Lines. (MOL) said that together with Tohoku Electric Power and Namura Shipbuilding have received an approval in principle (AIP) from Lloyd’s Register for the design of an LNG-powered coal carrier.The three companies have moved ahead with this project and recently conducted a hazard identification study (HAZID), and finished the basic design, MOL said on Wednesday.This is Japan’s first joint acquisition by three companies, a shipping company, cargo owner, and shipbuilder, of an AIP for a vessel powered by LNG.The vessel design ensures sufficient cargo capacity without making the hull larger by installing the LNG fuel tank at the stern.In addition, the study is pursued based on the installation of the tank cover with an eye toward preventing an onboard fire from spreading to the LNG fuel tank while streamlining inspection work, MOL said.last_img read more

Churches refuse to marry gay couples

first_imgTaranaki Daily News 10 Sep 2012Religious gay couples wishing to wed in Taranaki will struggle to find a church aisle to walk down, even if the Marriage Amendment Bill becomes law. Taranaki church leaders contacted by the Taranaki Daily News said their religious beliefs meant they would not marry gay couples, even if they had the option. The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill which would allow same-sex couples to marry is being considered by a select committee after passing by 80 votes to 40 in a Parliament conscience vote last month. New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young, Whanganui MP Chester Borrows and Taranaki-King Country MP Shane Ardern all voted against gay marriage, while Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia voted for it. Earlier this month 70 church leaders including the national heads of major church denominations made a joint statement in response to the bill. “All human beings are equal in the sight of both God and society, but not all relationships are the same. Marriage has uniquely been about the union of male and female. The state should not presume to re-engineer a basic human institution,” it said.Kim Francis, senior minister at New Plymouth’s St Andrew’s Presbyterian church, put his name to the joint statement and said he was “totally against” gay marriage and would not marry same-sex couples.Citywest senior pastor Steve Batten also said he won’t be marrying gay couples. “Marriage should be between a man and wife. That doesn’t mean I would be saying to gay people: ‘You can’t come to the church’.” He said his views were in keeping with those of the larger Assembly of God group of churches that Citywest belongs to and their leader, Reverend Illiafi Esera, had also signed the collective statement.Dean Jamie Allen, from St Mary’s Taranaki Cathedral, and Archdeacon of Parininihi, Tricia Carter, reiterated the Anglican position, which is that the church is “looking into it.” “Our church has been considering this issue for several years and it is currently being looked at by a commission chaired by Sir Anand Satyanand. This commission is due to report in 2014,” Mr Allen said.New Plymouth Central Baptist Church pastor Martien Kelderman said that as the law stands at this point, he would not marry a gay couple of his faith. He highlighted the fear that the clergy’s right to refuse to marry people will be taken away or they will be punished for refusing to marry gay couples. Mr Kelderman said he was known for refusing to conduct a Christian marriage for his brother.Family First gained a legal opinion which challenged a statement by the Human Rights Commission that asserted if the Bill becomes legal, no religious minister will be required to marry a same-sex couple, anywhere, including in a church. Parliament faces a final vote on the bill within the next yearhttp://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/7643078/Churches-refuse-to-marry-gay-couplesMinister hopes church will perform same-sex marriagesStuff.co.nz 10 Sep 2012An Anglican minister whose son is gay says she hopes the church will choose to perform same sex marriages if the Marriage Amendment Bill becomes law. “Sadly it’s only one interpretation of the Bible that is getting heard at the moment. You don’t have to choose between Christianity and homosexuality, they can exist together,” said Rev Val Riches, the regional dean of North East Taranaki.http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7643107/Minister-hopes-church-will-perform-same-sex-marriageslast_img read more

Two fined for ‘lewd’ Dinagsa fest dance

first_imgCadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. (left) talks to the two Dinagsa Festival revelers who went viral due to their recent lewd “pole dancing” act Monday morning, January 27, 2020. PHOTO: City Information Center of Cadiz City Facebook page “We would like to remind the publicthat the display of obscene messages on placards, lewd acts and the likes arecertainly unacceptable and have corresponding punitive measures,” he said. “Those involved in the indecent actshave already been identified and have signified their intentions to issue apublic apology for what they did,” Escalante added. Meanwhile, another woman has issued anapology after her placard went viral for showing “indecent” words inpublic.  Escalante met with Wilma and Bautistayesterday to impose a P3,000 fine or an imprisonment of 10 days for violating acity ordinance by showing “indecency” in public.      Wilma and Bautista chose to pay theP3,000 fine as they promised not to replicate the act next time.   He added Cadiz City observes diversitybut the public should not go beyond the bounds of good taste, decency and theaccepted norms of the society. Bacolod City – Two persons who went viral on social media for their “lewddancing” during the Dinagsa Festival in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental haveissued an apology as they agreed to pay a fine imposed by the citygovernment.      Escalante said he invited the woman tothe city hall for a meeting and to make a personal apology.  The two were only identified throughtheir social media accounts as certain Boomba Wilma and Laura Beatrice Bautista– residents of Silay City in Negros Occidental. “Dinagsa 2020, no doubt, like itsprevious outings, was a huge success. We cannot overemphasize our elation thatour cultural and religious festival has grown into a major tourism event overthe decades,” said Escalante./PN He said he will ask the SanggunianPanglunsod of Cadiz City for the possible measures “to safeguard the interestof Dinagsa Festival as both a cultural and religious event.”  Meanwhile, Escalante was grateful forthe thousands of revelers who joined this year’s Dinagsa Festival. Wilma and Bautista earned the ire ofthe public for dancing while allegedly showing their private parts during thefestival on Saturday.  The “indecent dancing” reached MayorSalvador Escalante of Cadiz City. last_img read more