…in wake of efforts to secure bordersIncreased activities on the border and the ongoing threat from the infamous ‘Syndicato’ cartel has forced President David Granger to cancel a planned trip to the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Heads of Government meeting in Haiti.According to the Ministry of the Presidency, Granger will not be attending the 29th Inter-sessional meeting of the conference, in order to “focus on domestic issues at this time.” Leading Guyana’s delegation will be Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge.“Guyana’s three-member delegation to the meeting will be led by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, who is also performing the duties of Prime Minister. The Inter-sessional meeting is being hosted in Haiti from Monday, February 26 to Tuesday, February 27, 2018,” the release stated.President David Granger during his recent visit to a village in Region 1 in close proximity to the border with VenezuelaDuring a recent press conference, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had revealed his receiving from a source credible information suggesting that there is a real threat to Guyana and its sovereignty emanating from neighbouring Venezuela.Jagdeo told the media conference he feels the Government is also aware of this potential treat, and is urging the Administration to keep Guyanese abreast of these developments.Jagdeo had stressed that the matter should not be discussed just among Cabinet members, but if Guyana were to be subjected to any act of aggression, it would be the people of the country, not just the military, who would have to respond.The former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces had also said, “And whilst we have to ensure that our communities are protected from gangs, I think the Government has available all the analysis. I don’t want to speak about it, but I have received some of the information from other sources, (which) leads me to believe that there is a real enhanced threat to our nation and its sovereignty.”This publication on Saturday made contact with Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan on the veracity of such a threat, but he declined to comment beyond what the President had said in his Republic Day address.In his message to the nation on the country’s 48th Republic Day anniversary, the Head of State had said that Guyana’s green grandeur – its grasslands, highlands, islands, wetlands, lakes, coastal mudflats, rainforests, rivers and waterfalls – must be protected.“We, Guyanese, in the exercise of our sovereignty, are defending the Republic. We are protecting our patrimony. We are ensuring that future generations will be able to inherit this beautiful country, to live in peace and to enjoy the good life and prosperity which this bountiful country has to offer,” he has declared.He had posited that the country would now move closer towards a juridical settlement of the territorial controversy, following the decision of United Nations Secretary General António Guterres in January to go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as the means to resolve the decades-old controversy.The Head of State also went on to recognise external support, saying that Guyana looks forward to the intensification of cooperation with friendly foreign states, especially in building capacity for the Defence Force’s technical corps, to improve the national infrastructure in every part of the country, to defend its territorial integrity, to protect citizens, and to respond to emergencies.“International cooperation is essential to preserving this continent as a zone of peace; to preventing and interdicting transnational threats such as drug, gun- and human-trafficking, the spread of contagious diseases, terrorism, and to mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and natural hazards,” he had asserted.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – The Broward County School Board is taking steps to improve school security in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.Broward Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie sent out an email this weekend to all parents and guardians outlining the measures being taken, beginning in the fall, to make sure students and teachers are safe.Among the changes expected are:at least one school resource officer for every schoolenhancing active assailant trainingupgrading surveillance camera systemssingle entry point for campus visitors by 2019requiring ID badges for students and stafflocking classroom doors at all timesexpanding mental health services for students and staffThe school district has hired an independent security firm to make recommendations for security enhancements.But reviews from members of the Parkland community were mixed. Some said the school district has not been moving fast or far enough.“Until he’s ready to reevaluate the PROMISE Program, I don’t care what he puts in writing, this superintendent,” said Andrew Pollack, the father of Parkland shooting victim Meadow Pollack, referring to an intervention-based Broward program created to correct student behavior.Last month, the Broward school district acknowledged Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz had been referred to the PROMISE Program back in 2013 after he vandalized a bathroom at Westglades Middle School. PROMISE is an acronym that stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The Alaska Legislature missed its adjournment deadline on Sunday night, after failing to reach agreement on the state’s budget. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports.It was certain by 8pm that the Legislature would not be gaveling out. A conference committee still had not met on the state’s operating budget, and the usual buzz and urgency of the last day of session was missing entirely.Taking a break outside the Capitol, House Speaker Mike Chenault explained the hold up was a vote to draw from the constitutional budget reserve to fill a multi-billion-dollar deficit. Without support from the Democratic minority, the Legislature is short at least three votes to tap the rainy day fund.“We get through it by negotiating with our minority on what they need to get out of here for a three-quarter vote,” said Chenault. “But yet, in turn, we’re not going to add millions of dollars back into the budget that we don’t agree with.”Making a deal of that scale is already hard enough, but compromise was further delayed by personal circumstances. That Sunday morning, the daughter of Democratic Minority Leader Chris Tuck and conservative talk radio personality Bernadette Wilson was born. Tuck flew back to Anchorage to meet the seven-pound Penelope Grace. Chenault, a Nikiski Republican, said that obviously could not be helped.“He’s got a new baby girl,” said Chenault. “It might have been not the right time, but he did what I would have done in his place. And I would have gone back and seen my wife and my child.”There are a few big sticking points in the negotiations. Democrats would like to see education funding restored, and they would like for the Legislature to expand Medicaid. They also want reverse some cuts to the ferry system, public broadcasting, and pre-kindergarten. Chenault says that if an agreement cannot be reached, a government shutdown is possible. “That’s not something we want to see with our state employees. I don’t believe that’s what the minority wants to see either,” said Chenault. “That’s, I guess, the nuclear option, if you want to call it that.”On the Senate side, Majority Leader John Coghill also spoke of dire consequences if a deal failed. The North Pole Republican said the Legislature could try to fund government using the permanent fund earnings reserve, which requires a simple majority instead of a three-quarter vote.“There’s a huge political reluctance to take that money, because it has huge impacts on the dividends,” said Coghill. “But I can tell you, that may be the very next thing we’ll have to do.”But House Democrats have objected to the compromise being described in such stark terms.“The permanent fund earnings is a deadly game,” said Rep. David Guttenberg, a Fairbanks Democrat. “If they’re going to play that game, I’m not going to participate in it.”Democrats believe their conditions for supporting a budget reserve draw should not come as a surprise.“We talked about Medicaid expansion and reform. We talked about education that doesn’t cut kids and opportunities. And we talked about seniors,” said Rep. Scott Kawasaki, a Fairbanks Democrat. “I mean we’ve talked about the same thing from the beginning.”Negotiations will continue Monday. While the legislative session is scheduled for 90 days by statute, the Alaska Constitution allows lawmakers to meet for 121 days without calling for a special session. Last year, the Legislature also gaveled out late, taking 95 days to complete their work.