Former PS granted permission by court to study overseas

first_imgOmar ShariffOmar Shariff, former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Presidency, who was in 2017 charged for non-compliance of a production order issued by the High Court, was on Tuesday placed on $1 million surety by Magistrate Fabayo Azore, which enabled him to retrieve his travel documents in order that he could complete his law studies at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago.Shariff’s attorney, Sanjeev Datadin, in a bail application, told the court of his client’s willingness to lodge his passport and other travel documents after completion of studies overseas.Shariff was, however, ordered to lodge his passport at the court when he returns to Guyana. The case has been adjourned to September 17, 2018.RecapShariff, who allegedly had amassed some $20 billion in business funds between 2005 and 2015, was arrested in July 2016 in connection with allegations relating to one of the largest money laundering and tax evasion schemes in the history of Guyana.Shariff was sent on annual leave on July 1, 2016 by Minister of State Joseph Harmon following investigations launched by SOCU, and his services were terminated with effect from December 31, 2016.The court had, in 2016, issued an order which required Shariff to provide certain documents to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), but he had violated that order.He was released on self-bail after pleading not guilty to the charge. A condition attached to his being placed on bail required him to report to SOCU every other Monday.last_img read more

Planetary Wanderings

first_imgHere are news briefs that are out of this world:Death Star Sighted:  On August 2, the Cassini Spacecraft took the best-ever pictures of Mimas, the little moon of Saturn with a huge crater Herschel that makes it look like the Death Star from Star Wars.  Why this little moon should be one of the most heavily cratered objects in the solar system, when nearby Enceladus is not, is a mystery.Aurora at Saturn:  Saturn put on a light show for Cassini, reported press releases from Jet Propulsion Laboratory and University of Colorado.  The planet’s own version of aurora australis was viewed from a better angle at more wavelengths recently, and was portrayed in lovely aqua blue against the butterscotch planet’s south pole.Mars Too Deadly for Human Travel:  Damping ancient dreams of humans walking on Mars some day, National Geographic News reported that “space weather” (solar radiation) could be too dangerous to make a manned mission feasible.  A solar flare storm like those seen in recent years (see 11/06/2003 entry) could be like placing astronauts in the path of nuclear explosions millions of times more powerful than those made by man.  Unless some new method of shielding is devised, politicians and managers may consider it too risky to send humans into the cosmic shooting gallery for years at a time.  A powerful storm missed Apollo astronauts by just months in 1972.  Even if humans survived the 9-month flight to the red planet (10/01/2002), the Martian surface environment does not offer the same protection as Earth (see 08/07/2003 entry).  See also the press release from University of Warwick.Titan Is Dry as a Bone:  Contrary to earlier predictions (10/16/2003), R. A. West et al. wrote in Nature1 that the lack of specular (mirror-like) reflections from Earth-based radar echoes indicates that Titan (Saturn’s largest moon) lacks global oceans.  The BBC News took this to mean that Titan is as dry as a bone.  Even the sighting reported near the south pole makes the lake interpretation seem unlikely.Enceladus Is Hot Topic:  Science2 took note of the announcement of cryovolcanism on Enceladus (07/14/2005).  Richard Kerr wrote, “the close-up encounter has only deepened the mystery of how a body as small as Enceladus can come up with enough energy for such an active geologic life.”  Treating it as a special case is “uncomfortable” to planetary scientists.  Leaving the solution as a mystery, Kerr concluded, “Theoreticians will have to redouble their efforts to hammer out a moon they can live with.”Mars Soil Mystifies:  Science3 published a story by Amos Banin, “The Enigma of the Martian Soil,” that suggested we still know very little about the Martian surface, even since Viking, Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rovers have studied it up close.  Though we have more data, we have new questions.Mars Traffic Jam:  Add a fourth spacecraft to the orbital speedway around Mars.  The new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched successfully Thursday morning, August 11, carrying the biggest camera ever launched to the red planet.  It should be able to see objects the size of a card table on the surface when it begins its primary science mission in November 2006, and can transmit 10 times as much information per minute as previous orbiters.  A flood of high-res photography is coming.  MRO will provide several times as much data about Mars as all previous missions combined, said project manager James Graf. 1R. A. West et al., “No oceans on Titan from the absence of a near-infrared specular reflection,” Nature 436, 670-672 (4 August 2005) | doi: 10.1038/nature03824.2Richard A. Kerr, “Cassini Catches Mysterious Hot Spot on Icy-Cold Enceladus,” Science, Vol 309, Issue 5736, 859-860, 5 August 2005,[DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5736.859a].3Amos Banin, “The Enigma of the Martian Soil,” Science, Vol 309, Issue 5736, 888-890, 5 August 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1112794].The Enceladus-Mimas dichotomy may force scientists to re-examine assumptions about cratering rates.  If impactors flying around the solar system do not pummel nearby objects equally, then either some moons are able to cover the craters, or the impactors are not randomly distributed.  Cratering rates are commonly assumed in determining ages of surfaces.  If you cannot constrain the density and frequency of impactors, and if the weathering processes are not well known, then crater-count dating is an exercise in guesswork.    Planetary scientists will have to redouble their efforts to hammer out not only a moon they can live with, but a solar system they can live with.  This has two connotations.  First, the solar system is a deadly place; this underscores the beauty and habitability of our privileged planet.  Second, evolutionary scientists accustomed to thinking in billions of years can’t live comfortably with young phenomena like Enceladus, and a Titan that should have accumulated deep oceans of methane or ethane by now.  If you are unconstrained by long-age assumptions, can you live with these findings?(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Virgin rebadges extra legroom seats

first_imgVIRGIN Australia has rebadged its Extra Legroom product as Economy Space + and added new options to make it more enticing to passengers.Passengers who shell out as little $10 one-way for the new product on domestic flights will receive priority boarding, at least 25 per cent more legroom in exit or first row seats along with “preferred” overhead lockers.A spokeswoman said the preferred lockers would likely be badged but customers taking the new option would also get early access because of the priority boarding.Choosing the option on short-haul international flights gets access to dedicated check-in facilities and  a more expansive flagship package on the airline’s long-haul Boeing 777-300ERs starts at $50 one-way.In addition to exit rows, the long-haul product is available in five rows of Economy Space + seating in a secluded cabin area behind premium economy. It also includes premium noise cancelling headphones and a guaranteed first meal choice.The price will vary by route, market, fare type and time of purchase with the long-haul option costing as much as $165 one way for last minute travellers booking within six days of departure. The option will appear as an extra during the booking process and will be cheaper for those booking further ahead. Passengers can also use Velocity points.The move follows overseas trends to boost revenue by offering passengers extras for which they are willing to pay and comes as Virgin is changing its fare structure.Virgin is expanding its ticket options from September 7 in a new “Fares For You’’ structure but unlike US airlines, it is not remove existing domestic flight entitlements such as complimentary baggage, food and entertainment.“We believe Economy Space+ provides great value and will be very popular with travellers in the main cabin,” said Virgin Australia chief commercial officer Judith Crompton.last_img read more

SA congratulates India’s president-elect

first_img24 July 2012 South African President Jacob Zuma has congratulated India’s Congress heavyweight and former finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, on being elected the 13th President of India on Sunday. India’s President is a ceremonial head of state and is elected by an electoral college comprising Members of Parliament and state legislators. India’s executive head of state is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.‘Engaging India at the highest level’ In a statement on Monday, Zuma said South Africa looked forward to continuing its engagements with India at the highest level. “South Africa will also explore new opportunities in both the bilateral and multilateral environments to engage India in an evolving global environment.” Noting that India is a strategic partner, Zuma said South Africa’s objective will be to build on the strong bilateral relationship and continue to foster goodwill and sound relations across a broad spectrum. The two countries are strategic partners at a multilateral level and have created a platform for cooperating in various forums, namely the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) forum; the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA); the Brazil, South Africa, India, China – a climate change-specific forum; Group of 20 (G20) and India- Africa Forum, all of which reinforce the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries. Mukherjee defeated his main challenger and former parliament speaker, P.A. Sangma, by more than 50%. He was nominated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance to contest the presidential poll held on 19 July and has held key portfolios like defence and foreign ministries in his political career spanning over 43 years. The 77-year-old Mukherjee will be sworn in as the country’s President by the Chief Justice of India on Wednesday, succeeding the incumbent Head of State Pratibha Patil whose five-year term ends on the same day. Source: read more