The Mauritius Development Investment Trust Co. Ltd ( HY2018 Interim Report

first_imgThe Mauritius Development Investment Trust Co. Ltd ( listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius under the Investment sector has released it’s 2018 interim results for the half year.For more information about The Mauritius Development Investment Trust Co. Ltd ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the The Mauritius Development Investment Trust Co. Ltd ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: The Mauritius Development Investment Trust Co. Ltd (  2018 interim results for the half year.Company ProfileThe Mauritius Development Investment Trust Co. Limited is an investment institution that invest in sectors such as financial services, manufacturing, construction, leisure and hotels, sugar, property development, transport, commerce, and information, communications and technology. The company is headquartered in Port-Louis, Mauritius and holds as well as manages securities in the Republic of Mauritius. The Mauritius Development Investment Trust Co. Limited is listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.last_img read more

UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust ( Q32020 Interim Report

first_imgUPDC Real Estate Investment Trust ( listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange under the Property sector has released it’s 2020 interim results for the third quarter.For more information about UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust (  2020 interim results for the third quarter.Company ProfileUPDC Real Estate Investment Trust is a real estate investment trust which invests in the property market in Nigeria. It was established in 2013. The company managing the UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust is based in Lagos, Nigeria. UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchangelast_img read more

Wallace family calls for firing of police

first_imgThe Oct. 26 police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. in Philadelphia was caught on a video that went viral, bringing thousands into the streets to demand justice for the 27-year-old Black man, who had been experiencing a mental health crisis. Despite a series of 911 callers saying Wallace needed an ambulance and two previous police visits where they were made aware of Wallace’s condition, the final response was by two police officers who fired 14 shots at Wallace within minutes of their arrival.Black Philly Radical Collective member Gabriel Bryant calls for “Justice for Walter Wallace Jr.” at rally in Philadelphia, Nov. 7.On Nov. 4, one day after the election, the city released police bodycam footage of Wallace’s killing by officers Thomas Munz Jr. and Sean Matarazzo, both in their 20s. The Wallace family had been shown the video days before it was made public.  In the footage, one of the officers can be clearly heard saying “Shoot him” before both officers fired. The Black Philly Radical Collective called a protest to disclose the officers’ names and denounce the city’s delay in releasing the footage. They gathered on one side of City Hall, while demonstrators demanding that every vote be counted in the presidential election amassed on the other side. Eventually both demonstrations merged.The 911 dispatch recordings that brought Munz and Matarazzo to the scene made no mention of Wallace’s mental health history or the two earlier police responses. In the bodycam footage, Wallace, who had a knife, appears to be walking aimlessly rather than aggressively. His mother and two neighbors are yelling at the police not to shoot.Members of the Wallace family, their attorney Shaka Johnson and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, spoke out at a press conference Nov. 6. Garner was killed by New York police in July 2014. His final words, like George Floyd’s, were “I can’t breathe,” and his case was a milestone in the Black Lives Matter movement.Failure to follow 2015 Department of Justice call for reformsWhile not calling for charges to be brought against the two officers, the Wallace family is demanding they be fired. Johnson criticized the Philadelphia Police Department for failing to implement reforms and training recommendations made in a 2015 U.S. Department of Justice report. The report, requested in 2013 by then Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, identified “serious deficiencies in the department’s use-of-force policies and training, including a failure to maintain a certified field training program; deficient, inconsistent supervision and operational control of officer-involved shooting investigations and crime scenes.”While the DOJ report applied to the entire Philadelphia police department, it named police districts where civilian complaints of brutality were particularly high — including the 18th district where Munz and Matarazzo are currently employed.Johnson and other speakers called for all police to be armed with Tasers and for a change in the way the city responds to mental health crises. However, even with reforms like mandatory bodycam use implemented, it has not changed the “shoot him” mentality of racist police officers.Gwen Carr noted that while she had learned of her son’s death in a phone call, Wallace’s parents had the horror of witnessing his killing. “Can you imagine, just imagine, what trauma they went through seeing their son murdered right in front of their eyes? There are thousands of mentally ill people [who] are getting gunned down every day because the police are the first responders. This has to stop.” (, Nov. 7)In addition to support from Carr, other parents of victims of police violence visited with the Wallace family to offer support. They included Samaria Rice, whose 12-year-old son Tamir Rice was gunned down by Cleveland police Nov. 22, 2014, and Lisa Simpson, whose 18-year-old son Richard Risher was fatally shot by police in Los Angeles July 25, 2016. A rank-and-file caucus of AFSCME District Council 33 and DC 47 issued a statement calling on Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and the City Council to immediately defund the Philadelphia Police Department by at least half — $364 million — with the money to go instead to fund public services, including mental health. Wallace’s father is a 33-year veteran of the city’s Streets Department. Several hundred people attended the funeral for Wallace Nov. 7. All Wallace’s nine children including his infant daughter, born just days after he was murdered, were there. In his obituary, Wallace was remembered as “a handyman who would try to fix almost anything, he was dependable and an avid learner.”The family wrote: “We never saw Walt having a disability. We saw the man who fought through it and did so with his best ability.” (, Nov. 8)Photo Credit: Joe PietteFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Heavy Crop Disease Pressure Likely in 2019

first_img Heavy Crop Disease Pressure Likely in 2019Disease issues in corn and soybeans had a yield impact in 2018 across Indiana, and we may be in line for a repeat in 2019. With tight profit margins, cutting back on inputs is a consideration,  but growers who did invest in a fungicide treatment in 2018 saw a yield advantage, according to Allan Kurtz with Bayer. He stated, “In corn our average yield increase with a fungicide vs. an untreated was about 16 bpa and in soybeans it was about 8 bpa.”According to Kurtz, if you had disease pressure last year, it is likely you will see it again this year. “We had a very heavy disease year in 2018 in both corn and soybeans,” he said. “A lot of those diseases do overwinter on the crop residue in the field. So, if you had disease pressure last year you are likely to have it again this year.”Delaro®, from Bayer has proven to be a good option for many Indiana growers. Kurtz stated, “We are recommending the primary application be at tassel for general disease control and protecting yield.” Kurtz said they also have recommendations on an earlier application around the V6 and V8 stages in corn.Kurtz said Delaro® is also proven to be effective on Tar Spot, a new disease that caused problems in Indiana fields last year.“This is a relatively new disease in our area, but it was a lot more severe last year than it had been previously.”According to Bayer, Delaro® fungicide for corn and soybeans can help you get the edge you’re looking for. Delaro has a broader spectrum of disease control and best-in-class, dual mode of action residual. Plus, it improves plant health. Facebook Twitter SHARE By Gary Truitt – Mar 31, 2019 SHARE Previous articleCommentary: Changes in Agriculture Evolutionary, Not RevolutionaryNext articleSignificant Problems Remain in Nebraska and the Forecast Doesn’t Look Promising Gary Truitt Heavy Crop Disease Pressure Likely in 2019 Home Indiana Agriculture News Heavy Crop Disease Pressure Likely in 2019 Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

MERS Wins Federal Court Battles Over Deed of Trust in Georgia, New York, and Texas

first_imgSign up for DS News Daily About Author: Brian Honea Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago  Print This Post Authority to Assign Deed of Trust MERS MERSCORP Holdings 2015-09-28 Brian Honea Previous: Policymakers Should Consider SFR as Part of an Affordable Housing Strategy Next: Freddie Mac Obtains $132 Million Insurance Policy to Reduce Credit Risk Tagged with: Authority to Assign Deed of Trust MERS MERSCORP Holdings MERS Wins Federal Court Battles Over Deed of Trust in Georgia, New York, and Texas Related Articles Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Subscribe Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Technology The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Three federal courts have ruled in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), dismissing borrowers’ suits to quiet title and affirming MERS’ authority to assign the mortgage lien, according to an announcement from MERSCORP Holdings.The plaintiffs in the cases of Bradley v. Branch Banking Trust (BB&T) (Georgia), Garza v. Flagstar Bank, FSB (Texas), and McCarty v. Bank of New York (New York) all sued MERS and other financial companies, attempting to avoid foreclosure based on claims that MERS could not hold or assign a security instrument.The plaintiffs in the Bradley and Garza cases further claimed that the mortgage or deed was unenforceable because the note and security instrument were split due to the use of MERS in the loan transaction.In the Bradley case, Magistrate Judge Russell G. Vineyard from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia dismissed the quiet title claim because the borrower could not claim that he held the full title to the property due to the fact that “it is undisputed that [the borrower] executed a security deed that conveyed the property to MERS.”In McCarty, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres from the Southern District of New York ruled that the “Plaintiff voluntarily executed the Deed of Trust to obtain the loan. And even construing the amended complaint liberally, Plaintiff has not alleged a proper basis for a discharge of that loan.” In a decision similar to the Bradley case, Torres dismissed the quiet title claims against MERS and upheld the validity of the deed of trust assignment executed by MERS, according to the announcement.Judge David Hittner from the U.S. District for the Southern District of Texas Court ruled in the Garza case that the borrowers “fail to make any allegations to support their assertion that Defendants’ claim to the property is invalid or unenforceable[.]” Like in Bradley and McCarty, the judge dismissed the quiet title claims and upheld the validity of the assignment of the deed of trust to MERS. In all three cases, the quiet title claims were dismissed with prejudice.“These federal courts affirmed that MERS can rightfully hold a security instrument on behalf of the lender and its assigns,” MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications Janis Smith said. “In addition, the federal court in New York found in McCarty that the borrower’s quiet title and fraud claims were contradicted by the plain language in the mortgage and assignment.”The three court rulings are the latest in a series of victories for MERS in the last two months. In Kentucky earlier in September, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied an en banc rehearing of a case that held that recording statutes in the state do not required a recording in the land records when promissory notes are transferred. MERS has also had court victories in North Texas, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania in the last two months. Share Save Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago September 28, 2015 1,191 Views Home / Daily Dose / MERS Wins Federal Court Battles Over Deed of Trust in Georgia, New York, and Texas Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days agolast_img read more

The SC/ST Act- Reduced To Yet Another Footnote In The Quest For Social Justice?

first_imgColumnsThe SC/ST Act- Reduced To Yet Another Footnote In The Quest For Social Justice? Ameyavikrama Thanvi & Mohini Priya22 Nov 2020 7:37 AMShare This – x”A caste system gives us false comfort, makes us feel that the world is in order, that we automatically know the good guys from the bad guys.” ― Isabel Wilkerson Siddharth, a young Hindu College graduate from Delhi moved to Bhojpur, a non-descript village about 500 km from Delhi, sometime in 1969-70. He was there to be a part of the communist movement, to ignite the revolution…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?Login”A caste system gives us false comfort, makes us feel that the world is in order, that we automatically know the good guys from the bad guys.” ― Isabel Wilkerson Siddharth, a young Hindu College graduate from Delhi moved to Bhojpur, a non-descript village about 500 km from Delhi, sometime in 1969-70. He was there to be a part of the communist movement, to ignite the revolution that would free the oppressed lower castes from the thakurs of the village. In his letter to his beau, Geeta, he describes a watershed moment of his work when some boys of the thakur raped a lower caste girl and the entire community was up in arms to avenge the rape. Armed with lathis and rifles they get hold of the thakur who nonchalantly accepts that his son did indeed rape the lower caste girl but questions if that should mean that he be killed for it. Enraged, as the villagers charge towards the thakur, he gets a heart attack; and the very same villagers get busy to provide him with medical assistance even sending for a doctor, who of course is also a lower-caste. Scared for his life, the thakur nevertheless accepts the doctor’s services. Siddharth concludes his letter musing, “This strange compassion of the villagers towards their oppressor in his moment of need, taught me something. What? I am still trying to decipher.” This was the decade of 1970s, as shown in “Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi”. The revolution that Siddharth dreamed of and worked for never came about; instead he was disillusioned and left India. Towards the end of the movie we once again see an exchange of letter from between Siddharth and Geeta where Geeta, now living and working in the same village, informs Siddharth that yes not much has changed but today no upper caste man can rape a lower caste girl and get away with it without getting a certain body-part chopped off. Cut to 2020, Hathras, Balrampur and so many others. Dalit girls have been raped, brutally injured and killed by upper caste men. The law and order system has not only failed the victims but in at least one instance made a public statement that there was no rape. According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s Report of 2019, there was an increase of 7.3% in crimes registered against scheduled castes from 2018 to 2019 and 7.6% of the total cases against scheduled castes constituted rape. There numbers must, most certainly, be less than actual incidence of crime, given the very low rate of reporting. Women, as a group, are highly susceptible to crime in India but Dalit women being placed at the lowest rung of caste hierarchies face far higher-level discrimination and targeted violence. To stem the rising spectre of caste atrocities that the Government of India enacted the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (hereinafter, the Act). The stated objective of the legislation being to provide for Special Courts for trial of such offences and for rehabilitation of victims of offences connected with caste-based atrocities. Notably, section 14 of the Act provides for establishing special court to provide speedy trial for offences under the Act. The Act also provides for appointment of a Special Public Prosecutor for the purpose of conducting cases in the said special court. Even though the Act empowers the Central Government to make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act, section 21 mandates state governments to take necessary measures for effective implementation of the Act. The law on paper is not insufficient to prevent caste-based atrocities. However, it is one thing to have a strong piece of legislation in place and quite another to ensure its effective implementation. It has been over seven decades since untouchability was outlawed and three decades since caste-based atrocities were imputed criminal character. However, much is left wanting in ensuring the safety and dignity of lower castes in India of the 21st century. In fact, according to the annual report of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, whereas there are 423 districts, exclusive courts as envisaged under the Act are only 170 (It must be noted, however, that the data available in the report is only for twelve states). Similarly, only five states seem to have set up special police stations under the Act. It is imperative to note here that according to the same Report, more than half the states and union territories have not established exclusive special courts provided for under the Act nor have they established special police stations. Ironically, the primary enforcers of the Act i.e., the police who constitute the interface between the State and the larger society have in fact become the primary obstacles to its implementation. The Police has displayed a consistent unwillingness to register offences under the SC/ST Act. One of the main reasons that can be attributed to this is caste prejudice. Also, while under the IPC, charge-sheet for rape has to be filed within 90 days, the same under the SC/ST Act has to be filed within 60 days itself. Despite the more stringent timelines under the SC/ ST Act, in many cases, the police delay the process of filing the First Information Report (FIR) thus giving a breather to the perpetrators who in turn file counter FIRs against the Dalits. Using the counter FIR, the police enters into a negotiation with the Dalits and often this results in withdrawal of the complaint. Another dimension of the problem is that under the SC/ST Act, a rape victim is entitled to ₹5 lakh as compensation whereas for gang rape, the amount is ₹8.5 lakh. In contrast, for non-Dalits, compensation is offered on a case-to-case basis depending on the discretionary power of the judge. In practice, however, this beneficial provision has the undesirable effect of the police often bargaining with the victims for filing cases under SC/ST Act in lieu of the possible monetary compensation that may finally come the victim’s way. .The burden of ensuring proper implementation of the laws lies heavily upon the courts. However, when it comes to scheduled castes and their rights, a general disdain is palpable even in the language of the courts. For instance, the case of Vishakha & ors v. State of Rajasthan is known for the framing of guidelines to address sexual harassment at workplace. However, what is rarely reported is that the roots of that litigation lie in the rape of lower caste grassroot government worked, Bhanwari Devi. Bhanwari Devi was a lower caste woman who was gang raped by members of a Gurjar family in retaliation of her having reported a child marriage being conducted by them. The trial was not only slow but saw a change of five judges. The court acquitted the accused while reasoning, “Rape is usually committed by teenagers, and since the accused are middle-aged and therefore respectable, they could not have committed the crime. An upper-caste man could not have defiled himself by raping a lower-caste woman.” The fact that a court of law could make such an observation shows how deeply ingrained is the caste hierarchy in the Indian society. While Bhanwari Devi’s rape still awaits punishment, a writ petition was filed on its basis and even the Supreme Court, failed to acknowledge the role that caste had played in the commission of the heinous crime. The patterns of caste-based hierarchy and the violence associated with it continue to persist despite the constitutional and legal framework resolving to eliminate them. This contradiction is indicative of power structures which remain operational within and outside the existing legal framework continuously challenging and subverting it. Any analysis of the systemic failures in preventing caste-based violence necessarily has to factor in the sociological, political, economic dimensions of the problem as well. It is only by adopting a holistic approach that the challenge of caste-based oppression can be overcome and the constitutional promise of attaining an egalitarian society can be delivered. It is imperative that the legislations enacted for this purpose be applied not just in letter but in spirit as well. While steps must be taken to set up special courts and police stations provided for under the Act, effort needs to be made to establish a fast track case disposal system. Justice delayed is justice denied and the case of Bhanwari Devi stands as a glaring testimony to it. To genuinely dismantle the caste-system and the inequities emerging from it are to be dismantled, besides politico-legal measures, steps need to be taken by the society, at large, to ensure equal representation of the so-called lower castes, particularly, women in all spheres or public life. As Frances Wright said, “Equality is the sole of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.”Views are personal.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Factories in breach of carcass trim rules should be named – McConalogue

first_imgAudioHomepage BannerNews Factories in breach of carcass trim rules should be named – McConalogue Pinterest Derry draw with Pats: Higgins & Thomson Reaction Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Previous articleIrish Water works at Illies Plant progressingNext articleSeamus Rodgers co-opted onto Donegal JPC News Highland WhatsApp Google+ WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+ A Donegal Deputy has told Minister Michael Creed that factories who have broken carcass trim rules should be named and shamed.Its after it emerged numerous fines were imposed in 2018 on factories who failed to comply with EU carcass trimming regulations.In the Dail this week, Deputy Charlie McConalogue told the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine that he can no longer act as a Ministerial shield:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.center_img Twitter By News Highland – December 8, 2018 Pinterest Facebook Facebook News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th DL Debate – 24/05/21 Twitter Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 last_img read more

Mayor’s Update – March 23, 2018

first_imgMayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends,We endured yet another nor’easter this week, and if you’re like me, you’re ready for some spring weather.The Cape May County project replacing the West 17th Street Bridge blocked a major outfall pipe before the storm. This caused extensive flooding in the area from the bridge all the way to West Avenue. This is a county project, not a city project, and the county contractor did not follow approved plans. The city team took immediate action when the issue was discovered and required the county’s contractor to find a way to drain the flooded area. This is not acceptable, and I can assure you all that the county contractor will be working late into the evening to install a diversion pipe to fully correct the problem until the bridge project is complete.At last night’s City Council meeting, Business Administrator Jim Mallon provided an update on the city’s efforts to acquire 903 Bay Avenue, the former Exxon gas station property. A judge in our condemnation proceeding conducted a settlement conference to try to see if we could resolve the litigation without more attorney’s fees and court costs. But the property owner wanted far more than the appraised value of the property, and we were unable to reach an agreement.In light of what the City would have to pay in combined litigation and acquisition costs, the city voluntarily withdrew its condemnation complaint. We will continue to pursue more cost-effective opportunities for using taxpayer dollars to acquire open space. The owner is now free to pursue whatever plans he has for the property.All floors of Gardens Plaza have reopened and residents are allowed to return following water damage from a standpipe that burst during the extreme cold of early January. I want to thank our construction code team for expediting permit applications and inspections to aid these residents.A planned Atlantic City Electric power outage is now scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday (March 28). The interruption of service had been postponed a couple times due to the weather. The outage will affect the area between North Street and 13th Street and is expected to last no more than 15 minutes. We will send reminders to residents of the affected area as March 28 approaches.I want to remind everybody that the Boardwalk Merchants Association will hold the first of two egg hunts on the beach between 11th Street and 14th Street at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (March 24). The event is free for children ages 7 and under, but be sure to arrive early to make sure you don’t miss the action. All parking on streets and municipal lots is free at this time of year, and remember that the 34th Street Bridge is still limited to one lane. The second egg hunt is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. March 31.I hope you all have a great weekend.Warm regards,Jay A. GillianMayorlast_img read more

The fog of peace

first_imgIt was going to be the end of war. Now Colombians wonder whether peace is possible.On Sept. 26, President Juan Manuel Santos and the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC for its acronym in Spanish, signed a historic peace agreement after four years of negotiations to end Latin America’s longest-running conflict. It was to bring closure to 52 years of a civil war that has claimed more than 200,000 casualties and displaced nearly 6 million people.On Oct. 2, in a shocking result, Colombians rejected the deal in a referendum, 50 to 49 percent, with a 60 percent abstention rate. A few days later, the Nobel Committee awarded Santos the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize partly in hope of reviving talks. To make sense of these developments and what they mean for the country’s future, the Gazette sat down with political anthropologist Jennifer Schirmer, visiting scholar at the Religions and the Practice of Peace Initiative at Harvard Divinity School (HDS). Schirmer spent 14 years working on peace negotiations in Colombia.GAZETTE: Why was there such a huge abstention rate?SCHIRMER: One of the factors was the hurricane that hit the coast on voting day, forcing thousands of people to stay home. Many others didn’t vote because they thought it was unnecessary. Polls were predicting the yes vote was going to win. As to why many Colombians voted no, there are various reasons. The yes campaign started late, and their supporters underestimated former President Álvaro Uribe, who led the no campaign. Uribe called the peace talks “a pact of impunity” that would lead to violent chaos. With the 297-page final accord released only a month before, many voters depended on social networks. Disinformation by Uribe’s tweets was difficult to correct in time. The more conservative elements of the Catholic Church and the evangelicals joined the no campaign. The most interesting aspect of the cartography of voting shows that those who suffered direct effects of the conflict in some of the poorest parts of the country with extreme concentrations of land were the most willing to vote yes. Overall, victims have been the most willing to forgive, to accept the FARC’s pardon, and to end the war.GAZETTE: What were the most controversial aspects of the peace accord?SCHIRMER: One element was disarmament. The FARC said they would not hand over their weapons to the armed forces but to a third party, United Nations monitoring teams. This was significant for the FARC because they didn’t want to be seen as capitulating. The other element was transitional justice. In a negotiation seeking to put an end to a war, alternative and reduced sanctions are permitted as long as they are combined with measures of truth, reparation, and no repetition of crimes. With the FARC unwilling to negotiate an accord “that means we end up in jail,” a system of truth and justice was agreed upon that places victims front and center. The accord creates a peace tribunal with two options: Those who refuse to accept responsibility for their crimes will be sent to jail for 15 to 20 years, and those who accept responsibility receive five to eight years of “effective restrictive freedom,” the place and conditions to be determined by the tribunal. These options apply equally to the FARC, armed forces, and civilians who have had significant participation in crimes.GAZETTE: What about reparations to victims?SCHIRMER: The accord included reparations to victims by building schools and work with affected communities on humanitarian de-mining, and they’re deemed critical. With a yes vote, the FARC would have been far more likely to disarm, tell the truth, be held accountable and provide reparations.GAZETTE: Who are the FARC?SCHIRMER: It’s a Marxist insurgent group that controls territory, has considerable funds and weapons and despite a severe bombing campaign by the Uribe and Santos governments between 2007 and 2012, has remained capable of continuing the war. Surrender was not an option and there was a need for concession and compromise on both sides. In this case, the FARC made the political decision to find a dignified exit to the war. Most peace processes are successful when this occurs.GAZETTE: Why did they start the civil war? What were they fighting against?SCHIRMER: Guerrilla groups arose primarily because of political exclusion and serious land inequity. Back in the 1940s, Colombia went through a terrible period of violence between the liberals and conservatives. A pact was agreed upon to alternate the presidency every four years, excluding all other parties. Political exclusion is a ferocious fault line of Colombian democracy, and it operated that way until 2004, with the rise of a left party. Between 1964 and today, eight guerrilla groups appeared on the scene fighting such political exclusion and seeking land redistribution.GAZETTE: Why did the FARC decide to negotiate?SCHIRMER: Social justice and land reform are still the central issues, but over the last decade, the FARC came to realize this was a conflict of the past that is barely justified today. What they say now is that there is a new way to seek change, but not through armed struggle. They saw other Latin American countries elect more progressive leaders, and realized revolutionary movements belong to the past. This change of mentality opened the door to negotiations.GAZETTE: What role do you think the decision to award 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to President Santos will play in the peace process?SCHIRMER: President Santos deserves great credit for pushing for peace, and for breaking this historical cycle of war. We can only hope Santos will show the same resolve in finalizing and implementing the peace that he did in negotiating it. I am optimistic they can find a way forward.GAZETTE: What was your personal involvement in the peace negotiations in Colombia?SCHIRMER: I organized and facilitated peace-building dialogues in Colombia for the past 14 years between different sectors from the political class to the economic elite, from the armed forces to former guerrillas, and from academics to journalists. For the past four years, I was asked to hold seminars for the technical subcommission in their design of a Colombian model of ceasefire and disarmament. What is extraordinary is that the traditional adversaries in this conflict — military officers and guerrillas who have taken the brunt of the combat with high casualty rates — have been, for the past year, jointly writing and delineating the coordinates of the cease-fire and disarmament protocols to end this long and bloody war, while right-wing politicians, led by two past presidents, serve as obstacles to peace.GAZETTE: Did you find any parallels between the Colombian referendum and the one in Britain where people voted to leave the European Union?SCHIRMER: The huge difference in Colombia is that this is a difference between peace and a return to war. Nonetheless, the comparison is useful as it forces us to ask whether a referendum is the solution for these sorts of very complex political decisions. Both [former British Prime Minister David] Cameron and Santos decided to hold a referendum for their own political reasons, and both were warned not to. Santos was re-elected in 2014 on a peace platform. His own attorney general told him it was not necessary constitutionally. Finally, it seems neither leader had a Plan B, which is quite extraordinary.GAZETTE: What risks do this failed peace accord pose to Colombia?SCHIRMER: It’s a gray zone between war and peace. No war. No peace. It’s a limbo, and my fear is that, if violence were to return, the internal cohesion of the FARC may falter. This is Latin America’s and one of the world’s longest-running conflicts, with one of the largest insurgent groups. A bilateral cease-fire has been agreed upon and extended until Oct. 31. But if there is a confrontation and a loss of security, would the FARC leadership be able to control its troops? That’s the biggest risk in these processes: how to maintain the trust on both sides and how to maintain cohesion internally.The interview has been edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

Rock bottom bank savings account rates? There’s a better way

first_imgby: Brian O’ConnellPity the poor bank savers. They are saddled with a seven-year-old Federal Reserve policy that keeps interest rates at rock-bottom levels.This week, bank savings rates were down to 0.066%, according to the BankingMyWay weekly bank rate tracker. That’s barely ahead of the rate of inflation, which stands at -0.04%.But there are better deals out there if you don’t mind doing some digging. According to the most recent GoBankingRates survey of top U.S. bank savings rates, going smaller and going digital is the fastest path to higher rates of return.“According to our data, the average savings account rate is only 0.18% APY nationwide,” says Casey Bond, GoBankingRates’ editor-in-chief. “However, online banks and local financial institutions stand out as consistently offering the best returns.” continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more