Saints Kitts e Nevis

Canada Goes Trump: Claims of Climate Change in Elections Could Be a Crime

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 3 ore 15 min fa
Canada’s Arctic warming faster than the country’s south

 

Canada’s election watchdog has warned environmentalists that saying climate change is real could break the law. The issue arose because one party running in October’s election denies climate change is a threat.

That has led Elections Canada to warn groups that running paid advertisements about climate change could be considered partisan activity.

Advocates called the guidance “ludicrous” and say it will dampen urgent climate discussions.

The UN has called for decisive political action by 2020 to put an end to climate change.

“The guidance is extremely troubling,” Stephen Cornish, the CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation, an environmental charity, told the BBC.

“We would have to bury the scientific consensus around climate change when we should be ramping up our activities.”

What are the rules?

Canada has strict regulations on partisan advertising during the election period, whether they be from candidates, parties or third-party organisations.

Individuals or organisations that take out “issue” advertisements that cost C$500 ($375, £309) or more during the election period have to register with Elections Canada as a third party.

“Issue” advertisements are paid media campaigns that take positions on issues related to parties’ platforms but do not explicitly address a particular candidate or party.

The election period will begin when the writ is dropped sometime in September, before Canadians head to the polls on 21 October.

Why is climate change a partisan issue?

Keith Brooks, programme director for advocacy group Environmental Defence, says Elections Canada told him that because one candidate denies that climate change is an issue, any ad urging action on climate change, or calling climate change an emergency, could be considered partisan.

Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, has said numerous times that he does not believe climate change is a crisis.

“There is no climate change urgency in this country,” Mr Bernier said in June.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Maxime Bernier has quit the Conservative Party of Canada, months after losing its leadership race, where he is pictured here

Mr Bernier split from the Conservative Party of Canada last year to create the People’s Party.

The party’s platform states that “it is an undisputed fact that the world’s climate has always changed and will continue to change”.

What do environmental groups say?

Mr Cornish says it is “absolutely ludicrous” that charities are barred from advocacy work on climate change during the election just because one of the party’s platforms denies it is an issue.

“We’re talking here about someone’s opinion overruling scientific consensus around the need to adapt to climate change,” he said.

A spokesperson for Elections Canada told the BBC there is no way of knowing if climate change will be an issue until the election officially begins, but that the law does not care whether the position taken by a candidate is correct or not.

“The validity of the position does not matter,” explained Elections Canada spokesperson Natasha Gauthier.

If an environmental group decides to register, it could threaten their charitable status, since tax-exempt non-profits are not supposed to engage in partisan activity.

As a result, both Environmental Defence and the David Suzuki Foundation say they will have to avoid taking out any climate change ads during the election, but that the rules will not stop them advocating for action on their own platforms.

“It’s a constraint on us,” Mr Brooks, with Environmental Defence, said.

“But it’s not going to completely silence us.”

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Epstein Signed Will Before Death, Worth $577m + 2 Virgin Islands

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 3 ore 32 min fa

Jeffrey Epstein signed a will two days before killing himself in his New York jail cell, US media reports say.

Court papers filed last week in the US Virgin Islands valued Epstein’s estate at more than $577 million but listed no details of beneficiaries, the Associated Press reported.

The will, details of which were first reported by the New York Post, directs Epstein’s assets to be put into trust. His brother is his only close relative.

Epstein died while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

The New York medical examiner found that the 66-year-old, whose body was discovered on 10 August, died of “suicide by hanging”.

Epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and was being held without bail. He faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

The former financier put all of his holdings into a trust called The 1953 Trust, according to a copy of the will published by the New York Post. He signed the document on 8 August.

No details of any beneficiaries are included in the document, which lists assets including more than $56m in cash, more than $14m in fixed income investments and more than $18m in “aviation assets, automobiles and boats”. He also owned two small Caribbean Islands in the US Virgin Islands.

Epstein’s collection of fine arts, antiques and other valuables is yet to be appraised, the document says.

Some of Epstein’s alleged victims have said they will go after his assets for damages following his death.#

Who was Jeffrey Epstein?

New York-born Epstein worked as a teacher before moving into finance. Prior to the criminal cases against him, he was best known for his wealth and high-profile connections.

He was often seen socialising with the rich and powerful, including US President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and the UK’s Prince Andrew.

In a 2002 profile in New York Magazine, Mr Trump referred to Epstein as a “terrific guy”. But in comments this year, Mr Trump said that he was “not a fan of Jeffrey Epstein”.

What was Epstein charged with?=

Epstein was accused of paying girls under the age of 18 to perform sex acts at his Manhattan and Florida mansions between 2002 and 2005.

He was arrested on 6 July after landing in New Jersey on his private jet. He avoided similar charges in a controversial secret plea deal in 2008, and instead pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

That plea deal was closely scrutinised in recent weeks and, last month, US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned over his role in it.

Prosecutors also accused Epstein of paying large amounts of money to two potential witnesses ahead of his trial, which was scheduled to take place next year

The post Epstein Signed Will Before Death, Worth $577m + 2 Virgin Islands appeared first on The St Kitts Nevis Observer.

Australians Shocked by Chinese Police Cars On Their Streets

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 3 ore 48 min fa

 

Fake Chinese police cars have been spotted in major Australian cities as the number of rallies in support of Hong Kong democracy protests grows across Australia.

Police are investigating sightings of cars that have a Chinese Police logo and the word ‘police’ written on them in Mandarin, similar to the police cars stationed in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The sightings have been confirmed by authorities in South Australia and Western Australia.

It is suggested that the fake Chines police vehicles (pictured) are being used to intimidate pro-democracy protesters

 It is suggested that the fake Chines police vehicles (pictured) are being used to intimidate pro-democracy protesters

Police vehicles in China (stock picture) commonly have the same markings and colour scheme, right down to the stripes on the side

Police vehicles in China (stock picture) commonly have the same markings and colour scheme, right down to the stripes on the side

It is suggested that these vehicles are being used to intimidate pro-democracy protesters.

Chinese expats are afraid their former country could be monitoring them, particularly with the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

‘We are fearful of such Chinese authorities, as most Australians know about the protests in Hong Kong by now,’ expat ‎Ho Yan Kwan‎ said.

‘So such brazen display, whether actually real or a prank, is worrying for the Hong Konger community here in WA who has no love for China.’

Others who spotted the cars are reluctant to believe they are fake.

One Twitter user believes the Chinese police cars are in fact real

One Twitter user believes the Chinese police cars are in fact real

People gather in Perth for a rally calling for an end to violence in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)

People gather in Perth for a rally calling for an end to violence in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)

 Hong Kong protesters outside the University of Adelaide on Friday

Pictured: Hong Kong protesters outside the University of Adelaide on Friday

Some fear the Chinese police are actually being allowed to operate in Australia, pointing out the identical car decal.

Despite the fears, WA police say that replicating a car with another country’s police car design is not against Australian law. Mr Ho shared an email from a WA Police sergeant saying using Chinese markings on cars was not illegal.

‘Whilst I understand your concerns, the person is not committing any WA offences by having Chinese markings on their vehicle, therefore I cannot allocate for this inquiry,’ the sergeant allegedly wrote.

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A Land Rover with Chinese police livery is cruising around the streets of Perth, scaring the local Chinese community

A Land Rover with Chinese police livery is cruising around the streets of Perth, scaring the local Chinese community

Green MP Tammy Franks told the ABC laws relating to the impersonation of foreign police cars in Australia need to be tightened.

She expressed her interest in introducing a private member’s bill to ‘ensure impersonating police forces is illegal in South Australia and send a clear and strong message that we stand for peaceful protest and democracy’.

In a statement this week, WA Police said that it was ‘aware of this matter and is investigating’.

The post Australians Shocked by Chinese Police Cars On Their Streets appeared first on The St Kitts Nevis Observer.

Human Rights Approach to Migration Law Approved

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 4 ore 7 min fa

Marcelo Pisani (right), IOM Regional Director, highlighted the importance of the Regional Framework Law on Migration, before the presiding officers of legislative assemblies of Central America and the Caribbean Basin. 

Mexico City – A Regional Framework Law on Migration, with a Human Rights Approach has been approved XXII Special Meeting of The Forum of Presiding Officers of Legislative Assemblies of Central America and the Caribbean Basin (FOPREL).

According to International Organization for Migrtation (IOM) figures, at least 21 million Central Americans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans live outside their countries. Another three million people live as migrants in the same region. The framework law was developed for safeguarding these people’s human rights, along with the welfare of the communities that saw them leave and those that host them.

The Framework Law was developed with the support of the International Organization for Migration and other multilateral and civil society organizations and will have an impact throughout the region. It will serve as a reference for strengthening the already existing regulatory frameworks in each country. That strengthening process will be carried out by the sovereign legislative body of each of the countries represented in the FOPREL.

“The framework law on migration matters is due to a mandate from the presidents of the member parliaments of our organization,” said Santiago Rivas, Executive Secretary of FOPREL. “It is transcendental for us since it compiles all the international treaties that the member countries of FOPREL have ratified and places a special emphasis on the human rights of migrants.”

The Framework Law was signed by the presiding officers of the legislative powers of Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico at the headquarters of the Congress of the United Mexican States and has become the first instrument approved at a regional level as a model to develop national standards for migration governance.

“In the region we have at least four challenges in this field: addressing the causes of irregular migration, generating conditions for return, creating regular migration channels and fighting xenophobic discourse,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. “This Framework Law will help participating states face these challenges and will contribute to harmonizing their legislative frameworks.”

International organizations such as the Gilberto Bosques International Studies Centre, the Senate of the United Mexican States, UNICEF, UN Women, the Organization of American States (OAS), and civil society organizations such as Save the Children participated in the drafting of this framework law, led by FOPREL and IOM.

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 7203 6536, Email: jgallo@iom.int

The post Human Rights Approach to Migration Law Approved appeared first on The St Kitts Nevis Observer.

Jamaica Dengue Fever Cases Increase Over 2018

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 4 ore 27 min fa

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaica last month recorded a total of more than 140 notifications of dengue fever with the island’s Chief medical officer, Dr. Dr Jacqueline Bisasor McKenzie, saying the figure was significantly higher than the same period last year.

Speaking on a television programme here Monday, Dr. McKenzie said that the increased figure could be attributed to the prevailing drought conditions.

She told television viewers that the number of suspected dengue cases recorded for three out of the last five years has been “above the monthly mean, and comparing this year to last year, we have been way above.”

She said the Ministry of Health has been receiving more notifications, describing them “as the tip of the iceberg.

“For July, we had about 140 something notifications that were fitting…the definitions (and0 so would be classified as suspected dengue. Last year we were in the region of 20, 30 and we know people have to store water but you have to cover the containers so as to prevent the mosquitoes from getting in there and laying their eggs.

“Every case of dengue has the potential to become serious and to result in death,” she warned.

Last week, the Washington-based Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned of what it describes as “the complex situation” of dengue in Latin America and the Caribbean.

It said that the region is currently experiencing “a new epidemic cycle of the disease” after two years of low incidence.

According to the latest PAHO epidemiological update, during the first seven months of 2019, more than two million people contracted the disease, and 723 died.

PAHO said another characteristic of the current epidemic is that children under the age of 15 appear to be among the most affected.

The post Jamaica Dengue Fever Cases Increase Over 2018 appeared first on The St Kitts Nevis Observer.

Social Media Supports Havana Plane Stowaway

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 4 ore 53 min fa

Yunier García Duarte sitting

Miami Herald- More than 25,000 people have asked the U.S. government on social media to allow a young Cuban stowaway who arrived in Miami on Thursday in the cargo area of an airplane to stay.

“I risked my life. I hope they let me stay. … If they deport me, I will be tortured. … I came here because it is a country of human rights,” Yunier García Duarte told Telemundo 51.

García said the trip was very difficult and he could barely breathe in the cargo hold of the plane. The stowaway had worked carrying luggage at José Martí Airport in Havana. El Nuevo Herald was able to confirm that Cuba’s Interior Ministry is investigating how García was able to leave.

Miami immigration attorney Wilfredo Allen is representing García, who told authorities he feared he would be deported to the island.

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“I spoke with García Duarte’s family on Friday and Saturday. I also spoke with him that same weekend. I have agreed to be his lawyer and I am hopeful that my client will be able to win this case of political asylum,” Allen told el Nuevo Herald.

“The first thing we are going to do is ask for an interview to demonstrate ‘credible fear of persecution’ as quickly as possible. After that interview has passed, we will request parole,” added Allen, who said he is preparing a case for political asylum.

The 26-year-old has been transferred to the Krome Detention Center.

García has had massive support in social networks and from prominent Cuban Americans.

A campaign on the Change.org platform gathered more than 25,000 signatures in 72 hours asking the U.S. government to give García political asylum.

“Those of us who know the sad Cuban reality know that if they deport him, he will be directly sent to serve a long sentence in the dungeons of the Castro dictatorship. Therefore, I join the call to immigration authorities that he be granted a parole,” Cuban exile singer Willy Chirino posted on Facebook.

Juan Antonio Blanco, director of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, also expressed his support for the young stowaway.

“He is a young man who comes from Cuba. In a democratic system like ours we should have the right to be heard,” he said.

García’s family in Cuba says his departure caught them by surprise.

“He had not told us anything. … I think it was a last-minute decision,” said Yudeysi García, Yunier’s sister, from Havana.

More than a dozen Cubans have escaped the island as stowaways in airplanes, although most have died in the attempt. The official Cuban press has not mentioned García’s trip.

The post Social Media Supports Havana Plane Stowaway appeared first on The St Kitts Nevis Observer.

Trump Tower in Greenland? Not Serious, Pres. Says

The St Kitts Nevis Observer - 5 ore 15 min fa

 

 

Donald Trump may still want to purchase Greenland – but the US president has no plans to embellish the island’s coast with a Trump Tower.

On Monday night, Trump tweeted an edited photo of a coastal town dotted with colorful homes – all dwarfed by a golden skyscraper bearing the US president’s name.

“I promise not to do this to Greenland!” Trump said.

President Trump

The tweet came a day after he confirmed news reports that he was mulling the idea of buying the autonomous Danish territory, though he has acknowledged that such a deal is “not No 1 on the burner”.

Front of mind, perhaps, are warnings from economists that the US economy is teetering toward a recession. But Trump, ever the businessman, apparently cannot resist the prospect of what he has called “essentially a large real estate deal” with miles of coastline.

“Strategically it’s interesting and we’d be interested but we’ll talk to them a little bit,” Trump told reporters on Sunday.

News of the president’s interest in buying the icy island were met internationally with roars of laughter. But on the island and in Denmark, the response ranged from incredulous to indignant.

“I think he’s crazy,” one resident told CBS. Another said the idea felt “patronizing”.

The Danish prime minister has called any discussion of a sale “absurd”.

“Greenland is not for sale,” said Mette Frederiksen, the Danish prime minister. “Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously.”

“We are open for business, but we’re not for sale,” Greenland’s foreign minister, Ane Lone Bagger, said.

Trump is scheduled to visit Denmark in September, as part of a trip to Europe.

Earlier on Monday, Trump’s son Eric shared the same photo of a Trump Tower in Greenland on Instagram. He wrote: “I don’t know about you guys but I love the concept of buying Greenland.”

The post Trump Tower in Greenland? Not Serious, Pres. Says appeared first on The St Kitts Nevis Observer.