Govt provided over $9.4B for student loans from 1994-2015

first_imgUG Loan Agency auditThe recent forensic audit into the operations of the University of Guyana (UG) Student Loan Agency hasThe Student Loan Agency at the University of Guyana Turkeyen Campusrevealed that over a 21-year period, successive People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) governments made available to the agency over $9 billion.During the period 1994 to May 2015, the Government of Guyana approved $9,489,453,973 through the National Budget or US$45.5 million (using the current rate of exchange of G$210 to US$1), the 77-page audit report, which was made public on Tuesday by the Finance Ministry stated.The report stated that during the period April 2011 to December 2014, $1.8 billion was received through a process whereby the Agency’s head is informed by the Budget Department that funds have been approved to be released to the Agency.The Agency head then, at least twice per year, requests disbursements equivalent to the approved amount which were then deposited, awaiting request from the University and upon request, the Agency head seeks approval from the Finance Secretary for the requests to be fulfilled.It noted that there was no receipt of funds from the Government in 2015. “Loans issued during the audit period (academic years 2011-2012 to 2014-2015) amounted to $1,581,422,277 of which $1,432,669,005 was issued to students at Turkeyen Campus and $148,753,272 was issued to students at the Tain Campus,” the report stated. It further stated that as at December 31, 2014, some 25,335 students received loans with a total value of $9,159,644,463. Of the 25,335 students who have received loans, 4713 or 18.6 per cent are recent graduates or are still students, 1776 or seven per cent have repaid their loans totalling $679,918,794, including principal and interest. Five had their loans written off, 1278 or five per cent have been paying but not all are up-to-date and 17,56l or 69.4 per cent of the loan portfolio are deemed delinquent because they have not being honouring their indebtedness, according to the audit report.“This is a clear indication that the Ministry of Finance, and by extension the Agency, has not pursued the defaulters with a view to recover their indebtedness. The Agency head confirmed that his department is not equipped to pursue defaulters,” the auditors stated in the report.Several high ranking politicians and legal practitioners are among the over 17,500 defaulters.They include former Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Robert Corbin, People’s Progressive Party Central Committee member Majeed Hussain, Magistrate Judy Latchman, former A Partnership for National Unity Member of Parliament (MP) James Bond, Legal Adviser in the Ministry of the Presidency Geeta Chandan-Edmond and daughter of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo Adela Nagamootoo.The loans approved and issued during the period was $9,159,644,463. This amount represents 96.5 per cent of the total Government contributions received by the Agency. The auditors have recommended sweeping changes at the Agency to address the issue of defaulting loans.Included among those recommendations is preventing students who owe the agency from traveling overseas unless systems are in place to guarantee the recovery of the outstanding balances, should the student fail to return to the country.“Consideration should be given to endorse the passport of students so that they cannot leave the country without making provision to repay their loans if they fail to return. Or students should not be allowed to travel abroad unless the guarantors undertake to repay the loan in full and immediately, if the students do not return,” the auditors suggested.It was also recommended that the format and security for the issuance of loans must be reviewed to strengthen the existing systems and to put in place mechanism for the prompt repayment of loans, the auditors noted, adding that the student loan form should include the name of an alternative guarantor in the event of the death of the guarantor. That person should give a written commitment annually.“The criteria for the issuing of student loans should also be reviewed to ensure that only Guyanese are eligible instead of those holding national ID cards,” it stated.The auditors also recommended that students should be made to start repayment on or before the one year grace period once they would have been employed.last_img read more

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Arabs attack Arabs as violence in Darfur enters new dimension

first_imgNYALA, Sudan – Some of the same Arab tribes accused of massacring civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan are now unleashing their considerable firepower against each other in a battle over the spoils of war that is killing hundreds of people and displacing tens of thousands. In the past several months, the Terjem and the Mahria, heavily armed Arab tribes that U.N. officials said raped and pillaged together as part of the region’s notorious janjaweed militias, have squared off in South Darfur, fighting from pickup trucks and the backs of camels. They are raiding each other’s villages, according to aid workers and the fighters themselves, and scattering Arab tribesmen into the same kinds of displacement camps that still house some of their earlier victims. U.N. officials said that thousands of gunmen from each side, including some from hundreds of miles away, were pouring into a strategic river valley called Bulbul, while clashes between two other Arab tribes, the Habanniya and the Salamat, were intensifying farther south. Darfur’s violence has often been characterized as government-backed Arab tribes slaughtering non-Arab tribes, but this new Arab-versus-Arab dimension seems to be a sign of the evolving complexity of the crisis. What started out four years ago in western Sudan as a rebellion and brutal counterinsurgency has cracked wide open into a fluid, chaotic, confusing free-for-all with dozens of armed groups, a spike in banditry and chronic attacks on aid workers. U.N. officials said tribal and factional fighting was killing more people than the battles between government and rebel forces, which, except in a few areas, have declined considerably. Though the recent round of clashes between the splintering groups has not come close to taking as many lives as the thousands who were dying each month during the height of the conflict in 2003 and 2004, many aid officials say they fear the situation is getting out of control. “The fragmentation of armed groups is among our major concerns,” said Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Sudan. “This is making the situation even more complex, and more difficult for civilians as well as for humanitarians trying to help them.” The rising insecurity is spelled out in two color-coded maps taped to Giuliano’s wall in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. One is from May 2006 and has only a few pockets of orange and yellow danger zones. But on the map from this June, the danger zones are everywhere. According to U.N. officials, the various militias may be jockeying for power and trying to seize turf before the long-awaited hybrid force of U.N. and African Union peacekeepers begins to arrive, perhaps later this year. Today’s battlefields are superimposed on yesterday’s, with the Arab militias killing each other over the same burned villages and stingy riverbeds where so much blood has already been spilled. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Bournemouth star commits long-term future to club

first_img Charlie Daniels [right] in action for Bournemouth 1 Bournemouth defender Charlie Daniels has signed a new contract with the club.The left-back has been a regular under Eddie Howe this season, starting 25 Premier League games for the Cherries.And now the 29-year-old has been rewarded for his fine form with a new three-and-a-half-year deal.“Charlie has been a model of consistency for me this season,” Howe told Bournemouth’s website.“He has been very, very impressive and really set the marker for us. Not only on matchdays but also in training.“He deserves this deal and hopefully it’s another step towards what will be a successful season for us.”last_img

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Football Manager 2017: Most valuable players in the world

first_img 20 20 9= Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – £50m 17= Luis Suarez (Barcelona) – £44m 20 19. Alex Teixeira (Jiangsu Suning) – £43.5m 17= Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich) – £44m 1. Neymar (Barcelona) – £62m 20 20 15. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) – £47m 20 20 7= Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – £52m 20 9= Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – £50m Who is the most valuable footballer in the world?You might have a number of names running through your head right now, but if you’re thinking it’s Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – you’re wrong. Well, according to Football Manager 2017.The hugely popular game has been released and neither of the duo, who have several individual and team titles on their CVs, are at No.1.Poor old Ronaldo, fresh from winning Euro 2016, can’t even make the top 20, with him rated at £22million, when you start a new career on the game – that’s the same as West Brom’s Salomon Rondon, Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson, and West Ham’s Michail Antonio, amongst others.So who are the most valuable players on Football Manager 2017? Click the right arrow above… 20 20 20 13= David Alaba (Bayern Munich) – £47.5m 20 2. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – £60m 20 20 20 12. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) – £49m 9= Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund) – £50m 20 13= Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) – £47.5m 7= Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – £52m 20 20. Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich) – £41m – Click the right arrow above to find out who the most expensive players on Football Manager 2017 are… 20 3= Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) – £55m 5= Paul Pogba (Manchester United) – £54m 3= Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)- £55m 20 20 5= Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – £54m 16. Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus) – £46m last_img read more

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Another deficit in City Hall: demands for apologies

first_imgMaybe it’s the weather. Or the stars – Mercury is in retrograde, we are told. Or maybe it’s just July in the city. It just seems like people are a little more cranky, the hyperbole a bit more over the top, the demands for apologies everywhere. “I almost hate to do this, but I haven’t asked anyone to apologize in two days,” City Council President Eric Garcetti joked late last week. “That might be a new record around here these days.” Garcetti was referring to his own request to Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton over remarks about Councilmen Bernard Parks and Dennis Zine. In the space of three work days, the proposal was advanced by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters, put on the council’s agenda and sent on to the city attorney for drafting. Try to get a building permit that quickly. But it is that very speed that could cost the measure in the long run. Editorial opposition already has begun to develop and public suspicion – always on high when it comes to all things related to City Hall – is reaching the red-line area. Part of it is how the proposal came about: Two groups professing concern about public policy avoided any scrutiny of the measure and failed to reach out to potential allies for support. Notably missing from any discussion was the involvement of former Mayor Richard Riordan, who launched the term-limit issue in the first place and now is a supporter of amending it to give council members a third term. “You have to wonder what they were thinking when they didn’t even approach Riordan,” an aide to the former mayor said. “He would have been out front and it would have meant something coming from him.” Now that the tree has been cut down and the South L.A. farm bulldozed, where is Darryl Hannah? Still strongly in support of the farmers who are in court seeking to win back the property, its organizers said, even if not here. The actress, who was taken into custody briefly when she chained herself to a tree on the site, sent words of support from Italy. Closing arguments were made last week and submitted to a judge for consideration. We keep hearing Mayor Villaraigosa referred to as a political rock star. Apparently the folks at the Grammy Foundation think so, too. This past weekend they presented the mayor with a Grammy Leadership Award for his work with at-risk youths and support of after-school programs. The award was presented at a dinner and concert in Malibu featuring performances by Josh Groban, Renee Olstead, Dionne Warwick and BeBe Winans. Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has been giving away pets as part of an adoption program he began in 1995. In that time, his staff estimates he has given away 562 cats and dogs. But last week he found one kitten who resented the intrusion. As Antonovich tried to hold the short-haired black kitten – a mean ball of fur named Sylvester – it attacked. The kitten jumped out of his hands, scratched his face, knocked his glasses askew and eventually wound up on the supervisor’s back. “Little Sylvester is looking for a home,” Antonovich said to the crowd in the Board of Supervisors hearing room, moving to lift the kitten when it attacked him. “We’re trying to save you.” Supervisor Don Knabe joked: “Looks like he found a home: on the back of your neck.” Aides said Antonovich wore his scars with pride and has no intention of giving up the program. rick.orlov@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2And then, of course, there was Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s demand for an apology from school Superintendent Roy Romer for remarks he made in his State of the Schools speech. Bratton and council members are seeking to reconcile away from City Hall. Garcetti said he and the chief were planning to go to dinner over the weekend and then hit some clubs in Hollywood. In a city where “-ish” is the favorite time – “I’ll meet you at 6:30-ish” – it was surprising to see the speed with which the City Council can act when it wants to. Take last week’s vote to prepare a ballot measure for the Nov. 7 election to extend members’ terms by four years, including some ethics reforms. last_img read more

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Online predators now the hunted

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips“Through the Internet, the predator has a whole new way of finding his target.” Brown heads the nearly year-old Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes Against Children task force. Since January, Brown and his officers have investigated 339 complaints from parents who say their children have received graphic photographs or sexually charged messages over the Internet. Funded by the U.S. Justice Department, the task force’s top goals are to investigate the origins of child pornography, to find and arrest predators who victimize children and teens and to educate the public about online protection. They work with local police departments, as well as with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI. The pile of reports on LAPD Detective James Brown’s otherwise tidy desk tells stories of men who leave scars. Unsolicited dirty talk. Pornographic images. Children hurt and haunted by a “virtual” friend who materializes into a real-life predator. “They know everything that the kids know these days,” Brown said of the online predators who lure children into sexually explicit language or situations. “They talk the talk,” Brown said. “They know the music, the clothes, the games, the movies. So far, there are 42 such task forces nationwide. The fact that the federal government is funding the programs couldn’t come at a better time, Brown said. He is concerned about the evolving trends of luring children through interactive video games and the availability of the Internet on mobile phones. As technology and the Internet evolve, predators become more aggressive, Brown said. And while he’s not too keen on the recent spate of TV news magazines setting up situations to lure predators, Brown said those programs show how far predators will go to have sex with underage boys and girls. “The predator has always been following our children,” Brown said. “But when you move their targets to the Internet, where some predator can sit at home and think they are anonymous, they are much more aggressive.” A recent university study of 1,500 young users found that 13percent received a sexual solicitation online, while 34percent said they received unwanted exposure to sexual material. And the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates one in seven children are receiving unwanted solicitations. Only 10percent are reporting the crimes. Cybertip – a sort of 911 clearinghouse for parents and Internet service providers such as MySpace.com to report child pornography – has logged more than 400,000 complaints since it launched in 1998, said John Shehan, of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Those complaints have increased by 156percent this year alone, Shehan said. “Any law enforcement agency you talk to will tell you there’s plenty of work to go around,” Shehan said. “Law enforcement agencies receive about 70percent of all of 1,500 leads we receive a week.” But authorities complain about the fact that laws vary by state on the punishment for possession of child pornography, solicitation and sexual conduct. And the recent scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., and his e-mails to teenage congressional pages illustrate the difficulties in interpreting when sexually suggestive material crosses the line. “We still have issues to work on domestically,” Shehan said. “There are some states that say possession of child pornography is just a misdemeanor. There are some places internationally where it’s not even against the law.” Meanwhile, the Los Angeles task force wants to get additional funding so three more officers can join the unit. It needs the additional manpower to keep up with the evolving technology, Brown said. “If you had told me that in 2002 I’d be talking to men and women who were abused by members of the clergy, I would have said, you’re nuts,” Brown said. “After all that, nothing surprises me anymore.” susan.abram@dailynews.com (818) 713-3664 CYBER TIPS: Some tips to protect children from online predators: Keep the computer in the family room or another open area of your home. Post clear, simple, easy-to-read rules for use on or near the computer. Check with your Internet service provider for monitoring or filtering programs or options. Web sites for children are not permitted to request personal information without a parent’s permission. Talk to children about what personal information is and why they should keep it private. If children use chatrooms or e-mail, talk to them about never meeting in person with anyone they first “met” online. Let children show you what they can do online, and visit their favorite sites. Be aware of any other computers your child may be using. Talk to children about not responding to offensive or dangerous e-mail, chat or other communications. Report any such communication to local law enforcement. Do not delete the offensive or dangerous e-mail. Instead, turn off the monitor, and contact local law enforcement. If you suspect online “stalking” or sexual exploitation of a child, report it to your local law enforcement agency, contact www.cybertipline.com or call (800) 843-5678. SOURCE: Netsmartz.org160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Is your pup America’s cutest? Find out on Saturday!

first_imgEvery puppy is cute. Who can resist a roly-poly Labrador with a wet nose, or a fur-ball of a mixed breed, or a bloodhound with all the extra skin he’ll ever need and paws the size of dessert plates? Not the folks at the WE Television Network. Puppy owners are invited to take their adorable fur babies in to audition for the network’s “America’s Cutest Puppies” to the Plaza Room at the Westin Pasadena beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. The nationwide search will continue in nine other cities, including San Diego, Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Chicago. The winners from each region will be flown to Los Angeles for the finale on Nov. 18. “It’s got to be a whole package.” Not just cute, said DePietro. A team of three judges will preside over three rounds of the competition to determine each local winner based on looks, playfulness, friendliness and “star-quality.” In Round 1, puppies get to strut their stuff for 30 seconds, showing judges they are just as adorable as they appear to be. Those who make it through that round go on to the semi-finals, where puppies showcase their personality with a favorite toy. Those who make it through that cut go on to Round 3, with 10 finalists getting some up close and personal one on one time with the judges. From there, one winner and two runners-up are selected to compete in the finals. What does the winner get? Prizes are still being determined, but there’s always the lure of fame and potential fortune. Added DePietro: “And they’ll always be America’s cutest puppy.”165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possible “It’s like American Idol’ for puppies. Only they’re not going to be singing,” said Stephanie DePietro, public relations coordinator for WE TV. Every casting audition in each city, as well as the finale, will be made into an episode on a WE TV show in 2007. “We don’t think it’s really ever been done like this before,” DePietro said. “We’re excited to see all the kinds of puppies that will turn out. It’s really going to be a tough, tough competition.” Purebred, mixed breed, whatever it’s all good. Puppies must be between four and eight months old as of this month. They must also be current on all of their vaccinations and crated or leashed when not auditioning. There is a required application, that can be downloaded from http://kaosent.com/shows/puppies. But with so much cuteness to spare, what can a pup do to set itself apart from the pack? Look precious, act precocious and dazzle the judges with that head-cocked look puppies are so famous for.last_img read more

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Brother recalls sister’s last words before her slaying

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Authorities have previously said Flores was beaten, then strangled, and that her body was dragged along the pavement by Del Toro’s pickup truck. Initially charged with murder and free on $1 million bail, Del Toro was rearrested and had his bail revoked last week after a grand jury indicted him on murder with the special circumstance of torture – an enhancement that makes him eligible for the death penalty if convicted – along with a separate count of torture. Del Toro’s scheduled arraignment Monday on the new charges was postponed until Nov. 28 while he hired a new attorney. Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace said his office will decide in early December whether to pursue the death penalty in the case. Grace has said Del Toro met Jennifer Flores through a mutual friend, but they were not romantically linked. Richard Flores said Jennifer studied English literature in college, and enjoyed reading Jane Austen novels and writing. Their mother died when he was 11, and Jennifer was just 7. They were raised by their father, now a retired Air Force officer. “I think about her a thousand times a day,” he said. “I can still remember the sound of her voice. … She was beautiful inside and out. She’s very kind-hearted.” “We only had each other,” Flores said. “I feel like we had a special bond.” Flores said he knew something had befallen his sister when his wife saw Jennifer’s car being loaded onto a flat-bed truck behind police tape as she drove through a neighborhood in Eagle Rock. “Is it Jennifer?” Flores recalled asking his wife. “She said yes … I came home only to find a coroner’s vehicle parked outside my house.” eugene.tong@dailynews.com (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Tears welled in the eyes of Richard Flores as he recalled Monday the last words he exchanged with his only sister, Jennifer, hours before she was brutally slain in Eagle Rock. “She wanted to pick up a few things from the house, and my last words to her were, `I love you,”‘ Flores said as he waited for the start of the arraignment for David Jaime Del Toro, a Los Angeles fire captain charged with torturing and murdering the 42-year-old San Gabriel woman. “This loss has just devastated our family. It was so heinous and sadistic … We’re praying for justice in this case.” Del Toro, a decorated, 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department, was arrested Aug. 16 after Jennifer Flores’ nude and bloodied body was found on a residential street in Eagle Rock. A mile-long trail of blood and tire tracks led to his home. last_img
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Miss USA Tara Conner to keep crown

first_imgMiss USA Tara Conner, who had come under criticism amid rumors she had been frequenting bars while underage, will be allowed to keep her title, Donald Trump announced Tuesday in New York City. “I’ve always been a believer in second chances,” Trump, who owns the Miss Universe Organization with NBC, said with Conner at his side. “She left a small town in Kentucky and she was telling me that she got caught up in the whirlwind of New York,” Trump said at a news conference. Conner won the title in April and has been living in New York. Recent media accounts of heavy drinking brought a storm of criticism since she was underage at the time. She turned 21 on Monday. In a tear-choked voice, Conner said, “In no way did I think it would be possible for a second chance to be given to me.” Turning to Trump, she said, “You’ll never know what this means to me, and I swear I will not let you down.” Trump said Conner would be entering rehab. A pageant official said details would be worked out privately with Conner over the next weeks. If Conner had been dethroned, her title would have been taken over by first runner-up Miss California Tamiko Nash. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Wright: Swanson at his best in St Johnstone jersey

first_imgHe has twice moved on to the capital, firstly to Hearts and then to his boyhood heroes, but only mustered four league starts for each.Wright is confident the playmaker can find his feet quickly upon his comeback.“I’m really pleased to have him back here,” Wright told the club’s official website this morning. “It’s another great piece of business for us and I’m over the moon to add him to what is already a very strong squad.“Danny is a player that needs no introduction to the fans. They know exactly what his qualities are and what he’s capable of. “I’ve always felt that Danny has been at his happiest here and that he’s played his best football at this club. It’s my job to make sure I get the best out of him again.” St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright said he is “over the moon” to have signed Danny Swanson and is confident the midfielder can rediscover his top form in Perth.Swanson penned a two-year deal with Wright’s side after leaving Hibernian just before the transfer window closed on Friday night.This will be the 31-year-old’s third stint with the Saints, having scored 18 goals across 64 appearances for the club.Swanson has scored 18 goals in 64 appearances for Saints over two spells, the first of which was a loan from Coventry.last_img read more

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