Slideshow: Eaglecrest Downtown Rail Jam 2015

first_img 46 – Kevin rotates off the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 42 – Christian flips inverted over the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 29 – Max launches off the jump at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. Max won the award for best trick. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 43 – Nano on the jump at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 27 – Charles jumps at the Downtown Rail Jam December 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 42 – Christian soars over the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) Share this story: Contestants watch as they wait their turn to jump at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec.19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 41 – Garrett jumps at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) Juneau | SportsSlideshow: Eaglecrest Downtown Rail Jam 2015December 21, 2015 by Mikko Wilson Share:Eaglecrest Ski Area hosted the first Downtown Rail Jam in Juneau’s Marine Park Saturday. Braving the cold and the wind, 23 skiers and snowboarders took to a ramp constructed with scaffolding and snow trucked down from the ski area while a crowd of about 100 spectators looked on.Participants and winners are identified by bib number and their name as listed on Eaglecrest’s sign up sheet. In most cases last names were not provided. 42 – Christian flips into an inversion at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 33 – Noah spins off the jump at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 33 – Noah spins off the jump at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 35 – Logan catches air at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 35 – Logan catches air at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 30 – Jarrett jumps at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 47 – Julian slides down the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. Julian took 3rd place. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 39 – Jira jumps at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 29 – Max slides down the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. Max won the award for best trick. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 36 – Rise lines up for launch at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. Rise won the Grom Boy award. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 44 – Devyn catches air at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. Devyn won the award for best slam. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) Contestants cheer on each other as they wait their turn to jump at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 45 – LaClair balances down the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 50 – David clears the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 40 – Payton catches air at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 29 – Max lands in a slide at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. Max won the award for best trick. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 26 – Evan takes to the air at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. Evan took 1st place. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 50 – David airborne at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 40 – Payton balances her way down the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. Payton won the Best Girl award. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 29 – Max performs an inverted jump at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. Max won the award for best trick. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 41 – Garrett jumps at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 37 – Odin skis down the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 34 – Jonah clears the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 31 – Sam Buck lands a jump clean at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. Sam took 2nd place. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 28 – Jessica catches air at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 32 – Tosh grabs his board as he slides down the edge of the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO) 38 – Bethany performs a belly slide down the box at the Downtown Rail Jam Dec. 19th. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/KTOO)last_img read more

Mobile dialysis could save lives in a disaster. But is there a cost to safety?

first_img Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED The calls started coming in the days after Hurricane Sandy. Flooded dialysis centers had shuttered across New York and New Jersey. Some patients and practitioners didn’t know where to turn. So they dialed Anita Chambers.“It was difficult to hear stories of patients being driven four to eight hours to find a center that could take them,” Chambers, said recalling the 2012 superstorm. “There were centers open that had all the patients in the day — seeing these patients in the middle of the night.” GET STARTED Mobile dialysis could save lives in a disaster. But is there a cost to safety? What is it? Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey in Houston, can disrupt care for people who need dialysis treatment. Joe Raedle/Getty Images Log In | Learn More By Max Blau Sept. 21, 2017 Reprints Tags policySTAT+ What’s included? Health Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.last_img read more

U.S. states are waging a civil war over donated livers. Will a new proposal finally resolve it?

first_img To solve organ shortage, states consider ‘opt-out’ organ donation laws The messages, many deeply personal, focus on the regional boundaries that divide life from death for patients with liver disease.“My partner passed away waiting for a liver transplant in Chicago,” one commenter wrote in support of a proposal to change the nation’s system of allocating livers. “Any move that can make access to transplant more equitable is a move in the right direction.”Another commenter, from South Carolina, disagreed: “I’m a 63 year old male that had a successful liver transplant on 5/9/14′ at MUSC Charleston SC…I truly believe residents of SC should receive these desperately need[ed] organs first, before shipping them to other regions.”advertisement Related: National Technology Correspondent Casey covers the use of artificial intelligence in medicine and its underlying questions of safety, fairness, and privacy. He is the co-author of the newsletter STAT Health Tech. @caseymross [email protected] Related: About the Author Reprints Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. Please enter a valid email address. Some critics are even more pointed, alleging that the committee proposing the change is skewing information about MELD scores to support its position.“Members of [region 11] believe that data has been consistently manipulated throughout the conception of the proposal in a way that pushes favorable statistics to the forefront of the discussion while ignoring data that is detrimental to the proposal,” representatives of the region wrote in a comment letter. “The result of any proposal that is based on match MELD at transplant, and not waitlist mortality, is that livers will be reallocated away from vulnerable, rural populations to larger metropolitan areas where patients have far greater access to healthcare.”A UNOS spokeswoman said in a statement the data was generated by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients and was presented in public meetings and broken out in the draft proposal. Heimbach said MELD score is not being used to skew the results of the analysis, but because it is the measure currently used to allocate livers. “Right now, we put people in order on the wait list based on the MELD score,” she said. “It determines the patient most likely to die in the next three months, and that’s the system we’re using.”She added that it is difficult to use waitlist mortality as a measure because of the variability in sickness level of people put on waitlists from region to region.Heimbach’s committee will meet Oct. 10 in Chicago to weigh the input and decide how to proceed — whether to alter the proposal, scrap it, or forward it to the full UNOS board for a vote in December. She acknowledged that the ongoing regional battle over the proposal is making progress slow and difficult.“It’s been a lot of years we’ve been trying to do this, and people do have a lot of concerns about change,” she said. “Patients’ lives are at stake and we’re worried about it. … We’re trying to make the best improvement we can, and it’s really hard.” Matching hearts — and kidneys and lungs. This website makes organ transplants in the US possible Hospitals are throwing out organs and denying transplants to meet federal standards center_img HealthU.S. states are waging a civil war over donated livers. Will a new proposal finally resolve it? Privacy Policy Related: Yet another wrote: “People in NY need to take care of people in NY. If they can’t, well they should move somewhere else.”All were writing in a response to a proposal that would change the geographic lines that determine access to donor livers in communities across the United States. The public comment period, set to conclude at midnight, has drawn more than 500 submissions from patients, advocacy groups, and physicians. Now a key panel must decide whether it should advance the plan toward a vote in December by the board of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).advertisement The effort is aimed at bringing a resolution, or at least a truce, in a long-running civil war over a scarce supply of donor livers in the United States. Its refugees are extremely sick patients who sometimes die waiting in a bureaucracy that determines their fate based largely on old boundaries that don’t take into account differences in supply and demand.More than 14,000 people are currently seeking liver transplants in the United States, according to UNOS. In 2016, 1,220 people died on waiting lists.The proposal to change the allocation system would broaden sharing of donated livers to a 150-nautical mile radius around the donor hospital, regardless of which organ region a potential recipient lives in. It would also award points to candidates based on their proximity to the hospital, to help minimize travel and logistical challenges.“The intent of the policy is to offer livers to the patient who’s got the most urgent need for a transplant,” said Dr. Julie Heimbach, a Mayo Clinic transplant surgeon who chaired the UNOS committee that devised the proposal. “One way to reach more of the urgent people at the time they need it is to share over a slightly bigger area.”Presently, UNOS allocates livers based on defined borders between 11 different geographic regions. That system has led to unequal access to organs, forcing some patients, especially those in high population areas, to suffer worsening illness and progress closer to death before receiving  transplants. The organization measures illness severity among patients using a MELD score (model end stage liver disease), with a higher number indicating increased severity. In 2016, the median MELD score at transplant in donor service areas across the United States ranged from 20 to 40, which translates to an estimated risk of three-month mortality without a transplant of 11 percent to nearly 100 percent, according to UNOS.Map of organ donation regions in the U.S. HHSMany factors play into those geographic imbalances, including varying demographics and rates of disease, different rates of organ donation, and different practices of transplant centers and patients’ access to care.But if the mathematics of the problem are complicated, the politics are even more so. Transplant centers want to protect their ability to treat their patients, so the existing regional boundaries have created entrenched interests that are resistant to change. Reform efforts are further complicated by socioeconomics, and differences in access between rural and urban populations. By Casey Ross Oct. 2, 2017 Reprints Casey Ross Leave this field empty if you’re human: Like proposals that came before it, the new solution is generating sharp disagreements along those fault lines.Indiana University Health, that state’s largest hospital system, wrote in its comment letter that the proposal would harm Indiana residents with liver disease and reduce the number of transplants. It also argued that it would unfairly ship livers to other regions that have not had the same success in increasing organ donation and using those organs effectively.“The solution should not be moving livers from the Midwest and South to these large urban areas like New York, California and Massachusetts,” wrote Dr. Jonathan Fridell, a transplant surgeon at IU Health. “This proposal only serves to reward those locations that underutilize existing resources at the expense of those locations that have been successful in reducing their wait list through aggressive organ transplant techniques.”Fridell added: “We are also gravely concerned that this proposal has the potential of taking livers away from patient populations that are disproportionately low-income and underserved.”The region that includes Indiana — region 10 — voted against the proposal, as did region 11, comprising Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.Region 7, which includes Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, voted in favor. Also in favor was region 9, covering New York and western Vermont. Representatives of that region argued in a comment letter that the proposal does not go far enough.“Region 9 is recommending changes to distribute livers more broadly and with fewer constraints,” the letter said, noting that the region voted to expand the sharing radius to 250 miles. “Modifying the constraints to share more broadly will benefit all areas.” Ariana Cubillos/AP Whether the vast divide between these regions can be bridged is an open question.Earlier this year, UNOS, which operates the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network under contract with the federal government, shelved a prior effort to create eight new regions designed to ensure more equal sharing of livers. Eight of the 11 regions voted against the proposal, which was finally abandoned in May.The latest proposal was developed with input from a group of liver surgeons and other stakeholders that provided recommendations on how the system should be changed. It seeks to address concerns that arose in response to the eight-region proposal, which many complained was based on a flawed scoring system that could lengthen wait times in some areas and force transplant centers to close.Instead of redrawing geographic boundaries based on mathematical analysis of supply and demand, the current proposal seeks to keep the regions but soften their borders to allow for more sharing across the lines.But opponents argue the plan places too much emphasis on a patient’s MELD score. They say the solution should be to focus more directly on increasing organ donation rates and transplantation practices in parts of the country with shortages, rather than re-drawing the regional borders.“This policy is attempting to change allocations for the entire nation, which isn’t entirely broken, to fix two parts of the country,” Fridell said, referring to the East and West coasts. “That’s why the vast majority of the country has been opposed to this policy.” Tags patientslast_img read more

Dump truck rolls over on I-75 in Naples

first_imgNaples soldier facing charges for wife’s murder June 16, 2021 Study ranks Naples as best beach town in America to live June 16, 2021 NAPLES, Fla.- A dump truck and trailer rolled over on I-75 in Naples Tuesday. The crash happened around 12:30 p.m. when the truck flipped over into a median after a crash with another vehicle near mile marker 108, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. There was nothing in the dump truck when it rolled over, troopers said. No injures were reported. RELATEDTOPICS Lightning strikes car on I-75 June 16, 2021 Sea turtle caught on camera nesting on Naples beach June 16, 2021center_img AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments AdvertisementTags: dump truckI-75naples AdvertisementBoth the north and southbound lanes are slowed while crews work to clear the scene. One lane of traffic is blocked. AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 commentslast_img read more

Unification Media Group Hosts Opening Ceremony

first_img Ordinary Pyongyang residents have not received government rations since mid-April Unification Media Group Hosts Opening Ceremony AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Facebook Twitter News News SHARE News center_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China Radio Free Chosun [RFC] and Open Radio forNorth Korea [ONK], shortwave radio stations targeting North Korea; are teamingup with The Daily NK, an internet periodical reporting on all aspects of NorthKorea; and OTV, an NGO-based internet television channel; to form the “firstever unification broadcasting station for both North and South Koreans.” Theconsortium, known as Unification Media Group [UMG], will host its opening event inSeoul on November 26th.The kickoff event is scheduled to takeplace at 2p.m. in the third seminar room of the National Assembly, where thegroup plans to outline the goals of the organization while explaining how both the government and citizens of South Korea can help achieve them. As part of these efforts, RFC and ONK, bothin operation since 2005, aim to reach one million residents of North Korea inthe next five years. By reaching 10% of North Korea’s adult population, thebroadcasts will provide residents access to international information aimed atinstilling them with notions of a democratic society, enabling them tocontribute to the eventual unification of the two Koreas. UGM maintains that these one million people will change the face of North Korean society dramatically.Securing a medium wave frequency isparamount to achieving this goal, as these private radio broadcasts arecurrently only able to reach about 1-3% of North Korea’s population. The SouthKorean government has taken a noncommittal approach in providing an AMfrequency for these stations to broadcast to the North, and as a result,low-powered signals borrowed from other transmitters are being employed,resulting in a relatively narrow reach.Upon the designation of an AM frequency with the support of the South Korean government, UMG plans to develop atransmission station capable of broadcasting to the entire peninsula, centeredon fostering social consensus around unification matters. Beginning at the beginning of 2015, theconsortium will feature TV, radio, and newsroom components to broadcast newsfrom inside North Korea to residents in both Koreas. The television leg of thegroup will focus predominantly on unification issues and policies.Many of the venture’s promoters arescheduled to attend the event, including Ryu Keun Il, former chief editor ofthe Chosun Ilbo and former KBS board president; Park Beom Jin, chairman of theboard of directors for the Future Policy Research Institute; Ahn Byeong Jik,Seoul National University professor emeritus, and a number of otherintellectuals and North Korean experts from the Korean community bothdomestically and abroad.   News By Daily NK – 2014.11.26 11:52am Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department storelast_img read more

Horizons announces name changes for ETFs

first_img Companies Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc. The investment objectives and strategies of most of the ETFs will not change. The two exceptions are Horizons BetaPro S&P/TSX Global Gold Bull Plus ETF and Horizons BetaPro S&P/TSX Global Gold Bear Plus ETF. The underlying index of both ETFs will be changed to the Solactive Canadian gold miners index from the S&P/TSX global gold index, which will be effective at the close of business on Dec. 30. Horizons ETFs also notes that the name of Horizons BetaPro US 30-year Bond Bear Plus ETF will change to BetaPro US 30-year Bond -2x Daily Bear ETF but that the firm still intends to go ahead with terminating the ETF on Feb 28, 2017, as was described in an earlier announcement. The full list of ETFs whose names will change is available through the firm’s announcement. Tessie Sanci Toronto-based Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc. announced on Thursday that it is changing the names of 30 ETFs. The changes will be effective on Jan. 1, 2017 and the products will begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under their new names on Jan. 3. The ETFs’ ticker symbols for the TSX will not change, according to the firm’s announcement. center_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Stimulating Public Trust in Government Key to National Development – PM

first_imgRelatedStimulating Public Trust in Government Key to National Development – PM RelatedStimulating Public Trust in Government Key to National Development – PM RelatedStimulating Public Trust in Government Key to National Development – PM Stimulating Public Trust in Government Key to National Development – PM UncategorizedNovember 3, 2007center_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has said that stimulating public trust and confidence in government is an essential part of the process to achieve sustained national development.“No focus on investment, no focus on growth, is going to be successful unless it all takes place within a framework in which people have reason to have faith and confidence in the systems of government and in the institutions of authority,” he stated.The Prime Minister was delivering the opening address on day one of the National Planning Summit at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay.The two-day event will bring together a broad coalition of senior government ministers under the leadership of the Prime Minister; local and international private sector leaders, leading public sector representatives and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), to look at the critical initiatives that will drive economic growth and sustainable development for Jamaica.According to the Prime Minister, developing the human capital through education, and creating jobs, will provide the answer to many of the country’s problems.“Creating jobs is the fastest way of increasing your revenues, which is the fastest way to reduce your deficit, which is the fastest way to pay down your debt, which is the fastest way of allocating more resources to critical areas such as education and health,” he pointed out.Stating that the two-day Summit is aimed at developing a strategy that will move the country forward, the Prime Minister said: “If we are at that bridge that we have approached so many times in the past, we have to determine that if we are to cross that bridge instead of staring at it, then we need more than an agreement about the desirability of getting on the other side.”“The structure of the conference has been designed to facilitate the kind of discussion, the kind of results that we need if we are not to just move away from the bridge once again only to return in another three or four years to face the same challenge again,” he stated.The summit is being staged by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) in collaboration with the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Advertisementslast_img read more

New Air-Jamaica Board Named

first_imgAdvertisements FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The new nine-member Air Jamaica Board, which became effective on July 1, has seen six persons from the previous 11-member Board being retained and three new members.The retained members are: Shirley Williams, Dennis Lalor, Richard Byles, Wilfred Bagaloo, Dr. Carolyn Hayle, and Omar Parkins, while the new members are: Derick Latibeaudiere, Chris Berry, and Colin Steele.Making the announcement at yesterday’s (July 2) post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Don Wehby noted that Miss Williams will be the non-executive Chairman of Board, which means she will not be involved in the day to day operations of the airline.A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has not yet been selected. However, Acting CEO, Will Rodgers, will continue to serve in that post. It is intended that a new CEO will be recruited by the end of July. In addition, a Chief Financial Officer will also be employed.Senator Wehby said that in his assessment of the governance of the airline, “I felt that the size of the board at Air Jamaica was too large.when you have an airline that is facing the challenges that Air Jamaica is facing.I believe that we need a more focused board with a level of expertise in making some tough decisions for the airline.”Meanwhile, he said the Government is currently seeking a divestment partner for Air Jamaica as part of its privatization exercise, noting that there are specific criteria being used for the selection of such a partner.“The Air Jamaica brand must be maintained; the selected partner must commit to providing adequate airlift to Jamaica as a tourist destination; (and) the prospective partner must have extensive airline experience and appropriate capital,” he stated.He noted further that “any partner that we bring to the table for discussion, must have that sort of resources to recapitalize Air Jamaica, and they must be able to do it on an equity basis or a long term basis.”The Minister noted that it will take approximately US$300 million to US$500 million to recapitalize Air Jamaica, so it can return to its glory days. “That will be the capital injection needed to put the airline in good stead,” he stated.The need for a divestment partner, is in keeping with the Government’s commitment to meet the divestment deadline for the airline by the end of March 2009 – a deadline that Mr. Wehby assures will be met.He said that he supported the view that Air Jamaica is a national asset, noting that the airline carries about 30 per cent of visitors to the island.Senator Wehby said in terms of the divestment structure of Air Jamaica, the Government will maintain 20 per cent of the airline as a minority shareholder. “We think that will show good faith and our commitment to the national airline and really what we are trying to develop is a win/win situation for all. Once the airline has the capital and the technical expertise, I really believe that the losses can be wiped out over a number of years,” he said. Between January and May, Air Jamaica’s losses stood at some US$85 million.He went on to commend staff members for being devoted to their work. “I have not seen members of staff so loyal to a company and so passionate about their company. The Air Jamaica staff is really first class.One of the greatest assets that Air Jamaica has is actually the staff and the expertise there. They work at times under some very trying conditions,” Senator Wehby said.He said that his personal hope, was to establish, under the divestment structure, an Employee Shareholdership Plan (ESAP), which will give the employees an opportunity to invest in the airline.The overall objectives of the divestment exercise are the transfer of complete or substantial majority ownership and full management control of the airline to the private sector; the recapitalization of the airline; retention and long-term sustainability of Air Jamaica as the national carrier; and structural or contractual linkage to a major global carrier. RelatedNew Air-Jamaica Board Named RelatedNew Air-Jamaica Board Namedcenter_img New Air-Jamaica Board Named UncategorizedJuly 4, 2008 RelatedNew Air-Jamaica Board Namedlast_img read more

Comprehensive Tax Reform Must be Efficient and Fair – Lai

first_imgRelatedComprehensive Tax Reform Must be Efficient and Fair – Lai RelatedComprehensive Tax Reform Must be Efficient and Fair – Lai Advertisements RelatedComprehensive Tax Reform Must be Efficient and Fair – Laicenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail For decades, tax reform has been a sought-after strategy to enhance economic growth. In fact, it is a major plank in the Government’s thrust to maintain macro-economic stability, namely low inflation, a stable exchange rate, and competitive interest rates.Tax reform is said to be the process of changing the way taxes are collected and managed by Government, both in terms of policy and administration. The reason for the popularity of tax reform is that if done effectively, it will bring in much needed additional tax revenue.In a recent interview with JIS News, Deputy Financial Secretary in the Taxation Division of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Paul Lai agrees that tax reform is a formidable strategy, which is heavily influenced by the efficiency, simplicity and fairness of the tax system.“This strategy would go a far way in getting the tax-paying public to become more compliant and ultimately, generate the anticipated increases in revenue,” Mr. Lai assures, adding, “And there lies the challenge for tax reform”.Noting that the Jamaican economy has been undergoing tax reform for decades, he says it is nevertheless still needed for several reasons.“The tax system is often perceived as being unfair and because there is a high debt to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio of 126.1 per cent, more revenue is urgently needed to close the fiscal gap. Also, we have low (annual real) GDP growth rates despite high levels of foreign direct investments,” Mr. Lai argues.He also points out that Jamaica does not have a uniformed tax rate structure and that there are separate agencies administering different taxes. “This complicated and inefficient system has contributed to the generally low compliance level and there is arguably a ‘tax me if you can mentality’ which contributes to a sizeable informal sector,” the tax expert states.“Another reason why we need to reform the tax system,” Mr. Lai says, “is because only a few taxpayers bear the burden of various taxes. For example, only a few firms pay the majority of the tax revenues yielded from some major tax types, such as GCT (General Consumption Tax) and CIT (Corporate Income Tax) and this situation is unfair”.A comprehensive tax reform based on simplicity, efficiency, fairness, along with improved tax administration he argues further, will go a far way towards increasing compliance and ultimately reducing the burden on compliant taxpayers. He also contends that based on studies conducted and comparisons made with other developing countries, there is too high a dependence on direct taxes, for example, PAYE, National Housing Trust (NHT), and education tax.Mr. Lai also believes that the tax system is ad hoc due to the granting of special treatments, which are based on discretion rather than an objective/rules-based system, claiming that “there is differential treatment for certain taxpayers, etc”. He points out for example, that “the tax base is too narrow, partly because of exemptions, zero-rating, and the granting of various incentives, etc”.Ideally, Mr Lai says, a tax system should have at least three main attributes: equity, efficiency and simplicity. “What I mean by equity is that taxes must be raised in a way that treats individuals fairly. Efficiency speaks to a system that minimises interference in economic decisions, and by simplicity I mean a tax system that is not burdensome on taxpayers or tax administrators,” he explains.For the way forward, there are many things that can be considered, he says, including greater reliance on indirect taxes rather than income-based direct taxes, since indirect taxes are more conducive to economic growth. “We could also simplify the tax system by reducing exemptions and consolidating payroll taxes to reduce duplication, lower the compliance costs to taxpayers and reduce the onerous requirements for compliant taxpayers,” Mr. Lai suggests.According to him, the tax rates also need to be lowered where possible and the tax base broadened further to create a more investment-friendly climate and to boost tax compliance.“We also have to reduce the number of non-standard tax rates for a particular tax types, for example, GCT. The tax rates must be harmonized where possible, including CIT rates, to reduce ‘income shifting’ and to mitigate against international tax competition and increased capital mobility. And last but not least, we should also consider further rationalization of the existing incentives regime,” Mr. Lai suggests further.As to why tax reform has not been more successful so far, Mr. Lai tells JIS News this is partly because there are hindrances. Citing budgetary implications, he says these will vary depending on the type of tax reform being implemented suggesting, for example, that a phased reform would likely imply that only the mix of options that will yield more revenue would be chosen.“There are also political considerations as some reform options could lead to political fallout for government. Also, it must be taken into account that reform will create ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ and the losers might not necessarily welcome such reforms. And lastly, there is the CARICOM Common External Tariff (CET), which might make it difficult to actually address the variable tax rate structure, for example, tariff rates,” Mr. Lai notes.Overall, he says, “in line with global trends, tax reform in Jamaica is likely at some point to place more emphasis on indirect forms of taxation.Therefore, we are likely to see a reduction in direct taxes rates, for example, corporate income tax, transfer tax and stamp duty. And let’s not forget this: despite the challenges, we need to simplify the tax system, make it more user-friendly to taxpayers, less distortionary and more progressive”.This he says, means that “it is more desirable to have taxes, which increase with the taxpayer’s ability to pay, for example GCT, bearing in mind that Jamaica’s tax system overall is mildly progressive”. He says from this, it can be deduced that “regressive taxes, whereby people with more income pay a smaller percentage in taxes, such as the SCT (Special Consumption Tax) and proportional taxes, whereby households pay the same share of income in taxes regardless of their ability to pay, would not make the tax system fair.He says therefore, that “we urgently need a tax system that is equitable, whereby each taxpayer contributes his or her fair share of the cost to government. I say so in terms of both horizontal equity, whereby taxpayers with the same income bear the same burden regardless of the source or sources of income and vertical equity, whereby those taxpayers with more income pay proportionately more tax on that income”.Mr. Lai concludes that overall, effective tax reform, which will make the Jamaican tax system simpler, fairer and enhance economic growth, would definitely redound to the benefit of all. Comprehensive Tax Reform Must be Efficient and Fair – Lai UncategorizedOctober 25, 2008last_img read more

Report on Legal and Policy Frameworks for United States’ Use of Military Force and Related National Security Operations

first_imgReport on Legal and Policy Frameworks for United States’ Use of Military Force and Related National Security Operations The White HouseThis report is provided in accordance with Section 1264 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 (Pub. L. No. 115-91), as amended by Section 1261 of the NDAA for FY 2020 (Pub. L. No. 116-92), codified at 50 U.S.C. § 1549. It constitutes the calendar-year 2020 annual report on changes to the legal and policy frameworks from the preceding calendar year for the United States’ use of military force and related national security operations. President Obama issued the “Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States’ Use of Military Force and Related National Security Operations” on December 5, 2016. Pursuant to Section 1264, as amended, former President Trump submitted reports on March 12, 2018, and October 16, 2020. Consistent with Section 1264(c) of the NDAA for FY 2018, as amended (50 U.S.C. § 1549(c)), this report contains a classified annex.Although this report covers 2020 and thus addresses a period before the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, we note that on February 19, 2021, President Biden submitted a notification in accordance with Section 1264(b) of the NDAA for FY 2018, as amended (50U.S.C. § 1549(b)), describing a change to the legal and policy frameworks for the United States’ use of military force and related national security operations.2001 Authorization for Use of Military ForceThe classified annex contains information about the application of the Authorization for Use of Military Force, Pub. L. No. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224 (2001) to particular groups.Application of Key Domestic and International Legal Principles to Key TheatersIraq: At the direction of former President Trump, U.S. forces conducted an air strike in Iraq on January 2, 2020, killing Major General Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. Former President Trump provided his explanation for the legal and policy frameworks for this use of military force in a notice provided to Congress on January 31, 2020, in accordance with Section 1264(b) of the NDAA for FY 2018, as amended (50 U.S.C. § 1549(b)). /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:air strike, Congress, Force, Government, Iran, Iraq, Killing, military, Obama, President, security, strike, Trump, United States, White Houselast_img read more