Corpsman makes deal to testify

first_imgCAMP PENDLETON – A Navy corpsman accused of kidnapping and murdering an Iraqi man will give testimony about seven Marines’ role in the incident in return for having charges against him dropped, his attorney said Wednesday. Petty Officer 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos was a medic who patrolled with the Marine squad that allegedly kidnapped and murdered 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad last April in the town of Hamdania. All eight were charged with crimes including premeditated murder and kidnapping. “We have reached an agreement with the government which will take Bacos out of harm’s way,” attorney Jeremiah Sullivan III told The Associated Press. Under the deal, Bacos will give details of the incident Friday morning at a general court martial at Camp Pendleton, Sullivan said. In return, all of the charges against him will be dismissed. But he will plead guilty to two new charges, said Sullivan, who declined to elaborate. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsWhen asked if Bacos would be freed after Friday’s testimony, Sullivan said he would not be. Marine Lt. Col. Scott Jack, Bacos’s military attorney, also declined to elaborate on the deal, but said: “It is a very beneficial agreement for Bacos, and gives him an extremely bright future.” 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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NDP implementation framework unveiled

first_img8 August 2014 Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe on Thursday released the government’s comprehensive framework for implementing the National Development Plan (NDP) over the next five years. The Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) will serve as a prioritisation framework to focus the government’s efforts on a set of manageable programmes, as well as the principal guide to the allocation of resources across all spheres of government. Radebe said the MTSF was a mechanism through which all five-year strategic plans and annual plans across government were being aligned to the NDP and made to pull in the same direction. “The aim of the MTSF is to ensure policy coherence, alignment and coordination across government plans.” He added that the MTSF would form the basis for performance agreements between the President and ministers. “Cabinet will use the MTSF as the basis for monitoring the implementation of the NDP over the next five years. Cabinet will consider progress reports for each of the outcomes at least three times a year, and these progress reports will be made public through the Programme of Action website managed by the [Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency]. “We will use our monitoring and evaluation work to inform improvements to our plans and programmes as we implement the MTSF.”14 priority outcomes The MTSF is structured around 14 priority outcomes, covering the focus areas identified in the NDP, namely: In each of these outcomes, the MTSF document outlines goals, indicators, targets, actions and responsibilities. Regarding the rapid economic growth outcome, Radebe said the MTSF would set the wheels in motion to grow the economy by a rate of 5% by 2019. “Government’s programme of radical transformation is about placing the economy on a qualitatively different path that ensures more rapid, sustainable growth, higher investment, increased employment, reduced inequality and deracialisation of the economy.”Targets for the economy MTSF targets include increasing the investment rate to 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), increasing public sector investment to 10 percent of GDP, adding 10 000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid, and reducing the country’s unemployment to 14 percent. MTSF also includes actions aimed at diversifying in order to reduce economic concentration. “It focuses on ensuring growth in the core productive sectors of manufacturing, mining and agriculture, and opening new areas of economic growth such as the oceans economy, the green economy and shale gas.” There are also actions to ensure that small business can make a much larger contribution to growth and job creation, as well as actions to promote increased private sector investment. This is critical for higher growth, Radebe said, as the private sector accounts for 70 percent of production and employment. “The MTSF includes actions aimed at achieving an economic environment that encourages business investment and rewards competitiveness, especially in sectors that can catalyse longer term growth and job creation.”More opportunities for young people He said the NDP and MTSF included a range of actions aimed at creating more opportunities for young people, many of whom did not currently share in the benefits of economic growth and development. “The priority areas of youth development are employment creation, entrepreneurship support and education. By rapidly absorbing youth into the mainstream development of our country, we will have responded effectively to the fact that of the approximately 25 percent unemployed in South Africa, the vast majority are young people between the ages of 15 to 35 years.”Local government outcomes Radebe said the MTSF also introduced a range of actions to improve municipal management, such as providing basic water, sanitation, refuse removal and road services as well as fixing potholes, traffic lights, service interruptions and billing problems. He said the Auditor-General’s 2014 audit outcomes report indicated that local government was far from achieving the vision of an efficient and effective local government as outlined in the NDP. Actions in the MTSF related to improving local government include addressing maintenance and new infrastructure requirements in each municipality; addressing water and sanitation challenges among water services authorities; improving the financial management and governance of municipalities; and tackling corruption at local government. The MTSF also aims to expand the Community Work Programme sites in 234 municipalities in order to reach one-million participants.Reducing crime and corruption South Africa has unacceptably high levels of crime, especially serious and violent crime, according to the NDP. This affects economic development, undermining people’s well-being and their ability to achieve their potential. Some progress has been made over the past five years in reducing serious crime rates. But weaknesses in forensic, detective, investigation and prosecution services hamper the government’s efforts to reduce the overall levels of crime, particularly contact crimes. “The NDP highlights the need to address the crime that is damaging our communities, and the MTSF contains a range of actions and targets in this regard,” Radebe said. The NDP vision is that, by 2030, people living in South Africa feel safe at home, at school and at work, and enjoy a community life free of fear. Women should be able to walk freely in the street and children should be able to play safely outside. Businesses should be able to invest confidently and create jobs without the threat of livelihoods being undermined by crime. Source: SAnews.gov.za Quality basic education.A long and healthy life for all South Africans.Safety, and sense of safety, for all people in South Africa.Decent employment through inclusive growth.A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path.An efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network.Vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities contributing towards food security for all.Sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life.A comprehensive, responsive and sustainable social protection system.Responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government.Protected and enhanced environmental assets and natural resources.An efficient, effective and development-oriented public service.A diverse, socially cohesive society with a common national identity.A better South Africa contributing to a better Africa and a better world.last_img read more

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Parting Words: I Am on Vacation

first_imgJuly and August is the time for a vacation. I am either at the beach or mountains, on the golf course, reading a book, or watching television. I am not thinking about writing this column. But I need to fill up the back page, so here goes with some of my favorite thoughts that may or may not have appeared before in this column.In a perfect world, life would be fair. But that is not relevant given the reality that the world we live in is not always fair. You should expect things to go your way because you have that right, but when something happens in your life that you do not like, fairness has nothing to do with it. No one is guaranteed a life of health and constant happiness. We all know of books that tell us that bad things really do happen to good people. Bad things also happen to bad people. And what is worse yet, really good things happen to really bad people. Things and people you like and don’t like are all a part of being alive.Have you ever had to face major change in your personal or professional life? Did you feel fear? A “yes” answer means you are pretty normal and in the big basket with the rest of us. I have known many really tough people I could not imagine ever being fearful of any situation, but they are. Regardless of how tough or good you are, fear is natural. I suspect that if you aren’t feeling a little fear, you are probably playing it too safe, and that should be enough right there to scare you. L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace.- Sponsor – Did I mention golf? Golf is a game of personal integrity and self-improvement. So much of what the loss prevention professional faces in his or her career also revolves around personal integrity and a commitment to self-improvement.The best vendor account manager I ever had was a person who was interested in my success and not just selling something. He would ask me now I was doing personally. He said “please” and “thank you.” He shared his company’s agenda and future product plans. He introduced me to others in his company, especially the bosses. He always returned my calls quickly and responded to my needs. The bottom line is there is often just a “dimes difference” in competitive products, but the little things can mean a lot in being the best.Have you ever wondered why some people just seem to get a lot of pats on the back? How do some people get a reputation for being a person who knows how to get things done? There are many LP executives who fit these descriptions. Hopefully you are one of them.It is true that your whole career will be shaped by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day. But how do you know you are with the “right” people? I use a very simple rule—they make me feel good, positive, and upbeat, and I have no fear of what they might do in our relationship. I trust them.“One piece of advice that I believe will contribute more to making you a better leader, will provide you with greater happiness and self-esteem, and at the same time advance your career more than any other advice I can provide to you. And it doesn’t call for any certain chemistry. Any of you can do it. And that advice is that you must care.” Advice from US Army General Melvin Zais of the 101st Airborne.“Making a difference in someone else’s life can be as simple as a smile, lifting a hand to help, or lending an ear to listen, especially when it might be easier to ignore the opportunity. Each day is a new day and a new chance to use what you’ve worked for and been given to light someone else’s load. It’s never too late to choose to move beyond success to significance.” Thoughts from retired US Army General Becky Halstead.Growing up, my mother would sometimes say to my brother and me, “I am sick and tired of your behavior.” She put such emphasis on sick and tired that it was disturbing and frightening, and often led to some type of punishment. There were other occasions—not as many—where she would say, “I am pleased as punch with you two.” To this day I am not sure what punch had to do with anything, but I knew it was good stuff, and she was proud of us. There is much going on in our world of loss prevention and asset protection. For me, I am sick and tired of some of it, and I am pleased as punch with other things. Overall, I think I am more pleased as punch than sick and tired. That is a good feeling.Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”Okay, I’m done. Back to vacation. I will see many of you at the upcoming Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) Learning Day September 30th in Gainesville the day prior to the LPRC’s Impact conference or at the magazine annual meeting with RILA and LPF in beautiful Hilton Head Island, SC, October 23–25. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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History’s Longest Imprisoned Blogger, Kareem Amer, is Free

first_imgThe man believed to have been imprisoned longer than anyone else in the world for the contents of a blog, Egyptian Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, has been released after four years and 10 days of detention, his supporters have announced on their blog.Suleiman, who blogged under the name Kareem Amer, was sentenced in 2006 to four years of jail for insulting religion and the leadership of Egypt on his blog. He was critical of, among other things, Egypt’s treatment of women and of its Coptic Christian minority. Supporters report that during those four years, Amer was tortured, beaten, attacked by other prisoners, disowned by his family and had his books, letters and personal effects taken away. His case is of international interest not just because of his humanity, but because of the political conflict between authoritarian states and a new world of freely self-published bloggers who would challenge them with new Web technology.Due to the political importance of his case, Amer gained an international support movement that kept him in the online news throughout his time in prison. ReadWriteWeb has covered his case at least five times, most recently and in depth when his sentence expired, but he remained in state custody for an additional 10 days.Amer’s supporters say he is declining interviews while recovering from his detention.Part of a Larger TrendThough Kareem Amer was the longest-imprisoned blogger known, detained for most of the history of this young phenomenon called Social Media, he was not alone. A report by international media watchdog organization Reporters Sans Frontières last year found that there were 151 people in prison around the world because of the contents of their blogs in 2009, a nearly three-fold increase over 2008.Iranian cultural satire blogger Omid Reza Misayafi is believed to be the only blogger killed in prison to date. He was sentenced in 2008 to 30 months in prison for “insulting Islamic Republic Leaders” but died under mysterious and allegedly abusive circumstances after just six months of detention.With brave bloggers in mind who are free, imprisoned and deceased around the world, we leave you with the moving short video Iran: A Nation of Bloggers, about just one of many places where disruptive social media and authoritarian tradition clash, and where the stakes are at their highest.IRAN: A Nation Of Bloggers from ayrakus on Vimeo. marshall kirkpatrick A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img Tags:#international#news#NYT#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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