Bahamas Government announces job freeze

first_imgJust six weeks after coming to office, the Dr Hubert Minnis administration in the Bahamas has slapped a freeze on hiring in the public service.The moves comes on the heels of damning revelations from Dr Minnis this week that the former Progressive Liberal Party engaged in a US$14 million “wild hiring spree” in the last five months leading up the May 10 general elections.The Government issued a directive to the departmental heads this week that there would be no new hires in the public service unless it was absolutely critical.A June 19 letter, issued by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service Elise Delancy and obtained by the Nassau Guardian newspaper, read: “Please be advised that effective immediately, there should be no new hires or renewal of contracts except where there is a critical need. Under such circumstances, the approval of Cabinet will be required.”Delancy also stressed that the authority to appoint workers solely rests with the Ministry of the Public Service and the Public Service Commission.Public Service Minister Brenzil Rolle recently told Parliament that the public service increased by 6, 500 people during the last term without any consideration given to whether the Government was able to pay them.“Every minister hired whomever they wished, at whatever rank they wished,” he said.Rolle’s charges were also backed by Prime Minister Minnis who added that contractual workers were also engaged in addition to permanent employees.“Between December 2016 and the 9th of May, 2017, 648 persons were brought on at a cost of $10,149,738.40. In April alone, 119 were hired at a cost of $1.9 million and in May, the cost of new hires was $2.5 million,” he said.last_img read more

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EDITORIAL: Poverty in America must be addressed seriously

first_imgIn America poverty is a subject that is both misunderstood, or refused to be understood, and in denial.Earlier this year a UN report indicated that over 40 million Americans were living in poverty. In America those living in poverty are usually measured by the Federal Policy Guidelines, which is basically an income level determined by the Department of Health and Social Services in conjunction with the US Census Bureau.Poverty guidelines The current poverty guideline for a single American is an annual income of $12,140; a typical family of four $25,100; and up to $42,380 for a family of eight people. Those earning below these incomes are regarded as poor. However, this is misleading. A family of eight, for example, may consists of only two members who are earning Florida’s hourly minimum wage of $8.25 for 40 hours per week. That couple would together earn $34,320 way below the poverty guideline for that family. Taking the typical family of four, with two members earning the Florida minimum wage of $8.25, the joint income of $34,320 seem significantly above the poverty guideline. From this income the family has inescapable expenses of rent, food, utilities, transportation, healthcare. This leaves a family leaving even in a low-income community paying rent, say an average of $1,000 per month for a 2-bedroom home almost no disposable income. And, should one of the two employed adults lose a pay check one month, the family could face the real prospect of homelessness.In the examples above, It’s assumed those employed, although earning minimum wages, are full-time employed,  working 40-hours weekly. But, there are many workers, including laborers, restaurant workers, home and office cleaners, gardeners, airport ancillary workers, etc. who work part-time, less than 40 hours weekly, and find themselves either on the periphery, or under, the poverty guidelines.UnderemploymentAlthough the nation has been reporting impressive employment data, there are millions of Americans of all races, genders and ages who are underemployed. These unfortunate Americans have jobs but are earning incomes below the poverty rate and are dependent on state or federal government for subsistence.There’s the case of a single woman with three children, who, although employed and receiving food stamps after paying rent and other domestic expenses live on $2 per-day for transportation to and work, and lunch. Several days she’s forced to go without lunch, in order to pay bus fare, except for the days she’s lucky to get a ride or walk the four-miles to and from work. Middle-class povertyPoverty isn’t aligned to those earning, or below, minimum wages. Poverty also plagues many middle-class families. Accustomed to living in suburban homes, those in the middle class although earning incomes above the poverty guidelines live on the edge of poverty because home rental has increased significantly. For many middle-class residents after paying monthly rent, very little is left for food, utilities, petrol and to meet other necessary expenses.Then there are the retirees living mostly on Social Security benefits, who having experienced precipitous decline in their income can hardly afford rent or mortgage payments and are unable to purchase adequate food. Political candidates avoiding issue During the current campaign for the November 6 general elections some candidates seem determined to avoid addressing the issue of poverty. Those who address the issue are often accused of holding on to an unacceptable ideology.  But, the plain truth is too many Americans, too many South Floridians, are living in real poverty; existing without the required income to afford proper housing, food, healthcare, clothing and other basic necessities.Driving around South Florida late at night one may see several vehicles parked in parking lots of stores, supermarkets, and malls.  Most of these are not vehicles abandoned because of mechanical defect, but are vehicles with people, individuals and families, sleeping in them because they are homeless.Hundreds of South Floridians, although employed, find it difficult to find the two or three-month deposit required to pay down on residential rental. So some sleep in their vehicles, and use restaurant restrooms for their personal hygiene.Every candidate seeking public office in Florida are urged to be prepared to take measures to alleviate poverty if elected. One way to begin is to ensure workers earn living wages that ensures they can provide shelter and food for themselves and their families. It cannot be tolerated that over 40 million Americans are living in poverty, including over 5 million living in absolute poverty comparable to poverty in some of the world poorest countries. This type of poverty should not be happening in America. The nation can do better.last_img read more

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T&T Government examining policy to deal with influx of Venezuelans

first_imgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago’s Foreign Affairs Minister Denis Moses says the National Security Council has established an inter-ministerial team to examine the impact of an increasing number of legal and illegal Venezuelans into Trinidad and Tobago.Moses told the Senate on Tuesday that while he could not provide the exact number of Venezuelans now entering the country,  Venezuelans were fleeing their and entering Trinidad and Tobago “in a regular and irregular manner.”He said the Security Council had established the ministerial team “whose mandate is to present options for this country’s response to the issue.Migrant issue being reviewed“The inter-ministerial team’s draft response of Trinidad and Tobago to the Venezuelan migrant issue is being reviewed. Additionally the Ministry of National Security has been working with stakeholders, including international organizations to assess the needs of the migrants with a view to determining sustainable solutions that may be considered,” Moses said.He told legislators that any mass migration phenomenon “requires a collaborative methodical and deliberate approach in view of the fact that there are a variety of economic, social psychosocial, health and security issues that must be taken into account.“The government of Trinidad and Tobago is therefore working assiduously to ensure that any policy enacted takes due cognizance of these issue….”.Two million people have fled Venezuela The United Nations said recently that nearly two million people have fled Venezuela’s economic and political crisis since 2015, as it called for a “non-political” response to the exodus that is straining regional resources.The UN said that an estimated 5,000 people are leaving the South American country daily and some Caribbean countries, such as Guyana, which despite having a border dispute with Caracas said that it is prepared to accept Venezuelans “once the enter the country by legal means”.Moses told legislators despite reports that many of the Venezuelans arriving here were being exploited “ours is one that’s governed by good neighborliness and the rule of law”.last_img read more

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Recapping US Immigration Changes Since 2017, And What to Expect in…

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – Several drastic changes have been made or proposed to U.S. immigration laws since 2017 which has serious implications for the Caribbean-American immigrant community, and people who are living in the Caribbean and interested in migrating to the U.S.As 2020 commences, we think it’s necessary to review the status of these changes, and look forward to what the immigration landscape could look like in the new year.The following changes have been implemented by the Trump administration since January 2017:    Overall Trump Administration Strategy: Extreme processing delays of residential immigrant status, increased USCIS requests for evidence, escalation of application denials and deportations.Reduced Family-Sponsored Immigration: Early on in 2017, President Trump proposed dramatic changes to the existing immigration system, which would cut family sponsored immigration by 50 percent and move to a merit-based system. These proposals were later embodied in the RAISE Act Bill, introduced in the Senate, which would eliminate most current categories for family-sponsored immigration, including those for parents, adult children and siblings.The bill failed to pass Congress, but the administration nevertheless tried to implement as many policies as possible to reduce family immigration using existing laws,  including:Public Charge rule – In August 2019 the Department of Homeland Security issued  a directive to implement a controversial new “public charge” rule which gives the government broad discretion to deny immigration benefits to applicants, including those applying for residency. The rule greatly expands the types of prohibited government benefits and introduces factors which USCIS officers must use to determine whether immigrants would be likely to need public aid in the future, allowing them to deny residency to those including: young and old immigrants, those with low education and those who lack English fluency.The policy was set to be implemented in October 2019 but was temporarily stopped by several federal courts.Health Insurance – On October 4, 2019, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation to deny entry of immigrants who are unable to prove they have the financial ability to pay for health insurance within 30 days of entering the U.S. The measure would allow consular officials to deny immigrant visas to thousands of family members unable to provide proof of financial resources available to pay for such health insurance. The new policy called “Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System,” was set to take effect on November 1 but has also been temporarily blocked by a federal judge from being implemented.DACA Termination:  President Trump cancelled the DACA, (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program in 2017, which was implemented in 2012 by President Barack Obama. Lawsuits were filed to prevent termination of the program and several Federal courts later issued temporary orders to force the USCIS to continue to accept DACA renewals until the cases were resolved.  Recently the Supreme Court heard arguments on the DACA issue. Indications are that the majority of conservative justices agree that the administration has the power to terminate all DACA benefits. The court is expected to issue its ruling in the Spring of 2020.Travel Ban: After several attempts in 2017 the Trump administration was successful in enacting a travel ban on certain categories of individuals from eight countries (Chad, Iran,  Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela (government employees & families) and Yemen).USCIS Mission Statement Changed: On February 2018, new Trump appointee, USCIS Director Francis Cissna, changed the agency’s mission statement, taking the term “nation of immigrants” out, saying “The old mission statement did not accurately describe the full scope of what USCIS does [and it] eroded the dignity and importance of the work of USCIS while confusing employees and the public about who USCIS serves.”NTA Rule: In June 2018 the USCIS issued a new rule which requires USCIS officers to issue a “notice to appear” in deportation court to immigrants who are denied for nearly any type of immigration case. This makes the filing of any kind of immigration application risky for the applicant. What to Expect In 2020!Here are a few of the major immigration-related policies and initiatives expected to emerge or continue during 2020:Increase Immigration Fees: In November 2019, the Trump administration announced plans to dramatically increase USCIS filing fees, in some cases by more than  60 percent for example Naturalization fees would jump from the current $725 fee to $1,170 and Residency filing fees to adjust status inside the U.S. will go from $1,760 to $2,750. The new fees are expected to begin in early 2020.The Public Charge rule and Health Insurance Presidential Proclamation: which are temporarily on hold have been appealed and are currently being considered in several Federal appeals courts which may rule in the administration’s favor. If this happens, both restrictive measures could quickly be implemented very quickly.Elimination of “Concurrent Filing” To Prevent Many Family Members From Adjusting Status In The U.S.: The Trump administration is expected to announce a new rule in the coming months to eliminate “concurrent filing” and prevent many spouses, children and other immigrants from obtaining green cards inside the U.S.. The term “concurrent filing” means the “filing together” of applications. The proposal is expected to prevent many family members from filing an immigrant petition (form I-130) and residency application (form I-485) together along with work and travel permit applications. Instead, sponsoring family members would be required to file and obtain approval of the I-130 family petition first, before the spouse or child would be allowed to file for residency. This may take one year or more.DACA Termination: The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on the continuation of DACA benefits in the Spring of 2020 which will very likely allow the Trump administration to terminate the DACA program, affecting over one million young adults who will be at risk, without legal status or work authorization. If this is the ruling, it will then be up to Congress to pass legislation to protect Dreamers.Ramped-up Immigration Raids & Enforcement:  During the past several years, the level of immigration arrests have skyrocketed as part of sweeping ICE raids throughout the U.S., targeting businesses and immigrant communities. These raids are expected to continue with more frequency in 2020.Increased Application Denials and Notices To Appear (NTA): The USCIS continues to deny applications at a staggering rate. For H-1B work visas, the denial rate has skyrocketed to an astounding 33 percent, up from only 6 percent in 2015. In addition, in accordance with the NTA directive issued by the USCIS in 2018, Notices To Appear in deportation court are authorized in most immigration cases where an application is denied.Virtual Elimination Of Asylum Protections: Under President Trump’s so called “Remain in Mexico” (formally named Migrant Protection Protocols) program, over 55,000 asylum-seekers who fled South and Central America have been turned away at the southern U.S. border, and have instead been required to wait in Mexico for a future asylum court date. Asylees lucky enough to apply inside the U.S. have also been affected by new policies which have eliminated expedited processing of work permits and require certain applicants to wait for one year instead of 150 days after filing for asylum to apply for permission to work.last_img read more

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IBO World Super-Middleweight Belt Stays With Chris Eubank Jr.

first_imgChris Eubank Jr punched liked never before as he retained the International Boxing Organization (IBO) World Super-Middleweight title with a unanimous decision points win over Arthur Abraham.The Judges at the Wembley Arena scored the bout 118-110, 118-110 and 120-108, all in favor of Christopher Livingstone “Chris” Eubank Jr.An elated Chris speaking to ITV Sports said “I’m happy with the performance.”The win extended his record to 25 and one defeat which came in the hands of fellow Brit, Billy Joe Saunders in 2014.Arthur, a two-time world champion was fighting in the United Kingdom for the first time in his 52-fight career which has now recorded six forgettable defeats.Priority now for the champion is to stay fit and ready for the inaugural eight-man World Boxing Super Series.Relatedlast_img read more

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Degree 53 seeks new recruits for ‘Gaming Specific’ division

first_img Share Related Articles Degree 53 expands technical and product development teams   July 22, 2020 Degree 53 ‘UX Review’ reviews operators against latest Apple app guidelines January 15, 2020 Manchester-based digital design agency Degree 53 has launched a dedicated ‘Gaming’ division focused on creating bespoke web and project development services for igaming/betting customers.Stating its intent to grow its services within the gambling sector, Degree 53 management has confirmed that it will support the division with 20+ new dedicated roles.Managing Director of Degree 53, Andrew Daniels, commented on the division “The gambling industry has always been one of our core sectors. However, over the past year, the work has become increasingly specialised, and we feel the time is right to separate that service from the main agency. This is why we’ve decided to create a new gaming division and recruit more talented team members.”Degree 53 plans to establish itself as a go-to specialist for bespoke project delivery be it for design, development or technology, as gaming operators seek to differentiate their services in the ultra-competitive market.“We’re looking to fill some technical and creative roles that will help us drive this expansion and the new division. This way, we’ll be able to scale our services and gaming proposition in the future.” Daniels addedDegree 53 has launched a new website detailing its new division’s services and provisions. More information about career opportunities at Degree 53 can be found at https://www.degree53.com/careers/ Submit StumbleUpon bet365 continues Manchester expansion with new offices March 13, 2020 Sharelast_img read more

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Amaya confirms appointment of William Hill’s Robin Chhabra

first_imgShare Related Articles Amaya has confirmed the appointment of William Hill’s Group Director of Strategy and Corporate Development Robin Chhabra, who is expected to make the move in September 2017.Following a brief garden leave from William Hill, Chhabra will fill the newly created position of Chief Corporate Development Officer at Amaya, reporting to company CEO Rafi Ashkenazi.Ashkenazi commented: “Robin Chhabra’s deep industry experience and vast professional network will help us pursue our ongoing strategic priorities, as well as drive growth through potential strategic and other opportunities.“Robin is one of the most respected executives in the industry, and we are excited to add him to our team where he will complement our existing executive management talent.”“Amaya is already a leader in online gaming and I am eager to contribute to the company’s future growth. I have tremendous respect and a strong relationship with the management team and look forward to working with them,” added Chhabra.Chhabra, who will oversee Amaya’s corporate development function, broke a run of 12 years working for major financial, consultancy and auditing firms to become Director of Corporate Development for Inspired Gaming Group in 2006. He has served in his role at William Hill since May 2010.His arrival represents the latest management addition to Amaya, following the recent hiring of Bo Wänghammar as Managing Director of PokerStars Casino and Zeno Ossko as Managing Director of BetStars. Meanwhile, Guy Templer was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Amaya’s brands. SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 PokerStars moves to refresh global appeal with ‘I’M IN’ August 18, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Submit ‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure  August 27, 2020last_img read more

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Susan O’Leary – Alderney – Esports challenge accepted

first_img Susan O’Leary, AlderneySusan O’Leary, CEO at Alderney Gambling, says Esports betting throws up major regulatory challenges, but the industry needs to take them on to safeguard its future.Esports has come a long way in a short space of time. From a small number of hardcore enthusiasts duking it out from their parent’s basements to professional teams going head-to-head in front of capacity crowds at the world’s largest entertainment arenas, Esports is now a global institution.Last year, the Esports sector generated revenues in excess of $890 million according to SuperData Research, with viewership figures smashing the 210 million mark. Those figures are expected to rise to $1.5 billion and 600 million respectively by the end of the decade, according to Newzoo.Esports’ rapid rise from niche interest to blockbuster franchise has, naturally, seen it intersect with the gambling industry. Like other sporting activities, fans want to bet on their favourite players, teams and the outcomes of contests, allowing them to engage on a higher level while adding additional value to their experience.The speed at which Esports has arrived on the scene has left the gambling industry gasping for breath, however. Operators have moved quickly to offer their customers markets on all the major contests, but the sector has also created a new type of wager known as skin bets, which account for most Esports gambling revenue.Skin bets see players stake virtual goods such as swords, shields, costumes, etc from the games. Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimate the market to have been worth $5.1bn in 2016 while cash betting was a fraction of that at $750m. It’s a big business, and one that looks set to continue growing over the coming months and years.There is a dark side to Esports wagering – particularly skin betting and to a lesser extent cash bets. The sector has been, and remains, unregulated. This means the whole industry, especially those operating betting businesses, are exposed to major scandals that could have catastrophic long-term consequences.The most serious of which is underage gambling. It must be remembered that Esports is hugely popular among millennials – those aged between 18 and 32 – and it would be naïve to think those aged 17 and younger are not also playing games and wagering on the outcomes of contest through skin bets.The sector is crying out for regulation. Not only to protect punters, but also the integrity of professional players, contests, leagues, tournaments and the operators, suppliers and service providers plying their trade in the market.The sector needs to move fast if it is to safeguard itself from a potential crisis; all stakeholders – from streaming services to bookmakers, governments to internationally recognised regulators – need to come together and thrash out a battle plan that facilitates ongoing industry growth, but that is also secure and sustainable.Esports presents a number of unique challenges; skin betting is a new phenomenon those providing oversight need to learn more about, the industry is absolutely global and not bound by borders, new and exciting betting platforms are being introduced all the time and currencies are sometimes virtual, sometimes real, and often both.It requires collaboration; regulators and governments need to listen to tech providers to learn what products they offer, how they work, and where they are exposed to manipulation. Operators and suppliers must understand the need to protect players and be compliant with internationally-recognised gold standards.While the regulators such as the Alderney Gambling Control Commission will license bookmakers offering odds on Esports, they won’t regulate the industry itself. To do this, the sector needs to establish its own governing body to provide guidelines and oversight.For bookmakers, it will give them the confidence to offer greater odds and more adventurous markets. It will provide a fairness gauge against which to offset their risk, and ensure match-fixing issues are recognised and handled appropriately.It is time to bring the dark side of Esports into the light. Lessons should be learned from daily fantasy sports and the DraftKings data leak scandal that kick-started a regulatory revolution. If the Esports industry acts now it can circumvent scandal and lay the foundation for a long and prosperous future.It is a hugely innovative, massively exciting, technologically ground-breaking industry that should be cheered and celebrated. It also needs to take responsibility to ensure those betting on contests are properly protected, and that the foundations it has built over recent years stand strong in the future. StumbleUpon GG.Bet scores ESL Counter-Strike & Dota 2 global partnerships July 15, 2020 Related Articles Luckbox: How the return of live sport has affected esports betting July 10, 2020 Share Winning Post: UK racing must put its best foot forward … July 20, 2020 Share Submitlast_img read more

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Wetten.com appoints Diane Dalli as first CFO

first_img Malta-based German facing online sports betting operator Wetten.com has confirmed the appointment of Diane Dalli as its new Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO).An industry finance veteran, Dalli joins Wetten.com from industry gaming platform and systems provider EveryMatrix, where she held the position of CFO (2015-2017).Dalli holds further industry executive experience having senior fianance positions at Evolution Gaming and Nordic Gaming Group.She becomes Wetten.com’s first CFO, leading the new bookmaker’s (launched in January 2017) financial planning, controllership and auditing duties.“With Diane, Wetten.com wins an industry expert who brings a high level of experience to our senior management,” said Daniel Bradtke, Co-founder and CEO of Wetten.com.“She will be instrumental in driving performance to be able to invest in growth.”Diane Dalli commented on joining Wetten.com “I am thrilled to work with the team at Wetten.com, which has gained a great reputation in a very short amount of time. The company is a young challenger in the growing online betting market and I am really looking forward to contribute my part.” Share Related Articles TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Mateusz Juroszek – Non-stop STS will expand amid industry disruptions August 12, 2020 MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Submitlast_img read more

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Konami slots arrive on European shores for the first time

first_imgShare Leading gaming solutions and services provider Nektan Plc has signed a landmark deal with Spin Games LLC, becoming the first European supplier of Spin Games-licensed content, including the highly anticipated Konami video slots.Immensely popular titles, such as China Shores, will also be made available on the continent for the first time. Spin Games, a world-renowned HTML5 Remote Gaming Server, has integrated content from premium US land-based suppliers such as Konami, Everi, Incredible Technologies and Grand Vision Gaming. The Spin Games ROC is being integrated into Nektan’s Evolve Lite platform as part of the deal. The portfolio of games will initially go live with Videoslots, before being made available to Nektan’s expanding network of operating partners and white label casinos.  CEO and Founder of Spin Games Kent Young said: “We are thrilled to have signed a deal to bring our exceptional range of games to Europe for the first time. We have been very impressed with the power and flexibility of Nektan’s platform, and we look forward to working closely with them as we continue to build on our potential.”Nektan Commercial Director Claire Osborne added: “We are hugely excited to be the first provider to bring Konami titles to European regulated markets, and this agreement with Spin Games will allow us to expand our excellent range of content with an industry leading partner.  This deal represents a major step forward as we continue to deliver a B2B gaming platform offering unique and bespoke content.” Transformed Nektan eyes ‘break even’ comeback April 1, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020 Share Related Articles Nektan offloads white-label B2C unit to Active Win Group January 8, 2020last_img read more

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