Tiered Work Permit Fees Could Be Implemented

first_imgRelatedProductivity Centre Assists Uniform Manufacturer to Boost Output Tiered Work Permit Fees Could Be Implemented LabourJune 4, 2013 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is currently exploring the possibility of implementing a tiered work permit fee structure, in a bid to streamline the issuance process. Making the disclosure during his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House on June 4, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said the proposed structure, along with a pre-approved point system, will help to make the issuance of work permits more efficient in various sectors, such as agriculture and telecommunications. [RELATED: Flexible Work Arrangements Will be a Reality – Minister Kellier] “This is being done in an effort to encourage local entrepreneurship and productive investments,” the Minister told the House. He further emphasised that these measures are being implemented to protect the Jamaican worker and to “prevent unscrupulous persons from compromising our work permit system.” Mr. Kellier noted that the process of issuing work permits is guided by an Inter- Ministerial Committee, which meets on a bi-weekly basis to review and make recommendations for approval. “This group provides invaluable expertise to the process of granting a work permit. The committee also conducts research into the needs of the market and assists in carrying out investigations to minimise the reported incidence of human trafficking,” he said. Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards Related2013/2014 Sectoral Debate: Minister of Labour and Social Security, the Hon. Derrick Kelliercenter_img Advertisements RelatedSchools in Western Parishes Get Facelift on Labour Daylast_img read more

Kissinger: A.I. Machines Won’t “Think”

first_img Wesley J. SmithChair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human ExceptionalismWesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.Follow WesleyProfileTwitterFacebook Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Transhumanists and other anti-human exceptionalists have been arguing of late that artificial-intelligence machines are destined to become so sophisticated that they will become “self-aware,” and hence, entitled to be considered “persons” deserving of rights akin to those possessed by human beings.Henry Kissinger effectively demolishes this nonsense in a fine Atlantic essay describing the potentials and perils of A.I., while noting that such very sophisticated computers would still be merely computers — and would not “think.” From, “How the Enlightenment Ends” (my emphasis):Ultimately, the term artificial intelligence may be a misnomer. To be sure, these machines can solve complex, seemingly abstract problems that had previously yielded only to human cognition.But what they do uniquely is not thinking as heretofore conceived and experienced. Rather, it is unprecedented memorization and computation.Because of its inherent superiority in these fields, AI is likely to win any game assigned to it. But for our purposes as humans, the games are not only about winning; they are about thinking. By treating a mathematical process as if it were a thought process, and either trying to mimic that process ourselves or merely accepting the results, we are in danger of losing the capacity that has been the essence of human cognition.In other words, A.I. machines will remain merely and just that. They will not possess inherent capabilities or capacities except those with which they will be programmed by us, or which they will be able to instill in their own programming based on technology devised by us.Moreover, unlike us, they will always be two-dimensional things, not actual beings. That means they will be very valuable inventions, worth a heck of a lot of money, no doubt. But they will have no greater inherent moral worth than a toaster.After all, even Pinocchio remained a mere puppet, just so much wood and magic-conjured animation — until he became a real boy. True, that’s a fairy tale. But so is the notion that a sophisticated computer should ever be considered to be more than a mere object.Kissinger’s essay goes way beyond the small tidbit I have dealt with here. Read the whole thing. He raises vital concerns that we are well advised to grapple with now while we can still guide the development of this important technology intelligently and with wisdom, rather than having to deal with it all when the cyber-beasts are upon us.At the very least, as Kissinger notes and to use my parlance, these issues are much too vital to just leave to “the scientists.”Photo: Henry Kissinger, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, via Flickr.Cross-posted at The Corner. Tagsartificial intelligencecognitioncomputationcomputersEnlightenmentfairy taleHenry Kissingerhuman beingshuman exceptionalismmachinesmemorizationmoneypersonhoodPinocchiopuppetTechnologyThe Atlantictoastertranshumanism,Trending Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Neuroscience & Mind Kissinger: A.I. Machines Won’t “Think”Wesley J. SmithMay 18, 2018, 12:57 PM Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Recommendedlast_img read more

Jeff Beck Announces Tour Dates With (And Without) ZZ Top

first_imgStoried guitarist Jeff Beck has announced a number of 2015 tour dates, with a two-leg tour that includes solo performances from Beck, as well as co-headlining performances with classic rockers ZZ Top. Beck will also be joined by his touring band, featuring Jimmy Hall on Vocals, Rhonda Smith on bass, Jonathan Joseph on drums and Nicolas Meier on guitar. Additionally, Mr. Beck is working on a new studio project, to be released in 2015.The tour, which was rescheduled due to an injury in ZZ Top’s band, will run from April 16th to May 10th. In a press release, Beck said, “We’re so glad that Dusty made a full recovery and now, we are looking forward to getting back out there and finish what we started.” Tickets for Beck’s shows will go on sale this Friday, December 5th.Check out the tour dates below:Jeff Beck Dates4/16 – The Paramount – Huntington, NY 4/17 – The Paramount – Huntington, NY 4/18 – The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY 4/19 – Orpheum Theatre – Boston, MA 4/21 – Ulster Performing Arts Center – Kingston, NY 4/22 – Bergen Performing Arts Center – Englewood, NJ 4/24 – Count Basie Theatre – Red Bank, NJ 4/25 – The Strand – York, PA 4/26 – The Palace Theatre – Greensburg, PAJeff Beck With ZZ Top Dates4/30 – Cedar Park Center – Cedar Park, TX * 5/1 – Winstar Casino – Thackerville, OK 5/2 – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion – The Woodlands, TX 5/3 – Concrete Street – Corpus Christi, TX 5/7 – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL 5/8 – Cruzan Amphitheater – West Palm Beach, FL 5/9 – St. Augustine Amphitheatre – St. Augustine, FL 5/10 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – Alpharetta, GAlast_img read more

First responder hazard pay proposal won’t move forward in Overland Park city council

first_imgA number of Overland Park first responders watched over Zoom as a proposal for hazard pay died in committee Monday night. Although city council members on the committee said they sympathized, they did not move the idea forward towards a vote by the full council after hearing that giving police and firefighters hazard pay could cost as much as $260,470 a month.Councilmembers Faris Farassati and Scott Hamblin pushed for hazard pay because police and firefighters are more exposed than the general public to the coronavirus. They are even more exposed than hospital workers, Farassati said, because hospitals have higher level protective gear and more control of the environment. The councilmembers have been pushing for the hazard pay initiative for months.“You have 50 police officers, first responders, (emergency medical technicians) and their families watching and I don’t want to disappoint them,” Farassati told members of the council’s Finance, Administration and Economic Development Committee. “The financial burden is not that back breaking. This is not the place to fill this budget hole.”Members of the committee said they support the first responders and want to help. “If I had the money I’d write it out myself,” said Councilmember Jim Kite. But times are “desperate” he said.“This whole thing breaks my heart. I wish we could increase pay for a lot of our folks,” including others who have significant public contact, Kite said.Farassati said earlier he expected a big turnout at the remote meeting because police and firefighters have been following it closely. Police employees planned to attend remotely, using a picture of Mike Mosher as their screen identification, he said. Mosher, former president of the Fraternal Order of Police, wrote a letter of support a few days before he was killed in the line of duty on May 3.The union’s executive board wrote another letter in favor of hazard pay June 17. “Police officers can’t take a violent criminal to jail via Zoom,” it said. “We have gone ‘Above and Beyond by Design’ for you and hope you can see the importance of doing the same for us.”Officer Mike Mosher, former president of the Fraternal Order of Police, wrote a letter of support for the hazard pay initiative a few days before he was killed in the line of duty on May 3. A message from his widow Corinne Mosher supporting the hazard pay was read during Wednesday’s meeting.Mosher’s widow, Corinne Mosher, also sent word in support of hazard pay, which Farassati read. “You ask our officers to continue to serve us with the same attention and professionalism that has become synonymous with the title of “Overland Park Police Officer”, to endanger themselves and their families in order to serve us. And they have answered that call. Let me warn you in the strongest energy words on paper can produce that the eyes of the community, and ultimately the nation, are turned upon you, waiting for you to step up and take care of the heroes who take care of us,” she wrote.There was not a public comment period during Wednesday’s meeting.The hazard pay idea has been in the works since shortly after the pandemic began in earnest in early April. That month the city council supported a delay in a scheduled pay raise affecting the police and fire departments as well as other city departments.The pay raises did go into effect retroactively, although not all officers received the full amount originally planned, said City Manager Bill Ebel.Farassati and Hamblin have been trying to get hazard pay since then and were told the FAED committee discussion of the budget would be the appropriate place to start. Neither is a member of that committee.At the meeting, Ebel presented numbers on how much different levels of hazard pay could cost. The highest level — $500 per responder – would have cost $260,470 a month, Ebel said. The lowest at $125 per responder, would have cost $65,117 monthly.Ebel also ran some figures on what it would cost to include other city employees who have significant public contact. Adding employees from public works, parks and the courts, among others, would have cost from $384,300 to $96,075 a month.Some committee members said they regret not being able to do more for the responders.Kite said the pay increases responders got were still better than many other city departments, and the fact that the city made good on them, “shows where our heart is.” Pay increases amounted to 4.78% for police and 7% for fire personnel. Non-public safety employees saw increases of 1.75%.Councilmember Logan Heley said people should urge their congressional and state representatives to free up money to help cities with these issues.Kite and Farassati disagreed over the relationship between tax incentives for business and hazard pay, and some referenced the adversarial emails and tone the issue has taken on.Farassati has often said the city would have more money in reserves for such emergencies if it hadn’t agreed to forego some future tax revenue to encourage development. Kite disputed that, saying the bad budget situation is due to the recession caused by the pandemic.Kite said he disliked the adversarial tone the issue has taken on. Speaking to the police families observing, he said, “This council cares about our police and we’re sorry for the loss the Mosher family had. That’s what breaks my heart regardless of the sarcasm we heard from Farassati,” he said.“I regret that this was made to be an adversarial situation. It’s unsettling to have good people lined up against good people,” he said.The committee adjourned without taking a vote on the issue.last_img read more

Sweet treats

first_imgTeacher Henriette Fritz, principal Sharon Willis and teacher Tasmin Heuvel with the giant heart. Boundary Primary School in Bonteheuwel hosted a Valentine’s Day programme on Tuesday February 14. The parents got in on the fun, when they donated cupcakes, which was used to form a giant heart-shaped cake. 1 of 2 Teacher Henriette Fritz, principal Sharon Willis and teacher Tasmin Heuvel with the giant heart.center_img The giant heart could provide cupcakes to many happy pupils at Boundary Primary School.last_img read more

Figueroa’s Three-Homer Day Leads UWF to Doubleheader Sweep of CBU

first_img BOX SCORE: G1 PDF | G1 HTML | G2 PDF | G2 HTMLMarch 24, 2015 MEMPHIS – The bats were alive and ready as the University of West Florida baseball team took both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against Christian Brothers in commanding fashion. West Florida now sits at 18-11 overall and 12-5 in the Gulf South Conference. Game One: West Florida 13, Christian Brothers 1 (8) Senior catcher Kyle Hamner delivered a career-high four RBI, as the Argonauts would go on to rout the Bucs 13-1 in game one. Four UWF players, including Hamner, Nic Strasser, Jean Figueroa and Ben Emery would record three-hit performances, as the UWF bats would collect 17 as a team in the game one effort. Walker O’Connor was called upon to start game one and tossed five strong innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits while striking out four and walking one. O’Connor earned his fifth win of the season in the effort, which puts him second on the GSC leaderboard. Justin Ambrosino recorded his ninth RBI of the season in the top half of the first, grounding into a fielder’s choice that allowed Alex Greene to score. Hamner added an RBI double to right center in the third to give the Argonauts an early 2-0 lead. After Christian Brothers scored a run in the third, UWF utilized a seven-run fourth inning to put the game out of reach. Greene walked with the bases loaded to score Jimmy Redovian, right before Nic Strasser hit a 2-RBI single to center to score Michael Savas and Emery. Hamner recorded his second RBI of the day with a single through the left side to score Greene. Figueroa capped the inning off with his fourth home run of the year—a three run shot to centerfield—to cap the seven-run inning and give the Argonauts a 9-1 lead. UWF would score four runs in the eighth, forcing the game to be stopped an inning early. Hamner tallied his third and fourth RBI of the day on a double to left, while Redovian and Emery each recorded RBIs to close the scoring for UWF in game one. Anthony Mazzurco and Gray Dorsey each saw action in relief, as Mazzurco went two innings, allowing no runs and two hits, while Dorsey allowed two hits in his one inning of action. Strasser, Figueroa and Emery each went 3-for-5, while Hamner went 3-for-4 as the quartet combined for 12 of UWF’s 17 hits. Greene went 2-for-4 with a team season-high four runs scored, while Redovian also posted a multi-hit performance with a 2-for-4 showing. Game Two: West Florida 11, Christian Brothers 3 (7) Jean Figueroa became the first player since April 4, 2012 to record six RBI’s in a game, as Blake Barber was the last UWF player to have achieved the feat, having done so against West Georgia.Figueroa launched home runs in the first and fifth innings to be the first UWF player to record a multi-homer game in the 2016 season. UWF would own a 5-1 lead after Figueroa’s fifth inning homer and the Argonauts would continue to thrive offensively as freshman catcher Matt Sullivan hit an RBI single in the sixth. Figueroa recorded his sixth RBI of the day later in the inning on an infield single. In a pinch-hit situation, Ladeavon Matthews added some insurance with a bases-loaded single to score Robert Lopez. Jimmy Redovian would pinch-hit for Alex Greene in the very next at bat and converted with an RBI single to right before Nic Strasser hit a sacrifice fly to score Sullivan. Matthews was able to scamper home on a wild pitch, providing UWF with its 11th run of the game. Brandon Nagem got the start for UWF and would earn the victory in his fourth straight start. Nagem would provide five innings of work, surrendering just one earned run on three hits while striking out four and walking one. Cole Crowder and Sean Kennedy would pitch the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, to close things out on the mound. Colby Brown posted a 2-for-2 performance in the designated hitter role, while Strasser closed his day with another multi-hit showing after going 2-for-3. Every spot in the UWF lineup recorded at least one hit, while seven of nine spots in the lineup scored at least one run. Notes Kyle Hamner extended his hitting streak to 15 games in game one before getting some rest in the last half of Saturday’s doubleheader. Hamner’s current streak is the longest by an Argonaut since 2011, as Greg Pron recorded a 16-game hitting streak during UWF’s 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship season. Hamner, who is now hitting a team-best .386 on the season, is hitting .472 (25-for-53) during his 15-game hitting streak. Hamner saw his streak of 94 consecutive plate appearances without a strikeout come to an end in in the sixth inning of game one. It was the longest active streak amongst all players in NCAA Division I, II and III at the time. Jean Figueroa finished the day with three home runs, a double and nine RBI after going 6-for-10 on the day. Figueroa now leads the team with six home runs and 29 RBI on the season. Figueroa also leads the team with 13 multi-hit games, while being tied with Nic Strasser for the team lead in mutli-RBI games with six. Strasser went 5-for-8 on the day with a double and three RBI. Jimmy Redovian had a 3-for-5 showing with 2 RBI, while Alex Greene had a 3-for-7 day with six runs scored.In game two, UWF recorded its fifth game of scoring at least 10 runs this season. This year’s total already surpasses the 2015 team’s total, as the Argonauts had four games with 10 or more runs last season.UWF will go for the sweep tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. against the Bucs. JT Granat is expected to start on the mound for the Argonauts. To stay updated on the UWF baseball team, follow the team on Twitter @UWF_Baseball. For information on all UWF Athletics, visit GoArgos.com. — GoArgos.com –Print Friendly Version Next Game: Preview at Christian Brothers 3/26/2016 – 1 p.m. CTcenter_img Live Stats Full Schedule Roster last_img read more

NC Medicaid Program Must Comply with Federal Court Ruling

first_imgNorth Carolina’s Medicaid program must change some of its policies after a federal district court approved a settlement in a class-action lawsuit.In the case, Pettigrew vs. Brajer, attorneys challenged the denials and terminations of Medicaid-funded personal-care services provided to North Carolinians in their homes. The original case was filed in 2011 after the state added more restrictive criteria to receive personal-care service for people living at home versus those in institutional settings.Elizabeth Edwards, a staff attorney with the National Health Law Program in Carrboro, explained the problem with that policy.“If it’s easier to get the same exact service in an institutional setting,” she said, “that, we allege, was a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act and the decision in the Olmstead case about it being unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities by making them live in segregated institutional settings.”The Olmstead case refers to a 1999 Supreme Court ruling that requires public agencies to provide services in the most integrated setting possible. The settlement requires the Medicaid agency to use comparable practices and procedures for assessing a person’s need for the service, as well as reinstate or reassess some class members who were previously denied or lost the service.In the original lawsuit, the court found that plaintiffs faced the threat of having to go to institutions to get the care they needed. Edwards said it’s important to remember that many people living with a disability benefit from their home setting.“They don’t want to live in an institutional setting,” she said. “They want to live in their own home, have their own space, be involved with their neighbors, and there’s a lot of studies and other things that show that living in the community is so much better for a person than living in a facility.”More than 10,000 people were denied or terminated as a result of the policy change. The state has 90 days to make changes to written materials in the Medicaid program and 120 days to provide training to staff.last_img read more

The Best of TouringPlans Forums – Week of April 28, 2019

first_imgShare This!Did you know that TouringPlans has discussion forums where you can ask questions of other readers and discuss the Disney and Universal news of the day? Do you have a question, or some answers? Please join us in the forums.It’s a Jungle (Cruise) out there. Join us in the discussion forums for advice and support as you plan your vacation.Here are some of the recent discussions that have caught our eye.Walt Disney WorldWhere should we eat at Walt Disney World with young boys?How to maximize Disney World’s FastPass+ system.Visiting for the first time without a stroller.Disney is phasing out plastic straws and lids. How will this impact your trip?Driving from the Midwest to Orlando. Tips for avoiding the traffic in Atlanta.Which would you choose at Epcot, Chefs de France or Restaurant Marrakesh?How is the transportation to the parks from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge?How to give a guest access to your WDW hotel room via MagicBand.Which is better from Orlando International, Uber or Lyft?How to manage at Walt Disney World with a broken ankle?DisneylandAdvice on navigating Disneyland during Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening week.Is the Paint the Night dining package worth it?What are the pizza delivery options at the Disneyland hotels?What’s an appropriate food budget for two adults for five nights at Disneyland?Universal OrlandoAdvice for first timers at Halloween Horror Nights.How does the disability pass work at Universal?How do the lockers work at the Universal parks?If you could only choose one sit-down restaurant at Universal, which would you choose?Save Time! Save Money! Have Fun! For complete access to all of our great vacation-planning tools like the Crowd Calendar, customizable Touring Plans, Cheapest Ticket Calculator, Dining Reservation Finder, Hotel Room Request automator, and MORE, subscribe to TouringPlans.com.last_img read more

SA’s new Antarctic research ship

first_imgThe new vessel will replace the 31-year-old South African Agulhas, due for retirement in 2012.   (Image: South African Agency for Scienceand Technology Advancement)   MEDIA CONTACTS • Zolile Nqyai Department of Environmental Affairs +27 21 402 3702 [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES • Big break for biotech in SA • New biosphere reserve for SA • South Africa protects its oceans • SA medics in Antarctic rescueNosimilo NdlovuThe South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Finnish shipbuilder STX Finland Oy have signed R1.3-billion (US$171-million) agreement to build a new Antarctic supply and research ship for the country.The department signed and announced the deal on 17 November at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, in the Western Cape province.The currently unnamed vessel will replace the 31-year-old SA Agulhas, which will retire in 2012.According to the department, the new vessel will be “one of a kind” designed to carry cargo, passengers, helicopters and fuel; while serving as a research base for the three South African stations on Marion Island, Gough Island and Antarctica.The three stations fall under the South African National Antarctic Programme (Sanap) which government has set up to carry out research in the area. They are managed by the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Antarctic and Islands directorate.“The new vessel is vital for South Africa to maintain its strategic presence in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica,” the department’s research chief, Dr Johan Augustyn, said at the announcement.“We are looking at our future role in researching climate change in the Southern and Indian oceans. We wanted a ship with more laboratories that can accommodate other branches of science. We are hoping to do marine biology research with the new vessel,” he said.The new vessel will enable scientists to lower sophisticated probes into the depths of the ocean to measure water temperature, depth, oxygen, light and the presence of phytoplankton. The equipment stores data so that it can be compared over a number of years, giving insight into temperature changes driven by climate change.Scientists aboard the new vessel will also be able to assess changes in the distribution of certain ocean plants and animals that depend on a particular temperature range for survival. A proliferation of tropical species and a decline of cold water ones could be an indication of global warming.Satellites and ocean buoys can collect similar data, but the advantage of a research vessel is that it is very flexible – it can move scientists around with ease, enabling them to use a far wider range of sensors and techniques.Mega-icebreakerThe new, 134m-long vessel will be built at the Rauma shipyard in Finland. Rauma director Timo Suistio said the design and engineering will start immediately and construction will begin in September 2010. “The ship will be delivered to the South African Department of Environmental Affairs in spring 2012,” he said.Suistio said it was the company’s first ship-building project for a South African client and part of its long-term strategy to break into the African market. “Our aim is to make this vessel an example of our ability and use it as a reference for future jobs,” he said.Augustyn said the new vessel will be able to break through thicker ice at higher speeds than South Africa’s current research ship. “It will be a more effective tool and not cost much more to maintain than the SA Agulhas, as it has three times as much power and is more fuel-efficient,” he said.The icebreaker will have shelter and a landing area for two Puma class helicopters, a gym, a library and a small hospital. It will accommodate 45 crew members and 100 passengers or researchers.The SA Agulhas currently carries cargo and passengers to the island of Tristan da Cunha in the south Atlantic Ocean around September each year. The ship drops off the tourists and then moves on to Gough island to deliver cargo and exchange research staff, giving the public an opportunity stay on Tristan for up to three weeks. It is expected that the new ship will offer a similar service.Greater capacityEquipped with 800 square metres of research space, the vessel will act as a mobile laboratory for scientists and be able to collect weather data for meteorological institutions around the world.It is hoped that the top-class facilities will attract foreign experts and help South Africa rebuild its deep sea research capacity, which has dwindled over the years due to a lack of infrastructure and shortage of scientists. Many have left to work overseas or moved into the private sector.“The new ship, apart from its supply function, will be a catalyst to rebuild the deep-sea oceanography capacity in South Africa,” said Henry Valentine, Antarctica and Islands director for the department.“This will also attract participation of international scientists and researchers, thus significantly contributing to research projects addressing new challenges and changing interests [such as climate change],” he said.Allocating this level of funding for the new vessel, despite current pressures, reflects the South African government’s commitment to the Sanap, said Valentine.last_img read more