Ambassador Cedric Joseph said Venezuela has to advance legal arguments to establish a case of nullity of the Arbitral Award of 1899.“There is only one body that can deal with that, that is organised and established after 20 years of war and fighting and that is the ICJ [International Court ofAmbassador Cedric JosephJustice],” Ambassador Joseph said speaking at a discussion on Guyana’s borders hosted by the University of Guyana (UG) on Thursday evening at the Theatre Guild.Ambassador Joseph was asked by the audience to weigh in on the recent decision by the United Nations (UN) Secretary General (SG) to refer the settlement of the decades-old controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.The Ambassador dismissed Venezuela’s recent criticism of the UN SG’s decision to have the ICJ resolve the controversy.Venezuela, on Wednesday insisted that only the 1966 Geneva Agreement can settle the controversy. However, Ambassador Joseph pointed out that the SG’s decision is in keeping with the Geneva Agreement.“Those means of settlement really come from Article 33 of the UN Charter and the last means in Article 33 and in the Geneva Agreement is judicial settlement and when you speak of judicial settlement in the United Nations framework, you speak of the body established within the United Nations to facilitate a judicial settlement, and that is the ICJ,” he explained.The Ambassador noted that Guyana has exhausted all the provisions for settlement in the Geneva Agreement. He also pointed out that Guyana could still present its case to the ICJ without Venezuela citing the recent ruling by the ICJ in favour of the Philippines vs China over the South Sea.“Only recently, two years ago the Philippines brought a case of the South Sea China against the powerful People’s Republic of China, who did not participate, and the court went ahead examined all the documents and issued a substantial judgement in support of the rights of Philippines,” Ambassador Joseph pointed out.The controversy arose after Venezuela claimed that the Arbitral Award of 1899, which established the border it shares with Guyana, is null and void. The two countries, under the 1966 Geneva Agreement, turned to the UN Secretary General to resolve what became a controversy under the Charter of the UN.After years of attempts to resolve the controversy, including the use of the Good Offices Process, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, on Tuesday announced he is referring the matter to the ICJ.
Now, the left-hand side of the main page lists the most frequently searched topics on the previous Web site: jobs and employment, licenses and permits, maps and zoning, public safety, housing, and online services including paying Glendale Water and Power bills online, free bulky-item pickup and browsing the library catalog. City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian said he’s already noticed a drop in the number of calls to his office. “We are the first stop for a lot of people to get information, and if they can’t find it on the Web site, we would get a lot of calls,” he said. “Having this information out there helps us out because we can refer people to the site, and if they are Internet users, it’s easy for them to access information right away.” Making information available easily online is becoming more and more critical for cities, as the younger population increasingly uses the Internet as its primary means of finding information, said Democratic political consultant Fred Register. “If you’re not up there with a good Web site, I think a big chunk of the residents of the city are going to be almost shut out of participation and useful information,” said Register, whose firm is in Altadena. “I think it’s something that every city is going to be forced to do if they haven’t already followed Glendale’s example. It’s just going to be the way that people get their information.” Longtime Glendale resident Brian Ellis, who remembers the city’s foray into the Web in the 1990s, said the new site makes it easy for everybody to become a part of their local government. “Glendale has always been very forward-looking with the Internet, and I think anything that makes the information easier to find or utilize is only in the community’s interest and gets the community involved,” he said. Naush Boghossian, (818) 713-3722 email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson The city unveiled its new Web site in October, with a Google search engine and a continually updated front page. The day’s current events, from the community calendar to press releases from all of the city’s departments, are also featured. Feedback from surveys showed that users couldn’t get all the information they were looking for because it was buried layers deep, Abadi said. The old Web site required users to bring up links for various city departments to get more information on a particular subject. The face-lift has already paid off. Pre-makeover, the 5-year-old site averaged fewer than 500,000 hits a month, Abadi said. After the new site was unveiled in October, it had 807,344 unique hits, which dropped to 705,759 in November, he said. GLENDALE – Next time you want to get rid of that big old couch or lumpy mattress, you won’t have to be an expert on local government to schedule a pickup time on the city’s Web site. With the city’s new user-friendly site, residents can simply click on “Bulky-item pick-up” without having to first navigate through the “Integrated Waste” page. “We’ve always had the information on the Web site, but the previous approach was very much you had to understand government to be able to navigate our site,’ said Behrang Abadi, applications analyst for the city of Glendale. “You don’t want your waste integrated, you want your trash picked up. We tried to make the terminology more user-friendly so Joe Public could navigate the Web site without any prior knowledge of how government worked.”
Sheila Thompson/FlickrSome homeowners across the country are rushing to pay their 2018 property taxes well before the due date because the new Republican tax law overhaul could affect how much they are allowed to deduct next year.Part of the Republican tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law last week has homeowners around the country doing something unusual: rushing to pay their 2018 property taxes well before the due date.That’s because the new law includes a $10,000 cap on the amount of state and local taxes people can deduct on their federal returns. Before, if someone paid $24,000 in property taxes — as some people in higher tax states like New York and California do — and then paid $20,000 in state and local income taxes they were allowed to deduct $44,000 on their federal tax return. Now that number is capped at $10,000. The change could cost some people thousands of dollars.“I’m sending my checks in today,” said Vanessa Merton of Hastings-On-Hudson, N.Y. She estimates the law change will cost her between $6,000 and $9,000. She hopes to delay that hit by prepaying next year’s taxes before Dec. 31 so she can deduct them on her 2017 tax return.Merton says she is the fourth generation of her family to live in her large home. When she was growing up, she says, Hastings-On-Hudson was a factory town, but then wealthy people moved in and now property values — and taxes — have increased. She predicts that without the ability to deduct all local taxes on federal returns, some people in her community may have to move.“We are all really wondering, calculating and trying to figure out if it’s going to be possible [to stay] in the homes that we have cherished for a very long time,” said Merton.Merton works as a law professor and also is vice chair of her local Democratic Party committee. She sees politics at play in the new law, since most states with higher taxes tend to vote for Democrats over Republicans.That echoes criticism New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has voiced against the tax overhaul law. Cuomo signed an executive order last Friday making it easier for people to pay their taxes early and make partial payments.That had local tax offices fielding calls the day after Christmas as homeowners tried to figure out how much they should pay. An automated message at the Nassau County Department of Assessment asked people to call later because, “all assessment assistance personnel are busy with other callers.”In neighboring New Jersey, accountant Tracy Beveridge said she has been fielding calls and emails from clients. She warns that not everyone should prepay property taxes and that it is difficult to offer simple guidelines — which is especially true for those who could be subject to a minimum tax, for example a married couple who earn more than $83,800 a year and file a joint return.“If a client is in AMT — what they call an alternative minimum tax — there is no benefit to prepaying your taxes. It just negates the benefit and you’re just out the cash,” said Beveridge.Beveridge said some people who would not be subject to the AMT could trigger it if they double up on paying next year’s property taxes early.Her advice is to consult with an accountant who can look over your previous return and offer advice. In the past few days, Beveridge said, she has examined dozens of her clients’ returns and that “out of, probably, 80 that I’ve done already, I think, four it has benefited [to prepay property taxes].”That benefit applies only to property taxes, she said, because the new law doesn’t allow people to prepay income taxes.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share
Listen X Share 00:00 /17:56 Pride HoustonTwo festival goers holding a flag reading, “Born this Way” at the 2016 Houston LGBTQ Pride Celebration.This Saturday, an estimated 700,000 people will celebrate Gay Pride Month in the heart of Houston with the Pride Festival and Parade. Before putting on your rainbow gear, there are several things to know.The History Behind Houston’s Pride CelebrationsIn June of 1977, Houston had its own “Stonewall Movement” when thousands of people surrounded City Hall to protest Anita Bryant, a famous singer who opposed gay rights and worked against the gay community. The very first Pride Parade took place a year later on Westheimer Road in June of 1978, according to Pride Houston. Since then, Pride festivities have been held on the last Saturday in June to commemorate Stonewall and the first parade in Houston. The tradition of the parade beginning after sunset started in 1997 when Annise Parker, a Houston City Council member at the time, arranged for Houston to host the nation’s only nighttime Pride Parade. The Pride Festival was moved to downtown in 2015 to continue the tradition. Though Pride Houston started out as a protest, it has morphed into a celebration. “You know although we are celebrating that day and it’s more of a jubilee, that at the back of your head, at the same time you must be vigilant of what’s going on around you,” Lo Roberts, Pride Houston President, told Houston Matters.The FestivalThe festival begins at 12 pm and ends around 7 pm. Performers include Young M.A and Dorian Electra, among others. Admission is free and open to all ages, though VIP Tickets can also be purchased. The festival will take place on the intersection of McKinney Street and Smith Street.The ParadeAdmission to the parade is free and open to all ages. No tickets are required, except to access the Parade VIP area. The parade begins at 8 pm and ends around 11 pm. It will start at the intersection of Smith and Lamar, continue down Smith Street until Walker where it will make a right turn, then continue down Walker until Milam Street, then down Milam until they reach Jefferson Street.Pride HoustonThree festival goers at the 2016 Houston Pride Parade.Road Closures– Smith from Walker to McKinney (west curb lane) from 9 am to noon– Smith from Rusk to Lamar (all lanes) from noon to midnight– Smith from Lamar to Dallas (the two east lanes) from noon to 6 pm– Smith from Lamar to Dallas (all lanes) from 6 pm to midnight– Bagby from Walker to Lamar (all lanes) at 6 am (re-opens on Sunday, June 24 at 2 am)– McKinney Exit Ramp at 45 North at 6 am (re-opens on Sunday, June 24 at 2 am)More on road closures can be found, here. Where to Park Festival goers can park at 1100 Smith Garage for $10 — but go early to ensure a spot! Some other options for downtown parking can be seen below. If you prefer to be dropped off, Uber has partnered with Pride Houston and has designated drop off and pick-up spots.Houston PrideA map of the various parking garages available downtown.What to bring and what not to bringBring a water bottle to stay hydrated and wear shoes you can walk in. Firearms are not allowed at Pride, and organizers have taken measures to ensure the safety of those attending by having Houston Police Department officers throughout the parade and festival, private security forces, metal detection devices and random vehicle searches within the festival.The Pride Houston AppAttendees can also download the Pride app for access to the parade route, festival maps and a list of all the vendors and performers.– / 5 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen to the Houston Matters discussion of the history and legacy of Pride Houston with Harrison Guy, Grand Marshal for the Houston Pride Parade, Lorin “Lo” Roberts, President of Pride Houston, and HPM’s Ernie Manouse, in the audio below: