Venezuela’s claim is a legal matter – Ambassador Joseph

first_imgAmbassador 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.last_img read more

City’s Web site smooths way

first_img 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 naush.boghossian@dailynews.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.” last_img read more

Why Some Homeowners Are Scrambling To Prepay Their 2018 Property Taxes

first_imgSheila 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/. Sharelast_img read more

7 Things To Know Before Going To Pride Houston

first_img Listen X Share 00:00 /17:56 center_img 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:last_img read more

The best backend tools in web development

first_imgIf you’re a backend developer, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the range of backend development tools available. It goes without saying that you should use what works for you but sometimes it’s not that easy to even work that out. With this in mind, this year’s Skill Up report offers a useful insight into some of the most popular backend tools being used today. Let’s take a look at what tools came out on top. That should help you make decisions about what you’re going to use or maybe even just learn. Read the Skill Up report in full. Sign up to our weekly newsletter and download the PDF for free. Node.js More than 50% respondents said, they prefer Node.js, the popular server-side Javascript coding framework. Node.js is a Javascript runtime that runs on the V8 JavaScript runtime engine. Node.js adds capabilities to Javascript (front-end language) to let it do more than just creating interactive websites. It uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient. The latest stable release of Node, Node 10, will be the next candidate in line for the Long Term Support (LTS) in October 2018. Node.js 10.0 comes with plenty of new features like OpenSSL 1.1.0 security toolkit, upgraded npm, N-API, and much more. Get started with learning Node.js with the following books: Learning Node.js DevelopmentLearn Node.js by Building 6 ProjectsRESTful Web API Design with Node.js 10 – Third Edition ASP.NET Core The next popular alternative was ASP. NET Core with over 25% developers approving it as their choice of backend framework. ASP.NET Core is the open-source cross-platform framework for building backends, web apps and services, and IoT apps. According to the skill-up survey, it was also one of the most popular framework used by developers. It provides a cloud-ready, environment-based configuration system. It seamlessly integrates with popular client-side frameworks and libraries, including Angular, React, and Bootstrap. Get started with ASP.NET Core by reading: Learning ASP.NET Core 2.0Mastering ASP.NET Core 2.0ASP.NET Core 2 High Performance – Second Edition Express.js Developers and tech pros also like to work with Express JS, and hence it ranked No. 3 on our list. Express JS is the pre-built Node JS framework that can help developers build faster and smarter websites and web apps. Express basically extends Node.js to build complete web apps. It is the perfect framework to learn for developers, who are fluent in Node.js, but want to transition to creating apps from just server-side technologies. Express is lightweight and comes with extra, built-in web application features and the Express API to support the already robust, feature-packed Node.js platform. Express is not just limited to NodeJS. It also works seamlessly with other modules and offers HTTP utilities and middleware for creating APIs. It can help developers master single-page and multiple-page websites, as well as some complex web apps. You can go through Projects in ExpressJS [Video], a complete course to learn professional web development using Express.js. Laravel Next, was Laravel, a prominent member of a new generation of web frameworks. It is one of the most popular PHP frameworks and is also free and and open source. It features: A simple, fast routing engine Powerful dependency injection container Multiple back-ends for session and cache storage Database agnostic schema migrations Robust background job processing Real-time event broadcasting The latest stable release, Laravel 5 is a substantial upgrade with a lot of new toys, at the same time retaining the features that made Laravel wildly successful. It comes with plenty of architectural as well as design-based changes. Start building with Laravel with these videos. Beginning Laravel [Video]Laravel Foundations: Basics to Every App [Video] Java EE The fifth most popular choice of backend tool is the Java EE. The Enterprise Java standard or Java EE is a collection of technologies and APIs for the Java platform designed to support Enterprise. By enterprise, we mean applications classified as large-scale, distributed, transactional and highly-available, designed to support mission-critical business requirements. Applications written to comply with the Java EE specification do not tie developers to a specific vendor; instead, they can be deployed to any Java EE compliant application server. The Java EE server application implements the Java EE platform APIs and provides the standard Java EE services. The latest stable release, Java EE 8 brings with it a load of features, mainly targeting newer architectures such as microservices, modernized security APIs, and cloud deployments. Our best picks for learning Java EE: Java EE 8 Application DevelopmentArchitecting Modern Java EE ApplicationsJava EE 8 High Performance The other backend tools which were among the top picks by developers included: Spring, a programming and configuration model for building modern Java-based enterprise applications, on any kind of deployment platform. Django, a powerful Python web framework for creating RESTful web services. It reduces the amount of trivial code, which simplifies the creation of web applications and results in faster development. Flask, a framework for building web servers in Python. It is a micro framework, meaning it’s not a full stack web application development framework. It just gives the developers very basics to get a web server running. Firebase, Google’s mobile platform to help developers run mobile backend code without managing servers and develop high-quality apps. Ruby on Rails, one of the oldest, backend technology. A certain percentage of people still prefer using ruby on rails for their backend code. Rails is a flexible and IDE friendly framework with easy functions and manipulations and the support of the powerful ruby language. The entire skill up survey report can be read on the Packt website, which details on what developers think about the changing tech landscape and the parameters that are driving that change. This survey report is launched at the start of the Skill Up campaign, where every eBook and video will be available for $10. Go grab your free content now!last_img read more