Illegal money flows from Africa near $90 billion, UN study says

first_imgTopics : Africa is losing nearly $89 billion a year in illicit financial flows such as tax evasion and theft, amounting to more than it receives in development aid, a UN study showed on Monday.The estimate, in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) 248-page report, is its most comprehensive to date for Africa. It shows an increasing trend over time and is higher than most previous estimates.The report calls Africa a “net creditor to the world,” echoing economists’ observations that the aid-reliant continent is actually a net exporter of capital because of these trends. “Illicit financial flows rob Africa and its people of their prospects, undermining transparency and accountability and eroding trust in African institutions,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.Junior Davis, head of policy and research at UNCTAD’s Africa division, told Reuters the figure was likely an underestimate, citing data limitations.Nearly half of the total annual figure of $88.6 billion is accounted for by the export of commodities such as gold, diamonds and platinum, the report said. For example, gold accounted for 77 percent of total underinvoiced exports worth $40 billion in 2015, it showed.Understating a commodity’s true value helps conceal trade profits abroad and deprives developing countries of foreign exchange and erodes their tax base, UNCTAD said.Tackling illicit flows is a priority for the United Nations, whose General Assembly adopted a resolution on this in 2018, and the report urges African countries to draw on the report to present “renewed arguments” in international forums. last_img read more

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Wage subsidy program may fall short of target due to data issues

first_imgThe government’s wage subsidy program, earmarked to reach 15.7 million people in an effort to boost household spending and cushion the economic impacts of the pandemic, might fall short of its target as data validity remains a major issue.National Team for Accelerated Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) working group head for economic capacity enhancement policy, RM Purnagunawan, noted that invalid recipient data and potential missed targets could hinder the program, preventing it from reaching its goals. “There is a possibility that the 15.7 million target will not be reached,” Purnagunawan said in a webinar on Wednesday. He added that the total recipients would likely be around 12 million, in line with the number of registered bank accounts already eligible for the program as reported by the government.  Data issues could occur for several reasons, he went on to explain. For one, companies might work around not paying some of their employees’ social security benefits by failing to submit a valid account of their employees’ database. For some workers who have moved from one place of residence to another, their civil registry data might be considered invalid due to inconsistencies in the database, preventing them from receiving the social assistance. For other workers, they may be ineligible to receive the subsidy for not owning a personal bank account, Purnagunawan said.The government has allocated Rp 37.7 trillion (US$2.57 billion) for the wage subsidy program. The program is eligible for workers who earn less than Rp 5 million per month, are active members of the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) as of June 2020 and own an active bank account. Recipients are entitled to a Rp 2.4 million subsidy, delivered in two installments of Rp 1.2 million once every two months.The program was put in place by the government to prop up household spending as the Indonesian economy experienced a contraction of 5.32 percent year-on-year in this year’s second quarter, with household spending shrinking 5.51 percent.  “Maybe the solution can be added. [The subsidy] can be delivered through the post office. It is unwise to solve the issue by relying on bank accounts,” BPJS Watch advocacy coordinator Timboel Siregar said during the webinar. He explained that some workers who were not eligible for the wage subsidy program were among the most vulnerable, as they were presumed to be outsourced contract workers who were not paid the minimum wage and thus likely not to receive social security benefits from their employers.“The philosophy of social assistance is [delivering help] for those who need the help, whereas accurate targeting has yet to happen,” Timboel said. BPJS Ketenagakerjaan strategic planning and information technology director Sumarjono acknowledged that data issues made it difficult to disburse the wage subsidy to the intended recipients.Some bank accounts are already closed, while others are considered invalid due to inconsistent name spellings, frozen statuses or inconsistent civil registry data, Sumarjono noted. “We are coordinating with the banks that channel the funds [to resolve] the obstacles,” he said during the webinar. As of September, Sumarjono reported that the first installment of the wage subsidy had reached a total of 10.5 million recipients out of the registered 12.42 million accounts. The second installment would be disbursed in October or December at the latest, he said.  National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) director of demographic planning and social protection Muhammad Cholifihani said during the webinar that in reforming the country’s social security, an integrated database between state agencies would be necessary. “We are looking to continue increasing data accuracy by 50 to 70 percent,” Muhammad said, explaining that reformation of the social protection system was part of the government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.In a World Bank report titled Indonesia Public Expenditure Review 2020: Spending for Better Results published in June, the global financial institution made a suggestion for the Indonesian government to strengthen its social assistance delivery systems. “Invest in the capacity of the integrated social welfare database (DTKS) to minimize exclusion and inclusion errors through reliable dynamic updating mechanisms with the local government and related external institutions,” the report says.Topics :last_img read more

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Governor Wolf, Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Take Action to Reduce Gun Violence

first_img African American Affairs,  Press Release,  Public Safety Harrisburg, PA – In response to community concerns about the gun violence epidemic, Governor Tom Wolf, Representative Jordan Harris, and other members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today announced a new $1.5 million Gun Violence Reduction Initiative and commended the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) for the recent release of $48 million in grants to organizations serving crime victims across Pennsylvania.On March 2, Governor Wolf and Rep. Harris held a listening session to hear directly from the community about how gun violence is impacting Philadelphia. That meeting led the governor to create the Gun Violence Reduction Initiative, which will offer competitive grants to municipalities for evidence-based programs proven to reduce gun violence.“After hearing from this community about the real-world dangers of gun violence, I’m proud to return and deliver funds to help stem the tide of violence,” said Governor Wolf. “We must continue to tackle this crisis head-on, and these new grants are an important step toward achieving that goal.”PCCD will accept applications for the Gun Violence Reduction Initiative beginning today at www.pccd.pa.gov.  Awarding of the competitive grants will start in early July.“The governor has shown tremendous fortitude by telling the world that the issue of gun violence is more than a problem, but an epidemic,” said Rep. Jordan Harris. “This is the first step in a multi-tiered process, and this initial investment is an important start. I look forward to our continued work with our governor to ensure that the epidemic of illegal gun violence gets the necessary attention it deserves, both through resources and awareness.”“I would like to thank Governor Wolf for recognizing gun violence as a major problem in Pennsylvania,” said Senator Anthony Williams. “The creation of the Gun Violence Reduction Initiative signals to our communities that we are ready to fight gun violence head-on, that it is a priority, and that we are going to find the tools to stop it.”“Gun violence is a public health crisis we have to address beyond just banning weapons,” said Senator Vince Hughes. “We have to examine the root causes and take additional steps to curb gun violence in our communities and across our state. I hope to continue to work with Gov. Wolf and fellow legislators to achieve this important safety goal.”The governor also announced that PCCD recently awarded $48 million in competitive grants using federal Victims of Crime Act funds to programs across the commonwealth that provide direct services to victims of crime.In Philadelphia, $4.1 million was awarded among seven programs to specifically address victims of gun violence and violent crime, including:Temple University Hospital, $1,053,811 to create a crisis intervention team with several community partners to help adult crime victims and their families.Mothers in Charge, $670,313 for assistance to underserved survivors of homicide in Philadelphia, with an emphasis on neighborhoods with the highest rates of violent crime.Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia, $1,009,178 to create a survivor-focused network to provide crisis response services to family members of homicide victims.Every Murder is Real, Philadelphia, $420,156 to expand peer support services for families of homicide victims.Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, $352,910 to provide evidence-based trauma therapy for young victims of violent crime.Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, $259,556 for coordination of care to fill the gaps in support for children and their families in recovering from traumatic crimes.Drexel University, $393,358 for the Healing Hurt People Program to serve victims between age 18 and 30 who are victims of violent crime. May 08, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Governor Wolf, Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Take Action to Reduce Gun Violencelast_img read more

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121st ‘Cry of Santa Barbara’ on Nov. 17

first_imgOther events already finished were thefollowing: On Monday, Nov. 11, the following wereheld: Pamukaw kang Kahilwayan;Kahilwayan Caddies Cup; opening of Miniature Heritage Houses exhibit; Historya with former vice governor andProvincial Board member Demy Sonza This Nov. 17, 2019 the municipality ofSanta Barbara would be marking the historic event now known as the “Cry ofSanta Barbara.” During the Nov. 17 program, studentsof Santa Barbara National Comprehensive High School will reenact the GeneralMartin Delgado’s raising of the Philippine flag./PN * Nov. 15 – basketball exhibitiongame; Binola sa Plaza; Fashiondayag * Nov. 16 – Battle of the Mini Sound;Heritage Walk; Binola sa Plaza Nov. 12, was the staging of theKahilwayan Job Fair; Kusina ni Barbara cookfest;and Drum and Glockenspiel Exhibition. * Nov. 9 – launching of AKO, Santa Barbaranhon: Apo ni Tan Martin,4th Kahilwayan Dart Games; men’s open football tournament * Nov. 17 – Holy Mass; Dagu-ob: Battle of the Sounds; Astigan sa Banglid; Cry of Sta. Barbaracommemorative program; Laro ng Lahi;2019 Pasidungog Awards Night The 10-day celebration, themed Paghanduraw kag Pagdayaw kang Panublion:Yabi sa Buasdamlag nga Madinalag-on, kicked off on Nov. 8. Several eventshave been lined up leading to the big day on Sunday when the 19th edition ofSanta Barbara’s Kahilwayan Festival would also be staged. The Kahilwayan Quiz Bee was conductedon Wednesday, Nov. 13. * Nov. 10 – 2nd Kahilwayan Fun Ride;Dance Exercise Exhibition; U20 Women and U10 Boys Football Festival; Harana sa Sirum with Pirot kag mga kamal-aman sa barangay ILOILO – During the PhilippineRevolution against Spain, the Revolutionary Government of the Visayas wasorganized and on Nov. 17, 1898 it was formally inaugurated at the town plaza ofSanta Barbara. Yesterday, Nov. 14, there was a Binolasa Plaza; tree planting; Farmer’s Day; and Pinta,Tinta, Musika kag Tinaga. * Nov. 8 – opening of Semana sang Mangungoma, Agro-IndustrialTrade Fair; men’s open football tournament; opening of Kahilwayan Food Festival Mayor Rema Somo said the special gueston Sunday is Ilonggo senator Franklin Drilon. A large crowd hailing from many placesacross Iloilo province gathered for the historic occasion. The Philippine flagwas raised for the first time outside of Luzon by General Martin Delgado.last_img read more

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Calatrava man shot to death in Toboso

first_imgAccording to police investigators,Alibutdan was driving a truck loaded with sugarcane along with his helper whenthey were flagged down by eight assailants clad in bonnets around 8 a.m. onApril 2. BACOLOD City – A man was found dead inBarangay Bandila, Toboso, Negros Occidental. The 32-year-old Jomar Alibutdan ofBarangay Winaswasan, Calatrava sustained gunshot wounds on the head, a policereport showed. As of this writing, officers of theToboso municipal police station have yet to identify the suspects but arelooking into grudges and land dispute as the motive in the shooting./PN A few minutes later, the suspects firedat Alibutdan after they ordered the victim’s helper to flee.last_img

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Jose return would be ‘spectacular’

first_img Press Association Andre Villas-Boas has described the potential return of Jose Mourinho to the Premier League as “spectacular”. The former Chelsea boss is expected to leave Real Madrid this summer and has made no secret of his desire to return to England, saying this week it is where he feels loved. Chelsea are favourites to re-sign their former boss, with Rafael Benitez’s short-term contract up at the end of the season. Tottenham manager Villas-Boas worked under his Portuguese countryman at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, and he believes Mourinho is likely to have a position lined up. Villas-Boas said: “He obviously wants to come back to England, whether he has a club aligned or not, we never know.” center_img The Portuguese continued: “It’s extremely unlikely when someone makes it that public that something is not set out already but he is a great addition to the Premier League. He has a wonderful history in this league and I think it will be spectacular to have him back.” Mourinho has won a significant haul of trophies at all his clubs but has found it most difficult at Madrid. Defeat over two legs against Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals means the Champions League will once again elude the Spaniards this season, and Villas-Boas acknowledged Mourinho probably has not lived up to expectations. The Spurs boss said: “When he left (England) he wasn’t that well loved by a few of you guys (the media) and that was something we talked about. He was loved in all the clubs where he has won titles, in Real Madrid the same. “There is maximum respect for what he has achieved, but for it to be at the level of Real Madrid’s expectancy, we will never know. Probably not, but he certainly has won a league against a dream Barcelona team, which is a great achievement.” West Brom manager Steve Clarke and Swansea’s Michael Laudrup would both welcome Mourinho’s return to the Premier League. Clarke was assistant manager to the 50-year-old at Chelsea, but he insisted: “I don’t know if he’s coming or not, that’s the truth. “I know he was happy here because he had a good job at a good club and we were successful. That’s what he likes, he likes to win football matches wherever he is. If he comes back, it’s great for the Premier League. If he does come back and we get the chance to play against him that would be great.” Laudrup, a former Real Madrid midfielder, added: “To have good managers in a top league is always good, and there will be a lot of nice press conferences for the media to look forward to. He is a good manager, you just need to look at his CV and what he has achieved with all his clubs, so for him to return to Chelsea would be good for the Premier League.” last_img read more

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Bahamas crush Guyana 114 – 63 at Centrobasket U17 Championship

first_imgA game-high 32 points from guard Kevon Wiggins was not enough to stop the Bahamas from hammering Guyana by 51 points (114-63) in their opening game of the 2017 Centrobasket U17 Championship today in the Dominican Republic.Nigel Bowen (13 points) was the only other Guyanese in double digits.Domnick Bridgewater had 27 points and eight steals for the Bahamas, while G. Goodman (23 points) and Samuel Hunter (17 points) were the other top scorers.The Lugard Mohan-coached side will now face Puerto Rico tomorrow (Thursday July 27) in their second game, where they will hope for an improved performance.last_img

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Thomas credits knowledge gained  in recent  CPL for his century

first_imgBASSETERRE, St Kitts, (CMC) – Devon Thomas has credited the knowledge gained in the recent Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for his current form which saw him stroke his second List A hundred in Leeward Islands Hurricanes’ victory over title-holders Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners here Wednesday.The right-hander gathered 105 as the hosts raised the curtain on the Regional Super50 with a crushing 198-run win at Warner Park.“It’s not just this innings. I learnt a lot during the Caribbean Premier League so I am just trying to take those things into my game a lot more,” said Thomas, who turned out for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the regional T20 tournament.“Playing with a few overseas players, I spoke with them and they told me what’s up – even the coaches – so I just want to put a few of things into my game and try to make them work.”He added: “It (hundred) was very special to me. I have only one List “A” hundred, so this was my second, and I am very pleased to have reached the milestone.“I have been batting pretty well from the Leeward Islands Cricket Board tournament (which preceded the Super50 Cup) and I have tried to remain in that same frame of mind.”Thomas arrived at the crease at 67 for two in the 19th over and quickly asserted control for Hurricanes, smashing 10 fours and a six in bold 93-ball knock.And by the time he departed in the penultimate over, the hosts were poised for an imposing total, eventually finishing on 292 for seven.He praised Amir Jangoo (39) and Kieran Powell (30) for laying the foundation for the innings.“They set up the game for us and for me to rotate the strike and try to start batting deep into the overs,” he pointed out.“I said to myself I wanted to bat [to] 42 overs and ended up batting [to 49 overs], but it was a good team effort from everyone and we are pleased that it all worked out in this game.”The victory ensured Hurricanes started the tournament on a winning note, though with sterner tests to come against the likes of multiple-time champions Barbados Pride and Jamaica Scorpions.And Thomas said he would be looking to extend his form against all opposition.“It’s good. We are playing at home. We know this pitch much better than the rest of the teams, so it will be a good tournament,” he noted.“There will be challenges too, but for me this tournament I want to really stand out this year, especially since it will be my 30th birthday next week.”last_img read more

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