|04-03-2006, 05:14 PM||#17|
A man was killed in an explosion at a coffee shop near one of the city's busiest intersections Sunday.
Police said the blast happened just after 1pm at a Tim Hortons on Yonge Street north of Bloor.
Officials evacuated a block around the shop as emergency crews investigated the cause. They're still not sure about motivation, but gasoline was the catalyst.
The explosion happened in the men’s washroom and Staff Sergeant Dan Cole said the man who was killed wasn’t a Tim Hortons employee. In fact, the main suspect was the man found dead inside a bathroom stall.
“A male, whose identity has not yet been determined was found suffering from severe burns to most of his body," said Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair.
"We're very preliminary in our investigation to determine the cause of that fire...we're still determining whether this was a purposeful act," said Blair.
There was only a small amount of smoke when emergency crews arrived and there were no other injuries.
"The ceiling started crumbling and everyone ran for the door," said one witness.
"At first people just looked at it, then people started to scream and run out," recalled another.
There were early reports that a man had entered the coffee shop with explosives strapped to his body just moments before the blast, but that was never confirmed.
The explosives disposal unit was called to the scene.
Yonge Street was closed in both directions between Yorkville and Bloor and traffic was backed up in the area for some time.
Hours after this incident, another Tim Hortons at Yonge and Lawrence was evacuated as a precaution after a suspicious package, later determined to be a clock in a bag, was spotted.
your mother's dick
|04-04-2006, 09:18 AM||#18|
Zim to Exploit Equatorial Guinea
IN the late 1980s, Zimbabwean soldiers fought side by side with their Mozambican counterparts against insurgents of the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) sponsored by the apartheid South Africa regime.
Many people, including Zimbabwean soldiers and civilians, lost lives and limbs in the civil war. That Zimbabwean soldiers stood side by side with their Mozambican counterparts underlined the strong ties that exist between the two countries; ties that had seen Mozambique at the forefront of supporting Zimbabweans’ struggle against colonial rule. But after the guns fell silent in Mozambique and in spite of the strong political ties between the two countries, Zimbabwean businessmen failed to take advantage of the business opportunities that existed. A few years later, in 1998, the Democratic Republic of Congo was invaded by rebels sponsored by neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda. Their aim was to topple President Laurent Kabila and install a puppet regime that would turn a blind eye to the looting and plundering of mineral and forestry resources of the DRC. But this was thwarted by Zimbabwe, together with Angola and Namibia, which sent troops to defend the territorial integrity of the DRC under the auspices of the Sadc Allied Forces. The three countries made great sacrifices as their troops successfully defended the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC. And just like in Mozambique, Zimbabweans lost lives and limbs in the war. Yet despite these great sacrifices, Zimbab-wean businessmen have again failed to grab the opportunities that abound in a peaceful DRC and make meaningful inroads in that country. The DRC, Africa’s third largest country, presents a vast market and opportunities, with the population of Kinshasa alone estimated at 45 million people. A lot of interest was shown soon after the war and a number of missions were undertaken to Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, the DRC’s second largest city, but these have since fizzled out. In fact, South African companies have taken over in both Mozambique and the DRC and are running the show in a big way. It is sad that the Zimbabwean business sector has failed to take advantage of the strong political ties with Mozambique and the DRC after the sacrifices made to secure the peace that is prevailing in those countries. By sending troops to help secure peace in these countries, the Government played its part in creating the environment conducive for business. One, therefore, hopes that our business people have learnt their lessons from the Mozambique and DRC experiences and will heed the call by Equatorial Guinea President Mr Obiang Nguema Mbasogo to engage their counterparts in the oil-rich West African country and explore opportunities there. Mr Mbasogo, who took time during his three-day State visit to Zimbabwe last week to address captains of industry and commerce at a breakfast meeting in Harare last week, rightly pointed out that Zimbabwe has a highly educated human resource base that could be used to develop human resources in his country so that the two countries can walk together along the path of developing their economies. It is indisputable that when it comes to human resources, Zimbabwe stands head and shoulders above the rest in Africa and competes favourably with other developing countries elsewhere. In fact, Zimbabwean human resources are in demand in many countries. There is need therefore, for the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and National Chamber of Commerce to seriously consider a mission to Equatorial Guinea to explore what is on offer there and what Zimbabwe can, in turn, export to that country. The political relations between the two countries which strengthened after the capture, at Harare International Airport in March last year, of 67 mercenaries who were on their way to the Equatorial Guinea to topple Mr Mbasogo and his government need to be extended to economic co-operation. The challenge is for the business sector to take advantage of the agreement signed by the two countries last Friday covering economic, cultural, scientific and technical co-operation to cement relations between the two countries. In fact, Zimbabwe’s business people should go back to the drawing board and look at where we went wrong in Mozambique and the DRC and then come up with new strategies. The ball is now in the court of our captains of industry and commerce to further pursue and strengthen economic relations with friendly nations.
|04-04-2006, 09:28 AM||#19|
THE biblical verse that God’s people are destroyed for their lack of knowledge still rings as true today as when the words were uttered thousands of years ago.
That is the reason why the verse, “men are destroyed from lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) continues to inspire people in their search for knowledge.
Even today, education of the mind is the key in every person’s aspirations, and indeed in every country’s desire to bring development and alleviate suffering.
Since development is often determined by the environment in which one lives, it is always imperative one becomes literate in order to be able to understand and articulate issues surrounding them.
Hence the need to acquire knowledge nowadays stretches beyond age barriers, with some people’s desire for school so overwhelming that they even sacrifice their ‘dignity’ all for purposes of literacy.
Gone are the days when people intending to study would think of age or family responsibilities as being a limitation to their advancement or even feel let down by the passage of time.
However, the coming of community schools in society has not just helped vulnerable children to get back to school without necessarily having to worry about school fees and other requirements but mothers as well have also realised the need to acquire knowledge at no cost at all.
The desire for women to become part of the decision-making at different levels of society rather than being used as objects for reproduction has forced many of them to rise up to the occasion and seek to be educated at the slightest opportunity.
While as in the past years a woman’s place was considered to be in the kitchen and a girl-child had little chance of pursuing high school studies as she had to be married off at an early age this is not so with dynamism.
With sensitisation programmes in place on empowering women with education, now the tables are being upset and the attitude towards more mothers being educated is changing.
Forty-four-year old Rosemary Mumba of Matero township is one such person with great passion for school.
“I started school in 1972. When my grandmother died in 1978, I could not continue because no one was willing to pay for my school fees,” said Rosemary.
Prior to her grandmother’s death, Rosemary sat for grade seven examinations but did not reach the pass mark. On the other hand, even if she had qualified, she would still have had a problem raising money for school.
In December 1978, she got married to Mr Mumba with whom she has nine children.
In 2003, Rosemary decided to enrol at the Matero BIGOCA adult school which was established in 2002. The programme is financed by BIGOCA and Father’s Heart International.
“Seeing women taking up influential positions in society has increased my passion for school because I believe determination is all it takes to reach such high heights” she said.
Despite being pregnant in 2004 Rosemary was determined to sit for grade seven examinations in 2005. Although her friends thought it was absurd for her to undergo the pressure of studies while breast-feeding, she was still strong-minded to make it to the next grade.
“Despite my commitment to nursing and breast-feeding the baby, I was still determined to study and sit for the examinations and I thank God I passed with good results” she said.
Seven women sat for grade seven examinations last year at the BIGOCA Adult School in Matero and according to the set standards by the ministry of Education all the seven qualified to grade eight.
These include Mrs Edith Kwabe, Ms Josephine Chewe, Ms Annie Daka , Ms Pamela Musonda, Ms Wyforce Chongwe and Mwila Mulyota.
In his comment Bishop Peter Ndhlovu said he was very proud of the team of women who wrote grade seven examinations last year. Their commitment to school had encouraged the church to strengthen its efforts in educating mothers in this nation.
“We are now determined to open classes for grades eight and nine because we want to accommodate even those who are too shy to start from primary grades. For grade eight, those who wrote exams in our school will be our priority when considering names for sponsorship” he added.
Presently the church is still sourcing finances as it is planning to establish a secondary school which will have capacity for both the vulnerable children and elderly people who are still enthusiastic on completing high school.
Rosemary encouraged mothers who did not have the chance of finishing school to enrol at BIGOCA Adult School as they would not be required to pay anything.
“It is never too late to return to school. All you need is courage because if you listen to people’s discouragements, you will not achieve anything in life” she said.
“BIGOCA has given us an opportunity and we need to maximise it. I am grateful to Fathers Heart because I could not hear or speak a single word in English until I enrolled at this school” she said.
Rosemary says she is geared to finish high school as long as sponsorship is available.
Her Compatriot Mrs Chewe , 35, said she was inspired to sit for grade seven exams last year because she wanted to achieve her dream of completing high school.
Mrs Chewe who is a widow and mother of three boys is also a beneficiary of study material and tutorials from teachers at BIGOCA Community school said she failed to complete high school in 1986 at Nchelenge secondary school after falling sick from Typhoid which had broken out in the district.
‘’I used to suffer from severe headaches whenever I wanted to study due to Typhoid fever which I had contracted at the school .I was then forced to leave school and headed back home in Matero to stay with my parents and that was how my school career ended abruptly,’’ she lamented.
Though she was married at one point she explained that life has not been easy for her as she had to bring up the three kids alone after the death of her husband John who used to work for BP filling station a few years ago.
But Mrs Chewe said that it has always been her strongest desire to complete high school and sometimes while sleeping she would dream that she was sitting in class learning.
Thank God her dream is being fulfilled through the help of the BIGOCA church although she herself is a member of the Apostolic Faith Missions Church but she found herself there as she cooks for the pupils at the community school as a volunteer.
She commended the teachers at the community school for being very helpful in providing reading materials and did not hesitate to state that she was determined to further her education with the support that she was getting from BIGOCA church.
She encouraged other women especially widows not to sit back and look down upon themselves but instead they should grab the opportunity such as this one to educate themselves because the learning process does not end regardless of age if one was to make meaning contribution to development in society.
“ Times are changing and a nation without educated people is a dead one. So I am encouraging my fellow mothers out there to take up the challenge and go back to school. It’s never too late ,’’ she laughed.
If the call for women’s emancipation has to be achieved, then the first step must start with mothers being educated so the step taken by the Matero mothers should be emulated.
|04-04-2006, 01:06 PM||#20|
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S.F. police shoot two on Treasure Island after chase
Cicero A. Estrella, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, April 3, 2006
San Francisco police shot and injured two people on Monday night following a high-speed chase that began in the Mission District and ended on Treasure Island.
The two people, who were inside their vehicle when they were shot, were taken to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries that were not life threatening, police Sgt. Neville Gittens said.
The vehicle's third occupant and two police officers were also transported to the hospital with injuries sustained from a head-on collision that occurred after the shooting.
The chase began at around 9:40 p.m. after plainclothes officers saw a person with a gun standing outside a vehicle at Mission and 18th streets. As the officers approached with their unmarked car, the suspect threw the gun inside the car, which was occupied by three people, and fled on foot.
The suspect vehicle fled the scene and police gave chase. The chase went onto the highway and the Bay Bridge before ending at Treasure Island, where the suspect car rammed a police car, Gittens said.
Officers opened fire after the police car was struck, Gittens said.
The suspect vehicle then hit a San Francisco County sheriff's van and wound up on the wrong side of the road, where it collided head-on with a second police car, Gittens said.
The two officers inside the second police car were injured in the crash, Gittens said.
Gittens said he did not know if police caught the suspect who fled on foot.
|04-04-2006, 01:24 PM||#21|
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The Bay Area is falling into the Ocean
Rain causing bad commutes, evacuations
Erin Allday, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Updated: 11:00 AM,
Tue Apr 04
City Sky Temp
Napa Lt Rain 51
Concord Lt Rain 52
Oklnd Arpt Lt Rain 54
SFO Lt Rain 53
Livermore Lt Rain 52
Hayward Rain 53
SJ Lt Rain 53
Monterey Rain 52
(04-04) 09:31 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Rain fell across the Bay Area today this morning, dowsing commuters and sending emergency crews scrambling to shore up slipping hillsides.
Meanwhile, Caltans this morning said the Devil's Slide section of Highway 1 will be closed for at least a week after several large boulders crashed to the road Monday night, further complicating repairs from two earlier slides that had buckled the pavement.
"We've got a new geotechnical issue to deal with now," Caltrans spokeswoman Lauren Wonder said. "We've got to get the slope stabilized above and below. We've got to make sure no more rocks come down the hill. I'm going to say at least a week."
Highway 1 has been closed between Pacifica and Montara since Sunday, when Caltrans crews began working on two spots of the highway where the foundation under the road was slipping away in the rain. The highway serves as a commute route for thousands of workers who live along the San Mateo County coast.
The National Weather Service is forecasting at times heavy rains today, with possible thunderstorms -- including pea-sized hail -- hitting San Francisco at about noon.
The rain should last on and off tonight and tomorrow before the Bay Area sees a short dry spell on Thursday. Yet another storm is expected Friday and through the weekend.
"We've seen the season's weather patterns lagging about four to five weeks this season," said weather service meteorologist Steve Anderson. "We may only have a couple weeks of spring before summer rolls in."
As rains continue to drench the area, mudslides are increasingly becoming a threat to homes and roads.
In addition to the Devil's Slide closure, the main road to Muir Woods National Monument is closed due to a slide that was first reported Sunday afternoon. National Park Service spokesman Michael Feinstein said he didn't expect Muir Woods Road near Panoramic Highway to open again for several days, and crews will be keeping an eye on the area for further sliding.
And in Broadmoor, an unincorporated hamlet near Daly City, emergency crews red-tagged one home still under construction Monday night after rains caused the hillside below it to slip away. Residents of four homes below the red-tagged house were evacuated.
At San Francisco International Airport this morning, flights are arriving up to an hour and 20 minutes behind schedule due to weather, but so far delays are minimal for outgoing flights, officials said.
The Bay Area has endured record-breaking weather the past month. San Francisco had 25 days of rain in March, breaking the previous record of 23 days set in 1904. Oakland, San Rafael and Santa Rosa also broke rainy-day records in March.
San Francisco also nearly broke the record last month for the rainiest March, with 8.74 inches of rain. The record of 9 inches was set in 1983.
Today, low temperatures are expected to be in the 40s to lower 50s, and southwest winds of 5 to 15 miles per hour are anticipated.
E-mail Erin Allday at email@example.com.
|04-04-2006, 01:32 PM||#22|
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Weather affects our mood
Mood down, weight up? Blame rain
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
The local weather report is turning into a Russian novel -- endless, dark and depressing. When a recent headline in our paper read, "Two More Weeks of Rain,'' the mood of the entire Bay Area sagged.
More rain? We can't take any more rain.
This isn't rain -- the sky has sprung a slow leak. We saw at least 22 lousy days in March -- some places saw 25 -- and April's been just as lousy.
Not only has all that rain canceled sporting events, ruined outdoor wedding plans and generally made it impossible to enjoy doing anything at all outdoors, it's turned nearly everyone cranky and irritable. I called Steve Schroeder, general manager of Harding Park Golf Course to see whether the regulars were getting grumpy.
"We don't have any grumpy golfers,'' Schroeder said.
Just as I suspected. True golfers will tee off in monsoons that would have ducks wearing life vests. I was about to tell Schroeder that it would take more than a little rain to stop dedicated hackers, when he continued, "We don't have any golfers at all.''
"I was born and bred on the Peninsula," he said Monday. "I've been in the area since 1960, and I have never seen anything like this. When I got here this morning, I was almost in shock. There are always a few cars in the parking lot, but today it was just employees. I thought, 'You know what? We ought to be closed today.' ''
Because, well, what's the point? We could probably go do something, slog through a few holes of golf or break out the tire chains and drive up into the mountains, but that would take so much effort. Maybe we'll just sit here, look out the window and sigh for a while.
"Oh my God,'' Oakland's Andy Hess said in an e-mail. "The weather is making me crazy and depressed and I want to drink too much. I'm not feeling cozy at all in my fleeces and blankets and dog. I'm just cold.''
We hear you, Andy. And not just here in the Bay Area. Spring has been put on hold across the country, from floods in the Midwest to tornadoes in Tennessee. Things aren't that bad around here, but it has been no day at the beach -- unless you want to wear your rain slicker while looking for seashells.
The locals are well aware of the long, wet run. Evie Groch of El Cerrito insists she's "becoming scaly and my fingers and toes are starting to web. I notice friends of mine are going stir-crazy as well.''
Well no wonder. This steady drip, drip, drip could give a Zen master cabin fever. And here's the real news: You know that little dip in your mood? It isn't just your imagination. The rain really is getting you down.
Dr. Michael Terman, director of the Winter Depression Program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, says there are psychological reasons for why sustained bad weather makes some people blue. He's been studying the phenomenon for 25 years and is a top expert in his field.
"To one degree or another,'' he says, "half of the population is affected by seasonal change.''
Three percent of the population will actually develop a major depressive disorder, Terman says. It's called "seasonal affective disorder," or SAD -- and boy isn't that an appropriate acronym. Although medical researchers scoffed at SAD at first, it has become a legitimate diagnosis in psychiatric circles.
Another 12 percent of the population will fight the winter doldrums, a general malaise that makes it hard to get anything done, encourages overeating and leaves people listless.
And then there is what Terman calls "the largest faction,'' the 35 percent of us who may gain five pounds during the winter and need an extra jolt of coffee to get our work done.
The culprit, Terman says, is a lack of sunlight. Our bodies are set up to calibrate our inner clock with a dose of morning sunshine.
"The brain needs this signal to be well,'' says Terman.
To keep SAD from making you sad, Terman recommends an early morning walk. Another option is light-source therapy, in which a patient is exposed to fluorescent light meant to simulate what you'd find during "a walk on the beach 40 minutes after sunrise,'' he said.
You say you aren't worried about rain on the brain? OK, how about your finances?
Two finance professors, David Hirshleifer of Ohio State and Tyler Shumway at the University of Michigan, studied 26 stock exchanges around the world in 2001. Studies have shown that suicide rates go down and tips for waiters go up on sunny days, so they wondered what effect sunshine had on stocks, Hirshleifer says.
"Our evidence suggests that when it is sunnier, the stock market will go up,'' Hirshleifer says. "In fact, on sunny days, the mean return is 25 percent. On overcast days, it is 9 percent.''
So, do we have to draw you a picture? We need some sun. But what are the chances?
"Well the 10-day outlook is very, very wet,'' says KTVU weatherman Steve Paulson. "But you know, things can turn in a day, and it can suddenly be bright and sunny.''
And what are the chances of that?
"We have nothing that shows that,'' Paulson says. "Zero.''
C.W. Nevius' column appears Tuesday and Saturday in the Bay Area section. His blog, C.W. Nevius.blog, runs daily on SFGate.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|04-04-2006, 01:37 PM||#23|
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Be weary of who watches your children
Nanny to be tried on 3 child-abuse counts
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
A nanny charged with child abuse after a baby in her care suffered a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage was ordered to stand trial Monday.
Judge Beth Labson Freeman ordered Minerva Rojas to stand trial for three felony child abuse counts at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in which a doctor testified that the 2 1/2-month-old boy's skull fracture was probably caused when the baby's head either hit or fell against something.
"Something struck the head, or the head struck something,'' said Dr. Christopher Stewart, who examined the baby at UCSF Medical Center last month. "It's beyond the force a normal caretaker would use."
Rojas, 28, faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted of all counts. She was arrested March 17, one day after the baby was rushed to the hospital from his family's Redwood Shores home.
Rojas' version of what happened changed several times, said Redwood City police Detective Mike Reynolds. But after Reynolds told Rojas that it appeared that she threw the baby to the ground, Rojas agreed and said she did it because she was frustrated, the detective testified.
The baby spent a week in the hospital and has been released. Stewart said doctors are hopeful that he will be OK.
|04-05-2006, 05:40 PM||#24|
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Hone Heke's treasures go home
By Jon Stokes
Tears and prayers marked the return of artefacts belonging to one of the country's most high-profile Maori warriors at Waitangi yesterday.
Around 200 people, including Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, attended the ceremony held at Waitangi's upper marae to welcome home 13 taonga of celebrated Ngapuhi warrior-chief Hone Heke.
Hone Heke was the first Maori chief to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, and was instrumental in persuading other northern chiefs to follow.
The artefacts, which include a greenstone mere of Ngapuhi chief Hongi Hika, an axe, taiaha and a hapu flag, have returned from a three-year exhibition that took in Wellington's Te Papa and the National Museum of Australia.
The artefacts are from the collection of Heke descendent David Rankin, who has loaned the items to the Waitangi Trust for a display dedicated to the Maori leader, made famous by actions which included chopping down the flagpole at former capital Kororareka (Russell) four times.
Mr Rankin said it was important that all New Zealanders were able to view the treasures.
"The trust is the safest place we can keep the taonga where they will be protected and looked after. We can no longer keep them hidden away under our beds. They have to come out. They belong to future generations to look at."
He said while Heke was most remembered for his acts of rebellion, there was more to the northern leader than warfare and defiance. He said the artefacts and their history would help detail Heke's history and exploits.
Labour MP and Ngapuhi elder Dover Samuels said Heke was an important figure in the country's history.
"For many he is known as a madman who cut down the flagpole. That was just a part of his expression of disappointment with and disapproval of the effects of colonisation. He was a father, a husband, and a visionary leader of his people."
Waitangi Trust board member and NZ First MP Pita Paraone said it was appropriate the artefacts returned to Waitangi and would become part of the Waitangi Trust collection.
"These taonga have been on a world stage, and have now returned home."
He said details of where the artefacts would be housed and when they would be displayed were yet to be finalised.
Dr Paul Moon, Maori development lecturer at AUT and author of Hone Heke: Ngapuhi Warrior, said Heke remained one of the best-known Maori leaders throughout the country.
He said he was a gifted leader, who was a master of playing off one enemy against another, increasing his mana in a time of near civil war within Ngapuhi, and growing discontent with the encroachment of Pakeha settlers.
"Heke was one of the only people who waged war against the British Empire in the 19th century to go unpunished."
Dr Moon said the Matarahurahu sub-tribe member was also renowned for his defiance, demonstrated in his response to a £100 reward being placed on his head by the then-Governor Fitzroy.
"Heke issued his own bounty of 10 pounds for the head of Governor Fitzroy, saying he was just a tenth of the man Heke was."
|04-05-2006, 05:45 PM||#25|
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Government acts to close border loopholes
By Angela Gregory
The Government is looking at tough new immigration rules that will make it harder to get into New Zealand and easier to kick people out.
Border inspection tools such as fingerprinting or eye scanning are among the proposals. Immigration officers may get greater powers to find and detain suspect visitors.
People who have been removed from other countries or who are considered a serious threat to public safety may be automatically expelled.
Immigration Minister David Cunliffe yesterday outlined suggested changes to the Immigration Act 1987 which are being put out for public discussion.
Mr Cunliffe said it was part of a review of the immigration system to ensure New Zealand attracted skilled workers, had secure borders, and that migrants settled well here. He said the objectives were in the national interest and he hoped the "political football" of immigration could finally be punctured.
The 257-page Immigration Act Review Discussion Paper aimed to speed up and simplify systems by replacing various entry permits with visas and by combining all immigration appeal authorities into one body.
Potentially controversial suggestions included the increased use and storage of types of "biometric information" to crack down on identity fraud.
People entering New Zealand could be subject to fingerprinting, as is done in the United States, or even iris scanning. Limited voluntary DNA sampling was also a possibility.
Mr Cunliffe said many people lodged multiple immigration claims using different identities. Also, terrorists and criminals were becoming more sophisticated and New Zealand had to "have the jump ahead".
Greater powers were proposed for immigration officers, enabling them to detain people, in the absence of a police officer, and to verify and source information.
It was suggested in a "preferred option" that officers acquired the same powers of entry and search as police and customs to serve removal orders or enter and search aircraft or ships.
The delegation of ministerial powers to senior immigration officials to make exceptions to residence policy was also flagged.
A new system could strengthen the case for the automatic expulsion of people with criminal convictions, previous expulsions from other countries, or who were deemed to be a threat to public safety.
A single procedure for determining refugee status with just one right of appeal (any further challenge only available on points of law) was suggested.
Mr Cunliffe acknowledged the need for a balance between "good expeditious decision making" and the rights of individuals.
But he said in too many cases asylum seekers were buying time by relodging claims "on the way to the airport".
The discussion paper also raised the prospect of allowing classified information to be used in any immigration matter without it being released to the applicant.
Immigration and refugee lawyer Deborah Manning said such a move would "increase uncertainty and litigation".
National's immigration spokesman Dr Lockwood Smith said the review was "fantastically underwhelming".
Foreign Affairs Minister and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the review formed an important part of his party's confidence and supply agreement with the Government.
"There is some irony in the fact that for some years now New Zealand First alone has front-footed this issue, copping flak from every quarter for doing so," he said. "At least it has resulted in concrete action."
Green Party MP Keith Locke said the review signalled an unfortunate extension of powers or arrest and detention, and intrusive surveillance, which would intrude on migrants' rights.
|04-06-2006, 04:14 AM||#26|
ZIM High Court Orders MDC Faction To Return Seized Car
THE High Court has ordered the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC faction to return a Nissan Hardbody pick-up truck it unlawfully seized from a member of the Arthur Mutambara-led camp recently.
Justice Alphas Chitakunye granted the provisional order yesterday and ruled that the vehicle, registration number AAB7931, be returned to Mr Michael Mukashi, the acting director of programmes in the Mutambara faction. The vehicle was seized from him in Harare last month following clashes between the two MDC factions over the party’s name, symbol and assets. The deputy spokesperson for the Mutambara faction, Mr Morgan Changamire, said the vehicle had been seized by the Tsvangirai group youth militia led by one Barnabas Ndira. "Barnabas Ndira revealed that he was under instruction from the Tsvangirai group’s top leadership to seize all movable assets that were under the possession of the rival MDC faction," he said. He also said the Tsvangirai faction should comply with the High Court order and return the vehicle forthwith. Mr Changamire also lashed out at the Tsvangirai faction for using unorthodox means to achieve political support. "We are not surprised by Ndira’s disclosures and as stated in our previous Press statements these acts of criminality and lawlessness are committed under the direction, knowledge and tacit support of the Tsvangirai group’s top leadership. "We reiterate our demand to the Tsvangirai group to desist from violence and lawlessness," Mr Changamire said. Tsvangirai’s camp denies allegations that it is violent. Deputy secretary for legal affairs in the faction, Mrs Jessie Majome, confirmed the High Court order but distanced their camp from the acrimony. "Yes, I appeared on behalf of Barnabas (Ndira). It is true but the MDC is not cited in the case. "The matter was between my client (Ndira) and one (Mr) Michael Mukashi who was claiming to be the MDC acting director of programmes," she said. Another official from the Mutambara faction also had his vehicle seized by rowdy supporters believed to be from the rival faction. The official, whose name was not disclosed, lost the vehicle at the same time that Mr Mukashi’s car was also seized. According to the Mutambara faction, the move to confiscate the vehicles was a well-orchestrated plan by the Tsvangirai camp to try to weaken the rival faction. The Tsvangirai faction has also been accused of disrupting rallies, intimidation of rivals and seizure of the party’s property. However, the Tsvangirai faction has dismissed the allegations as false and calculated to draw people’s attention. The faction, which distanced itself from such acts of violence and barbaric behaviour, said it was focused on tackling national issues and accused the Mutambara faction of lying to the country and using the media to get publicity. It further added that it was peaceful and allegations by the Mutambara faction were a desperate attempt to camouflage their own criminal activities.
|04-06-2006, 04:19 AM||#27|
Biotechnology Authority Bill Sails Through House ( Zim )
THE National Biotechnology Authority Bill, which seeks to establish a body responsible for managing the import, research, development and production of biotechnology, has sailed through the House of Assembly without amendments.
The proposed law was passed on Tuesday with the consent of both the Zanu-PF and MDC lawmakers. In her second reading speech, Minister of Science and Technology Development Dr Olivia Muchena said biotechnology had the potential of greatly contributing to economic development, particularly in the agricultural and health sectors. "Zimbabwe has not positioned itself to benefit from biotechnology that can be applied in the agricultural and health sectors and production of bio-diesel," she said. The minister said the rapid economic development in some Asian countries such as Malaysia and China had been attributed to biotechnology advancement. Dr Muchena, however, said there were some challenges associated with biotechnology and that included importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and bio-terrorism. This, she said, called for the application of biotechnology in a safe manner hence the need for a comprehensive framework for addressing bio-safety. Contributing to the debate, chairperson of the portfolio committee on Education, Sport and Culture Mr Fidelis Mhashu, who is also Chitungwiza MP (MDC), said the Bill was long overdue. He said a portion of the Gross Domestic Product should be channelled towards research in biotechnology. The legislator said human cloning and bio-terrorism posed a challenge in the application of biotechnology and there was need for an ethics committee to monitor such issues. In response, Dr Muchena said according to the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), it was a requirement that a bio-ethics committee should be established and the ministry had written to the Research Council of Zimbabwe about the setting up of such a committee. She said a biotechnology fund would be established for the purposes of promoting research in that field. The Bill provides for the imposition of levies on biotechnology producers, processors and consumers for the benefit of the fund.
|04-06-2006, 04:22 AM||#28|
Put Rural Women First (Zambia)
MMD women in Kitwe have urged Minister for Women Affairs, Rosemary Banda, to prioritise issues of women in rural areas.
MMD Kitwe district women treasurer, Ester Muchaile, said in an interview yesterday that women expected more development in the lives of rural women after the creation of the ministry to specifically deal with their affairs.
Ms Muchaile said lives of rural women needed to be uplifted as most of them lived in abject poverty.
She was happy with the new ministry, which she said had shown how much President Mwanawasa recognised women in his Government.
|04-06-2006, 04:26 AM||#29|
Only Trade Justice Can Reduce Poverty (Zambia)
ZAMBIA and several other developing countries are today struggling with the imposed policies of free trade which have greatly contributed to the rising levels of poverty among their citizens.
But the answer to improving the general livelihood of the people lies in trade justice instead of free trade.
Trade justice is all about giving poor people and countries the chance to work their own way out of poverty, giving farmers the chance to earn enough to feed their families and to send their children to school.
It is also about allowing industries to develop as well as creating jobs and opportunities.
Instead of trade justice, free trade is being forced on developing countries like Zambia. This free trade is what is hurting poor people. It is not helping them at all and it is undermining democracy by denying poor people, especially from the grassroots, a greater say in decisions that affect their lives.
One would ask what free trade is? It is the type of trading within and between the countries that is free from Government intervention.
That is, there are no incentives for producers and no barriers to trade.
Removing this support and protection is devastating for poor farmers and industries, making it harder for the poorest to work their way out of poverty.
The rich countries argue that moving towards free trade is the best way out of poverty for poor countries. But the only sure way to overcoming poverty for the poor people is through trade justice.
Trade justice is the best chance for poor countries to combat poverty. It would give developing countries the flexibility to choose trade policies that will help promote development and lift the poorest out of poverty.
Liberalisation on the other hand, as a gradual removal of Government intervention in markets, is another form of injustice, which forces poor countries into abject poverty. A country can liberalise its trade policies by stopping Government help – by ending subsidies and support for local producers, opening markets by removing barriers that limit the amount of imports into the country and privatising services such as water, health, education and transport.
Stopping Government support for local producers will threaten the country’s food security and productivity. Opening up of our markets will result into Zambia becoming a dumping ground for goods and services that we can provide for ourselves.
On the other hand, privatising of services such as water, health, education and transport will be a clear violation of basic human rights.
What Zambia and other developing countries need in a world that is quickly turning to liberalisation are strong and concrete policies that protect and support their economies and not imposed free trade and liberalisation.
Inappropriate liberalisation threatens the livelihoods of millions of farmers and traders in the developing world. But what is truly unjust is that liberalisation denies the governments of poor countries the right to choose policies that rich countries themselves used to develop their own economies.
Poor countries need policies that will limit unfair competition by reducing cheaper imports and requiring companies to use local products instead of those from abroad, helping small-scale industries and poor farmers by favouring local companies when giving out contracts, providing producers with the services they need (for example, seed, fertiliser and marketing) and offering preferential credit or tax incentives and making sure investment by business benefits poor people by regulating the activities of large transactional companies.
If these measures were good enough for the rich north to develop their economies, then, they should be good enough for the developing countries as well!
|04-06-2006, 11:54 AM||#30|
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Grease is a sticky subject for students
By Kevin Butler, Staff writer
Grease is the word and the controversy at Artesia High School.
Some students and parents have expressed dismay that Principal Sergio Garcia decided to grease the school fence during last week's walk-outs in an effort to deter students from leaving campus, according to officials with the ABC Unified School District. Grease also has been used to identify people climbing fences to enter school grounds.
The district believes that the principal acted within his scope of authority, but is re-evaluating the use of grease, said Deputy Superintendent Mary Sieu.
Thousands of students in area school districts including about 300 students at Artesia High School on March 27 skipped classes last week in protest of proposed federal legislation that would crack down on illegal immigration.
"I think that at that time, (Garcia) was trying to hold off any other students" from leaving the campus for unsafe areas, such as freeways, Sieu said.
Some parents and students at a meeting Tuesday of the ABC Board of Education voiced concerns about the decision, while others said they understood the school's reasoning, Sieu said.
Sylvia Gooden, a parent at the school, said that before last week, she had not heard of any school applying grease to fences. Gooden said that many students' hands and clothing were coated with grease.
"I just don't think it's appropriate," she said.
This is not the first time that the school has applied the truck wheel-bearing grease to fences, according to Kathy Frazier, ABC director of schools and the designated spokeswoman for the district. The grease appears to be clear on the fence, but becomes black when it comes into contact with clothing, she said.
The school decided to apply the grease after Artesia High School student Jajuan Jefferson was shot to death in Lakewood on March 11 by assailants chasing him in a car. During the resulting community tension,
the school heard rumors that some unauthorized people were planning to come onto campus to stir up trouble, Sieu said.
The grease was applied the next week to a portion of the fence in order to identify any persons who attempted to jump the barrier, Frazier said. Those people also could leave fingerprints in the grease that law enforcement might inspect, Sieu said.
The grease application, which had been announced to students, helped the school identify four people outside trying to jump the fence to get onto campus, said Frazier.
"The (school) administration also decided to use the same tactic during the actual day of the walk-out," Sieu said.
On March 27, the majority of the protesting students scaled a part of the fence that the school had not greased during the previous application, Frazier said.
The next day, Garcia had custodians and student helpers apply the grease to a larger area of the fence, Frazier said. He did so because of the rain and because he feared that unauthorized people would enter campus, she added.
That same day, the school told students about the grease, and sent an automated voice message to parents' phones, she said. Fewer Artesia High School students skipped class March 28, and most of those who did so gathered at a park across the street before school started, Frazier said.
Frazier said the district has not confirmed any student injuries at the school as a result of the grease.