Credit union CEO pleads guilty to stealing $1 million

first_imgA former president/CEO of the merged Winchester Community Federal Credit Union in Winchester, Va. will be sentenced in April 2016 after pleading guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to embezzling more than $1 million to pay credit card bills and buy real estate.Donna L. Jennings, 44, of Winchester admitted that she raided teller cash drawers, created fake loans, made unauthorized financial transactions, posted false entries in WCFCU’s accounting records and lied to NCUA examiners, according to court documents. continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img

Ithaca police provide tips amid rise in burglaries

first_img“Consider installing motion-sensor lighting around your house and/or business so that criminal actions are less likely to be concealed at nighttime.Lock your doors when you are away, at night, and when you are asleep.Consider investing in home security systems and/or cameras to monitor activity around your house or business.Trim shrubs and bushes that could provide concealment for a potential burglar.Evaluate the security of your home or business; if you can easily enter through a window or nonsecurable door, then so can a burglar. Take appropriate steps to correct that situation.When you are away, consider placing lights on timers to give the appearance that you are home.Be cautious about posting on social media when you are away and/or at an event. If you post about where you are, it can be assumed that you are not at home.Do not leave items of value outside your home that can easily be removed (bikes, tools, etc.)If you are going away for an extended period, ask the post office to hold your mail and/or have a neighbor pick up newspapers so that it does not appear that you are away. Also, ask someone to cut your grass and or shovel your walkway in the winter.Coordinate with a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your house or business when you are away and similarly all suspicious activity should be reported to the police.” ITHACA, N.Y. (WBNG) — The City of Ithaca Police Department is notifying residents of ways to ensure their safety amid an increase in burglaries over the last month. Ithaca Police provided these tips, saying they hopefully will minimize additional burglary occurrences and remind residents of prevention methods. last_img read more

Pandemic an opportunity for reforms in Indonesia: Sri Mulyani

first_imgIndonesia is aiming to capitalize on the coronavirus crisis to roll out sweeping reforms in education, health care and social safety nets, says Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, calling the pandemic a “short-term challenge” to the country’s vision.Sri Mulyani told The Jakarta Post in a live broadcast interview on Wednesday that proper education, health care and social safety systems were required to develop a strong future generation, and that human capital was central to development progress.“For a country to become a great country – [since] there is no great country without great people – is always [a] human-centered [task],” Sri Mulyani said during the Post webinar series Jakpost Up Close: “Reimagining the future of Indonesia’s economy”. After his reelection, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo rolled out the Golden Indonesia 2045 vision, which envisions Indonesia as a developed country with Rp 270 million in annual per-capita income. Then, the pandemic hit, forcing the government to redirect funds into COVID-19 containment measures.“We will use all of our policy instruments to face this short-term challenge without losing sight of what is really important, such as human capital, infrastructure, an efficient bureaucracy and the ease of doing business,” said the finance minister.Read also: Indonesia aims for structural reforms as pandemic poses ‘short-term challenge’ to economyWorld Bank lead economist for Indonesia Frederico Gil Sander said the country would indeed need to invest more in its social protection and healthcare systems to address future shocks. Despite years of progress in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, he went on to say, more investment would also be needed in health care and infrastructure. “Going forward, having a robust social protection system will help Indonesia address a lot of shocks, such as natural disasters or a future pandemic,” Gil Sander said. Millions are at risk of losing jobs and falling into poverty as the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to shave growth to near zero percent, the government has estimated.The government, he added, would need to raise tax revenue to pay for the much-needed investments, otherwise it may hurt the country’s competitiveness.“As the economy recovers, it will be important to have a roadmap of how Indonesia can raise more revenue […] to sustainably pay for these important expenditures,” Gil Sander said.Former finance minister Chatib Basri also said that the government would need to spend stimulus funds for social aid more quickly, adding that that would boost household demand, which was needed to revive the economy.Read also: Indonesian urban consumers more optimistic than global peers: Survey“The only spending that can achieve quite a significant level of absorption is social aid, not tax incentives,” he said during the same webinar, adding that the government should be more “pragmatic by allocating funding in which the government could spend the money”.“The government should focus on cash transfers and extend it to the middle class” rather than maintaining the current tax incentives, he went on to say. “If there is no economic activity and companies are running losses, they don’t pay tax anyway.”The government has only spent Rp 151.25 trillion (US$10.23 billion) of its stimulus budget totaling Rp 695.2 trillion, according to data from the Finance Ministry as of Aug. 6, five months after the outbreak began in Indonesia.President Jokowi has asked to pour out the money through the economy, but “pouring it out isn’t just like flushing it down the toilet. You really have to spend [the money], and somebody is going to audit you,” Sri Mulyani said, referring to the role of the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK).Read also: Indonesia looking at near-zero growth as govt struggles to spend budget, Sri Mulyani saysThe finance minister said a lack of population data and red tape were among the main factors holding up budget fund disbursement, adding that several new ministers were finding it hard to reprioritize and cut their budget allocations amid the ongoing crisis.“The current budget priority is not to increase output but for survival,” said a special advisor to the finance minister, Masyita Cristallin, during the webinar, adding that the government was planning to expand the country’s tax base and undertake structural reforms.“We are looking at different solutions, such as changing the tax rate on some regressive tax, so that tax may become progressive […]. This can stimulate the economy and be good for equality,” she said. “The government is undertaking reforms to develop downstream industries and increase the value [of products]. This may also improve revenue collection.”Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) vice chairwoman Shinta Widjaja Kamdani said structural reforms, including those formulated in the omnibus bill on job creation, would create much-needed jobs in the country.“We can’t create enough jobs at the moment, so this is why the omnibus bill plays a very important role to create jobs by driving investment into the country,” she said, adding that attracting investment would need a government that could cut red tape.For the private sector, the pandemic has shed light on the future of Indonesia’s economy, in which technology will play an important element, said Shinta and other representatives of the private sector in the webinar, Sequoia Capital (India) managing director Abheek Anand, Prudential Indonesia president director Jens Reisch and OVO president director Karaniya Dharmasaputra.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Gov. Wolf: Health Secretary Signs Order Providing Worker Safety Measures to Combat COVID-19

first_img Press Release,  Public Health Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Dr. Rachel Levine, under her authority as Secretary of the Department of Health to take any disease control measure appropriate to protect the public from the spread of infectious disease, signed an order directing protections for critical workers who are employed at businesses that are authorized to maintain in-person operations during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.“This order provides critical protections for the workers needed to run and operate these life-sustaining establishments,” Governor Wolf said. “Businesses across the state have already begun to implement many of these protocols on their own, and we applaud their efforts to protect employees and customers.”“This order will ensure continuity across all life-sustaining businesses and will further our efforts to protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians,” Dr. Levine said. “Together, we can all help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”The order establishes protocols to help employees maintain a social distance during work:Provide masks for employees to wear during their time at the business, and make it a mandatory requirement while at the work site, except to the extent an employee is using break time to eat or drink, in accordance with the guidance from the Department of Health and the CDC. Employers may approve masks obtained or made by employees in accordance with this guidance;Stagger work start and stop times for employees when practical to prevent gatherings of large groups entering or leaving the premises at the same time;Provide sufficient space for employees to have breaks and meals while maintaining a social distance of 6 feet, including limiting the number of employees in common areas and setting up seating to have employees facing forward and not across from each other;Conduct meetings and training virtually. If a meeting must be held in person, limit the meeting to the fewest number of employees possible, not to exceed 10 employees at one time and maintain a social distance of 6 feet.Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of employees to perform all measures listed effectively and in a manner that ensures the safety of the public and employees;Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of personnel to control access, maintain order, and enforce social distancing of at least 6 feet;Prohibit non-essential visitors from entering the premises of the business; andEnsure that all employees who do not speak English as their first language are aware of procedures by communicating the procedures, either orally or in writing, in their native or preferred language.Upon discovery of an exposure to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, businesses are also ordered to implement temperature screenings before employees enter the business prior to the start of work and send any employee home who has an elevated temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with the health care providers and state and local health departments. Employers are encouraged to implement liberal paid time off for employees who are on home isolation.Upon an exposure, businesses are also ordered to do the following:Close off and ventilate areas visited by that individual;Wait a minimum of 24 hours, or as long as practical, before beginning cleaning and disinfection;Clean and disinfect all spaces, especially commonly used rooms and shared electronic equipment;Identify and notify employees who were in close contact with that individual (within about 6 feet for about 10 minutes); andEnsure that the business has a sufficient number of employees to perform these protocols effectively and immediately.In addition to the social distancing, mitigation and cleaning protocols, businesses that serve the public within a building or defined area are ordered to implement the following, based on the size of the building and number of employees:Require all customers to wear masks while on premises, and deny entry to individuals not wearing masks, unless the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business must provide alternative methods of pick-up or delivery of goods, except individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition (including children the age of 2 years) may enter the premises without having to provide medical documentation;Conduct business with the public by appointment only and, to the extent that this is not feasible, limit occupancy to no greater than 50 percent of the number stated on their certificate of occupancy as necessary to reduce crowding in the business and at check-out and counter lines in order to maintain a social distance of 6 feet, and place signage throughout each site to mandate social distancing for both customers and employees;Alter hours of business so that the business has sufficient time to clean or to restock or both;Install shields or other barriers at registers and check-out areas to physically separate cashiers and customers or take other measures to ensure social distancing of customers from check-out personnel, or close lines to maintain a social distance between of 6 feet between lines;Encourage use of online ordering by providing delivery or outside pick-up;Designate a specific time for high-risk and elderly persons to use the business at least once every week if there is a continuing in-person customer-facing component;In businesses with multiple check-out lines, only use every other register, or fewer. After every hour, rotate customers and employees to the previously closed registers. Clean the previously open registers and the surrounding area, including credit card machines, following each rotation;Schedule handwashing breaks for employees at least every hour; andWhere carts and handbaskets are available, assign an employee to wipe down carts and handbaskets before they become available to a new customer.Failure to comply with these requirements will result in enforcement action that could include citations, fines, or license suspensions. Compliance with the order will be enforced beginning Sunday, April 19 at 8:00 PM.The governor has directed the following state agencies and local officials to enforce orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic to the full extent of the law:Pennsylvania Liquor Control BoardDepartment of HealthDepartment of AgricultureDepartment of Labor and IndustryPennsylvania State PoliceLocal officials, using their resources to enforce closure orders within their jurisdictions“It is vital that we require businesses to practice these common-sense and scientifically proven safety protocols for the protection of workers and the public at-large. And that is what this order does,” said state Senator Tina Tartaglione, Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee. “Many of the measures included in this order were part of legislation that I proposed. I applaud this swift action by Secretary Levine and Governor Wolf to implement these much needed protocols.”This order follows another order by Dr. Levine providing direction for maintaining and cleaning buildings for businesses authorized to maintain in-person operations under her and Governor Tom Wolf’s life-sustaining business orders announced March 19.Governor Tom Wolf also recommends that Pennsylvanians wear a mask any time they leave their homes for life-sustaining reasons.View Secretary Levine’s order as a PDF here or on Scribd.For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.View this information in Spanish. Gov. Wolf: Health Secretary Signs Order Providing Worker Safety Measures to Combat COVID-19 April 15, 2020center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Will the United Nations’ legacy in Haiti be all about scandal?

first_imgNewsRegional Will the United Nations’ legacy in Haiti be all about scandal? by: – June 15, 2012 Sharing is caring! Share 42 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img Share UN troops in Haiti. Photo credit:un.orgWhen the United Nations deployed peacekeepers to Haiti in 2004, its troops were charged with restoring order following the tumultuous departure of then-president Jean Bertrand Aristide. Their presence brought a much-needed calm after months of violence and political unrest. In the years that followed, they provided security for two democratic elections and, after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, pitched in with recovery and reconstruction efforts.But that’s not the only legacy MINUSTAH, as the peacekeeping mission is referred to here, has created. Once popular, the UN mission now is viewed by many as a poor use of money and an unnecessary presence – a result in part of numerous scandals that have rocked the mission in recent years. From accusations of sexual abuse of two boys, ages 14 and 18, to the deadly cholera epidemic, peacekeepers are being blamed for impeding the path to a sustainable state.“[MINUSTAH] came to help us,” says Arsene Dieujuste, a lawyer representing the 14-year-old boy. “But they ended up violating our human rights. Someone has to make this as right as possible, even though it will never be right again.”‘WHAT HAPPENED IS YING AND YANG’When MINUSTAH set up in Haiti in 2004, the peacekeepers tackled rogue officers from the defunct military and secured access to parts of the capital that had been off limits due to gang monopolies. When successive storms left thousands homeless in 2007 and 2008, the mission responded by delivering tangible goods and services to people and the government of Haiti. This was also true after the 2010 earthquake, which took the lives of over 200,000 people, including 96 UN peacekeepers.“MINUSTAH came in and did the job that was asked, which was restore stability into the country,” said Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. “The initial mission has been achieved. We’ve now adjusted the scope of the work to different infrastructure development projects – road maintenance, bridges, clearing of canals, and assisting in strengthening the police.”Despite their accomplishments, the UN spokesperson in Haiti, Silvie Van den Wildenberg, says she can’t mention the mission without someone asking her about cholera or the cases of abuse.In Uruguay, four marines are currently on trial for sexually abusing an 18-year-old Haitian boy last year while they were posted in Port Salud. The teenager and his family were forced to leave their seaside home after the incident went viral on the Internet. It had been captured on a mobile phone by the Uruguayan peacekeepers themselves.Earlier this year, three Pakistani peacekeepers were found guilty of raping a mentally challenged 14-year-old boy in the western town of Gonaives. The boy is now a ward of the state. A man accused of helping the Pakistanis cover up their involvement is also in prison. Two other cases of sexual abuse by MINUSTAH peacekeepers are pending.Finally, unrelated to cases of sexual abuse but perhaps most damaging to MINUSTAH’s reputation has been the death of more than 7,000 people from cholera, and the infection of half a million others nationwide. The virus was linked to Nepalese peacekeepers who were not tested for the virus, though it is widespread in the area from which they originated. Mismanagement of their human waste is thought to have contaminated the water and soil in an area known as Haiti’s breadbasket, just a few hours from the capital.Throughout the country, graffiti slurring the forces is as prominent as the troops’ trademark blue helmets. A parliamentary recently referred to the mission as a “fish bone stuck in our throats.” Ms. Van den Wildenberg, the UN spokesman, says the damage these cases have done to MINUSTAH is irreparable.“What happened is ying and yang,” says Van den Wildenberg. “It is the opposite of why we are here, to defend the highest values and ideals and this is killing our credibility worldwide…. We will always wear the scar.” She says MINUSTAH and the UN are very sorry for what happened but their apologies are “not being heard anymore.”‘MORE THAN AN APOLOGY’Many victims are looking for more than an apology, though. A Haitian public interest law firm – supported by a nonprofit organization and law firms in the US – is claiming on behalf of 5,000 cholera victims that MINUSTAH is liable for hundreds of millions of dollars for failing to adequately screen and treat peacekeeping soldiers arriving from countries experiencing cholera epidemics; dumping untreated wastes from a UN base directly into a tributary of Haiti’s longest and most important river, the Artibonite, and failing to adequately respond to the epidemic.Ruth Wedgewood, a former UN Human Rights Commission member, doesn’t think the UN will ever pay the $700 million requested in damages, but, she says, the UN should protect the rest of the population from what is now an endemic disease.“At the very least they should require medical records for all peacekeepers,” says Wedgewood, who serves as the director of the International Law and Organizations Program at John Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. “We don’t want someone with a contagious disease to enter a different biosphere and start an epidemic.” No one contacted at the UN would comment on the cholera lawsuit, saying only that its legal counsel was reviewing the claim and that an independent panel concluded it was not possible to determine the cause of the outbreak. This contradicts claims by five scientific studies, more than a dozen scientists, and a statement by former President Bill Clinton indicting the Nepalese as the source of the virus. Legal firms representing the two victims of sexual abuse are also asking for compensation. Mr. Dieujuste, whose firm represents the Gonaives youth, is outraged by what he says is the stonewalling – local UN officials here have told him that the situation is with the legal department in New York. He’s heard nothing for the past two months, Dieujuste says. “It’s unacceptable.” He is asking for $5 million for his client. CHALLENGES TO ACCOUNTABILITYPart of the challenge of peacekeeping missions is holding accountable peacekeepers from any of the United Nations’ 193 member states.Troops receive pre-deployment UN training on a code of conduct the moment they join a peacekeeping mission, but, as UN public affairs officer Anayansi Lopez says, “It’s complicated because they rotate every six months and a couple of trainings are not going to make a big impact.”The military unit of MINUSTAH – about 7,300 troops – originates from 16 countries; 48 countries contribute to the 1,156 UN police unit in Haiti as well. Once the troops arrive in country, officers and noncommissioned officers receive a three-day “train the trainer” induction. They are given materials to distribute to the rest of the contingents, but there appears to be no enforcement to ensure that these trainings take place, and ultimately, member states’ army units are accountable only to the country that sends them, not to the UN.The motivation for many countries to contribute peacekeeping troops is financial, says Martin Aguirre, editor at the Uruguayan daily newspaper, El Pais, which has been covering the peacekeepers’ trials there since the accusations began. “Uruguay has little money for its military and … it’s a way for the military to make some extra income.”Phyllis Bennis, author of “Calling the Shots, How Washington Dominates the UN,” says the challenge with peacekeeping troops is the same problem that exists between the Security Council and the General Assembly – a contradiction between power and democracy. “The UN has no authority over those perpetrators,” says Ms. Bennis, who works at the Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C. “You can ask the leadership to bring that person home and hope they are taken to trial, but there’s no way to enforce that.”The numbers of cases of sexual exploitation and abuse are posted on the UN website. Only 25 have been registered for all peacekeeping missions this year, down significantly from the 127 recorded in 2007 when the database collection began. MINUSTAH has consistently ranked third in violations, following Congo and Liberia, respectively. But the data does not include the more than 100 Sri Lankan troops expelled in 2007 on suspicion of sexual exploitation of Haitian women and girls.No information about what happened to those Sri Lankan peacekeepers was ever made public by either the UN or Sri Lanka. Member states are not required to divulge the outcome of their internal inquiries.ZERO TOLERANCEThe very lack of accountability for member states who contribute troops to peacekeeping missions, however, is what makes the decisions by Uruguay and Pakistan to charge the offenders from their countries so significant. If anything good comes from these scandals, it is perhaps that these countries are enforcing a zero tolerance policy, says one UN employee who asked not to be named for reasons of job security.“[T]he government [in Uruguay] has been very open and strict with this issue,” says Mr. Aguirre. “Uruguay may not see this trail as groundbreaking, but … it could be seen that way from a global perspective.”Yahoo News Tweetlast_img read more