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Several things to watch as a busy NBA offseason begins

first_imgDave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations LATEST STORIES Texas’ Mohamed Bamba makes his case with Suns Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Dwyane Wade has been talking about retirement, and there’s been no indication yet if he’s anywhere near a decision. Miami is in a tough situation on the cash front — Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, Goran Dragic and James Johnson will make nearly $78 million themselves next season — and the Heat wants to find a way to keep Wayne Ellington. What will Wade do? And if he stays, how much can the Heat pay him? Or do they make big trades and add some star power?THE KNICKSTwo questions for the Knicks to figure out: Will they allow David Fizdale the time he needs to build the team he wants? And what will they do with Kristaps Porzingis this season? Give Fizdale time, and he’ll win in New York. But rushing Porzingis back off ACL surgery could be a most unnecessary risk for a team that isn’t going to contend next season anyway.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water recedingcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours COACHESThe vacancies in Detroit and Toronto should be filled soon. The Pistons might be best-served to hire Dwane Casey, who led the Raptors to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference this season. This is a crucial hire for the Raptors, since whoever will be calling the shots next season will have a team that should be good enough to contend for the East title.THE DRAFTArizona center Deandre Ayton will likely go No. 1 to Phoenix, which makes sense on a lot of levels. The intrigue really starts there. Does Vlade Divac use the No. 2 overall pick and bring Luka Doncic, the young Slovenian who has been talked about as a can’t-miss NBA star for some time, to Sacramento? What does Atlanta do at No. 3? Inevitably, someone will move up on draft night and that probably means an established player (or players) will be on the move.GAMBLINGADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James smiles during a news conference following Game 4 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, early Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Cleveland. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 108-85 to sweep the series and take the title. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)CLEVELAND — The NBA offseason has arrived, which means nothing will happen for the next four months other than a draft, three summer leagues, free agency, the creation of a new schedule, coaching hires, trades, roster reworkings and possibly movement toward letting high school graduates jump directly into the league again.It all adds up to very little downtime.ADVERTISEMENT There is no shortage of questions about what will happen this summer — leading off, of course, with yet another decision to be made by LeBron James about his future and where he’ll play next season as he resumes his quest for more championships.Here are some non-James topics heading into the offseason:FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownKAWHI LEONARDThe mystery of the 2017-18 NBA season is the mystery of the offseason as well. Leonard played in only nine games for the Spurs this season while dealing with a leg injury, the specifics of which are a closely guarded secret even by San Antonio’s notoriously tight-lipped standards. He could get a supermax deal, he could get traded, he might still be hurt. But the Spurs — and the league — need answers, because he can change a lot of directions in a hurry. The Supreme Court ruling already has bets on games being placed in Delaware, and more states will be following suit soon. Expect the NBA to continue pushing for 1 percent of the action, which the league says is needed in part to cover what will be its new costs as far as protecting the integrity of the game and the players. It’s also unclear if injury reports will have to be more specialized in a betting world. Wouldn’t bettors have liked knowing LeBron James had a badly injured — he says broken — hand in Games 2, 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals?OFFICIATINGThe NBA knows fans, players and coaches aren’t thrilled with the level of officiating in the league right now. This will absolutely be a big topic — maybe the primary topic — when the board of governors meet in Las Vegas next month. Also, there will be a challenge-flag-type item tinkered with during summer league games; it won’t be a red cloth like in the NFL, but the concept will be the same as the league studies whether something like that should be added.THE LAKERSMagic Johnson and Rob Pelinka should have about $62 million in cap space to go shopping with when free agency opens July 1 — including for James, meaning the Lakers could get transformed and become a playoff team again in a hurry. Expect them to use the No. 25 pick in the draft on a 3-point shooter, since no team can surround James with enough of those.CHRIS PAUL AND PAUL GEORGEAgain, like so many other topics, the futures of Chris Paul and Paul George will probably have some impact on whatever James decides to do this summer — or vice versa. Paul wants a max contract, and if his hamstring didn’t pop late in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals he and the Houston Rockets may very well have been in the NBA Finals. George seemed to be hinting that he could stay in Oklahoma City, but is a Los Angeles native. It seems likely that either, or both, would try to align with James — but how?THE PELICANSYes, the Pelicans. West semifinalists this season, New Orleans needs to decide what it wants to do with DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo. The Pelicans have already given coach Alvin Gentry an extension , and keeping either Cousins or Rondo — or both — to play alongside Anthony Davis might make New Orleans a sleeper pick in the West next season. Question is, will Cousins be full-go coming off his Achilles injury.THE HEATlast_img read more

Tiger Woods’ digs for the week is more than a dinghy

first_imgWoods at least has been able to avoid the traffic that has led to commutes of close to two hours from the official hotel depending on the time of morning. Most players have rented homes in the Southampton area.Woods said he stayed with Shinnecock Hills members when he played as an amateur in the 1995 U.S. Open, and near the course in 2004.The Hamptons has no shortage of yachts, and someone suggested to Woods that it must feel odd not to have the biggest ship in New York.“I’m not opposed to that,” Woods said.___ADVERTISEMENT Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls LATEST STORIES Tiger Woods approaches the pin on the fifth green during a practice round for the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Tiger Woods brought his yacht, Privacy, to a U.S. Open in New York and missed the cut for the first time in a major.That was 12 years ago when the Open was at Winged Foot.ADVERTISEMENT Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Nobody’s done that better in the last 20 years than Tiger as far as clutch putting goes,” he said.___TRAILER LIVINGJason Day has learned that life in a motor home can be rewarding on the PGA Tour. He also has learned it can be messy when Bubba Watson is around.Day is staying in what he calls “the bus” in a parking area close to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open. The Australian uses the RV for about 15 tournaments a season, and several other tour golfers have joined him.One is Watson.“Bubba just got one this year, and I’m very kind of more private, and he’s, yeah, he’s a little bit more outgoing,” Day recalled, a wide smile on his face. “And I think we’re at Augusta, and he walks under my bus, and he’s like, ‘Hey, man, what are you doing?’“I’m just sitting in the bus watching TV. He’s like OK. And he’s standing there. And I’m like, do you want to come inside? And he’s eating a burrito, and he decides to come in and talk to me for about 30 minutes. He gets his burrito all over the ground and then just leaves.“Actually, it’s nice to have people like that around, you know, to mess your bus up when you need them to.” PLAYOFF FEVERJordan Spieth now knows that when he’s tied for the lead after 72 holes on Sunday, his work is not done.The USGA has changed its playoff format for all its open championships. If the U.S. Open goes to a playoff, it will be a two-hole aggregate playoff (followed by sudden death if still tied), instead of an 18-hole playoff.Spieth was asked about the two-hole playoff.“It’s the first I’ve heard of that being an option,” he said. “It’s still 18 holes, right?”Wrong.“I guess the strategy changes a little from an entire round, but I honestly had no idea that it even changed,” he said. “I was even looking at a weather forecast for Monday, thinking, ‘What’s it look like if you happen to work your way into a playoff?’ So shows you what I know.”He wasn’t alone.Justin Thomas was asked about the new format and conceded that he wasn’t aware it changed to a two-hole aggregate until he was at lunch. It wasn’t clear if he read a memo from the USGA or the transcript of Spieth’s news conference about four hours earlier.___ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding He can only hope for a different outcome at Shinnecock Hills.“Staying on the dinghy helps,” Woods said with a grin.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe 155-foot yacht is said to include a Jacuzzi, gym and movie theater. It doesn’t sound as though Woods has spent much time ashore except for being at Shinnecock Hills for his first U.S. Open in three years.“Sag Harbor is a cute little town,” he said. “I’ve only been there for a few days now. I haven’t really got a chance to walk about a little bit, but certainly will this week. So far, it’s been nice to kind of get away from the tournament scene and go there to my dinghy, and just really enjoy it.” BACK TO NO. 2If you blinked, you might have missed Justin Thomas’ reign atop golf’s world ranking.The PGA champion took the top spot in May. It’s gone, with Dustin Johnson’s win at Memphis last weekend catapulting him to No. 1, with Thomas just behind.Of course, a win at Shinnecock Hills in the U.S. Open this week would push Thomas back to the top.“It didn’t affect me, or it wasn’t that hard on me because I couldn’t do anything about it,” Thomas said. “I wasn’t playing. I played one tournament and had a good tournament, finished eighth. And D.J. won, so it’s not like he didn’t play well and didn’t earn it or anything. He won a golf tournament and a great tournament. So there’s nothing I can be upset about for that.”Thomas could even laugh a bit about the ranking.“I saw something that was just hysterical on social media,” he explained, “how a lot of the times, you know, when teams or players or whatever it is go on long runs, like the last time this happened. I mean, a little biased but often a scenario is last time Tennessee beat Alabama in football, you know, like iPhones weren’t alive yet and stuff like that.”So what was Thomas’ “last time” moment?“I saw something so funny yesterday,” he said. “It was like the last time that I wasn’t ranked No. 1 in the world, and it was like (Alex) Ovechkin didn’t have a Stanley Cup and Rickie (Fowler) wasn’t engaged. That was it. I thought it was pretty funny, whoever came up with that.”___ MOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Germany looks to become 1st repeat World Cup champ in half-century SPIETH AND HIS PUTTERFor all the attention on the short putts Jordan Spieth has missed this year, he still is regarded as one of the best putters in golf. That’s the club that effectively won the British Open for him last summer.Spieth faced a tough question Tuesday, however, when asked if there was someone he regarded as better.He paused.“A lot of great putters out here,” he said, buying time.“That’s why they’re out here,” he said, buying even more time.He finally took the safe way out by saying that no single players come to mind, though he made it clear his confidence isn’t shaken on the greens.“I’d still like to bet on myself, if I can,” he said.Spieth said he prefers to think about who makes putts in big moments, and whether the ball is holed with the right speed and right break. He has made plenty of those, not only at Royal Birkdale last summer but at Chambers Bay on the par-3 16th and even at the Tour Championship in 2015 when he won the FedEx Cup.And he hasn’t forgotten Tiger Woods. DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ View commentslast_img read more

CSOs Brainstorm on Citizens’ Participations in Public Policy

first_imgA conglomeration of civil society organizations led by the New African Research and Development Agency (NARDA) has begun a two-day consultative dialogue to assess impacts government is making in informing citizens about major policies that affect them.The meeting is also meant to share views on how Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) themselves are carrying on their work to impact the end users for whom they seek donor support.During the opening session of the dialogue on June 11, 2015 at a local hotel in Monrovia, the keynote speaker, Dr. Amos C. Sawyer among other things reminded CSOs that for any organization to be successful in meeting its goals, it must have clear rules of membership to know who the members.Dr. Sawyer added that any successful organization must have rules to indicate how positions are filled with clear cut mechanisms in place for accountability and transparency.He, however, noted that many civil society organizations are fostering self interest above the interests of those for whom they claim to work, adding, “I consider many civil societies here to be business entities because they seek self interest which does not show the clear meaning of CSO but business.He indicated that the proper role of a CSO is disseminating and generating knowledge based information.Dr. Sawyer further stressed that a civil society organization that wants to be well recognized for good work in the interest of the people will seek to provide knowledge through training that will allow people to clearly understand what it stands for than just engaging in advocacy.Combining CSOs, Government and private sector based on roles, Dr. Sawyer who is the Chairman of the Governance Commission said since Government is there to provide security and the framework, private sector there to create the business and civil society there to monitor and exactly tell how the ordinary people live their lives, they are better suited to work together for the common good of the country and its citizens.In a cross section of views during comments and questions, representatives of various civil society groups brought out issues indicating shortfalls of CSOs in implementing their goals with respect to what they focus on in their work.The dialogue under the theme, “Making spaces for citizens,” allowed the participants to in some views suggest that civil societies have the space but are not using it the proper way because of conflict of interest.According to some views, many civil society organizations are not on time in their advocacies and other works because they have to rely on donors that cannot come in with funds soon.Others on the other hand noted that conflicts arising in concession areas in the country are caused by failure of government to include locals in signing agreements.Citing references to Golden Veroleum and other concessionaires, the participants said because they are not part of the policy and agreements, they react the way they do since policies and agreements reached with concession companies directly affect them (locals).The chairperson of the National Civil Society Organizations of Liberia, Frances Greaves noted that there are fine policies written in Liberia, but implementers are not knowledgeable about them and so they abuse offices and dictate to people.She said most government officials instead of seeing themselves as servant of the people exert force to show superiority and power in discharge of their duties.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cartoon: September 4, 2015

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Appeal Court grants PPP’s ‘expedite’ request

first_imgGECOM chairmanship appealThe Court of Appeal on Friday granted an application to expedite the proceedings filed by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Executive Secretary, Zulfikar Mustapha, who is appealing the High Court ruling that upheld President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of Retired Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).At the first hearing on Wednesday, Mustapha’s legal team, led by Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall, had applied for the matter to be expedited given the importance of the case. As such, at Friday’s hearing, the Appeal Court panel, led by acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards, agreed with Nandlall that the matter was one of “national importance” and should be expedited.However, this was not before the court heard arguments from both parties.Attorney General Basil Williams argued that the hearing of the appeal should be postponed to after the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE), which were already set, and monies spent for preparations.However, Nandlall, a former Attorney General himself, dismissed those arguments, saying that the Local Government polls could always be rescheduled and pointing out that the Party’s paramount concern was to have the appeal determined way ahead of the 2020 General and Regional Elections so that there was sufficient time for further appeal at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) if necessary.After hearing the arguments of the two sides, Justice Cummings-Edwards set October 4 as the soonest possible date. During this time, the parties will have to file their submissions with regard to the appeal case and the acting Chancellor urged them “to observe the timelines”.The acting Chancellor in her ruling on the ‘expedite request’ said that “…a hearing of the appeal should be conducted in a relatively short space of time …This is not to say we are not mindful of other matters that are before us, but such matters of national importance have been dealt with before”.Shortly after the hearing, Nandlall told reporters that he was pleased with the court’s decision, since the matter could have been fixed at a much later date.Nandlall went on to say that he did not see any issue with the LGE being rescheduled if the court ruled in a particular way since December was initially earmarked for the Elections.On the other hand, AG Williams indicated to media operatives that he would be ready with his submissions, since they would be premised on the same arguments he proffered in court, stating that President Granger properly appointed the GECOM Chair and that Chief Justice Roxane George confirmed that appointment in her ruling last month.However, he was adamant that with November 12 already set as the date for the LGE this year, the appeal proceeding would not affect it.“We made our application on law, that is, when Mr Nandlall filed his action, an election date has not been announced. An election date is now announced and it means that the process has commenced and the courts really ought not to interfere with that process … The law tells you quite clearly, the court shouldn’t stop any election by an application made before the holding of the elections because of the volume of money and activities that would have already been spent and already undergone. It didn’t make sense; it would be more debilitating than progressing,” the AG pointed out.However, Attorney Nandlall contended that no monies were spent.After rejecting three lists of nominees submitted by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, President Granger went ahead and unilaterally appointed Justice Patterson as Chairman of GECOM. This decision had been, and continues to be, the centre of contention.In fact, it was as a result of this that the PPP Executive Secretary approached the High Court to challenge the appointment. But on June 8, 2018, Chief Justice George had ruled that the Constitution of Guyana allowed for the President to unilaterally appoint someone to fill the position of GECOM Chair. As such, Mustapha earlier this month filed legal proceedings to appeal the High Court decision.last_img read more

Liverpool boost! Atletico Madrid pull out of Gonzalo Higuain chase

first_imgLiverpool have been given a boost in their pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain after Atletico Madrid revealed they are not in the race to sign him.The striker is being linked with a move away from Napoli this summer after scoring a record breaking 36 goals in Serie A last season.Liverpool have scouted the Argentina international, but Atletico Madrid were thought to be after him too.However the Spanish club’s sporting director, Andrea Berta, has now rubbished that talk and insisted he is not working on a deal for Higuain.“At Napoli they can be calm, he will not come to Atletico,” Berta told CRC. 1 Higuain scored a record breaking 36 Serie A goals last season last_img read more

Dog handler trial raises question of who’s to blame

first_imgFORT MEADE, Md. – An Abu Ghraib dog handler’s trial revealed another facet of the humiliating abuse detainees endured at the Iraqi prison, but left unanswered the question that has hung over nine previous convictions of other low-ranking soldiers: How high should the blame go? Attorneys for Sgt. Michael J. Smith, sentenced to less than six months in prison Wednesday, argued that Abu Ghraib was a dangerous, chaotic place where policies were so unclear that even the officer who supervised interrogations testified that he was confused. Prosecutors said Smith let his unmuzzled black Belgian shepherd bark and lunge at cowering Iraqis for his own amusement. Although a military jury agreed, convicting Smith of mistreating prisoners and crimes Tuesday, its sentence was far less than the 8 years he could have received or the three years prosecutors had sought. Eugene R. Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice in Alexandria, Va., said he had expected Smith to get years, not months, of confinement. “I think people around the world are going to be scratching their heads at that sentence,” he said. “The conduct of which this soldier was convicted is highly offensive, and if this is all one gets – it’s not impunity, but it’s getting real close.” Prosecutors said Smith conspired with another dog handler in a contest to try to frighten detainees at the Iraqi prison into soiling themselves. Smith appeared unrepentant when he addressed the jury shortly after he was convicted, saying, “Soldiers are not supposed to be soft and cuddly.” He expressed remorse, however, over a separate indecency conviction for directing his dog to lick peanut butter off other soldiers’ bodies. The defense argued that Smith believed he was following orders to soften up prisoners for interrogation. The trial saw the highest-ranking officer yet take responsibility for abuse at Abu Ghraib. Col. Thomas M. Pappas, the former top-ranking intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib, testified under a grant of immunity at Smith’s trial that he failed to set appropriate controls for the use of dogs at the Baghdad-area prison. Pappas testified that he approved a one-time use of muzzled dogs inside interrogation booths but he later learned he lacked the authority to give such an order. Pappas was reprimanded, fined and relieved of his command. Avi Cover, a senior associate at Human Rights First, a civil-rights advocacy group in New York, said the defense “made a strong case that officers’ orders and lack of guidance led to the abuse of detainees, including threatening detainees with dogs.” But Cover and Fidell said it’s still unclear whether officers above Pappas and civilian Defense Department officials condoned abuse at the prison. “My own feeling has long been that there should be an impartial, outside investigation because until that happens, the public is not going to have confidence in the administration of justice,” Fidell said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Meth leads to identity theft

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake The region was the site of a third of California’s nearly 500 meth lab busts in 2004 and is home to the second-highest number of identity theft victims in the nation. “It’s been said the two crimes go together like rats and garbage,” said Jack Lucky, a Riverside County prosecutor who nearly became a victim of identity theft himself before his personal information was found at a meth lab. “It’s a pervasive problem,” he said. The connection is posing a major challenge for authorities, who until recently tended to overlook or neglect identity theft evidence at meth labs in favor of pursuing drug charges that are easier to prove and carry stiffer penalties. “We weren’t educated or sophisticated enough to spot what they were doing,” said Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Koller, a narcotics task force member. “It’s taken us a while to catch up.” RIVERSIDE – Stealing mail. Digging through trash. Days spent in front of a computer trying to unlock financial information. All to score methamphetamine. Authorities are discovering that more and more desperate users of the drug are turning to identity theft to pay for their habit, creating a criminal nexus costing Americans millions of dollars. The trend is sweeping the West and spreading to other parts of the country, with one hub of activity in the garages and trailer parks of Riverside and San Bernardino counties on the fringe of suburban Los Angeles. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has called on the Department of Justice to study the link further and recommend tougher penalties for those convicted of both crimes. “What we are probably going to find is that there is a stronger connection than we know right now,” she said. No figures were available on just how much the link is costing consumers. Separately, however, meth use and identity theft have taken a toll. Nearly 10 million Americans fell victim last year to identity theft, costing $5 billion. Meanwhile, the popularity of methamphetamine has grown, with an estimated 12 million people trying it at least once. Police said meth users – known as “cranksters” – are drawn to identity theft because they can stay up for days scanning computer records or go “Dumpster diving” for discarded financial information. A drug dealer recently provided fake identities to a woman in Phoenix who allegedly used them to buy cell phones. She was paid with methamphetamine, and the phones were later used by some of the dealer’s associates, authorities said. Last summer, Georgia authorities tracked at least 20 thieves – known as the “Mailbox Meth Gang” – who cruised housing subdivisions looking for raised flags on mailboxes that could yield checks and bank statements to exchange for meth. Investigators found 14,000 credit card numbers in a laptop computer seized from the gang. Police said the thieves don’t target one spot too long and often split the work. “There is the collector who steals your identity from mailboxes or trash bins,” said Alameda police Sgt. Anthony Munoz, who teaches a class about the connection for the California Narcotics Officers Association. “Then there is the converter, who turns your identity into something, and lastly there is the passer, the person who uses the fraudulent identity.” Munoz said as many as 85 percent of the identity theft cases he investigates have meth connections. In one, a defendant pleaded guilty to 56 counts of identity theft and was sentenced to just one year in county jail, he said. “Those are the type of sentences you get,” said Munoz, who backs sentencing enhancements for people convicted of both crimes. Penalties for identity theft vary from state to state. In California, where legislators are trying to strengthen the laws, identity thieves can face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A conviction in Arizona also carries up to three years in prison, but fines can reach $150,000. First-time offenders, however, often receive probation. The situation has emboldened many meth users. “We don’t have the significant sentences right now that would deter some of these individuals,” Riverside County District Attorney Grover Trask said. “It’s easy money.” Trask said 60 percent of the identity theft cases handled by his office are drug-related. He has created a three-investigator unit to make sure identity theft charges are pursued. In Arizona, the connection is so prevalent that Attorney General Terry Goddard now sends an investigator with identity theft expertise to meth lab busts. Lucky, the Riverside County prosecutor, didn’t realize personal information had been stolen from his mailbox until a caller said there had been fraudulent activity linked to his credit card. Lucky got suspicious when the caller requested his Social Security number. When he asked for a supervisor, he was given a toll-free number that was no longer in service. Identity thieves later applied for credit in his name. The prosecutor didn’t discover where his identity had ended up until he got a call from a sheriff’s deputy. “I guess we weren’t really surprised they found it at a meth lab,” Lucky said. Tips to avoid becoming an identity theft victim: Get a locking mailbox. Don’t leave bills out for the mail carrier to pick up. Stop financial documents from being sent to your home. Pay your bills online. Many sites are safe and difficult to hack into by criminals. Don’t give personal information over the phone. Don’t carry your Social Security card. Contact credit card companies immediately if you suspect fraud. Report fraud or identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft. – Associated Press160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

QPR and Bees fans to collect for Bowles fund

first_imgFans of both clubs will collect money outside Griffin Park in aid of Stan Bowles ahead of Saturday’s derby between QPR and Brentford.Rangers legend Bowles, who saw out his career at Brentford, has Alzheimer’s disease.Money collected will go to the Stan Bowles Alzheimer’s Fund, which was set up in 2015 following his diagnosis.See also:Onuoha available but Hall missed out againQPR look at Liverpool youngster Owens   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch) x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

South Africa joins global tourism drive

first_img5 May 2011 President Jacob Zuma gave the promotion of South Africa’s burgeoning tourism industry a boost by signing “The Golden Book”, a campaign by global tourism pacesetters, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town on Wednesday. Zuma became the first African head of state to make an entry in the book, which is a joint initiative by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to position travel and tourism higher in the global agenda. The campaign seeks to mobilise recognition and support for travel and tourism from world leaders by demonstrating its crucial role in economic growth, job creation and development. “We take tourism very seriously in this country, given its job creation potential,” Zuma said. “That is why we have identified tourism as one of the six job drivers in our New Growth Path framework. “Tourism’s contribution to the GDP of our economy has increased from just less than five percent in 1994 to an estimated 7.7 percent in 2010.” Zuma said the country’s tourism sector was well placed to address unemployment “given its labour-intensive nature.” The President said tourism jobs were not only created in the travel and tourism industry, but also in the manufacturing, financial services, agriculture, healthcare and others areas of the economy. South Africa aims to increase the number of foreign arrivals from 7-million in 2009 to 15-million by 2020. “We plan to increase tourism’s total contribution to the economy from R189-billion in 2009 to R499-billion by 2020,” Zuma said. “Most importantly, we want to create 325 000 new tourism jobs by 2020. We will do everything possible to promote and grow the tourism sector so that we can achieve these developmental goals.” Among those who attended the signing ceremony were WTTC President David Scowsill, UNWTO ethics committee president Dawid de Villiers, and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk. The signing took place on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa conference being held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more