first_imgZambia Sugar Plc ( listed on the Lusaka Securities Exchange under the Agri-industrial sector has released it’s 2008 abridged results.For more information about Zambia Sugar Plc ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Zambia Sugar Plc ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Zambia Sugar Plc (  2008 abridged results.Company ProfileZambia Sugar Plc is the largest sugar producer in Zambia. The company has interests in growing sugar cane and producing raw sugar and specialty sugar products for domestic and export markets. Zambia Sugar produces sugar products under the Whitespoon brand name, and exports niche-market sugars countries in the European Union. The sugar enterprise has cane estates and a sugar factor in Nakambala in the South West Province of Zambia. Its total annual sugar production capacity ranges from 200 000 tons to 450 000 tons. Zambia Sugar is a subsidiary of Illovo Sugar which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Associated British Foods Plc. Illovo produces raw and refined for local and export markets with sugar cane grown by independent out-growers. Zambia Sugar Plc is listed on the Lusaka Securities Exchangelast_img read more

first_imgMedine Ltd ( listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius under the Tourism sector has released it’s 2010 annual report.For more information about Medine Ltd ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Medine Ltd ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Medine Ltd (  2010 annual report.Company ProfileMedine Limited is involved in the agriculture, education, property, as well as leisure and hospitality activities. Through these segments, the company plants and mills sugar cane for the production of sugar and sugarcane by-products, generates and sells electricity through bagasse, offers provision landscaping and nursery services, produces vegetables and fruits, operates poultry farming, provides nursery, pre-primary, primary school, secondary school, higher education, and executive training services. Medine Limited also deals in property development activities, rental of office and commercial buildings, and other related land transactions. In addition, the company operates Casela World of Adventures park, Tamarina golf and spa boutique hotel, sports aquatics and recreation centre, a full-fledged sports, health, and leisure complex, Yemen lodge, Yemen Pavilion, as well as offers deer ranching and hunting services. Medine Limited is listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.last_img read more

first_imgDiamond Trust Bank of Kenya Limited ( listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange under the Banking sector has released it’s 2013 abridged results.For more information about Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya Limited ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya Limited ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya Limited (  2013 abridged results.Company ProfileDiamond Trust Bank of Kenya Limited is a financial services and insurance group providing products and services to clients in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi. The company offers a diverse range of products for transactional banking as well as a full service offering for mortgages, asset financing and an insurance premium finance facility. Its treasury services include spot and forward foreign exchange transactions, cross currency swaps and deals, fixed income securities, corporate bonds, fixed income securities, structured treasury products and money market products. Its trade finance services include letters of credit, documentary and clean collections, negotiation of export bills, suppliers credit financing and bank guarantees. Formerly known as Diamond Trust of Kenya, the company changed its name to Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Limited in 1997. Its head office is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Diamond Trust Bank of Kenya Limited is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchangelast_img read more

first_img Howard Lake | 22 March 2006 | News Billion Dollar Babes, the premiere fashion sale for women in the US and London is coming to Dublin on Saturday, 25 March at the Custom House Quay, IFSC Dublin Docklands,’ with the door money going to the Irish Cancer Society.BDB is an invitation-only event featuring exclusive access to heavily-discounted garments & accessories from more than 35 contemporary fashion designers, including: Diane Von Furstenberg, Vivienne Westwood,Ghost, Jenny Packham, Issey Miyake, Ann Louise Roswald, Louise Kennedy, Alex Gore Brown, Ella Moss and more. All proceeds from a ‚€4 door fee will go to Action Breast Cancer, a project of the Irish Cancer Society. Meanwhile, ICS will launch its annual Daffodil Day event on Friday. The cancer charity hopes to raise ‚€3 million, making it the biggest charity event in Ireland. Advertisement Tagged with: Ireland AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis  33 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Billion Dollar Babes comes to Dublin About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

first_img  174 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis15 Andrew Day joins Gifted Philanthropy as chief executive AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis15 Tagged with: Charity People Recruitment / people Melanie May | 7 December 2016 | News Andrew Day has joined full service fundraising agency Gifted Philanthropy as chief executive.Day joined Gifted Philanthropy in November from Compton Fundraising Consultants where he was group chief executive for 28 years. Originally from Australia and with 30 years’ experience in the fundraising sector, Day moved to the UK in 1996. Day was the first non-North American to serve as Chair of the Washington DC-based CFRE examination board, and was also chairman of the Association of Fundraising Consultants from 2005 to 2009.Day also co-authored Capital Fundraising in the UK, is a regular conference speaker and commentator. He is also currently chairman of trustees at St Chad’s Centre Trust Company in Warwickshire, trustee for the National Churches Trust, and Ward Councillor for Warwick District Council.Director Chris Goldie said:“I’ve watched Andrew rise to the top of his game, serving cathedrals, hospitals, education and heritage clients with a rare blend of wisdom and attention to detail. No other fundraiser in the UK has Andrew’s breadth of experience or insightful understanding of major donors.”  173 total views,  1 views today Advertisement About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via read more

first_imgHugo ChávezThe Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) met in Santiago de Chile toward the end of January. From his hospital bed in Havana, Cuba, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela sent the following message on Jan. 27.Sisters and brothers:On behalf of the people of Venezuela, receive a fervent Bolivarian greeting and living testimony of brotherhood toward each of the peoples of the Great Nation. I really and truly regret not being able to attend this event in Santiago de Chile. As it is known to all of you, since December of last year I am once again struggling for my health in revolutionary Cuba. That is why these lines are my way to be present at the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, my way of reaffirming, today more than ever, the living and active engagement of Venezuela with the historical cause of the Union.It is impossible not to feel Simon Bolivar pulsing among us in this summit of unity. Impossible not to evoke Pablo Neruda, Pablo of Chile and America, in this land and in this present moment of the Great Nation we are made of:Liberator, a world of peace was born in your arms. /Peace, bread, wheat are born from your blood, /from our young blood which comes from your blood /will come peace, bread and wheat for the world we are to make.Bolivar, Bolivar always. In this 2013 we are celebrating the bicentennial of the admirable campaign: 200 years of that prodigious Bolivarian epic. On May 14, 1813, an army of New Granada and Venezuela departed from Cucuta commanded by then Brigadier Simon Bolivar, advancing with prodigious speed, and fought and won in Niquitao, Los Horcones and Taguanes to liberate central and western Venezuela, entering triumphantly on August 6 of that year of glory in Caracas. The military victory of the patriots had a transcendent political consequence: the birth of the Second Republic of Venezuela.And hence with a vivid memory, I want to share with you a certainty: thanks to the CELAC we are beginning to look like everything we once were and what we wanted to be but was taken from us, we’re looking like the Pachamama, the cosmic belt of the South, the queen of nations and the mother of republics.The spirit of unity has returned with full strength, it is the spirit of our liberators reincarnated in the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean; it is the spirit in which many voices come together to speak with one voice. It was the endearing spirit of the Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean that gave birth to CELAC in Caracas; it is the enduring spirit of this Summit in Santiago de Chile.Since that December of 2011 when we founded CELAC in Caracas, world events have ratified the extraordinary importance of the great step forward we took. There is the crisis hitting the U.S. and Europe and throwing thousands of people into misery. Thousands of men, women and children have lost their homes, their jobs, their social security, their most elemental rights. While the U.S. and Europe, paraphrasing the eminent philosopher Ernesto Laclau, are committing collective suicide, we are weathering the storm, and we will definitely ride it out.Today, we are an example of unity in diversity, of justice, welfare and happiness to the world.At one year and almost two months since its founding in Caracas, CELAC has managed to stand with a character and a well-defined personality, above any judgment or ambition outside its principles and tenets. Today more than ever we can say that when we affirm that we have really and truly resumed the path of our Liberators, a slogan that identifies this Community, we were not making an empty or hollow statement. And now, such a transcendent slogan requires that we fill it each day with more and more historical, political, economic and social content.That is why today we ratify the denunciation and condemnation of the shameful imperial blockade against revolutionary Cuba, the continuous colonization and now the progressive militarization of the Malvinas Islands, both of which are violations of all UN resolutions issued to safeguard the rights of the Cuban and Argentine people, but with no will on the part of this supranational organization to fulfill them. Justice is unquestionably on the side of Cuba and Argentina. If we are a nation of republics, our sovereignty is that of the entire Great Nation, and we must enforce it.When the mournful sound of the drums of war is heard around the world, how valuable it is that the states of Latin America and the Caribbean are creating a zone of peace that jealously protects international law and defends political and negotiated solutions to conflicts. We have a duty to face the logic of war with a culture of peace, based on justice and equality.CELAC is the most important project of political, economic, social and cultural unity in our contemporary history. We all have the right to feel proud: the nation of republics, as the liberator Simon Bolivar called it, has begun to emerge as a beautiful and happy reality. How not to recall, once again, the voice of Neruda when he tells us in his memorable poem “The Heights of Machu Picchu”:Rise to birth with me, brother. Let us rise, sisters and brothers, because the time has come to be born again, with all of the past and all of the future illuminating the present.The sacred purposes, the fraternal relations and the common interests that unite the republics of Latin America and the Caribbean, have in CELAC a fundamental instrument not only to guarantee the stability of the governments that our peoples have given themselves, but also their sovereignty and, let us say with Jorge Luis Borges, the perpetuity of each of our nations.Our common path has been long and difficult since we faced the Spanish Empire in the 19th century. The fight for independence, the fight that continues today, was linked, indissolubly linked, to the thoughts and actions of our liberators, to the fight for unity, for the construction of a Great Nation based on the most solid foundation. Let us remember what Bolivar said: There should be one single nation for the Americas, given that we have had perfect unity in everything.But the oligarchy closed the door to a historical project of unity, and we are stillpaying the price. Argentinean writer Norberto Galasso was right: What could have been the victory of the Great Nation became twenty defeats of small nations. This history should not repeat itself. I still have faith in those words I said in Caracas on the historic 2nd of December, 2011, when CELAC was founded: We are either one nation or we are not a nation! We either make a single Great Nation, or no one on these lands will have a nation!How could we not see ourselves in the words of liberator Bernardo O’Higgins, the great disciple of the immense Francisco de Miranda, who wrote to Bolivar in 1818: The cause that Chile defends is the same one committed to by Buenos Aires, New Granada, Mexico and Venezuela, or better yet, it is the cause of the entire continent of Colombia.Everything we do for unity will not only be justified by history, it will also become the most enlightened legacy we can leave to future generations. We will also be actively honoring the memory of our liberators. In CELAC, as Bolivar wanted, we have become one nation.I want to invoke a few words from the wise Andres Bello, who was as deeply Chilean as he was Venezuelan, who was not only the pioneer of international law in our Americas, but also the first lawyer in the world to shape the doctrines of multilateral organizations of integration and unity. Since the 19th century, this great forger of our intellectual independence has continued marking our path: The tendency of the century we live in is to multiply the points of contact between peoples, to unite them, to bind them in friendship, to make the entire human species one single family. To resist this tendency is to descend from the heights of civilization. My belief is that in the 21st century, this tendency ought to be the same as the one so brilliantly stated by Bello.Transcendent politics has room to flourish in CELAC. It has been eloquently stated in the manifesto that our Latin Caribbean America is capable of presenting itself and thinking of itself both within the region and before the world with full autonomy, and is capable of acting jointly.Transcendent politics presupposes that learning is ongoing: it is learning how to live with our differences, to accept and process them, always finding the best way of complementing each other. Transcendent politics impedes schemes from dividing us. Let us not forget that painful warning from Bolivar: A schemer does more in one day than one hundred good men do in one month.But I am convinced that in this amazing hour of our history, those who intend to divert us will fail. That what will prevail, and I say this with Bolivar’s words, is the inestimable good of unity, that the Monroe Doctrine will definitively disappear as an instrument of oppression, domination and disunity in this side of the world.The enlightening words, following a clear Bolivarian theme, of the great Argentinean thinker Jorge Abelardo Ramos in his History of the Latin American Nation (1968), should cause us to reflect: Underdevelopment, as social scientists and technicians now call it, is not purely economic or productive in nature. It is intensely historic in meaning. It is the result of Latin American fragmentation. What happens, in short, is that there is a national question that remains unanswered. Latin America is not divided because it is “underdeveloped;” it is “underdeveloped” because it is divided. Underdevelopment is the child of division, and that is exactly why it is imperative to resolve the question of a national Americas in the coming years. Today we meet all the objective and subjective conditions to do so.Dear Brothers and Sisters:I am going to briefly touch on a few topics of the CELAC agenda. I have left some out so as not to make this letter too long.I think it is crucial to rigorously comply with two great social commitments included in the Caracas Action Plan in order for CELAC to have value for our peoples: I speak of the development of the Latin American and Caribbean Literacy Program and the Latin American and Caribbean Program for Eradicating Hunger.The only response countries of the first world have had in the face of the crisis has been cutting social spending and public investment. In CELAC, we can maintain economic growth with strong social investments, agreeing to a common agenda for equality and for the recognition of the universal right of each of our citizens, without exception, to free health care and education.Moreover, we must reach accords that will allow us to create and promote a common energy agenda. We have the strength, at the outset, to face the extreme panorama of a world where energy sources have their days numbered. The region’s resources are huge: we only need to create appropriate policies that do justice to the gifts nature has provided. We have the experience of a successful PetroCaribe to show that is it possible to create an energy alliance based on reciprocity.I want to paraphrase Bolivar: what we have done is but a prelude to the great task that remains to consolidate our CELAC. Never before have we had such an appropriate setting. Let us multiply the good effects and the well-managed efforts, and I say this with Bolivar, to make CELAC the center of a new system of unity of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.Dear Heads of State and Government:We have committed ourselves to giving Cuba all our support, as it will hold the pro tempore presidency of our Community following this Santiago Summit. This is an act of justice following 50 years of resistance to the criminal imperial embargo. Latin America and the Caribbean are speaking with one voice, telling the United States that all of its attempts to isolate Cuba have failed and will fail.As fate would have it, and it will go down in history, today, precisely as Cuba assumes the pro tempore Presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, is the 160th anniversary of the birth of the apostle of Cuban independence, one of the greatest Bolivarians of all time: Jose Marti.His prophetic words still resonate today: “we intentionally say people and not peoples so as to not think there is more than one from the Rio Grande to Patagonia. It should be one because it is one. The Americas, even when it does not want to, and when brothers fight, will be together in the end of a colossal spiritual nation, they will love each other then.”The time has come for Marti’s love, Bolivar’s love, the love of our Americas.That is why, from my Bolivarian heart, I hope for the resounding success of this CELAC Summit. Here in Havana I will be watching its development. With all the light of the Great Nation that burns more brightly today in Santiago de Chile, I send an endless and brotherly hug to each and every one of you.Hugo Chávez FríasPresident of the Bolivarian Republic of VenezuelaAlways towards victory!Long live the union of our peoples!Long live CELAC!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

first_imgNews Receive email alerts RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan December 16, 2020 Find out more After dozens of journalists were prevented from covering opposition protests in recent days in Iraqi Kurdistan and opposition TV broadcaster NRT was closed in Sulaymaniyah on 19 December, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Kurdish authorities and demonstrators to allow the media to freely report the news. News Help by sharing this information February 15, 2021 Find out more RSF_en to go further December 28, 2020 Find out morecenter_img Follow the news on Iraq Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” December 28, 2017 Journalists arrested to prevent coverage of Iraqi Kurdistan protests Organisation News News IraqMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abuses ViolenceFreedom of expression Rania, 20 décembre 2017, (c) AFP IraqMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abuses ViolenceFreedom of expression Members of the security forces have subjected dozens of journalists to violence and intimidation with the aim of preventing them from covering the demonstrations, which in some cases have been accompanied by bloodshed. KNN television reporter Ari Luqman sustained a hand injury while covering a protest in Chamchamal, a city located between Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk, on 19 December. His cameraman, Hemn Ahmed, sustained an ankle injury that was inflicted by the security forces, and his equipment was smashed. Many other cases of heavy-handed intimidation were reported. The victims included Choman Osman, a KNN reporter covering a demonstration in Halabja, a city in southeastern Iraqi Kurdistan, on 20 December. Xendan news agency reporter Dana Sohpi Braim said a bodyguard hit him on the head when he asked one of the security chiefs of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) for a comment about the situation in Ranya, a town in Sulaymaniyah province. He said the members of the security forces arrested him in the street three days later and interrogated him for an entire day because they suspected him of being responsible for opposition pages on social networks. Journalists threatened and arrested Detention and interrogation have sometimes lasted several days. This was the case with Bahoz Nesradin, a reporter for TV broadcaster NRT’s website, who was held from 22 to 27 December in the city of Sulaymaniyah. NRT digital media director Suhaib Ahmed was arrested at Sulaymaniyah airport on the night of 24 December as he was about to fly to Baghdad. NRT managing director Awat Ali says he has beenin hiding since NRT’s closure for fear of arrest. Dozens of other individuals, including politically engaged journalists, activists and human rights defenders, have also had to go into hiding. Erbil-based NRT reporter Hersh Qader said six members of the Asayesh (security forces) stopped him as he was travelling to Sulaymaniyah for personal reasons on 21 December. After asking him to confirm that he worked for NRT, they insulted him, pointed their guns at him and ordered him to return to Erbil. One of them even hit him, according to a local NGO that defends journalists. Although NRT’s journalists have been particularly targeted, they are not the only ones. For example, Ali Qader, a Roj News reporter based in Qaladiza (140 km north of Sulaymaniyah), was detained for several hours on 19 December. “Covering protests is a right and should not be regarded as inciting violence,” RSF said. “On the contrary, the authorities should pay particular attention to the safety of journalists when they cover protests, as stated in UN Human Rights Council Resolution 25/38 of 2014. Furthermore, intimidating journalists by means of arrest campaigns or closing a TV broadcaster linked to the opposition undermines media pluralism, which is essential in a democracy.” NRT’s closure The Iraqi Kurdish authorities said NRT was being closed for seven days when they raided its headquarters in Sulaymaniyah on 19 December and suspended broadcasting by all of its channels (NRT1, NRT2 and NRT Arab). But the security forces confiscated all of its equipment, which suggests that the closure could continue for longer. The authorities accuse NRT of encouraging the protests and the violence, while NRT disputes the legal basis for its closure. The authorities also shut down NRT’s website on 20 December. NRT describes itself as independent but it has close links to the political opposition, which opposes the Kurdistan government’s current push for independence from Iraq. NRT’s founder, who left the NRT management a few months ago to form an opposition party called New Generation, was arrested at Sulaymaniyah airport as he returned to Kurdistan on 19 December and was held for a week. Journalists also targeted by demonstrators On 19 December, demonstrators in Ranya attacked and set fire to the buildings that house Raparin TV and two radio stations, Mashxalan and Yekgrtw. On the same day, demonstrators also set fire to the KNN bureau in Koy Sanjaq, a town 120 km northwest of Sulaymaniyah. The headquarters of many parties, regardless of their political positions, were also the targets of angry protests. Stones were even thrown at Roj News reporter Hawkar Mustafa in Said Sadiq, a city 50 km southeast of Sulaymaniyah, on 18 December. Attacks of this kind against journalists and media outlets recur from time to time and are exacerbated by national and regional tension, the security situation and economic problems. RSF has often had to condemn threats to journalists in its press releases. Iraq is ranked 158th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. last_img read more

first_img Twitter WhatsApp Local NewsBusinessUS NewsWorld News By Digital AIM Web Support – February 15, 2021 Facebook Pinterest UK opens quarantine hotels, pushes on with vaccine drive A coach delivers passengers to the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, near Heathrow Airport, London, Monday Feb. 15, 2021 where they will remain during a 10 day quarantine period after returning to England from one of 33 “red list” countries. New regulations now in force require anyone who has been in a ‘high-risk’ location to enter England through a designated port and have pre-booked a package to stay at one of the Government’s managed quarantine facilities.center_img Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest TAGS  Facebook Previous articlePOLL ALERT: UConn is new No. 1 in women’s AP Top 25, switching places with South Carolina after beating Gamecocks in OTNext articlePower outages paralyze OdessaMost of state also affected Digital AIM Web Supportlast_img read more

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Mortgage Debt Negative Equity RealtyTrac 2011-04-05 Carrie Bay RealtyTrac Adds Property Equity Feature to Foreclosure Listings Is Rise in Forbearance Volume Cause for Concern? 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribe April 5, 2011 577 Views Share Save Home / Featured / RealtyTrac Adds Property Equity Feature to Foreclosure Listings  Print This Post in Featured, Foreclosure, Technology Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English. The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago About Author: Carrie Bay Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago “”RealtyTrac””: on Tuesday unveiled “”new site features””: of its online foreclosure marketplace that allow users to see the amount of equity – or negative equity – in a property based on its estimated market value and total outstanding loans, along with a list showing the position of those loans.[IMAGE]The California-based company explained that estimated equity will be available for properties in the foreclosure process, including properties in default and scheduled foreclosure auctions. RealtyTrac says this information will be displayed prominently on each property details page as a dollar[COLUMN_BREAK]amount and as a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, which represents the total amount of outstanding loans as a percentage of the property’s estimated market value.The equity and LTV will also be listed on search results, and users will be able to sort the search results by amount of equity or create search filters that only return properties within certain equity or LTV ranges.””These new features bring key information to the forefront, helping buyers and investors more quickly decide which distressed properties represent good purchase opportunities for them and which do not,”” said James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac’s CEO. Saccacio says the new site features will also help real estate agents and brokers pinpoint potential listing opportunities – both short sales and equity sales – and spot second- or third-position loans that could trip up a short sale.””In addition, the position of outstanding loans will make it easier for auction buyers to avoid costly surprises when purchasing at the trustee’s sale or sheriff’s sale,”” Saccacio said. “”In short, these new features represent a giant step forward in terms of convenience and usability for our customers, paving the way for them to find the best foreclosure deals.”” Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: Senators Propose Homeowner Advocacy Office for HAMP Grievances Next: Lawmakers Clash over Means of Implementing GSE Reform Related Articles Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Tagged with: Mortgage Debt Negative Equity RealtyTrac The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agolast_img read more

first_imgColumnsAnother Challenge to Independence of Constitutional Institutions: Can AP Government Remove Election Commissioner? Prof. Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu15 April 2020 10:09 PMShare This – xAndhra Pradesh Ordinance on term of SEC is now under challenge before the bench headed by Chief Justice Maheswari, of AP High Court, who gave four weeks of time to Government to answer the petitions filed by N Ramesh Kumar, ‘removed’ SEC and others. A serious Constitutional controversy is kicked off by the AP Government, which used its extraordinary power through promulgation of ordinance to…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginAndhra Pradesh Ordinance on term of SEC is now under challenge before the bench headed by Chief Justice Maheswari, of AP High Court, who gave four weeks of time to Government to answer the petitions filed by N Ramesh Kumar, ‘removed’ SEC and others. A serious Constitutional controversy is kicked off by the AP Government, which used its extraordinary power through promulgation of ordinance to get rid of Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as State Election Commissioner, around 8 months in advance. Can the AP Council of Ministers led by its Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, recommend the Governor to promulgate an ordinance which is blatantly violative of Article 243-K of the Constitution seriously undermining the independence of the State Election Commission which might compromise the fairness of elections to local bodies which is now pending? How could the Governor of AP simply promulgate the ordinance showing Nelsons’ Eye to a significant article 243 K? If the AP Government does not want AP State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar to continue in his office, only recourse left to them is to prepare for impeachment in the same lines of impeaching the High Court Judge. Without removing him as provided under 243-K of the Constitution and adhere to norms affirmed under Section 200 of AP Panchayati Raj Act 1994, the Government chose to reduce his term from five years to three years, resulting in cessation of his office. What is directly prohibited by the Constitution has been done by the Executive of the AP state by indirectly removing him. Thus, the ordinance strikes fatally at the independence of the State Election Commission and creates doubts on the sincerity of Government in conducting elections in free and fair manner. Free and fair election is the basic structure of our constitution. Surprisingly, the AP Government followed the opaque policy. It has kept ‘ordinance’ and consequential GOs and everything about them secret till new incumbent has joined office. The meaning of this ordinance amending the AP Panchayati Raj Act 1994, is mere removal of the present State Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar, when the process of Election is going on, before end of his five-year term. Article 243(K) says, Subject to the provisions of any law made by the Legislature of a State, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the State Election Commissioner shall be such as the Governor may by rule determine: Provided that the State Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like ground as a Judge of a High Court and the conditions of service of the State Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.”As per this Constitutional provision, only way to remove the SEC is by impeachment before the term is ended. However, term of SEC can be truncated by amending the law, which cannot be disadvantageous to existing Commissioner. The AP Ordinance amending AP Panchayat Raj Act 1994 reduces the term from 5 years to 3 and this was made applicable to SEC N Ramesh Kumar, who completed four plus years in office. Is it not unconstitutional?The basic purpose of giving fixed tenure of five years and making removal process difficult is to secure the independent position of SEC from the whims and fancies of newly elected Government. If actions and decisions of the office holders are adverse to their interests, rulers prefer to remove them from such position either by transfer, or removal. Media reported that department of law and the Chief Secretary warned the government of breaching Article 243 (K) but interpreting two decisions of the SC in their favour, the Government has resorted to this ordinance. The Government is trying to defend Ordinance saying that its main aim was to bring in electoral reform to ensure neutral, fair and independent SEC, hence, it cannot be considered unconstitutional. It is also reported that the HC verdict in the Aparmita Prasad Singh vs State of UP and SC judgment in Kailash Chand Mahajan were used to support their point. Kailash Chand Mahajan was Chairman of State Electricity Board, who was removed from office by amending statute to reduce the term. In State of Himachal Pradesh v. Kailash Chand Mahajan (https://indiankanoon. org/doc/311809/ decided in 1992) Supreme Court held that reduction of tenure of service amounts to cessation and not removal. The AP Government is trying to justify that Ramesh Kumar was not removed but just his term was shortened and hence he must step out. Whether Kailash Chand Mahajan’s rule applies to State Election Commissioner’s removal also, who is protected by a Constitutional provision Article 243K? The AP Government heavily depending is Allahabad High Court’s judgment in Aparmita Prasad Singh versus State of Uttar Pradesh decided on 23.8.2007. Aparmita was State Election Commissioner in UP during the rule of Mulayam Singh Yadav. He was appointed during Mayavati’s rule. Originally in 1994 the term of SEC was five years or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier. The Rules were amended in 2006 extending the term to 7 years and 67 years of age. After change of guard the new CM did not like the way SEC questioned the transfer of several officers during the local body elections. Then the Government amended the service conditions and amended the Rules in 2007 restoring 5-year-term and 65 years of age. Every amendment was made applicable to present SEC, Aparmit. The amendment to Rules in 2006 was valid because the change was not disadvantageous to petitioner as SEC. But changed Rules 2007 cannot be valid because of being disadvantageous to him. Aparmit challenged this change and contended that it was his removal in glaring breach of Article 243K. Allahabad High Court agreed with the UP government and did not give any relief to SEC saying he has attained age of 65 by that time though 2006 Rules permit him to continue up to 67 years of age.In Kisansing Tomar’s case the SC held 2005 ( that the State Election Commission is vested with the same power as the Election Commission of India possesses and the provisions contained in Art 243-K are pari materia and it is the duty of the ECI and the SEC to conduct election in a just and fair manner. The EC must discharge its constitutional obligation independently and effectively without being influenced by political party in power or the executive. Free and fair election is the basic structure of our constitution. The purpose of Art 243-K is, not only the ECI but also the SEC should discharge its constitutional obligations independently without fear of hanging sword on their head. In Mohinder Singh Gill and another v The Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi and others (1978) 1 SCC 405 the Supreme Court considering scope and ambit of Article 324 of the Constitution of India, observed: “Elections supply the visa viva to a democracy. It was therefore deliberately and advisedly thought to be out paramount importance that the high and independent office of the Election Commission should be created under the Constitution to be complete charge of the entire electoral process commencing with the issue of the notification by the President to the final declaration of result….”The apex court also agreed that the EC is a high-powered and independent body which is removable from office except in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution relating to the Judges of Supreme Court and intended by the framers of the Constitution to be kept completely free from pulls and pressures that may be brought through political influence in a democracy run on party system. Once appointed by the President, the Election Commission remains insulated from extraneous influences and that cannot be achieved unless it has an amplitude of powers in the conduct of elections, or course, in accordance with the existing laws. In TN Seshan v Union of India (1995) 4 SCC 611, the Supreme Court observed that two limitations – removable by legislature, and conditions of service shall not vary to his disadvantage after his appointment- are intended to protect the independence of the Chief Election Commissioner from political and/or executive interference. It further stated: The provision that the ECs or RCs once appointed cannot be removed from office before the expiry of their tenure except on the recommendations of the CEC ensures their independence. The scheme of Article 324 in this behalf is that after insulating the CEC by the first proviso to clause (5), the ECs and the RCs have been assured independence of functioning by providing that they cannot be removed except on the recommendations of the CEC…..That is so because this privilege has been conferred on the CEC to ensure that the ECs as well as the RCs are not at the mercy of political or executive bosses of the day. It is necessary to realize that this check on the executive’s power to remove is built into the second proviso to clause (5) to safeguard the independence of not only these functionaries but the Election Commission as a body”.Three tier Indian federation suffers because of over-concentration of authority in State Executive, who after assuming power invariably reduces the term of other constitutional functionaries, office bearers of local bodies and corporations on one or the other ground. Whether Art 243K should be interpreted in such a manner which should not defeat its very purpose to provide independence to the SEC?The Allahabad High Court ignored all these basic principles of securing independence of the office of SEC, the specific provisions of Article 243K and judicial dictum of the Supreme Court in MS Gill and TN Seshan cases. It has depended on literal interpretation of ‘conditions of service’ and ‘term of office’ as per General Clauses Act and concluded that cessation office will not amount to removal to validate the removal through indirect means of reduction of term. Similarly, the HC overlooked the dangerous effect of validating the pulls and pressures of political government over independent office of SEC by interpreting that term of office is not ‘condition of service’ hence term of office can be altered even if it adversely affects the existing SEC.While accepting the immunity of SEC and similar constitutional bodies, the Allahabad High Court totally departed from this objective and refused to give relief to the petitioner Aparmit. This was taken in appeal and the Supreme Court summarily dismissed by single sentence judgment saying ‘need not interfere with HC judgment’. As the order of SC was not based on comprehensive hearing on merits, it cannot be a precedent. Allahabad HC order, though not in tune with objective of securing independence of SEC, has legal sanctity as precedent but only limited to Uttar Pradesh. It does not prevail over the Andhra Pradesh and its High Court. Kailash Chand Case, is about reduction term of Himachal State Electricity Board which is not by Article 243-K that has limited the powers of legislature to amend. Removal co-relates with the reduction of tenure. Whether it is cessation or removal in pursuance to the power conferred in Art 217 of the Constitution, the outcome of both the process is the same, i.e., SEC shall cease to hold office. Jaganmohan’s Government has a duty to prove that there are no mala fides in making this ordinance. There are several reasons which might establish political mala fide. 1. The SEC had been targeted and criticised on caste and linking him with Telugu Desham party. 2. The decision of SEC to defer elections was not liked by the Government, Chief Minister and his Ministers. This is evidenced by the language used by them in press conferences. 3. One cannot conclude that decision to postpone elections was not correct because the Supreme Court agreed with the reasons quoted by Ramesh Kumar in a recent decision. 4. Article 243-K specifically grants the full term to SEC and immunity from political removal by the new government. 5.Any Government does not possess the power to reduce the term or change service conditions to the detriment of the persons in the office. 6. When the process of elections is continuing and another phase is pending to be completed, the SEC cannot be removed. 7. What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly also. State cannot remove the SEC before the term is completed. Pre-Legislative Consultation Policy is totally ignored. Obligation to disclose entire information as to what was the urgent need to promulgate ordinance, why it did not wait for Assembly to be convened, what was the urgent need to reduce the term of State Election Commissioner, i.e., sudden removal from service, why it was done when the process of election began, continuing and awaiting the last phase, as it was deferred due to spreading of ‘coronavirus’. And why the entire text of Ordinance is kept secret for a long time? Why were not all material that led to this Ordinance and GOs kept in public domain? Similarly, Governor of Andhra Pradesh also must answer these questions. What made him to sign this Ordinance? Did he enquire into the urgency and whether 243K is examined? If the Government thinks Ramesh Kumar is biased, that could be a misconduct and it should prepare to impeach him preceded by an inquiry by the committee appointed by SC, to also verify also the grave allegations by Ramesh Kumar of gross violence indulged by the ruling party to prevent the opposition from filing nominations and forcing the unanimous elections in many seats, in his letter to centre seeking protection of Central forces. The issue is not service rights of Ramesh Kumar, but it is about the immunising the office of SEC from political interference and threats. One has to wait for the judgment of the AP High Court regarding the fate of State Election Commission. Views are personalAuthor is a former Central Information Commissioner Next Storylast_img read more