Wednesday, October 31, 2012
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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Monday, October 29, 2012
The first-ever commuter train service in Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, has been launched to ease congestion on roads.
Transport Minister Harrison Mwakyembe boarded a train, along with passengers, for the maiden journey.
The trains will run on two routes, mostly during peak hour.
Private commuter minibuses, known as "daladalas", are the main mode of transport in Dar es Salaam, one of the world's fastest-growing cities.
It is the first phase of a government scheme to improve the transport network in Dar es Salaam.
The BBC's Leonald Mubali in Dar es Salaam, which has a population of about 2.5 million, says many residents have welcomed the new railway service and hope that it will be expanded.
One track covers a 25km (15.5 miles) journey between Dar es Salaam's Mwakanga and Tazara railway stations and the second track runs for 20km (12.4 miles) between Ubungo-Maziwa and City railway stations.
Trains will operate during the morning and evening - not in the afternoon and late at night.
A one-way ticket costs 400 Tanzanian shillings (about $0.25, £0.15), which compares favourably to daladala fares which range between 500 shillings and 1,000 shillings - depending on the journey.
Posted by ME at 11:19 PM
The US Citizenship and Immigration Service recently launched the E-Verify: “Know Your Rights” Campaign for employees. The goal is to educate employees about E-Verify, Self Check, and their rights as employees so that they are able to identify a violation of their rights. As part of the campaign, USCIS has developed a toolkit for employees to obtain information, procedures, and contact information to assist them during the E-Verify process.
E-Verify is an internet based system that compares information from Form I-9 with Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm that an employee is authorized to work in the United States. E-Verify uses a person’s name, social security number, date of birth, and immigration information (if applicable) to match up to government records and verify employment eligibility for all new hires. E-Verify is used by many employers voluntarily, but is required for some by law. An employer who uses E-Verify is required to notify employees of their participation in the program.
Self Check, a part of E-Verify, is a free internet-based application that is used by an individual to confirm their work eligibility in the U.S. Much like E-Verify, Self-Check checks an employee’s personal information against government databases to determine work eligibility. With Self-Check, U.S. Workers can access their employment eligibility status to ensure that their records are up to date as well as provide them with instructions should a problem exist.
The Toolkit includes helpful video, radio, and print materials that explain E-Verify and Self Check as well as “Know your Rights” information for the employee. More specifically, the Toolkit provides frequently asked questions and instructions on completing Self Check, the E-Verify process, and an outline of employees rights, responsibilities, and contact information should discrimination occur. You may check out the Toolkit at: Employee Rights Toolkit.
With more employees understanding their rights and having avenues to assert them, employers should remain vigilant during the hiring, I-9 and E-Verify processes to ensure they are in compliance with all guidance from the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Discrimination (OSC). When completing Form I-9, employees may present any documents listed as acceptable on the form; Employers may not request specific or additional documents be presented. This practice is known as document abuse and it is a violation of immigration law.
If an employee receives a non-confirmation from E-Verify, it is vitally important that the employer provides them with all necessary documentation to remedy the issue at the appropriate government agency. Without this documentation, the employee will be unable to correct the problem and a final non-confirmation will be issued by E-Verify, which will result in the termination of the employee.
An employee has the right to contact the E-Verify hotline for assistance during this process without fear of retaliation for doing so. Retaliation can be in the form of termination, suspension, withholding of pay or training, delaying a start date, or limiting employment.
As always, it is imperative that employers avoid discrimination based on national origin, citizenship, or immigration status. Should an employee feel as though they were discriminated against, they have the right to contact the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and report the incident. Once the OSC is contacted, they will open an investigation into the matter and resolve it as deemed appropriate. Resolution could include fines and penalties for the employer.
Posted by ME at 11:13 PM
Bill Clinton Campaigns for President Obama in Ohio | C-SPAN
Monday, October 29, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden hold a grassroots rally with supporters in Youngstown, Ohio. President Clinton will spell out the economic issues at stake in next week's presidential election.
President Obama was previously scheduled to travel with Bill Clinton to Youngstown following an earlier event in Orlando, Florida. Instead, the President is returning to the White House to monitor Hurricane Sandy and all his campaign events scheduled for Monday have been canceled.
Posted by ME at 10:40 PM
By Karanja Njoroge and Vincent Mabatuk
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has gone flat out for the Rift Valley vote with a strategy tailored to bring Eldoret North MP William Ruto to his side through grassroots mobilisation.
It also emerged a section of the Kalenjin leadership now prefers working with him under a new negotiated arrangement that they believe would accommodate Ruto and protect the community’s interest better.
“The bottom-line of our talks is we told Raila to go and negotiate with Ruto and if he does not accept, he comes back to us and we shall decide the next step,’’ said a minister who is at the centre of the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity as he fears public statements on the matter could botch the negotiations now at a sensitive stage.
During a meeting with Kalenjin elders at a private home in Ngata, Nakuru, yesterday, Raila humbly sought forgiveness from the community which overwhelmingly supported him in 2007, and which Ruto is now goading towards Mr Uhuru Kenyatta’s The National Alliance.
He particularly responded to claims he was the force behind the Mau Forest evictions.
Raila’s apology is considered the first crucial step in confronting perception among Ruto’s supporters that he is ungrateful and dictatorial, and is meant to soften the region where Ruto calls the shots for his comeback.
Yesterday, Ruto met Kalenjin elders and leaders drawn from Transmara, Narok, Bomet, Kericho, Nakuru and Baringo. Next week, a source familiar with the ongoing behind-the-scenes talks, Raila will be in Eldoret, which is Ruto’s home turf, to meet representatives of the communities living in Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Keiyo/Marakwet, Trans Nzoia and Mount Elgon.
‘We have told (Raila) why we prefer working with him now that we know Ruto is not running for President but is preparing the ground for someone else,’’ said another source familiar with the unfolding political scenario in the expansive Rift Valley Province.
Ruto would not be drawn into commenting on the reported discussions and sought to be excused when The Standard reached out to him over the meeting taking place at Pilgrim Acres Hotel, Nakuru. “Please don’t get me involved in those things, that is for the organisers to comment,” Ruto said in telephone interview.
The leaders were specific, they wanted Raila to sustain talks with Ruto, and appeared to insinuate that if he did not change heart, they may either decide to confront him or mobilise the ordinary folk in the region to Raila’s side as happened in 2007 when initially Ruto preferred working with Mr Kalonzo Musyoka.
Describing the pact as a “formidable” one, the Kalenjin elders beseeched the PM to meet Ruto and iron out any issues they might have and forge an alliance ahead of March’s elections.
Raila Odinga who was accompanied by three ministers — Mr James Orengo, Paul Otuoma and Musa Sirma — and two Assistant ministers Magerer Lang’at and Beatrice Kones, as well as Kapenguria MP Wilson Litole was emphatic in his apology. “Forgive me, I am seeking forgiveness. If I erred, I am sorry I am a human being and apologise as we were in the same team last time,” Raila said in a subdued voice as he looked at the elders before him. He reiterated the talks between him and Ruto were still on track.
He gave a strong indication that formation of an alliance between him and the Eldoret North MP was still in the works when he revealed he was waiting for Ruto to respond to the proposal he gave him for a pre-election coalition.
“We talked with Ruto and we are still talking and the ball is now in his court. I am ready and willing to engage him in further talks,” Raila told the elders drawn from six counties within Rift Valley.
Raila told the elders he was the same ‘Arap Mibei’ (the name given him by the community in 2007) and said he had been wrongly blamed for some of the problems the people had faced.
“I have not changed and am the same Arap Mibei and I am ready to carry the flag you gave me to State House so that we can finish the journey we started last time,” the ODM leader assured the congregation.
During the daylong meeting, Raila absolved himself from blame over the issues raised by the some Rift MPs led by Ruto when they to abandoned ODM.
Pilgrim Acres Hotel is associated with former NCIC Commissioner Lawrence Bomet who is seeking the Nakuru Governor seat. He also attended the meeting.
Raila reiterated he had no role to play in the eviction of families from Mau forest saying it was a Cabinet decision, which was implemented following recommendation from a Task Force formed on how to reclaim the water tower.
“Most of the Kalenjin like you and want you to talk to Ruto. When both of you agree, we are going to be very happy as we believe it is a winning combination,” Councillor Joshua Cheruiyot told Raila.
Raila argued some of the issues that drove a wedge between him and Rift valley leaders could be attributed to the sharing of power between ODM and PNU where the Orange party was short-changed.
Raila said: “All the powerful positions went to the other side (PNU) and we had to share the leftovers. What we got was like removing meat from the jaws of a lion. Unfortunately our people started grumbling over the way the positions had been shared between various regions which supported ODM,” he went on.
“We were scoring in the same goal and were robbed of our victory. I have been wondering (why) some of the people who were our team members have decided to play for our opponents,” Raila lamented.
On the ICC issue the PM outlined to the elders the chronology of events that led to the six Kenyans being arraigned at the International Criminal Court.
Raila also addressed the issue of youths who were allegedly arrested after the post-election violence saying all those arrested in connection with the violence were later released after he sought Cabinet’s intervention.
“All those who were arrested including Kibor (Jackson) were released and I personally travelled from Nairobi to Nakuru after he was arrested,” Raila added.
Speakers at the meeting however told the PM that he should address some of the issues affecting Nakuru County including land problems and skewed resettlement of the internally displaced if he expected to get their support. Raila criticised a plot by some leaders to ensure all the seats in Nakuru County go to one community.
Led by Mr Pius Langat who is the United Republican Party secretary general in Nakuru County, the Nakuru elders listed land injustices as their biggest worry.
“How could the government purchase parcels of land, build schools, hospitals and shopping centres for a single community while others who suffered the same fate are left out?” questioned Langat.
Unless such injustices are corrected, other speakers insisted that the community was ready for to rebel against any URP decision to work with TNA. “This is the time people from the Kalenjin community weigh properly their next political direction and who they should support for the presidency”, advised Ms Alice Kering.
Former East Pokot MP Stephen Cheptai who said he was among those who called Raila to the meeting argued the region was not yet ready to work with a presidential candidate from Mount Kenya region and urged Ruto to change his mind.
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