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Posts made in November, 2015

Fighting corruption to be at the forefront of the Commonwealth

By on Nov 30, 2015 in Press Release |

27 November 2015 · Transparency International Secretariat <!– –> Transparency International and Malta Prime Minister make joint statement At the first day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), taking place in Malta, a joint statement of Transparency International and Hon. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, has pledged to put fighting corruption at the centre of the Commonwealth. The statement outlines the damaging impact of corruption that “can choke off development, rob people of faith in their governments and sow the seeds of instability and conflict.” The statement sets out 8 steps to begin the process of the Commonwealth leading global anti-corruption efforts, including a formal Commonwealth scheme, meeting the G20 standards of beneficial ownership, as well as much stronger mechanisms for the sharing of information. Cobus de Swardt, Transparency International Managing Director, said: “We are delighted that the Commonwealth – which represents nearly a third of the world’s population – is taking the fight against corruption so seriously and treating it as a priority. Corruption has proven to be a major destructive force across the Commonwealth, ruining millions of lives and stunting development and growth.” “The Commonwealth is in a unique position to lead international anti-corruption efforts. Transparency International is proud to work together with the Commonwealth to support our vision of a world in which corruption is eradicated.” “This joint statement marks a first step in this relationship and we look forward to moving forwards and building a lasting partnership to combat corruption.” Text of Joint Statement: Joint statement: Transparency International and Hon Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta “The Commonwealth should play a leading role in the fight against corruption”  Unchecked, corruption can choke off development, rob people of faith in their governments and sow the seeds of instability and conflict. But against this challenge, the Commonwealth has a tremendous opportunity to lead. Corruption afflicts the Commonwealth in many ways. The Commonwealth includes both countries where vast amounts of wealth are stolen from the people and major financial centres that can be used to launder corrupt wealth. It is a community of nations with a set of shared values, shared sense of rule of law and a shared history of institutions. Because of all...

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Transport minister defends late-night news release on Hong Kong-Macau bridge …

By on Nov 29, 2015 in Press Release |

Transport minister Anthony Cheung Bing-leung has defended a late-night news release about the bridge linking the city with Zhuhai and Macau, saying the government did not intend to avoid media inquiries but rather wanted to clarify reports about delays. The controversy centres on an announcement by the Highways Department about a delay in the completion of border facilities made at 11pm on Wednesday night. The government has come under fire for avoiding media inquiries over such an important issue. READ MORE: Bridge delayed: Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau link meant to slash travel time will miss 2016 deadline Cheung said the department had no intention to keep the media in the dark, but it saw an urgent need to quell online rumours saying the project would face further delays. “The Highways Department was aware of the online reports, in which the bridge was said to be facing delays until 2021. Some media were following up the issue,” Cheung said. “The department saw a need to clarify to the public as soon as possible, as information circulates on the internet 24 hours a day.” In the statement issued on Wednesday, the department said the construction of the Hong Kong section of the 42km bridge project would miss its 2016 deadline by a year, because of many technical challenges during the design and construction stages. The Hong Kong Journalists Association said it would complain to the ombudsman over the late-night news release as most print-media deadlines had already passed, leaving them no time to handle such important information. Cheung said undersecretary Yau Shing-mu and Director of Highways Peter Lau Ka-keung had arranged press conferences on the following two days to update the media on the issue. When asked if the government was confident that the bridge could open by the end of 2017, Cheung said: “I cannot answer this question for other governments” as the mainland and Macau administrations were also involved. The government will seek approval at a Legislative Council meeting on Tuesday for an extra HK$5.46 billion to build immigration and customs facilities on an artificial island off Hong Kong International Airport, on top of HK$30.4 billion already...

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Kathleen Kane was practicing law by news release – Tribune

By on Nov 29, 2015 in Press Release |

HARRISBURG A Nov. 10 news release issued by Attorney General Kathleen Kane was rich with irony. It began: “Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced a legal settlement with the company Christi L. Jones and Associates, Inc., and its president, Christi Jones.â€� Kane alleged that Jones, of Schuylkill County, represented herself as an attorney by advertising and offering to investigate, enforce and recover unpaid judgments. Kane no longer was a Pennsylvania attorney with an active law license when she issued the release. Her license was suspended last month by the state Supreme Court after criminal charges were filed against her in Montgomery County. She is charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and oppression stemming from a grand jury leak last year of 2009 secret documents. Prosecutors say the leak was intended to embarrass a rival prosecutor. On Thursday, a special Senate Committee issued a report to the full Senate that could result in Kane eventually being removed from office if Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf agrees. The reason the news release is worth mentioning is the wording: “Kane announced a legal settlement.â€� It’s not unlike others she has issued, such as one on Nov. 20: “Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced the filing of a lawsuit against a West Chester sports apparel company.â€� Beth Weisser, a legal ethics expert and partner with Fox Rothschild law firm, recently told the Senate committee that a duty of suspended attorneys is to stop using any communication that implies they are active lawyers. That would include items such as websites and business cards, she said. When Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne County, a committee member, asked Weisser whether that would extend to the attorney general’s letterhead and title, Weisser replied that it’s “problematic.â€� Asked later whether she thinks that applies to Kane’s news releases and if Kane should refrain from calling herself “attorney general,â€� Weisser said, “Yes — any communication, publication or dissemination of information.â€� The problem was Kane implying that she reached the legal settlement or that she filed the lawsuit. With her license suspended, she is not even supposed to approve those types of actions. A very subtle change occurred later last week. An apostrophe and one word made the difference. A...

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Homeland Energy Group Ltd.: Early Warning Report News Release

By on Nov 28, 2015 in Press Release |

TORONTO, CANADA–(Marketwired – Nov. 27, 2015) – Homeland Energy Group Ltd. (NEX:HEG.H) (“Homeland” or the “Company”) On November 27, 2015, SRK Energy Ltd. (“SRK”) completed the acquisition of 293,215,907 shares of the Company from GMR Energy Ltd. (“GMR”) for total cash consideration of $110.00 pursuant to the terms of a private agreement entered into by SRK and GMR (the “Transaction”) representing approximately 60.9% of the Company’s 472,204,149 issued and outstanding common shares. SRK is controlled by Ajay Gupta, the Chief Executive Officer of Homeland. As a result the transaction is an insider bid for the purposes of Multilateral Instrument 61-101. SRK relied on certain exemptions from the requirement to produce a formal valuation pursuant to MI 61-101 on the basis that: SRK acquired in excess of 10 per cent of the outstanding shares; GMR had full knowledge and access to information concerning Homeland and its securities; and, Mr. Gupta is not aware of any material information in respect of Homeland and its securities that has not been generally disclosed and could reasonably be expected to increase the value of the securities. For the purposes of National Instrument 62-103 early warning reporting, the address of Ajay Gupta is 250 Yonge Street, Suite 2201, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2L. Prior to the Offering, Mr. Gupta owned 500,000 shares of Homeland representing approximately 0.1% of Homeland’s 472,204,149 issued and outstanding common shares. As a result of the purchase of 287,369,107 issued and outstanding shares, Mr. Gupta has ownership of a total of 287,869,107 shares of Homeland representing approximately 61.0% of Homeland’s 472,204,149 issued and outstanding common shares. The Common Shares were acquired for investment purposes only, however, Mr. Gupta will review his holdings from time to time and may increase or decrease his position as future circumstances may dictate. CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: Neither the TSX-V nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX-V) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein. This News Release includes certain “forward-looking...

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