Rio mayor to face inquiry over Olympic course misconduct

first_imgRIO DE JANEIRO – The mayor of Rio de Janeiro will face an inquiry into alleged misconduct in the construction of a golf course for the 2016 Olympics in a nature reserve, according to documents provided by the public prosecutors’ office Friday. Golf’s return to the Olympics after a more than century-long absence was meant to be triumphal, but the construction of the course in the Marapendi nature reserve — a narrow strip of green in the heart of one of Rio’s fastest-growing neighborhoods — has been dogged by legal wrangling and protests by activists. The inquiry into Mayor Eduardo Paes was opened earlier this month by prosecutor Alberto Flores Camargo following a complaint by the environmental group Golf For Whom, which contends the city has harmed taxpayers by allowing a private developer to build the course at what is expected to be a massive financial gain. The documents released Friday represent yet another possible legal imbroglio surrounding the golf course. In a separate case, the state prosecutors’ office has alleged ground was broken without the necessary environmental impact studies and other legal requirements. The documents show that Camargo is deciding whether to bring civil charges of “misconduct causing damage to the public treasury” against Rio’s mayor over allegations he helped pave the way for the golf course developer to make a hefty profit on its $21 million investment. The activists allege developers stand to earn some $350 million, according to the documents. “It must be verified whether the benefits granted (to the developer) were excessive compared with the compensation demanded by the city, which would cause damage to the public treasury,” the documents said. The activists allege the city government gerrymandered the boundaries of the nature reserve and changed area zoning laws in order to allow for the construction of the course, as well as a neighboring complex of luxury residential towers, called Riserva Golf. Buildings in the area used to be capped at six stories, but the four towers that make up the Riserva Golf complex are expected to stand some 20 stories high. Officials with the Rio state prosecutors’ office say the inquiry could last up to a year, with the prosecutor ultimately deciding to shelve the complaint or bring charges against the mayor. A civil conviction on misconduct charges could result in a public official being forced out of office or banned from holding another public office for up to 10 years, the officials said. Paes took office in 2009, and his second term will end in 2016. Because the inquiry does not challenge the legality of golf course, it will not affect its construction. While the documents say that copies were sent to City Hall, as well as to the developers, a spokeswoman for Mayor Paes said in an email that “City Hall has not been officially informed about this particular matter.”last_img read more

Music and other creative activities can improve the quality of life in people with dementia

first_imgShare on Twitter Share Pinterest Share on Facebook LinkedIncenter_img Email The project will culminate in the creation of a musical instrument based toolkit as a way of enabling other people, across a wide range of settings, to enjoy the benefits.The research team have also prepared a free report illustrating the lessons learned from their pilot project which includes recommendations on how other organisations can run similar workshops.‘Ageing Playfully’ brought together academic researchers, designers and artists, from Lancaster University and professionals from Age UK Lancashire to work with a community of people in the early stages of dementia, their carers and community workers.It was designed and funded as part of The Creative Exchange, an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Knowledge Exchange Hub, which aims to catalyse collaboration between academics and non-academics, by working together on imaginative and innovative products, services and experiences through a series of short projects.The aim of the first stage of the project was to offer a creative, playful and supportive space during a series of four workshops, where people with dementia were given the opportunity to co-design 2D collages and 3D models, to stimulate and facilitate physical mobility, imagination and social interaction.The workshops were set up within the context of an existing weekly drop-in activity, run as part of the Age UK Lancashire ‘circle of support’ initiative.There were 12 willing participants and a carer and two support workers.. Activities included a ‘warm-up’ with games and singing.Participants worked in small groups to co-design and make models with themes based on activities which they chose themselves.Initially the focus was on being outdoors in the garden, having meals, dancing, singing and social activities. The most popular theme to emerge was music and in the last two workshops participants co-designed musical, mainly percussive models, using a range of art and modelling materials.Senior Lecturer in Design Interactions at Lancaster University Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves, who led the project, said: “Participants as co-designers expressed enjoyment and enthusiasm, when given this opportunity to engage playfully with each other in imagining and building models. Their carers and support workers noted how the workshop activities seemed to encourage interaction, with even the reticent, less confident members of the group joining in with the model building.“Furthermore, carers and Age UK support staff reported that workshop participants retained the positive feelings even whilst at home and each time they arrived at the workshop associated these positive feelings with the workshop facilitators.”The project team encouraged interaction outside each workshop session by sending participants a postcard featuring a picture of the 2D or 3D model they had helped to create to help them remember their part in the model building and to be reminded of the next workshop.Following the session, after the participants’ lunch break, the team showed the participants the models again to remind them of the session so they could share and give feedback.This project acknowledged the need for innovative and creative ways to engage with, and support, the increasing numbers of older people with dementia in the UK in their daily activities.This first phase is planned to lead to a second phase of development using the participants’ models to explore potential digital-physical technologies that could creatively enhance physical mobility and mental facility and imagination for those with dementia, their carers and community workers. Creative activities, such as designing musical instruments, can improve the quality of life of people with dementia, according to researchers at Lancaster University.The ‘Ageing Playfully’ research project also found activities that stimulate multisensory experiences, including tactile, auditory and visual, and encourage physical exercise, such as upper body movement, increase group engagement and social inclusion.The team found their ‘well-facilitated’ Lancaster workshops helped to uplift the mood of people with dementia and contributed to their social connectedness.last_img read more

Stanford-owned Caribbean Star Airlines building acquired by St Kitts government

first_img 16 Views   no discussions Share Share NewsRegional Stanford-owned Caribbean Star Airlines building acquired by St Kitts government by: – November 17, 2012 Sharing is caring!center_img Share Tweet Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in introducing the motion to acquire what has become known as the ‘Stanford building at the airport” said Cabinet had given its full support for the action.BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, – Parliament has given the St. Kitts and Nevis government the green light to acquire the building constructed by the disgraced United States billionaire, Allan Stanford, to house the headquarters of his now defunct Caribbean Star Airlines.The building is situated just outside the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport and the authorities said the land inside the airport was earlier repossessed for non-performance with a private jet terminal now being constructed there.Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in introducing the motion to acquire what has become known as the ‘Stanford building at the airport” said Cabinet had given its full support for the action.Tourism and International Transport Minister Richard Skerritt said it was a “very very important and very timely, as the government seeks to bring that very important property into a more productive use going forward and acquire an asset that will become increasingly valuable over the coming years.”Skerritt told legislators that the Stanford Agreement dating back to February 28, 2003 had provided for the transfer of that particular parcel of land to the Stanford Company, based on a promise to facilitate Stanford’s relocation of a major corporation to St. Kitts.Skerritt said that soon after joining the government he was “one of those who agitated quite vigorously to bring that agreement to termination because of non-performance.“Mr. Speaker, this government is a very patient and a very understanding government and the government took a great deal of deliberation, a great deal of time before declaring that agreement null and void, but by doing so, it saved the Government from delivering on six acres of land inside of the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport which today, is being developed practically the very same piece of land that we took back from the Stanford Company back then.“The government did not give title to the land inside, because of non-performance. So that the very land inside, which technically had been sold, today is being developed by SCASPA in partnership with a private investor in what will become one of the top private jet terminals in the western world by the time it opens around the end of the first quarter next year,” he said.“It is very valuable to this country and I think in credit to Mr. Stanford, he really produced an outstanding, aesthetically pleasing, and significantly valuable building on the site which as of now Mr Speaker, becomes the property of this government,” Skerritt said.Stanford, who was convicted of orchestrating and concealing a US$7 billion Ponzi scheme involving his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank (SIB) in March, is serving a 110-year sentence at a US federal prison. (CMC)www.caribbean360.comlast_img read more

Minagawa sidelined with injury

first_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 It appears doubtful Minagawa will recover full fitness in time for the world championships to be held in Are, Sweden, on Feb 3-18, they said.In 2002, the 29-year-old suffered torn ligaments in his left knee. center_img Japanese slalom skier Kentaro Minagawa, who finished fourth at the Turin Olympics, has sustained a knee injury and is expected to miss the alpine skiing world championships in February, Ski Association of Japan officials said Tuesday.Minagawa picked up the injury during Friday’s training session in Austria and an MRI has confirmed torn ligaments in his right knee, the officials said, adding he will undergo further tests after returning to Japan on Wednesday.last_img read more

Souths Arts Warriors eye back to back titles

first_imgRugby League BY PATRICK NIATO TOM Defending champions Souths Arts Warriors are eyeing a back to back title in the University of Papua New Guinea rugby league as they head into the second week of the qualifying finals tomorrow. Arts Warriors who claimed the title last year will leave no stone unturned and will stick to the basics of giving their opponents a good run for their money against arch rivals Veari Spiders in the second finals qualifier. Warriors survived a scare last week when they pushed their way back to finals contention after defeating SBA West Eagles 6-1 to come out victorious in extra time in an epic finals showdown. The 2018 defending premiers will be determined to push hard for a win to keep their finals dream alive. However, the road to final will not be a new journey for the silent killers who started their finals campaign on a similar fashion playing all sudden death footy last year to make it to the grand final and eventually stake claim to the trophy. This time the former champions and 2017 premiers Spiders will try to stop their dominance but, to do that they will have to cure their wounds from last weekend loss to the SOL Brothers and build on a winning combination to face the Warriors. Arts Warriors Coach Jerry Allan said they have really work hard for this game as they know the Spiders will come out strong and put up a good challenge for an intense finals footy. “We are taking one game at a time and will be polishing on ball drills and defense which is the key factor if we are to win this match.” “We will maintain the same winning team from last week but, slight changes will be made for our boys who are carrying minor injuries if it needs to so that we come with a solid team to face the Spiders,” Allan said.last_img read more