Germany: tie Afghanistan troop pullout to talks’ progress

first_imgBERLIN (AP) — Germany’s foreign minister says the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan should be tied to progress in stuttering peace negotiations between the Kabul government and the Taliban, rather than sticking “slavishly” to an end-of-April deadline. Germany is the second-biggest contributor to NATO’s Resolute Support training and assistance mission in Afghanistan, after the United States. President Joe Biden’s new administration has said it plans to review the peace agreement signed last February between the U.S. and the Taliban. The Pentagon has said the Taliban’s refusal to meet commitments to reduce violence in Afghanistan is raising questions about whether all U.S. troops will be able to leave by May as required under the peace deal.last_img

Chelsea Confirms Conte as New Coach

first_imgConte, who won the Serie A title in each of his three years as Juventus boss, is the fifth Italian to manage Chelsea, following Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto di Matteo.“We are very pleased to have recruited one of the most highly regarded managers in world football,” said club director Marina Granovskaia.“We are equally pleased to do so before the end of the current season. This aids our future planning.”Conte has the task of rebuilding a side that won the Premier League title last season before imploding this term.Mourinho’s second spell came to an end on December 17 after a miserable start to the season and what Chelsea Technical Director, Michael Emenalo, described as “palpable discord” between the Portuguese and his players.Hiddink restored stability in his second interim spell as boss – the Blues are 10th with seven games to go – but Chelsea will fail to win a trophy and are set to miss out on Champions League football next season.Former Juventus player Andrea Pirlo wrote this in his autobiography: “Even when we’re winning, Conte comes in and hurls against the wall (and thus my little corner).“Anything he can lay his hands on… almost always full bottles of water. Fizzy water. Very fizzy water.”When Conte speaks “his words assault you”, says Pirlo, adding: “They crash through the doors of your mind, often quite violently, and settle deep within you.”Conte may have “some problems” adjusting to English football but his appointment will prove to be a “good decision”, says former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.“It is difficult when a manager changes championships,” Mancini, now in charge at Inter Milan, told BBC Sport.“It is important that he knows the league very well and very quickly. Probably he could have some problems at the start of his job.”Conte is a former Italy midfielder who made more than 400 appearances for Juventus, winning five league titles and a Champions League.He won 20 caps for his country and was part of the squad beaten by France in the final of Euro 2000.After spells coaching Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena, Conte returned to Juve in 2011, guiding them to the Serie A title at the first attempt.However, he was then charged with failing to report attempted match-fixing during his time as coach of Siena.Conte pleaded his innocence but was banned for 10 months – a sentence that was reduced to a four-month touchline suspension.Juventus retained their title despite Conte’s absence and won their third in succession the following season before his exit in 2014 to take over as Italy boss.Despite serving that touchline ban, the issue remains an ongoing concern for the soon-to-be Chelsea manager.Conte faces criminal proceedings after being accused of “sporting fraud”, with a trial due to start in Italy this week.Conte, who has always denied wrongdoing, is among 104 defendants.He is likely to be fined if found guilty, according to his lawyer Leonardo Cammarata, who added Conte’s reputation would be “seriously damaged”.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram English Premiership club, Chelsea, has confirmed the appointment of Italy boss, Antonio Conte, as its new first-team head coach, starting from this summer.The 46-year-old former Juventus boss will begin a three-year contract after his country takes part in Euro 2016.“I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that,” he said.Guus Hiddink, who replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho, will remain in charge of the Blues until the end of the season. The final of Euro 2016 takes begins on July 10.last_img read more

Entrusting Finance Minister to remit VAT a “recipe for corruption” – Jagdeo

first_img…as Budget 2019 proposes widening Jordan’s powersThe proposed measure of empowering the Finance Minister to use his discretion for granting Value Added Tax (VAT) remittance, as contained in the 2019 Budget, has been described by the parliamentary Opposition as a recipe for corruption.During the final day of the Budget Debates, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo zeroed in on the measure, which was announced by Finance Minister Winston Jordan during his budget speech over a week ago.The law does allow the Minister to make regulations to remit tax on a personal basis. According to Section 104 of the Income Tax Act, “The Minister may make regulations, subject to negative resolution of the National Assembly, to provide for the remitting wholly or in part of the tax payable by any person or category of persons on such income, in respect of any year of assessment, and in accordance with such conditions as may be specified in the regulations.”In his budget speech, Jordan had invoked Section 105 of the Income Tax Act and proposed amending the VAT Act “to provide for the Minister of Finance to make regulation to remit, in whole or in part, the VAT and the interest on VAT payable by any person, where good cause is shown.”According to Jagdeo, however, this policy has always been deliberately avoided. He noted that under the former Administration, this measure was not employed as they wanted this power to remain with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).And now that the law will be changed to allow persons to approach the Minister directly to request tax remittance, Jagdeo expressed worry for the future of transparency and accountability in Government taxation.When given a chance to rebut the Opposition side and conclude the Budget Debates, Jordan addressed the issue of being allowed to remit VAT. According to the Minister, it is not a power he wants but rather something provided for under the Income Tax Act. As current remissions stand, Jordan announced that there were billions of dollars in increased tax remissions since 2017.“In 2017, remissions were $64.3 billion. In 2018, it (has) gone up to $85.9 billion. It’s not because we became more profligate. It’s Exxon, ramping up for 2020. So that is expected. The laws give them complete duty-free and they have ramped up. You’ve got drill ships, food that is what is causing that,” Jordan stated.Tax collectionWhile the GRA was remitting all this tax, the statistics show that for the year 2017, tax and non-tax collection rose to $194.7 Billion. The 2017 end of year outcome report states that out of this, tax revenues accounted for $171.2 billion.At the heart of this increase in tax revenues, which account for 87.9 per cent of total revenue, is the Government raking in more taxes than ever. For instance, there was a $1 billion or 1.4 per cent rise in the collection of income tax; $600 million or a 3.5 per cent hike in import duty collection and a $300 billion or 0.4 per cent hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) and Excise Tax collection.“Total non-tax revenues were projected at $23.6 billion; actual non tax revenues for 2017 were, therefore, closely in line with the projections at the time of Budget 2018. The Guyana Revenue Authority remitted $49.2 billion,” the report states.According to the report, this is equivalent to 28.8 per cent of tax revenue, compared to figures of $42.3 billion or 27.9 per cent in 2016. It is also $2.2 billion more than the sum at the time of Budget 2018’s presentation.last_img read more

16 Cuban migrants come ashore in Florida Keys

first_imgDORAL, FLA. (WSVN) – More than a dozen Cuban migrants will be allowed to stay in the U.S. after, officials said, they came ashore in the Florida Keys, Wednesday.The U.S. Coast Guard said 14 men and two women left Cuba, Tuesday, on a rustic, single engine boat. They all appear to be in good health.The group was taken to Church World Services in Doral for processing.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img