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President Barack Obama urged young people to stay involved in the political process Monday during a conference call with student journalists. “You’ve got to take the time to find out where does your congressional candidate stand on various issues, where does your Senate candidate stand on various issues and make an educated decision and participate in this process — because democracy is never a one-and-done proposition,” Obama said. “It’s something that requires sustained engagement and sustained involvement. And I just want to remind everybody of that.” The Observer was one of many student publications to participate in the conference call, which Obama called in order to discuss issues facing students and other young Americans. Obama began by outlining his administration’s plans to improve higher education. He listed three goals, which are to make college more affordable, to ensure higher education prepares students to enter the workforce and to encourage students to finish college. “The key here is that we want to open the doors of our colleges and universities to more people so they can learn, they can graduate and they can succeed in life,” Obama said. Obama’s message was one of optimism, and he expressed confidence that students would be able to find jobs upon graduation. “Things are real tough for young people right now,” he said. “But having said that, if you are getting a college degree, if you’ve got skills in math and science or good, sound communication skills, there are still jobs out there even in a tough environment.” And while improving the economy should help stop the inflation of college costs, a certain amount of the burden lies on universities themselves, Obama said. “You guys have to be good consumers, and your parents have to be good consumers, and we’ve got to offer you more information,” he said. “You should know where your tuition is going. There should be a pie chart at every university that says, out of every dollar you spend in tuition, here’s where your money is going.” The conference call was part of a whole day in which the administration addressed the issue of education at different levels. Monday morning, Obama appeared on NBC’s “Today” show to talk about public education reform in elementary and secondary schools. Monday afternoon, Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, spoke at NBC’s “Education Nation” summit in New York City, where she emphasized the importance of community colleges in higher education. The conference call also came at the beginning of a national tour of colleges for Obama and Biden. Obama is scheduled to speak at a rally at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Tuesday, and Biden is scheduled to speak at Penn State Tuesday. Obama said the goal of those visits is to underscore the importance of young voters in the Nov. 2 midterm elections. “You can’t sit it out,” Obama said. “You can’t suddenly just check in once every 10 years or so, on an exciting presidential election, and then not pay attention during big midterm elections where we’ve got a real big choice between Democrats and Republicans.” read more
Removal of manufacturing tax waiver– says decision has a direct impact on end usersWith Government looking to increase its revenue by removing several tax waivers, the manufacturing sector has kicked up a storm on the enforcement of previously unimplemented import taxes on a range of hardwareMembers of the GMSA meeting with representatives of the GRA and the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursdayand other inputs. In fact, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) has even agreed to take the lead in suspending the previously unimplemented import taxes.This was indicated by president of GMSA Eon Caesar on Thursday during a meeting with members and stakeholders including representatives of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the GMSA Headquarters to address the call for the suspension of previously unimplemented import taxes.Earlier this week, GRA announced that it will be removing the tax waiver on inputs previously enjoyed by the local manufacturing sector. This move is consistent with President David Granger’s announcement in May when he expressed concerns that businesses are becoming too reliant on concessions and not doing enough to develop their enterprises and resources.However, the GMSA head indicated during the meeting that the association is engaging the services of the GRA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to commence the process of applying for a suspension of the import taxes. In fact he pointed out, the presence of the representatives of the two entities was to provide guidance and advice on the actions which can be taken to address the concerns of the GMSA.“The GMSA is prepared to lead the process for a speedy resolution to the suspension of the import taxes as this situation can have dire consequences for Guyana’s manufacturing, business and economic sectors,’ Caesar stated, adding that, “while this is our short-term approach, the GMSA is prepared to engage with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade Department, to achieve the long-term goal of reclassifying items ineligible for import tax exemptions under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.”Moreover, the GMSA president outlined that this move is in fulfilment of the mandate of the GMSA, which advocates for the protection of all its members. In this regard he is prepared to work closely with all relevant stakeholders including the GRA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find a solution to concerns regarding the implementation of the import taxes as well as the revision of the list of raw materials which are ineligible for tax exemptions under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and which has been in existence for over 40 years.“The GMSA members are concerned about the significant consequences which will be faced by manufacturers and their customers should these import taxes be imposed,” the association president stressed.He went on: “It is imperative that manufacturers, and more importantly the purchasers of products, be cognisant of the fact that this requirement would result in higher prices for products and services. This decision has a direct impact on the end users as products and services which they normally utilise would become more expensive.”Another impact the sector will face, is that while local manufacturers would be required to pay more for raw materials as a consequence, increase in the costs for their products, foreign competitors can continue to charge current rates for their products. This, he noted, is a significant issue for the local manufacturing sector as foreign competitors would be able to offer products at cheaper prices, creating an uneven playing field.The GMSA president further stated that the association is highly appreciative of the support of the GRA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.“The fact that both entities have representatives at this very important gathering speaks volumes about the beneficial relationship with the GMSA,” stated Caesar.The head of GMSA said the representatives of GRA and Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided a wealth of support to the association on this matter and committed to continue working closely with both entities for a speedy resolution. read more
The number of US residents speaking Telugu rose by 86% between 2010 and 2017, according to an online video by the World Economic Forum.The video referred to a study by the US-based Centre for Immigration Studies, which analysed census data to look at the pace at which languages are being spoken in America.Read it at BBC Related Items