GDF being used to hide slush funds – PPP/C

first_img…says slew of suspicious financial activity …exposes questionable budgetary allocations By Michael YoungeWhile the security of the country is of paramount importance and must never be compromised, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is not prepared to condone any sort of corruption or skulduggery when it comes to the allocation of the country’s scarce financial resources.As a result, the Party on Thursday raised concerns over what it said appeared to be a slew of questionable allocations to the budget of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), which is being funded under the Ministry of the Presidency. The PPP maintained that it was also taken aback by what appeared to be slush funds that were created by the People’s National Congress (PNC)-led A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government.Speaking during a media conference on Thursday, former PPP/C Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee expressed disappointment over the fact that the Opposition was disallowed from questioning a series of questionable and worrying allocations made to the GDF’s $12 billion budget, which climbed from $8 billion over the past two years.Rohee said that he was particularly concerned that corruption within the GDF was now reaching remarkable levels under the current Administration. Rohee claimed that if one were to examine the GDF’s budgetary allocation, one would notice that billions of dollars were being misallocated or siphoned off.The former Home Affairs Minister told reporters that the GDF was awarded more money than the entire Agriculture Ministry, which has responsibility for management of the agricultural sector. He posited too that more monies were allocated to the security agency when compared to the pittances that were given to the administrative regions.The PPP/C Member of Parliament argued that something was amiss as GDF’s allocation grew by a whopping $4 billion after it was increased from $8 billion to $12 billion over the past two years despite the fact that Guyana was not getting value for money being spent on various projects because of poor Executive oversight, and a lack of accountability and transparency.He said, “In the course of 2017, the Guyana Defence Force received a total of six supplementary allocations amounting to $171.9 million … apart from what was budgeted for … in addition to that, they received from the Contingencies Fund $185 million … In addition to the money they received in 2017, these are big bucks.”The PPP/C MP was confident that if he was given the opportunity to pose questions about the allocations, the Government may have been unable to defend the projects and sums that were being allocated to less than transparent ventures. He was equally disappointed over the Speaker’s decision to disallow questions on the remaining portions of the Ministry of the Presidency’s budget in the interest of good governance and curbing corruption.He said that a series of skulduggery was taking place at the Ministry of the Presidency and the GDF was being used to hide monies and slush funds which would in turn be accessed for political and other questionable practices.“You have cases where projects are being embarked upon by the GDF; contractors are being paid huge sums in advance, but the project was never completed … when these matters are raised in the Public Accounts Committee over the years, they accept the deficiencies,” Rohee said.Veterans’ CoI recommendationsThe parliamentarian also explained that he expected that there would have been allocations made in the GDF’s budget for key recommendations flowing from the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the state of veterans in Guyana which highlighted the need to remove the “tremendous challenges” that were currently hindering the entity’s transformation into a “small, versatile and robust” military.He reminded that another key recommendation was for serious consideration to be made to improving the engineering corps of the Army so as to improve its performance through recapitalisation.“The engineering corps is a very critical core, because they are the core ranks that deal with a number of issues within the Force.”Rohee said that more emphasis should have been placed on the development of a master plan and strategic plan that covered core areas of the GDF’s operation that could led to redounding benefits for the entity.last_img read more

Physicists predict a way to squeeze light from the vacuum of empty

first_img Talk about getting something for nothing. Physicists predict that just by shooting charged particles through an electromagnetic field, it should be possible to generate light from the empty vacuum. In principle, the effect could provide a new way to test the fundamental theory of electricity and magnetism, known as quantum electrodynamics, the most precise theory in all of science. In practice, spotting the effect would require lasers and particle accelerators far more powerful than any that exist now.“I’m quite confident about [the prediction] simply because it combines effects that we understand pretty well,” says Ben King, a laser particle physicist at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the new analysis. Still, he says, an experimental demonstration “is something for the future.”Physicists have long known that energetic charged particles can radiate light when they zip through a transparent medium such as water or a gas. In the medium, light travels slower than it does in empty space, allowing a particle such as an electron or proton to potentially fly faster than light. When that happens, the particle generates an electromagnetic shock wave, just as a supersonic jet creates a shock wave in air. But whereas the jet’s shock wave creates a sonic boom, the electromagnetic shock wave creates light called Cherenkov radiation. That effect causes the water in the cores of nuclear reactors to glow blue, and it’s been used to make particle detectors. By Adrian ChoMar. 29, 2019 , 12:55 PM Argonne National Laboratory/Wikimedia commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) Email Physicists predict a way to squeeze light from the vacuum of empty space Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Charged particles zipping through water in a nuclear reactor produce Cherenkov radiation. However, it should be possible to ditch the material and produce Cherenkov light straight from the vacuum, predict Dino Jaroszynski, a physicist at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, U.K., and colleagues. The trick is to shoot the particles through an extremely intense electromagnetic field instead.According to quantum theory, the vacuum roils with particle-antiparticle pairs flitting in and out of existence too quickly to observe directly. The application of a strong electromagnetic field can polarize those pairs, however, pushing positive and negative particles in opposite directions. Passing photons then interact with the not-quite-there pairs so that the polarized vacuum acts a bit like a transparent medium in which light travels slightly slower than in an ordinary vacuum, Jaroszynski and colleagues calculate.Putting two and two together, an energetic charged particle passing through a sufficiently strong electromagnetic field should produce Cherenkov radiation, the team reports in a paper in press at Physical Review Letters. Others had suggested vacuum Cherenkov radiation should exist in certain situations, but the new work takes a more fundamental and all-encompassing approach, says Adam Noble, a physicist at Strathclyde.Spotting vacuum Cherenkov radiation would be tough. First, the polarized vacuum slows light by a tiny amount. The electromagnetic fields in the strongest pulses of laser light reduce light’s speed by about a millionth of a percent, Noble estimates. In comparison, water reduces light’s speed by 25%. Second, charged particles in an electromagnetic field spiral and emit another kind of light called synchroton radiation that, in most circumstances, should swamp the Cherenkov radiation.Still, in principle, it should be possible to produce vacuum Cherenkov radiation by firing high-energy electrons or protons through overlapping pulses from the world’s highest intensity lasers, which can pack a petawatt, or 1015 watts, of power. However, Jaroszynski and colleagues calculate that in such fields, even particles from the world’s highest energy accelerators would produce much more synchrotron radiation than Cherenkov radiation.Space could be another place to look for the effect. Extremely high energy protons passing through the intense magnetic field of a spinning neutron star—also known as a pulsar—should produce more Cherenkov radiation than synchrotron radiation, the researchers predict. However, pulsars don’t produce many high-energy protons, says Alice Harding, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the particles that do enter a pulsar’s magnetic field should quickly lose energy and spiral instead of zipping across it. “I’m not terribly excited about the prospect for pulsars,” she says.Nevertheless, King says, experimenters might see the effect someday. Physicists in Europe are building a trio of 10-petawatt lasers in Romania, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, and their counterparts in China are developing a 100-petawatt laser. Scientists are also trying to create compact laser-driven accelerators that might produce highly energetic particle beams far more cheaply. If those things come together, physicists might be able to spot vacuum Cherenkov radiation, King says.Others are devising different ways to use high-power lasers to probe the polarized vacuum. The ultimate aim of such work is to test quantum electrodynamics in new ways, King says. Experimenters have confirmed the theory’s predictions are accurate to within a few parts in a billion. But the theory has never been tested in the realm of extremely strong fields, King says, and such tests are now becoming possible. “The future of this field is quite exciting.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more