In less than eight weeks, Guyanese will be heading to the polls and in preparation for the upcoming March 2 General and Regional Elections, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is all set to host Nomination Day on Friday.GECOM PRO Yolanda Ward at the lunchtime lecture organised by the Guyana Press Association (GPA) on Tuesday at Moray HouseThis is according to GECOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Yolanda Ward, who delivered a presentation to members of the media on Tuesday, on the practices, procedures and laws relating to the conduct of Nomination Day.On that day, each party contesting the elections will have to submit their list of candidates for the election of a President, members of the National Assembly and members of the Regional Democratic Councils to the Chief Elections Officer.This will be done at the Umana Yana, High Street, Kingston, Georgetown on Friday from 13:00 to 17:00h.Moreover, the Nomination Day process began last month when political parties had to submit their party symbols to GECOM by December 13, 2019. This, Ward explained, was to allow the Commission to examine the symbols and give approval to avoid issues such as duplication. This way, parties will be informed of ahead of Nomination Day and will be able to make adjustments.However, she explained that parties are allowed also to submit their symbols on Nomination Day as well.GECOM had reported that 19 political parties have submitted symbols thus far and of these, 14 are new parties. While the two main political parties – the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) coalition – have been gearing up March 2 polls, there have been the formation of several new and small parties over the past months. As a matter of fact, so far, there have been 19 parties indicating interest in contending the upcoming elections.According to Ward, the law prescribed that the submissions of the lists of candidates will have to be done strictly on Nomination Day and within the timeframe set – no time earlier or later. She went on to explain how the lists are formed and who should be on each list.The GECOM PRO pointed out that all the lists must be registered electors. For the National Top-Up List, it should comprise of 300-330 nominators, 42 candidates (persons to be elected to sit in National Assembly) who all need a statutory declaration form in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths or Justice of Peace, and include the name of the Presidential Candidate.The Statutory Declaration form is what candidates sign to indicate that they are Guyanese and do not have dual citizenship. According to Ward, the onus is on the Candidates to be honest when they sign the statutory forms since the laws do not provide for false declarations made by candidates.Meanwhile, the Geographical Constituency (Administrative Regions) List must include 150-175 nominators from each constituency and no more than 45 candidates.It must be noted that parties are not mandated to contest both General and Regional Elections. Likewise, they are not mandated to contest in all 10 geographical constituencies but they must contest in at least six of those regions.With regards to the Regional Elections, the Regional Democratic Council List must comprise of 150-175 nominators for each constituency – all residing in the said region, and 12 to 36 candidates also from within the region. They too are required to sign a statutory form.Candidates and nominators can only appear on one party’s lists – both National Top-up and Geographical Constituency Lists – but only on one of that party’s geographical lists.Parties are also required to have one-third female presence on their National Top-Up List and same on the combined Geographical Constituency Lists in accordance with gender balance laws.These requirements, as well as others, will be examined by Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield on Nomination Day and those parties whose lists, even one, do not meet all the requirements will be deemed defective.Parties will have 24 hours after Nomination Day to notify the CEO in writing of death and/or withdrawals of candidates and/or nominators. In addition, parties can also withdraw their lists but this will have to be done in writing by both the representative and deputy of the lists and before the lists are approved.On January 12, the CEO will inform the representative and/or deputies of the defective lists of same and they will have until the following day to make and submit the corrections.On January 15, the CEO will inform of the approval and/or non-approval of the lists by the Elections Commission. Parties will also have up until January 16 to make any appeals to the High Court based on the decisions of the Commission.Additionally, representatives and/or their deputies will have until January 17 to notify the CEO of any joiner of lists by two or more parties. Finally, on January 19, the titles and symbols of the approved lists of each party will be published in the gazette along with the names of the candidates.The CEO will make these lists available for public scrutiny.
Pearse Doherty TDSinn Féin’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has expressed his concerns that the government’s issuing of €100 rebates on water charges could see the funding model for Irish Water failing to meet EU rules for market competition. The TD for Donegal South-West has said that such a situation would mean that the €100 rebate on water charges could be removed at any time.Deputy Doherty said: “I believe that, with the €100 conservation grant, the government is skating on thin ice as regards meeting Eurostat rules on market competition. “Earlier this year, I queried the government’s classification of a €240m investment in Irish Water as a capital investment which would have allowed this money to be kept off balance sheet. The government repeatedly assured me that they were confident Eurostat would accept their classification. Only two days ago, Minister Noonan confirmed to me that he had failed and that that investment was back on the State’s books.“The government has failed once already to convince Eurostat on Irish Water. Another failure on this issue will mean the carrot of the €100 rebate will be at risk and could be removed at any time.“This is a genuine fear. It shows that, in its scrambling to come up with an idea to entice people into supporting Irish Water, the government may have created an even bigger mess.“Ultimately this scrambling will not convince people. The demand for the abolition of water charges has not been diluted. Nothing announced this week will change minds. The government must stop saying that it is listening and instead show it’s actually listening by scrapping water charges.” GOVERNMENT COULD SCRAP €100 WATER GRANT AT ANY TIME – DOHERTY was last modified: November 20th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:conservation grantPearse Dohertyscrappedwater charges
Avast Secure Browser review by Martin Brinkmann on April 09, 2018 in Internet – Last Update: April 09, 2018 – 58 commentsAvast Secure Browser is a free Chromium-based web browser by security company Avast that is advertised as private, fast, and secure on the official download site.The web browser is the official successor of Avast SafeZone Browser which Avast discontinued some time ago to focus development on the new browser.We will take a close look at the web browser in our review; you will learn about installation and use, functionality that it provides, and whether the fast, secure and private promise is kept.Avast Secure BrowserAvast Secure Browser is available as a standalone download for Microsoft Windows and also as part of Avast’s security products. You find the download link in the summary box below the review.SafeZone installations will be updated automatically to the new browser.InstallationThe standalone download is offered as a web installer which means that most program components are downloaded during installation. A click on options on the first installation screen displays several setup preferences:Place a shortcut on the desktop (yes), taskbar (yes), and in the start menu (no).Launch the browser when the installation finishes (yes).Set the default program language.Import bookmarks and settings from my current default browser (no).Import cookies from my current default browser (no).Make Avast Secure Browser my new default browser (no).You need to check the import options if you want to import bookmarks, settings or cookies from the default system browser. Note that the import function supports imports from the default system browser, and that the import will fail if the default browser is not supported by Avast (example: if Pale Moon is your default browser, imports will fail as it is not supported).Note that the browser supports the importing of bookmarks and settings from other browsers after installation.Just load secure://settings/importData at any time to configure the operation. Supported browsers are Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. You may import from a bookmarks HTML file as well.Note: Avast collects and sends usage statistics and crash reports to company servers automatically. Users are not prompted about this during installation. You may disable the collecting and sending on secure://settings/ under privacy and security.Using the browserAvast Secure Browser is based on Chromium, the open source part of Google Chrome, Vivaldi, Opera and other Chromium-based browsers.If you used Google Chrome in the past, you will feel at home right away as the interface resembles that of the browser.You will notice some differences though as well as Avast’s browser comes with several built-in browser extensions.Three extension icons are visible in the browser’s toolbar that provide video downloading and ad-blocking functionality and a link to the new Security & Privacy Center.A quick check on secure://extensions/ (yes, Avast uses secure:// for internal pages and not chrome// or about://), lists a total of seven extensions of which five are enabled. The installed extensions are:Adblock — an ad-blocker powered by uBlock Origin. Supports third-party filter lists, custom rules, and whitelists.Avast Passwords (disabled) — integrates with the passwords component of Avast security products. You need to install compatible software on the device to use it.Avast SecureLine VPN — integrates Avast’s SecureLine virtual private network in the browser. Enabled by default but requires that Avast SecureLine VPN software is installed on the Windows machine.Bank Mode (disabled) — switch to a virtual desktop to communicate with important sites such as online banking sites. Bank Mode is only available if Avast Antivirus or other Avast security programs that support it are installed on the PC.HTTPS Encryption — enforces the use of HTTPS on supported websites.Privacy — an anti-tracking extension that blocks companies and sites from tracking you online.Video Downloader — download videos to your PC.Avast Secure Browser users may disable or enable extensions but it is not possible to uninstall any of them.Security & Privacy CenterSecurity & Privacy Center is another feature of the browser that is a unique feature. It is a control interface to enable or disable built-in features, and is used by Avast to list company products that complement the browser.You control the ad-blocking, privacy, HTTPS encryption, and password manager extensions from the Security & Privacy Center, and new tools that are not listed as extensions.These are:Anti-Fingerprinting (disabled) to block or limit fingerprinting for tracking purposes.Anti-Phishing (enabled) to protect against phishing attempts.Extension Guard (enabled) to block the installation of untrusted browser extensions.Flash Blocker (enabled) to block all Flash content.You may launch a new private browsing window (called Stealth Mode) and a Privacy Cleaner (clean browsing data) from the Security & Privacy Center as well.Avast’s browser lists the installation status of Avast Antivirus, Bank Mode and Avast SecureLine VPN at the top of the page. Download links are provided when products are not installed; the links redirect to the Avast website.Avast Secure Browser BenchmarksHow fast is Avast’s Secure Browser? My initial assumption was that the browser’s performance should be more or less identical to that of Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers.I ran tests using stable versions of Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Vivaldi, Opera and Avast Safe Browser. Benchmarks are linked; feel free to give this a try on your end and report the results in the comments below (Basemark and HTML5 Test: higher is better, Ares: lower is faster).Browser / TestBasemarkAresHTML5 TestAvast Secure Browser58126ms528Google Chrome57025ms528Microsoft Edge20785ms476Mozilla Firefox9084ms489Vivaldi42927ms520Opera41529528The benchmark results show that this is indeed the case. The small score differences between Avast Secure Browser and Google Chrome are not significant; expect the same performance in Avast’s browser and Google’s browser.To sum it up: The performance of the web browser is excellent. It is as fast as Google Chrome in benchmarks and that carries over to real-world usage as well. While you won’t see a five times performance boost when you compared it to Mozilla Firefox, it is an area that the browser does really well in.What about privacy?One of Avast’s main promises is that Secure Browser protects user privacy better than other browsers. I decided to run tests using the default configuration and with all privacy features enabled.Panopticlick by EFF stated that Avast Secure Browser offered “strong protection against Web Tracking” and that the browser did not have a unique fingerprint (in both configurations).Other privacy tests highlighted that the browser’s protection was not perfect but still better in many cases when fully enabled. The test on Maxa Tools, for example, listed the number of installed plugins, the device’s IP address and the location based on the IP, as well as other information. A rerun of the test with fingerprinting protection enabled did not improve the results.You may see some improvement depending on which test you run and whether you connect to Avast SecureLine VPN, but the same can be achieved with any other VPN as well.To sum it up: Avast Secure Browser comes with built-in functionality to protect user privacy. While that is good overall, it does not offer 100% protection against all forms of invasive data collecting or fingerprinting.Closing Words and verdictAvast Secure Browser is a brand new browser that is based on Chromium. The browser is fast and comes with privacy enhancing extensions and settings that do improve privacy up to a point.The fact that usage statistic and crash reports sending is enabled by default damages that somewhat; I’d expect a prompt from a privacy-focused browser during setup that asks me whether I want to enable the send-home functionality or not.Another negative is that you can’t uninstall extensions that the browser comes with. Disabling may work for most users but if you like a clean browser, you may not like the sticky nature of all default extensions.Avast is off to a good start with the new browser. It offers better functionality than the company’s SafeZone Browser and does well in benchmarks and other tests. The company needs to publish regular updates to not fall behind the Chromium release cycle and leave security issues unpatched for too long after patches become available.It is too early to tell whether Avast is up for that. I’ll revisit the browser in a couple of months and keep an eye on it in the meantime to find out more about that.Now You: What’s your main web browser right now, and why?Summary12345 Author Rating4 based on 40 votes Software Name Avast Secure BrowserOperating System WindowsSoftware Category SecurityLanding Page https://www.avast.com/secure-browser Advertisement