Monday, May 23, 2022

courthouse sxm er43August 22, 2021  GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Constitutional Court of Sint Maarten, sat on Friday, August 20, in the case of the Ombudsman versus the Government of Sint Maarten in connection with three ordinances that were adjusted based on condition

s from the Kingdom Government in order for Sint Maarten to receive financial support due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The case was filed by the Ombudsman against the Government on April 26.  

The general conditions that have been imposed specifically for Sint Maarten, Curacao and Aruba are as follows: reduction of the total remuneration package for Members of Parliament and Minister by 25 percent; reduction of the total remuneration package for civil servants, government employees and employees in the semi-public sector by 12.5 percent; and the capping of high wage earners in the semi-public sector to 130 percent of the salary of the Prime Minister.

The legal basis for the implementation of these conditions is formulated in three national ordinances that are contested by the Ombudsman.  

The ordinances are: Temporary National Ordinance COVID-19 Reduction Package of Employment Government Workers; Temporary National Ordinance Adjustment Remuneration Package Person Charged with Political Authority; Temporary National Ordinance Standardization of Top Incomes and Adjustment Package of Employment Conditions (semi) Public Sector.  

The Ombudsman questions the compatibility of these ordinances with the Constitution of Sint Maarten, in particular, the conformity with articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution. The Ombudsman has also referenced to articles 19 and 61 of the Constitution.  

The Ombudsman requests the Constitutional Court to annul the contested ordinances in their entirety or partially, and in the opinion of the Government this should not be honoured and should be rejected.  

During the hearing, the judges of the court requested additional information from both parties. At the closing of the hearing, President of the Constitutional Court Judge Jacob ‘Bob’ Wit said that the court would consider all arguments that were brought forward by both parties and present its judgement within a reasonable time.  

The Constitutional Court, the only one in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, evaluates the constitutionality of the provisions of legislation.  Procedures by the court can only be initiated by the Ombudsman.  

The oral pleadings on behalf of the Government were handled by Attorney R.F. Gibson Jr. and for the Ombudsman, by Attorney J. Rogers. The court session last Friday was from 9.30 am to almost 3.30 pm. The Constitutional Court consists of three judges and three deputy judges which are appointed for a 10-year term and can be renewed once.  

Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs stated, “Government awaits the verdict and will abide by the decision of the court as our Constitution demands. Government also agreed to the conditions as long as they did not violate our laws and our constitution. The position we were in, led to this decision, whereby salaries, subsidies and vital needs of the country would be in jeopardy including the salary support for those employees who were on diminished working hours and whose employees would not be able to pay them their full or any salaries. That is the reality of it, had another option been available at the time it would have been utilized.  

“The wiggle room now being given to Sint Maarten to find alternative means to fill in the 12,5% personnel cost cut, was not available then and in reality, we are still seeking ways in discussion with the unions to do so, as was reported in our joint press release of August 1, 2021. Furthermore, said wiggle room only exists because of the fact that the Ombudsman took the case to the Constitutional Court; a process put into our system for this purpose - to test the constitutionality of our laws. We look forward to the verdict so that this is resolved moving forward,” Prime Minister Jacobs concluded.

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Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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