Monthly Archives: June 2016

Securus Publicizes Shady Business Practices of Global Tel Link

Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil and criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, has announced that it will begin to release reports provided by the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC), highlighting “wrongdoings and integrity breaches” by Global Tel Link (GTL), an inmate telecommunications provider which formerly served Louisiana prisons, providing outbound telecom services for inmates. The reports are from 1998, and will be released over the next six months.
According to PR Newswire, the Louisiana PSC found that GTL overcharged the taxpayers of the State of Louisiana for inmate phone calls by changing the internal clocks on their prison phones to add time, and therefore charges to each call. Rates were changed after calls were made, and unauthorized add-on fees were included. In addition, the PSC found incidences of double-billing which appeared to be deliberate. In all, the cost of these fraudulent practices was $1,243,000 to the taxpayers of Louisiana.

Though the reports were written 18 years ago, Securus America believes that the abuses by GTL are still occurring and must be addressed and stopped. Securus’ CEO, Richard A. (“Rick”) Smith says that “Adding time to calls in telecommunications represents the ultimate in wrongdoing-playing tricks on your customers and scamming them is real B.S. and a cancer on our industry. Time does not take that sin away.”

George Soros Believes That There Is Hope For A New Ukraine

President Poroshenko of Ukraine is under pressure from Chancellor Merkel of Germany to enhance moral and political integrity of the new Ukraine. Merkel has been pushing Poroshenko to observe the Minsk agreement irrespective of whether President Putin respects it or not. George Soros asserts that one of the goals of the winning strategy is ensuring that Ukraine achieves military and political stability.

According to Soros, friends of Ukraine ought to chip in and undertake different initiatives in Ukraine. These initiatives should be aimed at enabling the country to implement broad political and economic reforms as well as ensuring that the country flourishes irrespective of the opposition advanced by President Putin. George Soros Ukraine posits that this strategy will necessitate a significant portion of European Union’s budget. However, Soros asserts that there is need to reconcile between the two winning strategies of keeping the military conflicts at bay and provision of financial support to Ukraine. Without reconciliation, there is the likelihood of interference with each other. The initial strategy suggested that allies of Ukraine look at every possible way to help Ukraine in addition to extending sanctions on Russia. However, the EU failed to meet the deadline. There is great hope that through the Minsk agreement, Russia will be rewarded for abiding by the same besides saving face from its conflict with Ukraine.

Soros contends that renewed pressure on the economy of Russia has been enhanced by the weakening oil prices. Soros notes that Russia’s oil production has been declining year over year. Both the quality and quantity of the Russia’s oil have declined. This situation means that Russia is feeling the effects of the sanctions because it lacks spare parts to enhance the depleting oil fields. Soros argues that Putin has the option of compensating his cronies from financial losses by giving them power to take over the properties of oligarchs presumed to be less reliable. However, the best way through which Putin can arrest the decline in oil is by ensuring that the western sanctions are lifted.

Read more:
A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine

Save the New Ukraine

Soros posits that the Russian aggression and a new Ukraine are historic events. The European Union is facing a resurging Russia that has ceased being a strategic partner and is now a strategic rival. President Putin has been replacing communism through enhancing a nationalist ideology through augmenting social conservatism, ethnic grounds and religious faith. To this end, he has been using homophobia, unity of Slavic race and holy Russia respectively. In his war with Georgia, Putin won the war but failed to use propaganda in an effective manner. Putin’s new strategy uses both propaganda and Special Forces.

Soros notes that Putin’s resolve to re-establish a Russian empire has inadvertently aided in creating a new Ukraine that is focused on becoming the opposite of the old Ukraine and opposing Russia’s aggression. The new Ukraine has seen many young people volunteer in undertaking different initiatives. These young students have studied abroad. Since they know that the government has corrupt officials, the young people have opted to join nongovernmental organizations, think tanks and academic institutions.

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George Soros Asks For More Support For Ukraine

The European Union was initiated to foster a close relationship between member countries for the welfare of their citizens. It was intended to promote international cooperation in the face of increasing sense of nationalism, which in the years gone has led to ethnic wars and global conflict often resolved through violence. The EU created a platform to replace authoritarian regimes with democratic governments guided by the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Recently, there were elections with Ukrainians choosing their presidents and the European Union Parliament for sovereign states. As it turned out, Ukraine citizens voted for a government that was showed the greater leaning towards the EU and threw out politicians who were more open to the status quo.

In the European parliament, there was a recorded low turnout which according to George Soros Ukraine, it epitomizes disconnect and dissatisfaction with the way the European Union does its business. In the recent past, international lenders and banks have emerged as more powerful and wielding more power than states and governments. The Greece crisis is a clear example of the dominance of lending governments like Germany over sovereign states that are going through economic turmoil.

As the European is undergoing an identity crisis, Russia raw ambitions of the reunification of the old Soviet Union are in top gear. The highly respected business person and philanthropist George Soros, argues that Russia is becoming a serious competitor to the European Union’s ideology and is willing to take up arms to spread its control over the region. A good example is the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, not forgetting not long ago when the Kremlin waged war on Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia. In the later, President Putin was not successful as he won the battle of might battle but lost the battle of minds of the Georgian people, a mistake that did not occur in Crimea.

Read more:
A New Policy to Rescue Ukraine

Sustaining Ukraine’s Breakthrough

Moscow has been whipping emotions of ethnicity and religion to draw connections between residents in the neighboring states with the so-called motherland. The Kremlin’s leader Vladimir Putin is on record, in a radio interview heaping praises on the right mannerism and exceptional-ism of all people with Russian heritage. It is therefore not surprising that the incursions in Ukraine has drawn support by nationalists and made Putin appear like the great defender of his people against influences of the west.

Before, the current problems Ukraine had its fair share of bad governance and high level of corruption. But recently, things have changed. There is a new crop of new people, without blemish who have spent a sizable part of their time in foreign countries either studying or working. There is also an increasing tide of the general public in promoting openness and accountability. In a NewYork Times article, George Soros asserts that now is the time for Ukraine to uproot the inefficiencies of the past and to reform the bureaucracies of the days gone.

The European Union must lend more funds to Ukraine to help actualize these changes and give human resource together with institutional support to the new Ukrainian leadership.

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