House Wants to Finish Spending Bills by July

first_imgU.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. Pacheco Here are some new details in the budget and defense budget appropriations process, which kicks off next week when the administration sends its budget request to Capitol Hill:The budget will include the biggest ever request for R&D, according to Bloomberg News, citing an interview with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.The Navy is already getting pushback from Congress on anticipated plans to retire the USS Truman a decade early, cutting the number of carriers from 11 to 10. “Let me be clear, we cannot allow this critical piece of the United States Naval Force to atrophy,” Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) wrote in a Breaking Defense opinions piece. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told Breaking Defense the proposal is “mind-boggling.”The House will try to pass all its appropriations bills by June 30, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Wednesday, according to CQ.Hoyer also told CQ he is working with Senate leaders on a deal to raise or eliminate defense and nondefense spending caps. “I think they want to get this work done,” he said, according to CQ. “They don’t want to see a shutdown. They don’t want to see a dysfunctional appropriations process.” ADC AUTHORlast_img read more

DoT Rejects CAGs Allegations on Undue Favours Extended to Reliance Jio

first_imgThe Department of Telecom has rejected CAG’s allegations that it extended undue favours towards Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited and its subsidiary Infotel, which resulted in a loss of over ₹20, 000 crore to the government.The telecom department responded in a 37 page report to Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) regarding the issue.It said that CAG has challenged the decision-making powers of the government and the wisdom and the decision of the authorities of the time is also being questioned, reported Mint.DoT has now recommended that “draft audit paras may be dropped and matter closed.”CAG had earlier alleged that the government had failed to notice signs of rigging when auction of high speed internet spectrum was held in 2010. During the process, Infotel is said to have paid 5000 times its ₹2.5 crore net worth to grab spectrum across the nation.Infotel paid ₹12, 847.77 crore after giving ₹252.50 crore as earnest money to get 20 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum in 22 circles across India. After the auction, it sold its 95 percent stake to RIL for ₹4800 crore.”This was an auction that was open to bidders across the world. Why would they collude to allow a competitor to gain? You can’t collude when interests are different,” said Mahesh Uppal, a telecom regulatory expert with Com First India Private Limited.Moreover, CAG accused the DoT of extending favours to Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited by permitting it to offer voice services, using the internet service provider licence.”From the beginning of the auction itself, it was clear that a successful bidder, with an Internet service provider licence, could offer voice services by acquiring the requisite licence,” he added.Supporting DoT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Communication and law minister said: “Our policy on spectrum sharing, trading and allocation is transparent.”In a previous report, CAG said DoT’s share of 2G spectrum (1800 MHz band) in 2008 caused a loss of ₹1.76 trillion.The government collected bids worth ₹1.07 trillion in that auction, involving more than ₹32, 000 crore from 3G spectrum sold during auction. The DoT said the firms successful in the auction were permitted to issue fresh equity.The department of telecom is likely to start the next auction of 2G and 3G spectrum bands from February 2015.last_img read more

Texas Education Agency Refuses to Monitor Countys Alternative Special Ed Schools Directly

first_img Share Johnson said that first, the staff at ABS West told her Evan was responsible because he was punching and hitting. But then she saw a video recorded inside the classroom. According to Johnson, the video showed the teacher threatening to punch her son in the face. “It brought tears to my eyes because Evan was crouching in the corner and the teacher was sitting in a chair in front of him and other people were standing up over him,” she said.Then, Johnson said, one staff member pulled the teacher away while others restrained Evan, slamming him against the wall several times and later pinning him to the floor. News 88.7 has not been able to view the video independently.Months later, just talking about the ordeal upsets Evan.“I’m nothing but a freak!” he exclaimed, as his mom tried to calm him down. “Evan, Evan, tell me how you really felt that day — Did it hurt? Yes. Did you cry? Yes. Did you want me? Yes.” X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Johnson hoped that Evan would get to work with a board-certified behavior analyst — support that he needs to manage his autism. Evan also has a speech impediment and epilepsy.But on his second day at the campus last November, something went wrong. Johnson got multiples messages to come and get her son.“When I saw Evan, my heart sank into my stomach,” she said. “I had never seen him in such a state. His shirt was bloodied. His lips were split and bleeding. He was crying. He had abrasions all over his body.”What happened to Evan ended up triggering a state investigation, exposing what some call a loophole in how state administrators keep an eye on some special needs students in Harris County.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.center_img Laura Isensee/Houston Public MediaMelissa Johnson is joined by her son Evan, 21, on the right, and her daughter Cherise and son D.J. on the left.Ever since Evan Johnson was 3 years old, he’s attended public schools in the Cy-Fair Independent School District, northwest of Houston.He’s a tall and lanky 21-year-old, with a creative streak and a passion for trains.That changed last fall, when Cy-Fair district administrators told his mother, Melissa Johnson, that he’d be better served somewhere else.“And it sounded like, ‘Oh my gosh! This beautiful place  — Why haven’t they sent him here sooner?!” Johnson recounted.It’s called the Academic and Behavior Support School West. It’s one of two special ed schools run by the Harris County Department of Education, which has its own board and collects its own taxes. The agency technically isn’t a school district, but it still enrolls over 200 special needs students through contracts with dozens of school districts in Greater Houston. 00:00 /04:02 Johnson believes that Evan was illegally restrained — state law says it’s supposed to be only for emergencies — and complained to the Texas Education Agency about that and other alleged violations, including that the facility failed to give him proper behavior interventions or prescribed psychological services.What’s more, her attorneys argued the alternative schools with the Harris County Department of Education have so little state oversight that vulnerable students are at risk.“Sadly, I feel that they’re dumping grounds for children that districts don’t want to handle,” said Dustin Rynders, a supervising attorney at Disability Rights Texas.Rynders explained that state education administrators fail to oversee the Harris County Department of Education, because students are counted as if they’re still enrolled at their original campus.“But it is still completely inexcusable that you would have two specialized campuses that have been around for a long, long time with rampant allegations and complaints and that the Texas Education Agency has never directly monitored them in any way,” Rynders said. News 88.7 asked the superintendent of the Harris County Department of Education about these allegations.The superintendent, James Colbert, Jr., said that they did their own review of what happened to Evan.“And I think there has been over-characterization of that incident,” Colbert said. “There were some things certainly that one of our staff members didn’t do properly and we addressed that administratively.”Colbert added that he can’t talk about specific disciplinary action, but, overall, he defends the schools, especially since his own personal and professional background is in special education.“I would never let us do anything wrong to a child and try to detriment their growth. And anyone who characterizes that are either misinformed or are just completely wrong, in my opinion,” Colbert said.As for the state investigation into what happened to Evan Johnson, the Texas Education Agency has closed its case, with a mixed decision.It maintains that it can’t monitor the Harris County Department of Education directly because it’s not a traditional school district.But the state agency sent a stern message to the Cy-Fair Independent School District, which contracted with the county facility for Evan’s education.State officials told Cy-Fair administrators that they’re accountable for how he was treated at the alternative school.Meanwhile, Melissa Johnson still hopes Evan can get the services he needs back in Cy-Fair, where he is about to start his final year in public education. Listenlast_img read more