Mayo Hernández tries to take his life, sees death as the only way out

first_img CubaAmericas to go further October 15, 2020 Find out more CubaAmericas Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders is extremely worried about the condition of Mario Enrique Mayo Hernández (photo), a journalist who has been detained since March 2003 and is serving a 20-year prison sentence. His wife and mother have reported that he tried to commit suicide twice and is still determined to end his life. The health of fellow-journalists Alfredo Manuel Pulido López (held like Mayo since March 2003) and Oscar Mario González (who was arrested in July) is also very worrying. RSF_en Organisation New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiago October 12, 2018 Find out more Receive email alerts Follow the news on Cuba News News Reporters Without Borders today voiced deep concern about the condition of imprisoned journalist Mario Enrique Mayo Hernández after his wife and mother reported that he tried to commit suicide twice and is still determined to end his life. He has been detained since March 2003 and is serving a 20-year prison sentence.“Mayo cannot take any more, physically and mentally, nor can his family,” the press freedom organisation said. “Does death offer the only relief in Cuban prisons, as exiled journalist Raúl Rivero asked last week when fellow journalist Victor Rolando Arroyo Carmona was on hunger strike? We call on the Cuban authorities to free Mayo and all of the other 22 imprisoned journalists at once.”After many hours of wait and uncertainty, Mayo’s wife and mother were able to see him in Kilo 7 prison in Camagüey for about 30 minutes on 12 October. His wife, Maidelin Guerra, told Reporters Without Borders that he very debilitated, both physically and psychologically, and is determined to take his life.“He has written ‘Innocent. Freedom’ in large letters on his body with razor or a nail or something else he found, on his stomach, arms and face,” Guerra said. “He told us he would continue to write these words on himself until there was no more room and then he would commit suicide. He kept repeating to us, ‘I shouldn’t be here. I’ve done nothing.’ He cannot stand it any more.”Guerra added that the prison officials are “paving the way” by already disclaiming any responsibility in the event of Mayo’s death in prison. She said he should be receiving treatment but she had no way of verifying it. Mayo tried to take his life twice already by hanging himself with sheets or wire.Guerra also told Reporters Without Borders that Alfredo Manuel Pulido López, another journalist held at Kilo 7 prison, is confined to his bed. He is suffering from acute depression and migraines for which he needs to undergo tests. Arrested in the black spring of 2003 like Mayo, he is serving a 14-year prison sentence.Meanwhile, Oscar Mario González, who was arrested on 22 July, was hospitalised on 11 October. His wife, Mirta Wong, explained that during her most recent visits, he was suffering from memory loss and had difficulty putting sentences together. González is awaiting trial on charges that carry a possible 20-year prison sentence. News May 6, 2020 Find out more News October 14, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Mayo Hernández tries to take his life, sees death as the only way out Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internetlast_img read more

President’s final budget proposal promotes increased access to retirement plans

first_imgPresident Obama’s final fiscal year budget proposal is a record $4.1 trillion package that includes provisions to increase access to retirement plans and portability of retirement benefits.Many of the President’s retirement plan provisions in his final budget proposal were included in previous budget proposals but were not acted upon, reflecting the difficulty that the Obama administration has had in moving retirement plan legislation through Congress. The Obama administration included two new provisions in its final budget proposal, both aimed at increasing access to retirement plans.One proposal would allow for the creation of open multiple employer plans that would permit unaffiliated employers to offer benefits through a single plan. Under current law, employers that participate in multiple employer plans are often employers that have some type of affiliation, such as belonging to the same trade or business association. The administration’s proposal would eliminate this “common bond” requirement.Allowing unaffiliated employers to participate in a single multiple employer plan, which would be treated as a single plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), would make it easier and less costly for small employers to offer tax-qualified retirement benefits to their employees. The administration believes that if it can reduce the complexities and costs associated with maintaining a retirement plan, small businesses will be more willing to offer retirement plans to their employees.The administration’s other new proposal is intended to encourage state retirement savings initiatives, such as the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program. The Department of Labor (DOL) has recently proposed regulations and guidance to move forward with state-based retirement savings initiatives consistent with ERISA regulations. To further encourage these initiatives, the administration proposes to set aside $6.5 million to allow a handful of states to pilot and evaluate state-based 401(k)-type programs and automatic enrollment IRAs.All of the other retirement plan provisions in the President’s final budget proposal were included in previous budget proposals. Following are the major provisions that would affect IRAs.Required Minimum Distributions for Roth IRAs Roth IRAs would be subject to the same required minimum distribution (RMD) rules as Traditional IRAs. The proposal would require IRA owners to begin receiving RMDs from Roth IRAs in the year that they attain age 70½ and would no longer permit Roth IRA contributions after reaching age 70½.Automatic IRA Program Employers in business for at least two years that have 10 or more employees would be required to offer an automatic IRA option. Employers sponsoring a qualified retirement plan, simplified employee pension (SEP) plan, or savings incentive match plan for employees of small employers (SIMPLE) plan would not be required to offer an automatic IRA option. Under the administration’s proposal, annual contributions would be made to the IRAs on a payroll deduction basis. Employers would facilitate employee contributions using their existing payroll deduction systems, but no employer contributions would be required.Deductibility of Retirement Savings Plan ContributionsAnother administration proposal would limit the tax value of specified deductions or exclusions from adjusted gross income and all itemized deductions.The tax value of the exclusion for employee contributions would be reduced to a maximum of 28 percent for defined contribution retirement plans and IRAs instead of allowing taxpayers to exclude the contributions from the full 33 percent, 35 percent, or 39.6 percent that they would otherwise owe. Taxpayers in the 28 percent and lower brackets would be unaffected. This same provision also would limit the tax value of contributions made by these upper-income taxpayers to health savings accounts and Archer medical savings accounts.Limited Payout Options for Nonspouse BeneficiariesNonspouse beneficiaries of retirement plans and IRAs would be required to take distributions over a period of no more than five years. Under current law, depending on the original IRA owner’s date of death and whether there is a designated beneficiary under the plan, a nonspouse beneficiary may be able to take payments over his or her own life expectancy.Nonspouse Beneficiary Rollovers to Inherited IRAsThe options available to a nonspouse beneficiary under an employer-sponsored retirement plan or IRA for moving inherited plan or IRA assets to an inherited IRA would be expanded to allow 60-day rollovers (i.e., indirect rollovers) of such assets.No RMDs for Some TaxpayersRMDs would be eliminated if the aggregate value of an individual’s IRA and other tax-favored retirement plan accumulations does not exceed $100,000 on a measurement date. The RMD requirements would phase in ratably for individuals with aggregate retirement benefits between $100,000 and $110,000.Other ProvisionsOther provisions in the administration’s budget proposal would cap tax-advantaged retirement savings plan accumulations, expand penalty-free withdrawals from tax-qualified plans and IRAs for long-term unemployed individuals, limit Roth conversions to pretax dollars, and modify the cost-of-living adjustments to prevent deflationary adjustments.Chance of Becoming LawThe prospect for passing any of the President’s retirement savings proposals looks dim. The general consensus is that the Obama administration budget was dead on arrival on Capitol Hill, but the White House has expressed hope that it can obtain bipartisan support for a number of the President’s initiatives.That may be difficult with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and the President’s lame-duck status, and given that many of his retirement savings proposals were included in previous budget packages and were not acted upon. Add that it’s a presidential election year with a highly polarized electorate, the prospect of a long drawn-out primary season for both parties with potential implications for down-ballot races, and a Supreme Court vacancy thrown in for good measure and it may be nearly impossible. Stay tuned. 24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dennis Zuehlke Dennis is Compliance Manager for Ascensus. Mr. Zuehlke provides clients with technical support on tax-advantaged accounts (including individual retirement accounts, health savings accounts, simplified employee pension plans, and Coverdell education … Web: www.ascensus.com Detailslast_img read more

Women of Troy hit the road once again

first_imgUSC women’s volleyball head coach Mick Haley constantly emphasizes the importance of traveling well. It is no secret in the world of sport that success is hardest to achieve away from the friendly confines of home. The Women of Troy will be tested in that respect early and often this season, and if the team’s performance in last weekend’s season-opening tournament is any indication, those wins might not be so difficult to earn after all.Back for more · After missing part of last season due to an injury, junior middle blocker Hannah Schraer (14) is healthy again and hopes to better her impressive freshman year numbers (1.75 kills per set, .383 hitting percentage). – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanThe opening tournament went swimmingly for the Women of Troy, who received stellar contributions from all parts of their lineup in a 3-0 sweep last weekend. After a 3-1 defeat of Purdue in the season’s first match, the club recorded back-to-back sweeps of Western Kentucky and Alabama A&M to win their first pre-conference tournament of the 2013 campaign.USC will now hit the road for the second of three consecutive weekends, traveling to the Midwest to participate in the Marquette Challenge. The squad will open with a Friday doubleheader against TCU and Marquette, followed by a Saturday trip to DeKalb, Ill. to face off against Northern Illinois.“I think we can be pretty good. We did some things that we’ve been practicing, which is encouraging because [that means] we’re doing a good job teaching,” Haley said. “I got to play a lot of players, and we had two very good matches against Western Kentucky and Purdue, both ranked teams.”Fittingly, a highly touted member of USC’s latest youth movement paved the way in the opening match. Freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu recorded a team-high 15 kills and eight blocks in a stellar debut performance.“Since this was my first tournament, I really wanted to come out and make a statement,” Nwanebu said. “Everyone on the team has been supportive, so that has helped a lot with my confidence.”Nwanebu teamed up with sophomore standout Samantha Bricio in the next match, as the two combined for 22 kills to pace USC’s attack. Haley’s decision to play his freshmen paid off, as outsider hitter Elise Ruddins notched eight kills on 14 swings and setter Alice Pizzasegola had 19 assists to complement junior Hayley Crone’s 20.“I think Ebony performed very well, as did all of our freshmen, for their first tournament,” Haley said. “Ebony had a lot of responsibility and started playing well in the heat of the competition. She showed that she likes to compete and she brought some heat. I’d like to see her blocking and defense get better, but she’s good enough to be a six-rotation player, and that’s our goal for her.”The Women of Troy concluded the tournament with a dominant performance against Alabama A&M, as Bricio received her third career tournament MVP nod and joined Nwanebu and senior libero and captain Natalie Hagglund on the all-tournament team. Haley rotated all three of his freshman liberos, as newcomers Anne Marie Schmidt and Kelly Wimmer saw their first taste of collegiate action.“We still have some questions as to where we need to really spend our work,” Haley said. “We got some good blocking, but I don’t think we passed as well as we’re capable of, and we certainly made way too many service errors. We’re working on some things with the serving and trying to get the new kids comfortable.”Junior outside hitter Emily Young, who saw action in the first and third matches, praised the team’s performance but also noted the importance of redirecting focus to the upcoming tournament.“It was an excellent opening tournament for our team, and I think it was a great opportunity for us to test what we’ve been working on,” Young said. “But [Haley] is always looking toward the next game, so we can celebrate our win in the moment but we know we have worthy opponents to play.” Follow us on Twitter @dailytrojanlast_img read more