WI set to defy soaring temperatures in tour match

first_imgGEELONG, Australia (CMC):In the wake of heavy losses in their only two fixtures on tour, West Indies will look to defy soaring temperatures and make the most of their two-day match against the Victoria XI as they continue their build-up to the second Test match against Australia starting Boxing Day.Skipper Jason Holder said the match, which bowls off today (last night Jamaica time), would give all the batsmen a chance to get some time in the middle while offering the bowlers an opportunity to get acclimatised to the relative heat of the mainland – significantly warmer than the conditions experienced in the first Test in chilly Tasmania.The weekend forecast in Geelong is for 408C but Holder said his players were prepared for the dry heat at the Simonds Stadium.Officials at the stadium have brought in special cooling fans, as well as scheduled extra drinks breaks.”It’s just a matter of adapting. We played in some cooler conditions (in Hobart) and now we face warmer conditions,” Holder told members of the media here.”Many of us have played in the subcontinent and we all know that it can be quite humid as well, so I don’t think it will be anything we haven’t experienced.GOOD PITCH”It’s two days but we have to make the most of it. It’s what’s on the schedule and what we have to work with. We will get a chance for the batsmen to get in on what appears to be a good pitch. We have to make the most of the opportunity here.”West Indies have made a nightmare start to their tour in Down Under and are under immense pressure to improve ahead of the Melbourne Test starting in just over a week’s time.They lost their opening four-day tour match to a Cricket Australia XI by 10 wickets and then were hammered inside three days by an innings and 212 runs in the opening Test in Hobart.Holder said the two-day match would also be key opportunity for his bowling staff to make the necessary changes ahead of the BoxingDay contest.”On the bowling side, we have done a lot of bowling in the nets, so this will serve as a chance to get a few things right in the middle,” the 24-year-old said. “We will look at the plans we have for the MCG Test, which is what we’re working towards.”last_img read more

Nadal vs del Potro, Djokovic vs Nishikori in US Open semis

first_imgRafael Nadal, of Spain, celebrates after defeating Dominic Thiem, of Austria, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, early Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)NEW YORK — When Rafael Nadal finally finished a nearly five-hour climb into the U.S. Open semifinals, he thought backward as much as ahead.His victory over Dominic Thiem reminded him of Wimbledon, where he outlasted Juan Martin del Potro in five sets in the quarterfinals before Novak Djokovic edged him in a 10-8 fifth set in the next round.ADVERTISEMENT “When you win or when you lose like this,” Nadal said, “you come back home with the feeling that you did all the things that you can do.”Now, Nadal might have to face those same two players again to defend his title in Flushing Meadows.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’The top-ranked Spaniard plays third-seeded del Potro, and No. 6 seed Djokovic meets No. 21 Kei Nishikori in Friday’s other semifinal.All four players have reached the U.S. Open final — only Nishikori hasn’t won it — to make this the first Grand Slam final four since the 2012 Australian Open in which all four players were past finalists. Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Allen, Nash, Kidd, Hill in lineup for basketball hall Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Djokovic, bidding for his second straight major title, would seem to have the easier road to the final. He is 14-2 against Nishikori, including a victory in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. He has won the last 13 meetings, such a run of dominance that the Japan native didn’t recall that he beat Djokovic in Flushing Meadows in the 2014 semifinals, adding that maybe he should rewatch the match.“Yeah, for sure it’s going to give me good confidence,” Nishikori said, “even though I (don’t) remember.”Nadal would figure to have a tougher time in his fourth meeting with del Potro in the last five Grand Slam tournaments. The two that preceded the Wimbledon classic were easier victories, a semifinal rout en route to the French Open title and a four-set victory in last year’s U.S. Open semifinals, when Nadal dominated the last three sets.But del Potro was on fumes by then after winning his own memorable five-setter against Thiem in the fourth round and beating Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. And while he still had the devastating forehand that’s been one of tennis’ signature shots and carried him to the 2009 title, repeated wrist injuries had made him one dimensional on the backhand side.Now, the Argentine has regained strength there, allowing him to change it up from slice to power.ADVERTISEMENT View commentscenter_img LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I feel that this tournament, Juan Martin is hitting a little bit bigger off his backhand. That can help him,” 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic said after Nishikori beat him Thursday.“In the other case, Rafa had a tougher draw to go through the semis. But, you know, he’s got two days now to recover, so he’s going to be fresh. I don’t know. I would give slight advantage to Rafa, but I feel it’s going to be a great match.”Nadal leads the series 11-5, though del Potro routed him in straight sets in the 2009 semifinals.Both Nadal and Djokovic are in position for a two-slam season and a chance to inch closer to Federer’s men’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles. Nadal has 17, including three at the U.S. Open, and Djokovic could tie Pete Sampras for third all-time with 14 if he wins his third in Flushing Meadows.This one, given the added difficulty created by unusually high heat and humidity, would certainly be meaningful.“From my experience, and I can only talk about myself,” Djokovic said, “this has been definitely the toughest U.S. Open in the last, you know, 10 years that I have played in in terms of conditions.” Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plumlast_img read more

Will Verdier Finish the Fight against Corruption in Liberia?

first_imgLACC Chairman, Cllr. James N. Verdier, Jr.Following his confirmation by the Liberian Senate, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has appointed Cllr. James N. Verdier, Jr., as Executive Chairperson of the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission.His appointment took effect February 24.In her letter of appointment to Cllr. Verdier, dated February 24, President Sirleaf said: “Please accept my congratulations and expression of trust in your ability to make a meaningful contribution in your area of responsibility as we strive to move our country forward in a process aimed at enhancing peace, reconciliation and development.”“President Sirleaf in November last year appointed Cllr. Verdier as Acting Executive Chairperson of the LACC pending confirmation by the Liberian Senate,” a press release by Public Relations Officer Ben Kolako said yesterday.Verdier replaces Cllr. Frances Johnson Allison, whose five-year tenure expired in September 2013.At a turning over ceremony last November after Verdier’s appointment as Acting Executive Chair of the LACC, Cllr. Allison described her tenure at the LACC as “challenging”. During her time in service, she said, the LACC developed into an institution. She leaves behind a legacy of having investigated and prosecuted several corruption cases including that of former Police Chief Muna Sieh. Accepting the mantle of responsibility for the controversial Anti-Corruption Commission, Verdier pledged his collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and other related institutions to ensure the institution’s progress.The LACC was created on May 8, 2008 by an Act of the Legislature. Said Act defined corruption as:”Any act or acts, decision or decisions or use of public resource or resources by a public or private official in the discharge of official duties and/or responsibilities which, in order to satisfy the selfish desire or interest of the said official or other person or persons, natural or legal, ignore the established laws, regulations, and thereby, denies, deprives, and prevents, the State or person or persons natural or legal from receiving entitlement, consideration, and/or treatment.”It also described as acts of corruption bribery, embezzlement, extortion, fraud, influence peddling, insider trading, misuse of entrusted public property and vested authority, and any economic and financial crimes, which are now provided for under the Penal Code of Liberia, or may, hereafter, be defined and enacted.The Act also gives the LACC the mandate to create anti-corruption strategies. One such strategy involves the declaration of assets by all public officials.In its first report on Asset Declaration, published on May 20, 2013, the LACC said the Asset Declaration strategy had the full backing of the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. From March to May 2013, however, the LACC conducted an assessment of the Asset Declarations submitted by 63 randomly selected public officials from the Ministries of Finance, Public Works, Internal Affairs and Health & Social Welfare; the National Port Authority, the Liberia Maritime Affairs and the LACC itself.Of the 63, four (4) were found to be misrepresented, their accumulated wealth unexplained: 1. ORETHA ZEON (NPA Port of Buchanan Operations Manager)(Intentional and material misrepresentation; unexplained wealth accumulation)CASE: Mrs. Oretha Zeon works as Operations Manager at the Buchanan Port. Mrs Zeon is on a net salary of USD 840. She declared no other source of income. Mrs. Zeon declared [i.e., under oath] the value of a story building [under construction] at US$15,000. However, when the LACC’s AD Verification Team doubted that a concrete storey building could be valued at US$15,000, a revaluation was ordered and funded by Mrs. Zeon and the self-same house was revalued at US$51,200. This is a clear indication of a glaring and intentional misrepresentation of the facts while under oath, which is in violation of the Laws of Liberia.When asked for the source of income to fund the construction project, since her NPA salary clearly cannot cover the project, Mrs. Zeon claimed that her children in the USA assist in the process by sending her money regularly to finance the construction. When asked further to provide evidence of banks transfer documents to substantiate her claims, Mrs. Zeon failed to present the documents to the Team, noting that she started working long before members of the LACC’s AD Verification Team were born. This failure of Mrs. Oretha Zeon, NPA Operations Manager/Port of Buchanan, left the AD Verification Team with no other conclusion but to find INTENTIONAL AND MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION [while under oath] and UNEXPLAINED WEALTH ACCUMULATION.Mrs. Zeon no longer holds the management position at the Port of Buchanan and now resides in the USA. Eight could not be verified due to “outstanding issues”.1. Sam Foday Brown, Supt. Bomi Co., MIA2. Samuel Kofi Woods, Minister MPW3. Stephen M. Yekeson, Jr., Deputy Minister, MPW4. Boom M. Wilson, Comptroller General, MOF (Cleared in second phase)5. Matthew TK Flomo, Deputy Minister, MOH6. Varney Sirleaf, Deputy Minister, MIA7. Blamo Nelson, Minister, MIA8. Vivian T. Cherue, Deputy Minister, MOH (cleared in second phase)Three (3) officials asked to be exused and were so granted:1. Ranney B Jackson, Deputy Minister, MIA2. Neneh Kroyahn, Finance Manager, LiMA3. Amara B. Konneh, Minister, MOF (cleared in second phase)Of the 63 Asset Declarations assessed, 30 were verified as accurate:1. Z. Adonie Greaves, Asst. Supt for Development, MIA2. Binyan Kessely, Commissioner, LiMA3. Desire S. Satia, Finance Director, LiMA4. Alexander Mitchell, Procurement Manager, LiMA5. Christiana K. Pawlay, Comptroller, NPA6. Patrick M. Konneh, Port Manager/Buchanan NPA7. Joseph D. Wiles, Port Manager/Harper, NPA8. Patrick B. Dunor, Port Manager/Greenville, NPA9. Wheazor Mulbah, NPA10. Christopher B. Gray, Procurement Manager, NPA11. Nyekeh Forkpah, Deputy Managing Director, NPA12. William L. Slour, Assistant Minister, MPW13. Andrew K. Kear, Assistant Minister, MPW14. B. Wion Kanteah, Sr., Procurement Director, MPW15. Bonar Kerkula, Chief Accountant, MPW16. Joseph Y. Forkpah, Assistant Comptroller, MPW17. Decontee King Sackie, Assistant Minister, MOF18. James F. Kollie, Deputy Minister, MOF19. Angela Cassell-Bush, Deputy Minister, MOF20. Dede D. Sandiman, Assistant Comptroller, MOF21. Juah K. Feika, Commissioner, MOF22. Sebastian Weah, Director, MOF23. Jerry Taylor, Director, MOF24. Frances Johnson Allison, Chairperson, LACC25. Walter T. Gwenigale, Minister, MOH26. Bernice Dahn, Chief Medical Officer, MOH27. Ka-Rufus Morris, Procurement Director, MOH28. Annette Dennis Doe ,Chief Accountant, MOH29. Daniel D. Young, Hospital Administrator, MOH30. Zolia Y. Martor, Assistant Minister/Planning, MOH”It is a maxim amongst corruption fighters that ill-gotten wealth is going to show up somewhere – in bank accounts, in lifestyles, in personal property collections and in real estate investments etc,” the LACC Asset Declaration report stated. “In an open and transparent society, ill-gotten wealth must not have hiding place(s)… In the fight against corruption there has to be examples – good examples made of those who lied on their AD forms, those who failed to file, and those who are caught spending well above their declared means. Without good examples made of violators of the public trust, the fight against corruption is doomed.”Six months to one year later, many of the officials listed, whose asset declarations were found wanting (not to mention those who have yet to declare their assets) still hold their positions. Most notable among them is NPA Director, Matilda Parker. These findings give solid evidence to the local and international outcries against unpunished corruption in the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration. It remains to to determined whether the incoming LACC boss will make good examples of these violators of public trust or soft-peddle the fight against corruption. Second Phase Asset Declaration AssessmentIn its second phase Asset Declaration assessment report, published October 7, 2013, the LACC named the following as first-category offenders cited for material and intentional misrepresentation of the facts on the Asset Declaration forms:T. Nelson Williams (LPRC Managing Director),Pete Norman,Chris Massaquoi (Police Chief),Brownie Samukai (Minister of Defense),St. Jerome Larbalee,Joseph Johnson,Robert E. Cooper,Danny B.B. Sarte (BIN Deputy)Henry D. MooreSamuel T. NimelyMiekee S. GrayDarlington GeorgeFreddie Robert TaylorOretha Snyder DavisDaniel WarnerBenedict F. SannohHilary Siakor-SirleafHenrietta BadioAbraham Siafa Fahnbulleh This second phase booked 19 of the 77 officials assessed. The first phase listed only four.In the first phase of AD assessments, eighteen (18) officials simply refused to cooperate, and as such, their Asset Declarations were unverified:1. Sebastian Muah, Deputy Minister MOF (cleared in second phase)2. Christian G. Herbert, Deputy Minister MPW3. Etweda Cooper, Supt. Grand Bassa Co MIA4. Victor Boye Smith, Deputy Minister MPW5. Abraham B. Samukai, Comptroller MPW6. Toagoe Karzon, Comptroller MOH7. Ernest Z. Coleman, Finance Officer/Ganta Hosp MOH8. Magaret Ansumana, Deputy Commissioner LiMA9. Emmanuel N. Reeves, Deputy Commissioner LiMA10. Jefferson ES Witherspoon, Accounts Payable Manager LiMA11. J. Tiah Nagbe, Deputy Minister MIA12. Ernest Gray Davis, Asst Supt Dev/Bomi Co. MIA13. John Z. Buway, Supt. Margibi Co. MIA14. Enson J. Amara, Accountant LiMA15. Florence Dukuly, Deputy Minister MIA16. Victoria W. Duncan, Asst Supt Dev/Margibi Co. MIA17. Nathaniel Gbaba, Deputy Managing Director NPA18. Ernest Omaboe, Director of Security, LiMA 3. BLAYON BROWN SARLEE (Comptroller, Ministry of Internal Affairs)(Intentional and material misrepresentation; unexplained wealth accumulation)CASE – Mr. Blayon Brown Sarlee works as Comptroller, Ministry of Internal Affairs. He disclosed a Gross salary of US$1,350. He disclosed no additional source of income, including the fact that he has been a civil servant at MIA for more than a decade. Mr Brown Sarlee, as an accountant, declined to disclose the value of his house(s) – in the space for value he wrote N/A. The LACC AD Verification Team then requested an independent and objective appraisal from Mr. Sarlee. He then disclosed his “objective” appraisal of the house (picture below) to be US$45,000. LACC AD Team, suspicious of the appraisal, contacted the engineer. Mr. Sarlee’s [contracted] engineer disclaimed the appraisal at LACC’s Office – noting that the appraisal was done for banking purposes but NOT acceptable at all for LACC purpose.Notwithstanding the aforesaid, Mr. Sarlee knows or should know that the house picture aside cannot under normal circumstances cost US$45,000. This is a deliberate effort by Mr. Sarlee to understate his assets so as to have his assets commensurate with his declared gross income of US$1,350. This property is clearly 3-4X the value declared by Mr. Sarlee. AD Verification Team’s only logical conclusion on Mr. Brown Sarlee’s AD is intentional and material misrepresentation of the facts [under oath]; unexplained wealth accumulation.An Observer investigation also uncovered a 2010 audit of the Grand Kru County Administration by the General Auditing Commission (GAC), covering the 2007/2008 fiscal period, during which Sarlee held the post of MIA Comptroller. According to the report, Sarlee withdrew US$10,950 on an unsealed and unnumbered voucher that was signed by then MIA Minister Ambullai Johnson, who was finally dismissed for graft. The amount withdrawn by Sarlee was accounted for by Sarlee as a “quarterly disbursement of non-taxable income” for nine (9) county development staff personnel’s salaries. The report notes that “for the period under audit, Superintendents and other county administration did not follow the Budget Law and the procedures established by MIA through CDSS”. Sarlee is also mentioned in the same regard in a 2010 GAC audit of the Grand Gedeh County Administration.4. ATTY. CHARLES GONO (Deputy Commissioner, Marine Safety and Environment)(Unexplained wealth accumulation)CASE – Atty. Charles Gono, made a declaration on his cash position. He also disclosed several concurrent work-in-progress construction projects, which necessarily restricts his ability to save. Atty. Gono was asked to explain the cash deposit of US$34,000 (in 3 installments) over a period of 2 months (June – August 2011) which deposit is within the period under verification. Mr. Gono responded in writing that (1) My salary being paid at ECOBANK and the bank workers were allegedly stealing from customers accounts; hence I withdrew my salary and took it home…. (2) also I noticed my son was stealing my money so I took it to International Bank Liberia Ltd.The AD Verification Team reviewed the above-mentioned ECOBANK salary account of Atty. Gono and found that that account was never used to accumulate savings. It was basically used as a conduit for the deposit of salary and the gradual withdrawal of salary. Accordingly, this account, most certainly, could never have been the base from which Atty. Gono accumulated the savings, from which he claimed the three-installment deposit of US$34,000 in only 2 months in the IBLL account was made. This invalid and incorrect explanation led the AD Verification Team to reasonably conclude unexplained wealth accumulation.center_img 2. MATILDA PARKER (NPA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer)(Intentional and material misrepresentation)CASE : Ms. Matilda Parker is the Managing Director (CEO) of the National Port Authority (NPA). Ms Parker embarked on a campaign of misrepresentation from the beginning of the process to the end of the process. Ms Parker purchased a house in the Sophie Community for US$65,000. However, when the LACC’s AD Verification Team asked about the means of payment, Ms. Parker said cash downpayment. After the Team expressed surprise by a US$65,000 cash downpayment, Ms Parker later changed the story and said she made the purchase in installments. Ms Parker was given 2 weeks to bring the receipts of the installment payments. She later wrote back that the receipts were missing. The AD Verification Team asserts categorically, that both of the above statements cannot be true at the same time – a cash downpayment of US$65,000 vs installment payment of US$65,000. One of the two assertions is definitely false and Ms Parker knows exactly which one is false.Ms. Parker was also asked to disclose the seller of the aforementioned Sophie Community Property and the contact details of the seller. Ms Parker disclosed the name of the seller, but declined to give any contact details (telephone, residential address and/or other means of contact). This again is blatantly false information given to the LACC Team. No reasonable person will pay a hefty US$65,000 for a property, but claims not to have any contact information on the seller. This is clearly intentional and material misrepresentation and Ms Parker must be held to account.Ms. Parker’s USA House: Ms Parker USA house was put at US$750,000 (2012) on her declaration. When asked for documents on the mortgage, the house was discovered to be valued only US$300,000 (2012). When asked to explain the gross disparity, Ms Parker said it was an error. LACC AD Team wonders how a US$300,000 house can be erroneously valued at US$750,000. Another one of Ms Parker’s intentional and material misrepresentations, even up to the very end of the process. Ms Parker multiple misrepresentations [while under oath] left the Team with no other option but to find intentional and material misrepresentation of the facts.Nearly one year later, Ms. Parker still holds the position of NPA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Breaking News: No tax amnesty for Guyana Stores – GRA

first_img…as company begs for extension to file tax returnsOne month after Guyana Stores Limited (GSL) lost its legal battle against the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), regarding the payment of Corporation Tax, it is still to make any payments but worse than that, the company will not benefit from the ongoing tax amnesty for delinquent taxpayers.This was made clear on Monday by GRA’s Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia during a press conference. Statia reminded that in addition to being required to pay $3.8 billion to the GRA, the company also has a legal obligation to pay all its outstanding tax returns over eight years.“There will be no amnesty for this particular taxpayer… I keep saying all the time, you come to equity, you have to come with clean hands and if you have pushed us around all these years, you cannot expect that we are going to give you the olive branch,” the GRA boss asserted.Statia explained that the company was first given the chance to submit all his outstanding tax returns, and also provide the GRA with a settlement proposal as to how they want to go about payments. While it is not in the interest of the GRA to close any business, he said GSL has a responsibility to pay up.While the company is required to pay $3.8 billion in taxes, Statia said “a sizeable amount of that will be penalty and interest and unless he tells us how he is prepared to liquidate the outstanding principle taxes, because it is more than that anyhow. When you add the outstanding tax return he has not been filing and paying over the years, so it might be a lot more than that.”The least payment the GRA is prepared to accept initially is just over $300 million in the initial phase. While the media questioned the GRA to state what the entire principle is, the Commissioner General said because of rules of confidentiality, he said he would not be able to divulge that information.The company had requested 30 days to file those returns which have expired. The company has since begged for another extension, which was granted by the GRA allowing for a final deadline on Monday, April 30, 2018, which also marks the deadline for the filing of all tax returns across the country.During early March, GSL lost its appeal in a matter involving the payment of Corporation Tax to GRA, which it had taken before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to determine whether a two per cent minimum Corporation Tax was unconstitutional and amounted to the taking away of private property.The CCJ dismissed the GSL appeal and awarded cost to the GRA as respondents. The matter arose in 2012 when the GSL refused to pay more than $3 billion in Corporation Tax after a notice of demand was sent to the company. The GSL had moved to the local courts, but both the High Court and the Court of Appeal had ruled against GSL, and ordered that it pay the $3,807,346,397 in Corporation Taxes.The GSL then moved to the CCJ. However, the CCJ ruled that the two per cent Corporation Tax was not a forced loan, but the tax was constitutional. The CCJ stated that the Income Tax Act provides a specialised procedure for challenging assessments, and the GSL should have used that procedure.The CCJ also held that the two per cent minimum Corporation Tax was not a loan, because the State does not repay the taxpayer, nor does the taxpayer have any right to repayment or redemption, which were crucial elements of any loan.Under section 10A of the Income Tax Act, the taxpayer simply gets a credit if, and when, the stated conditions are met, and the taxpayer may then apply that credit in reduction of a tax liability, but the taxpayer is never entitled to repayment.The court also held in its summary that the provisions of the Corporation Tax Act were clear and unambiguous, so that Parliament must be taken to have considered the implication of taxing turnover as distinct from taxing profit, and felt satisfied there was no need to exclude loss years or safeguard the taxpaying company’s capital.The GRA was represented by Attorneys Ronald Burch-Smith and Mark Waldron. Guyana Stores Limited is owned primarily by Tony Yassin and Glenn Lall, publisher of the Kaieteur News.Meanwhile, Guyana Stores Limited still owes the Government hundreds of millions of dollars for the purchased of the building on Water Street, Georgetown.National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited currently has several court actions against GSL for millions in outstanding monies owed to the Government. Lall and Yassin, Directors of Guyana Stores, owe US$2 million of the US$6 million the property was sold in December 1999.Past due interest on the outstanding balance would amount almost to another US$2 million or even more. The matter is sub judice, as the Government owned corporation moved to the courts to recover its monies. In the meantime, the profits of the company are collected by the two owners and shareholders have complained of never receiving any dividends since the company was privatised.last_img read more

Former Agri Minister raps Govt for ducking duck virus info

first_imgT&T poultry banIn light of the recent ban by Trinidad and Tobago on all poultry meat from Guyana as a result of Duck Viral Hepatitis (DVH) concerns, former Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy lashed out at the coalition Government for not informing the country about the virus.Dr Leslie RamsammyA memo dated May 31, 2019, and signed by the twin-island Republic’s Senior Veterinary Officer, informed its Customs and Excise Division of the ban.“As instructed by the Chief Veterinary Officer Animal Health Sub-Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries in accordance with the Animals [Diseases and Importation] Act Chap 67:02, please be informed that with immediate effect all and any raw and cooked poultry meat from Guyana is banned from entry into Trinidad and Tobago until further notice. Upon arrival at ports of entry, such items are, therefore, to be seized for destruction,” the memo stated.T&T’s Agriculture Minister, Clarence Rambharat confirmed the ban and revealed that Guyana advised them of the presence of Duck Viral Hepatitis in a part of the country.“As a precaution, the Ministry’s Chief Veterinary Office has notified the Customs and Excise Division of an immediate ban on raw and cooked poultry originating from Guyana. While Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago do not trade with each other in poultry, the ban is precautionary and targets passengers coming into Trinidad and Tobago with raw or cooked poultry in their possession. The ban is instituted because Guyana has advised of the existence of duck virus hepatitis in a part of Guyana,” a LoopTT report quoted the Minister as saying.The report also indicated that the virus is not present in the twin-island Republic.However, in a statement on Saturday, Dr Ramsammy took the Guyana Government to task over its handling of the matter. He pointed to the fact that not only did it fail to inform the populace of the DVH outbreak, but it was also unaware of the ban by its Caribbean neighbour.When contacted on the ban on Friday, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder told Guyana Times that he is currently out of the country and has not been appraised of the situation before he ended the call citing long distance charges being applied to his phone.According to Ramsammy, the coalition was equally surprised and caught off-guard with the ban.“At the time of the announcement, Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture was, as usual, out of the jurisdiction – he was out of the country this time. He always seems to be somewhere else when agriculture faces a threat… There is no indication that anyone in the David Granger-led APNU/AFC Cabinet knew anything about the ban. It appears they were as shocked as ordinary Guyanese citizens that Trinidad and Tobago announced the ban,” Dr Ramsammy noted.The former Agriculture Minister explained that Trinidad’s action could not have been arbitrary. He noted that it is practice for Government officials from a country to inform relevant authorities in another country about its intention to take certain actions because of issues coming out of that country.“Was this protocol followed? Trinidad and Tobago banned poultry products from Guyana because of reports of DVH in Guyana. On May 19th, the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) announced [the] closure of their hatchery because of problems encountered; they never stated what the problems were. But DVH is a reportable animal disease and, I suspect, under the World Health Organisation’s International Health Regulations (IHR) rules, Guyana had to notify the international authorities of the presence of DVH. Trinidad and Tobago might have become aware through that reporting,” he posited.While commending the Guyanese authorities for informing international authorities, in accordance with the IHR’s rules, that it identified incidences of DVH, an infection with a high mortality rate in poultry animals, Ramsammy questioned by the same was not done in house.“The Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of Guyana must be commended for adhering to the rules, as dictated in the IHR, if they did it… So Trinidad and Tobago was not acting arbitrarily and without cause. Why then, the surprise by our Government? Why then, no one seems to know about the problem? Did the Minister of Agriculture pay no attention and did he fail to inform his Cabinet colleagues?”According to Dr Ramsammy, the surprise expressed by Government Ministers demonstrate a Government that is aloof and not in control. He went on to point out that the Guyanese people should not be finding out about this matter only after Trinidad and Tobago banned poultry products from Guyana.“If Guyana did inform the international bodies about the presence of this deadly virus in Guyana’s duck population, the Government should have similarly made a public pronouncement in Guyana. Public Health Advisory should have been prepared for the population and, specifically for farmers.”The former Minister contended that while the human population might not have been under severe threat from the virus, there was an economic consequence for farmers since the presence of DVH in ducks had the potential to wipe out the total poultry industry.Ramsammy noted that the Government should have already indicated to the nation what actions it had taken and continues to take to make Guyana free of the DVH.“The story of the T&T ban, the story of the non-awareness of the relevant Government Ministers, add to the overall perception that APNU/AFC is always many steps behind, always caught by surprise, always aloof. It is highly irresponsible that not a single Minister was aware of the presence of DVH and of the consequences. It is an abrogation of duty and an example of total neglect that the Minister of Agriculture was not leading the response, much less aware of the problem. This Government always is MIA. This is why the December 21st No-Confidence Motion happened,” he asserted.last_img read more

Music’s big names to headline Women’s World T20 concerts

first_img– Patrice Roberts and Shenseea to perform at final in AntiguaSome of the biggest names and best voices on the Caribbean music scene will be on show for mega-concerts, which form part of fan engagement at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World T20 Cricket Tournament.ShenseeaPatrice Roberts, the Soca superstar from Trinidad, and Shenseea, the popular Dancehall performer from Jamaica, will headline the shows on match days in Guyana and St Lucia.The duo will also perform at the final in Antigua on November 24. They are the voices behind the tournament song “Watch This” – which has been the rallying call for fans to support the tournament. Kes The Band will be the headliners for the showpiece concert after the final at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground. The much-loved band from Trinidad, famous for the hit song “Hello”, will bring a rousing end to the tournament.Roberts said: “Everybody knows I love my cricket and I’m a true West Indies supporter. I’m ready and I want all the fans out there to fill the grounds and be part of this amazing ICC Women’s World T20. Come out and Watch This as we show the world what the West Indies has to offer. We want people to enjoy the cricket and feel the vibes of the music. This is the game we love and the music we love.”The musical segment will start at 14:30h daily with disc jockeys and the “live” performances.  Tanya Stephens from Jamaica will perform at the semi-finals on November 22 in Antigua, while other favourites including Teddyson John and the Dennery Segment in St Lucia, Timeka Marshall and Big Red in Guyana, Claudette Peters and Tian Winter in Antigua, will hit the stage. There will be no additional cost for the entertainment packages, and fans in some venues will have free transportation to and from the venues. Tickets are available at https://tickets.worldtwenty20.com, while box offices open in all three host countries on Monday, October 29.Patrice RobertsTickets are priced from just US$3 with the focus on ensuring more people across the Caribbean can enjoy the event. The group stage matches at the Guyana National Stadium and the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia start at just US$3 (or G$500) and US$4 (or EC$10) respectively.The semi-finals and finals will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua with tickets for the semi-finals starting at just US$7 (or EC$20) and the final at US$11 (or EC$30). A combination ticket package for the semis and final is priced at only US$15 (EC$40).last_img read more

Another difficult challenge

first_imgSo maybe it’s only natural that La Ca ada (27-2) takes on another giant when it goes to Laces High School in Los Angeles tonight to face Price (26-4) in the Division III-AA semifinals, where the Spartans hope to crack through and compete for their first divisional title since 1992. “If you look at our previous two semifinal games, we had some pretty good teams, but we were a real, real long shot,” Hofman said. “Price obviously has a great history and tradition. But I feel if we play one of our best games, this is very winnable for us.” Price graduated eight starters from last year’s championship team, but it still has 6-foot-8 junior forward Tyreese Bresheres. He had 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks in the Knights’ 81-69 quarterfinal victory over South Pasadena. Price also has two other players making solid playoff contributions in Damon Perry and Shawn Taylor. The Knights defeated San Gabriel by 21 points in the opening round, and South Pasadena held a two-point halftime lead in Friday’s quarterfinal before losing. Imagine the Spartans’ frustration of going 51-7 the previous two years and advancing to consecutive divisional semifinals, only to run into section power Santa Margarita both times and see the title dreams come to an end. Realignment moved Santa Margarita out of Division III-AA, but in came Los Angeles Price, which has won a record eight consecutive Division V-A championships and five state titles since 2000. Price coach Michael Lynch laughed when it was suggested his Knights have a big edge over the Spartans, even though they haven’t lost a divisional playoff game since 1999. “Listen, I’ve been following La Ca ada all year long, and I know that coach Hofman does a tremendous job,” Lynch said. “This is a team that only lost two games, and one of them came when they played two games in the same day. “I don’t consider them one of those sneak-up teams by any standards. I’ve been telling our guys this is a game where we have to play our absolute tails off or we’re going home.” In previous years the Spartans had three or four scoring options, but 6-foot-8 senior Adam Malik has shouldered the scoring load this season while averaging 23 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Spartans guard Darren Ho averages 11 points, but Hofman said it will take several more contributors for the Spartans to advance. “Adam’s been great in the playoffs,” Hofman said. “Everyone is focusing on trying to stop him, but he’s doing a nice job of taking quality shots and not trying to force it up. “When you look at our team, though, he’s been scoring half our points in the playoffs. With (Price’s) size and athleticism, we’re going to need others to step up and make shots.” fred.robledo@sgvn.com (622) 962-8811, Ext. 4485 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img LOS ANGELES – There are other divisions in which La Ca?ada High School boys basketball coach Tom Hofman could have better showcased his talented teams. Unfortunately in the CIF-SS Division III-AA playoffs, there usually is one of the Southland’s marquee teams standing in the way. last_img read more

Peace River Regional District extends the deadline for 2019 Agricultural Challenges Survey

first_imgThe Survey is to help the PRRD to get clarity on the state of the Agriculture Industry in the Peace by asking farmers directly. The deadline to participate is December 31st, 2019. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) has extended the deadline to participate in its on-line survey for Peace Region Farmers. To participate in the survey; CLICK HEREAdvertisement Since the weather is making it difficult for farmers to harvest their crops, Director for Electoral Area B, Karen Goodings, made the recommendation to the Board that advocates for more support for farmers affected by the weather. – Advertisement -At a recent Peace River Regional District meeting, Board Directors made the decision to call a state of emergency for agriculture. The PRRD is asking Peace Region Farmers to complete a short survey about how the poor weather in 2019 has affected producers and businesses. To read more on the state of Agriculture in the region; CLICK HERElast_img read more

DONEGALDAILY.COM LAUNCHED!

first_imgDONEGAL’S first dedicated 24/7 news website is launched in the county today.With more than ten correspondents across the county, the website will aim to inform and update Donegal people at home and abroad on all the latest news from the county.There are also dedicated sport, business, features and courts sections. Editor Stephen Maguire said today: “There is a massive demand across the county for an online news site which reports all the major developments each day in County Donegal.“We’ve been inundated with messages of support in the last few weeks from people and businesses seeking a dedicated site for the county.“And we welcome contributions from people throughout Donegal who want to have a voice for their communities online.”Anyone who wants to get in touch can do so by emailing stephen@donegaldaily.com. DONEGALDAILY.COM LAUNCHED! was last modified: November 29th, 2010 by gregShare 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)last_img read more

SCHOOLS MAY CLOSE THURSDAY/FRIDAY AS SNOW HITS – BUT WILL WE HAVE ENOUGH SALT TO COPE?

first_imgFEARS ARE growing that Donegal will be snowbound again this week with up to six inches of snow being forecast for this Thursday – and not enough grit to keep the roads open.More freezing temperatures overnight left many secondary roads dangerous this morning.But it is this Thursday’s forecast which could be devastating for normal life, especially in the run-up to Christmas.  The snowstorm due to hit in 48 hours may close schools across the North West. Businesses have already been hit hard by two weeks of the Big Chill, only catching up last weekend when there were record days for many shops.However schools could be closed again this Friday and in to next week if the forecasters have got it right.And for once when it comes to Donegal both the Northern forecasters and the southern forecasters are in agreement that there will be substantial wintry showers this Thursday evening.They will be accompanied by very strong winds and thunder. More of the same is being predicted for Friday – with temperatures of around -6C overnight on Friday.Meanwhile councils across Ireland are appealing to the National Roads Authority for more grit to treat our roads network.There are fears once again that Donegal will be left short – which may mean the council may not grit the roads to later on Saturday and Sunday.SCHOOLS MAY CLOSE THURSDAY/FRIDAY AS SNOW HITS – BUT WILL WE HAVE ENOUGH SALT TO COPE? was last modified: December 14th, 2010 by gregShare 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)last_img read more