Dear Editor,The events of the past week involving the charges laid against Dr Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington should remove all doubts from anyone who still had doubts as to where the country is heading. The charges and handcuffing, fingerprinting and the ridiculous bail that they have been placed on, suggest that we are going down a very slippery slope to social and economic ruination.This regime, as the earlier People’s National Congress regime, seems unable to grasp the fact that there is a direct links between the base (economics of the country) and the infrastructure (the legal system, the various institutions). They constantly interact and affect each other.It is clear that Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington are victims of a vindictive regime that seems intent on subverting all our institutions to persecute those perceived as being unsupportive of the Granger regime.Much has already been said about the case. Singh and Brassington did absolutely nothing illegal nor corrupt.In fact, in one case they sold a plot of land way above the market value. This was in the case of the Rusal sale. The market value of that plot of land was obtained by an open tender. It was sixteen million dollars.It was sold for some thirty million dollars per acre.The regime spoke about the valuation by a valuator. However, the most important determination of the market value is the market itself. That is best obtained from public bids.Indeed, many people feel the charges are frivolous. That is why the lawyers for those two gentlemen have taken the matter to the High Court to rule on.The fact that the Magistrate refused to await the hearing of that case before proceeding with the charges against these gentlemen is most unfortunate and in the view of a large cross section of our population, unreasonable.If the regime and its investigators felt that any corrupt action took place, how come none of the purchasers were questioned about the transaction?Moreover, if they are talking about market value then they are saying that almost all of the more than one hundred thousand house lots that were sold during the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in office below market value. Are they going to charge all those who obtained those lots which were below the market value?Clearly, the intention of the regime is to harass people whom they felt made a major contribution to the glaring successes of successive PPP/C Administrations.The negative attitude of the APNU/AFC to important projects of the PPP/C Government was seen from the time they obtained the one seat majority in Parliament.They killed the Amaila Hydro Project; they halted the Specialty Hospital project; they have drastically reduced the scope of the airport project; and we recall their determined efforts to damage the financial sector of our economy by voting against the Anti-Money Laundry Bill. On taking power they have set about to destroy the sugar industry.Now, the persecution of the people who worked hard to push these projects has begun. These actions will lead us to disaster.In the first place, it would lead to greater brain drain. Many professionals will seek their fortunes elsewhere. They must know that today it is the PPP/C that is targeted and tomorrow it will be others. With the deprofessionalisation of the Police and other security forces and the subversion of the justice system, it is clear that that would impact on economic decisions. Business people would refrain from investing and taking risks. Our economy would flounder.As the bureaucracy grows bigger, as it is bound to do under such governance, revenues will decline, jobs would be lost, education; health and housing would be sacrificed to feed the bureaucracy and to satisfy the huge appetite of the corrupt.Already we see the growing deficits, the depletion of our foreign currency and gold reserves. At the same time the debt is rising.Guyana is on the road to returning to its Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) status.We have been on this road before and we know where it is taking us.That is why I am extremely disappointed at the deafening silence of the Private Sector.If they feel that by staying silent they would be spared the wrath of the regime they are sadly mistaken. Life has thought us time and again that is only a matter of time when they will be consumed. No one should remain silent by these unjust and vindictive acts. Anyone who thinks he/she is safe must remember Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington.Yours sincerely,Donald Ramotar(Former President)
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Traditional chiefs in Liberia have vowed to curtail their age old practices which are among the main causes of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the country.The chiefs from the fifteen counties made the pledge recently in Gbarnga, Bong County during a ceremony marking the ongoing cross border Ebola sensitization of the Mano River bordering countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.The cross border initiative is being implemented by the Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP) with sponsorship from the United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF).LCP, in partnership with UNICEF, on Monday held a one-day stakeholders and traditional leaders’ forum in support of Ebola prevention in the bordering counties of Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Cape Mount.On behalf of the three counties, Chief of Lofa LCP County, Musa Kamara welcomed the initiative by the , describing it as wonderful.“We will stop bathing dead bodies, eating bush meat, put a stop to Poro and Sande activities until Ebola can go,” Chief Musa pledged.The traditional leader said with the level of education being provided by the LCP to people in the counties that border Guinea and Sierra Leone, the total eradication of the virus from the region would be achieved.Chief Musa, who hails from one of the hardest hit counties, Lofa, stressed the need to cast out the virus by engaging the people and putting aside all of the traditional practices. He asserted that the right message to fight the virus came late, saying, “The virus killed most of our people before we got the right message to fight it.”The chiefs called on NGOs to provide more support and training, which will empower them to keep up the fight.“As chiefs we will make sure Ebola goes forever and we will celebrate the country’s July 26 Independence in good health,” said Chief Musa.Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Samson Arzoequoi, stated that the health team in Liberia at the start of the outbreak made a mistake by not providing the right information to the public.If the right information had been provided to the people as it is being done currently, he said, the virus would not have killed the number of people it did.He thanked the people of Bong County for following the guidelines given them by the county health team and disclosed that Bong County has been free of Ebola since December 21 of 2014.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Ram Singh of Courbane Park, Annandale, East Coast Demerara is in critical condition at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC), where he was admitted after being struck by a pickup on the Lusignan Public Road, ECD on Thursday evening.The 55-year-old was reportedly standing in the path of the vehicle clad in dark-coloured clothing when he was struck. The driver, according to reports, attempted to avoid hitting the man, but the left front side of the vehicle nonetheless collided with Singh, resulting in him falling onto the roadway.Singh was picked up in an unconscious state and rushed to the GPHC.A breathalyser test was conducted on the driver, but no trace of alcohol was found in his breath. Investigations are ongoing.
…Phase One of Mazaruni Prison expansion will accommodate 200 inmatesWith a prison population of 2069 inmates, Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels has signalled that there continues to be overcrowding at the various penitentiaries.He made these remarks on Wednesday, noting that this overall figure comprises of 724 male convicted inmates between the ages of 18 and 35.Artist’s impression of the Mazaruni Prison ExpansionThe Guyana Prison Service operates five prisons namely: Georgetown, Timehri, New Amsterdam, Mazaruni and Lusignan.“When you are in prison, especially now because of our state of overcrowding, you do not have that personal space. From the time you wake up in the morning, you have someone who is basically in your face that does not belong there. That can breathe conflict,” Samuels expressed.The Camp Street Prison in Georgetown was gutted in a fire in 2017, whereby a few inmates escaped, some were recaptured and others suffered injuries. At the time, the prison was the largest lockups with 963 inmates, 521 of whom were on remand.In 2016, the Prison also suffered a fire, which claimed the lives of 17 prisoners.Afterwards, a Commission of Inquiry (CoI), which cost the treasury some $13 million was ordered by President David Granger.According to the report compiled by the Commissioners, the combination of overcrowded, uncomfortable and unhygienic confinement are all ideal conditions for epidemics, for gangs to prosper and to propagate discontent.Back in January, an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report had found that the overcrowding at Guyana’s prisons put inmates at risk of contracting contagious diseases.It is a situation that the Citizen Security and Strengthening Programme (CSSP) Prison Survey report zeroed in on. Completed and handed over to the Government, the report found that 44.1 per cent of inmates had been stricken with the flu and other chest infections.The report states that 8.9 per cent of prisoners had gastrointestinal problems; 4.5 per cent were affected by tuberculosis; 2.4 per cent suffered from depression and anxiety, 0.8 per cent were infected with HIV/AIDS and the remainder had other conditions such as malaria and chicken pox.“During their stay in prison, 67.4 per cent of inmates got sick. Besides, 45.9 per cent of the inmates said that HIV/AIDS tests were performed on them to verify whether they were infected or not,” the report states, adding that 53 per cent were not tested.According to the report, 80.6 per cent of the inmates, after being diagnosed with an illness, continued to share a cell with other inmates. Approximately 18.1 per cent responded in the negative, while the question was not applicable to the remainder.Mazaruni PrisonMeanwhile, the Director of Prisons noted that the Mazaruni Prison in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) is on schedule with the expansion works, with the first phase slated for completion by the end of the year.When completed, an additional 400 prisoners will be facilitated. Trinidadian firm, Kee-Chanona has joint responsibility for the project alongside the Guyanese company, Nabi Construction Incorporated.Samuels told Guyana Times that upon the completion of Phase One, 200 inmates can be accommodated.“I wish to state that the project is moving apace as is required. At the end of the project, we are expected to accommodate an additional 400 prisoners at Mazaruni. What we are currently working on is Phase One, which we expect to be completed between October and November of this year, which will see us being able to accommodate an additional 200 prisoners at that location.While Phase Two has commenced, it will roll over to next year.“The other phase will go into next year. We do not have a specific date of completion as yet but in keeping with our progress meetings and so on that we have every Thursday, things are at the level that they should be at this time.”Following the July 2017 jailbreak and fire which destroyed the Camp Street Prison, Government revealed plans to expand the Mazaruni Prison – a project which was expected to cost some $2 billion but aims to streamline the local prison system and most importantly, reduce overcrowding.Apart from a new wing to accommodate new prisoners, these works were fixed for the expansion of offices, inmate living facilities, staff and family living facilities, training facilities, as well as the construction of a school, daycare centre and places of worship at the Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) prison.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Flyers were handed their second loss of the season after letting the game slip away in Dawson Creek on Thursday night.The Flyers came out flat as the Senior Canucks would skate into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead. However at 13:01 of the second period Jeff Fast found the twine, evening the score at 1-1 assisted by Brady Busche and Robbie Sidhu. Almost nine minutes later, Busche scored on the powerplay with Rick Cleaver setting him up for the go-ahead tally. The Senior Canucks tied things at 2-2 before the second period buzzer sounded.The Flyers regained the lead at 13:27 of the third thanks a goal by Cleaver, assisted by Busche. Just over a minute later, the Sr. C’s evened the score at 3-3 before adding two more goals in the final five minutes to end up with the 5-3 victory.- Advertisement -The Flyers got outshot 52-24 by the Sr. Canucks. Brady Busche lead the way with three points, while Rick Cleaver chipped in with a goal and a assist. The loss drops the Flyers to last place in their division with an 0-2 record.Flyers General Manager Lee Hartman said, “We were up 3-2 and it’s disappointing to not come away with a win. Our team is capable of competing and winning games, we have to find a way to close out games especially when we have a lead in the third period.”Next up for the Flyers is a trip to Falher for a date with the Pirates next Thursday. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m.Advertisement
The 38-year-old will undergo his medical on Thursday, January 2 and will hold his first press conference the following day.“AC Milan announces that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s press conference is scheduled for Friday January 3rd at Casa Milan at 10 am.” (0900GMT),” they said in a statement.The six-month deal is reported to be worth around 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) plus bonuses, with the option of a further year.It will mark the Swede’s second stint with Milan, seven years after he left for Paris Saint-Germain.He played for the Rossoneri from 2010-2012 scoring 56 goals in 85 appearances and helped the club win their 18th and last league title in 2011.One of the most successful clubs in the world, AC Milan are 11th in the table just seven points above relegation.“I’m coming back to a club I hugely respect and to the city of Milan I love,” the former Sweden forward said after the announcement of his return.“I’ll fight together with my teammates to change the course of this season. I will do everything to make it happen.”Milan have come up short in their attacking options with just 16 goals in 17 games so far this term.Ibrahimovic left Los Angeles Galaxy last month after a two-year stay having scored 52 goals in 56 games, allowing to sign with another side for free.He had previously won three league titles with Inter Milan, and two with Juventus, which were revoked following the match-fixing scandal.Milan’s first game after the winter break will be at home against Sampdoria on January 6.Ibrahimovic started his career at Malmo in his native Sweden.He went on to play for Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, Milan, PSG and Manchester United, winning trophies with all these clubs but never the Champions League.0Shares0000(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped AC Milan win their last Serie A title in 2011 © AFP/File / Giuseppe CACACEMILAN, Italy, Dec 30 – Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be officially presented as an AC Milan player on January 3, the Italian club confirmed on Monday.Ibrahimovic returns to the side on a six-month deal, promising to help rescue the struggling Serie A outfit’s season.
This is the tactic Pellegrini is likely to introduce at West Ham, with the signings made, and players targeted, fitting such a system.But how could the Hammers line-up when they open the Premier League season against Liverpool at Anfield? Look below to find out… ALTERED BIG PRESENTS UP TOP MIDFIELD: Andriy Yarmolenko, Jack Wilshere, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Dimitri Payet 9 What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Ryan Fredericks will join West Ham when his Fulham contract expires at the end of June, linking up with exciting youngster Issa Diop, bought from Toulouse. Those two should quickly establish themselves as starters, with Fredericks providing an upgrade over Pablo Zabaleta at right-back simply due to his youth and ability to provide overlapping runs for a full 90 minutes, rather than the shorter period Zabaleta is restricted to. Arthur Masuaku has shown he is perfectly suited to this attacking full-back role on the left, and it does not appear West Ham are targeting any signings for this position, especially with Aaron Cresswell adequate back-up.For the second centre-back position, West Ham do have current options; Declan Rice has shown promise but does not consistently perform at the highest level, while Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna seem to have let their performance levels drop. Despite signing Diop, the Hammers have been linked with bringing another centre-half in, with a bid reportedly accepted by Corinthians for Fabian Balbuena.It may seem a risk to bring in a centre-half who has zero experience of European football in his entire career, but Balbuena, 26, is a Paraguay international, and is clearly being signed with a view to joining West Ham’s first-team. Pellegrini was confirmed as West Ham’s new manager, succeeding David Moyes, in May Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade If there is one group of fans who have a right to be excited ahead of the new Premier League season, it is those who support West Ham.The east London club have brought in a new manager with serious pedigree, Manuel Pellegrini, and have completed a number of signings early on in the transfer window. latest 9 England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings revealed 9 Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes Arnautovic started to excel as a centre forward under David Moyes towards the end of 2017/18, and his ability to drop deep and move out wide makes him a perfect fit for Pellegrini’s system. This is a position West Ham are well stocked, with Javier Hernandez more than capable of performing in the Premier League, even if he endured a tough debut campaign with West Ham. He has proven playing for Mexico at the World Cup that his hold-up play is exceptional, as long as his team-mates are supporting him in attack. Arnautovic is more suited to the matches in which he is likely to be isolated, as his ability to battle with opponents and chase down lost causes is a strength that should not be underestimated. West Ham have been making it a priority to improve their right midfield position, with deals for Felipe Anderson, of Lazio, and Andriy Yarmolenko in the works. Both players are great choices for Pellegrini’s system, as they can push high up the pitch as an out-and-out winger, or move centrally in a 4-2-3-1 and take up the No.10 role. With Dimitri Payet, who always looks to move centrally, on the left flank, Yarmolenko is the wiser choice on the right as he would prefer to hug the touchline than move inside, ensuring West Ham’s attacking play does not become too narrow.Jack Wilshere will reportedly be confirmed as a West Ham player this week now that he has departed Arsenal at the expiration of his contract. When fit and on form, Wilshere is a superb ball-carrying midfielder, who could fulfil the same role Yaya Toure had in Pellegrini’s Man City side. His job is to link play between defence and attack, moving into the final third and taking up a playmaking role when required. Capable of performing both in the centre and out wide, Wilshere has the kind of versatility that makes him perfectly suited to Pellegrini’s style of play. Pellegrini used a very versatile system, based on a 4-2-2-2, while in charge of Man City Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion On paper, these transfers look promising, with big money spent on young defender Issa Diop from Toulouse, Ryan Fredericks, the full-back, brought in on a free from Fulham, and a consistent goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski, finally able to be called upon.Pellegrini, a Premier League winner with Manchester City, left Hebei China Fortune in the CSL to take up the role with West Ham.He frequently used a 4-2-2-2 system while in charge of City, which could be quickly changed to a 4-2-3-1 if one of the strikers dropped deep, or to a 4-3-3 if a versatile wide player – such as Samir Nasri – moved centrally and one of the strikers took his previous position on the wing. 9 predicted How Liverpool could line up at Leicester with midfielder set for lengthy absence 9 GOALKEEPER: Lukasz Fabianski Most read in Premier League Pellegrini has preferred a 4-1-4-1 in China, a system which is brilliantly flexible. It provides defensive solidity if the wingers stay deep, while if they push high up the pitch it basically transforms into the same 4-3-3 shape Pellegrini liked to utilise while Man City manager. West Ham’s current squad is well stocked with players suitable for the holding role, with Cheikhou Kouyate (above) perfect for the games when West Ham are playing a better team, due to his defensive capabilities, and Pedro Obiang better suited for the matches West Ham should dominate, as he is better on the ball and when tasked with dictating play.Mark Noble would provide the shuttling role in midfield, helping out in both defence and attack, while the aforementioned Payet – linked with a return to West Ham from Marseille – on the left would float around the final third looking for the space he needs to make an impact.One key benefit of many of these players is how well suited they are to playing various roles in Pellegrini’s system. Yarmolenko, Anderson, Wilshere, Payet and the injured Manuel Lanzini can all play out wide or through the centre, while even left-back Masuaku could be pushed into midfield – with Aaron Cresswell replacing him in defence – if Pellegrini wants direct wingers on either flank, rather than an asymmetrical system with one winger and one attacking midfielder who would look to cut inside.The versatility all these players possess, combined with the versatility in Pellegrini’s approach to the game, means the manager’s 4-1-4-1 system can fluidly change into a 4-2-3-1, a 4-3-3, or even the 4-2-2-2 he utilised with Man City, dependant upon the players selected and how West Ham are approaching a specific match. SORRY Pellegrini has preferred a base system of 4-1-4-1 in China, though he still remains versatile 9 This could be West Ham’s line-up in the base 4-1-4-1 tactic Fabianski was confirmed as West Ham’s third signing of the summer last month, joining the club from relegated Swansea City. Despite keeping goal for a team who fell out the top flight, with 56 goals conceded in 38 games, Fabianski was rated as one of the Swans’ most valuable players in 2017/18. He was always considered a liability while playing for Arsenal, but since joining Swansea in 2014 Fabianski has established himself as one of the most reliable glovesman in the top flight. At 33, he is still relatively young for a goalkeeper, so should provide a number of years of top class service to West Ham, starting with 2018/19. predicted The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 9 smart causal gameday cracker 9 FORWARD: Marko Arnautovic silverware DEFENCE: Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, Arthur Masuaku Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update 9 Pellegrini’s system can fluidly become a 4-2-3-1, a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-2-2
JP LandmanTwo South Africans worth keeping an eye on – Bobby Godsell (previously with Anglogold and now with Eskom) and James Motlatsi (past union leader and now with Thebe Investments) – launched a book in December in which ordinary South Africans are given guidelines on what they can do to make the country a better place.*It is practical and action-oriented. The authors identify nine areas in which each one of us can make some contribution – from building stronger family ties to avoiding unnecessary debt.One of the nine areas – “Beyond the tribe, outside the ghetto” – drew my attention. It deals with building common community values and a sense of responsibility toward the greater good of all. We cannot live within our own tribe and ghetto as if the outside world does not exist.We are still a nation in the making and still working toward those common values which bind us.But at the moment we are caught between two opposing forces in South Africa, making the process that much harder.On the one hand, there is a natural inclination to be with one’s own kind. Here a comfort zone exists which makes it preferable and easier to be on the inside than on the outside.But this is exactly what nation-building requires of us. To move out of our comfort zone so that we can reach out to those who are not like us.It is this conflict that runs through our public debate.For instance, after Barack Obama’s election victory two white writers were quick to point out that the US is now non-racial – and that South Africa can only claim this right once a white person is elected president.Excuse me? What about a coloured or Indian person? Surely it is about minorities, and not about being white or not.And seen in the light of the 350 years of white domination in this country, such an opinion smacks of arrogance.Just take a moment to look at this from a black South African’s perspective.Instead, we still view things from within the tribe, rather than “Beyond the tribe, outside the ghetto”.Another example is the Springbok rugby emblem. Put in the shoes of their white colleagues, black sport enthusiasts must surely feel the same emotional connection associated with the Springbok and all it stands for – being the best; the hero of the nation.And the same applies to white people – placing themselves in the shoes of a black rugby player in the 1960s who was denied the right to this honour; never even to be considered for it. How does that feel?A third example is the media, defining itself as an instrument serving a particular tribe or ghetto, and not the greater community.Serving a particular target market is one thing – blowing on the flames of xenophobic hatred and encouraging an inferior mentality quite another.Afrikaans offers an opportunity in the reverse. This language can play a unique role: reaching out beyond the tribe to the greater community.It has the potential to strengthen South Africa’s social capital and bring renewal to the language at the same time. Not so that we can create a new and larger ghetto that only includes the Afrikaner tribe – that specifically not.Reaching out beyond the traditional tribe and ghetto must be based on common values and a sense of the greater community.Fortunately most South Africans seem disinclined to go for such a new ghetto idea. It is with these people that I add my voice.Godsell and Motlatsi come from different ghettos. They have reached out for the sake of common interests – Anglo mines and job opportunities. And now they share enough values to build a new nation. It’s everyone’s own choice.*Do It! – Every South African’s Guide to Making a Difference by James Motlatsi and Bobby Godsell. Jacana Media, 2008.JP Landman is a self-employed political and trend analyst. He consults to SA largest private wealth business, BoE Private Clients, and works with several SA corporates on future scenario trends. His focus areas are trends in politics, economics and social capital.Among some of the unique research projects his consultancy has undertaken was the role of public institutions in battling corruption (quoted by the UN in a report on corruption), the interplay of demographics and economic growth, and an overview of trends around poverty alleviation in SA. Whilst working as an analyst on the JSE in the 1990s he was voted the top analyst in political trends.He is also a popular speaker who has addressed diverse audiences locally and internationally and enjoys consistently good ratings.He has a BA and LLB degrees from Stellenbosch (1978), studied Economics and Development Economics at Unisa (1979 and 1980) and later at Harvard (1998 and 2005), and obtained an MPhil in Future Studies (cum laude) from Stellenbosch (2003).
Google Glass, the tech giant’s experimental eyewear-based computer, may soon give epidemiologists a faster and more reliable way to track infections and other diseases. Researchers report online today in ACS Nano that they’ve created an app that allows Google Glass wearers to snap pictures of common immunology-based diagnostic tests and immediately beam those images back to a central computer server. Software on the server then processes the image information, determines a diagnosis, and relays the information back to the wearer. Because the Google Glass transmits location information, the approach can also be used to map the spread of diseases that are being tested. The researchers showed that the latest approach to epidemiology worked to track both HIV infections and levels of prostate-specific antigen, a molecular marker associated with prostate cancer.See more ScienceShots.