Guyanese deserve commencement of election preparation

first_imgDear Editor,President David Granger’s choice is now at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the situation sets a platform for keen following, obviously interesting reporting, and prohibitive response actions where necessary. Sticky and suspicious as it is, it cannot be denied that the strongly objectionable impositions of this APNU/AFC coalition are on the forefront.The methods of the highly controversial and contentiously appointed Chairman, Justice James Patterson (retired) justifiably set a platform for continuous examination. This is necessary since from the outset, Granger signalled and then imposed an undesired level of suspicion to all Opposition political parties and citizens at large. It is the view of many that the undue pressures will not only affect the functionality of the Commission, but the credence of emanating reports.Recently, Chairman Patterson held a meeting with the appointed GECOM Commissioners. It is sad to report that there were no minutes of the last meeting of the Commissioners for consideration. As we proceed with caution, it is my view that discussions on vital matters such as audited Financial Statements or the Current and Capital Budget augur well as good starting points in determining what is happening at the Commission. Is it that Patterson already knows and wants to keep such information a secret? Certainly, the appointed Commissioners and citizens need to know and be aware of the status.Meanwhile, a strong call exists from inside and beyond the Secretariat for Commissioners to provide a full report on the financial status and report of the 2016 and 2017 budgetary allocations to the Commission.It is clear that serious misappropriation of funds was the order of the day, and it is now critical that citizens must be provided with a comprehensive financial status update, in the interest of image and transparency.Although not forensically conducted, it is known that the Auditor General’s Report pronounces on a number of violations.I did highlight for public attention several examples of these issues after the last Cycle of Continuous Registration. Among them, the flagrant manipulation of the river and road transportation claims which are used as a ‘milking cow’ in treating expenditure at the Commission. Taxpayers are prepared to struggle and will stand up against all forms of pilfering and corruption at GECOM.The filling of vacancies and the renewal of contracts at GECOM are a matter of serious concern for this nation. There must be a full investigation into the treatment of this issue during the several Cycles of Continuous Registrations after the 2016 Local Government Elections. Of significant concern are the extreme expenditures and most importantly, the results of the Continuous Registrations process which apparently have become high National State Secrets.It is known that the Commissioners have requested to no avail the results of the Continuous Registrations and the list of people that were employed, the vehicles that were hired and the amount of money spent on ‘special’ meals that were both for GECOM permanent and temporary contracted employees.So, what really is going on at this entity if persons who ought to be part of the decision making body of the Commission are being denied relevant and timely information about its operations.The Commissioners must be fully involved and into operational mode as preparations for the 2018 Local Government Elections are undertaken. Further, all and sundry must recognise that the list of advertisements dealing with vacancies, tenders and supplies as well as the public relations work, must be transparently done and exemplary in manner towards the approval of all Guyanese.It is not for the GECOM boys to live a good life at the expense of the nation with sub-optimal practices.The time is up for the meet and greets honeymoon and the clean life demanded of the imposed Justice Patterson must be validated with appropriate scrutiny.All Guyanese, along with the local and international organisations, are looking on keenly at what is happening with the electoral process.Among others, Guyanese deserve the commencement of election preparation with a clean Register of Registrants as well as a respectable and representative list of electors for GECOM to conduct free and fair elections. We also advocate for the necessary elections reform to complement the process of holding transparent elections in Guyana.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

Adding insult to injury

first_imgDear Editor,Our union has noted reports appearing in several sections of the media concerning the press conference by the Alliance For Change (AFC) held on January 15, 2018 and more so, the comments made by leaders of that party with regard to the severance payments to the some 4000 sugar workers of Skeldon, Rose Hall and East Demerara Estates. The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) found the statements attributed to leaders of that party which has boasted about its links with the sugar workers as incredulous, to say the least, and they say a lot about the sincerity of the AFC’s concern about the plight of the sugar workers.Agriculture Minister Noel Holder is quoted in the January 16, 2018 Guyana Times, as saying “[f]inding the $4.5 billion in severance is a difficult thing to do” but, seemingly, it was not difficult for the Minister and his colleagues to send home 4000 workers which have directly impacted the well-being of approximately 20,000 Guyanese men, women and children to the breadline. From the Minister’s perspective, using 1.8 per cent of the 2018 Budget in the interest of a large group of our citizens is a difficult thing to do. This is adding insult to injury now Minister Holder.The Agriculture Minister didn’t stop there and according to the Guyana Times newspaper, he also is reported to have said “paying the entire severance amount was impossible” which seems to indicate that the Administration hadn’t any intention to fully settle its indebtedness to the workers. We cannot help but wonder what the Government had intended to do to the already beleaguered, now jobless, workers. Moreover, Minister Holder’s recent statements are also is in complete contrast to what he said in the December 22, 2017.Then Minister Holder’s colleague, Natural Resources Minister and AFC Leader, Raphael Trotman, on January 16, 2018 in the media is quoted to say “[w]e knew we had to pay severance, we just weren’t sure where it would come from”. The statement by the AFC leader leaves us in disbelief and causes us to wonder if this is how the affairs of the State and the business of the people are managed. Clearly, the Administration needs to do a better job at dotting its Is and crossing its Ts.At this time, GAWU recalls that the AFC in a statement issued on December 7, 2017, said among other things, “[t]he Party insists that as per the requirements in law, severance must be in place”. Based on the now admissions by the AFC leaders who are also Cabinet members, they were well aware that the call issued in their statement was utterly wrong and, therefore, participated actively to mislead and hoodwink the Guyanese people and more so the thousands in the sugar belt who are affected by the callous and cruel plans to minimise the sugar industry.For GAWU, it is disheartening also to recognise that the AFC’s press conference took place on the same day that the world took time to pause and reflect on the life and work of Dr Martin Luther King whose advocacy on behalf of the downtrodden is well-known and which serves as an inspiration for the working and oppressed people of the world.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more

West Ham 2-0 QPR: Sakho continues dream Hammers start to leave Rangers rock botto

first_imgNew striker Diafra Sakho continued an impressive start to his West Ham career, as his second-half strike helped seal a comfortable 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at Upton Park.The Senegalese frontman agreed a £3.5million switch to east London this summer, and netted his fifth goal in five games to resign Harry Redknapp’s much-maligned men to the bottom of the Premier League table on goal difference.West Ham started brightly and took the lead after only five minutes when QPR defender Nedum Onuoha put the ball in his own net, under pressure from that man Sakho, directly from Stewart Downing’s early corner.Rangers, as in most of their games so far this season, just weren’t at the races in the early stages and were almost punished again when Sakho set up strike partner Enner Valencia, though the fellow summer signing sliced his close-range effort wide.It looked an entirely different Hammers side to Sam Allardyce’s long-ball specialists of old, with the likes of Sakho, Valencia, Downing, on-loan Barcelona man Alex Song, Morgan Amalfitano and Mauro Zarate all linking together nicely with quick, slick passing.QPR, meanwhile, lacked anything in the final third, with Charlie Austin increasingly frustrated by a lack of service.When the R’s striker did get the ball he certainly looked a threat, though, as the jinked the ball round a few defenders to make room for himself in the box, with Hammers stopper Adrian doing well to save the Englishman’s sweeping shot.Despite the hosts’ dominance on the pitch, the stats told a different story as both sides recorded roughly the same amount of goal-bound efforts and shots on target.The difference was the greater urgency in West Ham’s play, and their superior quality on the ball eventually produced fruit when Sakho doubled their lead on the hour-mark, the forward nodding home James Tomkins’ cross after QPR failed to clear.Rangers were desperate for more attacking potency and Redknapp had addressed that by replacing Junior Hoilett with former Hammers hero Bobby Zamora at half-time, and the striker almost made an instant impact when he crossed for Austin, who fired just wide from close-range.QPR improved further when both Adel Taarabt and Jordan Mutch were introduced, but they were visibly deflated following the second goal, with goalkeeper Rob Green almost handing the hosts a third moments later.Perhaps trying to prove Valencia was too close to his free-kick, the experienced goalkeeper passed the ball straight to the striker, who duly rolled the it into the net before the referee generously ordered a retake.With the result all but sealed, West Ham pressed on for another in the latter stages and substitute Kevin Nolan should have found it but was unable to beat Green after Downing’s clever pull-back.It made little difference, however, as Allardyce’s side secured a valuable victory to leave QPR still searching for form, confidence and their first away point of the season. West Ham striker Diafra Sakho celebrates with team-mate Stewart Downing 1last_img read more

Liverpool star claim trio of stars have been alienated

first_img Liverpool full-back Jose Enrique 1 Liverpool full-back Jose Enrique has hit out at the club over the way he and team-mates Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini.The trio are currently on the fringes of the first-team at Anfield and barely played a part in the Reds’ pre-season activities.Enrique, 29, Balotelli and Borini were all left out of Liverpool’s squad to face Stoke at the weekend despite their desires to remain with the club, and the Spaniard believes he is being left in a tricky situation.“I’m in a difficult position,” Enrique said in the Liverpool Echo.“The club have alienated Balotelli, Borini and me.“I have a year left on my contract and I imagine the club will want to sell, but I still want to stay and fight as I always have.“But if a good offer came [from elsewhere] with more years of contract and more chance to play, I’d look at it.“I will not give up, I know from experience that football changes from day to night.“I feel fine after two years with knee discomfort. Plus in the squad here we only have one pure left-back and I know that if I stay, I’ll play. I want to prove that some are wrong.”last_img read more

Gyan reveals reason for quitting Ghana side weeks before Africa Cup of Nations

first_img LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS shining “Then they decided to convince me that the money was very good for a short loan and that the club needed the money. I was enjoying my football but Al Ain offered me wages that instantly made me the best-paid footballer in Africa. I couldn’t resist.“Pray you never be put in such a situation. It changed everything and I just had to take it and leave it. I don’t regret it though because it made me who I am now. I enjoyed playing at Al Ain, I stayed for four seasons, and it changed my life financially forever.” Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won gameday cracker The striker has not featured for his country since September 2017 due to persistent injury problems.He has also struggled for game time with Turkish club, Kayserispor, this season with just seven Super Lig appearances and one goal.Gyan spent two years at Sunderland between 2010 and 2012, scoring 10 goals in 34 Premier League games before leaving for Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.“Look, I’m going to be honest here, it was the money,” he told FourFourTwo in 2019. “It was too good to turn down but a hidden detail is that Sunderland accepted a £7m loan offer for me from Al Ain before even informing me,” he explained. tense REPLY Getty 2 Asamoah Gyan has retired from international football just a month before the Africa Cup of Nations.Ghana’s all-time leading goalscorer released a statement on Monday about his decision to quit saying it was over the captaincy. Gyan joined Sunderland from Rennes in 2010 and was a hit with fans, especially after scoring a last minute equaliser against Newcastle in 2011 He is likely to be replaced as Black Stars captain by Andre Ayew for the tournament in Egypt.“If the decision of the coach is to give captaincy of the tournament to another player while I am named in the team (squad) of the tournament, I wish to recuse myself from the tournament,” Gyan said in a statement.center_img Getty Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ ADVICE Thank you Ghana, am forever grateful 🙏 @AnimSammy @BaffourGyan4 @cobbyafriyie— ASAMOAH GYAN (@ASAMOAH_GYAN3) May 20, 2019“I also wish to retire from the national team permanently.”The 33-year-old has scored 51 times for Ghana in 106 matches and has played in three World Cups.He is also the top African goalscorer in the history of the tournament with six.Gyan has also featured in seven Africa Cup of Nations helping Ghana to a third-place finish in 2008 and runner-up in 2010 and 2015. Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City no dice REVEALED 2 Asamoah Gyan has played in seven Africa Cup of Nations tournaments huge blow last_img read more

Leitrim GAA Results February 12

first_imgShield Group 1Sun, 12 Feb, Venue: Allen Gaels, Allen Gaels 6-10 Ballinaglera 3-10Sun, 12 Feb, Venue: Melvin Gaels, Melvin Gaels – Dromahair-St Patrick’s W/OShield Group 2Sun, 12 Feb, Venue: Páirc Sheán Ui Heislin, Ballinamore-Sean O’Heslin’s 1-4 Kiltubrid 1-6Shield Group 3Sun, 12 Feb, Venue: Carrigallen, Carrigallen 0-12 Cloone 1-8Shield Group 4Sun, 12 Feb, Venue: Fenagh-St. Caillin’s, Fenagh-St Caillins 4-8 Bornacoola 0-5last_img

Rafters win second half, head to playoffs

first_imgFor the City TimesMEQUON – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (23-13) topped the Lakeshore Chinooks (16-20) 7-6 on Aug. 11, to win the second-half Great Lakes West Division Championship and clinch a spot in the Northwoods League Playoffs.Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, Roman Trujillo and Aidan Huggins drove in runs to put the Rafters on top 2-1. Lakeshore answered with a pair in the bottom of the third, but the Rafters came storming back one inning later.Wisconsin Rapids posted four runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good. Noah Thigpen doubled to tie the game and Trujillo and Richie Schiekofer each tallied an RBI single. Anthony Galason capped off the inning with an RBI double to make it 6-3 Rafters.Huggins scored on a wild pitch in the sixth to add to the Rafters lead and the Chinooks rallied to make it a one-run game heading to the ninth, but Brayden Bonner closed out the game and sealed the big Rafters win.Izzy Fuentes gets the win with 3.1 innings of relief work, striking out four batters. Brayden Bonner fanned four in 1.2 shutout innings of work out of the bullpen to earn the save. Lakeshore’s Bailey Vuylsteke is credited with the loss.The Rafters will take on the Madison Mallards at Witter Field on Aug. 12 at 7:05 p.m. for game one of a best-of-three playoff series. For more information, visit or 521 Lincoln Street, Wisconsin Rapids, or call 715-424-5400.last_img read more

Anderson: tennis world takes note

first_img4 April 2008At 6ft 7ins, a tad over two metres, new South African tennis sensation Kevin Anderson knows what it is like to walk tall.Suddenly, though, after beating world number three Novak Djokovic, right now the hottest property in world tennis, in the current Masters tournament in Miami, the 21-year-old Johannesburg-born giant has been elevated to a position where he has his head in the clouds.“Yes it’s a stimulating and pleasing feeling to mingle with the greats of the game in the locker room and actually have them greet you when before they were only names that you worshipped from a distance,” said Anderson in a conference call from the United States.Rapid rankings riseRanked 122nd in the ATP world ratings before the Miami tournament started – largely as a result of his runner-up finish in Las Vegas, which made him the first South African in two years to reach an ATP final – Kevin’s father, Mike Anderson, who has been a major influence in his son’s career, has calculated his Kevin will move up to approximately 110 next week. Not bad for the new South African number one, who was ranked 550th in the world little more than five months ago!Ian Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Tennis Association, was full of praise for the youngster. “Kevin had an opportunity to test himself against some of the best players in the world at the recent SAA Tennis Open in East London. He is our most prized property at the moment and if he continues with such performances, we can expect much greater things,” he said.Anderson believes he gained the stunning victory against Djokovic by raising the level of his game to new heights, which has given him confidence he could hold his own with the best in the world on the tennis court.‘A learning curve’He lost his next game in Miami against 32nd-ranked Russian Igor Andreev by a whisker in a tense three-set battle and says his new-found status made it “a little difficult” to concentrate and repeat the level he had reached against Djokovic. “But it was a good game,” he says, “and part of a learning curve for me. I’ve got no complaints with the way I played.”He believes his tennis has improved immeasurably under the guidance of Illinois University coach Brad Dancer, under whom Anderson spent three years on a scholarship.“Areas I’ve looked at improving,” explained Anderson, “are playing closer to the baseline, instead of further back, and progressing more often to the net as a variation to what is basically a groundstroke game.”Playing styleBecause of his height, serving not unexpectedly is a forte of Anderson’s play, but unlike many of those who are as tall and taller, he generally plays from the back of the court.He is looking forward to next week’s Davis Cup tie against Finland in Finland, and his meteoric emergence provides South Africa with fresh stimulus for what is expected to be a difficult tie – with the Finnish side including the 26th ranked Jarkko Nieminen.Afterwards, Anderson has mapped out a programme as busy as that of any player, including Challenger events as well as other clay court tournaments on the main ATP circuit. His programme includes appearances in the three remaining grand slam events of the year after his 2008 fairytale began when he qualified for the Australian Open main draw in January.Improving ranking“I’m still in a position where I might have to qualify for some of these tournaments,” he said, “but I have no points to drop from last year and there is a good chance my ranking can improve further.”Anderson left St Stithians School in Johannesburg, where he was also an above-average cricket and soccer player, to finish his matric via private studies so that he could concentrate on a tennis career. Now, a short time later, that decision is paying dividends in a big way!SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Is Identification the Missing Piece in LP’s War against ORC?

first_imgSponsored by Avery DennisonLast month, police officers from the Berkeley Police Department in California raided a house as part of an investigation into a retail theft ring and found stolen cosmetics and other goods totaling $500,000, according to news reports. It was a major bust that was, nonetheless, fairly typical—reflecting just how extensive organized retail crime (ORC) has become. The raid was also the kind of score-one-for-the-good-guys story that gives retailers hope they are making progress against a stubborn enemy.But the extent to which a feel-good police raid denotes a genuine victory largely depends on whether there is a way to identify where the stolen products originated. Without identification, prosecuting and disrupting fencing operations could be difficult and impracticable, victim retailers may not recover any products for resale, and the perpetrators of the crime or boosters will feel little lasting deterrence from returning to work.- Sponsor – “When you go to seize product, if there is no label and you can’t identify where the product came from, then you don’t have a victim. And you don’t have a crime unless someone can take the stand and say ‘this is mine,’” said Denny Dansak, who until April served as the head of Kroger’s organized retail crime division for all 24 of its companies.Kroger began labeling its high-theft products several years ago to take advantage of improvements in labeling technology made by Avery Dennison. Labels that, if removed, leave a residue or otherwise degrade the product. That technology advancement has created a new class of theft prevention solutions—one that costs just pennies.“When people think about ORC, they tend to think the answer is expensive electronic solutions and EAS gates at the door. Those are a deterrent, but they may not always be the most cost-effective way to protect merchandise,” explained Bob Glavin, vice president for innovation in Avery Dennison’s Printer Solutions division. “A lot of our customers report really strong ROI through paying just a little more in label costs. They’re reporting positive payback in a couple of months, rather than the years that it can take for more involved solutions.”Through its partnership with the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC), Avery Dennison has seen the impact of its identification solutions on theft. “Partnering with LPRC we know fences are forced to re-sell products at a lower cost if they’re labeled, so it actually deters boosters from stealing them in the first place,” said Glavin. “We’re able to use this kind of knowledge to create solutions that will work, and manage the cost.”Avery Dennison Theft Deterrence and Recovery labels, which feature numerous types of face sheets and difficult to remove adhesives to work on different kinds of product material, are less expensive than other LP tools. Labor costs are minimal when retailers target their use on high-theft items, or if stores are already affixing labels for other reasons, such as for pricing or promotions. And Avery Dennison’s solutions extend beyond pre-printed store identification and allow retailers like Kroger to include variable information at the time of application to the product, such as store number, phone number, date, and whatever else LP finds useful for recovery. Thus, eliminating the need for hundreds of pre-prints that have to be ordered and warehoused. In addition, they can be combined with pricing or promotion labels and used to improve product appearance and enhance store branding.Recovery is the most obvious value of product identification. If a retailer can show that they own products seized in an investigation—a pallet, for example, of Tide detergent—they can recover it and potentially make it available again for sale. However, even if products are consumable or otherwise unable to go back on store shelves, identification yields value by strengthening criminal cases against fencing operations, which cuts into ORC operations. “Cutting the head off the snake can put 40 to 60 boosters out of business,” said Dansak, who added that ownership identification not only helps to secure convictions but can—for instance by demonstrating when stolen products have traveled over state lines—increase charges and penalties against fencing operators.Identification can also help increase sales. Some major customers are reporting a sales uplift that they attribute to the recovery labels. “Because ORC thieves often clear out an entire section of merchandise—an entire shelf of teeth whitening products, for example—then when customers come in they can’t purchase it because they’re out of that item,” explained Glavin. “This solution prevents that kind of issue.”Moreover, the value that theft recovery labels are providing from a loss prevention perspective is growing alongside the awareness of ORC rings. “We’ve had boosters cooperate with us, and they say that more and more fences are telling them not to bring them products with identification labels,” said Dansak. “Now that you have labels where the adhesive is strong enough that they can’t really be removed, then if retailers A, B, and C have labels, boosters will hit retailer D instead. We’ve seen that.”In addition to providing low-cost theft deterrence, labeling solutions also account for a hard truth about ORC—that 100 percent prevention isn’t realistic. “The mentality of many boosters is that they’re going to get the product they’re after regardless of the theft deterrent in place,” be it EAS, video surveillance, or some other prevention tool. However, even when criminals can’t be deterred, identification labels—unlike many other LP solutions—still yield value by providing critical intelligence to retail investigators. For example, when a legitimate retailer finds itself with a labeled product and calls its 800 number and provides the store number from the label, investigators can trace their stolen product back to its original store.Using information gathered from recovered products, retailers can: uncover the type of schemes they’re falling victim to, such as a diversion issue or a refund issue; determine the extent of a fencing operation trafficking their products; and gather the information that law enforcement needs to pursue a case.“It really helps investigations, especially with fences selling products online, and we’ve followed products from New York City to Phoenix to the Philippines,” said Dansak. “I got a call from ICE in New Jersey saying, ‘We have three pallets here with your labels being sent overseas,’ and that was baby formula, which many retailers sell. I got the call because it had our labels. But what happens to all the others that don’t have an identification label?”Dansak says that his real-world experience coincides with recent data from the National Retail Federation that shows ORC poses a growing threat to retailers. And the motivation behind ORC makes it particularly difficult to combat. “It’s is a not a crime of opportunity, but a crime of economics,” he says.The enormity of the challenge may be why retailers have reflexively looked first to intricate, expensive solutions when an inexpensive, straightforward tool is available to help deter crime, recover merchandise, prosecute crime rings, and improve sales. The value was obvious to Dansak, a former special agent in law enforcement. “When I first got to Kroger, after one month, I started asking, ‘how do we identify our products from those of other retailers?’ With me, it just seemed essential that we have something on there that identified our products. That’s how it all starts. That’s how you build a case.” Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Lukaku: ‘Very important penalty’

first_imgRomelu Lukaku admits his stoppage-time winner was “a very important penalty” for Inter to get the points in Bologna. The Belgian had already tapped in the equaliser after a deflected Roberto Soriano opener. “This was a very important penalty, as we simply had to win today,” Lukaku told Sky Sport Italia after the 2-1 victory. “Bologna played with a lot of intensity and impressed me today, but we had a good team mentality and I’m happy. “I’m pleased to have had such a good start, but I am 26 years old and I need to grow every day, along with the whole team.” Inter have at least temporarily gone top of the table, awaiting Juventus against Torino in the Derby della Mole tonight. “I am not interested in Juve’s results. What’s important to me is that Inter win. We won today and that’s what matters.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more