United suffer ‘big blow’ in English Premier League

first_imgLIVERPOOL, England (AP): Playing with 10 men proved to be no problem for Liverpool in the English Premier League yesterday. The same cannot be said of Manchester United. Liverpool responded to James Milner’s sending-off in the 62nd minute against Crystal Palace by coming from 1-0 down to win 2-1 as Christian Benteke’s penalty clinched victory in the sixth minute of injury time. However, United were made to pay for a 26th-minute red card to Juan Mata also for two bookings at West Bromwich Albion, which won 1-0 thanks to Salomon Rondon’s goal at The Hawthorns. United dropped three points behind fourth-place Manchester City in the race for Champions League qualification and are now only three ahead of Liverpool, who have won three straight league games for the first time in a year. City have a game in hand over United too. “It’s a big blow,” United manager Louis van Gaal said. “This kind of match you need to win.” Van Gaal said Mata’s sending-off for two yellow cards in three minutes was to blame for United’s first-ever Premier League loss at West Brom. “We have played 60 minutes with 10 versus 11 and this is the fifth match in 14 days,” the Dutchman said. “It’s very difficult to play against 11 players (in this situation). I think it’s the reason why we lost.” Mata collected his first booking for blocking a quickly taken free kick, a decision Van Gaal described as “stupid”. Initially, United coped well with going a man down, but barely threatened West Brom’s goal and Rondon won a tight game by controlling a left-wing cross and shooting home on the turn in the 66th. West Brom moved to 39 points, which should secure their Premier League status for another season. “Can we reach that magic 50 points that West Brom have never had before?” West Brom midfielder Darren Fletcher said. Liverpool played their best football down to 10 men at Selhurst Park, where the team hadn’t won since 1997, although they needed two errors by Palace players to bring about the comeback. Roberto Firmino pounced on a mis-hit clearance from Palace goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, drove forward and slotted a finish past McCarthy in the 72nd to make it 1-1. Then Benteke, on as a late substitute, fell to the ground under the slightest of touches from Palace defender Damien Delaney, who pulled out of an attempted tackle in the fourth minute of stoppage time, but still connected with Benteke’s left ankle. The Belgium striker coolly converted the spot-kick, halting midway through his run-up before slotting it home into the corner. “I feel like we’ve been robbed a little bit,” said Palace manager Alan Pardew, whose side hasn’t won since December 19, “but maybe we shot ourselves in the foot.” Palace led through Joe Ledley in the 48th minute. Liverpool are six points off the Champions League qualification positions and have 10 games remaining, one more than many of their rivals for the top four. “I can’t believe how it feels, really good,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said. “A big moment for us.”last_img read more

Brownlee moves on from last year’s title run ahead of rematch with Bolts

first_imgJustin Brownlee. PBA IMAGESJustin Brownlee has fond memories of Game 6 of last season’s Governors’ Cup Finals, but he knows that it’s already a thing of the past.“I definitely remember it,” Brownlee said, looking back on the shot that downed Meralco and ended Ginebra’s eight-year title drought. “But I’m just trying to move on from it.”ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Ferrer on Rice ejection: ‘I didn’t do anything’ Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene LATEST STORIES View comments Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide How to help the Taal evacuees And with the Gin Kings and the Bolts clashing anew in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, Brownlee is focused on leading his team to back-to-back titles.“A lot of people still talk about it, but this is a new year and a new conference. Whatever we did last year, it doesn’t matter in this time. I’m just trying to move forward from that. It was a great memory and nothing can take that away, but I’m just moving on,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogBrownlee unfurled monster numbers on Sunday, scattering 46 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and five shots in the series-clinching win over TNT.That was just the kind of performance coach Tim Cone would like to see from his import going into the tough series against Meralco, but Brownlee is wary of the Bolts’ threat, specifically Allen Durham. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio 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 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DAY6 is for everybody MOST READ Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed “Like coach said, the guy is a beast. I got to give it to him, he’s just been a beast and he’s been unstoppable. That’s why he’s in the finals and his team. I’m looking forward to it, hopefully we can slow him down,” he said.But it’s not just Durham alone, as the rest of the Bolts are raring to get their redemption against the Gin Kings.“If I was with that team, I would want to face Ginebra in the Finals, too,” he said, understanding the sentiments of a lot of Meralco players, particularly Jared Dillinger, who’s been vocal of his desire to have the rematch. “That just shows his fight and you know, maybe get some revenge. I would be the same way if I was him so I respect that.”Game 1 of the best-of-7 Finals series kicks off on Friday at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

NCAA: San Beda rips Benilde, clinches playoff for Final 4 bonus

first_imgLATEST STORIES For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum San Beda took another step closer to a title repeat after making quick work of College of St. Benilde, 77-55, in the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball tournament Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Perpetual Help plays on amid NCAA eligibility controversy “But we also need to step our game up because we need to fortify our position for the top two and that is our goal to get a twice-to-beat advantage.”The Red Lions didn’t disappoint their head coach and immediately took care of business as early as the first half, building a 37-22 lead heading into the break and never looking back.Robert Bolick led the defending champions with 19 points and four assists.Donald Tankoua took care of the big boy duties with a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double while Javee Mocon wasn’t far behind with 13 points and eight boards for the Red Lions.Clement Leutcheu had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments 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 Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READ The Red Lions’ dominant victory earned them a 14-1 record and gave them at least a playoff for a twice-to-beat advantage come the Final Four.The Blazers, meanwhile, dropped to an 8-7 record putting them two games behind no.4 University of Perpetual Help, which holds a 10-5 card.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissRed Lions head coach Boyet Fernandez said he was wary of the Blazers who are also fighting for their spot in the top four.“We really had doubts in this game because we all know CSB have its back against the wall and needed to win this game to stay close to the top four,” said Fernandez. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazillast_img read more

Africa’s Rich Oil: The New Political Scramble and Core Causes for Conflict around the…

first_imgThe African continent which is blessed with riches is drawing new interests from powerful and influential countries and companies around the globe owing to its resources especially the high quality of oil and wealth. These countries and major actors nowadays see the continent as the most promising place in the world for new production since it doesn’t have the huge deposits that the Middle East and Russia do, but what it does have is accessible and largely unexploited rich oil and wealth. The continent oil’s high quality makes it relatively inexpensive to refine.But most Africans are seeing little benefit from this influx of oil drillers and investment; in fact they are often hurt by exports of their countries’ oil and other riches. For instance, between 1970 and 1990, countries without oil saw their economies grow five times faster than those of countries with high quality of oil. A classical example is Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, these two neighboring countries with abundant of oil and riches are rated among the poorly nations. This is directly due to abuse of riches by the corrupt elites, politicians and foreign capitalists. Unlike part one of this article, part two of this article aims at scrutinize the fantasy  that Africa is facing a New Scramble squally due to its high eminence of oil; while at the same time analyzing the nature of economic and political changes in place across the continent. This article further deals with the importance of Africa’s riches, and the political and economic forces behind the new oil rush. It also present in-depth, incisive analysis of critical issues obtaining on the continent and beyond such as the new scramble for Africa’s richer resources, and the core causes for poverty, corruption, bad governance and sparse distribution of oil wealth.Part one which was published few months ago started with an overview of the phenomenon labeled by some as the ‘New Scramble’. The main body of the article evaluates the existence of a new scramble for the continent oil. Finally, by analyzing the likely impact on the economies of oil-rich states, this article considers whether we should dismay or rejoice over the ‘new scramble for Africa’ oil. It further wraps up that the on-going existence of a oil scramble or a US–Chinese pursuit for Africa should be treated with some caution.So far, most concerns have been focused on the struggles by external forces for Africa’s riches with the continent high quality of oil at the center of this new scramble by big powers, corrupt elites, politicians and foreign capitalists. Yet, it is important to critically examine the struggle for the control of oil in Africa, and the ways in which these connect with the broader global structures, actors and processes. This struggle has several dimensions, but it is often represented as pitching centralized control of oil revenues such as by a centralized state or dominant elite or group to the exclusion of marginalized groups or regions. The foregoing underscores the close intimacy between state and oil oriented power or agency, and the nature of the fractional squabbles over oil revenues on a national scale, which imposes centralist logic on the control and distribution of oil rents.The result of a centralist imposition of control from past experience is both the intense horizontal struggles for access to, and control of a larger share of oil rents, but more fundamentally, vertical struggles between the marginalized and oppressed groups and the corrupt foreign capitalists, egocentric politicians or oil elite privileged individuals. These struggles also underpin the privileged class formation process mostly through strategic locationing in the distributive circuits of the politics of the oil-state often carried out through primitive accumulation activities. As such the premium on controlling political power is very high. Such features can be gleaned from politics in Nigeria, Angola, Southern Sudan, Sudan, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, just among few countries. Another dimension of the struggles over oil is the relationship between foreign oil companies and national capital in African oil blessed-states, where there are also competitors in those African countries where a petro-bourgeoisie is emerging, and seeking incorporation into a transnational capitalist class. This is most visible from the policies of most African governments. This effort at building indigenous oil-elite can be gleaned from several policies intended to benefit few instead of the largest society on the continent. There is no doubt that the leverage given to most of these companies run by corrupt foreign capitalists, gluttonous politicians and advantaged elite class   has partly fed into a new kind of economic nationalism, driven by the quest for more profit and the political patronage. Theses botched policies are wholly attributing to poverty and suffering on the continent, where 60% of the population lived beyond poverty lines, latest report by the UN has said.A recent UN report shows that 85% of Africans have no access to standard pipe born water, good health care, electricity, social security benefits, sanitation facilities and good meals a day. The report further indicates that 25.8 million people of the two-thirds of the total world population suffering from HIV/AIDS live in Africa. And that Africa remains abundant in human and natural resources, but these riches especially millions generated from the sale of oil managed to enrich only a handful of African leaders and the family members, corrupt bureaucrats and their relatives and close friends, privileged individuals and foreign capitalists.The continent riches blessed with natural resources faces devastating crippling rates of poverty, hunger, and disease due to a ‘new scramble due primarily to its riches especially oil, with world’s two largest economy powers, US and China competing over access to African resources and markets. The U.S. long-standing dominance in several African countries and influence have been challenged in recent time by emerging China. Most studies explain that this is due to the changing distribution of power at several levels on the continent, while the French, British and Russia on other fronts have enforced their influences through a diplomatic tie on the continent. Most studies show that the new diplomatic maneuverings and stratagem could be several factors responsible for the continents chronic political, economic and security problems and also the infusion of violence in several African states. Several political pundits believe that China ties with some regimes on the continent and Chinese government’s aid to many African states with no strings attached policy undermine democracy, apparently can be blamed for bad governances, praetorian rule by ruling elites and vulnerability of the largest populations. But there are millions of others who hailed Sino-African partnership and believed that it results to a win-win situation, arguing that African countries stand to benefit immensely in the context of infrastructural development. However, the actual cause of the argument stands from different interpretations and perceptions, most importantly how accurate is the information they obtain or hand over to them.  Nevertheless, I am mindful against making a decision on the debates, I decided to refrain from discussing a particular case or situation in relationship to a specific African country or any of the big power since my doctorate studies in International Relations and Public Policy dissertation which contains over 500 pages discusses the subject on hand in details, with illustration, cases and references, among other acceptable standard of doctoral dissertation. The title of the dissertation is: China Strategic Oil Interest in Africa—The Sino-Africa Emerging Ties.What flows from the following is the complex architecture of the scramble for oil and its enmeshment with trans-global processes and actors. Given its place in the class struggles around in a rapidly globalizing world, oil is destined to be choice for power, influence and wealth. Whether the struggle between foreign capitalists and the ruling elite or  State/ Indigenous private oil capital, the contestations are framed within highly inequitable relations of production and distribution, which deepen existing social contradictions within Africa, and further complicate any prospects of social transformation, or the democratization of state-society smooth relations. Beijing‘s recent engagement in Africa has attracted a lot of attention and become a major economic force in Africa with a big amount of trade, investment and aid. Some critics especially from the West often use a double-standard to measure the Chinese engagement in Africa compared with the Western one. But also many people from different standpoints believe Chinese action to be beneficial to African development and help to empower the huge population on the continent. But from a critical point of views, China serves as both an opportunity and a challenge. The opposite side claims Chinese-African relations were established long before China‘s need for raw materials on the basis of mutual sympathy and common development instead of colonization.For others, Africa is frequently viewed as a loser in the process of economic globalization. Writers and authors have emphasized that Africa is of little relevance ‘because no important economic interests are greatly affected’. But Africa’s oil and gas can be one of the few outstanding exceptions to the perceived insignificance of Africa. Some capitalists  predict that the United States will soon depend on Africa for a quarter of its total crude oil imports, and Africa already accounts for more than a quarter of China’s oil imports nowadays. Oil experts have revealed that unless geologists succeed in finding new and so far unidentified provinces, consumers will all be depending on supplies from just three areas —  Africa, Russia and, most important of all, the five states around the Mideast.The present resource-rich African states and political elite may not be able to use the increased revenues from the sale of oil to transform their economies or societies, and would more likely enrich themselves and their patrimonial networks, or seek to entrench themselves in power through forceful means. The prospects of oil-rich African states emerging from the present struggle for the continent’s resources will ultimately depend of the ability of these states to transform themselves through a developmental philosophy to acts as spurs both for social and economic transformation, but perhaps more fundamentally, for the re-organization of production in the oil rich African states in the ways that lift it out of its peripheral position in the globalised division of labor. This is clear from the well-known Niger Delta crisis where the struggle by the ethnic minorities for autonomy and resource control has assumed insurgent proportions with frequent attacks on oil and government interests by well-armed militias. Apart from the militias, transnational networks trading in illegal bunkering and small arms are also involved in the struggles for oil in the Niger Delta.No doubt that oil money tends to corrupt politicians and bureaucrats whose end up fighting to pocket a share of the finite oil riches, rather than looking for ways to invest in their country’s long-term prosperity. Studies show that most oil rich’s governments aren’t dependent on income taxes and therefore don’t have to do what the citizens want, as such the state isn’t an engineer of economic growth, but a gravy train. In this case, only a limited amount of money gets down to the people.” The preceding clearly shows that although the scramble for Africa formally ended at the doorsteps of colonial rule, and independence, its spirit continues to haunt the continent as the world most powerful states, foreign capitalists, corrupt bureaucrats and egotistic actors continue to seek its resources for power, influence and domination on a  national and global scales.Although the Western development workers and Africa have been questing the way of development of Africa for a long time and have been seeking for a change, the reality is still disillusioning. The structural adjustment initiated by western government and adopted by African government seems to be a failure. The idea of turning to China as an alternative for prosperity has captured the imagination of many ordinary Africans, although others fear the threat of competition from the Chinese industrial juggernaut, and the rise of Chinese traders competing in local African markets.Majority of the crises across the African continent are direct result of the struggles for oil wealth or opposition against exclusion from resources and bad governances. The continent experienced dozen of vicious wars in several countries including the Nigeria’s Biafra war, the rebels’ war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formally Zaire), Angola, Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopian-Eritrea war, Rwanda war between the Hutu and the Tutsi, Senegal-Casamance Region, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ivory Coast, Northern and Southern Sudan’s war, Kenya post election violence, Libyan, and now Mali, just to name few. All these wars were direct results of abused of state resources and national wealth, bad governances, corruption, class system and abused of state power and authority by handful of African leaders and foreign capitalists.ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Josephus Moses Gray holds BA and MA Degrees in Communications and International Relations. He formerly worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Assistant Minister for Public Affairs. He is a Ph.D fellow with concentration in International Relations and Public Policy. He is a graduate of the ICFA Global Journalism Program, Washington D.C., USA. He holds dozens of certificates and post-graduate diplomas in Journalism, international affairs, political, Development economics, peace studies and diplomacy from abroad including the Chinese Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, Cape Town, South Africa and Atlanta, Georgia, USA.  He has authored two books and has written extensively and published over 40  articles on contemporary issues. He can be contacted at Email: jmoses1970@yahoo.com Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Bhofal Chambers Elected House Speaker

first_imgDr. Bhofal Chambers being sworn in as Speaker of the House of Representatives. -Rep. Moye whips Barchue 41–25 to win Deputy Speaker postDr. Bhofal Chambers, Maryland County District #2 Representative, was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature yesterday and proceeded to say that the institution he now leads must be “rebranded” and that friendship will not be his priority.His tenure is expected to run from January 15, 2018 to January 15, 2024.The Maryland County lawmaker replaced former Speaker James Emmanuel Nuquay of the 53rd Legislature, whose tenure expired Monday, January 15.Dr. Chambers, a member of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), was elected on a “white ballot” after former Deputy Speaker Hans M. Barchue and former Speaker Edwin M. Snowe, Jr. declined their respective intentions after being nominated earlier.The House Speaker bragged that as speaker he would do what is required of the House of Representatives based on the terms of reference, and that he expects cooperation from all of his colleagues in their operations of lawmaking, oversight, and representation.The House Speaker promised to reform the House of Representatives and declared, “I will like to let you know that you will not be disappointed. This House will be rebranded. Your hopes will not be withered. We will build your prospects.”Chambers indicated that reconciliation will be the hallmark of his leadership noting, “We think that in unity, Liberia can be safe, Liberia can be just, stable, prosperous, and so this responsibility lies on our shoulders.”He urged members of the 54th Legislature to be honorable and “to be within your authority not to diminish the honor that the people have reposed in you.”He thanked the lawmakers for the confidence they have reposed in him, and also thanked outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, although he still expressed his dissatisfaction.“I want to thank the President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as one who led this country, though there were challenges, gaps and weaknesses, we still understand that she did what she could,” he said.The House Speaker also thanked the incoming President, George M. Weah, adding: “I want to thank him, because two years ago, he said to me ‘when things happen in our way, you will be the next speaker.’”He said: “I think he is a man of credibility; I will not let him down.”Chambers itemized his gratitude, saying, “l want to say graciously and humbly, that all I am and all l hope to be, I owe it to God first, my mother, my family, the noble Coalition for Democratic Change, my friends, people of New Jerusalem, called Pleebo Soloken District, and to well intention Liberians, l want to say thank you.”He added: “God has a purpose for everything; what God has for you, no one can take it away from you. I believe in His power and authority. May God richly bless all of us, as we endeavor to transform this country, politically, economically and sociably.”However, the House Speaker, in a firm tone, dismissed perception of sour relationship or bad blood among the three branches of government.“We will not create any acrimony; we will be in close consultation with the other branches of government,” he said.Chambers quoted US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The true measure of a man is not where he stands during moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of difficulties and controversies.”Dr. Chambers holds a master’s and doctorate degree in Law Enforcement from the Columbus University, USA. He was elected as Representative in 2005, and served as a member on the Committees on Foreign Affairs, National Security, Good Governance & Government Reform and Chairman of Defense.Prior to his election as a lawmaker, Dr. Chambers served as President for the Universal Professional Network Systems Network, USA; Security Consultant in Philadelphia, USA; President, National Crime Prevention Awareness Project in Liberia; Director for the Liberia National Fire Service; Senior Network Planner of the Liberia Telecommunication Corporation, among others.The election of the Speaker of the 54th Legislature is in consonance with Article 49 of the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.Article 49 states: “The House of Representatives shall elect once every six years a Speaker who shall be the Presiding Officer of that body, a Deputy Speaker, and such other officers as shall ensure the proper functioning of the House.”House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers inducting Deputy Speaker Prince K. MoyeAlso in keeping with Article 49, Hon. Prince K. Moye of Electoral District # 2, Bong County, was elected by majority members of the House of Representatives as Deputy Speaker of the 54th Legislature.Rep. Moye, who previously served as chairman of the House’s Committee on Ways, Means, Finance, and Development Planning, defeated the former Deputy Speaker of the 53rd Legislature, Hans Barchue, by 41 to 25 votes.Deputy Speaker Moye holds a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) with an emphasis on Public Sector Management, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, with a minor in Accounting, both from Cuttington University.He is the chief executive officer of the Senior Moye Incorporation in Gbarnga, Bong County and worked as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Public Administration, Cuttington University.House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers inducting into offices Chief Clerk Mildred Sayon, J. Sayfarh Geeplah and Sergeant-at-arms, Martin JohnsonHe was elected representative in 2011. Prior to his election, he worked as director of procurement and administrative assistant to the vice president for administration at the Cuttington University.Also, members of the House of Representatives elected on white ballots, the current Chief Clerk, Mildred Sayon; Deputy Chief Clerk, J. Sayfah Geeplah; and Brigadier-General Martin Johnson as Sergeant-at-Arms.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

No agreement on lifting catfish ban – Holder

first_imgIt has been over one year since the United States imposed a ban on the exportation of catfish from Guyana. To date, the Agriculture Ministry has fostered discussions, but there has been no definite conclusion on when the sanction would be lifted.Agriculture MinisterNoel HolderSpeaking with Guyana Times, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder recently posited that discussions with his US counterpart would continue in the future.“We’re still in talks with the Americans. There’s no conclusion as yet … We will have discussions later and then we’ll get closer,” Holder said.Last February, he had pointed towards the bureaucratic movement between the Fisheries Department of the Agriculture Ministry and the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department of the Public Health Ministry as one of the main challenges against compliance with the US-imposed catfish ban, which was enforced to achieve standardisation of seafood entering the country.Holder had stated that while work has been done to lift the ban, it was an international issue which had to be dealt with in a holistic manner. At that time, “nothing new” had emerged from discussions, and they were working towards an arrangement to adhere to the standards set out by the United States of America.“There is nothing new on it. It’s the question of coming to an arrangement with the US concerning our adherence to their rule or how we can best adhere to it. We just can’t lift the ban, because it is worldwide and not just against Guyana,” the Minister said.He sought to mention that if the Food Safety Authority – which was brought into force by the Food Safety Bill – was established, the process would have been faster than having two Ministries involved.“We are working with the US. If we had the Food Safety Authority in place, it would have been way much faster but what is happening here is that you have two different ministries involved … the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries Department and the Ministry of [Public] Health Food and Drug Department, so the bureaucratic movement between Ministries have some challenges.”The Food Safety Bill was presented to the National Assembly in 2016, providing for a Food Safety Authority, which would spearhead all aspects of food production, including preparation and transportation for exportation.Meanwhile, on the part of the Public Health Ministry, former junior Minister Dr Karen Cummings was quoted as saying that “progress” has been made on their end, but she did not elaborate.Last December, Holder was questioned by Opposition officials as to what Government has been initiating to lift the ban after some $14.7 million was set aside for the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism as part of Guyana’s contribution to international organisations.Then Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira questioned whether Guyana could get help from this very organisation, to which Holder replied in the affirmative. She also enquired whether legislation was being drafted to assist Guyana with gaining compliance.According to the regulations, Guyana must be able to catch catfish and transport fish to a processing plant while it is alive. This is in contrast to the normal practice here, in which the fish is caught, disembowelled and the carcass is iced until it reaches the shore.last_img read more

4 homeless after fire guts Cummings Lodge home

first_imgA couple and their two children are now homeless after a fire completely gutted their two-storey home at Cummings Lodge, Greater Georgetown, on Monday.Debris of the house which was completely burnt to the groundOne of the couple’s daughters, 21-year-old Fazeela Mohamed was the only one at home when the fire started. Based on reports received, the fire started at about 11:00h.The owner of the house, Shivana Deolall, told Guyana Times that she and her 11-year-old son, Gavin Deolall, had already left home and were in a minibus when she heard the driver speaking about a house on fire.Upon realising that it was her home, Deolall said that she immediately ordered the driver to stop the minibus and disembarked. By the time she reached the scene, her house was already completely burnt to the ground. “I couldn’t bear it, I make it fast out of the bus. When I come it almost flat,” a tearful Deolall cried.She stated that her losses are estimated to be in the millions as they were unable to save anything. “…millions, because is a lot of music appliance downstairs, then I have all my jewels them upstairs, I had cash upstairs, a lot, a lot… It’s a shock to me right now, a big shock. I didn’t expect this,” the distraught Deolall told this newspaper.According to Divisional Officer of Operations of the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), Gregory Wickham, a total of three fire tenders responded to the incident.The homeowner, Shivana Deolall“The first tender that was coming was on its way to another emergency so it was well within the area of the fire scene. On arrival of that first tender and the crew, they realised that the building was well alight and so they went into firefighting with water from the tank supply. The other two tenders that came, they used open-source of water from the canal and did water relay system,” Wickham related.The fire official further indicated that the cause and origin of the fire are yet to be ascertained as investigations are still ongoing.He stated that this is the fifth fire of this magnitude which has occurred within the space of two weeks and, therefore, urged the public to adopt safe practices to avoid the occurrence of fires especially during the Christmas holidays.He advised that persons should remain attentive while carrying out chores that can result in fires such as cooking.He further emphasised the importance of using appropriate electrical wiring both indoors and outdoors as staying away from running electrical cords under carpets.In October, records of the GFS showed that there were already over 700 fires for 2019.last_img read more

Republic Bank earns $2.7B in 2018

first_img2018 Annual Report– despite challenging external environmentRepublic Bank Guyana Limited (RBL) has revealed that its profit before taxation for the year 2018 was a staggering $4.664 billion, and it net income for that same year was a whopping $3.134 billion. This is an increase of 14.4 per cent over the $2.738 billion the bank had earned in 2017.Republic Bank Guyana LimitedThis achievement came even as the bank navigated what it termed a “challenging external environment” that resulted in various amounts of money disappearing from the accounts of many customers.In his Director’s Report, Managing Director of Republic Bank Guyana Limited, Richard Sammy, said normal banking operations accounted for $2.951 billion. He attributed these increased earnings to the sale of the bank’s fixed assets.“Against a challenging external environment, the bank focused on improving its operational efficiency by aggressively managing costs, restructuring workflow processes, and reviewing systems and procedures,” Sammy reported.“A key project, which commenced in 2018 and will be completed in 2019, is the information Technology Consolidation initiative that will harmonise the bank’s IT platforms with other members within the Republic Group, ultimately advancing our technology and improving our product and service offerings to our customers,” the Managing Director noted.Of recent, Republic Bank has had to contend with customers complaining of millions of dollars going missing from their accounts. Some customers even took to social media to call the Bank out over the discrepancies.Last month, RBL publicly confirmed that the monies were indeed missing, after previously denying knowledge of the reports. After several customers had reached out to Guyana Times about their missing money, a call to the Bank by this publication was met with denial by one of its managers.One customer related to this newspaper that he had visited the Republic Bank Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara to do a transaction, but he received a notice saying there were insufficient funds to honour the requested amount.He said this prompted him to conduct a balance inquiry, and to his astonishment, his account only had $9000. The customer said he was left speechless, since he was aware that his account had over $140,000.The customer noted that he went to the bank and made a report, and was given a dispute form to fill out. He said he was advised by the teller that the investigation process for such a claim takes between 60 to 90 days.According to the customer, he was also informed that the matter has to be investigated by the bank’s Trinidad branch.The customer had expressed dissatisfaction with the response from the bank, adding that when he enquired about reimbursement, he was not given positive feedback.Meanwhile, another customer said that he, too, was left shocked when he realised that $2 million had gone missing from his account. He said an inquiry revealed that money was deducted from his account to pay for several online purchases.Another customer revealed that she had gone to the ATM and found that $60,000 was missing from her account, and she went right away to the bank. She said she also was given a dispute form to fill out.The young lady criticised the bank for not being honest with its customers about the hacking incident.It is understood that several of these customers have since had their monies returned to them, with the bank implementing improved security features for online transactions involving the international Visa card.last_img read more

Mathare top KPL standings after week two

first_img0Shares0000Mathare United players celebrate their late winner against Nzoia Sugar during a Kenyan Premier League clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on February 11, 2018. PHOTO/Mathare UnitedNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 12- Two identical 2-1 wins in two consecutive matches have seen 2008 Kenyan Premier League champions Mathare United zoom top of the standings, a sharp contrast to their performance last season that saw them battle relegation the entire season.The Slum Boys, without a sponsor this season after the exit of both Britam and Betway, came from behind to win 2-1 against Nzoia Sugar in Machakos on Sunday, a similar result they posted against debutants Vihiga United in their first match. Though early days, head coach Francis Kimanzi was impressed with the attitude and improvement shown by his players and will only hope they can be consistent this season.“The boys are showing some character because it’s the second game that we worked very well. It also shows that we have some maturity and depth in the team. We can always get better,” Kimanzi commented after seeing his side battle to a second win.The tactician speaking before the season commenced affirmed that his charges have learnt from their misgivings last season and will be careful not to repeat the same mistakes that saw them swim in the doldrums of relegation.For Nzoia, it was yet another disappointing result having began the season negatively with a 1-0 loss at home against Kariobangi Sharks.The sugar belt side and Zoo Kericho are the only two sides yet to pick a point this season with the latter having not featured this weekend as their opponents Gor Mahia were busy in continental football.Bandari, Chemelil Sugar and Kariobangi Sharks retained their positions within the top five slots each picking up single points after their opening day wins. Bandari and Chemelil played to a 0-0 draw in Mombasa while Kariobangi Sharks had to come from behind to draw 2-2 with debutants Vihiga.-Timbe continues search for win-Tusker FC head coach Sam Timbe gestures during his side’s Kenyan Premier League clash against Posta Rangers at the Ruaraka Complex on February 11, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaMeanwhile, Sam Timbe’s search for a maiden victory as Tusker FC head coach continued unsuccessfully with a barren draw at home against Posta Rangers.However, the talking point of the game at the Ruaraka Complex was the absence of assistant coach Francis Baraza who is said to have been sent on compulsory leave though the management has been coy on the issue.“My work as Tusker FC is to coach. When I signed my contract, it read very well that I am a coach so the rest of the things are administrative and should be left to the office,” Timbe said after their match, steering clear of the issue.Sources at Ruaraka intimate that there might have been some frosty relation between the two coaches, hence the management’s decision to ask him to step aside. It was the same fate that former boss George Nsimbe suffered before being sacked last season.Coincidentally, it was Baraza who held forte after the Ugandan was asked to vacate his duties.New Tusker FC head coach Sam Timbe consults with assistant coach Francis Baraza during a training session at the Ruaraka Grounds in Nairobi on January 3, 2018. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUDespite the drama off the pitch, Timbe hopes his new look Tusker side which has looked flat over the past two matches will begin firing and he is impressed with their improvement.“There is no pressure for me because I am used to this kind of work. It is not easy when you have 14 new players in a club and you have to build a new team but we are trying our best and soon we will have good results,” Timbe said.Posta meanwhile seems to the same old outfit from last season that couldn’t score to save their lives. In two matches, Posta has scored only a single goal and head coach Sammy Omollo was once again left ruing the missed opportunities from their bout with Tusker.“If we were more composed upfront, things would have been different. But I am pleased with how we have fared over the last two games since we have faced very competent sides. Moving forward I believe we have room for improvement,” noted the coach.Nakumatt FC head coach Anthony mwangi gestures during a past Kenyan Premier League match. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaAnother exciting fixture from last weekend pit last season’s relegation survivors Thika United and the cash strapped Nakumatt, a tie that ended in a 3-3 draw.Thika had themselves to blame after blowing up a 2-0 and 3-1 lead to share spoils and head coach Nicholas Muyoti was equally frustrated.“We made very basic errors at the back and at this level, this should not be happening. This is a game we should have won but we paid for our own mistakes. Defending like that is not acceptable,” the irate tactician fumed.For Nakumatt, it has turned out to a chase of living a day at a time especially coming in a time when they are facing a stern financial period.“It is very tough to be honest and it is a situation which you can’t survive without a strong mentality. Some of us are used to working with teams with worse financial situations in the grassroot but now this is a higher level which is difficult. But we will live through it and hope things become better,” Mwangi noted.KPL weekend results:Saturday: Kakamega Homeboyz 0-1 Sofapaka FC, Bandari 0-0 Chemelil Sugar, Nakumatt FC 3-3 Thika United.Sunday: Tusker 0-0 Psta Rangers, Kariobangi Sharks 2-2 Vihiga United, Mathare United 2-1 Nzoia Sugar, Sony Sugar 1-0 Ulinzi Stars.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Chains strive to rule takeout window

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “Getting faster and faster and faster isn’t necessarily meeting the experience,” said Mike Watson, vice president of operations at Wendy’s International Inc. “You can go too fast, and then it’s just messy.” Pam Farber, the daughter of Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, remembers that when she worked at one of her father’s fast-food stores in the 1970s, customers were often baffled by the drive-through concept. She often had to run outside with a pen and pad to talk to customers who were confused by the bullhorn speaker or whose loud mufflers overwhelmed cashiers’ voices. Now that unfamiliarity is no longer a problem for consumers hungry for convenience, Wendy’s is replacing some of the text on menus with more pictures and placing awnings over menu boards to shield customers from rain and snow. Technology firms such as TechKnow Inc. are stepping in with digital menus, used at many major chains, that can increase sales by suggesting “missing” side items or desserts to customers who order only entrees. And outsourcing is expanding at McDonald’s Corp., where some stores are using central call centers rather than cashiers in the restaurant to take orders from drive-through customers. Smaller chains, such as Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc., have started testing confirmation screens, which display orders back to customers so they can make corrections before pulling up to the window. That technology has helped boost accuracy by more than 11 percentage points in four years at fast-food leader McDonald’s. COLUMBUS, Ohio – There’s a new arms race in the fast food industry: competing to see who can deliver faster and better service to customers pulling up to the takeout window. With drive-through now representing a huge portion of sales – 70 percent at Burger King Corp. alone – the answer can make or break the fast food giants. The trick is finding new ways to stand out in an industry ultimately limited by how fast workers can assemble orders, collect payment and hand out food to drivers. Companies are trimming bulky text from menus, using computer programs that guess upcoming orders and routing order-taking duties to call centers. While speed remains a benchmark of success, the average service time hasn’t been cut much below about three minutes for the last five years. That’s why many chains are focusing instead on cutting down on the number of mistakes in orders and making ordering easier. Burger King is working to break the speed barrier with its own technology that helps cooks ensure that precooked food remains fresh by keeping track of how long it’s been since it was prepared. Without such developments, speed will continue to stagnate, said Brian Baker, president of marketing research firm Insula Research, whose clients include Burger King. “I think we’ve pretty much gotten as fast as we’re getting” with the current technology, said Baker, who wrote part of the 2005 drive-through study for trade publication QSR Magazine. The magazine spot-tests major chains annually to measure drive-through speed and accuracy. To help cut the waste from leftovers, Pittsburgh-based Hyperactive Technologies developed a computer system that tells managers how much food they need to prepare by counting vehicles in the drive-through line and factoring in demand for current promotions and popular staple items. The system, called Hyperactive Bob, cuts preparation time and eliminates up to 60 percent of waste, said Joe Porfeli, the company’s chief executive, who said two major national chains use the service. He declined to give their names. Burger King has started using similar technology, said Jim Hyatt, chief global operations officer of the Miami-based chain. The technology monitors the status of precooked food and determines what orders the kitchen should expect, he said. Wendy’s, with 9,800 restaurants and $3.2 billion in annual sales, has led the QSR studies for speediest service nearly every year since they started in 1997. But Checkers trimmed that lead to just three-tenths of a second last year with debit and credit payment systems and touch-screen computers for order-takers. The Tampa, Fla., company, aims to get more orders right as it tests confirmation systems in some Florida restaurants, Chief Executive Keith Sirois said. The effort includes slimming down the menu to simplify order preparation, he said. Cutting menus is a tried and true way to improve speed as well, said Carl Sibilski, an analyst with Morningstar Inc. who noted that companies rolling out new menu items have had a more difficult time beating the clock. McDonald’s, with more than 31,000 restaurants worldwide and $20.5 billion in sales, did not return calls. But Sibilski, who follows the chain, said McDonald’s is expanding its use of call centers for taking drive-through orders, to ensure accuracy. The outsourcing started in the Pacific Northwest and is now taking root in states such as Minnesota, Sibilski said. The system also is helpful in areas where the chain’s employees may have limited English skills, he said. Amy Pomante, 20, of Oxford in southwest Ohio, said communications with drive-through employees have come a long way. “They haven’t gotten faster, but you can understand them now,” she said as she shopped for groceries in Columbus. Pomante held her hand in front of her mouth and imitated the garbled speakers she grew up with. “You don’t get that anymore,” she said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more