“It has always been a dream of mine to play in the Premier League and I have done.” Jamaican international Wes Morgan has not only realised his dream, he is also flourishing, making up for lost time even, as he leads unlikely title contenders Leicester City on a dream campaign.In many ways, Morgan’s rise has mirrored that of his club. It would fit perfectly well in a fairy tale book – Leicester battling with the big boys this season after last year’s near relegation and Morgan struggling in the lower leagues before making his top-flight debut at 30.”I thought the opportunity to play in the Premier League had passed me by. Everyone wants to play at the highest level, and it took a lot longer than I anticipated and wanted, but I got there eventually. I am enjoying it a lot!” Morgan said.He is today considered one of the most reliable defenders in the English Premier League, but it didn’t always look to be heading in that direction for the towering defender.Morgan was an awkward teenager, overweight with knees that rubbed together – hardly the model look for a footballer.He arrived at Nottingham Forest in 2002 after being cut from Notts County and spending a couple years at Dunkirk in the lower leagues.His arrival at Forest on trial was hardly an ‘arrival’ in truth, with then academy director John Pemberton admitting to hiding the out-of-shape-looking Morgan from the head coach for several months.The defender would eventually whip himself into shape and worked his way into a first team position at the club.”Getting released wasn’t nice. It was hard to take, but I remained positive and I got a trial at Forest, and that was an opportunity to get back into it, and that’s where it all started,” Morgan reminisced to bbc.com.He would end up moving to Leicester after a decade at Forest, where he had developed a reputation has a hard-nosed, studs-to-ankle type of defender. Exactly what the Foxes’ coaching staff was looking for.KEY FACTOREighteen months after making his Premier League debut, Morgan’s strength at the back has been a key factor in Leicester’s table-topping season.The defender is averaging 2.7 interceptions; 1.1 tackles; 5.3 clearances and 1.1 blocks per game to rank among the best in the league.But his focus is on the team and what they can achieve this season.”To be in the position we are in is an achievement in itself. Anything that happens now is definitely a bonus. People tipped us to be relegated at the start of the season, and we are competing at the top of the league,” said Morgan.”We are just delighted with how things have gone so far.”We have a real confidence and belief and know that on our day we can be as good, if not better, than anyone out there in this league,” he added.The Jamaican international has not forgotten his roots either and spends his weekdays coaching youngsters, perhaps with his mind on his own struggles at that stage.
The strong batting prowess of teachers from the parish of St Catherine will be on display against the defending champions Westmoreland in the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA)/Errol Miller Twenty20 cricket final at the Ultimate Jerk Centre, Discovery Bay, St. Ann today at 1 p.m.Both teams emerged winners after the semi-finals played at the same venue on April 1.St Catherine defeated Portland by ten wickets in their semi-final. Batting first, Portland made 52 all out and St Catherine replied with 55 without loss.In the second semi-final, Westmoreland defeated St Andrew by five runs. Westmoreland made 132 for five before dismissing St Andrew for 127.The winners of this year’s competition will receive the Errol Miller trophy.Special prizes will be presented to the player who scores the most runs and the player who takes the most wickets in the final.
If he doesn’t break the 19-second barrier this year or in 2017, that will be one reason to continue. If that barrier is breached by next season, it’s my guess that Bolt’s retirement would probably come as originally contemplated at the end of the 2017 season. There would hardly be any reason to run another step. The only target left would be the 400 metres. No one has ever won global titles at 100, 200, and 400 metres. If he sticks around past 2017, even with his well-known disinterest in the longest of sprints, Bolt could be the one. • Hubert Lawrence has been amazed by Bolt since 2002. It can only mean one thing. If Usain Bolt is contemplating an extension of his career beyond the 2017 World Championships, then his coach, Glen Mills, must have again set new acceptable targets for the tall man. Mills has done it before, and the sport of athletics is breathing a slow sigh of relief because he is doing it again. Had Bolt retired after his sport-altering 2008 and 2009 seasons, he would already have been the king of sprinters. It’s a no-brainer. The world-record doubles at the Beijing Olympics and the Berlin World Championships were, and still are, the stuff of legend. Mills had the tall man focused and led him on consistency. He came back to show how human he was with the infamous 100-metre false start at the 2011 Worlds and how brilliant he was with the rip-snorting Olympic double title defence in London almost four years ago. When he retained his Olympic crown in the 100m, he did it in 9.63 seconds. That’s inferior only to his world record of 9.58. Had he retired then, he would still be the best sprinter of all time. After all, no one had done the Olympic sprint double twice. Had he retired then, he’d have missed the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, where he reigned supreme. In 2015, his absence would have left Justin Gatlin as World 100-metre champion. Bolt will be 34 when the 2020 Olympics roll around. Glen Mills, however, has seen something in the athlete he has coached for more than a decade. Perhaps if and when Bolt loses the snap required to rule the 100m, they will concentrate on the 200 metres. AIMING FOR A RECORD
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):Cristiano Ronaldo scored one goal and was unlucky not to have another as Real Madrid beat Manchester City 4-1 in front of almost 100,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in a friendly yesterday.Madrid broke through in the 21st minute when Karim Benzema volleyed in a close-range scissor kick off a long Gareth Bale pass from the right.Ronaldo doubled the lead two minutes later to a deafening roar from the crowd when he collected a deft Toni Kroos chip from midfield and poked in a shot just beyond City goalkeeper Joe Hart.Pepe made it 3-0 nodding in an Isco corner just before half-time.City answered in first-half stoppage time with a Yaya TourÈ penalty, after Sergio Ramos was called for a handball in the box.Second-half substitute Denis Cheryshev converted an Isco pass to finish the scoring.Devastating injuryCity midfielder Fabian Delph, signed from Aston Villa for £8 million (US$12.5 million) last week, was carried from the field in the 20th with an apparent hamstring injury. He will have scans today.”This injury is not the best news because he was just starting the season with our team, but we’ll see tomorrow,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said.The match marked Rafa BenÌtez’s first win as Madrid manager.”I’m very pleased,” BenÌtez said. “When you are working so hard, when the players are training in double training sessions and doing so well in every training session, you can see the commitment.”Ronaldo had a goal disallowed in the 57th for offside, but video indicated the goal should have been granted.The crowd of 99,382 was the MCG’s largest for a football match, eclipsing the 95,446 in 2013 for a Liverpool-Melbourne Victory friendly.The match was the last of the three-game International Champions Cup that also included Roma.
The University of the West Indies (UWI) continued their impressive run in the Red Stripe Premier League with a 1-0 win against ten-man Tivoli Gardens FC at Edward Seaga Stadium yesterday.Girvon Brown netted for UWI in the 82nd minute, three minutes before Tivoli Gardens were reduced to ten players, when Rodico Wellington was shown a red card by referee Kevin Morrison.Tivoli started the game with hard running and good passes but failed to get past goalkeeper Amal Knight, who made some wonderful saves.Knight gave away a penalty in the first half when he fouled Tivoli’s Javanie Mitchell inside the area. The goalkeeper would, however, redeem himself, diving to his right to block Junior Flemmings’ effort from the spot.INCISIVE SKILLUWI picked up the pace, and the introduction of Keammar Daley and Anthony Grant in the second half certainly lifted their play. Both players immediately got involved and were influential with some incisive passing and skill on the ball.In the closing moments, Brown found the winning goal to push his tally to eight goals so far for the season.UWI’s assistant coach, Andrew Peart, praised his team for the win that pushed them onto 30 points in the league.”It was not only the players that came off the bench, but the entire team performed very well today (yesterday),” Peart told The Gleaner.”We made some adjustments from the first time we played Tivoli. They try to kick the ball long from the back, so we put some pressure on them, and it worked,” he reasoned.Although UWI are picking up the points in their first season, Peart says the first aim is to be safe. He predicted that two more wins from 11 games to be played in the preliminary round would make the team stay up.”Well, our first objective is to stay in the league, and mathematically, when we are safe, we can re-adjust our ambition. The semi-finals is a possibility, but we are not looking at that right now. Maybe another two more wins and we are safe for the next season,” Peart added.DROP IN RANKSMeanwhile, Tivoli, who fired coach Christopher Bender following a 1-0 defeat to leaders Portmore United last Thursday, dropped to 11th position on 19 points in the 12-team league.”Well, unfortunately, we lost by a simple goal. We got our chances and did not make any use, and UWI got one chance and won the game. Congratulations to UWI,” manager of Tivoli Brian Rose said.”Right now we are in a very desperate situation, so we have to dust ourselves off and come back,” he said.Rose confirmed that Bender was asked to resign.”When a team is not getting the desired results, the first person you look at is the coach. He was asked to resign,” Rose informed.
LONDON (AP):Chelsea captain John Terry will leave the Premier League champions at the end of the season after the club he has served since the age of 14 told him it would not be renewing his contract.The 35-year-old central defender, the most successful captain in Chelsea’s history, was informed about the decision before last week’s 1-0 league win over Arsenal.”I was in last week before the Arsenal game, and it (my contract) is not going to be extended,” he said. “It’s not going to be a fairy-tale ending. I’m not going to retire at Chelsea.”Ideally, I would have loved to stay, but the club’s moving in a different direction. I needed to know now, like I have done every January, and sometimes it takes a couple of months to get done. Unfortunately, it was a ‘no’.”Terry has been offered a faint glimmer of hope about his future at Stamford Bridge, where Dutchman Guus Hiddink has taken over as interim coach until the end of the season, following the firing of JosÈ Mourinho last December.”They said that when the new manager comes in, things might change. It’s a ‘no’ at the minute,” Terry said.”It took me a couple of days to get over.”Having joined the youth ranks and then made his senior debut in 1998, Terry was appointed club captain in 2004. His physical presence, anticipation and leadership qualities made him the outstanding figure in Chelsea’s defence as the club enjoyed a run of trophy success.In total, Terry has helped the club win four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, the 2012 Champions League, and the 2013 Europa League. He also captained England during a 78-cap career before he retired from international football in 2012.He held on to the Chelsea captaincy, despite being banned for four matches and fined in 2012 for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.Having made 696 appearances for the Blues, Terry’s next destination is likely to be abroad.”I couldn’t play for another Premier League club. It will be elsewhere for sure,” he said. “I don’t know where, and I leave that to the people in charge.”Despite the lack of a fairy-tale ending, Terry wished the team well for the future.”The club will move on; no player is ever bigger than the club,” he said. “No doubt they’ll sign one or two great centre backs.”I want to come back as a Chelsea supporter in years to come with my kids and see the team doing great. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be with me, but I want to see the team do well.”Chelsea’s season has so far been a chaotic one, with the champions languishing in the wrong half of the table after a poor start under Mourinho.However, yesterday’s 5-1 win over second-tier MK Dons in the FA Cup was the latest indication of a recovery under Hiddink – a revival that Terry wants to see continue in his final season.Chelsea are currently 13th in the Premier League standings on 28 points, 14 behind Tottenham in the fourth and final Champions League slot.”It’s going to be my last year, and I want to go out at the top,” he said.”We spoke about my legacy and coming back to the club when I finish. The most important thing now is to get us up the league.”
Former Jamaican and Caribbean junior squash champion Julian Morrison broke through to claim his first senior title when he won the Liguanea Club Open on Saturday night.In an explosive five-game finals match, Morrison stopped seasoned campaigner O’neil Johnson, but the veteran didn’t go down without a fight.Undaunted by the fact that Morrison was the favourite, Johnson served notice that it would be a hot contest when he won the first game. Morrison rallied to win the second and pull even, only to have Johnson come back and take the third.The youngster dug deep to blast back and take the fourth game. The final game went right down to the wire, but the rising squash star kept his head to win 19-21, 21-20, 19-21, 21-18, 21-20.MORE CONFIDENCE”This is pretty good because it gives me more confidence playing at the senior level, which will help me now that I’m on the pro tour where I’ll have to play top players,” said Morrison, reflecting on his first senior title. He recently joined the Professional Squash Association (PSA).In another exciting match, Andrew Levy beat Greg McClure 3-2 to win the consolation plate.Liguanea Club General Manager Gordon Edwards said Morrison’s win brought the weeklong tournament to a satisfying conclusion.”We had great matches and good-quality squash all week, but it was good to see Julian Morrison, a young player who we have watched grow up, come through and win his first senior title,” Edwards said.The tournament was sponsored by Total, UHY Dawgen, Avis, Lifespan, KLAS ESPN Sports FM, Epic Technologies, Jamaica Biscuit Company and Cari-Med.
Numerous victories Even by her own high standards RJR Sports Foundation National Sportswoman of the Year nominee, cricketer Stafanie Taylor, had a tremendous 2016. In surely the high point of her year, and indeed her career, Taylor led the West Indies Women to a maiden victory in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament defeating defending champions Australia in the April 3 final in Kolkata, India. It was a memorable final for the 25 year-old as the West Indies Women completed the second highest run-chase in the history of the tournament. Taylor led from the front, featuring in a 120-run partnership with teenager Hayley Matthews of Barbados, which sealed the win for the Caribbean women. Both hit half centuries. Matthews got 66 and was named player of the match. Taylor, with a patient 59, was selected player of the tournament. Her coolness under pressure ensured a smooth run-chase for the West Indies Women after the Australians had set 149 for victory. Overall Taylor topped all batsmen in the women’s section of the tournament with 246 runs and underlined her all-round quality with eight wickets. As a reward for her outstanding leadership during the tournament, Taylor was later named captain of the ICC Women’s team of 2016. The team comprises players from Australia, England, India, South Africa, Ireland and West Indies. Cleon Smith, coach of the Jamaica women’s team for the past ten years, had identified Taylor as an exceptional talent from her early teens and is not surprised that she has become a world beater. “Winning the Twenty20 World Cup while leading the West Indies team is the high point of her career but she has always been an achiever. I do not think we will ever again see a country (West Indies) winning three titles in the same year – Under-19 World Cup, Women’s World T20 and men’s World T20 – she has therefore become a part of history. “When I started coaching the Jamaica team in 2006 she was already at age 14, going on to 15, the best batter on the senior team. I saw her, even at that early age as a player I could plan the team around,” Smith said. According to Smith, Taylor was now the best in the Caribbean. “You could ask her to bat 25 or even 30 overs for the team in an ODI. That’s the difference between her and the rest of the female cricketers in the region. She has the talent to carry the team single-handedly. She can mix aggression with defence and can bat through any situation,” added Smith, who has been closely monitoring Taylor’s progress for the past 11 years. Dorothy Hobson, a former Jamaica and West Indies female cricketer and who now chairs the selection panel for the senior women’s team, also had high praise for Taylor. While Jamaica has developed several talented female cricketers in the past, Hobson believes she could turn out to be the best the island has produced. “She is an outstanding and prodigious talent,” Hobson said, while underlining the fact that Taylor led Jamaica to five consecutive regional titles after gaining the captaincy of the Jamaica team at age 17. In addition to winning the World Cup Taylor led the West Indies to a 3-0 sweep of hosts India in a Twenty20 series last November with scores of 90 (equals her career-best), 47 and 44 not out. Taylor admitted to Your Best U video series last year that she was something of a tomboy while growing up. “I played each and every sport – netball, football.” she said before she was introduced to cricket at age eight. “I saw my trainer with a bat and I asked him which sport it was used in and he said cricket. I then asked him to let me try it and while playing around with the bat, he said I was ‘a natural’. That was age eight and I have been playing cricket ever since that time.” Taylor, a native of Gordon Pen in Spanish Town, St Catherine, was drawn closer to the game when she heard that there was a team which travelled all over the world to play the game. “I have always said I wanted to travel abroad so it made it easier to choose cricket because of the travelling which is my second passion,” she said. Now one of the world’s best, Taylor, the first player in history (male or female) to simultaneously hold the number one One-Day International ranking in both batting and bowling (2013), admits that women have to work ‘triple hard’ to achieve success in cricket. “People do not watch women’s cricket so we have to market ourselves, the men do not have to do that,” she told Your Best U. Taylor has her own formula for success. “If you put your mind and heart to it you can succeed. I love to win and do not like to lose. Whenever I lose I cry,” she said. Best batter
Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFrom one hoops legend to another, Lyceum of the Philippines University had the enviable situation of hosting two icons in one 24-hour span.First it was Ray Allen on Tuesday evening, then on Wednesday morning it was Robert Jaworski’s turn to visit the Pirates’ grounds.ADVERTISEMENT Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite MOST READ Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. TNT snaps Blackwater’s three-win run “What the players experienced was up close and personal with Allen and I’m happy for them,” said Robinson Wednesday. “Allen gave them some advice and I know that’s really uplifting for the players.”Allen arrived in the Intramuros campus around 4 p.m. when most of the Pirates have gone to their dorm rooms with just a handful of the roster staying because of classes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The two-time champion, and future Hall of Famer, told those in attendance they “have to work harder because you can’t sneak up on anybody anymore.”Lyceum have been perennial bottom-dwellers in the NCAA up until this season when the Pirates swept the first round. Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay “Now, the teams you’re supposed to beat are going to play you extra tough, like you’re the world champions. Now, you have to not get tired of the process,” said Allen. “You don’t win a championship the day they give you the trophy. You win a championship every morning you wake up at six. That’s where the reward comes.”Jaworski, whose son is a friend of Lyceum officials, then visited the Pirates hours after Allen arrived.“This morning it was Sen. Jaworski who paid a visit, and the players were really happy,” said Robinson in Filipino. “Because, it doesn’t matter what generation you belong to, everybody knows Robert Jaworski.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
A bloodied Milan Melindo knocked down Hecto “Hekkie” Budler in the 12th and final round Saturday night to salvage his International Boxing Federation junior flyweight crown by split decision at Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.Coupled with a strong 11th performance, Melindo, who sustained cuts in both eyes, toppled the tough South African in the headliner of Pinoy Pride 42: Clash for Glory.ADVERTISEMENT It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson View comments In the chief support, Jonas Sultan trounced former world champion Johnriel Casimero by scores of 116-112, 117-111, 115-113.He earned the right to challenge countryman Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF super lightweight title.Other bouts saw a fading Jason Pagara earn a split draw against late replacement James Onyango of Kenya in a welterweight bout and King Arthur Villanueva beat Richie Mepranum by third round technical knockout in a bantamweight tussle.Rising star Kevin Jake Cataraja of Cebu climbed to 7-0 with six KOs following a second round stoppage of Gen. Santos City’s Wiljan Ugbaniel. —ROY LUARCAADVERTISEMENT 5-way PBA Govs’ Cup race for 3 premium slots End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES 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 DAY6 is for everybody Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. How to help the Taal evacuees In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene A costly, catty dispute finally settled The Cagayan de Oro native dominated the early goings, but Hekkie found his bearing starting in the fourth and engaged the Filipino in furious exchanges on several occasions.An accidental headbutt produced a cut on Melindo’s left eye, which was compounded by another bloody cut on the right eye in the 10th round.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogDespite blurry vision, however, Melindo fought with energy and fury to earn the nod of judges Takeo Harada, 117-110, and Glenn Trowbrudge, 115-112. Judge Carl Zappia saw Budler the winner, 115-113.The 29-year-old Melindo raised his record to 37-2 with 13 knockouts, while Budler, also 29 and also nicknamed “The Hexecutioner.” fell to 31-3 (10 KOs).
Ten-man JPV Marikina fought back from two goals down to hold Ceres-Negros to a 2-2 draw on a rainy Wednesday night in the Philippines Football League at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.ADVERTISEMENT P8.2 M shabu may be linked to PNP’s ‘biggest 2019 drug haul’ PLAY LIST 02:25P8.2 M shabu may be linked to PNP’s ‘biggest 2019 drug haul’00:50Trending 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 Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Malaysia pads lead over PH Seniors to 3 Fernando Rodriguez scored twice in the first half, after JPV defender PJ Fadrigalan was sent off, but goals from Takumi Uesato and Takashi Odawara ensured the visitors came away with a precious point.With the draw, Ceres raised its tally to 39 points, six off FC Meralco Manila and two behind Kaya FC Makati. But the Busmen have played only 18 games so far this season, four less than the Sparks, which means they are still on track of finishing in top spot heading into the Finals Series.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe result puts JPV at fifth with 28 points, nine behind Global Cebu, which currently holds the last berth in the four-team Finals Series.Rodriguez scored from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute, before doubling the lead with a close-range finish after JPV defender Camelo Tacusalme’s weak pass was intercepted by Bienvenido Maranon. But JPV battled back with Uesato finishing off a flowing move in the 73rd minute to slice the deficit. Odawara equalized seven minutes from time by converting a penalty.Over at the Quirino Stadium in Vigan, Australian striker Harrison Sawyer delivered a hat trick as the Davao Aguilas notched a second straight victory at the expense of Ilocos United, 4-2.Phil Younghusband was also on the scoresheet for the Aguilas, who are still in seventh spot with 14 points from 20 matches.ADVERTISEMENT Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ LATEST STORIES Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’
The Philippine Azkals left for the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu early Wednesday with the goal of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup for the first time when the continental showpiece event is played in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.Held to back-to-back draws by Yemen in the last two qualifying matches, the Azkals hope to finally nail the Asian Cup berth with a win over Nepal on Nov. 14 at ANFA Stadium in Kathmandu.ADVERTISEMENT “This will be as good as any chance for us to qualify,” Azkals skipper Phil Younghusband told the Inquirer. “We were so close in 2014 and for some of the players, it was one of their biggest disappointments. But now we have another chance.”The Azkals will be returning to a country where it has already achieved success, having reached the semifinals of the AFC Challenge Cup for the first time in 2012 in the Nepalese capital.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog MOST READ Make a new boxing star shine here Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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 View comments Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It feels good. It feels better that I was the one guiding them on the floor. I’m thankful that the players responded and we were able to execute our defense,” said the 24-year-old mentor, who is now the youngest head coach in D-League history.Apinan unleashed 16 of his 20 points in the second half pullaway, to go with 14 rebounds, Grospe scattered 16 markers, and Pontejos got 14 points, six boards, and four assists to lead the charge for JRU.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThe Heavy Bombers blanked the Mighty Roasters in the second quarter, limiting the latter to just seven points as they took the 39-29 lead and cruised to the 29-point decimation.Leo Gabo paced Mila’s Lechon with 14 points, three rebounds, and two assists, while Andoy Estrella had 13. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson PBA IMAGESJose Rizal University unveiled its new look roster with a rousing 96-67 win over Mila’s Lechon in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.Veterans Jeckster Apinan, Ervin Grospe, and Paolo Pontejos steadied the ship for the Heavy Bombers to give head coach Gio Lasquety his first win as a head coach.ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours LATEST STORIES NCAA volleyball: San Sebastian claims third spot, drops Letran in three The Scores:JRU 96 — Apinan 20, Grospe 16, Pontejos 14, Esguerra 9, Dela Virgen 9, Tayongtong 8, Ramos 4, Mendoza 4, Bordon 4, Yu 3, Mvogo 3, Silvarez 2, Sawat 0, De Guzman 0.MILA’S LECHON 67 — Gabo 14, Estrella 13, Acibar 9, Sarangay 7, Iñigo 5, Parala 5, Derige 4, Delfinado 4, Deles 2, Crisostomo 2, Herradura 2, Luz 0, Bellosillo 0, Montuano 0.Quarters: 18-22, 39-29, 68-50, 96-67.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track 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 Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases
Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Adamson wasted no time and handed University of the Philippines its second straight loss, 25-9, 27-25, 25-20, victory in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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 Phelps overjoyed to announce new baby Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours The Lady Falcons soared to their second straight win for a 2-1 card, already eclipsing their one-win total from Season 79, while the Lady Maroons slipped to their second straight loss and a 1-2 record.With the Lady Falcons leading two sets to none and 23-18 in the third, Diana Carlos managed to score two straight points to cut the margin to three, 23-20, and give UP a semblance of fight.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkCarlos’ back-to-back hits prompted Adamson head coach Air Padda to call time, and Jema Galanza calmed her mentor down with a pinpoint kill that went through UP’s defense and put the Lady Falcons at the 24-20 match point.UP’s Marian Buitre then gave Adamson the win when she failed to get the ball over from her side of the floor. “It feels good, because last year was really tough for us and only winning one game it was hard so getting our second win, we’ve already our record and it feels good,” said Padda. “It shows that there’s been growth in the program and our team is not a pushover from last year.”Although the Lady Maroons managed to go hit-for-hit with the Lady Falcons in the second and third sets, the same can’t be said for the opening set when Adamson looked flawless.Adamson tallied eight service aces in the first set alone, and that mark was two more than UP scored in spikes.“That first set really hurt UP and our passing was really good,” said Padda as her team finished with 17 aces. “I’m surprised we got 17 aces, our team’s growing. And if we had to define us, I won’t define us as a strong serving team, we’re a strong defensive team.”Adamson outgunned UP, 40-26, in terms of spikes and was ahead 53-39 in excellent digs.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track LATEST STORIES OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Mylene Paat led Adamson with 15 points, eight coming off aces, while Galanza added 14.Mary Joy Dacoron and Chiara Permentilla also finished in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.Carlos led UP with 12 points while Isa Molde added seven. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases MOST READ View comments
Thank you for all you prayers!!! 💙 love you all 🤗 pic.twitter.com/ZWOnrWkrzi— Dani Ravena (@ravenadani) February 27, 2018Ateneo libero Dani Ravena will be on the sidelines after she had surgery to remove her appendix.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkOlder brother Thirdy said Dani will be out for almost two weeks to recover from the appendectomy.ADVERTISEMENT It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening PLAY LIST 01:02Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening00:412 buses bound for SEA Games opening collide in Bulacan02:10SEA Games 2019: Didal collects 2nd skateboard gold02:14Carpio 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 Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings LATEST STORIES Dani also posted a photo on her Twitter account a few moments after the procedure, thanking her supporters for their prayers. View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Thank you for all your prayers,” posted Dani on Tuesday. “Love you all.”Dani has been Ateneo’s first-choice libero and has been key to the Lady Eagles as they’ve stretched their winning run to four games after their 0-2 start.As of Wednesday, Dani is the ninth best receiver in the league with an efficiency rating of 26.27 percent.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Perlas 1, Ato ni Bai rule BVR Puerto Galera leg Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City
In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters LATEST STORIES Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Earlier in March, Djokovic dropped his opener at Indian Wells, where he has won five titles, to Taro Daniel, a qualifier ranked outside the top 100.Before that, Djokovic lost in the fourth round at the Australian Open.“Novak remains focused and eager to come back stronger and more resilient from (the) long injury break that has affected his confidence and game,” the website posting says. “He is continuously and passionately looking for new and different ways to regain winning form.”He began working with eight-time major champion Agassi on a part-time basis before last year’s French Open in May. He added Stepanek, who just retired as a player, to his team at the end of November.Djokovic stopped working with Boris Becker in December 2016, then fired longtime coach Marian Vajda shortly before bringing aboard Agassi.ADVERTISEMENT FILE – In this Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 file photo, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic coaches Radek Stepanek, right, and Andre Agassi, left, watch Djokovic play United States’ Donald Young in their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. Novak Djokovic announced on Wednesday April 4, 2018, he has dismissed his coaching team Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek. It comes after two straight first round defeats at Indian Wells and the Miami Open following a recovery from a long term elbow injury. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, file)Novak Djokovic is done working with Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek after the latest in a series of coaching changes for the 12-time major champion who has gone nearly two full years without winning a Grand Slam title.Djokovic announced Wednesday on his website that he has split from Agassi after less than a year and from Stepanek after less than six months.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The 30-year-old Serb has lost his past three matches.“The private relationship with Stepanek was and will remain great, and Novak has enjoyed working with him and learning from him,” the posting on the website says. “He remains grateful and appreciative of all the support he has received from Radek during the last period.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe only mention of Agassi comes in the final sentence, which reads simply: “The cooperation between Novak and Andre Agassi has also ended.”Djokovic has struggled on the court this season as he deals with a right elbow problem that just won’t seem to go away, even though he took the second half of last year off and then had a medical procedure in February. His latest setback was a straight-set loss in his opening match last month at the Miami Open, a tournament he has won six times. MOST READ All of this followed the most successful stretch of Djokovic’s career, which included a run of four consecutive Grand Slam titles that concluded at the French Open in June 2016. That made him the first man in nearly a half-century to hold all four major trophies at the same time, as well as the eighth man in tennis history with a career Grand Slam.It also capped a span in which Djokovic reached the finals at 10 of 12 majors, winning six. His total of 12 such titles trails only Roger Federer (20), Rafael Nadal (16) and Pete Sampras (14). He also has finished four years at No. 1 in the ATP rankings.But over the past seven Grand Slam tournaments, Djokovic has zero titles and one runner-up finish. He is ranked 13th this week.The next major, the French Open, begins in Paris on May 27.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Victolero still optimistic as Magnolia defense slows down San Miguel in Game 4 Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ 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 Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina View comments
Poorly kept secret: Iniesta joins Japanese club Vissel Kobe Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours LATEST STORIES View comments Smart’s Celia Bangad saves the ball as teammate Caitlin Viray waits for action during their game against the Foton pair of twins Nieza and Jeziela Viray yesterday in the the 2018 Philippine Super Liga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup at Sands by the Bay.Foton’s twin partnership booked its quarterfinals ticket after taking down Smart in straight sets, 21-10, 21-17, in the Philippine Superliga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup Thursday at SM Sands by the Bay.Twins Ella and Nieza Viray, who are competing in the PSL beach volleyball tournament for the first time, outwitted Cecila Bangad and Caitlyn Viray as they won tallied their second win in as many matches.ADVERTISEMENT China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Also taking a victory in the second day of the tournament is the F2 Logistics partnership of Michelle Morente and Fritz Gallenero after its 21-16, 21-11 dismantling of Cocolife B’s Maege Tejada and Alex Tan.In the men’s side of the tournament, Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad of Sands by the Bay outmuscled Cocolife’s Joshua Ylaya and JP Pareja, 21-10, 21-13, to sweep Pool A and advance to the semifinals.Cignal’s Mike Abria and Jessie Lopez also booked their place in the semifinals after tackling down Smart’s Philip Bagalay and Gregory Utopia, 21-14, 21-16. ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film 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 Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Ella, who won the NCAA beach volleyball title with twin sister Nieza, said they had to adjust in their first game against Cignal B’s Jannine Navarro and Cherry May Vivas but that was all they needed to do to get comfortable in the PSL’s sand event.“We struggled at first, we had trouble jumping and playing in the sands,” said Ella. “But after we made some adjustments, things became easier.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe Viray twins will face the winner between Generika-Ayala A’s Patty Orendain and Fiola Ceballos and Cocolife A’s Danika Gendrauli and Nene Bautista in the quarterfinals.“We will do our best, we will play hard, and we will enjoy the match like we did against Smart,” said Ella. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Get ready for Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova in Paris China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial 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 The Warriors listed Thompson as questionable for Sunday’s second game with a bruise in his left leg, though Thompson offered more specifics Saturday after practice. He didn’t do much work on the floor and limped to his media availability at Oracle Arena.Thompson said he is in more pain: “It’s not good. From watching that replay, it pissed me off.” Yet Thompson did receive some kind words from Smith.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“Yeah, he was remorseful, so I don’t think he meant to do it,” Thompson said.Thompson grabbed at his lower left leg and grimaced in pain, a frightening moment for the defending champions. LATEST STORIES Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, bottom, is checked on by forward Jordan Bell during the first half of Game 1 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)OAKLAND, Calif. — Golden State All-Star guard Klay Thompson expects to play in Game 2 of the NBA Finals after spraining his left ankle in a scary fall during a collision when Cleveland’s J.R. Smith slid into him in the first quarter of the series opener Thursday night.“It is a Finals game, and I’m going to do everything I possibly can to play,” he said. “It’s something you definitely don’t want to have in the NBA championship.”ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? He said the pain level and swelling increased overnight into Saturday, when he was working to get it loose and eliminate some of the stiffness.Thompson briefly went to the locker room during the game then returned and finished with 24 points and five 3-pointers on 8-for-16 shooting in the Warriors’ 124-114 overtime victory.“I was just trying to go for the ball. It looked like an opportunity for me to get a steal. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I fouled him,” Smith said Saturday. “They called the foul. I don’t know what more he was looking for.”Thompson grew up playing multiple sports with his brothers and has said he has a high tolerance for pain.“My ankle’s just sore,” he said. “It’s stiff at the moment, but I’m going to do what I can in these next 24 hours or so to loosen it up as much as possible, get some stability back. I’m optimistic for tomorrow. So that’s the hard part of the game we all have to endure. Got to let it go. It happens. I’ve just got to move on.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ
LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. James said after the loss he played the last three games with a broken right hand, reportedly caused when he punched a display board in frustration after a J.R. Smith error and referee call reversal led to an overtime loss in a game the Cavs led late.“Self-inflicted, post-game after game one. Very emotional. For a lot of different reasons — understanding how important a game one is on the road for our ballclub, what would that have done for us, the way we played, the calls that were made throughout the course of that game,” James said.“I had emotions on the game was taken away from us. I had emotions of you just don’t get an opportunity like this on the road versus Golden State to be able to get a game one. And I let the emotions get the best of me.”‘Terrifying’ talentThat outburst aside, James was proudest of being a rock for the Cavs in a difficult season.“It has definitely been a whirlwind,” James said. “I just try to be consistent throughout the course of the season. Be the leader I know I can be for this ballclub, for this franchise every night, no matter what was going on from the outside or the inside, and be reliable every single day.”Warriors coach Steve Kerr called James “terrifying” and said he is level with former Kerr teammate Michael Jordan as the NBA’s finest that he ever saw.“I think maybe the greatest testament to LeBron is that five years ago he was one of the top five players of all time. From five years ago until now, it seems like he’s 10 times better, because he’s added so much skill to his game,” Kerr said.“I get asked all the time about MJ, LeBron, and it’s such a difficult question to ask. All I know is they’re the two best players that I’ve ever witnessed. However you want to rank them, they’re right there together.” Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James watches during the first half of Game 4 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND—NBA superstar LeBron James admits he’s considering breaking the hearts of Cleveland sports fans once again by leaving the Cavaliers for a better chance at becoming a champion again.The 33-year-old playmaker fell to 3-6 in career finals Friday in Cleveland’s 108-85 loss to Golden State, which gave the Warriors a sweep of the 72nd NBA Finals.ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding “I’m not going to take you throughout the whole process. That’s not fun. But when I decide what I’m going to do with my future, my family and the folks that have been with me for the last, you know, 20 years, pretty much, will have a say-so. Then it ultimately will come down to me, and so we’ll see what happens.”In 2014, James returned to the Cavaliers vowing to win a title and did so in 2016, the first by any Cleveland sports team since the 1964 NFL Browns.“I came back because I felt like I had some unfinished business,” James said. “To be able to be a part of a championship team two years ago with the team that we had and in the fashion that we had is something I will always remember.”Asked if his business was finished, James called that a “trick question” but noted the victory fed his hunger for more trophy ceremonies.“I still have so much to give to the game,” James said. “Like I said, when you have a goal and you’re able to accomplish that goal, it made me even more hungry to continue to try to win championships, and I still want to be in championship mode. I think I’ve shown this year why I will still continue to be in championship mode.”ADVERTISEMENT James, who played his eighth consecutive finals, can opt out of his contract and become a free agent in July, much the way he did when he left Cleveland in 2010.His departure engendered bitter feelings and burned jerseys, but he came back after two titles and two finals losses in Miami and went 1-3 in four straight finals meetings with the Warriors.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownWhile opportunities with the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers are likely available, the native of nearby Akron might elect to stay and try to keep the Cavs a contender.“I have no idea at this point,” James said. “Sitting down and considering everything, my family is a huge part of whatever I’ll decide to do in my career, and it will continue to be that. So I don’t have an answer for you right now. Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LeBron James played in NBA Finals with broken hand after ‘self-inflicted’ injury 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 Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ View comments
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls After playing in Taipei, Gilas will then travel back to the Philippines and host Australia on July 2 at Philippine Arena.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations The only time Gilas get to practice is the weekly Monday sessions and even then the team isn’t complete as players are also busy with their mother teams in the PBA.“When we get to Taipei that will be the first practice we will have as a full team,” said Reyes. “And the daily practices will only last four days.”Gilas is at the second spot of Group B with a 3-1 record, half-a-game behind leader Australia, and is already qualified for the second round of the qualifiers.Reyes, though, doesn’t think want to settle with the fact that they’re already eligible for the next round.“This last window is all about improving our position in the next round so we’re not even thinking about the fact that we’re qualified,” said Reyes. “We’re thinking of moving deeper into the competition and that’s how important these next two games are.”ADVERTISEMENT Head coach Chot Reyes submitted to the fact that he won’t have a complete team and that he can’t have daily practices until the team arrives in Taipei a few days before their game against Chinese-Taipei on June 29.“I’ve already removed the word ‘preparation’ from my mind because that is already a dream for me, actually I’ve taken that word out of my vocabulary,” said Reyes in Filipino Thursday at Holiday Inn.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“We’d love to have more time but the reality is we don’t afford that kind of luxury.”Reyes was in attendance during the thanksgiving dinner for the Philippine teams that competed in the Fiba 3×3 World Cup and he said that Gilas will only have daily practices starting June 25 when the team gets to Taipei. DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial View comments ‘Best of the best’ of PH volleyball assembled for Asian Games Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film 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 Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Gilas Pilipinas will just have to settle for what its handed as it prepares to head into the third window of the Fiba 2019 World Cup qualifiers.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ
Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs VISIT: Pacquiao Files | Inquirer“The thing that he does when he circles around and pivots that what he should do against Matthysse who doesn’t move around the ring as well as sir Manny does.”The crafty footwork and blurring hand speed have been Pacquiao’s calling card on his way to boxing’s pedestal.Pacquiao is not the same fighter he once was when he conquered boxing from one weight class to another but Ancajas said the eight-division champion’s speed is still there.READ: Oscar De La Hoya: Manny Pacquiao best fighter I’ve faced ADVERTISEMENT The 26-year-old Ancajas also said the probability of a knockout happening is likely early in the fight with Matthysse’s come-forward style fits perfectly with Pacquiao’s.“I really feel that there will be a knockout in the early rounds. Something is bound to happen.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Here’s Jerwin Ancajas sharing his thoughts on Pacquiao-Matthysse pic.twitter.com/0X4HUZN5Ll— MG (@MarkGiongcoINQ) July 12, 2018KUALA LUMPUR — Manny Pacquiao will have to rely on his footwork and speed to beat Lucas Matthysse in their welterweight title fight on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’That’s what rising Filipino boxing star Jerwin Ancajas thinks Pacquiao should do to be most effective against Matthysse.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West View comments Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Ex-Knicks star Charles Oakley arrested at Las Vegas casino Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding “For me, sir Manny has the advantage in speed and his footwork,” said Ancajas, who is the reigning IBF super flyweight champion in Filipino. LATEST STORIES
Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced LATEST STORIES View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games 2019: Didal collects 2nd skateboard gold PLAY LIST 02:10SEA Games 2019: Didal collects 2nd skateboard gold08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)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 Considering the team of Yoshihide Kiryu, Aska Cambridge, Shota Iizuka and Ryota Yamagata won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics, that’s no longer a far-fetched dream. At the Asian Games, they’ll face a stern challenge from China’s 4×100 relay, silver medalists at the 2015 world championships and another Olympic medal contender.“We’re aiming for the gold medal in Indonesia,” Yamagata said at a recent training camp. “We want to use the Asian Games to build confidence toward next year’s world championships and the Olympics in 2020.”Cambridge, whose father is Jamaican and mother is Japanese, competes in both the 100- and 200-meter sprints as well and is one of the rising stars in Japanese athletics.“We can feel the excitement building,” Cambridge said. “There are a lot of runners in the 100 (at the Asian Games) who can run under 10 seconds so I expect it will be a very tough race.”Five new sports have been added to the program for Tokyo 2020, and the Asian Games will feature several of those.ADVERTISEMENT ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins The most gold medals Japan has won at the Summer Olympics is 16 — in 1964 at Tokyo and in 2004 at Athens. At the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, Japan claimed the sixth-highest number of gold medals with 12.The Asian Games, being held Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang, are an important stepping stone.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’While Japan can always count on medals in traditional Japanese sports such as judo and karate, the Asian Games will give the country a chance to gauge preparations in sports they haven’t always dominated.Nowhere is this more evident than in athletics where Japan’s 4×100-meter relay team has set its sights on the gold medal at Tokyo in 2020. Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Japan has established itself as a global powerhouse in bouldering, one of three disciplines in sport climbing, and will be aiming to dominate the event in Indonesia.Baseball and softball are also returning to the Olympic program in Tokyo and, while Japan has always been a medal contender, the Asian Games will provide a good test run after a long absence from international competition.Baseball and softball haven’t been contested in the Olympics since Beijing in 2008 and Japan is hoping to take home the gold medal in both events in two years’ time.Another area where Japan is expecting an impressive medal haul is in the pool.Kosuke Hagino and teenage star Rikako Ikee are among 22 swimmers going to Indonesia for Japan.Hagino collected four gold medals and was awarded the MVP award at the 2014 edition of the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.The 18-year-old Ikee competed in seven disciplines, including relays, at the Rio Olympics. She is the junior world record holder in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly long-course events.Japan placed third overall at the 2014 Asian Games behind China and South Korea and is aiming to increase its medal haul from Incheon to Indonesia. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs FILE – In this Aug. 19, 2016, file photo, Japan’s Ryota Yamagata, Shota Iizuka, Yoshihide Kiryu and Aska Cambridge celebrate on the podium after winning the silver medal in the men’s 4 x 100-meter relay during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With the Tokyo Olympics less than two years away, Japanese athletes will be using the Asian Games to build confidence as they prepare to host the world on sport’s biggest stage. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)TOKYO — With the Tokyo Olympics less than two years away, Japanese athletes will be using the Asian Games to build confidence as they prepare to host the world on sport’s biggest stage.The Japanese Olympic Committee has set an ambitious target of 30 gold medals for the 2020 Olympics, almost double the national record.ADVERTISEMENT Eager to move on from finals loss, Standhardinger grateful to be playing for PH anew Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
The Olympic Council of Asia, which governs the games, reportedly balked at including bridge, which in the eyes of some is linked with card games such as poker, black jack — and hence, gambling.To be fair, bridge would be as out of place in a casino as bullfighting in Bhutan.The auditoriums set up for bridge are hushed, dotted with dozens of card tables with four players at each. At one session, curious photographers were given access for just five minutes, and then ushered away. Fans can watch the hands that are dealt — and how they are played — on large television screens filled with the red and black symbols for spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.“The photographers really wouldn’t matter because the top players zone out these distractions,” Aaida Abu-Jaber, a player from Jordan told The Associated Press. “They are in their zone and focused and they don’t know what’s happening around them. They are just looking at their cards and thinking.”Abu-Jaber called it “athletics of the mind, rather than the body.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In this Aug. 21, 2018, photo, spectators watch bridge match on a screen at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. The card game of bridge is being included for the first time in the Asian Games. At least two players are over 80. The main promoter of the sport at the games is 78-year-old Indonesian billionaire Michael Bambang Hartono. He is also playing. One player likened bridge to being the “athletics of the mind.” (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)JAKARTA, Indonesia — What’s left of Finton Lewis’ thinning hair is spiked and dyed an orange-red color.The 64-year-old Lewis says the haircut keeps him feeling younger on the outside, and playing the card game of bridge keeps his brain nimble on the inside.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES There’s no age limit, and no language barrier. Abu-Jaber said she’s played against dozens of nationalities — on-line and in-person. The game has a universal language everyone understands, driven by English-rooted words like “no trump, slam, pass”and so forth.“You can play with anybody, even if you can’t understand their language and they can’t understand yours,” she said.Though age is no problem, attracting a younger generation is.Asadullah Khan, who is playing for Pakistan, joked that many of the players have “no hair and protruding bellies. Most of us are smokers and losing our cognitive skills.”For the record, 54-year-old Khan has all his hair — gray hair and a gray mustache.“It’s going to be an extinct game if the younger generation doesn’t take it up,” he said. “The younger people are not enthusiastic about bridge, not excited about it unless it runs in the family.”Khan said attracting younger players might be easy since bridge offers sedentary thrills, perhaps like computer games.He argued that “defending a (card) hand well or making a special play” was just as exciting as serving an ace in tennis.He even pushed for inclusion in the Olympics, which seems unlikely.“It surely should be in the Olympics,” Khan said. “Getting exposure like this helps.” MOST READ Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal “I know I’m not as physically fit as most sports people are,” said Lewis, who is playing for India in the bridge competition at the Asian Games.Being fit doesn’t matter much in bridge, which is being included for the first time in the Asian Games. Fans like to talk it up as a “mind game” in the same realm as chess.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Yang Kong Te of the Philippines is playing in the Asian Games at 85. Lee Hung Fong of Malaysia is 81. Indonesian billionaire Michael Bambang Hartono is a mere 78, and the big reason why bridge is on the schedule. His reported net worth in about $17 billion, a fortune made in tobacco, banking, and communications.To be fair, the median age of the field is about 50, which is still generations away from 9-year-old Indonesian skateboarder Aliqqa Novvery — the youngest of the more than 11,000 competitors in the Asian Games. Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs 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? ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Olympic champ Balandin considers quitting after Asian Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced View comments
Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, left, and Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson,right,battle for the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)ATLANTA — Trae Young reached out to Dwyane Wade twice in hopes he’d get a signed jersey in the star’s last game in Atlanta.Wade, whose son Zaire is friends with Young, gladly obliged.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college MOST READ Kemba Walker’s big finish gives Hornets win over Suns Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ “I texted him and I was like, ’I need it for the last time in the ATL,” Young said. “He said, ‘I already got it planned.’ It was cool to talk to him.”Young scored 19 points, John Collins had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and the Hawks snapped a three-game skid with a 106-82 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday night.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 ChrissPerhaps it helped Wade get over the Heat’s worst performance of the season. Coming off two straight wins that had moved it over .500 for the first time since Oct. 27, Miami was listless all night against a rebuilding team missing its second- and third-leading scorers and lost for the third time to an opponent that has just 12 victories.“It was a bad game for us,” Wade said. “We’re 0-3 versus this team. They’ve figured out a way to make us not play our game. I don’t know what it is. Ask them.” 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 The Hawks showed a video tribute to Wade early in the first quarter. He received a standing ovation, smiled and waved to the crowd.It didn’t take Wade long to stir excitement when entered the game a few minutes later. He flipped a backward pass over his shoulder to assist on Jones’ dunk and took a pass on the baseline to hit a double-pump reverse layup that cut the lead to 23-16.“Just trying to do something for the fans tonight,” he said. “Probably the only moments we gave them to cheer for.”After the game ended and he walked off the court holding Young’s jersey, Wade stopped to another standing ovation on one end of the arena. He signed some autographs, smiled and headed into the tunnel.UP NEXTHeat: Host Denver, the Western Conference leader at 26-11, on Monday.Hawks: Visit Toronto, tops in the East with 29 victories, on Monday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers DeAndre’ Bembry finished with 17 points in a starting role, and Jeremy Lin came off the bench to add 15 for Atlanta.Young, the NBA’s fifth overall draft pick, had some dazzling moves handling the ball, but he finished with just two assists. His skills were still enough to impress Wade.“He’s got a great relationship with my son, which I appreciate,” Wade said. “And he’s somebody whose game, you know, honestly, I look at him, I talk to him on different occasions, respect to him. A lot of people said a lot of things about Trae. He’s got a long career ahead of him.”Derrick Jones Jr. led Miami with 14 points, Justise Winslow scored 13 and Wade and Josh Richardson each had 11 for the Heat, who seemed disinterested in defending after the Hawks jumped to a comfortable lead late in the third.Miami missed 20 of its first 22 attempts beyond the arc before Wade hit his 500th career 3-pointer. He joined Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history with at least 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, 4,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 800 blocks and 500 3s.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The matchup seemed heavily in Miami’s favor with the Hawks coming off a 32-point loss at Milwaukee, but the Heat struggled throughout the first half, going 1 for 16 on 3s, getting outrebounded 33-24 and committing 10 turnovers that led to 11 Atlanta points.It only got worse in the third as the Heat kept whiffing and Atlanta jumped to a 19-point lead on consecutive 3s by Daniel Hamilton and Lin. Lin followed with consecutive runners.The Hawks jumped out to an 18-6 lead, but Miami was up 33-31 in the second when Rodney McGruder hit a layup. The Heat did not lead again.TIP-INSHeat: G Dion Waiters is still far from 100 percent. He missed his second straight game since making his first appearance in over a year when the Heat won at Cleveland last Wednesday. Waiters, who played that game because Wade was sidelined by a virus, is still limited by a sore left ankle that required surgery last January.Hawks: With G Kent Bazemore out the next two weeks with a right ankle injury, Bembry made his third start. Hamilton started in Friday’s blowout loss at Milwaukee. … Lin had his 500th career steal.CLOTHING EXCHANGEEven though he had to lobby for the jersey, Young got what he wanted, and so did Wade. Wade, the 12-time All-Star who’s retiring after the season, brought a jersey he’d signed beforehand and gave it to him at halfcourt. Young took his jersey off, signed it and gave it to Wade.“I’ve been able to swap jerseys with a lot of veterans in the league, but it’s good when the younger guys come in and they want your jersey as well,” Wade said. “I’m honored. I’m ready to watch his career for a long time. As I let him know, we’ll make sure we get some work in together and I want to put him and my son together.”SHOWING WADE LOVE View comments
Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Filipino MMA champs to be feted at PSA Awards Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief View comments Ateneo also drew a near double-double effort from William Navarro, who posted nine points and 15 boards.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra LATEST STORIES Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history “It’s a tough game, good game,” said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin. “Enderun got the jump in the beginning. But our defense kicked in after first quarter. Offensively, we don’t ask a lot right now, but Tyler did a good job, Ange pulled some boards, and Will Navarro did a good job for our guys. I’m happy that we got the win.”The sweet-shooting Tio went 6-of-9 from the 3-point line and also dished out five assists.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsTio teamed up with Angelo Kouame to give Ateneo a lethal inside and out game.Kouame imposed his presence on both ends to finish with 20 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Tyler Tio. PBA IMAGESMANILA, Philippines — Tyler Tio waxed hot in the fourth quarter to shoot Cignal-Ateneo past Family Mart-Enderun, 82-68, in the 2019 PBA D-League at Paco Arena in Manila.Tio fired 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter where the Blue Eagles pulled away.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
The European Union (EU) has provided a 10.4 million Euro (US$13.52 million) grant to Liberia in support of the government’s decentralization program. The money, according to the EU’s Director for Western and Central Africa in European Aid, Mr. Pierre Amilhat, is direct budgetary support to strengthen the Liberian government’s decentralization process and to improve road maintenance in the country.The EU official Wednesday, December 4, signed the grant agreement in Monrovia with Liberia’s Minister of Finance, Amara Mohammed Konneh. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Amilhat reminded the Liberian government and other EU-funded countries about the need for transparency and proper financial management of EU financial aids.“The monies the EU gives to countries are paid by European taxpayers, and I need not to tell you about the economic challenges facing Europe at the moment,” he said.The EU official called on partners to develop a platform of public financial management that would address the issues of transparency and accountability for the union. “Governments’ proper financial management system and good behavior will further encourage the EU to do more,” he said.Mr. Amilhat noted that his visit to the underprivileged community of West Point Tuesday spoke a lot about how Liberia is in dire need of support to improve water and sanitation, and improve the livelihood of the people, amongst others.Finance Minister Konneh thanked the EU for always supporting Liberia’s development programs; adding: “This agreement details the EU’s support to Liberia’s decentralization program and to capacity strengthening for the Ministry of Public Works.”Minister Konneh clarified that the EU grant money is not captured in the government’s fiscal year 2013/2014 budget, but noted that the amount is official development assistance (ODA) that does not require legislative approval. He also praised the EU for the support and declared that the EU is the highest grant contributor to the Liberia Infrastructure Trust Fund (LITF).Reflecting on Liberia’s economic progress to the Europeans, Konneh declared that the country’s economic growth was sustained from 2012, with estimated real GDP growth of 8.9%, led by the first full year of post-war iron ore exports, buoyant construction, and strong performance in services.The Liberian treasury boss also briefed the Europeans that real GDP is projected to expand by 8.1% in 2013, supported by further iron ore expansion and concession-related foreign direct investment.Though the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated real GDP growth downward to 6.1% in 2013, Minister Konneh noted that the Liberian economic is on course.He, however, pointed out that the country’s economic outlook remains vulnerable to fluctuations in commodity prices, particularly for the country’s key exports such as rubber and iron ore.“Potential declines in foreign direct investment and overseas development assistance, including the partial drawdown of UNMIL force” he said, “could also affect economic performance.”DecentralizationMr. Konneh explained that the government saw the dire need to revisit its governance structure, which since independence in 1847, has been highly centralized, hampering local development and the equal distribution of local resources and basic services.Centralization, the Minister asserted, led to the marginalization of a large segment of Liberia’s population who live in poverty, and fueled internal divisions.He said the EU’s US$13.52 million grant agreement to support government’s decentralization process is echoing the government’s commitment to efficient and effective institutional arrangements by providing support.The Minister announced that the EU is providing Euros 5.5 million (US$7.15 million) towards the decentralization agenda.Support to the Ministry of Public WorksThe EU also provided 4.9 million Euros (US$6.37 million) to the Ministry of Public Works to improve road maintenance method in the country.Konneh observed that the Ministry of Public Works has significantly advanced its efforts to improve the road maintenance method and address the issue of overloading since 2012.Mr. Konneh disclosed that the government expects the following results from the agreement: preparedness for the establishment of roads authority and roads fund; conduct of feasibility studies and tender documents for the rehabilitation and upgrading of three national roads: the 44km ELWA Junction-Roberts International Airport; the 127 km Monrovia to Bo Waterside road, and the Buchanan end of logging concession to Greenville, Sinoe County.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The kickball teams of Gbarpolu and Margibi Counties are expected to meet in the second semifinal game, after both outfits emerged victorious on Sunday, January 13, 2014, at the crowded Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.Nimba and Bong Counties will clash in the first kickball’s semifinal battle.On Sunday, Grand Kru girls began the game with an excitement with a win in the first round, while Gbarpolu ended a drought.The second and third rounds saw Bopolu girls runining home with two points each, while the Barclayville girls could not keep up their pace, but won the third and fifth rounds.In the secong game, the Bentol girls were squarely in a ‘dream-land’, as they could not make a home run in the first four rounds, while the Gibi girls led 5 points.In the last three rounds, Montserrado put up a show and ended with five wins, while Margibi, dropped extra four points, and convincingly pinned Montserrado 9-5 points.Yesterday, Grand Cape Mount girls bowed to Bong 5-1, and Nimba narrowly beat Bassa, 4-3.In the second semi-final, Bong County defeated Grand Cape Mount County 3-2. Sinoe County was schelduled to meet Grand Bassa in the second game.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Liberia’s quest to develop its manpower through Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) received statements of support from various international organizations over the weekend.Among organizations that pledged supports to Liberia’s TVET program include the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), European Union office in Liberia, and the World Bank.UNESCSO Regional Director, Prof/Dr. Hassana Alidou, made the commitment on behalf of her organization when she spoke at the TVET stakeholders’ forum hosted on Friday, March 14, at the Ministry of Youth and Sports conference room at the S.K.D. Sports Complex in Paynesville.Through their support, Prof/Dr. Alidou believes that the TVET policy would be expected to promote a more effective partnership between secondary schools, TVET centres and in the jobs market.The partnership, she said, would trigger adaptation of school and training programmes to allow youth and adult workers to stay employed and productive.“Within this context, we see the role education and training, especially TVET, as fundamental in building a peaceful and prosperous country. I have no doubt that the Liberia TVET policy can be a vehicle for transformation of the country.” According to Dr. Alidou, UNESCO is prepared more than ever before to accompany Liberia and provide technical support to the ongoing TVET reform process.Liberia’s quest to develop its manpower through Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) received statements of support from various international organizations over the weekend.Among organizations that pledged supports to Liberia’s TVET program include the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), European Union office in Liberia, and the World Bank. UNESCSO Regional Director, Prof/Dr. Hassana Alidou, made the commitment on behalf of her organization when she spoke at the TVET stakeholders’ forum hosted on Friday, March 14, at the Ministry of Youth and Sports conference room at the S.K.D. Sports Complex in Paynesville.Through their support, Prof/Dr. Alidou believes that the TVET policy would be expected to promote a more effective partnership between secondary schools, TVET centres and in the jobs market.The partnership, she said, would trigger adaptation of school and training programmes to allow youth and adult workers to stay employed and productive.“Within this context, we see the role education and training, especially TVET, as fundamental in building a peaceful and prosperous country. I have no doubt that the Liberia TVET policy can be a vehicle for transformation of the country.” According to Dr. Alidou, UNESCO is prepared more than ever before to accompany Liberia and provide technical support to the ongoing TVET reform process.Veep Boakai, for his part, assured stakeholders of government’s support to provide an enabling environment where young people would get income earning opportunities.Amb. Boakai also urged stakeholders to support the government by taking into considerations youths that are ‘the most vulnerable’ and lack basic skills, opportunities and living in disadvantaged locations, particularly below the poverty line.Amb. Boakai noted that TVET is the key that opens the door to opportunities and believed that when its commission is created, a qualification framework will be developed to make it easy for young people to transition from one level to another.State actors involved with the development and improvement of TVET in the country brainstorm to formulate a national policy to address issues affecting the sector that was designed a year ago.Youth & Sports Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe expressed the need for reforms as regard the country’s TVET program.Minister Nagbe said that the problem associated with the development and improvement were enormous and needed to be tackle urgently.He then pointed out that partnership was needed also to drive TVET reforms. According to him, assessment conducted on TVET institutions in region one (Montserrado, Cape Mount, Bomi and Gbarpolu) was alarming to the extent that problems associated with TVET program are indicated.He explained that problems associated with TVET include the lack of standardize curriculum, trained TVET instructors, lack of regime to standardize the sector accreditation, lack of accreditation to institutional its providers, and as well as the lack of appropriate TVET governance structures with various ministries and agencies supervising the activities in the country.The Youth & Sports Minister indicated that 96 percent of instructors of TVET institutions in region one needed the requisite training. He said TVET is important for Liberia because over sixty percent of Liberians are young people and if the country is to develop, the young people must be developed as well.He noted that young people needs to have the requisite training so that they could contribute immensely to the growth and development of the country. He said issues confronting young people were lack of employment skills, and not the lack of employment.The TVET program provides a practical avenue for the acquisition of employment-oriented skills and attitudes. The exercise, accordingly, is to be used as a systematic examination and overhaul of the nation’s technical and vocational systems to position TVET as an effective response to youth employment as required.The major weaknesses of the TVE system in the country are the absence of a comprehensive national TVET policy and legal framework to guide, direct, and oversee skills development. As a result, the TVET delivery system remains fragmented among several government ministries and agencies-notably, Youth and Sports, Education, Health and Agriculture.However, the validation of the National TVET policy among other things formulated the National TVET Commission, which will regulate the TVET sector, standardize a national curriculum, accredit TVET providers, and put in place a national qualification framework to standardize TVET certification regime among others. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Liberia Canoeing & Rowing Federation (LCRF) is expected to carry on a massive recruitment of high school students in Montserrado County (ages 14 -26) to ensure mass participation of the sport.In an interview recently, the vice president of the federation Atty. B. Augustus Tarpeh said efforts are underway to encourage athletes.The major drawback, he said has been the lack of funding for its projects.He explained that lack of funding has affected the federation’s activities and noted that the current awareness campaign is to ensure new direction for the sport. Mr. Tarpeh further stated that many of those with the federation are aging, “there is the time now for new but young athletes to join the federation.”He admitted that the LCRF receives a yearly subscription from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, which he said, “It is not enough.”Atty. Tarpeh said canoeing and rowing is a new but wonderful sport to Liberians, and as a result the Ministry of Youth and Sports and partners should come to the federation’s assistance.He commended the Liberia National Olympic Committee for its support to the federation and called on other bodies to follow LNOC’s example.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,In March, I wrote to point out that the traffic lights controlling the junction of the Rupert Craig Highway and Sheriff Street were not working. These lights are still not working.In response to my letter, a section of the media invited a comment from Chief Works Officer, Mr Geoffrey Vaughn, who said that these lights would be replaced within a few weeks. More than two months have elapsed since then.I also referred to the fact that the traffic lights controlling the junction of the Ogle Airport Road and the Railway Embankment Road have been left permanently flashing even at peak traffic hours.Both of these situations are extremely dangerous but, it seems, continue to be ignored in spite of Mr Vaughn’s promises. When, may I ask, will the Public Infrastructure Ministry have these lights operational or do we have to wait for someone to be seriously maimed or killed?Yours sincerely,Kit Nascimento
Mabaruma Mayor, 5 NDC Chairmen battleThe Attorney General Chambers on Friday filed affidavits in answer to the court action challenging the appointments of the Mayor of the new Mabaruma municipality and five Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC).Attorney GeneralBasil WilliamsTwo weeks ago, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Executive Secretary Zulficar Mustapha filed six ‘Writs of Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus’ at the High Court after Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan stepped in to select five NDC chairmen and a mayor for Mabaruma following ties in the local government elections of chairmen and a mayor.The court actions seek to nullify the selection of Kervin Crawford as Chairman (and Gail Thomas as Vice Chairman) of the Gibralter-Fyrish NDC; Audrey Thomas as Chairman of the Industry-Plaisance NDC; Peter Livingstone as Chairman (and Royan Junior Thomas as Vice Chairman) of the Malgre Tout-Meer Zorgen; Carol Nurse as Chairman (and Wilbert Vhypius as Vice Chairman) of the Woodlands-Bel Air; Gershon Clarke as Chairman of the Woodlands-Farm; and the selection of Rupert Henry Smith as Mayor (and Astrille Gammell as Deputy Mayor) of the Municipality of Mabaruma.The matters were heard by Justice Diana Insanally during which she granted a series of Orders requested including an Order or Rule Nisi of Certiorari quashing the decision of Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan to select the above persons.The orders were granted on the grounds that it is contrary to and in violation of Municipal and District Councils Act Chapter 28:01 and the Local Government Act Chapter 28:02, and is in excess of and without jurisdiction, made in bad faith, is unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, based upon irrelevant and improper considerations, mala fide, malicious, vindictive, unlawful, ultra vires, null, void and of no legal effect.However, in the Affidavit in Answer filed by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communities, Emil McGarrell, it was stated that the Court had no jurisdiction hearing the matter since it was not filed in the proper form.“I am advised by my Attorney-At-Law and verily believe that this Honourable Court has no jurisdiction to hear this application which is by Notice of Motion and not by the prescribed form of Elections Petition,” he stated.The Permanent Secretary supported his claim by making reference to Section 28 of Chapter 28:02, which incorporates the provisions of the Local Authorities (Elections) Act, Chapter 28:03. This piece of legislation outlines that “the proper procedure to determine whether a Chairman has been validly elected is the same as that of Councillor which is by way of Election Petition to the High Court”. He also cited Section 13(9) of Chapter 28:01 of the Local Authority Act, which says any questions on the validity of the election of a Mayor or Deputy Mayor shall be determined by the Court, and Section 146 of Part IV of the Local Authorities (Election) Act Chapter 28:03 (2), which states that every such reference shall be by an Elections Petition. According to McGarrell in the legal documents, in an application of Prerogative Writ the applicant must disclose all material facts to enable the Court to determine whether to grant the Orders Nisi being requested. He noted that in relation to Clarke, Nurse (as well as Vyphius) and Crawford (as well as Thomas), Mustapha failed to disclose to the court that they had already commenced performing the functions of Chairman (as well as Deputy Chair). While he further failed to disclose that Livingstone (as well as Thomas), Audrey Thomas and Smith (as well as Gammell) had already taken their respective Oaths of Office prior to the granting of the Orders Nisi.The Permanent Secretary went on to state that even if the court finds that Bulkan acted ultra vires the provisions of the Local Government Act Chapter 28:02 in these appointments, it does not prevent these persons from performing functions in their respective offices de facto.McGarrell added too that even if the court were to find that the Overseers and Town Clerk acted ultra vires the provisions of Section 13 in summoning a second meeting of the Councillors to resolve the equality of votes of the first meeting, then “they acted on the ground of necessity”.
The Social Protection Ministry in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the University of Guyana (UG), and the Association of Social Workers on Wednesday held a grand launch of a conference at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, to promote and bring recognition to social workers, practitioners and educators in Guyana.With the theme “Standards for Professional and Social Work Practices”, the initiative was launched with the aim of regularising and standardising social work practices in Guyana.A section of the gathering of the Social workers conference at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown,The conference is set to be held for two days and hopes to see a massive turn out, not only from the social workers but from the general public and those that have a keen interest in promoting the event.The momentous activity has been in the works for the past year after the Social Protection Ministry collaborated with stakeholders to regularise and bring recognition to the body of social workers in Guyana who make up a substantive percentage of the Ministry’s work force.At the conference, a clear list of all the standard operating procedures which are critical to the smooth running and success of any organisation will be provided.In attendance at the affair was the Prime Minister’s wife, Sita Nagamootoo, Vice Chancellor of the UG, Dr Ivelaw Griffith, UNICEF representative Marianne Flach and the Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence.Delivering the feature address, the Minister said that social workers in Guyana are replete with a vast array of talents, however, all stakeholders have been operating for too long without any comprehensive model to guide and channel the services that they provide to their clients.“Our world has been advancing by leaps and bounds, technologically, socially and otherwise and it is only fitting that we in Guyana make efforts to catch up and keep abreast with global standards and practices,” the Minister noted, adding that this is what the conference hopes to achieve such.Lawrence revealed that the Social Protection Ministry has envisioned betterment for professional social workers and social work practice in Guyana, hence the timely hosting of the conference.The Minister noted that social workers deserve to be duly recognised for the services that they provide and once standardisation is accomplished, the Ministry wants to direct their thoughts to the objective of the conference so that all can focus on a plan of action.Also speaking at the conference, UG Vice Chancellor, Dr Griffith applauded the organisers of the conference for executing it successfully.He noted that by hosting the conference, it will begin to build a platform for standards. “Any conversation about standards though needs to begin with values that will guide those standards,” he noted.UNICEF representative, Marianne Flach revealed UNICEF’s delight in supporting the delivery of the conference as part of their continuous engagement with the Government of Guyana particularly the Social Protection Ministry.The organisation commended all involved in making the conference a success. The second and final day of the conference kicks off today at the same venue.
The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) is exploring skills training and capacity building in sawmilling to help encourage value added production of forest products.Iwokrama SawmillGFC Commissioner James Singh told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the Commission was collaborating with the Private Sector in preparing a proposal to seek funding from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF). Focus will be on the establishment of a training school to provide, among other things, practical, marketing and entrepreneurial skills.“The GFC is coordinating a multi-pronged approach to encourage added value to forest products,” Singh said. The Commissioner explained that an enabling environment was being actively pursued.“Ensuring that there is sufficient raw material for manufacturers of added value products is also a critical element,” Singh pointed out.The GFC continues to engage Private Sector bodies and companies to determine the products that the local and overseas markets require which can be supplied by Guyana.To this end, the GFC has created a draft log export policy. “This policy is for feedback from the public and essentially is aimed at restricting log exports, especially logs from those species that are, or potentially, in demand by added value forest produce manufacturers,” the Commissioner explained.The final policy is expected to be completed shortly, he added.Last year, the Natural Resources Ministry placed restrictions on the export of lotus logs following complaints by furniture manufacturers about shortages on the local market.Guyana relies heavily on the export of raw logs. There are sawmills, kiln ovens and one plywood manufacturing factory that add value to forest products.Additionally, the GFC head said the Commission would approach GRIF to fund other initiatives “to add impetus to the movement to add value”. One such initiative is a revolving fund to provide support to stakeholders to retool or invest in the appropriate equipment to facilitate added value. Another initiative being explored is a log consolidation yard.Currently, the GFC facilitates training of stakeholders in key aspects of value added manufacturing. “It’s recognised that despite the current challenges…many local companies are still persevering and producing high-quality added value forest products at competitive prices,” he said.Adding value to products from the sector is challenged by financing, poor access roads, high energy costs, low skills level and shipping constraints among others. However, the 2016 mid-year report projected a rise in production of value-added products in the sector as a result of increased production, combined with a larger market for value-added forestry products.
Protected areas projectA US$5 million agreement was on Friday inked with the German Government to support the implementation of the third phase of an on-going programme to develop protected areas in the country.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and Germany’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Dieter Lamle signing the agreement at the Ministry of the PresidencyThe agreement was signed at the Ministry of the Presidency between Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, and Regional Director of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Dieter Lamle.The signing took place immediately after a meeting between President David Granger and Ambassador Lamle, who was accompanied by Germany’s Ambassador to Guyana, Lutz Hermann Gorgens and Honorary Consul of Germany to Guyana, Ben Ter Welle.President Granger said that Germany has a long tradition of supporting green development in Guyana and this bodes well for the ‘green’ trajectory that his Government has embarked on.The President said that Guyana is part of the Guiana Shield, which is considered the lungs of the earth and that the government is committed to preserving the integrity of that Shield. He noted also that the work that Germany has been doing in the field of biodiversity and in supporting Guyana’s environmental thrust, is essentially providing a global service.The Head of State informed that Guyana had committed, at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), not only to extend existing protected areas, but also to the creation of new ones.He explained that each of the 10 Administrative Regions in Guyana has unique and rare flora and fauna that must be preserved.Meanwhile, Ambassador Lamle said that he is extremely happy to be part of the protected areas project and to be in Guyana at a time when the two countries are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations. He also commended the Government and people of Guyana for maintaining the forest in such a pristine state.Ter Welle explained that the Guyana Protected Areas Systems (GPAS) Project commenced some 10 years ago and it is being implemented in phases.The first phase saw the disbursement of €3 million, of which a part was allocated to the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development for training, and the remainder spent on the setting-up of protected areas and the development of legislation.Phase II on the other hand, saw the disbursement of €4 million, which went into the National Protected Areas Trust Fund, which was created through the passage of legislation and is managed by a board of trustees.Of the US$5 million that is made available in this third phase, US$4.2 million will go towards investment in protected areas at Shell Beach, Kaieteur and the Kanuku Mountains. The remainder will be directed towards green initiatives.
The giant prize winner of the 2013/2014 Ecobank Deposit Mobilization Campaign (EDMC) raffle draw has taken delivery of her award in Monrovia. Mrs. Cecelia Harries Jolo arrived in Monrovia from Zwedru; Grand Gedeh County over the weekend to take delivery of her four-door Chevrolet valued US$15,000. The Airstrip supervisor and business woman, who sells cement and petroleum products in Zwedru city, the provincial capital of Grand Gedeh County, told our reporter that she was ecstatic to have been selected lucky winner of the Ecobank Deposit Mobilization Campaign draw.“I am very happy; she said “that I was selected winner of the giant prize of the EDMC raffle draw.” “I am glad to the extent that I don’t even know how to express my joy,” she said.Accompanied to Monrovia by her family members including her brother and sisters, Mrs. Jolo observed that Ecobank has added a new flavor to the banking industry in Liberia by awarding customers for saving money in their personal accounts.The EDMC required customers to regularly deposit US$100 in their savings accounts in order to qualify them for the draw. But Mrs. Jolo said she was not aware of the EDMC promo.“I didn’t know about this promo,” Madam Jolo said as she beamed with smiles. On Thursday, January 23, Mrs. Jolo was phoned via mobile phone after her account number was luckily chosen by a customer through a raffle draw at the Ecobank Sinkor Branch.Her account number was picked from among over 31,000 other account numbers for other customers who also qualified for the grand prize draw.The raffle draw was supervised by the Liberia National Lotteries, the legal body responsible for all raffle draws in Liberia.Ecobank Managing Director Mr. Kola Adeleke, Monday, handed the keys over to Mrs. Jolo who was smartly dressed in orange skirt, a pair of black heel shoes, a black and white blouse and a pair of black jacket.“I am going to take this car to Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County to ride it around the city center. This car will also take me to job,” she stated.The EDMC grand prize winner, who is also a student of the Grand Gedeh Community College, said she will drive her car to school so that other students can be encouraged to deposit and save their monies with Ecobank Liberia. She told the public about the importance of saving their money with the Bank.“I felt so glad when the Ecobank Managing Director handed the keys over to me and asked me to sit in the car,” Jolo noted. Mrs. Jolo is a mother of four: two girls and two boys. She thanked Ecobank Management for the promotion and for helping to change her life.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The president of the Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL), Keith Zalee Morris, has contended that the declaration of a State of Emergency by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is not for the purpose of fighting Ebola, because a serious and committed government does not need such a declaration to combat a virus.The actual intent of the declaration, he said, is to push forward the surreptitious saleof Liberia’s remaining oil blocks; to create a diversion from the issue of her son Robert Sirleaf’s ineligibility to contest the ensuing October 2014 Senatorial elections; while at the same time, and above all, to muzzle the press.Addressing journalists at a press conference in Monrovia Monday, Mr. Morris noted that the Liberian leader did not show any degree of commitment to fighting the virus until it took away the lives of Patrick Sawyer and prominent medical doctors.“No democratic state can grow in the absence of a vibrant and proactive media,” Morris said, adding that there can be no development if the media is being muzzled or harassed.He reminded his fellow journalists of the likes of former Presidents Samuel K. Doe and Charles Taylor, whose regimes were short-lived because of their decisions to clampdown on the freedom of the press.“Today, the ugly face of the past continues to be visible in this modern day Liberia,” he maintained, alleging that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her sons, Robert and Fomba, backed by ‘a rubber stamp legislature’, have blacklisted over twenty (20) journalists and civil society actors ready ‘to be eliminated’ under this emergency period.During her August 6, 2014 radio address to the nation announcing the State of Emergency, President Johnson Sirleaf stated that “Government will institute extraordinary measures, including, if need be, the suspensions of certain rights and privileges”, though she did not specify.According to Morris, the National Security Agency (NSA), headed by Fomba Sirleaf, has a list that includes journalists Otavine Williams, Tetee Gebro, Charles B. Yates and himself, Keith Morris. Others include civil society actors Henry Costa, Vandalark Patricks, Mamensie Kabba, Archie I. Sanor, among others.He said the NSA, with direct instruction from the President’s ‘beloved’ son Robert, is keen on arresting these young men and women for their ‘critical postures’ on national issues.“On Sunday, August 10, 2014,” Morris told journalists, “the list was again opened for discussion at a joint security meeting. In that meeting, the President’s bulldogs agreed to unleash their ‘lethal weapon’ on the media.“Interestingly,” Morris continued, “Deputy Police Director for Operations Abraham Kromah agreed to ‘single-handedly deal with those mentioned.’“We are not deterred by such information because we know the ability and limitation of our security forces. We want to state here in the strongest terms that our government is after the media because we continue to expose the ills in our society as part of our sole responsibilities.“In this critical period of our history, we wish to inform the international community, inclusive of the UN Mission in Liberia, the United States Embassy, European Commission, ECOWAS, African Union and the MRU, that the lives of journalists and civil society activists are under threat by those we employed to protect us.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The pastor of the Bethel Cathedral of Hope, John Baryogar, has urged a newly wedded couple to live their lives in conformity with principles governing marriage as instituted and ordained by God in keeping with the scriptures.Rev. Baryogar gave the admonition Saturday, May 3, during the solemnization of holy matrimony between D. Irene Kwanue, and Jimmy N.C. Bokay in Monrovia.Irene is the daughter of Daily Observer’s educational columnist, C.Y. Kwanue.Both Irene and Jimmy had obtained their first degree from the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University (AMEZU where their relationship began few years ago.“From this day onward till death do you part, the two of you are husband and wife; as such, you must live the life of a marry couple with the motto, “Love, not Hatred,” and shun listening to gossips. Do not entertain negative interferences in your relationship,” Rev. Baryogar warned to the delight of the congregation, comprising mainly young people.According to him, God is the maker of marriage, and as such, the couple should do everything at all times to satisfy or maintain their marital vows relatives to its principles.Quoting Genesis Chapter two, Pastor Baryogar said, “It is not good for the man to be alone,” because God has made for him a suitable female helper.Based on this instruction, he maintained that it was important to know that the one, who makes marriage or family, is still on the throne and, as such, “if we obey the principle of the Bible, we will get the desire results from our marriage.”Other officiating clergies included the Bishop-designate of the Bethel Cathedral of Hope, M. Wolo Belleh, Resident Pastor, Rev. Della B. Belleh, the Assistant Pastor, Rev. Augustus C. Tolbert, among others. The brief, but time-bound and well coordinated ceremony brought together friends, and relatives of the bride and groom as well as other well-wishers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Board of Trustees of the Tony Elumelu Foundation has announced the appointment of Professor Reid E. Whitlock as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Foundation.The appointment of Prof. Whitlock was announced last Sunday while Dr. Wiebe Boer, was similarly appointed the Inaugural Chief Executive of the Foundation; a position which puts him as director of Strategy at Heirs Holdings, Mr. Elumelu’s pan-African Proprietary Investment Company.Professor Whitlock brings 30 years of experience as a business school rector, diplomat, entrepreneur, strategy consultant and advisor to leaders in Africa, Asia and the Middle East on economic development, according to a statement issue by the United Bank for Africa (UBA)-Liberia yesterday.He obtained his Ph.D. and law degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in America. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and is a cum laude graduate of Princeton University.Commenting on Prof. Whitlock’s appointment, founding Patron of the institution, Prof. Michael Porter said, “Tony’s commitment to African entrepreneurship is unshakeable and therefore saluted his appointment as CEO of his Foundation. He has an experience in driving competitiveness and entrepreneurship growth in Africa, including Rwanda that has achieved remarkable progress. I look forward to continuing to support Tony, as he furthers Africa’s revival through the great work of the Foundation.”President Paul Kagame of Rwanda was also quoted as saying, “I am delighted to hear of Reid Whitlock’s appointment as the CEO of Tony’s Foundation. Reid’s work was instrumental in improving Rwanda’s Public Sector Service Delivery, Competitiveness, and Business Education. As CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, he now has a unique platform to ensure this work continues across Africa.”“As Dr. Boer becomes Director of Strategy for Heirs Holdings, I want to thank him for the leadership he has provided, helping transform the foundation from just an idea into a preeminent global philanthropic institution. I welcome Professor Whitlock, who brings considerable global experience in the private, public, and academic sectors, which will significantly assist in realizing the mission of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, in empowering Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs and driving the continent’s economic and social transformation,” The founder and chairman of the Board of Trustees, Tony Elumelu said.Prof. Whitlock said, he was honored by the opportunity the Board of Trustees had given him and was excited to join a dynamic institution, with a truly pan-African focus and an ambitious agenda. “I look forward to leveraging my extensive experience and networks to further help the Foundation achieve its important goals.”His responsibility as new CEO of the foundation will focus on supervising the Foundation’s four key projects and programs, including the US$100 million pan-African Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program–Africa’s largest direct intervention in support of entrepreneurship, the Africapitalism Institute, the Foundation’s policy and research arm, which provides a rigorous program of research and advocacy in support of the Foundation’s goals.Others activities are: the Elumelu Nigeria Empowerment Fund, directly assisting, through private sector strategies, conflict affected and disadvantaged communities across Nigeria, the Tony & Awele Elumelu Prize, which champion’s academic excellence on the African continent and will support the Foundation’s senior leadership team.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) has provided maximum security at all border points to ensure the full compliance of Liberia’s health protocols in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD).The disclosure was made on this Tuesday when BIN Deputy Commissioner for Administration, Col. Peter F. Ziazay, appeared at the Ministry of Information daily Ebola press briefing on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.According to him, the measure was taken after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced the reopening of all borders, a week ago.Commissioner Zaizay said the BIN has been working with authorities at the Atlanta-based US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local and other international partners, including those from the Ministry of Health, to ensure that proper measures are followed to avoid the resurgence of the virus.“We continue to tour various border points in line with the government and its partners in the fight against the EVD,” he said.He noted that BIN officers have continued to tour major border points, including York Island, Bo-waterside, Gbota, Jorwah and Garmu.Commissioner Zaizay further disclosed that BIN personnel have been trained in Ebola preventive methods, and have been assigned with six vehicles and 34 motorcycles, as well as several pieces of Personnel Protective Equipment (PPEs).The motorcycles, he said were donated to the BIN by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).He also revealed that the BIN has conducted a self-assessment retreat to indentify gaps and challenges as well as practices aimed at improving personnel performance.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Former South African President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, said, “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”If ever the public health workers thought that Health Minister-designate, Dr. Bernice Dahn, “hates” them, she has now turned the page and has extended to them an olive branch, which means a branch of peace and reconciliation.At the close of the three-day Health System Assessment and Investment Plan Consensus Meeting last weekend, Dr. Dahn, who has served since 2006 as Deputy Minister for Health Services and Chief Medical Officer, showed that she has more “love” in her heart for the health workers than “hate.” As a first step in this direction, she vowed to do all in her power, if confirmed by the Liberian Senate, to absorb all health workers on the government payroll. “We will do all we can to bring them on the payroll. Even if it means that we must sit in hot offices at the Ministry just to get them on the payroll, that will be done. We are willing to make the sacrifices in order to get our health workers on the payroll.”The audience responded to these unexpected but highly positive remarks by giving her a standing ovation. Our Health Correspondent, Alaskai Moore Johnson, who has for many years extensively covered health issues in Liberia, said the issue of health workers has been the most contentious between the Ministry of Health and National Health Workers’ Association of Liberia (NHWAL). Another contention has been the reinstatement of their dismissed leaders—Messrs. Joseph Tamba, president and George Poe Williams, secretary general. Outgoing Health Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, vowed that under his watch as Minister, the two men would “NEVER come back to work for the Ministry.”There are more than 2000 public health workers who are not on the payroll; but some are on “incentives.” Someone assuring that she will selflessly do all to absorb them is an act of good will that must be commended, embraced and reciprocated by the leadership of the NHWAL and the health workers in general.One of Liberia’s most senior medical doctors, who begged anonymity, told this newspaper that the health workers need to give Dr. Dahn the chance to prove herself wrong since she is going to be the one “calling the shots” and not saying ‘Yes, sir,’ to someone else.” What this doctor meant is that when confirmed, Health Minister Dahn will now be wielding the gavel and will be able, in consultation with her boss, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and the Civil Service Agency (CSA), to decide the health workers’ fate.We think Dr. Dahn meant what she said to the conferees, most of whom were representatives of international organizations— the World Health Organization (WHO), European Union (EU), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), IRISH Aid, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Bank Group, etc.We call on the NHWAL leadership and all the other health workers to heartily accept Dr. Dahn’s olive branch, in order to move the health sector forward for the betterment of ordinary Liberians.Initially, NHWAL president Joseph Tamba received in good faith the Health Minister-designate’s first public pronouncement.We hope that upon confirmation, Minister Dahn will move to re-instate the two dismissed NHWAL officials and gradually work with the health workers toward mutually resolving other contentious issues that have so badly plagued our health sector. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The dead body of a woman in her early 30s, was found in a septic tank in the Thumbs Up Community, township of Caldwell on January 6, 2015, by her mother who had gone to look for her. What appeared to be a suicide is still being investigated by the police. However, community dwellers, including the pastor of a nearby church said Nayu Kangbo, visited the day before she went missing. According to him, Nayu had earlier confessed to witchcraft activities and was tormented by the spirits of those she had killed.A mother of two children, the late Nayu’s body was discovered behind an unfinished house in Thumbs Up Community near her parents’ house. Amie Kangbo, Nayu’s mother, told the Daily Observer that the day before, her daughter had confessed at the Pentecostal Church of the Apostle Faith before the pastor and community dwellers, that she had been involved in witchcraft activities. According to Amie, her daughter was sick for about three months and when she asked her, what was the problem, Nayu simply replied that she did not know. In December 2014, her father took her to Mawah Clinic in Vai Town for treatment, but she was refused after registration.Amie also reported that on Monday night, Nayu had gone to the septic tank unknown to her family members, who later found her there, apparently having tried to kill herself. Amie said she and Amos, the father of Nayu’s children, managed to pull her daughter to safety. They both agreed that Amos would spend the night in the same room as Nayu to make sure she remained safe. “In the early hours of Tuesday morning,” Amie narrated, “Amos came to my door calling, saying Nayu is not in the room. I woke up and ran to search for her on the left side of the community, but my daughter was nowhere to be seen. After the search I came home and heard a voice in the bush near the house. I ran to take a look and saw my daughter lying dead in the septic tank. I called for Amos, but he was nowhere to be found.”Meanwhile, according to the senior pastor for the Pentecostal Church of the Apostle Faith, J. Luke Yorsee, Nayu had admitted on Monday to the killing of 17 people as a witch. She confessed that, at the age of three, she was initiated into witchcraft by her uncle in Grand Bassa County, where she grew up and became ‘queen in the dark world’, before moving to Monrovia.‘’She confessed to being the one responsible for her mother’s miserable state,” the pastor narrated. Quoting Nayu’s confession, the pastor said, “Forgive me mother, this is my empty body here; I’m already dead. Wachen and Mamie’s spirits won’t let me rest until I follow them. May God have consideration over my soul.”Pastor Yorsee said he then received a revelation that Wachen and Mamie were two women Nayu had killed. It was at this point, he said, he knew that Nayu would not survive after her confession.The crowd, indignant about Nayu’s confession, wanted to beat her, shouting “[She] deserved to die! How could you be so wicked and ask GOD and people to forgive you?”According to eyewitnesses, she confessed to transforming her mother’s hands and feet to fish (in the dark world, for Nayu and fellow witches to feed on, when they did not want to eat human being). She also made Amos’ life troubled with misfortune.“Nayu told us that the palm nuts and sugar cane she used to sell was pupu and human blood and that she is married in the dark world with three children, in addition to the two she has on earth,” another eyewitness said. “She carried her mother’s spirit to the dark world to take care of those children.”During the confession, another eyewitness said she saw two living lizards coming from in Nayu’s body. “Pastor Luke killed one and the other ran away.”Nayu later said she wanted to go to Louisiana to rescue her mother’s spirit from the dark world (under the water). She therefore ran to the church’s school yard, stripped herself naked and bent over toward the crowd. Everyone thought she was ready to perform, but two women tied their lappas around Nayu and brought her back into the church.The septic tank in which Nayu’s body was discovered was newly dug and unused, but was filled less than two feet high with water. Meanwhile, Amos is helping the police with the investigation. According to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Caldwell Zone 7 Police Depot, it is highly unlikely that a grown person could drown themselves in such shallow water.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Liberia Crusaders for Peace, in collaboration with the Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccines in Liberia (PREVIAL), conducted a one-day social mobilization refresher training for communicators on the trial vaccines in support of Ebola prevention in the country.The training, which was conducted Thursday March 5, at the Liberia Crusaders for Peace headquarters in Monrovia, brought together over seventy participants from districts in Montserrado County.LCP’s Executive Secretary Sunday Wiah, Jr. said that the objective of the training was to educate the participants on the ongoing vaccine study to help eradicate the killer disease.He said it provided better understanding on social mobilization that will guide them as they go about creating awareness on the vaccines in the districts and communities.He urged the participants to learn, listen and act to spread the right message and to dispel the myth that the vaccines kill or infect people with the Ebola virus.At the same time Liberia Cultural Ambassador, Julie Endee, told the participants to be very smart while carrying out awareness in their districts and communities.She disclosed that following the vaccine study, Liberia stands to benefit from infrastructural development, including health facilities, doctors and scientists to help the country move forward.She encouraged Liberians to be a part of the process by taking the vaccines which will prevent them from getting Ebola.“It’s very important to take the vaccines because it will protect you against EVD like polio and other vaccines we normally take in our country. This vaccine is not for children, Ebola survivors and pregnant women,” the LCP Boss cautioned.At the workshop several participants got the clarification that the trial vaccines are not in the country to kill Liberians, but rather to serve as a protection against the Ebola virus.The participants thanked LCP for the workshop and promised to encourage others in their communities to participate in the study.The current vaccine study began in October 2014 led by a Liberia-US-clinical research partnership, including the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
With still two more years to the holding of general and presidential elections in Liberia, the leaders of several political parties are already amassing and preparing a strategy for victory in 2017. An alliance of seven political parties under the banner, Progressive Coordinating Group (PCG), has declared that it will take state power in 2017.The PCG includes the National Democratic Coalition (NDC), New Democratic Alternative of Liberia Movement-New DEAL, and Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (APD), comprising the Liberian People’s Party (LPP), the United People’s Party (UPP), and the Action for Democracy and Development (ADD). The group’s spokesman, Sando Wayne, II, made the disclosure last Tuesday at a press conference in Monrovia.Spokesman Wayne said it is 12 years since the end of the civil war and the return to democratic rule, but the situation in the country remains precarious.Recounting what he called the failure of the Unity Party-led administration Mr. Wayne believes it is an indication that the UP is not capable of creating wealth, jobs or growing a middle-income society as it had promised.“There is widespread corruption in high places compared to the past. The educational system is a mess, with 62 percent of Liberian youth in school yet 82 percent never completes the 12th grade,” he stated.With all these bad results, the state of impunity continues to undermine peace building, national healing and reconciliation, said Wayne. “Moreover, with the increased economic activities in Liberia, it is painful to note that we have not balanced our budget in the last three years and poverty still remains our greatest enemy, particularly among the youth, who comprise 70 percent of the under-35 population and 88 percent of the unemployed,” Wayne said.Wayne further decried that 80 percent of Liberians are living on less than US$1.00 a day, yet “we have spent more than 280 million United States dollars on public relations, without legislative approval, as required by law.”According to him, the PCG’s investment in Liberia’s reform is more than protecting the choice of a single progressive grouping or party. “We are resolved to consolidate all the progressive actors and to seek political power and govern the country together, in 2017 and beyond.”The PCG’s quest for the presidency, Mr. Wayne said, is about protecting multiparty democracy, maintaining an inclusive society with the governing structure comprehensively decentralized, as well as a the rule-based system of justice and equality.At the appropriate time, he said, the progressives will focus on two key issues, which include the work they did from the 70s to the 90s as the Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL), Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), Liberian National Student Union (LINSU), Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Liberia People’s Party. “We sought to reform the country, tackle corruption, and strengthen democratic institutions,” Mr. Wayne noted, adding that the Progressives are “proud of what we did in the past and will continue to do same to put our country on a democratic and prosperous trajectory.”He conceded, however, that during the 14 year civil war and national upheavals, the progressive and broad-minded Liberians were unfortunately in disarray, leaderless, disorganized, and fragmented into various splinter groups. This, he admitted, created the perfect situation for remnants of the oligarchy to regroup and rally the support of the volunteer political opportunists as an option for a viable national leadership.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
As confirmation proceedings draw nearer, Health Minister-designate, Dr. Bernice Dahn, continues to get extensive support from professional and medical institutions in the country.The latest expression of support and solidarity comes from Liberia’s oldest medical association, Liberia Medical and Dental Association (LMDA), headed by Dr. Moses B.F. Massaquoi.In a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, the LMDA called on the Senate to confirm Dr. Dahn as Liberia’s new Minister of Health.The letter pointed out that it has been a long road to rebuild Liberia’s health sector to the level preceding the civil war years during which the country was decimated.The LMDA acknowledged the crucial asset of health workers, who responded admirably and courageously to the Ebola outbreak.The health workers, the LMDA asserted, demonstrated bravery in the face of fear, hope in the face of despair and compassion in the face of tragedy and they must be commended and honored.They admitted that although Liberia’s system was not prepared for an outbreak of such magnitude and scope as Ebola, Liberians were able to work together to defeat the deadly virus.Liberians and their international partners, the LMDA letter stated, made great strides toward driving out the dreadful Ebola disease.“This would not have been possible without strong leadership from the outset…before the whole country, let alone the rest of the world, realized what was happening and how serious it was,” the LMDA’s letter asserted.The LMDA further noted that Dr. Dahn fearlessly led the fight against Ebola for several months before international response scaled up to the challenge and any additional support was available to the country.“Equally as important as her role at the outset, Dr. Dahn has been committed to improving the healthcare system for Liberians for the entirety of the eight years that she has served as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at the Ministry of Health,” the LMDA maintained.The LMDA further reminded the Senate that Dr. Dahn has worked tirelessly to promote access to essential health services, ensure that health workers are adequately trained and compensated and struggled continuously to improve efficiency and effectiveness of health sector management.“Therefore, on behalf of the association, it is our pleasure to write to you today [to give] a strong vote of confidence for the confirmation of Dr. Bernice Dahn as Minister of Health.”The LMDA also chronicled accomplishments of the Health Minister-designate since the commencement of her tenure of service at the Health Ministry.The MOHSW, said the LMDA, exceeded the International Monetary Fund’s target of providing Basic Primary Health Services at 71% facilities in the country as part of the completion of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) in December 2010.Under Dr. Dahn’s stewardship, said the LMDA, the 2007-2011 National Health Policy and Plan was able to provide such services at 82% of Primary Healthcare facilities in the country in record time.Dr. Dahn was the chief architect of the plan to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Liberia was the first sub-Saharan country to achieve MDG4 (reducing child mortality) prior to the deadline, the LMDA declared.As CMO, Dr. Dahn played a pivotal role in increasing the number of HIV testing sites in the country from 22 to 369. Her nomination is, therefore, the perfect choice as it allows for continuity of ownership and accountability to sustain and surpass the gains, the LMDA asserted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Cellcom GSM, the official sponsor of the national football team, honored its promise when ten winners of its raffle draw were awarded prizes yesterday that will enable them to travel to Abidjan for the return leg match between Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire on November 17.Presenting their packages to the ten winners, Cellcom GSM Communications Strategist, Dr. Kimmie Weeks reminded Liberians of the company’s reputation in honoring its sponsorship of Liberian football, including the national soccer team.“This is a period of great excitement,” Dr. Weeks said, “for Liberians to throng the Antoinette Tubman Stadium to cheer their national team against The Elephants.”He said the raffle draw was meant to provide at least ten Liberians to travel to the next venue of the second leg match and offer moral support to the team.“This is something that only Cellcom can make it happen,” Dr. Weeks said, to a round of applause.Contributing, national team coach James Salinsa Debbah commended Cellcom for its invaluable contribution towards the national cause and said Cellcom’s partnership with the development of Liberian football is commendable.He assured Liberians that today’s game against La Cote d’Ivoire with all seriousness to ensure that victory is certain and to make Liberians rejoice.Anthony Laffor said, “On behalf of my colleagues, we want to assure Liberians that we are prepared for the job to make Liberians happy.” He appealed to Liberians to come to the game in their numbers with the single purpose of cheering the team to victory.Hat-trick scorer William Jebor promised to play above himself to change the soccer history between the two countries.“They may think we are nothing,” Jebor said, “but I can assure them that this is Liberia’s time to win and make our people smile.”Jebor, who scored three goals against Guinea Bissau in Bissau to qualify Liberia to meet with La Cote d’Ivoire credited God for past successes, and promised to secure goals to make the return leg on November 17, a mere formality.In remarks, four of the winners heaped praises on Cellcom GSM for being number in mobile evolution in the country.“When I got the call that I had won,” said a young man who traveled from Grand Gedeh County to receive his prize, “I thought it was not true but I was convinced by the caller that I am a winner.”He added that afterwards, his friends made four cars available to bring him to the program yesterday.The winner between Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire in the two-legs will move on to play in the group stage in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The United States Agency for International Development Food Enterprise Development (USAID FED) for the past four years has increased capacities of local farmers in the country to produce more crops, especially the country’ staple food, rice.Since its inception in the country, USAID-FED agricultural program has empowered over 50,000 farmers who are now operating 10,630 hectares of farmland. The program operates in four value chains, namely rice, cassava, vegetables and goats.In an exclusive interview, Chief of Party of USAID FED Madam Agnes Luz said within the four value chains in which her organization is operating, the rice sector has improved immensely.She mentioned Fabrar Rice Processing Industry as an outcome of USAID FED that her organization has supported to empower local farmers by marketing their produce to add value by processing the locally grown rice as a means to cut down the expense of imported rice.She said during the beginning of USAID FED five year project in 2013, the number of farmers was very low. “In 2013, there were only 7,880 farmers operating on 2,157 hectares of farmland, but the number later grew up to 20,000 farmers with 3,915 hectares in 2014 and has increased immensely in 2015 to 50,500 farmers and 10,630 hectares of improve seed rice and the sale of rice also increase to $1.2M,” Madam Luz added.As a means of responding to farmers’ plea for a safe plant, she said, USAID FED has built nine rice business hubs (6,800 MT/yr additional milling capacity , 1500M3 additional storage) responsible to keep the produce of farmers fresh, 30 power tillers and 1-2 warehouses .“Our responsibility at USAID FED is to increase productivity and profitability of agricultural value chains and improve human nutrition. We are proud of the farmers and we encourage others to join agriculture because very soon with the level of performance from local farmers, Liberia will export rice to other countries in the near future.”She described the rice sector as one of her successes with over 50,000 farmers into rice production which the country depends on for survival.She asserted that before the beginning of her five year project, farmers were carrying on subsistence farming for consumption and expressed joy about the efforts farmers are showing in the six counties of Lofa, Nimba, Bong, Grand Bassa, Montserrado and Margibi and promised to improve the sector.USAID FED Chief of Party also confirmed that farmers have generally benefitted from the provision of hand tools, better quality rice planting materials and training that have improved their knowledge and skills in the technology of farming.She pledged her organization’s commitment to continue empowering and improving the lives of farmers by ensuring that farmers in Liberia export food to other countries like the United States of America, France and other countries to boost agriculture production in the country. She said farmers keep demonstrating their willingness to grow their own food but need the Liberian government to make their work more effective by establishing centers that will be able to keep the products safe when harvested.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Investigations conducted in the deaths of two children whose bodies were discovered on December 2 in the VOA Community on Robertsfield Highway was due to suffocation (asphyxiation), due to the lack of oxygen in the vehicle they were found, the Liberia National Police said in a statement yesterday in Monrovia.Inspector General Chris Massaquoi said the investigation further concluded that the vehicle in which the bodies of the children were found had its window glasses sealed up.Director Massaquoi clarified that contrary to media reports and pronouncements being made being made about the death of the two children, preliminary examination found that all the body parts f the two children are intact and that the bodies have so far shown no signs of being ‘brutally murdered,’ as it has been rumored.He said the vehicle in which the bodies of the two children were found had the inside locks and openers damaged or absent.Director Massaquoi said on Wednesday December 2, the Liberia National Police received information of the discovery of the bodies of two children, Rubben Paye, aged 7, and Alvin Moses, aged 4, whose whereabouts could not be established by the parents at about 3p.m. Both children had earlier returned home from school about 10:00 hrs and were in the yard of the parents.“Subsequently, a report was made by Victor Moses, father and guardian of both children to the police at Zone 8 Police station located in the ELWA Community at about 19:00 hrs,” he said.The following morning of 2nd December, the bodies of the children were discovered dead in an abandoned black Toyota Avalon vehicle located on the premises of the next door neighbor Mr. Henry O. Nnadi, a Nigerian national. “Upon the discovery of the bodies of the two children, Rubben Paye, and Alvin Moses, a mob action followed which resulted to the burning down and looting of the home of Mr. Nandi on whose premises the bodies were found along with four other vehicles that were burnt and/or damaged.He said following police investigation of the incident it was established that the death of the two children is accidental and that the police does not have evidence to link Mr. Henry O. Nnadi to their death.Meanwhile, the Police, in consultation with the coroner of Montserrado County, have been informed that the result of the coroner’s inquest also showed that the deaths of the children were accidental and/or not suspicious, the statement said.Director Massaquoi said, due to the mob action that led to the burning of Mr. Nnadi’s house and destruction of his properties eight suspects, including Raymond Brown, Stephen Wilson, Dubon Logan, Augustine Gbarpue, Emmanuel Diggs, Eric Karty, Lassana Kannah and Michael Horace have been charged and awaiting court prosecution.Victoria Zayzay’s Death in Police custodyDirector Massaquoi said a Ghanaian pathologist, contracted by the Liberian government has completed an autopsy on the body of Victoria Zayzay and are awaiting the findings from the Ministry of Justice.He said the findings will establish the cause(s) of Ms. Zayzay’s death and he assured the general public that the LNP attaches serious concern to this matter and a comprehensive investigation is ongoing, pending the outcome of the autopsy report.He said Victoria Zayzay, 21, who died in who died in police cell at Zone Six, Depot 1, Police Station on the Hotel Africa Road Community on the 20th of October 2015 at about 6:30 p.m. was arrested by officers of the Liberia National Police following a complaint filed by one Mammie Morris, a resident of the same address for Simple Assault and Criminal Mischief.Investigations have revealed that the deceased was charged and incarcerated in the female cell at which time she was the only person in the cell waiting to be forwarded to court for prosecution on the above mentioned charges.Few hours later, the police statement said the victim was discovered unconscious in the cell with her lappa tied from the cell gate around her neck, sitting flat on the floor and leaning against the gate, and bending over with her head resting on her chest with thick fluid oozing from her mouth. She was hurriedly removed from the cell, rushed to the Redemption Hospital for medical attention, where she was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA) by medical authority thereat.He described the situation as unfortunate and extended LNP’s deepest sympathy to the family of Victor Zayzay.Director Massaquoi said “it is often said justice delayed is justice denied; it is worth noting that the Government of Liberia doesn’t have pathologist, therefore, a foreign pathologist was found and contracted as usual to perform the autopsy which is a time consuming process. To date, the police have not received the pathologist’s report.”Meanwhile, Director Massaquoi announced the arrest of one of the most notorious armed robbers, identified as Alfred Lablah (Puyul) at Waterside on December 2. Puyul was wanted in connection to a streak of armed robberies. “Suspect Poyul, along with his band of robbers has been waging series of robberies in Paynesville, Bushrod Island and Brewerville communities. He has confessed his involvement to the robbery at the home of former Grand Kru Senator Cletus Wotorson on 17th November,” he said.He revealed that the Liberia National Police is in search of his accomplices, who were identified as James Harris alias ‘CO’ or ‘wolf’,Boakai Kengo, alias ‘Jeddie’, ‘Body Prince’ and Matthew Mah alias ‘Five Star.’“All of these suspects are wanted by the police and are armed and dangerous. The police are soliciting information and cooperation of the public on the whereabouts of these suspects. The police want to make it emphatically clear, that anyone found to be in contact with and or providing a safe haven for these suspects, will be arrested, investigated, and charged with armed robbery, which is a non bailable offense,” he stated.Director Massaquoi concluded that “it is important to note that the incident involving the death of the two children to which a Nigerian national has been publicly linked, the Liberia National Police would like to inform the public that as member of the global community every citizen or non-citizen who is accused of any unlawful offense has equal protection under our law without discrimination, as this is in line with our obligation to protect minority rights and therefore, the accused is of no exception.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation’s (LWSC) US$40 million Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project (UWSSP) has resumed after the eradication of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) that paralyzed most development activities in the country last year.The disclosure of resuming the urban water projects of Kakata, Buchanan and Zwedru Cities in Margibi, Grand Bassa and Grand Gedeh counties was made by the project manager of the UWSSP, Gabriel Flaboe, in an interview with the Daily Observer during the weekend in Monrovia.He intimated that the three projects were awarded in May 2014 and work started in June but regrettably rehabilitation work was halted in mid July 2014 due to the Ebola Virus in the country.In April 2015, work resumed on the three water projects and again there was some delays due to tax exemption requirements from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).Thanks to the efficient handling of the challenge by the LWSC management the issues have been resolved and work at the three water project sites have begun.Manager Flaboe added that materials and equipment for the three projects are expected in the country within the next two weeks.He further noted that sanitation and hygiene work at the three water facilities are ongoing and engineers at the projects have drilled four new boreholes in Buchanan, two in Zwedru and one in Kakata.Mr. Flaboe also disclosed that there is a plan for the provision of funds by the Africa Water Facility (AWF) to construct some pipe-borne water facilities at the New Georgia and Soul Clinic Communities in Gardnersville and Paynesville to buttress the supply of water to Monrovia.The UWSSP official further revealed that a comprehensive financial proposal is being crafted by professionals in order to determine the most responsive consultants who will design, review and study the proposed water facilities in the two communities.He also explained that after the financial evaluation by the AfDB and if there is no objection to the proposed document, the LWSC will begin to find professional firms to do the feasibility studies for implementation.Mr. Flaboe pointed out that if the LWSC is able within three months to recruit competent and professional firms to do an effective design review, the system will be in the position to tender the work for competitive bidding.“The provision of social services for all Liberians irrespective of background and geographical location is our responsibility,” Manager Flaboe said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Calm has returned to Sasstown on Bomi Highway with businesspeople and farmers carrying on their normal activities in spite of last Sunday night’s shooting incident which brought every activity to a standstill.During a visit to the area yesterday, the Daily Observer reporter observed farmers and businesspeople from the nearby villages and towns, including those from Montserrado and Grand Cape Mount counties, transacting business without any sign of fear or anxiety.People in Sasstown, where the incident occurred, and nearby villages and towns including those along the Bomi highway leading up to Grand Cape Mount County and the Sierra Leone border are carrying on their normal activities. Comfort Kiawu, 26, a resident of Montserrado County, said, “We have to do our businesses, because people from here informed us that normal activities were ongoing.” She even attributed the shooting to “an action by some hunters.”It was also observed that farmers in and around Sasstown were going about their activities, despite the presence of security officers in the area.Ms. Kiawu said she believes that Liberians are neither interested in nor ready for war because of the bad and ugly experiences during the 14 years of war. According to her, considering that the shooting incident did not lead to any injury or death in the area justified her belief that “someone was apparently chasing after an animal.”“The people here said they heard gunshots in the bush. Security people came around and noticed it was nothing, since Monday; and now farmers are here with their goods from this same Sasstown,” she said.Francis Jones, a resident of Sasstown, told the Daily Observer that since the intervention of state security officers who toured the area on Monday, particularly where the shooting was reported, farmers have continued to go to their farms.“We believe that if anything bad was noticed by our security officers upon their arrival on Monday, they would have informed the people and even stopped the movement of people on the highway,” he noted.It was also observed that the number of officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) has increased, putting up security measures at the various checkpoints to control the movement of people.A BIN officer told this reporter that the Sunday night incident in Sasstown was enough for the BIN to enforce additional security measures, including displaying passports by travelers, especially those crossing to Sierra Leone. A huge security presence was observed from Clay to the border between Liberia and Sierra Leone, with people heading to the border being asked to give proper information at every checkpoint.It may be recalled that gunshots were heard in Sasstown on Sunday night. The Liberian government sent security officers to verify the cause of the shooting but have not reported apprehending anyone. Meanwhile speculation is rife in the country with theories coming from several quarters about what might have happened on Sunday night.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
As we fast approach this wonderful, long awaited Day, Christmas, what better time is there to remember the meaning of the need for and the joy in giving thanks! Christmas reminds us of the culmination (climax, apogee) of God’s goodness, love and mercy towards His sinful human beings. Why? Because He, God, had such great compassion on human depravity (corruption, evil) that He sent his only begotten (created) Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to teach us the way to salvation; and not to teach us only, but to show HOW to use power. He clearly and perfectly demonstrated the use of power—power which comes only from God and must be used always and only for good, never for evil.All of us, whether rich or poor, high or low, have some measure of power over other people and things. Even five-year olds have power over their younger siblings or playmates. In his month-long series on Thanksgiving in the Daily Observer, Fr. James Selle, Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, has been explaining the meaning of, how and why to give thanks. It seriously affects, even determines, our relationship with God. In this fourth segment in the series, published as usual on our Religion page last Friday, Fr. Selle focused on what we should give thanks for. Let us pause here to give thanks to Fr. Selle himself, who since 2005, when the Daily Observer was re-launched after 15 years of publisher K.Y. Best and his family’s exile, has faithfully written and presented to our readers his column on various aspects of Christianity—what it means to be a Christian, who Christ is, what was His mission when he dwelt on earth over 2000 years ago. Fr. Selle also constantly explains why Christians are called to be Christ-like, by emulating His examples of love, kindness, mercy, faithfulness, humility and goodness to ALL with whom we come in contact, making the best of the powers, gifts and other blessings God has bestowed upon us.In his weekly column, Fr. Selle has also constantly taught us the importance of being thankful not only for our favorable and happy moments and days, but also when things turn bad, desperate, fearful and even tragic. As he did in last Friday’s column, Fr. Sellefrequently quotes Thessalonians 5:17 and 18 and Romans 8:28, two of St. Paul the Apostle’s Epistles (Letters), which admonish us to give thanks in everything. This is even when our friends betray us or our enemies hit at us, even to the extent of attempting to destroy us.We can be sure that so long as we maintain a posture of thanksgiving and hope, founded on our faith in the Almighty God, we will in any and every circumstance prevail. This is manifest even in our National Anthem, written by Daniel B. Warner, our third President. He wrote, “With God above our rights to prove, we will o’er all prevail!” It is useful to add, at this blessed, hopeful Yuletide (Christmas), the rest of the stanza in our National Anthem, “With heart and hand, our country’s cause defending, We’ll meet the foe with valor unpretending . . .”Let us all approach this Christmas and New Year with truly thankful hearts, minds and spirits. It is distinctly possible that God, seeing our thankful hearts, minds and spirits, will help us in the coming year to choose a new leader who will make a true and decisive difference for the better in our lives and the life of our beleaguered (long-suffering) country, Liberia.Let us with truly thankful hearts and hope in His grace and mercy, believe that God has already spotted and chosen for us a leader who will FOCUS not on himself and those in his immediate circle, but on the supreme interest of the people and do everything possible, under God, to lift Liberians from their slumber, dependency, poverty and powerlessness into a purposeful, progressive, prosperous and self-reliant people and nation!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Women have been kept in the back or kitchens for too long with few, like President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other prominent women, braving the storm to match-up with their male counterparts. But since the President’s ascendency, there have been a crusade for women’s social, political and most especially economic empowerments.This, however, hasn’t been on the scale that will bring about significant improvement in the lives of women across the country because the impact from what has been practiced in the society for centuries cannot just be removed or erased in ten or twenty years. This not only takes time, but a lot of negotiations and sacrifices.African women have lived in the shadows of their husbands for centuries, but twenty-five year old Rebecca (not her real name) thinks this shouldn’t be the case anymore. “Because it is like we are in slavery. We don’t do anything on our own. They dictate our lives, telling us how and what to and not do. They practically control our lives,” she said.Rebecca feels sorrow for her mother, grandmothers and other women who had to live their entire lives through servitude. “Some of us are blessed that we who are seeing the light at an early stage do not see it this way anymore. We can say that we are blessed and I thank God for Red Cross and its partners who initiated this program. We will now work to lead our own life and not be dictated to by anymore, but negotiated with now,” she added.She was one of 198 females from West Point who received certificates in several trainings ranging from catering, cosmetology, tailoring and others, at a well-attended ceremony in that township.The initiative is the 5th cycle graduation exercise of the Liberia National Red Cross Society’s Women Training and Integration (WIN) project. The project was established in 2008 for the purpose of developing war affected women (associated with conflict trauma and vulnerabilities), who are victims of social and economic exclusion.Rebecca, like many of her peers, is a victim of abuses. In spite of her young age, she has lived in an abusive home with a drunkard, who is also a drug addict, adding, “When you can make your own money nobody can take you for anything as it has been in the past.” She noted that she had been constrained to live in her home because she had no skills to fend for herself and her two kids.But with her newly acquired cosmetology skills Rebecca has already begun to make little money for herself and is deciding on finding a place to move with her kids. “I’m so grateful to Red Cross for this initiative. I was in this West Point doing nothing for myself and only dependingon my husband every day. He abuses me every day when even giving food money,” she said.Rebecca is just one of the many women who undergo humiliation on a daily basis because they can’t fend for themselves. Most of them are either totally illiterate or semi-literate.What appeared to be the slogan of the training exercises, “Women don’t sit there; do your hands something positive with,” reverberated across the hall—invoking consciousness in women to go beyond their limits and rebuild their lives.“We hope that this training will help us to contribute not just to our individual homes, but our communities and country,” another graduate, Patience Doe, said.She believes no society or nation can strive without the meaningful contribution of women. “Nobody can build this country for us; we have to do it ourselves. Therefore any little way we can help, we will,” Ms. Doe said.Serving as guest speaker was UN Women Program Manager Ramon Garway. He urged the graduates to use their acquired skills to benefit society as well as to achieve gender equality.Garway said women and girls are important actors of change for national development in Liberia and should play a key role in the decision-making processes to ensure inclusion, while also committing his entity to providing financial assistances to the graduates.Red Cross Director of Program Ambullai Perry lauded the graduates for their patience throughout the exercise and noted that the Red Cross is proud of them.“We are happy that we are supporting women. The Red Cross is here to help communities and the Government of Liberia and we are happy for that mandate given us. Today we are happy for the people of West Point that have given their fullest,” Perry said. The WIN project is a socially inclusive intervention that aims to restore the dignity and values of vulnerable and marginalized women in Montserrado. Since its inception 900 plus women have benefitted. It targets women and girls 13-45 years with eight key criteria for selection. These include single mother/self-supported, economically vulnerable, commercial sex workers, rape/ domestic violence victims and others.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Aware Int’l School funded road construction underway. The Aware International School System, an Indian operated institution, has embarked on the rehabilitation of the Kissi Camp and the Joe Bar roads, which have a length of about 5 kilometers that connect the corridor of the GSA Community road in Paynesville. The project, according to its implementers, will cost US$10,000.The school said it is in support of the Government of Liberia’s (GoL) Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD); a vision that has since placed the construction of feeder roads across the country atop its list of priorities.Kissi Camp is a community in the GSA Road and located near the residence of House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, while the Joe Bar road leads to the Joe Bar Market and the Zone-Five Police Sub-Station.Aware founder, Gopinadhan Pillai, who toured the construction site on Sunday, February 24, said he feels proud to see the fulfillment of one of the school’s social responsibilities to communities.Though the project is in its early stage, Pillai expressed optimism that the road will be completed before the start of this year’s rainy season, to give community dwellers access to the freshly rehabilitated road.“We are here today to inspect; we know that there is work going on in order to ensure that the roads are accessible to all residents, though there are lots of work to be done,” he said.He said it was a dream and aspiration of his school to give back to the community, adding: “We are happy that in 2019 the rainy season will not give community dwellers a tough time; at the completion of the project, children will go to school without their uniforms being dirty anymore.”The school will on Friday, March 1, conduct a Science and Arts Exhibition where participating students will display their individual talent in Science and Arts.Activities of the exhibition will include a presentation of working models of invention, on global warming and its preventive measures, application of mathematical theories for daily use as well as science and arts play for kids.Others will include common plants and their health benefits, assessment of intentions and their working models, and a general tour of scientific and artistic displays.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
This newspaper’s attention is drawn to a story carried in its March 5, 2019 edition under the headline “Mop-up Exercise Made ‘Opportunities for Money Laundering’”.Daily Observer reporter, Joaquim Sendolo notes in the story that the USAID hired consultants, Kroll, in its report observed that the approach taken by the Central Bank of Liberia(CBL) to conduct the Mop-Up Exercise “created potential opportunities for money laundering and potential execution of transactions with illegal businesses”.Meanwhile there have been mounting calls from the public to have Finance Minister Tweah face charges of criminal accountability for the infusion of the US$25 million in the economy which, according to both reports (PIT and Kroll), was done in a way that deviated from best practices.But Finance Minister Tweah has insisted that he did nothing wrong, although the PIT report maintains that the Technical Economic Management Team(TEMT) headed by the Finance Minister produced reports of transactions that were either false or could not be verified.The PIT cited as example the Union Local Forex Bureau located on Carey Street, which received on two separate occasions, July 17, 2017, US$3,000 and August 16, 2017, US$2,500, a total of US$5,500.However in its report the CBL reported having received on July 17, 2018 US$103,720 and on August 18, 2018, US$58,400 making it a total amount of US$161,900 received. Such startling revelations have raised public concerns about the transparency and fairness of the ongoing exercise to bring those responsible to book.The rather murky nature of these transactions and the glaring discrepancies in accounts provided by the TEMT concerning the infusion of US$25 million into the economy, have given room to heightened public suspicions that Finance Minister Tweah is being shielded from accountability by President Weah.But lest the public become lost in the details of the US$25 million infusion and unconsciously lose sight of important facts surrounding the printing of Liberian dollar banknotes, this newspaper finds itself constrained to remind the public of the following:That the CBL reported that L$10 billion in banknotes was in circulation at January, 1, 2016, and on November 30, 2018 the CBL reported that a total of 18 billion Liberian dollar banknotes was in circulation. This in effect means that the CBL did not destroy any old or mutilated banknotes and or did keep the banknotes in its reserve vaults as would have normally been the case.And the fact that the CBL management, according to the PIT report, withheld some information and did not permit the PIT entry to its vaults suggests that the ability of the PIT to determine or verify the actual amounts held in the CBL vaults, was severely restricted for strange but unknown reasons.However the PIT could have surmounted this obstacle had it sought information from the commercial banks since it is the commercial banks through which money is (by best practice) infused into the economy.And although officials of this government insist that the Kroll and PIT reports vindicate government’s position that no money is missing, the unanswered question remains, where is the money since it is not in the CBL’s vaults? In view of the situation, this newspaper urges the public including the media to avoid commingling the issue of the missing money with that of the US$25 million infusion which, according to the PIT report, accused the TEMT under Tweah’s leadership of handling the US$25 million infusion in ways that border on criminality.And there are questions why the PIT was not adequately resourced as should have been the case and also why the CBL withheld information and denied the PIT access to its vaults.This newspaper finds it confusing and rather difficult to understand just why the CBL under Patray’s leadership denied the PIT access to its vaults or withheld requested information.If indeed former President Sirleaf and her appointees, Weeks and Sirleaf are to be held to blame for whatever they are being accused of then why not establish the facts by being open and transparent enough to allow the PIT access to the CBL’s vaults.And given all the hype created over the arrest and detention of Charles Sirleaf and Milton Weeks, it remains to be seen whether state prosecutors can succeed in bringing a guilty verdict against the two individuals in view of the Government’s averred position that no money is missing. Simply put, neither Charles Sirleaf nor Milton Weeks, from the available facts have stolen any money.And although they may have acted in ways that exceeded their authority, in the eyes of the public, they stand no guiltier in the eyes of the law than Finance Minister Tweah and the members of the TEMT who have been slammed by the PIT for the handling of the US$25 million infusion in ways that appear analogous and indistinguishable from outright criminality.In view of the foregoing, this newspaper, as always, must remind President Weah that he runs the risk of mass public disapproval and mass discontent, should he appear to be shielding individuals indicted in the PIT report other than Charles Sirleaf, Milton Weeks, Dorbor Hagba, Richard Walker and others.In all of this, the President should consider well the implications and political fallout likely to result from protecting sacred cows amidst the specter of a long drawn-out trial against a backdrop of rising economic difficulties. Eventually, if left unchecked, President Weah may, more likely than not find himself with a stark but critical choice to either hold the feet of TEMT members to the fire or his feet might instead be held to the fire.The Choice is Yours Mr. President!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Plans to borrow US$15 billion to pay off the liabilities of two sugar factories belonging to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) will trigger a local financial crisis the likes of which have never been seen domestically.This is the view of economic advisor to the Opposition, Peter Ramsaroop, who advised that Government not get this loan, as it would be a huge debt to repay.Ramsaroop said this decision could lead to the treasury swelling tenfold or more in the near future.The economic advisor said this large debt could place even more pressure on the country to repay its current loans to bilateral partners like China and India, and financial institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank.Advisor to the Opposition Peter RamsaroopRamsaroop views this decision as taking a backward step to the 1980s, when Guyana had most of its revenues servicing debt. He said that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) managed to reduce the debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to 47.9 per cent and it should be maintained rather than burdened.“(Finance Minister Winston) Jordan is banking on oil, but the contract signed by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman is so lopsided, Guyana, at current world market prices, will only earn about US$400 million per year.”According to him, the price of oil on the world market is currently US$64 per barrel, which at 120,000 barrels per day gives US$2.8 billion a year. Under the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) signed by the Guyana Government and ExxonMobil, of the US$2.8 billion earned on oil sold, ExxonMobil gets US$2.4 billion, while Guyana gets a paltry US$400 million. The US$400 million includes profit and royalty.Government has said it hoped to repay the loan over the next three to five years. Finance Minister Jordan explained that the money would be used specifically to fund the operations of the Skeldon and Enmore Sugar Estates, which were likely to reemploy some workers.The Minister said the idea was to keep the Estates operational as it searched for buyers. He said open the Estates stood a better chance of being sold to a private company, as opposed to being closed. He noted that the idea was to close deals in another six to nine months to have these Estates sold in full.Jordan said revenues generated from the sale of Estates and other assets would be used to repay the loan. The Government will be turning to commercials banks for this syndicated bond.But Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has since warned the nation that Guyanese taxpayers may ultimately foot the bill for the repayment of this loan while the “handpicked” investors would reap the gains and maximise their profitability.Jagdeo has said he was not buying the economic and financial arguments put forward by the Finance Ministry and the Government to justify this move.He has said it defied logic that Government wanted to borrow $15 billion to keep these Estates open for a few months, when that sum could have assisted the reopening for close to one year.
Twenty-two-year-old Rayan Carter, accused of killing Kaneville machine operator Ishwar Ramanah, called “Jack”, in December 2017, was on Monday committed by City Magistrate Judy Latchman to stand trial in the High Court.The magistrate told Carter a prima facie case has been made out against, but he informed the court that he had two witnesses to call to the stand to testify on his behalf.His mother, Coretta King, and his mother-in-law each gave their testimony, after which Magistrate Latchman told the accused that the evidence against him, as presented to the court, is sufficient to warrant his standing trial in the High Court.Carter, of 12th Avenue Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD), was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan for killing Ramanah, 30, called “Jack,” of Lot 624 Macaw Drive, Kaneville, East Bank Demerara during the furtherance of a robbery.Ramanah was injured after being shot to his abdomen when two armed bandits invaded his home just after midnight on December 13, 2017. He died while receiving treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital on January 13, 2018.In that robbery incident, the machine operator was attacked and relieved of a gold chain valued at $40,000 before the bandits made good their escape.The injured man was taken for emergency attention at a medical facility, and had undergone surgery. However, he succumbed to his injures one month after the incident.The Police were able to recover a spent shell casing of a small calibre weapon at the crime scene.Carter was subsequently arrested by ranks of “A” Division and placed on an Identification Parade, where he was positively identified as the man who had killed Ramanah during the home invasion.
Berbice River Bridge tolls…commits to dialog with companyGovernment will continue to engage the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI) to find, for the problems besetting its operation, alternatives other than an increase in tolls.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson made this disclosure on Monday, on the sidelines of the National Toshaos Council’s conference. “Government’s position remains the same…we do think the proposed cost by the Berbice Bridge [Company] is way in excess, and will be burdensome to the citizens of Berbice,” he noted.Minister Patterson said Government is not contemplating toll increases for the BBCI now or in the future; nor is there any consideration of bailouts or subsidies for the bridge company.Patterson is optimistic that the two sides can engage in dialogue and come up with appropriate solutions to the BBCI problems.More than a decade after a public/private partnership (PPP) agreement had allowed construction of the Berbice River Bridge, the bridge company is now facing bankruptcy following Government’s decision to drop the toll, and its subsequent refusal to allow for an increase as per the initial agreement when the company was formed.This is according to BBCI Chairman Dr Surendra Persaud during a press conference last week. Persaud is also Chairman of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), which holds significant shares in the BBCI.According to Dr Persaud, BBCI officials have had several engagements with Minister Patterson. Following one such engagement, Patterson had informed the BBCI that a maintenance proposal would be taken to Cabinet.Dr Persaud has said that BBCI officials were subsequently informed that toll increases were not approved. In fact, the company had applied for a toll adjustment on three occasions — twice in 2015 and once in 2016 — to no avail. It has since made another such application, dated July 9, 2018. In that application, the company has requested that the toll increases take effect by August 1.But following the press conference, the Public Infrastructure Ministry issued a statement in which it said Government was not contemplating any fare hikes.SharesMeanwhile, based on the announcement made by the company with regard to the proposed increases in tolls, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo told a media conference on Wednesday last that he was against the increases, but, moreso, he would encourage Government to buy more equity in the company.Jagdeo reasoned that Berbicians could not afford the steep increases that the company has proposed at this time. He said this was mainly so because the company is contractually obligated to maintain the Bridge. Instead, he is recommending that Government buy out other shareholders, so the Bridge becomes publicly owned.“Secondly, subsidise the increase that should take place in the toll, so they give an injection into the company so the rate remains flat,” Jagdeo has said.This formula, according to Jagdeo, would entail taking over the debt of the Bridge and securing greater equity in return.Jagdeo reminded that there was a financial model in place under the past Government, but he noted that he was unsure what had become of that under the coalition Government. He strongly believes that the financial model may have been interfered with, and this was something that had to be explained.The company is seeking increases in tolls as per the adjustment formula set out by the agreement between the BBCI and the Government of Guyana. It is understood that this tolling requirement was not applicable until 2014, after which the company made its first request just prior to the former Government leaving office. According to the toll policy, the increase is calculated based on “the level of traffic on and under the bridge for the two previous financial years.”According to the policy, “it takes consideration of the toll levels at the start of operations, any provisional toll level applied during the year, and the toll level at start of operations (is) adjusted for inflation.”The policy goes on to note that the toll level is adjusted by the use of the consumer price index of the most recent period and two years prior to that. The second part of the formula, it added, computes a provisional toll level to be used until near the end of the financial year.The ownership structure of BBCI is made up of ordinary share capital of $500 million owned by private investors, and preference shares of $950 million owned by NIS. The Bridge has a wide cross-section of investors, including various pension schemes, insurance schemes, local banks, as well as private companies and NIS.
– Justices say adjournments were given without reasonsThe Appeal Court of Guyana has overturned a March, 2013 decision of former acting Chief Justice Ian Chang, who had ruled in favour of three persons who claimed that a buyer of a vessel paid no installments out of a $22,500,000 mortgage agreement.The decision was handed down by acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, and Appellate Court Justices Rafiq Khan and Dr. Arif Bulkan last month.The Appellant, who was the defendant in the previous High Court matter, was Richard Simpson, and he was represented by attorney Subedar Hassain.Meanwhile, attorney Sase Gunraj represented the respondents, the late Abdool Yaseen, and family members Abdool Naeem Yassen and Halima Bibi Yassen. They were the plaintiffs when the case was heard at the High Court. According to court documents, Justice Chang had dismissed the Yassen’s claim but restored it on June 8, 2009.The matter is dated 22 years ago when the Yaseens outlined that on April 10, 1996, before the Registrar of Deeds, Simpson willingly condemned in judgment, two immovable properties he owned in favour of the respondents for the Yassens to secure the $ 22.5 million payment for MV Uffee boat. The Yassens filed theirFormer Acting Chief Justice Ian Changcourt case 20 days later on April 30, 1996.In his defence, Simpson claimed that he never received any money from the Yassens and that he did not mortgage any property to them and that Abdool Yassen was an unregistered money lender. In fact, Simpson stated that the mortgage was “illegal and void” as he was “deceived” by the family into signing a hire purchase agreement.The matter came up for trial, 16 years after it was filed, on May 16, 2012, before Justice Chang; and by that time the senior Yaseen had already passed away. The son, Abdool Naeem, told the court then that he did not know that Simpson had made any payments to his father. However, Stephen Thomas who was Director of Martime Safety has testified before the court that the MV Uffee was first registered in Yasseen’s name and Simpson’s afterwards. During High Court proceedings, it was also heard by Principal Clerk of Georgetown Magistrate’s Court, Mohamed Bacchus, that none of the respondents was a licensed money lender.Justice Chang’s rulingIn Justice Chang’s March 1, 2013 determination, he ruled in favour of the Yassens and held that the case was a sale of credit of the vessel rather than a moneylending transaction. He declared that Simpson would pay interest on the $22,500,000 sum at a rate 6% per annum starting from April 30, 1996 to when he handed down his ruling. Justice Chang found that Simpson “covenanted” to pay the full mortgage sum in 48 monthly installments of $468,750 from March 1, 1996.“[Simpson] paid no installment in accordance with the above covenant since it wasAppeal Court of Guyanadenied that he was ever indebted to [the Yassens,” Justice Chang had ruled.AppealHowever, Simpson through his attorney mounted an appeal, noting that the former acting Chief Justice’s ruling was a breach of natural justice since the trial was held in the appellant’s absence and that the court had no jurisdiction to dismiss the respondents claim and restore it on June 8, 2009. Justices Cummings-Edwards, Rafiq Khan and Dr. Arif Bulkan cited a number of issues with Justice Chang’s ruling, with several references to case law.Among the concerns of the Appellate judges was that Simpson never appeared in person to testify, and that “nowhere in the mortgage deed it was stated that the $ 22.5 million sum was for a loan transaction.” Additionally, the senior judges found Justice Chang granted adjournments without giving reasons. The judges said that it would not permit assertions by Simpson’s attorney, Hussain, that Justice Change was fraudulent.“…baseless allegations such as the one made by counsel for the appellant serve no other purpose that to besmirch the integrity of the trial court,” the Appellate Court opined.The court also held that Abdool Naeem gave conflicting evidence when he said he did not know whether Simpson paid any money to his father and then when he later said that Simpson never paid any money to them. His evidence was deemed not credible or reliable. The judges pointed out that the respondents did not discharge the legal burden of proof at the time they commenced proceedings on the grounds to enforce the mortgage. As such, the judges allowed the appeal and set aside’s Justice Chang’s decision. No court costs were awarded when the July 10, 2018 decision was handed down.
Two Police Officers have now been taken into custody after they allegedly murdered a Brazilian miner in Puruni, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and attempted to get rid of the body on Saturday.The Brazilian miner’s name was given as 37-year-old Estevão Marquês Costa.Based on reports received, the two officers – a Subordinate and a Constable – who are stationed at the Kurupung Police Station, abandoned their post on Friday.Guyana Times understands that the men reportedly left on an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) to patrol the area but for some reason left their jurisdiction and via a boat went to a landing in Puruni.Upon their arrival there, the Police Constable reportedly exited the boat and went to a shop a short distance from the landing while his subordinating officer reportedly waited in the boat.However, soon after, the man heard a loud explosion and without hesitation, he made his way in the direction of the sound. He came into contact with the Constable who related that the miner discharged a round at him and in retaliation, he returned fire.Nevertheless, the Police stated that two other officers who were in the area investigating another matter turned up at the scene and reportedly took possession of the .30 carbine rifle which was used by the Constable.The Divisional Commander was contacted and upon orders that two police ranks were arrested and placed in custody. A team of Officers have since been dispatched to Puruni to further investigate the matter.On the other hand, an eyewitness told a different story. It was reported that the two Police ranks went to raid a mining camp belonging to the now dead man’s mother. Upon seeing the Police, Costa who was an undocumented miner attempted to escape and it was at this time, the Constable cocked his gun and fired two shots hitting Costa to his head.After shooting the man, the two Police ranks reportedly panicked and made efforts to get rid of the body. The eyewitness reportedly told detectives that the two Police ranks attempted to burn the man’s body but the other miners created a scene.All the while the mother held onto her son’s body. The ranks eventually relieved the woman of the deceased after which they wrapped it and placed it in the boat they arrived in at the location.It was reported in a section of the media that the Police dumped the man’s body on a beach on their way to Bartica.
SOCU’s investigation…in bridge feasibility study procurement breach probePeople’s Progressive Party (PPP) Executive member, Gail Teixeira, has expressed hope that Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan will not interfere with the investigation by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) into the procurement breach regarding the hiring of a consultancy firm for the construction of a new Demerara Harbour Bridge.Teixeira said she is pleased to have received a prompt response from SOCU after she had written the Unit but said she finds it unusual that the request was also, by information, sent to the Minister. Teixeira, a former Home Affairs Minister, said usually investigations of this nature are not forwarded to a Minister but rather go through the investigative process by the Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions.“So it’s a little interesting to note in what way the Minister was involved and I hope that the Minister would not interfere with the investigations of the Public Procurement Commission [PPC]… as you know it took from September last year until August this year, which is quite a lot of time,” she stated on Monday.The parliamentarian maintained that the findings are very serious and could lead to serious charges.The PPP had written SOCU, asking that the procurement breaches in relation to the award of consultancy contract for the feasibility study and design of the new Demerara River Bridge be investigated; and SOCU has responded, informing that the issue is engaging the attention of the Guyana Police Force.Teixeira wrote to SOCU head Sydney James on August 15, requesting that the procurement breaches be investigated “with a view to instituting criminal charges against the Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson.”In a response dated August 16, James acknowledged receiving the correspondence, and said, “The matter is now engaging the attention of the Guyana Police Force.”Additionally, he informed that Ramjattan; acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine; and Police Legal Advisor, retired Justice of Appeal Claudette Singh; have been informed of the request for an investigation.Teixeira had, back in September, written the Public Procurement Commission asking that that body investigate the selection and award of a $146 million contract to Dutch consulting firm LievenseCSO for the feasibility study of the new Demerara River Bridge after it was revealed, and later confirmed by Minister Patterson that the company was sole-sourced and had not even bid for the project.In the Commission’s report to the Opposition, it highlighted the breaches in the Procurement Act. In response, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said Minister Patterson would now have to justify his actions before Cabinet.According to the PPC report, seen by Guyana Times, some 23 companies had expressed an interest in providing consultancy services; 12 were shortlisted, and two managed to submit their proposals on time. However, Government failed to reach an agreement with either of the two companies in their negotiations, and as such, the tender was annulled.The National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) then recommended that the Public Infrastructure Ministry (MPI) re-tender, but it did not, the PPC report said. It went on to note that the Permanent Secretary of the MPI then “informed the Public Procurement Commission that subsequent to annulment of the tender by MPI, [Dutch Company LievenseCSO] Engineering contracting BV submitted an unsolicited proposal to provide consultancy services for the Demerara River Bridge project.”As such, the Commission added, Minister Patterson approached Cabinet on November 18, 2016, seeking consideration and approval to use funds from the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC) to fund the feasibility study and to commence a contractual engagement with LievenseCSO as of January 1, 2017.The Commission found that there was a breach when this request to Cabinet was made by the Minister and not through the NPTAB. The PPC also noted that Cabinet considered the memorandum submitted by the Minister, and in November 2016 approved a total sum of $161,514,420 to be used from the DHBC to cover cost for the feasibility study for a new bridge across the Demerara River.According to the PPC, General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, Rawlston Adams, indicated that the DHBC Board was not a party to the decision to use these funds for this purpose as approved by Cabinet, and further stated that he had not signed the contract on behalf of the DHBC, but only because he was requested to do so by the Public Infrastructure Minister.As a result of the findings of the probe, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has called for Minister Patterson to be charged with corruption.
Several employees of GTT recently volunteered their services at the Guyana Red Cross Children’s Convalescent Home in D’Urban Backlands.The staffers were engaged in weeding the compound, cleaning the entire building and entertaining the children by reading thrilling and interesting stories.Additionally, GTT Public Relations Officer (PRO) Jasmin Harris said that this most recent voluntary service was another step for the company to move in the right direction. Harris highlighted that this was the beginning of what the company has in store to create real change in communities. Additional works are likely to be continued as GTT provides improvement for the communities.
Ten foreigners were among 36 persons arrested on Saturday morning as the Guyana Police Force continues its ‘Operation Restore Order’.The 88 grams of marijuana in questionDuring the operation, several cordon and search exercises were carried out in the North Cummingsburg and Kingston areas in Georgetown. The 36 persons were detained for various offences, including Trafficking in Persons (TIP).According to Police Publication Relations Officer (PRO), Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan, a Rosemary Lane, Georgetown resident was found in possession of 88 grams of cannabis packaged in small-sized ziplock bags, while two motorcycles and a flat screen television suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained were found.Superintendent Ramlakhan said that two senior superintendents spearheaded the more than three-hour long operation that involved a total of 108 ranks.
Attorney General Basil WilliamsThe audit report into the operations of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) has been completed but Government, the head of that Unit, and the Police Commissioner are mum on its findings and recommendations.Although the media has already highlighted the findings and recommendation of the audit, which speaks to serious irregularities, including the falsification of records, Attorney General Basil Williams on Monday declined to comment on the issue citing he is yet to receive a copy of report.“Was the report released formally? I don’t see any official report about SOCU…”, Williams said on Monday.Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Leslie James, told Guyana Times on Monday afternoon that whatever information has to be disclosed about that report would be done via his Public Relations Officer.Additionally, the Head of SOCU, Sydney James, when asked about the credibility of the cases that the Unit had pursued and is presently pursuing in light of the damning allegations of fraudulent activities at SOCU, stated that he too would not be commenting on the issue.“I don’t know. You could talk to the Commissioner, honestly, I don’t know…I don’t want to comment on the matter,” James said.According to recent reports, the audit of the financial records of SOCU has uncovered serious irregularities, including the falsification of records, and has recommended immediate transfers and a fraud investigation of several of the discrepancies, sources say.An audit of SOCU, which is a branch of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), was ordered by Police Commissioner Leslie James in February following claims of grave mismanagement, which included the misuse of its operational fund.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has previously said that SOCU’s mandate is not being delivered, especially since it is suspected of taking political directives. He had noted that this was responsible for its failure rate.SOCU, which had been initially set up to probe financial crimes and strengthen the country’s anti-money laundering architecture, had not been audited since its establishment in 2014.The Unit had been engaged in major high-profile probes of former People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government officials. The findings of the audit would be seen as a major embarrassment for the current Government.SOCU has already had several of its cases tossed out of the window by the courts, including a number of charges against former Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) executives and Guyana Bank of Trade and Industry (GBTI) Directors.In light of these revelations of widespread fraud and financial irregularities within SOCU, the PPP called for the Unit to be closed down.According to the Party on Friday, the revelations vindicate its many warnings about SOCU deviating from its mandate. In fact, the Party noted that the revelations are just the tip of the iceberg, and that a forensic audit from an outside impartial auditor is needed.“The materials”, the Party said, “disclosed by the audit have confirmed our worst fears. But we are convinced that it is only the tip of the iceberg.“This Unit has rendered itself absolutely unfit to function as a law enforcement agency and as part of the prosecutorial arm of the State. There is no doubt that both investigations and prosecutions are being compromised by this diabolical outfit, who takes political instructions directly from Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, the Attorney General, and the Ministry of the Presidency”, the Party said.The Party also called for Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, who is the subject Minister responsible for SOCU, to immediately resign. It noted that the Unit has for some time been giving appearances of unethical behaviour.“The public was made aware of the unholy relationship between Minister Khemraj Ramjattan; Attorney General Basil Williams; British consultant, Dr Sam Sittlington; and senior functionaries at SOCU; who were sighted jovially sipping wine and champagne at public places after arresting a number of PPP leaders.”“The public”, the PPP added, “would well remember a former Commissioner of Police publicly distancing himself from the operations of this Unit. Recently, the Director of Public Prosecutions, in a sworn affidavit in a High Court proceeding, made it clear that the Office of the DPP did not advise on a series of criminal charges instituted by this Unit.”IcebergAccording to the PPP, complaints have been made against the Unit by various business persons. The Party related that businessmen have been shaken down by the Unit and have had their valuables seized.“Over the years, we have received multiple reports from businessmen that SOCU officers have extracted from them huge sums of monies as bribes, and seized large caches of jewellery, monies and other personal valuables, including quantities of foreign currencies, from their premises without due process, and have converted these assets to their own use.“We have also received reports of falsification of evidence in prosecutions, and the refusal to disclose materials which the law requires them to do, in order to ensure a fair trial of persons charged,” the Party said. “This contamination of the criminal justice system strikes at the very foundation of the rule of law.”Police Commissioner Leslie James
Four men appeared on Monday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts for attempted murder.Thirty-three-year-old Raymondville Sawh; 24-year-old Akeem Lawrence of Sophia, Greater Georgetown, Eson Henry of Lot 594 Caneview South, Georgetown, and 41-year-old Terryville Campbell of Lot 70 Louisa Road, Georgetown, stood before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan to answer to the attempted murder charge. The charge stated that on February 23, 2019, at Pete Rose and Forshaw Streets, Queenstown, with intent to commit murder, they unlawfully and maliciously wounded Visnu Budham.The four men denied the charge.Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield objected to bail on the grounds of the serious nature in which the crime was committed.The prosecution is contending that on February 23, at about 20:30h, the VC was driving north along Pete Rose Street and on approaching Forshaw Street, Shaw drove his minibus without stopping and a collision occurred.According to the prosecution’s case, the VC came out of his car to talk to the defendant about the manner in which he drove, which resulted in an argument. Shaw then armed himself with a chopper and dealt the VC several chops. Henry joined in. The men also stabbed the VC several times, causing him to fall unconscious. Following the incident, the VC was rushed to Woodlands Hospital where he was admitted. An investigation was conducted and the men were arrested. The men were each released on $200,000 bail. The case will continue on May 20, 2019.
Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus ruled that 30-year-old Rondell Mitchell will now stand trial at the Demerara High Court for the offence of attempted murder committed in 2018.Magistrate Isaacs-Marcus in her ruling noted that the evidence presented during the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) was satisfactory and sufficient, thus Mitchell will be facing a trial during one of the court’s assizes.The charge which the former Friendship, East Bank Demerara (EBD) resident faced detailed that he attempted to murder Sherwin Anderson on October 28, 2018, while he was in the vicinity of the Meadow Bank fishery wharf.According to previous media reports, the court heard that Mitchell discharged a loaded firearm at Anderson with intent to murder him in the presence of Oquacy Harvey and Romario Nurse.The court was informed that on October 28, Anderson was at the fishery wharf when the accused allegedly took his mobile phone and flashed a picture of him.This reportedly annoyed him and a heated argument broke out between them.Mitchell then armed himself with a 9mm pistol and shot the victim to his abdomen. The two other men were in the vicinity when the man was shot.The injured Anderson was picked up and rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.An investigation which was launched led to the arrest of Rondell who has now been committed to stand trial at the High Court.
– AmCham, ICD want elections nowThe Bar Council of the Bar Association of Guyana has condemned the coalition Government for its failure to hold General and Regional Elections within the period mandated by the Constitution, which it reminded is supreme law.Bar Association President, Teni HoustyArticle 106 (7) states that upon the passage of a No-Confidence Motion, elections ought to be held within three months unless there is an extension by two-thirds of all the sitting members of the National Assembly.The coalition fell to the Opposition-tabled NCM on December 21, 2018, which meant elections were constitutionally due since March 21, 2019. But given the legal challenges which ensued, that timeline was on pause but was subsequently reinstated following the July 18, 2019 ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The Trinidad-based regional court validated the passage of the motion, which it said triggered early elections as outlined in Article 106.As such, the Bar Association in a statement on Friday said, “By failing to abide by the clear and unambiguous terms of the Constitution, the Government of Guyana has abdicated its responsibility, violated the Constitution, is operating outside of the rule of law and in breach of internationally recognised standards of democracy”.The GBA, which was also a party in the consolidated no-confidence cases, noted that the CCJ said the meaning of the constitutional provisions requiring elections is clear and it placed the responsibility of honouring those provisions on the “constitutional actors” in Guyana.The Bar Council further posited that while the Court did not order elections, it expressed the expectation that constitutional responsibilities would have been exercised with integrity in keeping with the “unambiguous” provisions of the Constitution, bearing in mind that the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed as long ago as December 21, 2018.“The constitutional duty and responsibility of the President was to fix a date for elections within the three-month period set out in the Constitution in the absence of a parliamentary extension of that period, which extension the Bar Council notes was not sought and/or obtained before the period expired,” the GBA said in its missive.It further went on to remind of the constitutional duty and responsibility of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), which the Bar Council said was “to be ready to administer and supervise elections within the time encompassed by the three-month period so as to comply with the Constitution.”The coalition Government has come under heavy criticism over its failure to call elections within that timeline. In fact, the ABE countries on Thursday said that by surpassing the September 18 deadline, the coalition is currently in breach of the Constitution – a situation which they said comes at a great cost to Guyana.“The prevailing political uncertainty undermines Guyanese institutions, compromises economic opportunities and delays development across all areas including infrastructure, education, health, and social services. It also hinders our ability to support Guyana’s development needs,” the joint statement from the United States, United Kingdom and European Union outlined.This position was also shared by the American Chamber of Commerce of Guyana (AmCham Guyana), which threw its support behind the missive. AmCham is also calling for the President to immediately set an elections date in full compliance with Guyana’s Constitution.“The Chamber notes that prolonged periods of uncertainty can have dire consequences on business and investor confidence in Guyana, especially foreign investment. Guyana’s reputable standing within the international community will be tested if democratic principles give way to partisan politics. The Chamber, therefore, calls upon the President to abide by the Constitution of Guyana and the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice to set an elections date immediately,” AmCham said.Also joining the calls for elections date to be announced now is the International Center for Democracy (ICD), which wants polls to be held as early as possible.“Since Mr Granger, in the last several months, insisted the responsibility for the election date belongs to GECOM and GECOM has now provided a date, it is inexcusable for Mr Granger to hold the country hostage any longer. Having allowed the constitutional deadline of March 21st and the CCJ deadline of September 18th to expire, it is incumbent on Mr Granger to set a date that is the soonest possible date,” the ICD said.The New York-based group contended that further delays in the conduct of elections will contribute to the continuation of undue hardships on the Guyanese people, intensify political uncertainty and defer economic and social development.“Already, the constitutional crisis has sent alarms globally to foreign and local investors and, as the ABE countries asserted, affect their abilities to provide development support for the Guyanese people… The ICD strongly maintains that Mr Granger has an obligation to announce a date for elections immediately, recognising that every day of delay adds to the tension and uncertainty prevailing in Guyana today,” the ICD said while pledging to ensure that democracy is restored in Guyana.
An 18-year-old was on Wednesday remanded to prison when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to face a murder charge.Nelson CambridgeNelson Cambridge, a miner of Number 40 Village, West Coast Berbice, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan. The charge stated that between November 29 and November 30, 2019 at George Creek, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), he murdered Romel Roberts.Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers stated that on November 29, 2019, the two men were “washing down” the production of the dredge when they found 4.5 pennyweight of raw gold, which they split equally.The court heard that the men subsequently began imbibing and a short while after Roberts accused Cambridge of stealing his gold. A scuffle subsequently ensued and the accused allegedly took out a knife from his waistband and stabbed the victim several times about the body before making good his escape.The injured man was picked up and rushed to the Mackenzie Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.The Magistrate remanded Cambridge to prison and the case was scheduled to continue on December 11,2019.
– private developers urged to build or lose landThe Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) has warned that it will soon repossess lands from those private developers and house lot beneficiaries, who have breached their agreements. This comes as the CH&PA moves to pave the way for the development of more low- and middle-income housing solutions for Guyanese.Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CH&PA, Lelon Saul, said the Authority is set to go after those developers who acquired vast tracts of lands under the previous Administration, but have since failed to develop them. “We are currently engaging these developers. We are encouraging them to develop those lands, to live up to the agreement of sale, and I should say that in some cases it is likely that we would move to repossess some of those lands,” Saul said at the CH&PA’s mid-year press conference on Monday.He pointed out that many of these private developers still owe the CH&PA money and this would make it easier for the Authority to repossess the lands. Saul said the CH&PA has commenced the repossession process. “I can tell you that I would have instructed our Corporate Secretary to initiate actions to repossess lands from private developers who have failed to deliver.”The CH&PA has also forwarded many of the developers’ agreements to the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Chambers for legal consideration before engaging other defaulters. This was done after a review of the agreements was conducted by CH&PA’s Corporate Secretary, Hannifah Jordan.Jordan explained that the agreements were reviewed in two batches – one for discrepancies and two towards strengthening the document. “When we review the agreements, there were two batches; the batches that were done in 2010-2011 and the set that was done in 2013 and beyond. There were issues regarding the strengthening of those agreements and that is why the agreement in 2013 and beyond had additional penalties and conditions to cater for us in terms of whether you wanted to repossess or penalise the developer,” Jordan explained.The CH&PA is also going after those persons, who, in an attempt to defraud the system, obtained more than one Government house lot. Based on the CH&PA’s allocation policy, a person is only entitled to own one property or lot from the Government.CH&PA’s Operation Director, Denise King-Tudor explained that once the Authority establishes that someone is the owner of more than one Government house lot, they will move to repossess one of the lots, in accordance with their repossession policy.“Sometimes you find instances, where persons change their names (to obtain a lot) or they use another name or they are already married to someone and our policies say that if you are married or not if your spouse, should own then you are not eligible to the Government’s housing programme,” King-Tudor explained. According to a GINA report, she explained that these instances are either reported to the CH&PA by concerned citizens; in other instances, it is unearthed and there are cases where persons report this information, when the Authority conducts data cleansing. “We will find that persons in Region Five or Six, they acquire a lot in Region Four and so once we would have established that and we would have done our research and assessment of the situation, we would determine which one of the properties that person should have,” King-Tudor explained.In determining which of the lots that the person should be left with, the CH&PA takes into consideration such ramifications as the investment made and where the persons actually works and resides, Tudor-King said. “You would find that if that person would have acquired a house lot in Region Six and Region Four, because maybe there is a shift in where they work, they have constructed on the lot in Region Four and so we would repossess the lot in Region Six,” she was quoted by the Government Information Agency as saying.Concerns over the approximately 25,000 applications on file has led the CH&PA to review some of the mechanisms used to enable home ownership. The Authority is also reviewing the use of those lands that were disbursed to private and other landowners but to date remain undeveloped. In addition to using these lands to meet the huge demand for house lots, the Authority may also seek in the future to utilise them, to expand their pilot project of constructing apartments, condominiums, and wooden houses for Guyanese that are within the low- to middle-income brackets.
Even as the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) issued six radio licences to broadcasters during a Friday morning ceremony, the entity is warning delinquent operators to get their compliance in order by March 2018 or be taken off air pending legal action.Speaking after the ceremony, GNBA Chairman Leslie Sobers announced the three-month grace period. He told media operatives that while some broadcasters have been making contact and working out payment terms, others are not so circumspect.GNBA Chairman Leslie Sobers as he signs one of the licences“They have been coming in and some have been working out arrangements where the backlog is a lot and they really want a grace period or payment term. But there are others who are quite blatant, and we will deal with them,” Sobers related.“Things are happening and once they bring themselves into full compliance, we will be licensing them. The converse of this is that those continually refusing or failing to bring themselves into compliance, we will not issue them with a licence. And when we don’t issue them with a licence, we will call upon them to stop broadcasting and then take legal action against them if they don’t.”Sobers emphasised that the Authority would not allow illegal broadcasts to continue after the first quarter of 2017. He said that as soon as this period is over, legal action will be taken against defaulters and any unlawful broadcasters still on air will be taken off.“It (corrective action) has to be in the first quarter. Because we will not allow illegal radio broadcast to go on past the first quarter of this year. So that’s a message to all illegal broadcasters, bring yourself into full compliance or be prepared to be taken off the air by March.”At the ceremony, six entities received their broadcasting licences, with Sobers announcing that they had brought themselves into compliance as of 2016. This is the second distribution exercise carried out by the authority under Sobers’ tenure. In November of last year, six entities also received licences.It is understood that the GNBA has been going through the list of compliant broadcasters, to determine who will not be reissued licences. The Broadcast Amendment Act of 2017 gives the GNBA broad powers to deal with broadcasters not in compliance.In addition to this, the GNBA Board is also contemplating moving away from issuing one-year licences, rather issuing those that could last for two years. The law allows the GNBA to grant licences for not more than 10 years.
Lack of accountability in the Hinterland Employment and Youth Services (HEYS) programme was highlighted by Auditor General Deodat Sharma after the Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry was unable to account for how $865.1 million of tax payers’ money that went towards the programme was actually spent.This is according to Auditor General Deodat Sharma, who noted in his latest report that $576 million spent on stipends for the 1,900 trainees, and $81.8 million spent on 230 HEYS staff during the period January to December 2017 were not substantiated with progress reports from the Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry.In addition, there was lack of accountability for how the money was spent in providing business grants to individuals and communities to set up small projects, purchase equipment, procure items for training, meals, accommodation, travels, and the very launch of the second phase of the project.“The ministry did not present progress reports for these projects; therefore, it could not be determined whether the funds were utilised for the intended purpose,” the Auditor General also noted.In addition, the AG found that $210.3 million was expended to pay grants ranging from $500,000 to $2 million to 215 indigenous villages across the country to execute various projects. But the duplication of one particular payment raised eyebrows for the state auditors.“It was observed that there was a duplication of payment in the sum of $800,000 to one of the community villages,” the AG stated, noting that progress reports were also not presented for these projects.“The Head of the Budget Agency acknowledged this finding, but explained that after this payment was processed twice in IFMAS (Integrated Financial Management System), the second cheque was refunded to the Consolidated Fund.”HEYS was first launched by the coalition Government when the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry partnered with several other ministries and Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) for the development of residents of the hinterland areas.It was announced earlier this year that the programme would be replaced with something that can incorporate other programmes and have an expanded reach across Guyana.
…admits constant blackouts are “thorn in the flesh”By Jarryl BryanNew Chairman of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Board of Directors, Rawle Lucas is optimistic that in conjunction with staff at the entity, he can come up with strategies to relieve Guyanese of the burden of constant power outages.GPL Chairman Rawle LucasIn an interview with this publication on Tuesday, Lucas acknowledged that blackouts are a problem. In fact, he described it as a thorn in the side and noted that policies to reduce blackouts will be pursued by the Board.“The issue of blackouts has become like a thorn in the flesh. And we cannot keep living with these thorns in our flesh. We have to try and do something about it. And I want to assure you that it will be a main area of focus, certainly of this Board.”One thing he believes can be done is to take a look at GPL’s infrastructure, which would include the interconnected system. Supplying power to this system are engines run by the Power Producers and Distribution Incorporated (PPDI).“I do believe that there are things that we can do with respect to improving the performance of the entity. You know, one can look at the asset management and the financial management and some of the technical issues which might be driving some of these unpleasant outcomes and blackouts.”Part of GPL’s interconnected system“I’m fairly certain that there are areas that GPL has little or no control over that result in these unfortunate incidents. But I also believe that there are areas where we might be able to find some opportunities to minimise if not eliminate the challenges we are facing.”When it comes to renewable energy, Lucas made it clear that integrating renewable energy into GPL’s system will be pursued. He noted the importance of renewable energy in the context of the Green State Development Strategy and reducing global warming.Lucas is no stranger to chairing State Boards, as he previously served as Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA). Prior to the appointments of Lucas and his fellow Directors, GPL had been without a Board since early 2018.Serving along with him on the GPL Board are Reggie Bagwandin, Kirk Hollingsworth, Morsha Johnson-Francis and Tara Singh. Meanwhile, the remaining four seats are reserved for Guyana Public Service Union representative Gillian Pollard, Guyana Energy Agency Chief Executive Officer Dr Mahender Sharma, Private Sector Commission representative Komal Ramnauth and someone nominated by the parliamentary opposition.The new Board comes at a time when GPL’s service has been heavily criticised by citizens. This is because of regular power outages, maintenance work and announcements that there are issues with the interconnected system.In fact, on Tuesday, a statement was sent out in which it was related that GPL had restored electricity supply to the counties of Demerara and Berbice following a temporary fault in its Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System.“According to Public Relations Officer (ag) within GPL, Wadecia Donald, at 08:35hrs on Tuesday, Demerara and Berbice were affected by power outages. Restoration efforts commenced at 08:45hrs in Demerara and at 08:38hrs in Berbice,” the statement read.“Over in Berbice, power was eventually restored almost immediately, except for villages from Cumberland to Auchlyne. The remaining communities had the restoration of their electricity at 11:19hrs. On the other hand, the county of Demerara was fully repowered at 11:16hrs,” it added.According to the statement, engineers within the company are currently working to assess the cause of the power outages, with GPL expected to issue a press release at the completion of that assessment.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is urging officials of the various Government agencies, who last week received a circular from the Finance Ministry to submit their 2020 Budget proposals, to ignore the document.“Just ignore them, ignore the thing … I think they should just go through the perfunctory exercise,” Jagdeo stated during a press conference last week.However, he did recognise that these public servants were being pressured into going along with the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government’s illegal acts.“It’s not the public servants we gotta go after because they are being pressured. We should go after the Director of the Office of Budget (at the Finance Ministry) for sending out a circular like this and the Treasury Secretary,” the Opposition Leader noted.Asked whether any action would be taken against those officials who initiated the process, Jagdeo said, “They would have to say why they’re not opposed to this issue (and) why they sent out a circular of that nature. Unless, their hoping it would be helpful to us at the public level if the Government changes.”However, the Opposition Leader made it clear that should the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) get into office, it would not start with a budget circular such as the one sent out by the Finance Ministry. Instead, he noted that the Party would seek to remove excess expenditure in order to save taxpayers’ money.“The first PPP Government would immediately start from zero. Every expenditure made by this (coalition) Government will be reviewed and we will cut the excesses. The ministerial travels, the rental of buildings, the dietary, a whole range… We believe we can save a good $20-$30 billion and pass it on back to people through lower taxes and restoration of the benefits like the $10,000 grants and so on. So we’re not gonna work with Jordan’s framework for no budget,” Jagdeo contended.Despite affirmation that the December No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against the coalition Government was validly passed and the fact that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has said the Administration should be in caretaker mode, preparations have commenced for 2020’s Budget.In a move that is in implicit violation of the CCJ’s ruling, the leaked circular, dated June 21, 2019, instructs department heads, Permanent Secretaries, regional executives and heads of constitutional agencies to make submissions to the Ministry and complete aspects of Budget preparations, with a deadline of August 7, 2019 to hand in their Budget proposals.The Budget agencies were given between August 19 and September 27, 2019 to consult with the Ministry on their submissions. October 10 was named as the date to present the constitutional agencies’ budgets to the National Assembly.The circular, which was signed by the Ministry’s Finance Secretary, Michael Joseph, also named November 25, 2019 as the date to present the overall budget in the National Assembly. Affixing his signature to the circular, Joseph noted in the correspondence that it was penned under the delegated authority of the Finance Minister, pursuant to Section 13 of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act.The CCJ ruled on June 18 that the Government was defeated by a vote of no confidence, meaning early elections must be called. But just three days later, the Finance Ministry issued the circular for Budget debate in November, which is beyond the proposed date for new elections as proposed by the Opposition in a concession to the exigencies of the appeal by the Government to the NCM’s passage.According to Jagdeo, this is a recent move in a series of acts by the coalition Government and its Ministers to defy the Trinidad-based regional court’s ruling.“This is what we see manifested every single day – either it’s “forget the decision of the court” like some of them said – “we’re going along with our own business, forget what the Constitution says”, etc,” the Opposition Leader noted.In several parliamentary democracies, such as New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, etc, there are explicit “Caretaker Conventions” and in those that have not, the practice is to follow the precedents in these jurisdictions. A fundamental tenet in these conventions is that only routine functions of the Government must be maintained and there can be no initiative that will bind any new incoming Government to policies with which they do not agree.Caretaker ConventionsThere is a convention on Caretaker Governments used in New Zealand. Section 6.21 states that “On occasion, it is necessary for a Government to remain in office for a period on an interim basis, when it has lost the confidence of the House, or (after an election) until a new ministry is appointed following the Government formation process”.It continues that “during such periods, the incumbent Government is still the lawful executive authority, with all the powers and responsibilities that go with executive office. However, Governments in this situation have traditionally constrained their actions until the political situation is resolved, in accordance with what is known as the convention on Caretaker Government”.
…legal counsel says tax claim was previously rejected by courtOn the same day that Finance Minister Winston Jordan was supposed to pay Dipcon US$2 million in a court-awarded judgement, it has emerged that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has slapped the Trinidad-based company with a tax bill of over $500 million.The Guyana Revenue AuthorityGuyana Times was able to confirm with Dipcon’s legal representative, Timothy Jonas that the GRA sent his client the letter claiming it owed the tax authority the money. According to reports reaching this publication, the alleged debt is $527.8 million.“What I can tell you is that a similar letter from the GRA, about six months ago, was challenged by Dipcon and thrown out by the court. The timing was about the same, when a claim was made for a mandamus for Jordan to pay the money. The same day we appeared in court, that letter came,” the Attorney said.Section 101 (1) of the Income Tax Act states that “When the Commissioner General has knowledge or suspects that a person is or is about to become indebted or liable to make a payment of tax under this Act, he may, by registered letter or by letter served personally, require such first-mentioned person to pay the monies otherwise payable to such second-mentioned person in whole or in part to him on account of the liability of the second mentioned person under this Act.”It goes on to say, “The receipt of the Commissioner General for monies paid as required under this section shall to the extent of the payment be a good and sufficient discharge of the original liability: – (a) of the person who pays such monies to the Commissioner General to the person liable to make a payment tax under this Act; (b) of the person liable to make a payment of tax under this Act to the Commissioner General.”Efforts to contact GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia were futile. Last month, High Court Judge, Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry had ordered Minister Jordan to pay Dipcon a US$2.2 million award or face jail time. The Trinidad-based construction company had taken the Finance Minister to court for failing to honour the payment of millions of dollars, which was awarded to Dipcon by Justice Rishi Persaud in 2015.After Dipcon took the Government to court back in 2009 to recover monies owed for road works done, Justice Persaud had ordered Government to pay the company US$665,032.17 as payment for the works done along with US$1,563,368.50 for costs it incurred for those works, together with interest on both amounts, at a rate of six per cent annum from February 10, 2009, to October 21, 2015 and thereafter at the rate of four per cent per annum until fully paid.However, since none of the payments owed were made, Dipcon had successfully approached the High Court for an administrative order to compel the Minister to pay.On Friday, Justices Diana Insanally and Simone Morris-Ramlall threw out Jordan’s application, filed by Attorney General Basil Williams, for a stay of the court order. In their judgement, the Judges expressed the view that his application had no merit.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – This weekend is the Dakow Ventures Bracket Nationals at the Northern Lights Raceway.According to Raceway President, Robin DeRose, the raceway will be packed with action, featuring high-speed racers all weekend long.DeRose says all drag racers competing in Bracket Nationals will be trying to win the covenant, Iron Man trophy; the best trophy a drag racer can win.- Advertisement -DeRose expects that close to 100 cars will be competing in five rounds of races on both Saturday and Sunday.Gates open both days at 10:00 a.m. with the races wrapping up by 6:00 p.m.Admission to the watch the races is $5.00 per person and children 10 and under are free.Advertisement The Dakow Ventures Bracket Nationals is taking place July 6 and 7 at the Northern Lights Raceway.For more information, you can visit northernlightsraceway.ca.
Three potential candidates have confirmed their intent to represent the BC Liberals in the North Peace riding, in the upcoming provincial election.The Mayor of Chetwynd Evan Saugstad says he has filed his papers, as have Fort St. John city councillors LoriAckerman and Dan Davies.- Advertisement -North Peace has been without an official MLA for almost 4 weeks now. Former MLA Richard Neufeld resigned after being named to the senate in mid-January. His constituency duties have been temporarily covered by South Peace MLA Blair Lekstrom.Councillor Ackerman says she feels she has what it takes to be the next MLA.[asset|aid=899|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=1f8431a9bccdaed69b4f5287ccc64106-Lori Ackerman 1_1_Pub.mp3]Councillor Davies says one of his goals as North Peace MLA would be to keep the North Peace connected to the rest of the Province. [asset|aid=900|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=1f8431a9bccdaed69b4f5287ccc64106-Dan Davies 1_1_Pub.mp3]Advertisement There is no word yet on other potential candidates representing other parties.The election will be held in May 2009.
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is calling on President David Granger to issue an election proclamation in keeping with the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.“We call on the President to proclaim a date, not later than the earliest date suggested by the GECOM Chair, for the General Elections in accordance with his powers stipulated in Article 61 of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana,” the GCCI said in a statement. The statement came after Guyana Elections Commission Chairperson, Retired Justice Claudette Singh informed the President that the Commission would be ready to execute elections by the end of February 2020.The GCCI re-emphasised its call for the preservation of democracy and constitutional compliance through the holding of free and fair elections following the passage of the No-Confidence Motion of December 21, 2018. The Private Sector body said that the glaring absence of a date for elections has placed Guyana’s democratic system in jeopardy, noting that the Guyanese people deserve transparency and accountability from institutions at all levels of government.The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), GCCI said, in its June 2019 consequential orders, had stipulated that elections be held within a three-month timeline, which after factoring the delays owing to legal challenges would have placed the deadline at yesterday, September 18, 2019.“Given the GECOM Chair’s recent announcement that elections could be held as early as February 2020, more than one year and two months after the No-Confidence Motion; the GCCI notes, with utmost concern that the country cannot continue to function without a Cabinet and Parliament. Business cannot continue as usual under a caretaker Government with limited legal authority,” the statement noted.The body reminded that a No-Confidence Motion is an important tool used in a representative democracy which serves the purpose of ensuring that Members of Parliament are accountable to the electorate. It also noted that while the Government has accepted its caretaker status, its continuance in office beyond the September 18 date signifies a departure from democratic accountability and political order.
…reveals comprehensive plan to tackle cJoining ranks with the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), Brigadier Mark Phillips delivered his maiden political address on Sunday afternoon during the party’s 2020 elections campaign launch, where he urged Guyanese to use their vote wisely.PPP/C Prime Ministerial Candidate, Ret’d Brigadier Mark Phillips“I will be the next Prime Minister of Guyana,” he declared to the hundreds of supporters who gathered at the Kitty Market Square.“I will be a Prime Minister for all Guyanese, regardless of race, religion or political persuasions!”A former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Phillips will be running alongside the party’s Presidential Candidate Dr Irfaan Ali.“You may want to know what I may bring to the PPP/C as the prime ministerial candidate,” Phillips reasoned.“Well, I am bringing years of experience in the public service and sound leadership…my solid combination of experience and leadership will help the new PPP/C Administration to move Guyana forward,” he posited.“The team approach to nation-building is not a new concept to me comrades. I have led teams of various sizes and I have worked on teams as a member, what has always been important to me is the satisfaction of knowing that my team has created positive changes in the lives of ordinary people. What has always been important to me is making a positive difference in the lives of others so they can pursue their dreams of a better life,” Brigadier Phillips explained.He reflected on when he retired from the GDF in 2016, after serving some 36 years as a soldier, that he had committed to finding an appropriate “civilian type job” to continue to serve the people of Guyana.“With your votes, I will find the appropriate job to continue to serve!” he expressed, noting that he will serve with integrity and fairness, as he did during his time at the GDF.“As your prime ministerial candidate and soon to be Prime Minister, I can assure you that the PPP/C has a vision and strategy to lead the people towards prosperity,” he explained.Brigadier Phillips said there is an anti-crime and security strategy, which will address the current and future security concerns of the country.“This anti-crime and security strategy will be linked to other strategies for employment creation and poverty alleviation throughout Guyana and it will help to open the gateway to prosperity,” he said.In fact, he urged Guyanese, both supporters and non-supporters of the PPP/C, to take some time to review the party’s plans and strategies, assuring that there is a proposal for everyone, from the young to the elderly.“There is no time to hurt or destroy each other during this political season. Let us stick to the issues…let us remain steadfast. Let us stay focus,” Brigadier Phillips said.He further told the gathering that he will work closely with Ali and the rest of the PPP/C to ensure all Guyanese are in a position to elevate themselves, to live a more comfortable life.“I will work together with our next President Dr Irfaan Ali to implement our plan for equal opportunity and racial harmony for all Guyana,” he posited.The prime ministerial hopeful encouraged Guyanese to come out early on elections day, and mark their ‘x’ on the cup.“We will return the PPP/C to Government!” he declared.“Use your vote to send a strong message, comrades, vote for democracy, vote for unity, vote for youths, vote for strong leadership, vote for development, vote for Guyana, vote for the PPP/C!”Brigadier Phillips was unanimously endorsed as the prime ministerial candidate for the PPP/C on January 3, 2020.As a member of the army, Phillips held a number of crucial leadership positions at various levels and ranks and his consistent upward mobility clearly demonstrated that he carried himself with distinction in every position held.Academically, Phillips possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Management, a Master’s Degree in Public Management and several post-graduate diplomas in Defence Planning and various areas of management.rime, security
The game was close in the first half, with Arroyo taking a six-point lead into the break after Jerry Urbano made a layup with time running out. The teams continued to play close until the end of the third quarter, when Arroyo opened up its first double-digit lead. Arroyo ended up leading by nine at the end of the third quarter. Arroyo High’s boys basketball team got its postseason started on the right foot Wednesday by keeping Garden Grove at bay for a 60-52 victory in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IV-AA playoffs. The Knights (15-12) led nearly the entire way but had to continually turn away Garden Grove’s rallies and never took a comfortable lead. “Jerry does all the little things well for our team,” he said. “He’s been our MVP over the past few games.” McCollough also praised Urbano as one of the best defenders in the Valley. The Argonauts were led by Tony Pham’s 17 points. Arroyo’s next opponent is St. Margaret’s in San Juan Capistrano on Friday. The Tartans, the top seed in the division at 19-5 overall, received a bye in the first round. “We’re not gonna lay down, we’re gonna go after them,” McCollough said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Knights opened the fourth quarter with four consecutive points for a 13 point lead. They went on to create their biggest lead, 14, and never looked back. The Argonauts didn’t relent, but their comeback attempt in the fourth quarter came up short. The Knights had three players score in double figures. They were led by Urbano, who had 20 points. Jeremy Morita had 18 and Martin Gomez 12 in the winning effort. “We got some easy baskets down on their end, and our defense played really well tonight.” Arroyo head coach Lydell McCollough said. He praised his team’s work on defense, Urbano in particular.
Imagine a traveling shoe salesman picking up the phone in the Super 8 Motel in Pocatello. It’s the wife calling after she has read the sports page. “Why don’t you fly home every night to be with me, like Phil Mickelson?” PACIFIC PALISADES – Phil Mickelson plans to commute from San Diego by private plane during the Nissan Open so he can spend every night with his family. Mickelson might be the most popular golfer on the pro tour. But he is inviting the resentment of husbands who look forward to their own business trips as little breaks from the wife and kids. “Because I don’t make $47million a year like Phil Mickelson.” “That’s the next thing I was going to complain about.” Mickelson is a traveling shoe salesman, too, in a manner of speaking. He endorses the Callaway ERC Collection. The difference is his meetings happen at places like Riviera Country Club, where the 81st Nissan Open begins at 7 a.m. and runs through Sunday. His rent-a-car is a private jet. Even among the mega-rich at the top of the PGA Tour standings, the 36-year-old known as Lefty is a little different. He sets his own vector. The latest example is what he’s doing this week. A 110-mile commute from Rancho Santa Fe to Pacific Palisades, with takeoffs and landings at the small airports in Carlsbad and Santa Monica. “It feels great,” Mickelson said of this week’s commute as he stood beside the Riviera driving range before the pro-am Wednesday. “Sometimes I’ll do this, where I’ll fly up to maybe Cypress to play a round of golf for a day. It has that feel of just being exciting to go play a great golf course. “And it’s not a very long commute. And it gives me a chance to practice at home on some of my drills at the facilities that I’m used to working on.” And to be with Amy. And to tuck in Amanda, Sophia and Evan. Mickelson said he’ll take off each morning “about two hours before I tee off … It’s only about an hour door-to-door.” Maybe a little more than an hour. Forty minutes in the air, 15 minutes or so on the road on either end, according to Mickelson spokesman T.R. Reinmen. If this seems like a lot of trouble, it isn’t. Mickelson could get home faster than those who have to drive on Sunset Boulevard and the 405. “If I had a plane, I’d probably do it too,” said Charley Hoffman, the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic winner who also is a San Diegan – but trails Mickelson in Tour career earnings $40.5 million to $2.1million. Look at it this way: Mickelson, who never met a fairway bunker he wouldn’t try to fly over, feels the same way about Orange County. The only surprise is that he isn’t flying the Gulfstream II jet he owns and pilots; it’s too big for such a short hop. Phil is renting a Cessna Citation and a pilot for the week. You can do this when, according to Forbes magazine, you earned $47 million between mid-2005 and mid-2006, a stretch that included PGA Championship and Masters triumphs and the second-place, come-from-ahead, “I’m such an idiot” U.S. Open. That income ranks Mickelson fourth in sports behind Tiger Woods ($90 million), Michael Schumacher and Muhammad Ali. Does his jet-setter’s commute mean Mickelson is less committed to the Nissan Open than an opponent who returns to a Brentwood hotel each night and broods about the day’s missed birdie putts? Maybe so, but that assumes that most of his opponents actually go straight back to the hotel and turn in early. What Mickelson is doing has to be better for his game than a night on the town. Mickelson’s decision to take a break from competition between September and January doesn’t look so bad. He has no team to answer to, only sponsors. He looks and sounds focused. Slimmed down from last season, Mickelson started 2007 slowly, failing to crack the top40 in his first threetournaments, before going 20-under par to dominate last week at Pebble Beach. It was his 30th Tour win, tied for 16th all-time (next on the ladder with 31 are Nissan winners “Lighthorse” Harry Cooper and Jimmy Demaret). Mickelson was a last-minute entrant at Riviera, where he hasn’t played since 2001 and hasn’t done better that a tie for 15th. He’s hoping to keep his Pebble Beach momentum. “I felt like I started to play better, even though the results weren’t showing it in Phoenix (where he missed the cut),” Mickelson said. “I wanted to get a couple of more good tournaments under my belt before we started the Masters push back on the East Coast. … What better place to test yourself off the tee than here at Riviera?” It’s almost like being at home. In fact, with that plane, it’s exactly like being at home. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Arroyo Valley face St. Bernard on Tuesday with a coin flip to determine the location. The Hawks called a timeout where they designed a play to Weathersby where he was fouled and ended up sinking his shots for the victory. Weathersby was the Hawks’ leading scorer with 19, followed by James Sanders with 15. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Senior Daryl Weathersby swished the game-winning free throws with 4.6 seconds left as Arroyo Valley defeated second-seeded Bishop Montgomery 63-62 in the CIF-Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs Friday to advance to the semifinals for the first time. The Hawks (23-6) were trailing by six with 2:30 left as Weathersby and James Sanders mounted two key steals to eventually climb to within one with 8.5 seconds left.
NASCAR Photo Galleries: • Fans Auto Club 500: One | Two | Three Complete coverage: Motor Sports Despite a strong, promising potential podium finish, he ended up eighth. He was penalized with a drive-through penalty down pit road at 55 mph on the next lap – while everyone else went by at 200 mph – and he re-entered the race in 23rd place. By the time all the pit stops had cycled through, Stewart was in 17th place, just more than 25 seconds – about half a track length – behind eventual winner Matt Kenseth. Stewart also had one of the cars to beat last week at Daytona, and also was penalized for speeding in the pits. He was involved in an accident with Kurt Busch in that race and finished 43rd, and last. “I was 300 RPM under,” he said of Sunday’s pit-road speed. “I don’t know … Unless the line is a spot that I don’t know where it’s at. They’ve got the computer stuff and it tells you exactly when and where.” There were no caution periods for the next 50 laps. Stewart was consistently running a second faster than leader Kenseth, but he was just too far back to make a run for the lead. “Tony was strong at times, but Matt had the car to beat,” said Jeff Gordon, who finished in second place. Stewart was up to 10th place when caution finally came, at Lap 227, for debris. He took four tires and went out in ninth place, and was up to seventh with 17 laps left. When David Reutimann crashed with seven laps to go, bringing out a red flag for 15 minutes, 8 seconds, Stewart opted to take four tires and fuel when the yellow flag came back out. “We had to do something,” he said. “We knew the guys behind us were going to take tires. We were kind of right in the middle of a cut-off point. We knew a certain amount of guys were going to take four and the rest of them were going to stay out that were a little farther up there. So we just took the chance.” He exited the pits with four laps to go in 12th place. He moved up one position each subsequent lap. But there was just too much traffic to get to the front of the pack. He’s won one of the Southern California titles he has sought – the Turkey Night Grand Prix for USAC Midget Cars at Irwindale Speedway – but he still hasn’t won what many would consider a bigger prize. “That’s definitely a high priority for me this year,” he said of the races at the four Cup tracks where he has not been a winner. “I like the California track, but we have not had much luck there. It’s just something we haven’t been able to put the whole day together at California to make that happen.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! FONTANA – Tony Stewart is still California dreamin’. The two-time NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion once again had one of the fastest cars at California Speedway but – like it always seems to happen – he ended up empty on a cool, windy Sunday afternoon in the Auto Club 500. “I don’t know (if we had the car to beat),” Stewart said. “We had a chance. We had a good race car.” Stewart has never won at California Speedway in 16 races in three different series. His best finish in Cup was the 1999 race when he was fourth. His best finish at the track was second in the 2004 Busch Series race. It just seems like trouble follows Stewart whenever he’s on the two-mile Fontana oval. He was running second in the spring race last year when his engine blew. He finished 43rd and last. He’s been near the lead in other races at Fontana when his car experienced engine problems. Sunday, Stewart was once again in the lead when disaster struck. But this time, it had nothing to do with the engine. On green-flag pit stops with just less than 100 laps to go, NASCAR computers had Stewart going too fast at the entrance of pit road, where the speed is 55 mph. Radio communication indicated he was going 60.92 mph in the middle of pit road and NASCAR allows for a grace speed of an extra 5 mph.
Roy Bryant, Donham’s husband, and his half brother, J.W. Milam, were acquitted of the crime by an all-white jury in 1955. The two men later confessed in an interview with Look magazine. Both are now dead. The FBI reopened the case in 2004 but decided in 2006 not to press charges. The case was turned over to local prosecutors, with the FBI suggesting that they take a closer look at Donham. Some witnesses said a woman’s voice could be heard at the scene of the abduction. David Beito, a history professor at the University of Alabama, said Tuesday that there is probably no one else left to arrest in the case. He said it is hard to underestimate the importance of the Till case, which took place the same year as the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott. “It did not create the civil-rights movement, but it made it more into a mass movement,” he said. “It really mobilized people.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! No one has ever been convicted in the slaying. “You’re looking at Mississippi. I guess it’s about the same way it was 50 years ago,” said a disappointed Simeon Wright, 64, a black man who heard his cousin whistle. “We had overwhelming evidence, and they came back with the same decision. Some of the people haven’t changed from 50 years ago. Same attitude. The evidence speaks for itself.” Till, a 14-year-old boy visiting from Chicago, was kidnapped from his uncle’s home in the town of Money and killed after he wolf-whistled at Donham, a shopkeeper at the Bryant Grocery & Meat Market. Three days later, his mutilated body was found in the muddy Tallahatchie River, weighted down with a cotton gin fan. His left eye was missing, and his right eye was dangling on his cheek. The body was identified only by a ring he was wearing. His mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, who died in 2003, held an open-casket funeral in Chicago, and a photograph of Till’s disfigured face in Jet Magazine had a powerful effect on public opinion, letting the world see what was happening in the South. JACKSON, Miss. – All but closing the books on a crime that helped give rise to the civil-rights movement, a grand jury has refused to bring any new charges in the 1955 slaying of Emmett Till, a black teenager who was beaten and shot after whistling at a white woman in the Mississippi Delta. The district attorney in rural Leflore County had sought a manslaughter charge against the white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, who was suspected of pointing out Till to her husband to punish the boy for what was a grave offense in the segregated South. But the grand jury last Friday issued a “no bill,” meaning it found insufficient evidence, according to documents made public Tuesday. Federal authorities decided last year not to prosecute anyone, saying the statute of limitations for federal charges had run out. Mississippi authorities represented the last, best hope of bringing someone to justice.
THE modern marathon is rooted in the tale that in 490 B.C., after the Persians were defeated at the plains of Marathon, the Greek messenger Pheidippides ran 25 miles to Athens to proclaim the victory. After delivering this vital message, he dropped dead. To normal people this story is a parable, at best a warning. To runners – an invitation. I was never a sports person. I never exercised. I never went inside a gym. I didn’t care for any of that. I was a smoker. Not just a “once in a while,” I-don’t-buy-packs-I-just-bum type of smoker. I smoked 30-plus cigarettes a day since the Bush-Quayle administration. Before I finally quit I was gray, phlegmy and would get winded playing Scrabble. Sexy. I decided last year, after I quit, that I was going to run the Los Angeles Marathon. Since I could only run for 45 seconds before gasping for breath, it was the next logical step. (For the record: It took me two weeks to work up to a full minute.) The only reason to keep on running was that was the only time I didn’t want to smoke. The marathon is the only major sports event in Los Angeles where, for a small fee, anyone can compete. (Actually, that may be how the L.A. Galaxy will afford their non-Beckham players in the future.) But for now, the L.A Marathon is it for the laymen. According to its Web site, 23,000 runners of all levels, ages and nationalities will scamper from Universal City to downtown for today’s event. The average finishing time is around 5 hours. That’s really impressive to Angelenos who can spend more time driving the same route on any Friday afternoon. You must work up to a 26.2-mile race. At first I walked more than I ran, then ran more than I walked. I joined a running club. Read magazines, books and bulletin boards. Changed my diet. Changed my shoes. Ran at least three times a week. Training started my indoctrination into having “sports” stuff. Sports drinks. Sports bars. Sport bras. Sport lube. Sports socks. You name it. Then I got a “sports” injury and had to get a “sports” doctor. I went to podiatrist Dr. John Pagliano in Long Beach and graced him with my feet, which would make Bilbo Baggins blush. Pagliano is also a runner. He has finished a whopping 111 marathons in his lifetime. I’m not bragging, but my doctor has more miles on him than a Peterbilt. But even with all this, I still don’t think I look like a runner. We’ve all seen the photographs of those elite athletes built like T-rexes barreling down the road, their rippling muscles and eight-pack stomachs glistening in the sun. That’s not me. Minimal exercise makes me sweat so much it looks like I have just showered. I also turn bright red – all over. When I run I look like I’ve fallen asleep in a tanning booth. I grimace, have terrible posture and have been known to grunt and wheeze. My biggest fear isn’t failing to finish; my biggest fear is that paramedics will think I’m about to die and pre-emptively ask me for my insurance card. But let’s face it. It’s not about looks – it’s about celebrating human endurance and the lengths some of us will go to be able to brag about what we did over the weekend. It’s a long way from a sedentary tobacco chimney to a marathon runner. For me, the great thing is the twisted determination that allowed me to smoke through strep throat and the ’90s is the same twisted determination that enables me to run through pain and having hobbit feet. Only now people admire it. At least I hope they do. My family could be planning an intervention and I wouldn’t have a clue. I’ve been too preoccupied with Epsom salts and ice packs to notice. The way I see it, as long as I don’t shave my head I don’t really have a problem. Right? So come out and cheer me on. You know what I look like. Sexy. Tina Dupuy is a stand-up comic and a writer living in Los Angeles. She’s the author of the blog www.sardonicsideshow.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
O’Donnell and Niedermayer hardly had time to break a sweat before Shane Doan scored 31 seconds into the game to give Phoenix a 1-0 lead. Jackman’s first goal since the Ducks acquired him Jan. 2 from the Florida Panthers tied the score at 1-1 at 5:15. Chris Kunitz narrowly missed putting the Ducks ahead in the third period, but Michael Zigomanis swatted a slow roller that eluded Mikael Tellqvist off the goal line. The Coyotes weren’t so lucky on DiPenta’s pinball shot from the right wing later in the period, the puck striking two Phoenix players before sliding into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead for the Ducks at 11:58. email@example.com (310) 540-4201 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ANAHEIM – The news wasn’t all that bad for the Pacific Division-leading Ducks on Wednesday. They did manage to take a 2-1 victory from the Phoenix Coyotes at the Honda Center, extending their lead to nine points over the idle San Jose Sharks. Defenseman Joe DiPenta scored the go-ahead in the third period for the Ducks, who improved to 3-0 on their season-high eight-game home stand. The Ducks (40-17-11) also defeated the Coyotes for the 10th consecutive time in Anaheim. “It was painful, so I figured something was wrong,” said Pronger, who was tied for fifth among NHL defensemen with 53 points (11 goals, 42 assists) going into Wednesday’s games. “It’s pretty frustrating.” It’s the latest in a string of injuries this season for Pronger, who sat out nine games after breaking his left foot Dec. 31 against Minnesota. Asked if this latest injury was in the same foot, Pronger said, “Yep, why wouldn’t it be?” Pronger also was struck in the chin and throat by a slap shot from the Kings’ Lubomir Visnovsky on Feb. 18, but did not miss any games. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle managed to crack a joke at Pronger’s expense, telling reporters at Wednesday’s morning skate, “I told him to drink more milk.” Carlyle was forced to shuffle his defense pairs, playing Pronger’s customary partner, Sean O’Donnell, with Scott Niedermayer. Francois Beauchemin, Niedermayer’s partner, played with Ric Jackman. DiPenta and Kent Huskins formed the third pair. However, the Ducks learned former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Chris Pronger would be sidelined for at least two weeks after breaking a bone in his toe. Pronger was injured while working out after Sunday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Nashville Predators at the Honda Center. He declined to explain exactly how it happened except to call it an “unfortunate weight-room incident.”
Cops waited. TV crews waited. And church officials standing under the broiling sun in South Los Angeles waited, hoping Angelenos would come and surrender their guns. They got only one — but it was an SSK assault rifle, along with enough ammunition to blow away 59 bystanders. “You would not believe what we got,” exclaimed LAPD Officer Brian Hun of the Southwest Division. “It’s like catching the big one.” With the 15th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots approaching, ministers from the First AME Church asked residents to hand in their guns during a commemorative Weekend of Peace. The region — with four homicides, 23 people shot and 40 gunfire reports in the Southwest Division between March 25 and April 21 — is among the most violent in the city. It’s also among the poorest, with few new jobs created. For this reason, First AME hosted a gun-surrender program coupled with a massive job fair and food giveaway. “Turn in your piece for peace,” said the Rev. John Joseph Hunter, senior pastor of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church. “Violence is something that plagues (this) community. “With a job, dignity is restored.” Los Angeles is often described as a city divided between haves and have-nots. But for some, it’s a city split between those who have guns and those who haven’t. Few expected those with “dirty guns” — or weapons used during a crime — to turn them in. And few expected those whose guns remain the final bastion behind steel security doors to hand over their protection. “People want to protect themselves; that’s why they have guns,” said Amelia Quinn, 39, of Los Angeles, a seeker at the job fair. “If somebody steps in your house, shoot on sight.” Today, First AME will host a Dialogues in Peace forum to discuss race relations, education and the economy since 1992. “You haven’t changed the conditions, the mind-sets, the hearts,” Hunter said. “You’ve gotta offer hope. A job offers hope.” To thwart gun violence, the Rev. Eduardo Vickers said, society must convince the young. “Get them while the clay is soft — you’ve got to mold them,” he said, watching residents line up half a block for food. “The key is love, what the world needs is love, more love.” But for Los Angeles police, what the world needs is fewer guns. The Chinese-made SSK assault rifle with two, 30-round banana clips was dropped off by a dad whose son had long ago left it at his house. It was the only gun relinquished in three hours of waiting. “If we can take one gun off the street, it’s worth it,” said Hun, a senior lead officer for the area. “If a gangster wanted to do a drive-by, it’s the ultimate weapon.” — Dana Bartholomew, (818) firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Smyth will focus on his first five months in office, the state budget and senior issues. He will end with a question-and-answer session. The event is for the general public, not just seniors. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEWHALL – Assemblyman Cameron Smyth will hold a town hall meeting this morning at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center. The informal session starts at 10:30 a.m. and is billed as a chance for residents of Santa Clarita to get to know the assemblyman. The center is at 22900 Market St., Newhall. The newly elected Republican served on the City Council until November. “After my first few months in the Assembly, I thought it was appropriate to speak to the community regarding my early experience in the state Legislature,” Smyth said. “I am looking forward to the event and discussing state-related issues impacting Santa Clarita and seniors.”
CALGARY, A.B. – The Petroleum Services Association of Canada is still waging its funding fight with Ottawa and the governments of the petroleum producing provinces.President and CEO Mark Salkeld confirmed earlier this year PSAC is seeking $500 million in federal infrastructure funding hoping to put laid off employees of oil and gas service companies back to work, while benefitting the environment.The money would be used to assist with well decommissioning operations and Mr. Salkeld says slowly but surely the initiative appears to gaining wider public support, even among some traditional oil and gas industry critics.- Advertisement -However, he also concedes the biggest challenge still appears to be finding a way for Alberta’s NDP government to shake free, from the perception held by many in its political base, that the proposal represents a major oil company bailout.Earlier this month, the BC government released a new report on the Crown Contaminated Sites Program claiming it has investigated a total of 84 sites, including 18 where remediation is complete.However, it’s important to note, this program established in 2003 is focused on contaminated sites on crown land, including mines, which are believed to present risks to human health and the environment, and where a responsible party no longer exists.Advertisement
“I’m not here to replace Neymar,” said the Frenchman.“I will try to make good progress. I am only 20 years old and have a lot to learn. That’s why I came to this big club.”Dembele will form a fearsome forward line alongside five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as Barca aim to wrestle the Champions League and La Liga titles back from rivals Real Madrid.And Dembele expects to learn firsthand from Messi, who he described as the best player in history.“It’s an honour to be a part of Lionel Messi’s team,” added Dembele.“He’s a great player, the best player in the world, the best in the history of football and I am very happy to play in his team.“I will learn, watch how he plays, and how he is on and off the field.”Dembele’s Barca career got off to an inauspicious start as his presentation in front of 18,000 waiting fans at the Camp Nou was delayed for nearly two hours due to a paperwork issue in releasing his registration from Dortmund.With the supporters’ patience tested there were whistles during the delay and chants for Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu to resign.Barcelona’s new player Ousmane Dembele controls a ball at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, during his official presentation by the Catalan club, on August 28, 2017 © AFP / LLUIS GENEBarca’s board has been under huge pressure due to the club’s fading fortunes on the field and being caught cold by Neymar’s decision to leave.The attendance was also well down on the 50,000 fans that welcomed Neymar on his presentation four years ago.“With a player like Ousmane we have a competitive team that can aim, like every year, for the greatest success,” said Bartomeu.Dembele finally emerged in Barca’s famous red and blue strip, sporting the number 11 jersey vacated by Neymar.However, he will have to wait until at least September 9 to make his debut when Barca host Espanyol in a Catalan derby.Dembele announced himself as one of Europe’s top prospects with a stellar season at Dortmund, scoring 10 goals, after joining from Rennes for just 15 million euros a year ago.However, he had been suspended by Dortmund since he boycotted training on August 10 in protest after the German club rejected Barca’s first bid.Dembele becomes Barca’s fifth signing of the summer after Marlon Santos, Gerard Deulofeu, Nelson Semedo and Paulinho.And the Catalan giants intend on completing at least one more deal before the transfer window closes on Friday with Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho top of their wish list.Coutinho, 25, hasn’t played for Liverpool since submitting a transfer request to try and force through a move earlier this month.“My intention is that another player will come, if possible two,” said Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Barcelona’s new player Ousmane Dembele (R) poses with his new jersey next to Barcelona’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu at the Camp Nou stadium on August 28, 2017 © AFP / LLUIS GENEBARCELONA, Spain, Aug 28 – French wonderkid Ousmane Dembele shrugged off comparisons with Neymar and insisted he still has much to learn, despite becoming the second most expensive player in history as he was presented by Barcelona on Monday.The 20-year-old’s 105 million-euro ($125 million) transfer from Borussia Dortmund could rise to 145 million with add-ons depending on his performance, as Barca splashed out to fill the gap left by Neymar’s own world record 222 million-euro move to Paris Saint-Germain.
0Shares0000Chelsea started strongly against London rivals Arsenal, with Cesc Fabregas forcing Petr Cech into early action. Photo/DMLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 17 – The Arsenal players showed the right mentality and spirit in the 0-0 draw with champions Chelsea on Sunday in light of their 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool, said manager Arsene Wenger.The Frenchman — whose side came away with a point from Stamford Bridge for the first time in six visits — added that the Gunners could even have won it. Arguably they should at least have got on the scoreboard but their record signing Alexandre Lacazette missed an open goal in the first-half.The draw saw Arsenal move onto seven points, six adrift of leaders Manchester City whilst Chelsea — who for the third successive game against the Gunners ended the match with 10 players — are third, three off City.“It was about mentality and a response from our last away game,” said Wenger.“We could have won it. It was an intense game.“The battle was total. We are not in a transfer period and on the day we played Liverpool that affected us. We are all human beings.“If you play 55 games a season you can have a bad performance.”Wenger said his side hadn’t simply come to pull up the drawbridge but to try and take all three points.“We were focused and determined,” said Wenger.“We tried to play when we had the ball and we were close to winning the game. With a bit more freedom we would have won the game.“David Luiz, it looked excessive force to me, at what level did he catch (Arsenal defender Sead) Kolasinac? I don’t know.”Wenger’s Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte refused to make a direct comment about Luiz’s sending off but queried how his side had the habit of never ending with a full complement of players against Arsenal.“David Luiz, you know very well that I don’t like to comment about the referee,” said Conte.“I don’t do it in the past, or the present. You need to see what happened before the tackle.“We have great respect for officials, but it is strange to finish a third game in a row against Arsenal with 10 men.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000Fans of the club invited Taoist priests on to the pitch to pray for a good result in Sunday’s match with Shandong Luneng, which Henan went on to win 2-1 © AFP / STRSHANGHAI, China, Sep 26 – The Chinese FA have told Super League side Henan Jianye to seek salvation from goals rather than the gods after Taoist priests performed an on-pitch ritual — and the team duly won at home for the first time in over three months.The CFA are investigating after fans of the club invited 15 Taoist priests on to the pitch to pray for a good result in Sunday’s match with Shandong Luneng, which Henan went on to win 2-1. The Paper, a state-run newspaper based in Shanghai, carried a picture of the ritual showing a desk on the pitch covered with a yellow cloth on the eve of the game.There is incense and three flags flutter behind the table bearing mantras including “God’s will is that Jianye must win.”The CFA said that it had asked Henan, whose fears of relegation eased with the victory at their Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium home, for an explanation.“The football pitch is not a religious place and hosting such activities on a public sports field is neither appropriate nor conforming with the image of professional football,” the CFA said in a statement.“Instead of asking for help from gods outside the pitch, Henan should seek victory through self-endeavour and battling on it.”Henan, for whom former Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United striker Ricardo Vaz Te scored the opener, said on Tuesday they were “touched by the fans’ desire and anxiety for the team to pull it together and fight to stay in the league”.But the club added in the statement: “Victory can’t be gained through prayers.”China has an ambiguous relationship with religion.The officially atheist Communist party stomachs it but keeps tight control for fear of a challenge to its grip on power.It is not the first time this season a Chinese club has gone to bizarre lengths to get back to winning ways at home.Guangzhou R&F repainted their blue-coloured stadium gold in July, saying it was better feng shui — and they have not lost there since.The philosophy of feng shui — literally meaning “wind and water” — is influential in many parts of Asia, where people carefully position items in offices and homes to maximise good fortune and wealth.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Hannibal’s father said the family’s pride at their son’s talent was tinged with fear.“We were proud at first but luckily we were really careful. It’s a complicated world to be in,” Lotfi Mejbri told AFP.“The shocking thing is this phenomenon of malicious people gravitating towards football and just how many parents actually believe what they promise,” he said.Lofti recalls attending a tournament with his son, who sports a shock of hair reminiscent of Chelsea defender David Luiz, in western France.“He was really small and he was playing with older kids. A guy came running up and said ‘I’m interested in your child’.“I had to say to him ‘Calm down, it’s still too early’.”So relentless were the approaches that the Mejbri family were forced to share the role of protecting the child within the family structure.“My eldest son is always there for any talks with agents or recruiters, it’s crucial. These people come very well prepared,” the boy’s father said.Hannibal is now 14 and training at the French national academy at Clairefontaine. Next season he will join the youth system at reigning French champions Monaco — the club where Mbappe blossomed.Kylian Mbappe (C) is set to become the world’s most expensive teenager when his loan move to Paris Saint-Germain is finalised next year © AFP/File / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULATThe Mejbris received a payment of one million euros ($1.17 million) in return for the deal to send Hannibal to Monaco, according to Le Parisien newspaper, although the family neither confirmed nor denied the figure.Young players from Brazil — who were the third most represented nationality of players taking part in the European Champions League last season — are also ruthlessly targeted.Caio Lopes, a 17-year-old apprentice at the Rio de Janeiro-based Vasco de Gama club, told AFP the traps set for him are not only by opponents on the pitch.“There are people contacting me all the time on social media asking if everything is going OK at the club, if I have an agent and so on,” he said.“I just let my grandfather and agent deal with it,” he said.– ‘Charlatans’ –Fabien Caballero, a coach who works in the Paris region, said he had five or six ‘recruiters’ pacing the sidelines every weekend that he took an under-15s session.“Some of them are good, but what gets me are the charlatans offering their services. It could be anyone, the neighbour, the guy from the bakery store. There is no legislation for this kind of thing in France,” he said.Caballero believes that money poisons the game.“The players can’t help but have their heads turned by it because many come from modest backgrounds and football can change their lives,” he said.“But it can also poison them too.”“You see young kids and their parents who are trying to please everyone instead of trying to have fun,” he lamented.Players as young as 13 can sign an initial contract with French clubs in France guaranteeing them a place in their youth academy two years later. Under the terms of the deal, they cannot join another club.Matthieu Bideau, who runs the youth training centre at French Ligue 1 club Nantes, says he has heard that some clubs are paying hundreds of thousands of euros to secure players who are little more than boys “and 50,000 euros is very, very common”.The French Football Federation’s technical director Hubert Fournier said the authorities who run the game often felt powerless.“Much of the proceedings are handled in the shadows, off the radar,” he said.“Most of the people concerned don’t have an agent’s licence. They get to the families and there’s nothing we can do.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim (L) giving instructions as young French prospect Hannibal Mejbri looks on (2nd R), during a match against Montpellier © AFP/File / VALERY HACHEPARIS, France, Nov 27 – The money men began sniffing around Hannibal Mejbri when he was just nine — it was “way too soon” complains his father, who was fielding dozens of phone calls and pitchside advances as word of his son’s potential spread.The boy from the French capital rapidly attracted interest as scouts flocked to see if they had unearthed a hot prospect like Kylian Mbappe, the 18-year-old set to become the world’s most expensive teenager when his loan move to Paris Saint-Germain is finalised next year.
With 19 games played in the 38-match campaign, AFP Sport compiles a half-term report for the Premier League’s big six ahead of the Boxing Day fixtures.Manchester CityWhen City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners hired Guardiola last year, they dreamed of the Spaniard delivering bountiful success in swaggering style.A trophy-less first season in England was a huge disappointment, but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has worked his magic this term.Playing such dazzling football that they have already been ranked among England’s all-time great teams, City have reeled off a record 17 successive league wins to move 13 points clear at the top.Guardiola spent big money to overhaul his squad in the close-season, but he has also shown a deft touch to bring the best out of key players like Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne.The title race has been turned into a lengthy coronation by unbeaten City and, ahead of their visit to Newcastle United on Wednesday, the only questions remaining are how early they clinch the trophy and how many records they set in the process.Manchester UnitedWhen Romelu Lukaku sprinted clear to notch his first league goal for United on the opening weekend of the season against West Ham United, it seemed Jose Mourinho had found the powerful attacking talisman that all his best teams have employed.Lukaku, a close-season signing from Everton, hit 11 goals in his first 10 games as United matched free-scoring City blow for blow, but suddenly the goals dried up for the Belgian.With Lukaku under fire from his own fans, the increasingly tetchy Mourinho has been unable to scheme enough goals from other areas.The nadir coming in a tedious 0-0 draw at Liverpool when Mourinho’s cautious tactics were widely panned.City’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford was another hammer blow and United, who host Burnley on Tuesday, may need more major investment to catch up.ChelseaThe champions hadn’t even started their title defence when Blues boss Antonio Conte gave an ominous warning about their prospects.Frustrated by Chelsea’s failure to land his top transfer targets, Conte was already convinced his squad lacked the depth to compete for the title and challenge in the Champions League.The Italian has been spot on and City showed how far ahead they were with a clinical 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge, while dismal losses at Crystal Palace and West Ham have kept Chelsea from establishing any momentum.Alvaro Morata’s predatory finishing in his debut season has been one of the few bright spots for Conte, whose side take on Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday languishing 16 points behind City.LiverpoolLast Friday’s scintillating 3-3 draw at Arsenal showcased everything good about Jurgen Klopp’s commitment to an eye-catching style of play — but just as significantly it emphasised the problems with the German’s team as currently constructed.Having taken a two-goal lead with some enterprising play from their ‘fab four’ of Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, Liverpool then collapsed at the back and conceded three goals in five minutes.Sloppy defending and weak goalkeeping from Simon Mignolet have been a recurring motif of Klopp’s reign and, with fourth-placed Liverpool hosting Swansea City on Tuesday, the problem must be resolved soon if the Reds are to avoid a season of underachievement.Arsenal/TottenhamArsene Wenger has presided over the latest in a long line of underwhelming Arsenal campaigns and the Gunners go to Crystal Palace on Thursday an incredible 21 points behind City.Wenger’s failure to persuade Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to extend their soon-to-expire contracts has been a huge distraction and Arsenal’s wait for a first title since 2004 is destined to go on.Across north London, fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur have been unable to build on last season’s second-place finish as they struggled to adapt to playing their home games at Wembley while White Hart Lane is redeveloped.Problems in away games against their top-six rivals have added to the angst for boss Mauricio Pochettino.Fixtures (6pm unless stated)TuesdayBournemouth v West Ham, Chelsea v Brighton, Huddersfield v Stoke, Liverpool v Swansea (8:30pm), Manchester United v Burnley, Tottenham v Southampton (3:30pm), Watford v Leicester, West Brom v EvertonWednesdayNewcastle v Manchester City (10:45pm)ThursdayCrystal Palace v Arsenal (11pm)0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s side is on a record-breaking sprint towards the Premier League title © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 25 – With Manchester City on a record-breaking sprint towards the Premier League title, the leaders have reached the halfway point of the season looking simply unstoppable.The future is bright for Pep Guardiola’s side, but City’s rivals face a more uncertain time in 2018 as they try to bridge the gulf in class.
0Shares0000The Capital FM Football team at the shores of the beach in Sao Paulo, BrazilNAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20- Despite losing their last match 4-3 to Argentina, the Capital FM football team progressed to the knockout stages of the Neymar Jr’s five-a-side football tournament which kicked off on Friday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.The Best mix of Music team finished second in the group behind leaders Argentina who qualified top with 12 points after winning all their group matches. “It was a great effort from the team especially in the first three group matches where we really played well. Against Argentina, we had one or two mistakes which came back to haunt us but we will go back and look at what we need to improve for the business end of the championship,” captain Kristian Malumbe said.Against Argentina, Capital FM representing Kenya and Nairobi County in the tournament had a brilliant start with Shuyaib Shabir opening the scoring with a neat finish after much of the work was done on the left side by Jeff Ooko.Skipper Malumbe showed his eye for goal doubling the tally with a long-range effort after seeing the Argentines advanced leaving their goal unmanned.According to the rules, each goal conceded means you have to go a man down.Capital FM Football Team. Photo/ TIMOTHY OLOBULUWith a two-man advantage, the team took to knocking the ball around, but they were caught off when the Argentines cut off a long pass and attacked, halving the deficit.Their confidence boosted with the lone goal, they attacked in numbers and passed the ball swiftly, scoring two back to back goals to go 3-2 ahead. It was now down to three Argentines against two Kenyans.However, the Argentines saw their lead cut off when they scored an own goal when the defender’s control from a Malumbe long ball dropped into his own net.However, Capital could not force the game to a draw with the Argentines scoring their fourth 40 seconds before time.In the earlier games, Capital started their campaign with a statement thumping Belgium 5-0 before replicating the same result against Azerbaijan. Solomon Okeyo grabbed two, Ooko and Shabir adding one each with Lassie Atrash finishing off with a cheeky fifth.They went on with the form in the third game beating Japan 5-1 with Malumbe scoring twice after Ooko had broken the deadlock. Japan pulled one back but it was all morning dew as Ooko completed his brace before Atrash completed the job.Capital will know their next round opponents after the completion of the other group stage matches.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)
The tour will leave at 7 p.m. from Burger King and the Gateway Plaza. When you book your seat, the ticket includes dinner at Burger King. – Advertisement -Use your ticket that will be emailed to you and redeem it for dinner. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Burger King, Fort St. John Flyers and Moose FM present a Community Christmas Light Tour on December 19, 2019. A Whopper ComboOriginal Chicken ComboOr a Kids Meal You’ll get to choose from the following options: Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth (three to 12) and children under three are free, but must sit on a parents lap due to available space on the bus. A family four-pack (two adult tickets and two youth tickets) of tickets will be available for only $45.Advertisement Book your seating starting at 10 a.m. December 2 online at www.energetictickets.ca or in person at Systems Sound Source on 100 st. The bus will tour around the community and look at all the decorated homes.
1 Arsenal target Clinton N’Jie has signed a new contract with Lyon.The striker, who has been dubbed the new Samuel Eto’o after scoring 3 goals in his first two games for Cameroon, has extended his stay with the Ligue 1 side until 2019.Prior to signing a new deal, N’Jie had been linked with a move to the Gunners in an attempt to bolster manager Arsene Wenger’s attacking options.However, N’Jie has decided that for now his future lies in France and the 21-year-old is hoping his goals can fire Lyon to a place in Europe next season.“I’m happy. Now we have to continue working. I want to score, to play and I hope we can qualify for Europe next season,” N’Jie told Lyon’s website.“I’m proud of myself. I want to also thank everyone who helped me get this far. This extension shows that the team has confidence in me.” Clinton N’Jie
Slovakia shocked Spain in Bratislava as they ran out 2-1 winners in Group C thanks to a strike from former Chelsea midfielder Miroslav Stoch.The Slovakian star made just five appearances for the Premier League side during a two-year stint in west London before moving to Fenerbahce back in 2010.But his name will be ringing in the ears of current Blues stars Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, who started the clash in Euro 2016 qualifying.Previously, Spain had been ruthless in their qualifying matches but their 36 game unbeaten run has now been ended and you can see the goal, which did the damage above…
1 Watch on PokerStars.tv Poker Stars has moved to London and you can follow all the action right here from Tuesday lunchtime until the conclusion on Saturday night.
Transfer rumours and paper review 1 Here’s the top transfer-related stories in Saturday’s newspapers…Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has dropped his wage demands to just £80,000-a-week in a bid to seal a move to Arsenal. (Metro)Louis van Gaal has identified Argentina hard man Ezequiel Garay as the player to fix Manchester United’s leaky defence. United sent two scouts to watch the Zenit St Petersburg centre-half play in the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday with a view to making a January bid. (Daily Mirror)Van Gaal has refused to rule out the possibility of signing former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes. The United boss has allowed the 32-year-old to use the club’s training facilities as he bids to return from the anterior cruciate ligament injury that has kept him out since March. (Daily Express)Chelsea and Manchester United target Juan Cuadrado is just ‘details away’ from penning a new deal with Fiorentina. (Daily Express)Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is confident England goalkeeper Joe Hart will sign a new contract at the Etihad Stadium. (Daily Mail)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Lambert reveals Aston Villa have option to sign on-loan midfielder on permanent dealVan der Sar responds to Januzaj links: ‘Ajax can’t afford Man United starlet’Blow for Man United and Chelsea as Juventus star signs new contractFulham starlet given green light to leave Craven CottageExclusive – Meluensteen warns Man United: ‘Chelsea are still a threat without Costa’Ex-Man United coach hopes Valdes’ arrival has been ‘communicated well’ to De GeaExclusive – Liverpool fans will be agitated by ‘infuriating’ Balotelli, claims former Reds coach
England U21’s celebrate against Portugal England Under-21s recorded an impressive victory against Portugal at Turf Moor with local boy Danny Ings netting twice in a clinical display.It may turn out to be an important psychological boost for Gareth Southgate’s team, who face Portugal in their opening match of the European Under-21 Championships next summer.England opened the scoring after six minutes when Ings, who was preferred to the in-form Harry Kane up-front, tucked home Tom Ince’s cross after good work from Nathan Redmond.Jenkinson added the second before half-time with a composed finish from 12 yards against a Portuguese side who had won all 10 of their qualification matches ahead of next summer’s tournament.And Portugal showed their class early in the second half with a well deserved goal when Bernardo Silva stroked the ball through the legs of England keeper Jack Butland.But England’s two goal cushion was re-established on 58 minutes when Ings latched onto a low cross from the influential Redmond to seal a convincing win. 1
6 Petr Cech: Chelsea and still one of the best in the business – Cech was dumped as first-choice Chelsea goalkeeper at the start of the season to make way for Thibaut Courtois. The 32-year-old is a reliable goalie and has been linked with a loan move to Anfield, with the Reds not considered title rivals to Jose Mourinho’s high-flying Blues. For the second successive game, Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was dropped in favour of Brad Jones.The Reds’ first choice goalie has endured endless criticism this season, with former Liverpool keeper Chris Kirkland telling talkSPORT it’s up to Mignolet to reclaim his place.“Brad’s been patient, as all number twos have to be, and the only way you [are given a start] is through injury or loss of form and Brad’s got the gloves now.”Here, talkSPORT looks at the candidates being lined up as replacement’s for the Belgium international. 6 Norberto Neto: Fiorentina ace who could be a bargain – Neto’s contract expires at the end of the season, meaning Liverpool could sign him on the cheap in January or pick him up for free in the summer. Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle said: I hope that [Neto] wont abandon us, but the situation doesnt look good to me. Juventus and Roma have been linked with transfers, but the 25-year-old Brazilian claims he does not want to join a Serie A rival, paving the way for a move to Anfield. Sergio Romero: Sampdoria and a World Cup finalist – Romero caught the eye during the summer after starring for Argentina at the World Cup and it is thought his agent Mino Raiola, who also represents Mario Balotelli, is working on pushing something through. The 27-year-old has been at Sampdoria since 2011 and was rumoured to have rejected Man United in the summer. 6 Mattia Perin: Genoa and Italy’s rising star – Click the arrow to see other replacements for Mignolet – Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is rumoured to be chasing a replacement for under-fire goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, so talkSPORT looks at the possible candidates beginning with Genoa and Italy’s rising star. Speed, agility, a great shot stopper Perin appears to have all the necessary attributes to succeed Gianluigi Buffon, as some fans believe he will, in Italy’s goal. Liverpool are thought to have sent scouts to look at the 22-year-old, however, Perin’s agent said the player could be staying put until the end of the season at least. That is unless somebody came with an undeniably good offer, then he would leave, Matteo Roggi said. 6 Guillermo Ochoa: Malaga and a Mexico World Cup star – Ochoa’s stock soared during the 2014 World Cup where highlights included a man of the match display against Brazil. He pulled off an extraordinary save from Neymar’s goal-bound header in the group stage match and there are even rumours Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign the 29-year-old for £3m from Malaga with the Mexico international playing second fiddle to Carlos Kameni in Spain. Asmir Begovic: Stoke and a proven Premier League goalkeeper – Stoke keeper Begovic has spoken of his desire to test himself at the highest level in the future and a £10m price tag has been banded about for the player, whose contract expires in 2016. Begovic was a Liverpool target in 2013, but after a move failed to materialise, Mignolet was signed. 6 6
Derby County have signed Manchester United starlet Jesse Lingard on loan until the end of the season.The 22-year-old, who had spells with Birmingham City and Brighton last year, will bolster the Rams’ ranks as they looked to earn promotion to the Premier League.Lingard made one Premier League appearance under Louis van Gaal this season but an injury saw him forced off the field after just 24 minutes against Swansea City on the opening day. Manchester United youngster Jesse Lingard 1
0Shares0000Nantes’ defender Diego Carlos (C) receives a red card on January 14, 2018 © AFP / LOIC VENANCEPARIS, France, Jan 14 – Angel Di Maria scored the only goal as Paris Saint-Germain claimed a controversial 1-0 Ligue 1 win at Nantes on Sunday that was marred by a bizarre late sending off.There was drama in added time as Nantes centre-back Diego Carlos was sent off by Tony Chapron for appearing to accidentally trip up the referee, with the official responding by kicking out at the Brazilian and brandishing a second yellow card. Players told French television after the game that Chapron claimed he had slipped and not kicked Carlos on purpose, despite clear video evidence to the contrary.Di Maria poked in a 12th-minute opener for the visitors, before producing a glaring miss later in the first half.Emiliano Sala thought he had headed in an equaliser for Nantes, but was incorrectly denied by the linesman’s flag.Unai Emery’s visitors took full advantage of their good fortune, and draws for Monaco and Lyon earlier in the weekend, to move 11 points clear at the top of the table.“It was different to lots of (our) matches,” said Emery.“This was a difficult team that put a lot of pressure on us. It’s true that in the second half they pushed more… But I think the win is deserved.”Paris Saint-Germain’s forward Angel Di Maria poked in a 12th-minute opener for the visitors © AFP / DAMIEN MEYERClaudio Ranieri’s Nantes stay fifth, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Marseille.“We did not even score the goal to get a draw, but here there is no video, like in Italy,” bemoaned Ranieri.“Sala comes from behind and the goal was valid. But that’s football.”World-record signing Neymar missed out for PSG with a rib problem but Edinson Cavani returned from injury, looking for the two goals he needed to break Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s club goalscoring record.Argentinian international Di Maria took advantage of Neymar’s absence as he gave PSG the lead with his seventh goal of the season.The front three were all involved as Cavani played a pass into Kylian Mbappe, and the teenager let the ball run for Di Maria to divert past Nantes goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.Di Maria should have doubled the advantage before half-time, but after meeting Adrien Rabiot’s pass six yards out with an open goal to aim at, he contrived to hit the crossbar.Nantes continued to plug away and came close to a leveller early in the second period, but Sala was denied by a sprawling Alphonse Areola after latching onto a slack Layvin Kurzawa backpass.– Sala effort ruled out –Lyon’s forward Nabil Fekir (R) jumps for the ball in front of Angers’ defender Vincent Manceau on January 14, 2018 © AFP / ROMAIN LAFABREGUEPSG almost took full advantage as Mbappe led a rapid breakaway, with Di Maria again the guilty party as he sliced horribly wide from the winger’s cutback.Ranieri’s Canaries continued to trouble the runaway league leaders and Argentinian striker Sala glanced home a header from a free-kick, only to be flagged offside despite clearly being behind the last defender when the ball was played.The barely believable sending off in injury-time summed up a bitterly disappointing day for Nantes, with Chapron definitely the villain in the eyes of the home fans.Earlier on Sunday, Lyon failed to take second spot after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Angers, despite a goal from Nabil Fekir.Monaco’s goalless draw at Montpellier on Saturday handed Lyon the chance to leapfrog the principality club.Karl Toko Ekambi gave the lowly visitors a shock 14-minute lead from the penalty spot, but the in-form Fekir dragged the hosts level shortly after half-time with his 14th league goal of the season.Bruno Genesio’s men remain third, behind reigning champions Monaco on goal difference.“We’re very disappointed, we had a bad start to the match and a difficult first half,” said Fekir.Saint-Etienne ended a 10-match winless streak with a 2-0 win over Toulouse thanks to goals from Robert Beric and Assane Diousse.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000Lionel Messi is Barcelona’s most iconic player © AFP/File / JAVIER SORIANOLONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 26 – Barcelona are the best-paid team in global sport and the first to have average basic annual pay of more than Sh1.3bn ($12.8 million) according to a global survey published on Monday.The Spanish giants return to the top of the pay rankings in the ninth edition of Sporting Intelligence’s Global Sports Salaries Survey (GSSS) for the first time since 2012. The average annual basic first-team salary at the Camp Nou was more than Sh1.4bn (£10.45 million) in late November of the 2018-19 season, the British-based researchers said.Barcelona are well clear at the top of this year’s list but domestic rivals Real Madrid have climbed to second place. Average basic pay at the Bernabeu is just over Sh1.04bn (£8 million) per year.In third place are last year’s number one team, basketball’s Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA with Sh1.02bn (£7.85million).The metric used by the GSSS is average first-team pay. It looks solely at earnings for playing sport, not for endorsements or other extra-curricular activities.“In last year’s list, Barcelona were the world’s best-paid football team but it has still taken an extraordinary combination of new contracts and signings to lift their average basic pay this time above £10m from £6.6m a year ago,” the report said.“Foremost among those contracts was the biggest pay deal in Barcelona’s history awarded to (Lionel) Messi, widely regarded now as the best footballer of all time. His gross basic (pre-tax) annual Barca pay tops Sh6.5bn (£50m) per year, including guaranteed image rights fees.”Six of the top 10 payers in this year’s GSSS are NBA teams – an ongoing consequence of a huge new TV deal in the NBA that kicked in before the 2016-17 season, the report said.As recently as the 2015 GSSS, there were eight football teams in the top 10 but there are just four this year — Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United.The NBA has extended its lead as the best-paying league by average salary Sh770mn (£5.9 million), ahead of the Indian Premier League cricket competition Sh496mn (£3.8 million when weekly pay is annualised) and MLB (baseball).The Premier League remains the world’s best-paying football league. Average pay in the 2018-19 season in England’s top division is nearly Sh391mn (£3 million) a year.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
That would be a massive boost for Spurs, with Barca already guaranteed to finish first in Group B, and possibly ready to rest their Argentinian star ahead of Sunday’s game against Levante, the only team to beat them in La Liga last season.For Tottenham to reach the Champions League next round, they need to match or better the result of Group B rivals Inter Milan, faced with the easier task of winning at home to PSV Eindhoven.Vermaelen, back from a hamstring injury, could be called on to play against an opponent he knows well and against whom he enjoyed some of his favourite moments for Arsenal in the Premier League before his move to Barcelona four years ago.“My favourite was maybe in my first or second year when we were losing 2-0 and ended up winning 5-2,” Vermaelen said. “I can still remember now the celebrations after in the changing room. The smell of the game, the noise. Those games against Tottenham at the Emirates were amazing.”In 2012, Arsenal were still the lead force in their duel with Spurs while Vermaelen was one of the division’s most impressive central defenders, known as the “Verminator”.Vermaelen still watches Arsenal and thinks Unai Emery is doing a “great job”.“I saw the last derby and you can see the atmosphere, how much it means every time, it was unbelievable,” he says. “I was really happy to be there for five years, I miss it. When I see the stadium and them doing well…I have good memories.”He left in 2014 when Barcelona made an offer of 19 million euros but injuries have limited his impact in Spain, especially during his debut season when he played only a single match.Messi made me better“I have no regrets. I came here to be surrounded by the biggest players in the world and that is something very special,” Vermaelen said. “It is not easy to start every game of course but overall I’ve been very happy. To be on the pitch with these guys, every day, I feel very blessed.”Messi is one of those. “In training he is the same as he is in matches,” Vermaelen says. “Imagine facing that every day! He has made me a better player.”With Samuel Umtiti out injured, Vermaelen could yet play an important role this term but his contract expires next summer and the 33-year-old is considering his options, including a return to England.“It is not impossible, I have warm memories of my time in England and I was very happy there.”Much can change in six months and Barcelona are competing on all fronts. They won the double in May but disappointment lingers from the shock defeat to Roma in the Champions League quarter-finals. Their coach, Ernesto Valverde, was blamed for not resting players enough.“The expectations are very high,” Vermaelen said. “We can’t think of it as a problem because that can also make it more difficult. It is just the Champions League is very tough to win,” he said.Complicating matters is the possibility of a controversial trip to Miami next month, where La Liga want to stage Barcelona’s away fixture against Girona.“It’s all a bit strange,” Vermaelen said. “Girona misses a home game and players have to travel so many hours already, on top you then have to go to Miami? That’s not very easy on us.”On Tuesday against Tottenham at Camp Nou he expects to see Belgian pals Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld but also Harry Kane, whom he faced twice during Belgium’s wins over England at the World Cup.Kane has four goals already in the Champions League and his name is regularly linked with Real Madrid.“He scores goals but in play too he is strong, which is not so common now,” Vermaelen said. “He is at that level where he could play for any club in the world, a complete player, no doubt.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Thomas Vermaelen knows Tottenham well from his five years with Arsenal in the Premier League. © AFP/File / Alexander NEMENOVBARCELONA, Spain, Dec 10 – Thomas Vermaelen still has a Whatsapp group with his Belgium team-mates at Tottenham but when it comes to Barcelona’s plans for their Champions League match at the Camp Nou on Tuesday, all concerned are keeping quiet.“We talk all the time but they know they can’t do anything about who will play,” says the former Arsenal defender in an exclusive interview with AFP, referring to the possibility that Lionel Messi may take the night off.
0Shares0000Harambee Stars legend Dennis Oliech with Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay after his first training session at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on December 28, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay has tipped striker Dennis Oliech to be part of Kenya’s squad to June’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON), saying he is experienced and a good role model to the upcoming players.Oliech, whose goal took Kenya to its last Cup of Nations in 2004, has been away from the Gor team over the last two games over a pay row, but returned in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Tusker FC in Machakos. Oktay says he was pleased to have the experienced forward back and hopes the circumstances that led to his absence will not arise again.“He is one of my best players and I am happy to have him back. I care about my players; sometimes they can lose track, doesn’t matter. It is my job to fix my players and help them improve. Dennis is a great footballer, a great professional with a lot of positive attitude and I wish to see him at AFCON,” the tactician stated.Oliech was not part of head coach Sebastien Migne’s first preliminary training squad, though the French tactician said there was still space for him if he proves his worth on the pitch.The talisman who has scored four times for Gor since he stepped out of retirement to join them was slowed down by a hamstring injury, but has managed to shake it away and return to action.Dennis Oliech in action against Posta Rangers at the Kasarani Stadium on January 9, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaHe came on as a second half substitute in the win over Tusker yesterday and had a late chance to cap it off with a goal but he blasted his chance over.Meanwhile, the tactician has lavished his players with praise after their victory over Tusker Despite playing for almost three quarters of the game with 10 men following Boniface Oluoch’s red card.He added he was impressed with the squad especially because he made only one change from the team that played in the CAF Confederations Cup on Sunday.“We knew it was going to be a very tough game and I didn’t want to risk and rotate the team very much. With 10 men, tired legs from the Confederations Cup game, mentally and physically exhausted, we played a tough team which is also gunning for the title and winning like this, I am proud of the boys. Tremendous performance; excellent,”He added; “We missed lots of chances, the game should be 4-0 or 5-0.”Gor Mahia had light training on Thursday morning ahead of their trip to Algeria on Friday where they are scheduled to play NA Hussein Dey in the return leg of their CAF Confederations Cup.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000Sofapaka’s Piston Mutamba vies for the ball with AFC Leopards’ Isaac Kipyegon (right) and Aziz Okaka (left) during their 2019 Kenyan Premier League first leg clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – Just a day after celebrating the club’s 55th birthday, AFC Leopards will have little time to party as their new found form will come under sharp focus when they face a stern Sofapaka test at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on Wednesday afternoon.Ingwe banished a six-game losing streak with back to back victories over Sony Sugar and Tusker FC and the club will be looking to take that count to three when they take on third placed Batoto ba Mungu. AFC has been boosted with the news on Tuesday afternoon that their defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng will be eligible to play after the Harambee Stars defender received his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) from Sweden.“I am glad that I can finally play but I don’t think I am yet in a position to start because it has been long since I played. But I am ready if the coach wants me to start then I have to do my best,” Ochieng noted.He added; “This is the first step of my journey back to the top and hopefully I will give the best to the team.”Ochieng’s addition will be a huge plus for the AFC defense that had been leaking goals before their victory over Sony in Kakamega.Head coach Cassa Mbungo will also hope Ochieng’s experience in his vast career will help propel the team off the bottom half of the table as they are currently languishing at 14th spot with 16 points, five away from the top half.Sofapaka’s John Avire vies for the ball with AFC Leopards’ Isaac Oduro during their 2019 Kenyan Premier League first leg clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluThe first leg between these two sides ended 2-2 but it promises to be a cracker when they meet again at Bukhungu.Meanwhile, Sofapaka will go top of the standings with victory on Wednesday. They sit third with 30 points, just two shy of early leaders Bandari and a victory will put them on top of everyone.“That is the motivation we have as a team because, you can never count the matches you have not played. Being on top of the league is itself a morale boosting thing to the players and that is our target. To go up there and remain there,” Sofapaka coach John Baraza said.He added; “We expect a very tough game beyavse AFC are in good form and that means there is something positive they are doing. It is always tough against them and it will not be different this time.”Sofapaka will welcome back defensive stalwart Mousa Omar who missed last weekend’s massive 3-0 win over Chemelil Sugar in Awasi, but they will still be without the injured trio of Dennis Odhiambo, Michael Oduor and Mohammed Kilume.Fapaka head coach John Baraza shouts instructions on the touchline during the Kenyan Premier League match against Gor Mahia at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on February 18, 2019“Dennis has trained very well and he is back up in contention. But we felt this match is too early for him but next week he should be available. Mohammed has just started light training but probably in the next three or four weeks we should be looking at him back,” Baraza opined.In the other midweek ties, Kariobangi Sharks will be at home against Nzoia Sugar at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani, the reigning FKF Shield champions looking to get themselves back into title contention.After two draws in their last three games, Sharks find themselves dropping down to fifth spot with 26 points and boss William Muluya will be aiming to get back to winning ways against a Nzoia side that has lost four of its last five games.Nzoia, still without replacement for Nicholas Muyoti as head coach, are struggling to keep afloat and are 11th in the standings with 20 points.The first leg in Sudi ended 0-0 and it was the first time the sugar millers were getting a point off Sharks, the latter having won all the preceding four ties.KPL Wednesday midweek fixtures: Western Stima vs Chemelil Sugar FC – Kisumu – 3pmAFC Leopards vs Sofapaka – Bukhungu – 3pmKariobangi Sharks vs Nzoia Sugar FC – Kasarani – 3pm0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000Aston Villa’s Wesley (L) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring against Everton © AFP / Ben STANSALLBirmingham, United Kingdom, Aug 24 – Wesley fired Aston Villa to their first Premier League win for over three years as the Brazilian’s maiden goal for his new club inspired a 2-0 victory against Everton on Friday.After losing to Tottenham and Bournemouth in their first two games, Villa finally got their campaign up and running on their return to the top flight after a three-year absence. Dean Smith’s promoted side were already being written off as relegation fodder following their nervous start to the season.But Wesley’s first goal since the forward’s £22 million ($27 million) close-season move from Belgian side Club Brugge lifted the mood at Villa Park in the 22nd minute.Anwar El Ghazi added the second in stoppage-time to ensure Villa were able to celebrate the end of a 15-match winless run in the Premier League dating back to a victory over Norwich in February 2016.“It was very sweet. It was a hard-earned win. We always looked a threat on the break. To get that goal at the end just capped it off,” Smith said.“Our defensive organisation was good. I always thought we would score a second, but I thought it would come a bit earlier.“Getting your home results in this league is a important and getting your first one is massive.”Everton paid the price for poor finishing as they wasted chances to maintain their unbeaten run, which came to an abrupt end after a draw against Crystal Palace and a victory over Watford.“It is really difficult to see how we can lose this game when we create so many chances to score,” Everton boss Marco Silva said.“It is concerning about the goals we didn’t score and of course we should score more. Against Palace we created lots of chances to score and didn’t and again today.”Jack Grealish had lost a record 20 successive Premier League games with Villa — dating back to their previous spell in the top flight — and he was fortunate not to concede an early penalty for a challenge on Richarlison.– Flat-footed –Grealish set about ending his dismal losing streak when he cleverly took a quick free-kick inside his own half that caught Everton flat-footed.Grealish picked out Jota and he advanced down the left flank before slipping a superb pass to Wesley, who found the bottom corner with a fine finish.Wesley threatened a second goal moments later but this time his shot was blocked by Yerry Mina’s sliding challenge.Everton should have equalised when Morgan Schneiderlin found Seamus Coleman and he clipped a pass to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whose first-time shot was blocked on the line by Villa defender Bjorn Engels.Everton hadn’t come from behind at half-time to win a Premier League game since September 2015 and that run was destined to continue.Silva tried to spark his team by sending on former Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi for his debut along with ex-Juventus striker Moise Kean.Iwobi had an immediate impact and he turned to fire against the post in the closing moments.Theo Walcott should have equalised in the 90th minute but the unmarked substitute somehow fired over from close range as he took a hurried swipe at Kean’s cross.And El Ghazi wrapped up the long-awaited points for Villa when he slotted home John McGinn’s pass from six yards in the fifth minute of added time.0Shares0000(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)
Competing health-care reform plans proposed by Democratic leaders, he added, put too much of the burden on business alone. Fleming said the chamber’s board overwhelmingly voted to support the governor’s plan. Earlier this month, the Legislature passed Assembly Bill 8, a health reform plan authored by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, and the Senate president pro tempore, Don Perata, D-Oakland. But Schwarzenegger is expected to veto that bill and has called a special legislative session to focus on achieving health-care reform this year. Schwarzenegger’s proposal calls for a combination of requiring all Californians to carry health insurance, requiring insurers to provide coverage to everyone and expanding access to publicly funded coverage plans. SACRAMENTO – The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce endorsed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s health-care reform proposal Monday, becoming the largest business group to support the effort. The California Chamber of Commerce, a normally staunch Schwarzenegger ally, continues to be concerned about the costs businesses would bear under the plan. But the Los Angeles chamber traditionally has been closer to the political center on many issues, and chamber Chairman David Fleming said the governor’s plan does not burden businesses alone. “We need a plan that will cover everyone in California, but it shouldn’t be a plan that’s funded solely by business,” Fleming said. “It should be a plan that’s funded by everybody in this state, all the interests.” It also requires employers who don’t provide coverage to pay 4 percent of their payroll to a state fund and would charge hospitals 4 percent and doctors 2 percent of gross revenues for health coverage. The plan was introduced in January, but has yet to muster enough Republican support to pass the Legislature. It is expected to need a two-thirds vote because the financing mechanisms are seen as a tax. Without Republican support, Schwarzenegger is considering placing at least the funding portion on voters’ ballots. Schwarzenegger welcomed the chamber’s support Monday, saying the coalition supporting his plan has been growing. He said he is continuing talks with Nunez and Perata but hopes to avoid a piecemeal approach under which the state would first look at expanding coverage for children or creating an employer mandate. “I think we’re really marching in the same direction,” Schwarzenegger said. “I think, more and more, everyone realizes that we ought to reform and do total and comprehensive reform.” Nunez said he was glad to see the Los Angeles chamber get involved and he will continue working with the governor on a compromise plan. “It’s great to see the Los Angeles chamber step up to the plate in support of health care reform, but I remain concerned that Republican opposition to the governor’s two-thirds vote proposal in the regular legislative session will still be an obstacle in the current special session,” Nunez said in a written statement. email@example.com (916) 446-6723160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
MARKETS: Internet company continues its surge and reaches yet another milestone. By Michael Liedtke THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Google Inc.’s stock price sailed past $600 for the first time Monday, extending a monthlong rally propelled by the lofty expectations surrounding the Internet search leader’s upcoming third-quarter earnings report. The biggest beneficiaries of the stock’s ascension have been Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who began developing their search engine, then called BackRub, in a Stanford University dorm room in 1996. Page and Brin, both 34, rank among the world’s wealthiest people, with fortunes approaching $20 billion each. Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, and top sales executive Omid Kordestani have also accumulated enough stock in the company to become multibillionaires. Hundreds of other Google employees are millionaires. Google’s stock has reigned as one of the hottest commodities on Wall Street because its search engine has turned into a moneymaking machine as advertisers spend more on the Internet to connect with consumers who are increasingly shunning television, radio and traditional print media. Google’s search engine is the hub of the Web’s most lucrative ad network. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Mountain View-based company’s shares traded as high as $610.26 before slipping back to $609.62, a gain of $15.57, or 2.6percent. It marked the sixth time in the past 12 trading sessions that the stock has reached a new high, showing investors are confident Google’s third-quarter profit will be impressive. The results are scheduled to be released Oct. 18. The latest milestone served as yet another reminder of the immense wealth created since Google went public in August 2004. The shares have increased more than sevenfold from their initial public offering price of $85, bringing the nine-year-old company’s market value to $190 billion – eclipsing bigger, more mature businesses such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Coca-Cola Co., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp. It took 10 months for Google’s stock to leap from $500 to $600 and more than a year for the journey from $400 to $500. The shares hurdled $300 in June 2005 after passing the $100 and $200 thresholds in 2004. Analysts began predicting Google’s stock would reach $600 at the start of 2006 when the shares were still hovering around $420. Some analysts are already predicting Google’s stock will hit $700 within the next year, but the average target price for the stock is $614.64 among analysts polled by Thomson Financial.
1 Arsenal and Liverpool target Juan Iturbe has moved a step closer to making a big-money move to England next season after his agent confirmed two Premier League clubs are ready to pay £18m to clinch his signature.The two English sides have both been strongly linked with the 21-year-old Roma winger who is rated one of the best young players in Serie A.Both Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers are looking to strengthen their squads during the summer and have been impressed with the performances of Iturbe in Italy this season.Roma will be doing everything to keep their star asset at the club, but Iturbe’s agent Gustavo Mascardi claims there is a lot of interest in the Argentine player and there could be a lot of activity during the summer.Mascardi, speaking on Radio Crc, said: “There are two teams in England who want him and would be willing to pay the fee that Roma did for him.” Juan Iturbe in action for Roma