Three weeks ago, Harbour View were in pole position to secure the last remaining Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL)semi-final spot, even though they only led UWI on goaldifference.However, three matches later following two draws and a loss the Stars of the East have sunk two places down the table to sixth, five points adrift of fourth place UWI (45) and four behind fifth place Humble Lion with two matches to go.One of those rounds will be played today, with Harbour View hosting Arnett Gardens at Harbour View Stadium.Following the team’s 1-1 draw with Reno at home on Sunday, Harbour View’s head coach Ludlow Bernard is willing to accept that the team will not make the last four thisseason.”We as the coaches will have to look into ourselves, do some introspection and find out if we were going about the business in a manner that could really get them over the hump. So we will have to review our position and take it from there,” he told The Gleaner.”But at the same time players have to be accountable. I am never going to complain about the content or quality of the squad because I believe the quality was good enough for us to execute on each day.”But at the same time, there seems to be a lack of desire and attitude, and it was very exemplary today (Sunday) with that opportunity Ranique Muir got at the back post, when he chose to simply tapped home when he should have really rammed home the advantage in a very decisive way and I think that speaks to the type of attitude that our players have, so it is a two-way street,” he reasoned.Harbour View controlled the first-half against Reno and went ahead through Muir after 17 minutes. The hosts then wasted great chances to extend their lead through Muir, Evan Taylor and Mark English.However, Reno found an equaliser in the 79th minute through Renario Downswell and then came inches to taking the three points twice at the death.”Clearly it wasn’t the result we planned for all week,” Bernard commented. “It’s very disappointing with what transpired here this evening (Sunday).”We were in control and should have come away with all three points as we got some very good one v one with the goalkeeper and failed to capitalise and as usual you pay the price for those instances.”Also, probably we were a little slack at the back and that caused us to concede the goal, so I think it’s lights out for us. It is going to be highly improbable for us to get back (in semi-final race) and I am willing to concede at this moment,” he stated.Today’s matchesBoys’ Town vs Tivoli Gardens at Barbican StadiumHarbour View vs Arnett Gardens at Harbour View StadiumHumble Lion vs Cavalier at Effortville Community CentrePortmore United vs UWI FC at Juici Park, ClarendonRivoli United vs MoBay United at Spanish Town Prison OvalWaterhouse vs FC Reno at DrewslandAll matches start at 3:30 p.m. read more
Desperate Portugal with the world’s best player, Cristiano Ronaldo, regained some honor, defeating Ghana 2-1 in their last Group G match yesterday in Brazilia in the Brazil 2014 World Cup.But both teams are going home.Ronaldo’s winner was a hand-me-down chance when Jonathan Mensah headed Portugal’s Nani’s cross up in the air and Ghanaian goalkeeper Fatau, instead of catching the ball, flapped it straight into the path of on-rushing Ronaldo, who had the easy job of slotting the ball into the bottom corner.At the same time yesterday, Germany defeated the United States 1-0 but that did not stop the Americans from qualifying for the knock rounds.The Black Stars’ camp was rocked by their demand for their World Cup bonus, which threatened their game and the money, about U$3million, was wired to the team in Brazil, through the intervention of the country’s president.While still hoping for a good run, two players, Sulley Muntari and Kervin Prince Boateng were involved in a fist fight and as a result were expelled from the team.But on the field of play, the Portuguese had 55% possession as against 45% by the Black Stars.Black Stars committed 16 fouls against 21 of the Portuguese, who made 10 target attempts at goal against 6 by the Ghanaians.Portugal made 19 shots against 18 of the Black Stars.While Ronaldo’s 80th minute goal secured the victory, Portugal’s first goal was an own goal scored by Ghanaian defender John Boye.It was after Joao Moutinho connected Ruben Amorim. Amorim sent a left-wing cross that Ghanaian defender Boye sliced it into his own net with goalkeeper Fatau Dauda completely beaten.Yesterday’s loss ended the dream of the Black Stars, as they began preparation to return to Accra.So far, Ghana joined two other African representatives, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire who have already returned home, to watch the rest of the games on flat screens.Still in contention are Nigeria, who qualified for the knockout stage, and Algeria who was scheduled to take on Russia yesterday at Arena da Baixada.Meanwhile, Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan eclipsed the record of Cameroon’s Roger Milla, for scoring six goals in World Cup finals.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) read more
… fearful organisation will threaten to withhold grantsBY DEVINA SAMAROOGovernment will soon launch an investigation into findings of a multimillion-dollar fraud in its malariaPublic Health Minister, Dr George Nortonprogramme, which is funded by the Global Fund International Organisation.Following complaints of mass irregularities in the Global Fund malaria grant in Guyana, the international organisation commenced an investigation into the matter, covering the period January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015.According to the findings of the investigation, there were complaints of fabricated data in relation to the distribution of bed nets, malaria surveillance activities and associated fraudulent expenditures, including ‘per diems’ and fuel for programmatic work that allegedly did not take place.Reports indicate that these irregularities affected expenditures totalling US$72,973 which the organisation will likely seek to recover.The irregularities were facilitated by the inadequate management of the Global Fund malaria programme by the Vector Control Services (VCS) of the Public Health Ministry, which included poor record-keeping and a failure to respond to Global Fund Secretariat Management Actions.During the period under investigation, Dr Reyaud Rahman was the Director of the VCS. He resigned in December 2015.Taking actionWith an allegation of corruption and fraud of such magnitude being levied against the Government, Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton said an investigation will be launched as soon as possible in order to determine the best course of action to be taken.Since the possibility is high Government that will be required to pay back the recoverable monies, Dr Norton said an independent investigation into the findings in the Global Fund report is necessary to confirm the validity of the information.“The Global Fund is probably asking for a repayment or a refunding, and we would not go about doing so without investigating and see what measures we need to take… We will take whatever measures and the corrective actions will be taken,” he explained.He noted too that the investigations will determine whether or not any actions should be taken against culpable individuals.Asked if the international organisation has threatened to withhold untouched funds or prohibit further funding until the matter is resolved, the Health Minister responded in the negative; however, he noted that nothing is preventing them from taking such a route.“While I hope this is not the case, it certainly stands to reason that such actions might very well be taken,” he stated.Moreover, Dr Norton said he plans to arrange a meeting with the local representatives of the organisation to further discuss the matter.BurdenDr Norton posited that it will be awfully burdensome if Government is mandated to reimburse Global Fund of the millions of dollars allegedly swindled under the malaria programme.Even more disadvantageous, he said, is the likelihood of Guyana becoming blacklisted from receiving further funding.“At this point in time, paying any debt of that nature would certainly not be in the best interest of the economy of the country. We cannot afford to do that. It is unfortunate that this had to happen, we are definitely in need of such funding and we are just hoping that this will not affect us in the future to access such funding,” he expressed.Nonetheless, the Minister noted that it was quite odd that the Global Fund chose only now to launch the investigation.“Why would Global Fund wait five years after they started giving us access to funds before they started checking on accountability…” he pondered.Inflated figuresAccording to the report, employees of the Global Fund malaria programme, VSC, and the Health Ministry were interviewed in relation to the complaints of irregularities.The report said the investigation found evidence that VCS employees inflated the number of long-lasting insecticide impregnated mosquito nets (bed nets) reported as distributed and had fabricated underlying bed net distribution documents to support the inflated figures.Additionally, the report said VCS employees also fabricated documentation for another surveillance activity relating to the operation of malaria committees.The report further stated that two VCS malaria supervisors responsible for distributing bed nets in the regions confessed that they had inflated bed net distribution figures in the Semester Reports and that they had fabricated underlying documentation to support the figures.The two individuals claimed that an administrative employee had instructed them to inflate the figures.However, when interviewed, the VCS administrative employee denied passing instructions for the figures to be inflated.The report also stated that the former VCS Director claimed he never gave instructions to inflate the figures or fabricate the documents.The report noted that there was an analysis of over 46,000 individual names and signatures on the bed net distribution activity sheets to assess if the activity sheets contained indicators that bed nets had not been distributed to beneficiaries, and upon completion of this exercise, it found that it could not obtain reasonable assurance that 20,981 bed nets, which represents 45.2 per cent of the total reviewed, had been delivered to beneficiaries on the basis of anomalies found in the bed net distribution activity sheets.This figure did not include bed nets where it appeared that a single individual, such as a community health worker, mining camp leader or a family member, had signed legitimately on behalf of a group of individuals.The investigation also found that the average incidence of signature anomalies across the regions and periods under review was similar, indicating that the fabrication of underlying bed net distribution documentation was systematic. read more
A labourer was on Wednesday fined $50,000 or four weeks imprisonment after he appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer to a simple larceny charge.Forty-six-year-old Ho?e Hamilton of Lot M 41 North Sophia, Greater Georgetown, on January 18, 2018, stole four 18-inch chrome tyre rims valued $100,000; property of Dale De Mendonca.Hamilton pleaded guilty with explanation to the charges that were read to him.He told the court that he usually does cleaning of drains and yards around the Sheriff Street area when he came across the chrome rims and thought that they were thrown away.The man said he took the rims and was shortly after apprehended by the Police who placed him in custody.He subsequently returned one of the rims to the owner.
Constitutional reformAs talks about constitutional reform return to the front burner, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said he is currently more concerned about the ongoing breaches of the present Constitution by the Government.On the heels of a constitutional reform symposium organised by the Carter Centre with support from the UK, the former President also expressed concerns about the role of the international community as well as the process by which the current Administration is seeking to bring about constitutional reform. Jagdeo told media operatives that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) remains committed and open to the concept of improving the Constitution however he had grave reservations about a number of issues.“We’re still a bit confused as to which external agency the Government has requested to work with them on the whole process of constitutional reform (and) we have grave concerns about the process about constitutional reform,” the Opposition Leader noted.He explained that Government has treated the matter as a task of the Executive, excluding the majority of stakeholders, including political and civil society representatives.Moreover, Jagdeo said the Administration is still to make pellucid what exactly it wishes to reform.However, he said the burning question should be what can be done to ensure there is respect for the Constitution.“Why should we be pursuing a new round of constitutional reform when the Government does not even respect the things we have agreed to in the past?” he reasoned.Jagdeo said, for the past few months, there has been nothing but blatant disrespect and bypass of the Constitution by officials of the Government, accusing even the President David Granger.Jagdeo said matters range from the snubbing of the Constitution about the appointment of a Guyana Elections Commission Chairman, the bypassing of the Director of Public Prosecution’s Office to facilitate the operations of State Assets Recovery Unity and Special Organised Crime Unit, the Carvil Duncan issue, among others.According to the Opposition Leader, the issue of respect for the Constitution should perhaps be first addressed before the matter of reform is given any serious attention.Meanwhile, during the forum which was held at the Education Lecture Theatre of the University of Guyana, there were calls for reforms to the electoral system, more accountability on campaign financing, among others.Constitutional reform had featured prominently in the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change coalition’s pre-elections manifesto, but no Government Minister was present during the forum.Many believe that its promise has turned into a paradigmatic example of foot-dragging.The only hint of the status of the constitutional reform process was the establishment of a “Steering Committee for Constitutional Reform” (SCCR) in September 2015, which held extensive hearings and took submissions from the populace at large. These were summarised and submitted to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in April 2016. He, in turn, submitted the Report to Cabinet, which had a “Constitutional Reform Consultative Commission Bill” drafted, then further “deliberated” on it. The Report then seemed to have disappeared into a black hole.Then in November last, Nagamootoo requested $80 million for wider consultations on the matter.In February 2018, Guyanese learnt that a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Mission was in Guyana at the request of Prime Minister to “(i) assess the political environment in Guyana and the legal and institutional framework governing the constitutional reform process; (ii) review past reform processes; (iii) evaluate the interest, capacity and roles of the various civil and political stakeholders in engaging in the constitutional reform process; and (iv) assess the potential role of UNDP-UNDPA in assisting this process and resources required.”Reports indicate that the UNDP team came, met, and then departed without their assessment being made public, or the public being consulted. read more
Building an oil refinery in Guyana will be a risky undertaking with extremely thin profit margins, Director of Advisory Services at the United States-based Hartree Partners, Pedro Haas has said.Haas was presenting a feasibility study conducted on the possibility of Guyana building an oil refinery, during a public consultation held at Marian Academy’s auditorium, Georgetown on Wednesday.Director of Advisory Services at the United States-based Hartree Partners, Pedro HaasHe said the cost to build a refinery that would produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day was US$5 billion, with a construction period of 50 to 60 months at the very least.This cost not only caters for the off-site location and other facilities, but takes into account the cost for energy, hydrogen supply, water and docking, which adds to the total cost of the project.“While many places in the world build refineries that produce around 200,000 barrels per day; the 200,000 barrels a day refinery is way above the 13-14,000 barrels per day that Guyana requires and it’s a massive investment,” he told the audience on Wednesday.The company looked at economic models used in other oil-producing countries and compared them with the scale and complexity of Guyana’s potential oil market to come up with the recommendations. Expert opinions from oil and engineering companies were also taken on board.However, even with a smaller oil refinery, Haas said there was a high possibility of Guyana getting a negative rate of return on investment of between US$2 billion and US$3 billion. “That’s a very significant number, because the total investment is US$5 billion; that means you are destroying half the value of your investment,” he added.Against this backdrop, Haas argued that if Guyana decided to build its own refinery, it would have to compete with refineries operated in the Atlantic basin and some in the United States.“Some of them are fully depreciated and they are operated at a very low cost. So, you have to compete against a depreciated refinery with a new facility and you have to compete with an even more efficient set of refineries,” he explained.The consultant pointed to the closure of several oil refineries in countries like St Croix, Aruba and Curaçao, which he said tells you that the investments were not feasible. He also used Brazil as an example of a country where building oil refineries has not been a profitable undertaking.While he said Government should not object to private investors taking the risks, he noted that the finances were negative, as the investor would most likely never be paid back.In responding to a question from the audience, Haas argued that establishing an oil refinery in Guyana would not guard against price shocks in the oil market, explaining that oil prices were controlled by international factors beyond Guyana’s control.In presenting some alternatives to building an oil refinery in Guyana, Haas said the country could look at selling its crude and in turn importing supplies. He also suggested swapping crude for oil products, or reaching an agreement with a refinery to have certain products returned at an agreed price.DecisionNatural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, who was present at the consultation, said that Government has not made any decision on whether it would construct a refinery or not, explaining that this could not be a unilateral decision.“Information is not always packaged in a manner in which we would wish to have it and it is not always palatable to the taste we would wish. But we thought in this instance, in the interest of transparency we decided to share what we have received,” Trotman said, referring to the presentation made by Hartree.Trotman said most of the decisions would be made by “political imperatives”. However, he said he hoped that the economic importance would not be lost when a final decision was made.The Minister said consultations would continue in various other parts of Guyana and in the Diaspora before a final decision was made as to whether Guyana should build its own oil refinery. read more
The 34-year-old was on the winning side in 26 tournaments and notched up six World Series victories. He has also captained New Zealand to gold at a Commonwealth Games and World Rugby Sevens World Cup.Forbes was named International Sevens Player of the Year in 2008 and has been the recipient of the Richard Crawshaw Memorial Trophy for Sevens Player of the Year at the New Zealand Rugby Awards in 2007, 2008 and 2014, the most wins by any player.He said after 11 years in the national squad it was time to move on to other challenges.“The last 11 years with the All Blacks Sevens has been an awesome ride that I’ve loved every minute of,” Forbes told the All Blacks’ official website.“I’ve built life-long friendships with players, coaches and management and got to experience the high of success on the international stage. I want to thank all those who have helped and supported me on the way, from club level right through to the national side.“Sevens means you’re on the road a lot. While I got to travel and represent my country, sacrifices were made at home. I want to thank my wife and kids and family and friends for their enormous support, and I am looking forward to being around a lot more.“Today starts my new life after footy. I’m looking forward to finishing my Master’s degree, which examines what makes successful coaching from an athlete’s perspective, and my goal is to one day coach a national side.”New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said Forbes’ retirement was the end of an era.“DJ has been an integral part of an incredibly successful All Blacks Sevens outfit that defined the way the game is played,” he explained.“His natural leadership saw him take on the captaincy of the team during a period of triumph and his knowledge of sSvens and calm wisdom will be sorely missed.“His success in Sevens is without peer. He’s been a consistent and dominant force on the world stage for so long, achieving nearly every title and accolade Sevens has going during his playing career.“DJ is one of the great guys of rugby. Dominant on the field and respected off it. He’s has been a great ambassador both nationally and internationally for Sevens and has given a huge amount of his time help grow its profile. We are sad to see him go but wish him and his family all the best for the next stage in his career.”All Blacks Sevens head coach Clark Laidlaw said DJ was an inspiration to the team.“DJ’s contribution to Sevens has been as big as any. His consistency of performance over a long-playing career is unheralded,” he said.“What impresses me is DJ’s ability to always play at his very best and lead by example, regardless of the circumstances. We wish him the best of luck for the future.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000DJ Forbes has call it quit in the gameLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 6 – All Blacks Sevens legend DJ Forbes, the most capped player in World Sevens history, has announced his retirement from the game.Forbes’ illustrious career with the All Blacks Sevens started 11 years ago in 2006 and since then he has amassed a record 89 World Series tournament appearances and played in a record 512 World Series games, scoring 153 tries. read more
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Museum needed a little bit of cleaning up after two people climbed over the fence onto the property last night.Councillor Larry Evans says he got a call after the alarm was set off by people throwing flower pots at the windows.Evans says a couple of ladies were in front of the museum and then one of them took a planter and threw it at the door and set the alarm off.- Advertisement -He says there wasn’t any major damage to the property and nothing was stolen. The RCMP arrested one of the women, he says he wasn’t sure about the other.The City is reminding everyone to be vigilant and if you see anyone ever damaging property to call 911.
CALGARY, A.B. – The National Energy Board will hold a hearing to determine if the Coastal GasLink pipeline should face a federal environmental review.Earlier this year, B.C. resident Michael Sawyer, who worked two decades in Alberta as an environmental consultant in the oil and gas sector argued that Coastal GasLink should have faced a federal environmental review instead of a provincial one.TransCanada responded to the challenge from Michael Sawyer saying that the Board should decline to establish a process to examine the jurisdictional question raised in Sawyer’s application.- Advertisement -“Six years after the public process began to decide whether the Project should be allowed to proceed (a process the applicant chose not to participate in), four years after Project approval, and four years after the applicant’s similar challenge to another approved LNG pipeline, the applicant again seeks to create uncertainty masked in a question of constitutional law,” the letter reads. “While aware of the issues raised in the Application for at least four years, the applicant has waited until the eve of the publicly known Final Investment Decision (FID) date for the LNG Canada Project to impact that project and associated developments (including the Project).”Now that the NEB has decided to hold a hearing, it will be held in March of 2019. In the decision by the board, the NEB said “The decision of the Board following this hearing will not in itself allow for the construction or operation of the Project. Rather if, following this hearing, the Board determines that it ought to take jurisdiction of the Project, it would require a separate application and hold a separate hearing to determine whether to approve the Project.”In September mayors from across B.C., including Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman, penned a letter expressing support for the proposed LNG Canada project and disappointment with the timing of Mr. Sawyer’s jurisdictional challenge to stall the construction of the pipeline.Advertisement The Coastal GasLink pipeline will bring natural gas from Northeast B.C. to Kitimat, where it will be processed and shipped to Asian markets through Shell’s LNG Canada project.$6.2 billion will be invested in the Coastal GasLink pipeline project. read more
1 Brendan Rodgers insists sentiment would play no part in agreeing a new contract with captain Steven Gerrard.The former England captain’s deal expires next summer and with reported interest from elsewhere – Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini recently voiced his admiration for the player and would not rule out a move – Rodgers is desperate to ensure a new deal is struck.The 34-year-old has played 13 Premier League and Champions League games this season, scoring three goals in the process to demonstrate his continuing importance on the field as out-of-sorts Liverpool seek to rebuild their form.“It is certainly not sentimental (to offer new terms to Gerrard),” Rodgers told several national newspapers. “As the manager of this club you can’t afford to do that. Look at his contribution in the two years that I’ve been here.“Steven was 32, had struggled with injury, hadn’t played consistently over a number of years, and I came in, sold him the idea and the philosophy of how we wanted to work and his importance to it.“In that period, he has been absolutely outstanding and of course maybe the team hasn’t played so well this year, and maybe there’s a focus on Steven, but he’s been absolutely brilliant for me.“Both on and off the field, as a leader and a captain I want to ensure that on this second curve we’re on, in terms of the development of this group, he is very much a part of that.“So there is certainly no sentiment involved in it. When you see his influence in the changing room, he is still an outstanding player.“He will be 35 at the end of the season but he is still fresh and he still looks after himself very well. Technically he is a big player for us. He is the perfect sort of example for a lot of our players to learn from.” Steven Gerrard in action for Liverpool read more