Guyana-Mexico rice dealThe promised rice deal between Guyana and the North American Spanish-speaking country of Mexico is yet to become a reality, as Guyana awaits the completion of a Pest Risk Assessment currently being carried out by that country.Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) General Manager Nizam Hassan told Guyana Times on Wednesday that the Board had already played its part in this Risk Assessment, which he believed would create brighter prospects for rice farmers. He said Guyana has already submitted the necessary information to Mexico for it to carry out the analysis. It is now awaiting the results.Hassan disclosed further, however, that Guyana still has another hurdle to cross after the analysis. “We have been told that the Pest Risk Assessment is under review by SENASICA (the Mexican Government agency responsible for such activity) and that the next step will be to submit it to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for potential comments.”Last year, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo publicly announced that Government was moving in the direction of securing a rice deal with Mexico. This was a few months after the lucrative rice deal with Venezuela came to an abrupt end. It was noted that the relationship between Guyana and Venezuela became extremely tense and further deteriorated after the A Partnership for National Unity /Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government made a decision not to allow the Venezuelan State-owned airline Conviasa Airlines to land in Guyana over the non-payment of its bond. As time progressed, the two countries drifted from the cordial relations they were sharing for a number of years to bilateral talks breaking down. The rice industry in Guyana is suffering even more since the deal with that country was by far the most profitable.In earlier reports, Rice Producers Association (RPA) General Secretary Dharamkumar Seeraj had disclosed that there was no progress on the Mexican deal since the collapse of the lucrative Venezuelan deal. According to Seeraj, “There were promises of Guyana selling into the Mexican market as to replace, if not by value, by volume, the Venezuelan market, but we are still awaiting some progress of that arrangement with Mexico.”Seeraj had also highlighted that the proposed rice deal with Mexico might not even be a lucrative one. He said the RPA was not too optimistic about that market becoming a reality, and even if it did, it may not be at a competitive price, as the United States supplied about 95 per cent of the rice sold to Mexico at very economical prices.“Mexico is also very close to the US so there are a lot of logistical advantages over a country like Guyana that is way down in South America.”He reminded that Mexico and the US were also part of the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), a trading bloc protected by protocols involving taxes on imports for extra-regional sources. Guyana, he said, can be classified as an extra-regional source taking into consideration NAFTA.
The trial of George Dover concluded at the High Court on Thursday when a 12-member jury panel acquitted him on two counts of attempted murder committed on fellow Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD) resident Kester Yamster on April 10, 2015 at Eccles.Dover had always maintained that he was innocent of the allegations, and the jury, by way of its decision which came after two-and-a-half hours of deliberations, concurred with the contention of the former accused.On first count of attempted murder, he was unanimously found not guilty but on the second count he was acquitted via a proportion of 10-2.After he was freed, Justice Navindra Singh, who had presided over the trial, encouraged Dover to make more informed decisions in life, considering he is still a young man.The State was represented by Abigail Gibbs, Tiffini Lyken and Shawnette Austin, and the defence team was led by attorney George Thomas, while Retired Rear Admiral Gary Best and Keisha Persaud had also appeared for the accused.Dover had, on Wednesday, given an unsworn statement to the jury, denying he was the aggressor in the incident, and saying it was in fact Yamster who had approached him. The virtual complainant Yamster was only 15 at the time of the stabbing.“He ask me what game you want play. He draw for something from he waist; he rush me and I hold onto he. We had a scuffle, he ease off of me and I run straight to Providence Police Station,” the former accused testified.However, on Tuesday, the virtual complainant, Kester Yamster, had positively identified the defendant as the one who stabbed him at a plantain chip stand at Eccles. His story was that he clearly saw Dover’s face for about 10 seconds before he left the area in a northerly direction.“I saw a shadow passing, and when I turned around to see who it was, I saw Mr. Dover; (he) came at me three times. He had a black handkerchief wrapped around his hand. He was coming to my chest; I feel a numbness in my chest,” Yamster told the court earlier this week.According to Yamster’s story, he placed his hand on his chest and noticed that he was bleeding. Yamster, who lives about one corner away from where the incident had happened, said that after Dover had run off, he also ran, but to his parapet, where he sat in the presence of relatives before he lost consciousness. The next thing he remembered was waking up in a wheelchair at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC), where he was later treated for his injuries, and discharged a few days later.Questioned by the Prosecution, Yamster admitted he had run-ins in the lead up to the night in question. He said he had confronted Dover over rumours that Dover had kissed his aunt. When he first heard those rumours, Yamster said, he had run home crying.Further, he said he confronted Dover over money owed to him for a toque (headwear) that Dover got from him. Yamster said he told him it was used, and claimed that he opted to sell it because his father had said it made him look like a thief.
2018 LGE Voter Education Programme …accused of contract splitting, rewarding ‘phantom companies’ The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has been accused of abandoning the public procurement system which guarantees transparency and accountability, as it made shocking revelations at its most recent Commissioners meeting that it has already awarded several contracts to companies for the provision of key services under its 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE) Voter Education Programme without publicly advertising for those services.And what is even more shocking is that the Commission has reportedly failed to say exactly how much of its overall LGE budget has been set aside to meet its initiatives and other projects under the entity’s Voter Education Programme, as was traditionally the case under previous GECOM Chief Elections Officers and Chairmen.Chief Commissioner for the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), who attended the last meeting where these revelations were made, Bibi Shadick, explained that she has personally requested that the Commission’s Secretariat provide all Commissioners with the exact process that was utilised to select the companies and the method used to advertise various services that were required to be externally secured under the Voter Education Programme.“I don’t know where they got those names and companies from… or how they selected them… it was only when we started asking questions based upon reports in the press that the Secretariat via the Chief Elections Officer began sharing this information,” she remarked during an interview on Wednesday evening.Asked if there was a Voter Education Manager employed by GECOM, Shadick responded in the negative, stating that she is not aware that that vacancy had been filled or even advertised.Pressed as to what role the Commissioners played in the conceptualisation of GECOM’s Voter Education Programme or the initiatives that would be embarked upon, Shadick said no proposal addressing that specific programme was brought to the Commissioners for their input or consent.“The answers we are getting from the Commission are nowhere near transparent,” she opined. The PPP Commissioner also said that GECOM is making the excuse that it was in a rush and haste to meet timelines and get work going under the Voter Education Project but this seems strange as the date for LGEs was made public via the Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan back in May of this year.Shadick even vented her concerns in a letter to the Editor published in today’s dailies where she questioned the integrity of the entire process as adumbrated by GECOM.“Just before the meeting, information was shared via email about the voter education activities promised to us last week. The information included a matrix of PR and other multimedia outfits which apparently sent quotations for several activities including infomercials and flyers. Questions were asked and it turns out that none of this procurement of services was publicly advertised, no information was available as to how the entities were chosen to send in quotes, and how the various activities were even disaggregated!,” Shadick suggested.She further explained that “activities such as the voting process; stamping ballot paper; voting without an ID; eligibility to vote; voter rights and responsibility; voting by proxy and election offences are all listed separately for 60 second infomercials costing between $65,000 and $160,000. The basis for this listing remained unexplained and the impression I got was that the whole thing is contract splitting to benefit select outfits. As usual, the excuse for no public tender or anything resembling a transparent process was sacrificed at the altar of ‘not enough time and statutory deadlines to meet in a great hurry’”.She even took aim at APNU’s Chief GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander who she described as “a would-be pacifist” when he lamented “the absence of a procurement manual which would disallow such underhand practices, yet that manual remains elusive”.During the interview, Shadick underscored the importance of getting the most out of the money spent by GECOM as he explained that the voter education component of any elections is important.Documents seen by Guyana Times on Wednesday also exposes the fact several companies were listed as having sent quotations to GECOM for the provision of services. Some of the entities that got the bulk of various contracts and job orders were Murondi Radio Drama, Intel Storm, Fuse Arts, Modern Media and Pro-media.GECOM is looking for the production of 60 second infomercials, 60 second advertisements, the printing and design of posters and flyers on various electoral issues.Questioned as to who was responsible for supervising the programme, Shadick said it would appear that the functions were passed on to GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Yolanda Warde. She was quoted extensively in the media last week announcing that the Voter Education Programme would be launched this week.“Prior to nomination, we focused on contestants and the preparation of their list of candidates… We have since started our programme as it relates to the voter education aspect… Our audio visual element will commence next week focusing primarily on the voter education aspects; rights and responsibilities, eligibility, the voting process and all that’s required for the elector to be aware of as it relates to participating in the Local Government Elections process,” Warde said.Warde also disclosed that GECOM has identified a company to commence work on its social media education awareness. She clarified that the voter education campaign is being managed by GECOM itself and not by an advertising agency.“For each individual production which ever company emerged as the successful bidder, that’s the company that was selected so there is no one individual company. As it relates to placement of advertisements, that is being done by GECOM so it’s not an advertising company that is managing that process for us. So, we have already commenced that process in terms of the placement as it relates to the television process and so,” she reported.GECOM’s entire budget for 2018 is $2.9 billion of which the sum for the holding of Local Government Elections is included. $160 million was allocated for capital works and items and $1.6 billion for the normal operations of the Commission. As such, the remaining sum of $1.2 billion was allotted for the conduct of Local Government Elections in November.In 2016, $1.5 billion was expended for Local Government Elections. (Michael Younge)
…nearly 2 months after no-confidence resolution’s passageWith the countdown to constitutionally due elections approaching, the coalition Government is giving the go-ahead for several more State Boards to function. However, the legality of such moves could be the subject of much contention since acting Chief Justice Roxane George, SC, has declared that the Cabinet was effectively resigned with the passage of the no-confidence resolution on December 21, 2018.According to Saturday’s Official Gazette, dated February 16, 2019, State Minister Joseph Harmon signed off on the approvals for five Boards on February 7, 2019. These approvals have come after Justice George’s ruling as opposed to previous approvals which were signed off days before the court’s determination.However, in this regard, the Government notice observed that it was not Cabinet that considered the nominees but the ‘Ministerial Plenary’, – a body which is meeting and has the powers of Cabinet would but is not actually Cabinet as Minister Harmon claimed late last week. Among the constitutional Bodies that recently garnered approval was the Guyana Prison Service Training Board which came into operation from February 1, 2019, for one year and it is meant to be chaired by Murray Greenidge. The Guyana Prison Service Recruitment Board was also given one-year life and will include Chairman Trevor Williams and acting Prisons Director Gladwin Samuels as one of its members.Another Body approved was the Guyana Fire Service Recruitment and Training Board to be chaired by Richard Maughn and includes members such as Randolph Alfred and Deborah Thomas. The 10-member Guyana Prison Service Agriculture Development Board was also given life while Firearms Licensing Board was similarly approved with Bert Sukhai as Chairman, Senior Government Psychiatrist, Dr Bhiro Harry and Attorney Kim Kyte-John included as members.These Board approvals come against Government’s business as usual stance premised on the argument that the status quo should be preserved as the no-confidence resolution matters are before the court. It was earlier this month that this newspaper reported on several other Boards that were similarly given life post-December 21, 2018. When the January 31, 2019, court ruling was made, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Executive and former Attorney General under its tenure, Anil Nandlall, had told members of the media that the Party is likely to address the measures implemented by Cabinet after December 21, 2018, to see if those actions are illegal.“There is no Cabinet in force in Guyana currently and that is very important…if they are illegal, those are issues we will have to take into account and address,” Nandlall had declared.The previous State Boards that Government sought to give official approval in late January included the 15-member National Standards Council (January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019); the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) to be headed by Donald Sinclair (effective February 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020); the VAT Appeal Tribunal (June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2019) and the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CACC) (February 1, 2019 to January 31, 2019).Cabinet had also approved Governor Gobind Ganga as Chairman and Leslie Glenn as Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Guyana’s Board.In January, Justice George declared that the 33-32 majority meant the motion was carried. She observed that the President and the Ministers cannot remain in Government after three months which expires in March. This, she said, is in keeping with Articles 106 (6) and 106 (7). Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”Meanwhile, 106 (7) goes on to state that, “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.” What this says is that Government will remain in office until the next President is swor“n in but not the Cabinet which advises the President.
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE — The development of a flying laser weapon to destroy ballistic missiles hit a major milestone when it showed it could detect and track a target. The Airborne Laser, a highly modified Boeing 747 based at Edwards Air Force Base, demonstrated it could find a flying target with a laser during two test missions in March. The tests were a major step toward proving a laser weapon can find and destroy ballistic missiles while they are still in the booster phase. “We have a crawl, walk, run approach to Airborne Laser,” said Col. John Daniels, the director of the airborne laser program. “Right now we’re between crawling and walking.” The Airborne Laser tested its battle management system and its tracking laser system against a simulated missile — a KC-135 dubbed “Big Crow” that was equipped with infrared heat lamps to simulate a missile plume. Several test firings were conducted during flights over the Pacific Ocean on March 15 and March 20. The system detected the plume and the aircraft’s nose turret turned toward the target and the tracking laser was fired. Daniels did not disclose the distance between the two aircraft during the testing, saying only that it was “a significant distance.” “The laser actually tracked and ranged an airborne target,” Daniels said. “This was a huge risk reduction for us.” The next major milestones ahead for the program will involve the firing of the tracking laser along with the firing of a surrogate weapon laser to simulate an actual missile shoot-down. Program officials envision future Airborne Laser aircraft patrolling in pairs at more than 40,000 feet and inside friendly territory, scanning the horizon for missiles. When a missile is detected, a set of lasers will track and illuminate it, and computers will measure the distance and calculate its course and direction. A second high-energy laser, fired through the nose turret mounted on the aircraft, will destroy the missile. The weapon laser is made up of six modules, each weighing 4,500 pounds and about the size of a sport utility vehicle turned on its end. The beam will heat an area about the diameter of a basketball on the missile’s relatively fragile fuel-tank casing. The laser will weaken metal already under high pressure from the ignited rocket fuel, causing the missile to explode. The weapon laser is being refurbished after being tested on the ground at Edwards. The plan now is to begin installing it on the aircraft this summer, with work likely to stretch into mid-2008. A test against an actual ballistic missile is scheduled for 2009. If that test is successful, there are plans to begin development of another airborne laser aircraft. Airborne Laser is one of the largest test programs at Edwards involving about 700 workers and three major contractors — Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. — Jim Skeen, (661) 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!
Coral’s Dave Stevens joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.The Champions League is BACK and Chelsea are the first English side in action as they travel to face Paris Saint-Germain in France tonight.The Blues are 9/2 to claim a first leg win, while the hosts – runaway leaders of the French top flight – 8/11 and the draw is priced at 5/2.The onus will be on the goalscorers at the Parc de Princes, and could this be the night where Eden Hazard finally breaks his deadlock?Belgium star Hazard, last year’s Premier League player of the year, has failed to find the net from open play this season and is 9/1 to net the first goal.Chelsea team-mate Diego Costa is 6/1, but the Blues’ defence may struggle to contain PSG’s forward line, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic 3/1, Edinson Cavani 4/1 and former Manchester United winger Angel di Maria 11/2 to score first in Paris.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 Blake’s bankruptcy lawyer David Weinstein did not oppose the judge’s plan to vacate all stays in the case until the civil matters are resolved. “This is the most efficient way to address the issues in state court,” Weinstein said. M. Gerald Schwartzbach, the lawyer who represented Blake in his criminal trial, was also present at the hearing. “I am delighted at the ruling and look forward to the opportunity to file what I think is a very meritorious motion,” he said. Blake was acquitted in the criminal case. The judge also scheduled a session on Friday for creditors to meet with Blake and his lawyers and establish what assets he has. LOS ANGELES (AP) – A bankruptcy judge cleared the way Wednesday for Robert Blake’s lawyers to seek a new trial of a wrongful death lawsuit that resulted in a judgment of $30 million against him. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Geraldine Mund vacated a stay of proceedings that normally follows the filing of a bankruptcy claim such as the one by Blake last month. Mund acknowledged that Superior Court Judge David Schacter signed the official entry of judgment in the civil case after Blake’s bankruptcy filing because he was out sick for several months after the November verdict in the lawsuit. But she said that was only a technicality, and that Schacter would have signed it on time if he was not ill. Weinstein said the actor has already filed documents showing he does not have enough money to pay his back income taxes, let alone the $30 million civil judgment. A lawyer representing the family of Blake’s slain wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, also appeared in court and did not oppose allowing the state matter to go forward.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Get your white shirts cleaned, ironed, and ready to go for Wednesday night.That’s because England will be wearing all-white in their World Cup semi-final with Croatia, live on talkSPORT. The Three Lions were in red as they beat Sweden 2-0 in the last eight on Saturday, thanks to goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli.They also wore red in their last 16 penalty shootout victory over Colombia.But, despite being the designated ‘away’ team against Croatia, they will revert to their home strip.Croatia’s first-choice kit – the famous red and white checks – clashes with both of England’s jerseys.That means they have to wear their change strip of dark blue and black checks. England wore white in the 6-1 group stage win over Panama Croatia wore the away strip in the quarter-final win over Russia 2 2 England also wore white in the only other two World Cup semi-finals they have contested, in 1966 and 1990.They beat Portugal in ’66 on their way to glory at Wembley, but lost in ’90 to West Germany on penalties.While Croatia will be tough opposition, England will start the 2018 semi-final as the favourites.Gareth Southgate’s energetic, young side have impressed in Russia, and appear full of confidence having eased past Sweden in the quarter-finals.Croatia booked their spot in the semi-final with a dramatic penalty shootout victory over the hosts.talkSPORT will bring you live commentary of Croatia vs England on Wednesday night
Embed from Getty ImagesYeni Ngbakoto is in the QPR starting line-up for the game at Rotherham.The summer signing starts for Rangers for the first time since the 6-0 hammering at home to Newcastle in September.Jake Bidwell comes in for the injured Jack Robinson, while Sebastian Polter, who has been nursing an injury, is among the substitutes for Rangers, who are without the suspended James Perch.With Idrissa Sylla not in the matchday squad, Conor Washington is set to operate as a lone striker.Rotherham: Price; Fisher, Belaid, Wood, Mattock; Forde, Adeyemi, Frecklington, Newell; Brown; Ward.Subs: Bilboe, Kelly, Vaulks, Taylor, Ball, Blackstock, Yates.QPR: Smithies, Onuoha, Hall, Lynch, Bidwell, Ngbakoto, Cousins, Sandro, Luongo, Chery, Washington.Subs: Ingram, Gladwin, Wszolek, Polter, El Khayati, Henry, Shodipo. Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x Drink This Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest UPI, a global leader in the production of high quality crop protection products, has launched two new herbicides in the U.S.MOCCASIN is the first post-patent herbicide containing the active ingredient S-metolachlor (the same active found in Dual Magnum). Labeled for use on a wide spectrum of crops (including soybeans, cotton, peanuts, potatoes, sugar beets and corn), and with multiple application timings, MOCCASIN is one of the most versatile soil applied herbicides available.SHUTDOWN is a soil applied, long-residual herbicide designed to be used alone or as an economical tank mix partner with a variety of pre-emergent herbicides. Labeled crops include soybeans, sunflowers, tobacco and several vegetable crops. SHUTDOWN contains one of the most commonly used active ingredients in US agriculture, and has a higher active ingredient loading than similar products in the marketplace; giving you that little extra boost in performance.“We are very excited to add MOCCASIN and SHUTDOWN to our growing portfolio of products”, said Chris Bowley, Product Manager, “UPI’s mission is to bring high quality and economical options to market that help American growers combat the challenges posed by herbicide resistance. These two products help to reinforce our commitment to this mission.”For full details about MOCCASIN, SHUTDOWN and all UPI products, go to www.upi-usa.com or call (800) 438-6071.