How the DPP will act will be of great interest

first_imgDear Editor,The report from the State-owned newspaper on April 20, 2018, that an unnamed “legal luminary” thinks that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has the power to discontinue the private criminal charges filed on April 19, 2018 against Minister Lawrence and Minister Norton must be viewed with some misgiving.The charges that were reported are not light charges. In fact, they are heavier than some of the other charges that have been the day’s news on the front pages of some of the newspapers in the past few months.How the DPP will act will be of great interest.It is not easily forgotten that the DPP is under pressure from political higher-ups. It is not easily forgotten that the DPP is under pressure because she has land in the Pradoville areas and this is part of another case brought by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government. It is also not forgotten that the husband of the DPP has been on at least one foreign trip with President David Granger. A section of the media reported on May 19, 2017 reported that Moen ul Hack was with President David Granger at the Arabic-Islamic-American Summit in Saudi Arabia in his post as Director of Education at the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana. It is also not forgotten that only the other day the Hack’s name was among the list of recipients of national awards.Importantly, for the most part, the DPP has acted professionally. But what seems like a clear instruction from this “legal luminary” used for the Guyana Chronicle’s article for the DPP to act in a certain manner is grounds for worry.The actions moving forward will tell the Guyanese people much about the state of play in Guyana under the APNU/AFC Government.Sincerely,Zeniah Talbotlast_img read more

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Decriminalisation and legalisation are far different

first_imgDear Editor,While for decades Indo-Guyanese have controlled the monopoly of marijuana cultivation and by extension the distribution network, for some strange reason, at least 85 per cent of persons convicted for possession of small amounts are Afro-Guyanese! However, from a cultural perspective, Hinduism stands out as the oldest religion for “ganga” use, dating back to over 1000 years. “Whereby the holy-men, sporting locks, dressed in saffron robes after lengthy chanting and prayers, light up their chillum to smoke marijuana. Then, after undressing, they plunge into the calm and serene waters of the Ganges River, India’s most sacred, to commence the Annual Pilgrimage”. Surprisingly, I can’t recall ever listening, reading or viewing, in both the electronic and print media “a local Hindu Pandit espousing this fundamental attribute”. Nevertheless, the advent of “Rastafarianism” locally popularised the use of marijuana, both for smoking, tea and occasionally chewing. Prior to this, a few elder “black folks” were consuming ganga. This was told to me by the late “Mother Sills”, a Hadfield Street, Lodge resident at the time, over 30 years ago. At the time, she was in her 70s, occasionally smoking her “spliff” that was wrapped in the softest and thinnest layer of corn skin. As an advocate for marijuana use, “Mother Sills” was always against the use of cocaine, which she described as “white people drugs, an ungodly product of the Devil”. In one of her frequent discussions, she intoned: “As a small girl, me mother use to send me cross the race course, to pick ganga in the Botanic Gardens, to make tea”.Also, in the 80s, Rastafarians of yore, at Nyanbingi gatherings, would circulate ganga in a calabash for smoking amidst chanting and biblical quotations: “The clouds shall be for a covering, and the flame for a light”! A wide array of fruits and ital were also served. Interestingly, Editor, can it be ascertained from a historical perspective, who was responsible for marijuana cultivation locally?Was it the Indigenous people, colonisers, slaves or the indentured immigrants? Was the by-product of rope produced locally? What year was use for local consumption banned/prohibited; who (m) was responsible? Can folklorist and Stabroek News’ weekly columnist – AA Fenty – comment publicly on the song of yesteryear “Ganga Manie”? Since the mention of: “gimme wan shilling” would have been pre-independence. Nevertheless, Guyana within the English-speaking Caricom Region possesses the most “outdated draconian law” within sentencing for a mere ganga seed! – introduced by the late former President, Desmond Hoyte, almost 30 years ago. Surely, it’s “something black, I’ll never understand” 30 years later. That the law was never amended in 23 years of the PPP/C rule remains a non- issue at this juncture. In the words of Dr David Hinds, “what was wrong under PPP/C can’t be right under the coalition Government”. Erstwhile the comments of two coalition PNC Ministers are most disturbing: “The law is the law”, “Maybe a referendum should be called” – the Ministers of the Presidency and Legal Affairs respectively. What are they promoting: black oppression, suppression, or a combination of both?That under the late LFS Burnham the law in relation to sentencing wasn’t that harsh; community service in most instances was the order of the day. Cocaine use was more associated with the hippie/metallist culture, and drug addicts/junkies were virtual unknowns. Meanwhile, a comment from the late former President, Dr CB Jagan at a plenary session of Caricom Heads: “Today, it’s bananas; tomorrow, it can be bauxite, rice, rum or sugar. But the “outlawed ganga” that our region has can transform our economies, due to the demand in Europe and North America, for medicinal purpose.”Additionally, former Empowerment Ministerial Advisor, MP Odinga Lumumba in a sitting of the National Assembly, a few years ago, lamented: “A large number of our young people are being jailed for ganga, what are we doing about it?” Of course, the lone Opposition, the PNCR remained “mummified”! The late Dr Jagan’s comment was in relation to: “The unfair trade policies that denied primarily OECS countries favourable prices for bananas, which were subsequently imported from Central America, under the USA controlled Chiquita brand”. Fast forward to this current era, towards several states within America passing legislation on marijuana and the financial benefits being derived by way of taxation. Of course, we are still a “s***hole” country.Finally, to the “prophets of doom and gloom”, I say don’t misrepresent the facts. “Decriminalisation and legalisation” are, by far, significantly different. Most notably, Rooplall Dudhnath, your claims have already been debunked by a medical practitioner, in the print media by way of letter. Further, I do hope the views expressed by Dudhnath aren’t reflective of the Bahai community at large, of which he’s a member. Interestingly, Dudhnath should focus his attention on the “core values of spirituality”, in relation to “the Gay Parade converging on the streets of Georgetown, on June 3, 2018, which is “ungodly”, rather than denouncing upon “God’s creation”, a simple plant! Strangely enough, “joker smokers” with impunity aren’t being harassed by Police ranks for smoking a “spliff” in the public, by minibus parks. So, why invade the privacy of an individual’s home? Why are “astronomical fines” being imposed for small amounts of marijuana, which aren’t comparable to the actual cost? Isn’t this a “travesty” of justice? Whereas, ie, 8 grams = $8000 fine; 28 grams = 1 ounce; an ounce of good local marijuana costs $7500. $7500/28 = $267.8571×8= $2142. Facts and figures don’t lie! So, what mechanism is in place to ascertain the quality of the marijuana, whether local or foreign, and the price structure? Should this “discriminatory, immoral and unconstitutional act continue unabated? Needless to say in three short years of PNC rule, as a principal player in the coalition, Afro-Guyanese are being stripped “stark naked” and catapulting towards the “lowest scale of the socio-economic ladder” once again. “Mo fyah, slow fyah, pun de duppy PNC”!Yours truly,Samora N’KomoNon-smoker, empathiserlast_img read more

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Contractor killed over money

first_imgA small contractor, who also moonlights as a “PH” taxi driver “to make ends meet”, was stabbed to death on Saturday night allegedly by one of his part-time employees over money.Michael Ali, 31, the father of a two-year-old daughter, of Quarry Village, Siparia, Trinidad died some three hours after the attack while undergoing treatment at the San Fernando General Hospital.A 42-year-old fruit vendor has since been detained. The suspect, Police said, was released from jail about three weeks ago.“Michael didn’t deserve that,” cried Ali’s grieving uncle-in-law Jaglal Singh. He described Ali as an honest, hardworking man who always looked out for others.“With all his (suspect’s) faults, he (Ali) still gave him a chance and carried him to work with him in Princes Town.“He owed him a little balance (money), because the lady (person who hired Ali) didn’t pay him all the money she suppose to pay him, for him to pay his workers,” Khan told Newsday. He said Ali explained the situation to the suspect asking him to “hold on” as he was going to work “PH” to make up the money to pay him.However, about 20:00h on Saturday, Khan said the suspect arrived near Ali’s home and began cursing and “carrying on” for his money. Khan said he was forced to intervene. “I cross the road and gave the worker $200 hoping that would have calmed him down, but it didn’t.” Relatives said the man pulled a knife and stabbed Ali in his upper chest.“Michael was like a son to me, very respectful and someone you could trust. He worked very hard,” Khan said.Investigations are continuing. (T&T Newsday)last_img read more

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2019 pension books’ distribution begins on Monday

first_imgDespite plans to do away with the pension book system and digitise the process, the Social Protection Ministry has announced that distribution of the 2019 senior citizens pension booklets will begin on Monday.The Ministry made this disclosure in a notice published in the daily newspapers. According to the notice, pensioners are expected to have their 2018 booklets as well as their National Identification (ID) Cards in order to be able to uplift the new booklets. This time around, the Ministry has also stipulated that all pensioners will be required to personally uplift their booklets, as no authorisation to uplift the booklet would be accepted.The notice stated, “We have made every effort to place distribution centres closet to pensioners. Kindly check the schedule carefully and present yourself at the distribution centre that covers your catchment areas”.Distribution of the new booklets will be facilitated from Monday between the hours of 09:00h and 14:00h at the more than 100 locations across the country, as was published. This year’s dispersal of pension books is likely to come to a halt by December 7.Director of Social Services, Wenthworth Tanner, was quoted by the Department of Public Information (DPI) as saying that the Ministry was working in collaboration with the Public Telecommunications Ministry to upgrade the system into an automated one.“…currently, the system is primarily manual. We want to get the system automated, and so that’s an ongoing process. We are continuing to work to get it on stream as soon as possible,” Tanner explained.The Social Services Director has said that an important aspect of the project will be the sanitisation of the old age pension database, which entails the removal of the names of deceased persons from the pension register.  In this regard, he said, the Ministry is collaborating with the Office of the Registrar General and with funeral parlours, and based on information gathered, the old age pension database will be cleansed.On the issue of Guyanese residing overseas but receiving old age pension locally, Tanner said, “That is a bit more challenging, given how the pension system is currently set up; however, these are things that will be addressed once the system is automated.”The digitisation project is intended to ensure efficiency, accountability and transparency in the distribution of Old Age Pension. It will reduce the need for workers to search various documents in order to retrieve information. Probation officers will also be afforded more time to conduct fieldwork and visitations, DPI said.Back in July, when Guyana Times spoke with a reliable source at the Ministry, it was related that Government’s plans to digitise the system might be flopped, as a survey conducted found that most pensioners were against the new system.According to the source, the survey was conducted in the May/June period by the Telecommunications Ministry in collaboration with the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC).“Based on the reports from the survey, most of the pensioners did not want the upgrade,” the source informed.It was further informed that, despite the findings from the survey, talks are ongoing for the upgrade.The Government had first revealed its plan for an electronic payment system for pensioners back in 2016. The system was intended to have pensioners uplift their monthly allocations through the local banks.Assistant Chief Probation and Social Services Officer Ricardo Banwarie had explained back then that it is a system wherein pensioners would sign the coupon in the booklet and access their cash. The pensioners’ information would be entered into the data base of the GPOC in order that a record of pensioners might be kept in the system.“Added to that, we will be having the agents for persons who are shut-ins, persons who are not capable of going to the Post Office to uplift their pensions. We will be able to have the names of the persons who are going to be authorised to uplift the pension on behalf of the pensioner in our data base,” Banwarie explained.The then Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence, had in 2016 told the National Assembly that the new electronic payment system would be implemented in 2017.last_img read more

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Transfer window round-up: Man United eye Juventus star, plus Arsenal and Liverpool news

first_imgtalkSPORT’s Pete Abbott runs through the latest January transfer window gossip and tittle tattle.Manchester United have been linked with a move for Juventus star Paul Pogba in Friday’s newspapers. The France star left Old Trafford in 2012, but Louis van Gaal is eyeing the 21-year-old as the answer to his midfield problems.Aston Villa, Sunderland and Crystal Palace are all keen on a loan deal for Arsenal youngster Yaya Sanogo, while Liverpool have set their sights on Bayern Munich flyer Xherdan Shaqiri.Listen to Pete Abbott’s transfer round-up above and read more news from the transfer window by clicking here…last_img read more

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Migne wants offensive play against Ethiopia

first_img0Shares0000Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne issues instructions to players during a training session at the Kasarani Stadium on October 12, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12 – Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne says he wants his side to improve offensively on Sunday when they tackle Ethiopia’s Walia Ibex at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani in a destiny defining 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier.In his three official matches in charge, Migne has seen the side keep consecutive clean sheets, but they have scored only two goals one of them coming off an own goal and ahead of the Ethiopia test, he wants to see a galaxy of goals. “We know it will not be easy but we will be at home and I hope we will have one moment to make the difference. We need to improve our link up play offensively. We are strong now defensively with three clean sheets and it was my priority when I arrived because the team had conceded many goals before,” the French tactician said.Stars will need victory against the Ethiopians to improve their bid to make it to the Cup of Nations for the first time in seven years.Harambee Stars midfielder Dennis Odhiambo closes in on teammate Abdallah Hassan during a training session at the Kasarani Stadium on October 12, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaDepending on whether or not Sierra Leone will be admitted back to the qualifiers, Kenya might seal a place in Cameroon with three points against the Ethiopians.Migne says he does not expect the Ethiopians to seat back and vie for a point as they also have to win to maintain their realistic chances of making it to Cameroon.Looking back at the first leg, the tactician has lauded his players for showing character especially at a fully packed stadium and he expects Kenyan fans to replicate the same on Sunday especially after the announcement the game will be free of charge.“It was an amazing atmosphere and it was very difficult to get a result. Ethiopia have never lost in that stadium and I think it was a fair result for us. Now we have to remain focused for the second leg and I hope to have the same atmosphere at Kasarani,” the tactician said.Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne makes a point to players during a training session at the Kasarani Stadium on October 12, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“Fans should come and support us, and please, wear red,” the tactician offered.He is confident that his charges will bag three points at home and keep their bid to get to the Cup of Nations.“When you are able to beat Ghana and draw away at such a huge stadium in Bahir Dar, then you can compete and try to win at home against Ethiopia. But we have to remain humble, we have an opponent with good motivation,” the tactician said.Meanwhile, the tactician will have a bit of selection headache with the return of defender Joash Onyango who performed well against Ghana despite his red card. Brian Mandela also gave a good performance coming into the starting team in Bahir Dar.Harambee Stars wingbacks Abud Omar (right) and Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma exchange ideas during a training session at the Kasarani Stadium on October 12, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluMeanwhile, left back Abud Omar is back into full fitness having limped off injured after 52 minutes in the first leg. The defender picked up a knock but has shaken it off and trained well with the rest of the team on Friday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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My Donegal – with Mental Health Nurse and blogger Shane McDermott

first_imgShane McDermott is a Mental Health Nurse (graduate of LYIT) based in Letterkenny and Stay at Home Dad to his daughter Sally who has anaphylactic allergies to milk and egg. He is also a Parent Blogger at and runs his Instagram page @dairyallergydad documenting his daily antics with Sally and their poodle Carlsson. This is Shane’s ‘My Donegal.’Where is your favourite place in Donegal and why? There are so many great places in Donegal but if I had to pick one, it would be Rathmullan. It’s got the beach, the forest, the playground and many good spots to grab a decent coffee. It would seem to have it all. I’m back there nearly every week so it must be good!Where in Donegal do you call home?I am originally from Dublin but I have called Letterkenny my home for the best part of a decade. I may always be considered a blow–in but my daughter Sally was born in LUH so I’m claiming my Donegal Residency that way!Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why?It has to be the main man, Packie Bonner. A Donegal/Irish legend who I look up to both figuratively and literally. He’s a big man and I’m 6’3! What do you think is Donegal’s best tourist attraction?Glenveagh National Park has to be one of the highlights of anyone’s trip to the NorthWest. When we have visitors, it’s always the first place we take them. I always brag about how lucky I am to have this amazing place in my back garden. Do you prefer Donegal summers or Donegal winters?Donegal summers by a mile! Our estate often turns into an ice rink in the winter where, if you have anything but a 4×4, you’ll probably end up abandoning your car at the bottom of the hill and walking home.What would you do on your ideal day out in Donegal? I would head straight for Downings for a pack walk on the beach with Sally and the fluffiest poodle in the west, Carlsson. I would then go up for a bite to eat washed down with a pint of Guinness at the Harbour Bar,  looking out over Downings Bay and reflecting on how Donegal is a class the County. That’s how to spend a day!What is your favourite Donegal-made product?I’m all about gut health and the benefits of drinking kombucha and my favourite brand is Synerchi Kombucha, from a local brew-master based in Gweedore. I can’t recommend this stuff enough!Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why? The most prominent Donegal ambassador has to be good oul’ Daniel O’Donnell. My Granny’s all-time favourite musician. A cultural Irish icon! He waved at me once from his 10-foot parade float at the Mary of Dungloe festival. In fairness, I lifted my baby daughter Sally high in the air to get his attention! I even got a thumbs up. Sound man!Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?John O’Donnell. No hesitation. Businessman and now, the Mayor of Letterkenny. Controversial choice but true!Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?Packie Bonner again – the man! I might only have been 7 years old but I will never forget that save against Romania in Italia ’90. I was kitted out in the full yellow Goalkeepers kit and I’m pretty sure I fell off the couch as I was celebrating so much. The good oul’ days of Irish football.What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?My favourite place to eat is definitely Wholegreen in Letterkenny. My daughter was diagnosed with a dairy and egg allergy so their vegan options are ideal for our needs. Their cakes are dangerously good too. I usually order two slices just for myself!If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?I would love to see the introduction of one or two more vegan restaurants. I would really love a vegan takeaway for those Friday nights, junk-food cravings.What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?I love the way you can use ‘Hi’ at the beginning or the end of a sentence. You can even use it at both the beginning and end! I was out with my friends from Dublin recently and I came out with, “Hi, its some fine day out there, Hi” They stared at me as if I had two heads! What is the biggest challenge facing the people of Donegal today?As a Mental Health Nurse and with some element of bias, I consider mental health difficulties to be some of the biggest challenges facing the people of Donegal today. Substance misuse is also a serious and increasing concern and can be a contributory factor in such challenges. With a growing youngster, it plays on my mind. What is your favourite Donegal food?You can get the best scones in Donegal and that’s a fact! I still argue that a scone is pronounced rhyming with ‘cone’ though! This is a contentious matter.Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?This is not centralised to Donegal, but worrying about what others think (especially the neighbours) seems to be a nationwide obsession. Too much time is wasted worrying about what others think. Life is short and we should all be buoying each other up, not taking each other down. Do you have a favourite local band?The Beefsteak Dancers are a fine band and produce some great music and really get the crowd going!If you had a million euro to improve something in Donegal what would it be?It probably wouldn’t go far but I think it’s horrendous that cancer sufferers often have to endure journeys of up to 5 hours just to receive chemotherapy treatment, elsewhere in the country. I would give anything I had to change this. Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner?I’m going with big Packie. Daniel can never match the heroics of Italia ’90. Is there anything about Donegal that you are very proud of? This is an easy one and is without doubt, my daughter. Donegal is the reason she is here and there is nothing in this world that makes me more proud than Sally. My Donegal – with Mental Health Nurse and blogger Shane McDermott was last modified: August 13th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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The Cardiff City v QPR quiz

first_imgQPR face Cardiff City later this afternoon. How much do you know about the history involving the two clubs? Test your knowledge by seeing how many of the 10 questions below you can answer correctly. See also:QPR youngsters make winning startQPR’s promotion odds cut – and punters fancy them against CardiffQPR plan to approach Chery about new contractQPR face first away testQPR’s Lynch likely to be out for two weeksVideo: Watch highlights of QPR’s win at Cardiff CityFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Raiders pre-camp defensive depth chart

first_imgNAPA — Where do you go after giving up an NFL-high 467 points and a No. 26 ranking in total defense?There’s no where to go but up, and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has more weapons at his disposal in 2019.With the full squad scheduled to report Friday, a look at the defensive depth chart (*projected starter):Defensive line (14) Locks: *Clelin Ferrell, *Maurice Hurst, *Justin Ellis, P.J. Hall, DE Arden Key, DE Maxx Crosby.Bubble: Johnathan Hankins, *Josh Mauro, Benson …last_img

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Spring 2016

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I killed a wasp in very early March and my daughter got her first mosquito bite the following week. By all accounts it appears that the planting season will be early in Ohio this year.The four-inch inch soil temperatures will likely be running above normal this spring and forecasters thought they would reach above 50 and stay there one week to two weeks earlier than normal this spring.“April is shaping up to be warmer and drier than normal,” said Jim Noel with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service in a recent CORN Newsletter from OSU Extension. “Historically in strong El Niño springs, we do not see late freezes but more normal last freeze dates. However, if the warmer weather causes things to start growing earlier, there is a risk a normal last hard freeze could still cause impacts.”In addition, Noel pointed out that evapotranspiration rates will likely be above normal this spring due to the warmer weather. The NOAA May forecast continues the trend of warmer, drier weather for Ohio.As the dreary March blossoms into beautiful spring, there is not a farmer alive who can remain idle as the coming growing season beckons. For those engaged in the scramble of the planting season, I hope you do get the chance to take a few moments to enjoy the wonders of spring outside of the tractor cab. It is truly a wonderful time of year to be on a farm.last_img read more

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