“We are all stupid people” – Clarke

first_imgCity Hall war of words…“I take umbrage with such a statement” – FerreiraJust two weeks after a motion was passed by the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to have Councillors disciplined for misbehaviour, former People’s National Congress (PNC) General Secretary, Councillor Oscar Clarke blatantly disregarded that when he referred to all Councillors as “stupid”.He made the comment during an attack on Councillor Malcolm Ferreira after objections were raised about the contents of the amended by-laws of the parking meter contract. Ferreira, who served as Chairman for the first negotiating committee, complained about time allotted prior to the discussion of the amendments, noting that he was unsure of the contents of the amended contract.“He said that he had no idea what is in the document; that, for me, suggest that we are all stupid people. Because if someone here can be involved in the process at the level of the chairmanship of the committee, and then say he does not know what is in this document,” Clarke argued.He further stated that Ferreira would have had the opportunity to peruse the document several times before and questioned the basis on which he was asking for an extension. Clarke said that there were some Councillors just asking for an extension because they want to mobilise the press and their friends to come and protest outside City Hall again.“If you want some more time and ask for that. Don’t come and say you don’t know what in it, because what you’re doing is really you not helping yourself. You must know what’s in it. I am saying that you can’t say you don’t know because you had expansive discussions on this document,” Clark said. During Clarke’s rant, Ferreira maintained his cool, but later unleashed when he was given a chance to respond.“Councillor Clarke, you’re one of the Councillors I learned a lot from and stupid is not a word I would associate you with or attribute to anybody sitting around this table so I take umbrage with such a statement. I don’t come here and disrespect nobody and nobody ain’t gon disrespect me and I tek it, you understand? So please, sir, stupid is not a word I’ll ever put you near or anybody around this table,” Ferreira countered.Meanwhile, Mayor Patricia Chase Green seemed to take issue with Ferreira’s response to her PNC comrade, which resulted in her chiding him to, which he responded “it’s a problem when Malcolm says it”. However, she had nothing to say to Clarke.last_img read more

Finance Minister caught “sleeping” as Rusal’s shares tumble – PPP advisor

first_imgUS sanctions on Russian tycoonAs Rusal’s shares continue to tumble following United States sanctions against one of the company’s co-owners, President David Granger and Finance Minister Winston Jordan are being heavily criticised for having been caught “sleeping at the economic wheel” as hundreds of jobs and the availability of foreign exchange are under threat.This contention was made on Wednesday by People’s Progressive Party (PPP) advisor, Dr Peter Ramsaroop, who, in a statement, observed that Guyana could fall prey to the spin-off effects of the sanctions by US President Donald Trump’s Administration.“The move against Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to freeze all of its US assetsPresident David Grangerwill no doubt have crippling effect on Rusal and by implication, its Guyana operations,” Dr Ramsaroop noted.Deripaska is the main owner of the EN+ conglomerate, which is the co-owner of Rusal. US special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 US presidential election. The US Treasury Department, in a statement on Friday, announced the sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, 12 companies they either owned or controlled, and 17 senior Government officials – who Washington said were profiting from the Russian Government’s engagement in “a range of malign activities” around the world.Hong Kong-listed Rusal is one of the world’s biggest aluminium producers and is a key player in Guyana’s bauxite industry. The company’s exports to the United States accounted for over 10 per cent of its output. The company also owns assets in Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Nigeria, and Guinea as well as a stake in Australian QAL, the world’s top alumina refinery.Following the steep shares’ drop, Guyana’s Government has been called upon to state an official position on the matter. Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said on Wednesday that the Administration was analysing the situation. However, in DrPeter RamsaroopRamsaroop’s view, the reaction has “again exposed a weakness in the David Granger Administration to accurately forecast international developments and put in place mitigation strategies”.“A bailout of Rusal and a Government takeover of the Berbice operations is not out of the question, but will no doubt become an additional strain on the economy,” the advisor observed.He questioned if Government would really want to bail out the Guyana’s bauxite industry “traditionally seen as supportive of the PNC” or if the Administration would shut it down as with the downsizing of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).“Businesses in Guyana and no doubt the sugar workers will be critically looking to see what action the David Granger Administration will take in the bauxite industry, if any,” he pointed out.He used the opportunity to highlight Government imposing “200 new taxes” in addition to now contracting “massive loans” which he said would lead to debt and no revenues. He opined that this would cause the economy to “go into a tail spin” which could see exchange rates skyrocketing.“Minister of Finance Winston Jordan has now gone to the Islamic Development Bank and secured what he calls a resource envelope – tantamount to a loan – butFinance Minister Wisnton Jordanin the absence of any specific plans by the administration, it is clear Government’s resorting to debt to run the country.“Guyana’s foreign exchange earnings continue to give slimmer and slimmer returns each year; the foreign reserves are now being used/abused and now even more jobs [are] to be lost,” the Opposition advisor contended. His concern over the sanctions has followed that of President of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU) Lincoln Lewis who said on Tuesday that the Union was in the process of analysing the possible effects on local workers. The Rusal subsidiary, Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) currently employs over 500 persons.According to reports, the sanctions against Rusal caused aluminium prices to surge, since all of the company’s assets under US jurisdiction are frozen. In fact, Reuters reported that as of Monday Rusal’s shares plunged as much as 41.8 per cent.A senior management official at BCGI had said they were yet to receive information from their Moscow headquarters about the implications of the sanction on the local sector. The manager, however, related they were monitoring the situation since Friday, but thus far operations were progressing normally. Rusal, Reuters had reported, had said it regretted its inclusion on the US sanctions list, adding that its advisors were studying the situation.last_img read more

UG to get new Vice Chancellor in 6-9 months – Pro-Chancellor

first_imgThe University of Guyana will be appointing a new official to fill the position of Vice Chancellor but it is a process that can take anywhere between six to nine months.Former Vice-Chancellor, Ivelaw GriffithPro-Chancellor Joseph SinghSpeaking with Guyana Times on Monday, Pro-Chancellor of the University, Retired Major-General Joseph Singh explained that this comes after Professor Ivelaw Griffith declined to renew his contract to serve another tenure in that capacity. He noted that the process to select a new VC will take some time.Consequently, the UG administration is currently under command of a Transitional Management Committee, Chaired by Professor Michael Scott to oversee operations. Professor Paloma Mohamed has undertaken the role as Deputy Chair.“The University indicated that the process of selecting a new Chancellor is in train and that process could take anything between six to nine months. There is a Transitional Management Committee that is in place which is Chaired by Professor Michael Scott. Ms Mohamed is the Deputy Chair,” Singh informed.Griffith had come under grave criticism earlier in the year after the UG Unions stated that his performance was dismal among other accusations of financial mismanagement. In February, a group of employees attached to the Turkeyen Campus picketed the Vice-Chancellery, calling for audits into the spending of the University as it was allegedly unable to properly account for its expenditures and more so, offer a salary increase to its staffers. This was despite the fact that tuition fees increased annually and there were additional fees for some services.President of the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA), Dr Jewel Thomas was quoted as saying that the University is undergoing financial constraints which will potentially affect the University’s teaching and learning.Thomas claimed that VC Griffith, upon taking up the post, demanded a new vehicle, an increase of allowance which is equivalent to a ministerial level, a credit card, an expense of the University and bonuses. The Union President noted that the University of Guyana cannot afford the Vice Chancellor. The UGSSA President observed that the situation cannot and should not be allowed to continue.In another encounter, the Union President told media operatives that the University has rejected their proposal for an increase in salaries, saying that the institution has a deficit.Thomas accused the University of wasteful spending, explaining that they have been hosting talks and events to accommodate various speakers, some of whom the University does not even know of, and funds go towards their accommodation, food and travel.“University has a public profile, we’ve been hosting talks, events, lectures, visiting people, some of whom the University doesn’t even know of their presence, we just know that they came and they went and they cost us money but we don’t know exactly what they did,” she noted.At a meeting convened by the University Council, headed by the Pro-Chancellor on April 15, a decision was taken to have the Vice Chancellor proceed on the routine end of contract leave.This decision was made in view of the University’s financial situation, the absence of any circumstance that required the Vice Chancellor’s presence and it also respected long-standing procedures of the University with regard to no payment in lieu of leave for all staff. However, the Pro-Chancellor had reportedly given directives for the Council to reverse its decision so that the Vice Chancellor could be paid in lieu of leave.last_img read more

Reshaped Congress likely to OK gay-rights legislation

first_imgNEW YORK – Anti-gay bias has flared up in Hollywood and pro basketball recently, and soon the topic will be thrust dramatically into a new forum – a reshaped Congress likely to pass the first major federal gay-rights bills. Wary conservative leaders, as well as gay-rights advocates, share a belief that at least two measures will win approval this year: a hate-crimes bill that would cover offenses motivated by anti-gay bias, and a measure that would outlaw workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. Also on the table – although with more doubtful prospects – will be a measure to be introduced Wednesday seeking repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that bans openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the military. All three measures surfaced in previous sessions of Congress, at times winning significant bipartisan backing but always falling short of final passage. This year, with Democrats now in control and many Republicans likely to join in support, the hate-crimes and workplace bills are widely expected to prevail. “With liberals in control, there’s a good possibility they’ll both pass,” said Matt Barber, a policy director with the conservative group Concerned Women for America. “They’re both dangerous to freedom of conscience, to religious liberties, to free speech.” If approved by Congress, the bills would head to the White House. Activists on both the left and right are unsure whether President George W. Bush would sign or veto them. For gay-rights leaders – whose efforts to legalize same-sex marriage have been rebuffed by many states – the congressional votes are keenly anticipated after years of lobbying. “This is a major step in our struggle,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “I know there’s a lot of despair on the other side.” The workplace bill – titled the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA – is the subject of behind-the-scenes negotiations. The bill that emerges is expected to expand on earlier versions to cover not only sexual orientation but also gender identity, thus extending protections to transgender employees. Churches and small businesses would be exempt. Company protections For many Americans, ENDA’s provisions would be familiar. More than 85 percent of the Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination policies, as do 17 states and many local governments. And publicly, there is increasingly little tolerance for overt anti-gay bias. The National Basketball Association swiftly repudiated retired all-star Tim Hardaway after he spoke this month of hating gays, while TV actor Isaiah Washington apologized and sought counseling after using a gay slur in reference to a fellow actor on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Advocacy groups also say there have been huge strides in regard to protections for transgender people – with nine states, scores of major corporations and more than 70 colleges and universities now banning discrimination based on gender identity. California’s ban, in effect since 2003, has not triggered a flood of litigation, but it has prompted employers to proactively improve their policies for dealing with transgender employees, said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In past years, some congressional supporters of gay rights warned that ENDA’s prospects would be crippled by including protections for gender identity. This year may be different. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said the version he is helping draft will indeed cover transgender employees, while offering some allowances to employers so they can enforce dress codes and minimize controversies over bathroom use. “With the proper amendments, I think we can get it,” said Frank, one of two openly gay members of Congress. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

A good night’s sleep driving

first_imgThe most widely prescribed sleeping pills can cause strange behavior, including driving and eating while asleep, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday, announcing that strong new warnings will be placed on the labels of 13 drugs. The FDA also ordered the producers of Ambien, Lunesta and 11 other commonly used sleeping pills to create patient fliers explaining how to safely use them. The fliers, which the FDA says it requires when it sees a significant public health concern, will be handed out at pharmacies when consumers fill their prescriptions. Although the FDA says that problems with the drugs are rare, reports of the unusual side effects have grown as use of sleeping pills has increased. U.S. sales of Ambien and Lunesta alone last year exceeded $3 billion, fueled by advertising. Last year makers of sleeping pills spent more than $600 million on consumer ads. The FDA also received reports of people making phone calls, purchasing items over the Internet or having sex under the influence of sleep medication. The consumers said they had no recollection of the events that occurred after they took their pills and headed for bed. An FDA official said Wednesday that the activities associated with the drugs went beyond mere sleepwalking. “We do believe that sleepwalking is different from these behaviors,” said Dr. Russell Katz, the FDA’s director of neurology products. “Sleepwalking is considered more of a reflex. These behaviors are complex, and they’re different fundamentally because of the complexity. People get up, they take their car keys, and they go drive. As you might imagine, that might be potentially dangerous to the patient and others as well.” Katz said drinking alcohol may increase the chances of a reaction. An Atlanta defense lawyer, William C. Head, said he had received calls from people around the world who had been charged after using such medications. “Ninety percent of these cases involve alcohol as well,” Head said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The FDA review was prompted, in part, by queries from The New York Times after some users of the most widely prescribed drug, Ambien, started complaining about unusual reactions, ranging from fairly benign sleepwalking episodes to hallucinations, violent outbursts, nocturnal binge eating and – most troubling of all – driving while asleep. Night eaters said they woke up and found Tostitos and Snickers wrappers in their beds, food missing from the kitchen, counters covered with flour from baking sprees and even stoves turned on. Sleep-drivers reported going to bed and awakening at roadside in their underwear or nightclothes. The reports gained credence from scientific studies. Dr. Carlos H. Schenck and Dr. Mark W. Mahowald of the University of Minnesota said that they had been studying cases of nearly 30 Ambien users who developed unusual nighttime eating disorders. In some cases, the patients had gained more than 100 pounds. A forensic toxicologist in Wisconsin, Laura J. Liddicoat, gave a presentation at a national meeting on six instances of Ambien-impaired driving. In May 2006 in Washington, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., blamed Ambien when he crashed his car near the Capitol. last_img read more

Manchester United hit back over Real Madrid’s De Gea comments

first_img1 Manchester United have responded to Real Madrid’s allegations earlier today blaming the Red Devils for the collapse of the David De Gea transfer. The deal stalled on Monday night after a mix-up over the paperwork, with both clubs failing to take responsibility for the mishap. De Gea will now remain at Old Trafford at least until January and United have hit back at Real, giving their version of yesterday’s events: 1) Manchester United did not seek contact from Real Madrid for the sale of David. David is a key member of our squad and the club’s preference was not to sell – no offer was received for David until yesterday (Monday). 2) At lunchtime yesterday, Real Madrid made its first offer to buy David. A deal was agreed between the clubs, which included Keylor Navas being transferred to Old Trafford. The deals were dependent on each other.3) In the last several hours of the process, with Navas at the Real Madrid training ground, Real Madrid were controlling the documentation processes of David, Navas and Real Madrid. Manchester United was in control only of the documentation of Manchester United.4) Manchester United sent transfer documents for both players to Real Madrid at 2042 BST. David’s documentation was returned by Real Madrid to Manchester United without the signatory page at 2232 BST. 5) At 22:40 BST, minutes before the deadline, major changes to the documentation came through to Manchester United which immediately put the deals at risk. Only at 2255 BST were the documents that are needed to cancel David’s contract received by Manchester United from Real Madrid. 6) At this point Navas’ documentation was still not returned by Real Madrid.7) At 2258 BST, the transfer agreement was sent back by Manchester United, uploaded onto TMS and accepted – all before the deadline. It is our understanding that the deals couldn’t happen because:– Real Madrid didn’t upload David’s documents onto TMS in time (Manchester United did)– Real Madrid didn’t upload David’s documents to the Spanish league in time, per reports it seems some 28 minutes after the deadline • The fact that Manchester United filed the papers on time was acknowledged by the Football Association, who offered to support that claim in any discussions with FIFA. The Club offered this assistance, as well as its own timestamped documents to Real Madrid but they have chosen not to go down this route.The club went on to say they are delighted to keep hold of the Spanish goalkeeper. David De Gea last_img read more

DONEGAL GETS SECOND HIGHEST CASH FUND TO FACE WINTER WEATHER

first_imgDonegal County Council has been given the second highest grant allocation in the country to cope with the expected winter weather.A total of €752,000 has now been allocated to the county for a range of measures aimed at combatting freezing conditions.These including salt and grit spreading, road clearing as well as road repairs. The total allocation of more than three quarters of a million euro includes €84,000 which was announced yesterday by Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly.The move has been welcomed by Labour Senator Jimmy Harte.“We are aware that the tough winters we had recently have put a huge cost on the maintenance of our roads in Donegal and I am delighted that this additional funding announced today will assist the Council in the months ahead ” said Senator HarteEnds DONEGAL GETS SECOND HIGHEST CASH FUND TO FACE WINTER WEATHER was last modified: September 4th, 2011 by StephenShare 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) Tags:Senator Jimmy Hartesnowlast_img read more

LEADING SOLICITOR SLAMS REVENUE COMMISSIONER’S TACTICS AGAINST SMALL BUSINESSES

first_imgA leading solicitor has attacked the tactics used by the Revenue Commissioner’s office to impose fines on small businesses across Donegal.Veteran solicitor Kieran O’Gorman described as “disgraceful” a case against a small businessman.The man was fined €2,500 for not having the proper license for selling wine. Mr O’Gorman told Letterkenny District Court that his client had been in business for ten years and was trying to get his tax affairs in order.He revealed how officers from the Revenue Commission called to the man’s store and bought a €7.50 bottle of wine.“I think it is disgraceful for happened here. My client has been in business ten years and was trying to get his tax situation in order.“The Revenue knew that but they sent a man in to send a €7.50 bottle of wine.“He could be fined €3,000 as a result and he just doesn’t have it,” he said.Mr O’Gorman added that there were approximately 150 summonses before the court.He defended many of those coming before the court for non-payment of tax saying they were simply “trying to get ahead.”“Every one of them are trying to get ahead – if you take half you are talking about the collecting €75,000.“These are not the high-flyers of the day,” he said.Judge Paul Kelly said he understood where Mr O’Gorman was coming from.However in relation to his client, he said the man should have known better about having the relevant license to sell wine as he had been in business for ten years.EndsLEADING SOLICITOR SLAMS REVENUE COMMISSIONER’S TACTICS AGAINST SMALL BUSINESSES was last modified: September 6th, 2011 by StephenShare 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) Tags:Judge Paul KellyKIeran O’GormanRevenue Commissionsolicitorlast_img read more

Vaccine hope for SA women

first_imgKhanyi Magubane A revolutionary new vaccine aimed at protecting women and girls as young as nine from cervical cancer has been launched in South Africa. The cancer preventing-vaccine Gardasil protects against diseases caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 6, 11, 16 and 18.In laymen’s terms, these include cervical cancer, abnormal and pre-cancerous cervical lesions, genital warts, vaginal and vulva cancer.The vaccine was launched in early April in South Africa and although it is not yet available for free at public health institutions, it is available at private clinics and hospitals.Treatment is administered in three doses, at R770 (US$ 97) per injection. Beverley Cowper, the medical director at Merck Sharp & Dohme, the pharmaceutical company manufacturing the vaccine, says: “Clinical trials conducted over the years have showed that the vaccine is 100% effective in preventing vaginal cancer and genital warts.”The vaccine is launched in South Africa amid worrying statistics. According to health website Health24, in South Africa approximately 6 700 women per year will develop cervical cancer while an estimated 3 700 will die from the disease.The Cancer Association of South Africa’s Martha Molete says cervical cancer is the main cancer affecting South African women, “One in every 31 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime.”In March 2008, the Medicines Control Council also approved another cancer-preventing vaccine in South Africa. Following approval from the regulatory board, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline launched a product called Cervarix. It is available in the private and public sectors.Cervarix is already in use in the UK and the US, and is recommended for use in girls and women from the age of 10 upwards.Both Gardasil and Cervarix will work in the same way to protect the cervix against absorbing HPV.What is cervical cancer?Cancer of the cervix is associated with the cancer-producing HPV, which is transmitted during intercourse as a sexually transmitted disease. HPV can also be passed on from mother to child during birth, when the infant passes through the cervix.Just like all other parts of the body, the cervix is made up of different tissues. When cancer-producing agents disturb the genetic coding of the cervix, abnormal cells develop which, after some time, can form a malignant tumour (cancerous growth). If abnormal cells are found only within the epithelium (the outer surface of the cervix), the condition is called a pre-cancerous lesion. Once malignant cells penetrate through the basement membrane into the deeper tissue, the condition is then called cervical cancer as it may be spread to the rest of the body.SymptomsA pap smear can usually pick up abnormal tissue cells within the cervix. Bleeding may start and stop between regular menstrual periods, or it may occur after sexual intercourse, douching or during a gynaecological examination.Menstrual bleeding may last longer and be heavier than usual. Bleeding after menopause may also be an indicator of cervical cancer. This symptom may also point to cancer from the endometrium (inner lining of the womb). Increased vaginal discharge can be another symptom of cervical cancer.These symptoms may point to cancer or to other health problems. Smoking increases the risk of developing cancer cells in the cervix. The risk is dose-related – if a woman is a heavy smoker, the risk is higher.Immunity-lowering conditions like AIDS and certain medications for transplant patients may also increase the risk for cervical cancer.TreatmentCervical cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, where different types of drugs are used to treat primary or recurrent cervical cancer. If diagnosis takes place when a woman is already pregnant, a decision must be made if the pregnancy will be carried to full term. Treatment for cervical cancer cannot be administered during pregnancy and if the cancer has advanced, immediate treatment is required.Other forms of treatment for early stage cancer include cryosurgery, which freezes the pre-invasive cancer cells with a metal probe that has been cooled with liquid nitrogen. Laser surgery is also used to burn off abnormal cells or remove tissue to be studied further. A patient may also decide to have a hysterectomy. The uterus and cervix are removed either through the vagina or the abdominal wall. This results in infertility.Useful linksMSD South AfricaHealth 24Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Cancer Quest – educational information on cancerlast_img read more

Human rights panel directs Goa govt. to improve working conditions of police

first_imgPanaji: The Goa State Human Rights Commission (GSHRC) has asked the state to conduct inspections of all police stations to ascertain the shortcomings and to take appropriate steps to improve the working conditions of the police personnel, in particular the women police.Taking cognisance of the complaint filed by activist lawyer Aires Rodrigues, the GSHRC had directed its officials to inspect and verify the factual working and living conditions of police personnel at some police stations. Demanding that like all other government employees the police personnel should also get an eight-hour shift which will in fact increase their efficiency, Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint had also stated that on account of the long hours of work related stress, a lot of policemen were grappling with serious health problems like hypertension, diabetes and depression as the working and living conditions of the police at almost all the police stations and barracks was inhuman.last_img read more