No future for sugar in Guyana under APNU/AFC

first_imgDear Editor,Just before the May 2015 General Election, I warned that the Granger-led A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) had a sinister plan to close the sugar industry (SUGAR) in Guyana. David Granger and Moses Nagamootoo vehemently denied any plans to close SUGAR. In their four years in Government, they have downsized SUGAR by more than 50 per cent, as a first step towards the goal to close SUGAR. As a General Election looms again in Guyana, I again repeat my warning: APNU/AFC is determined to end SUGAR in Guyana.APNU/AFC is deliberately mismanaging GuySuCo, engineering its excuse to close SUGAR. While three sugar estates continue to operate, APNU/AFC is keen on finding an excuse to also close these estates. For more than 300 years, SUGAR was the most important industry in Guyana. The potential for SUGAR being an important industry for many decades more in Guyana still exists. It is foolhardy and reckless for anyone to give up on SUGAR. APNU/AFC wants to end SUGAR in Guyana for political reasons, resulting from their anti-Jagan, anti-People’s Progressive Party (PPP) obsession. But while spiteful and petty, closure of SUGAR in Guyana, with downsizing as a first step, has horrendous consequences, with the Guyanese people being collateral damage.For example, the starting of SUGAR closure, at the end of 2015, precipitated an unemployment problem. Four years into the APNU/AFC term in office, Guyana is mired in an unemployment crisis, a crisis that started in 2015 and crescendoed in 2016 by the closure of the first of the four sugar estates that are now closed. The total closure of SUGAR, if the Guyanese people allow APNU/AFC to achieve this goal, will mean that the unemployment crisis will be sustained for generations to come. OIL will not be able to rescue us.Even as RUSAL is threatening to close operations in Guyana, causing a loss of another 500 jobs, GuySuCo, still the largest single employer in Guyana, is bleeding from deliberate mismanagement, facing a precarious future. The last four years have not been good news for GuySuCo and for employment in Guyana. More than 37,000 jobs have been lost, according to conservative estimates, with SUGAR accounting for more than 7000 direct jobs and many thousands more indirectly. With the uncertainty of elections, a constitutional crisis after March 21 and possibly an illegal government by then, business activities have dropped by as much as 50 per cent, with hundreds being laid off.Meanwhile, Guyanese are dismayed at the sustained ugly disinterest APNU/AFC has shown towards GuySuCo. This deliberate disinterest by the Government and, particularly, by the Minister of Agriculture, has contributed to the overall mismanagement and incompetence in the operations of GuySuCo. Even as the operating estates are bleeding for more machinery, such as tractors and excavators, etc, Special Purpose Unit (SPU)/National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) is selling off these same machinery, already owned by GuySuCo, from the closed estates. This is not incompetence and mismanagement, it is deliberate suffocation. The reported theft of significant amounts of sugar produced at the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate, far from being an isolated case, is symptomatic of every day, niggling and serious problems impacting the industry. These mounting problems will continue as disinterest sickens the industry.While insisting the treasury will not invest in GuySuCo, APNU/AFC, curiously, allowed SPU/NICIL to borrow $30 billion on behalf of GuySuCo. No one knows where the money is and what the SPU has done with the money. In the midst of suspicion and anger about the whereabouts of the money and what it is being used for, GuySuCo continues to claim it has not benefited from any serious influx of funding from the $30 billion. Several weeks ago, the Leader of the Opposition had to ask publicly for an explanation and the whereabouts of the $30 billion. I have continued to ask for more than a year now the same question – where is the $30 billion?The President has ignored these questions. APNU/AFC behaves as if it is no one’s business to ask. The Minister of Agriculture has made clear he has no idea where the money is, why the loan was taken and by whom and emphatically pronounced he does not want to know. Ignoring the queries from the workers, from the trade unions and from the management of GuySuCo is inexcusable, but behaving as if citizens have no right to know the whereabouts of one of the biggest single loans ever in Guyanese history is political malfeasance and corruption at the highest level.Just this week, GuySuCo’s management, out of utter frustration, berated the relationship with the SPU/NICIL, particularly with the SPU Head, who is also now the acting head of NICIL. This same man, about a year ago, announced and published a whole-page advertisement that there was a new GuySuCo Board to replace the Clive Thomas-led, Cabinet-appointed Board. The Ministry of the Presidency was forced to disown the SPU-appointed Board. It took the Cabinet almost a year after that to itself appoint a new Board. Cabinet announced it would clarify who was in charge – the Agriculture Ministry or SPU/NICIL. Nothing has happened. Such risible behaviour makes a mockery of one of the largest industries in Guyana, unless it is a deliberate strategy to end SUGAR.The treatment of GuySuCo by the SPU/NICIL, the disinterest in GuySuCo by the Government, in fact, reflect the long-standing strategy of the People’s National Congress (PNC) to end SUGAR in Guyana. It said so in 2014 and now in Government for four years, APNU/AFC has done everything to end SUGAR. Just like the Government’s deliberate strategy towards a constitutional crisis in its management of the elections timeline, the Government’s seeming disinterest is a deliberate strategy to end SUGAR. Clearly, APNU/AFC appears to have engineered an economic strategy in which OIL is the new economic pillar and that Guyana’s economy will be an OIL economy. There is no future for SUGAR under APNU/AFC.Sincerely,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more

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Benteke trains gun on Arsenal move

first_imgBut speaking to Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad, he revealed that he could be tempted to leave if Villa received an offer from one of the Premier League elite.He said: ‘If Aston Villa say I must stay, I won’t necessarily accept that. I do not in any way want to feel I didn’t get the most out of my career.’Meanwhile, in the Daily Express, he added: ‘I hope that if I leave my club a deal can be done more quickly than the one last year.‘There is no point in me getting into a tug-of-war with Villa, and I don’t think there is any need for one. If the chance comes up for me to join a club like Arsenal, I am convinced that we can reach a compromise where everybody comes out a winner.’Benteke continued: ‘I have asked my agent not to bother me with transfer talk while I am away on Belgium duty. It’s now down to him to do his job. I have known him since I was 14 years old, and I have complete confidence in him.’Villa boss Paul Lambert has been steadfast in his belief that his star man, who has three years remaining on his contract, will still be at the club next season.Reflecting on his future, he added: ‘Of course playing the World Cup is in my head. But I have no fear of falling out of the team. With my family, I will decide where my future lies.’-Daily Mail0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000LONDON, England, May 24- Christian Benteke’s Aston Villa future has been thrown into doubt by the player himself as he revealed he would consider a move to Arsenal.The Belgian striker enjoyed a stellar campaign in the Premier League, bagging 19 goals at the first attempt, and has attracted interest from a number of leading clubs.last_img read more

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Muhiddin cautious as Ze Maria’s K’Ogalo come calling

first_img“They had problems of their own at that time and it was still in pre-season. Things have changed for both of us so this will be an entirely new ball game. It is going to be tough, having watched how they play, I know they are a team full of quality,” Muhiddin told Capital FM Sport.Bandari have had problems of their own and failed to win in the last six matches despite having stellar cast in their team. Muhiddin however remains unfazed and is confident they will bounce back to winning ways.“I am not disappointed much because it is football. Sometimes, a team despite all the quality they have to go through a phase when their form is off. It also happened to Barcelona the other day. I am still hopeful we can bounce back and playing at home today will help us,” the soft spoken tactician added.Bandari will miss the services of Mudde Musa who is still spotting a bandaged head after coming off the worst in a clash of heads with a Western Stima defender last weekend in Kisumu, just two minutes after the match.The dockers come up against a resilient Gor side which is aiming to move into the top five from their current eighth spot. Gor will be heavily relying on Rwandese striker Jacques Tuyisenge who has scored four goals in as many appearances, all of them match winning.Jose Marcello Ferreira alias Ze Maria’s side have a chance to move up to fifth position if Posta Rangers, Ulinzi Stars and Kakamega Homeboyz fail to pick wins against Ushuru, Chemelil Sugar and Sony Sugar respectively.In other eye catching matches set for Thursday evening, the top two sides Tusker FC and Mathare United will battle it out at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. Only a point separates the two sides with Mathare enjoying a stay at the apex.Francis Kimanzi will be coming up against his immediate former employers who are seeking to bounce back after losing their second match of the season last weekend against Posta Rangers in Nairobi.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Bandari FC coach Twahir Muhiddin expects a tough game from Gor when they play at the Mbaraki Complex/PHOTO- Timothy OlobuluMOMBASA, Kenya Apr 28 – Despite beating Gor Mahia 1-0 in the season opening DSTV Super Cup match, Bandari FC head coach Twahir Muhiddin does not expect his side to easily go for a double with another win when the two sides meet in a league fixture at the Mbaraki Complex on Thursday evening.Muhiddin believes Gor have drastically improved from how they were in that season opener and he has cautioned his side not to expect an easy outing.last_img read more

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Friendship puts higher-ups on the wrong side of the law

first_img“It’s an adversary process and I understand the personal dimension, but the United States is the side of the case that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are on. Those are their jobs,” said Barrett, now a law professor at St. John’s University in New York City. In the Valerie Plame case, Bush and particularly Cheney are more than mere friends of Libby, and more than mere disinterested public officials. Their actions are within the scope of the criminal investigation. Both were witnesses who underwent questioning by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. Within hours of Libby’s sentencing, Cheney issued a statement saying that “the defense has indicated it plans to appeal the conviction in the case.” “Speaking as friends, we hope that our system will return a final result consistent with what we know of this fine man,” said Cheney, saying that he was speaking on behalf of himself and his wife. Asked Wednesday about a possible pardon for Libby, Bush said “it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to discuss it while the process is going forward.” WASHINGTON – The latest twist in the CIA leak scandal has Vice President Dick Cheney saying he hopes his former chief of staff, now sentenced to 30 months in prison, will eventually get off. And that, legal experts say, is an odd statement for a vice president to make. While expressing support for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Cheney and President George W. Bush are also in the position of being officials sworn to uphold the law, running the branch of government that prosecuted Libby. “It’s a disappointment whenever a person who occupies a high office and takes an oath doesn’t respond to a demonstrated serious criminal event in a serious governmental way,” former Iran-Contra prosecutor John Barrett said Tuesday night. “My heart goes out to his family and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to discuss his case,” said the president. “Libby’s lies derailed the investigation, and Cheney’s role has never been fully explained; the comments of the president and especially the vice president are troubling in this context,” said Penn State University law professor Lance Cole, a former attorney for Democrats on the Senate Whitewater Committee and a consultant to the 9-11 commission. Cheney’s statement is unusual historically, says presidential scholar Stanley Kutler, author of a well-known book on the Watergate scandal. “I know of no time in Watergate where someone who was convicted got the warm embrace of those in power,” said Kutler, author of “The Wars of Watergate.” For former prosecutors like Barrett, “crime is crime,” whether it has a political backdrop to it or not. For presidential scholars such as Kutler, the Libby case is an instance of the Bush administration’s supporters bemoaning what they call the criminalizing of political conduct, an assertion Kutler calls “spurious.” There is a parallel in the Iran-Contra scandal. Supporters of the Reagan administration criticized independent counsel Lawrence Walsh for what they said was criminalizing a political battle between the executive branch and Congress. When he won jury convictions against former National Security Adviser John Poindexter and National Security Council staffer Oliver North, neither drew the kind of public sympathy from then-President George H.W. Bush that Libby is getting from his former bosses. Subsequently, the president short-circuited the criminal investigation of the Iran-Contra affair, pardoning six former administration figures including ex-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger on Christmas Eve 1992. The pardons came two weeks before Weinberger was to have gone on trial in a case in which the president was a potential witness. Walsh, the prosecutor, said the Iran-Contra pardons completed a “cover-up, which has continued for more than six years.” Among those pardoned was Elliott Abrams, currently a deputy national security adviser in the Bush administration.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

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High school graduation victory for students with autism

first_imgOn Friday, students from The Help Group’s Village Glen School in Sherman Oaks will experience the time-honored tradition of high school graduation. An exciting event for many, this particular graduation will be more than just pomp and circumstance for 19 soon-to-be graduates. These students have overcome cummunication barriers and learned how to adapt to a world that doesn’t necessarily feel and see things the way they do. These students have autism – in addition to the angst an average high school student might experience. These students have successfully divided their time between scholastics and working on added daily social development needed to acclimate to different environments – all to reach this goal. Today, it is estimated that one in every 150 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, and a child is diagnosed with an ASD every 20 minutes. Once considered rare, affecting two in 10,000 children in the 1960s and ’70s, ASDs are the fastest-growing serious developmental disabilities. Many of the Village Glen grads will attend local community colleges with a focus on skills such as sign language, game design and animation. Others will go on to vocational schools with their aspirations of one day becoming culinary chefs, train engineers, pediatric nurses or emergency medical technicians. Christine Simmons is a media specialist at The Help Group. She posted this story June 7 to the Sherman Oaks hub on valleynews.com.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

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State economy adds 9,300 jobs

first_imgCalifornia’s economy added a modest 9,300 payroll jobs last month, with the information sector generating the biggest gains and the hard-hit construction industry posting the most losses, the state said Friday. The overall increase followed a revised gain of 21,900 jobs in August, the state Employment Development Department said. The gains last month amount to less than 9 percent of the national increase of 110,000 payroll jobs during the same period. In all, more than 15.2 million people in California held payroll jobs in September, the state agency said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The information sector, which encompasses jobs in the computer data field, added 7,900 jobs. The construction sector shed 5,000 positions. Just over 1 million people were looking for work, an increase of 33,000 from August and a jump of 162,000 from the year-ago period, the state agency said. The state’s unemployment rate stood at 5.6 percent in September, up from 5.5 percent in the previous month and 4.8 percent in September 2006. In the 12 months ended in September, California payrolls grew by 162,000 jobs, a 1.1 percent increase. The government sector posted the biggest gain over that period, adding 53,400 jobs. The construction sector, reeling from the downturn in home sales, posted the steepest decline, losing 28,600 jobs, the state said.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

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Sports center plan draws opposition

first_imgBut over time, those places slipped away from the landscape, and now when he looks around, he doesn’t see much for children to do. He encouraged the council to explore Steele’s recommendations. “We have nothing,” Salata said. “We have no culture.” sue.doyle@dailynews.com (818)713-3746160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WOODLAND HILLS – Residents on Wednesday opposed plans to build a 10,000-seat sports-and-entertainment center anywhere in the neighborhood. Pointing to increased traffic and crime and decreased property values, the crowd of about 100 urged the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council to reject the project when it meets on Wednesday. “Does anybody go to bed thinking we need a pro-sports arena here?” said John Ashby, 51, to the council during the hearing at Woodland Hills Academy. The arena, known as The Oasis, is the brain child of Mark Steele, president of the Valley Sports Authority, who hopes to win support for the project from the neighborhood council. If he gets the nod, Steele will approach the Mayor’s Office and Councilman Dennis Zine to find 5 acres of land for the building. Reminding residents that the project is still in its conceptual phase, Steele said the arena would resemble a mini-Staples Center but with all the bells and whistles. Open three nights a week, it would play host to activities such as the circus, ice shows, rodeos, concerts and sports events. Steele estimated the facility would bring a much-needed focal point to the San Fernando Valley and could generate about $50million annually. “We don’t even have a single building that we can say defines the Valley,” Steele said. “In the Valley, we have nothing.” Along with the residents who lined up to knock down the idea, there were a few who said the council should give it a chance. When he grew up in the area, 34-year-old Jason Salata said there was always something fun happening nearby, from water slides to skating to race tracks. last_img read more

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Lawyer: Karr evidence gone, so is porn case

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possible“We can’t cross-examine this evidence,” Gutekunst said. “That makes us profoundly ineffective. The crime scene is gone.” Karr rejected a plea deal and remains jailed on $200,000 bail. He chose not to attend Wednesday’s hearing. SANTA ROSA – The child pornography case against John Mark Karr, one-time suspect in the JonBen t Ramsey case, should be dropped because key evidence was lost, defense attorneys argued Wednesday. Sonoma County Judge Cerena Wong agreed to consider whether to dismiss the five misdemeanor charges against Karr amid revelations that the Sheriff’s Department not only lost his computer, which allegedly held the pornographic images, but also copies of its contents. All that remains is reports from the 2001 investigation and new information about what was contained on Karr’s computers, prosecutors and the sheriff said. Karr’s lawyer, Gayle Gutekunst, argued that without a crime scene, she had no way to properly defend her client nor would prosecutors be able to make a case against him. 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

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Rangers hit with five SFA charges over Collum comments

first_imgRangers have been charged on five counts by the SFA for their comments regarding referee Willie Collum.The Ibrox club were critical of the match official’s display in their 2-0 Premiership win over St Mirren, during which winger Daniel Candeias saw red.Candeias received a second booking for what was later clarified as “unsporting behaviour” towards Anton Ferdinand after blowing a kiss in the Buddies defender’s direction whilst celebrating a goal.The Light Blues hit out at Collum in a strongly worded statement, voicing their intent to submit a formal complaint over his display. Manager Steven Gerrard labelled the decision to send off Candeias an “embarrassing” one.Now, the SFA have handed Rangers a notice of complaint, with five charges detailed.These include:Rangers have until December 4 to respond, with a hearing set for December 19.last_img read more

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Database Planning: Avoid Missed Fields

first_imgHow to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Related Posts Back when we showed you how logging can save you, we touched on the subject of listing fields prior to building your database.Once you’ve been building software for a while, you may find yourself jumping into the development stage before you’re ready. In some cases this may work just fine, but if you end up missing some critical functionality, you’ll look pretty silly.Planning the structure of your database can help you to avoid missing out key fields and build the application right first time. Here’s a working example.TransactionsTypical fields you might use when dealing with transactions include:Unique IdDescriptionCreditDebitUser IdThis would get you started, but there are some gaping holes in this list. Where’s the date? How about the balance?Content ManagementFields you might need when dealing with content management include:Unique IdTitleContentUser IdCreated DateThis should work for a basic system. In the future you might add things like tags and categories – but should you build everything into the first release? This shows it may be worthwhile to keep things simple to begin with – otherwise, you could add every possible field and never release the system.There’s also the subject of whether to store the data for an area of functionality in one table or multiple tables. For instance, in the content table, you might have a status field that includes values such as Draft, Scheduled, Published, Private, and Deleted. How many of these are essential for the first release? Would you put these in a separate table or just as a single field in the content table?Generally speaking, it’s good to have a plan from the start, and try to be consistent throughout the system. Otherwise, things can get very messy.Photo by Tim Morgan 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Tags:#hack#tips center_img Why You Love Online Quizzes ben barden Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

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