No dent in corruption – Ramkarran

first_img– more to be done before oil arrivesDespite the rhetoric from Government in regard to combating corruption, and notwithstanding the laws that have been passed empowering institutions like the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) to act, corruption still remains entrenched inFormer Speaker of the House, Ralph RamkarranGuyana.Much more needs to be done, according to former Speaker of the House, Ralph Ramkarran, SC, who in his latest missive has said Guyana is about to experience a massive increase in its resources — a reference to the burgeoning oil industry, which is expected to commence commercial production of oil in 2020 — but still retains an inexperienced regulatory environment, with corruption still existing.“Challenges (the country faces include) continued corruption and disquiet about the next elections,” Ramkarran stated in his column, Conversation Tree. “Despite the loud talk, new policing laws and institutions, no dent in corruption has been noticed. It is as pervasive as it was in the past, though less noticeable because there is less government spending.”He also spoke about the elections, and the continuing delay in appointing a chairman for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to replace outgoing Chairman Dr Steve Surujbally.President David Granger, having rejected the first list submitted by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, has been furnished with a second list since May 2; but sources close to the People’s National Congress (PNC) have related that the President has in mind a favoured person whose name has not appeared on either list.Government has since denied this assertion, but Ramkarran has said that if the second list is rejected, serious questions would emerge.“On the elections’ front, the rejection by President Granger of the first list for Chair of the Elections Commission, submitted by Leader of the Opposition, was unexpected and surprising. If the rumours that the second list is also to be rejected prove to be true, serious questions will emerge as to whether the APNU+AFC coalition government wants an independent Chair; and if not, why not,” Ramkarran expressed.Ramkarran notes that it was against this backdrop and the continuing lack of social cohesion that the Carter Centre had called for constitutional reform. He has accordingly expressed his complete support for the position taken by the Carter Center.“It (the Carter Center) said that the anticipated influx of oil revenue has the potential to exacerbate ethnic and political conflicts. It recommends separate presidential elections, possibly with candidates ranked by voters in a preferred scale, with the person gaining the highest total votes being the winner,” Ramkarran explained.Last year, the United States Department of State had reported that corruption continues to be among the leading human rights problems facing Guyana. The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015, released by that department in 2016, had also chronicled other human rights violations.“There remained a widespread public perception of corruption involving officials at all levels, including the police and the judiciary,” the report said. It noted, however, that Government had responded to these reports, but it did not elaborate on that response.The report also stated that while the law requires public officials to declare their assets to an Integrity Commission, that commission has not yet been constituted.It added that the law sets out both criminal and administrative sanctions for public officials who do not disclose their assets to the commission, but said neither disclosure of assets nor conviction for nondisclosure of assets occurred during the year.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has called on the Government to have an international firm investigate whatever assets are held by both current and past Government officials, but this call that has gone unanswered by the Government.The latest U.S. State Department report on human rights in Guyana had also mentioned alleged Government corruption, including among police officials, as among Guyana’s continuing human rights problems.According to the Department’s annual report, which examines human rights conditions in countries throughout the world, the law provides for criminal penalties for corrupt officials, and Government generally implements the law effectively. However, it noted that “there were isolated reports of government corruption during the year, and administration officials responded to the reports.There remained a widespread public perception of corruption involving officials at all levels, including the police and the judiciary.”last_img read more

Benzema return would benefit France – Zidane

first_imgHowever, prosecutors have appealed the decision with the case to be heard before a court in Versailles, outside Paris on March 4.“Above all it is a good thing for the French team. That is what I have always said and I repeat it,” Zidane said on Saturday.“I hope that this matter is fixed quickly and that is what is happening. I am happy above all for the French national team.”The French Football Federation (FFF) suspended Benzema from the national team after he was placed under formal investigation in November for alleged complicity in a blackmail attempt targeting Valbuena.If the judge’s decision to lift the restrictions is upheld, it could pave the way for Benzema to return to the national team in time for Euro 2016, which France is hosting.Benzema has denied any wrongdoing but could face a five-year jail term if found guilty.Zidane is a legend in France having won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 with Les Bleus.However, his and Madrid’s continued support of Benzema has been in stark contrast to the treatment received by the 28-year-old in his homeland.Benzema has continued to play for Madrid and is enjoying his best ever goalscoring season having struck 23 times in 24 games.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane. — file photoMADRID, February 20 – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane described the partial lifting legal restrictions on Real striker Karim Benzema as “a good thing” for the French team as hopes have been raised Benzema could now feature in the European Championships later this year.Restrictions prevented Benzema from seeing international teammate Mathieu Valbuena due to his alleged involvement in blackmailing Valbuena in a sextape case were lifted by a French judge on Thursday.last_img read more

Andy Gray’s Premier League verdict: ‘The Man United squad needs major surgery’

first_imgAndy Gray joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to deliver his verdict on a thrilling first weekend of Premier League action.The opening day began with a big shock as Swansea secured a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford to get Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United reign off to a losing start.After such a promising pre-season, United were hugely disappointing and, according to Gray, they are unlikely to finish in the top four, let alone win back the title, unless they strengthen considerably.“This Manchester United team and squad needs major surgery,” said the expert pundit and former Scotland international.“Bringing in Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw since the season ended way back in May is not going to be good enough to bridge the gap, certainly for the title, and it may not even be enough to bridge the gap to get them into the Champions League.“Another season with no Champions League football would be catastrophic for Manchester United.”last_img read more

Bank expands to coast

first_imgBecause Golden West holds such a large number of adjustable-rate mortgages, Wachovia runs the risk of inheriting more losses if rising monthly payments cause more borrowers to default on their home loans. “There are quite a bit of misgivings about the timing of this deal,” said Thomas Burnett, director of research for Wall Street Access. “People are worried that Wachovia is buying into the peak of the mortgage market.” In a conference call with analysts Monday, Herb Sandler dismissed those worries as “a bunch of garbage.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsGolden West earned $1.5 billion last year, primarily from making the adjustable-rate mortgage loans that have been its bread and butter for decades. The Oakland-based company began to take shape 43 years ago when the husband-and-wife team of Herbert and Marion Sandler paid $4 million for a San Francisco Bay Area savings and loan with just $34 million in assets and 25 employees. Boasting $125 billion in assets and 11,600 employees today, Golden West now ranks as the nation’s second-largest savings and loan behind Washington Mutual Co. The Sandlers, now in their mid-70s, have remained Golden West’s co-chief executive officers in one of corporate America’s most unique partnerships. In a report issued Monday, CreditSights analyst David Hendler said the deal raises questions about whether a large bank like Wachovia will be able to retain the same personal touch that made Golden West such a success under the Sandlers. Although they refused to sign an employment agreement with Wachovia, the Sandlers have promised to remain on board as long as Wachovia Chairman Ken Thompson desires. SAN FRANCISCO – Wachovia Corp., the nation’s fourth-largest bank, is muscling into the West with a $24.2 billion deal to buy Golden West Financial Corp., a mom-and-pop shop that blossomed into a prized savings and loan. The stock-and-cash acquisition initially valued Golden West at $25.5 billion, or $81.07 per share – 15 percent above the company’s last price on the New York Stock Exchange before the takeover was announced late Sunday. But the proposed sale price dropped as Wachovia’s stock declined amid investor concerns about how the deal will affect the bank’s future earnings. Wachovia shares fell $3.97, or 6.7 percent, to close at $55.42 on the New York Stock Exchange, where Golden West shares rose $4.39, or 6.2 percent, to finish at $74.90. With the takeover, Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia would pick up a 285-branch network spanning 10 states that would fill a void in the company’s operations. Wachovia especially wants to raise its profile in California, where Golden West holds $32 billion in deposits and operates 123 branches under the World Savings Bank brand. last_img read more

Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal: Gunners stars rated and slated

first_img 14 14 Francis Coquelin – 3 – Let Robben cut inside for the opening goal far too easily in what was another weak performance by the Frenchman. His place as a regular starter is sure to come under immediate scrutiny Alex Iwobi – 4 – A hugely disappointing performance by the youngster and is likely to test Arsene Wenger’s love of the Nigerian forward. Lazy defensively and provided no attacking threat Laurent Koscielny – 6 – Led his side by example when he was on the pitch and earned his side a penalty to level the scores. Unsurprisingly, the captain left the pitch injured and Arsenal simply collapsed 14 David Ospina – 8 – There was plenty of talk surrounding the Colombian’s likely inclusion – but despite conceding five goals – the goalkeeper produced an outstanding display 14 14 SUB – Theo Walcott – 5 – Lost his place to Alex Iwobi and will have been fuming considering how the Nigerian played. Given no chance to make a genuine impact as he trudged on with the Gunners 4-1 down SUB – Olivier Giroud – N/A – The Frenchman came on for a late cameo, but he probably wish he hadn’t bothered. His biggest contribution was looking up to the sky in complete despair SUB – Gabriel – 4 – Replaced the injured Koscielny early in the second half and played a major part in his side’s collapse after the half time interval. Not up to the required standard. Granit Xhaka – 6 – Looked impressive and was threatening to become a creative force in the Gunners’ midfield. However, as his side’s standards nosedived – so did his temper – as the Swiss international lost his cool Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6 – Provided plenty of energy in the Arsenal midfield as he once again provided a spark for the Gunners. His teammates’ lack of fight did not rub off on him 14 Mesut Ozil – 4 – Another largely anonymous performance by Arsenal’s disappearing man. Came close with a free-kick in the first half and should have put his side in front but produced a tame effort 14 14 14 14 14 14 Alexis Sanchez – 7 – Looked to have the better of Hummels and was a source of inspiration for the away side. Nobody would blame the Chilean for looking beyond the Emirates to satisfy his undoubted talent. 14 14 Arsenal were humiliated by Bayern Munich on Wednesday night as the Gunners were thrashed 5-1 at the Allianz Arena.It could easily have been more had it not been for the heroics of David Ospina, with the Colombian denying the Bavarian giants on a host of occasions.Alexis Sanchez’s equaliser seems all but a world away now for Arsene Wenger’s side.But how did we rate their individual performances? Click the right arrow above to find out…Have you got what it takes to be the best in Europe? Sign up to Dream Team’s new Fantasy Football game and you could win £100,000! Hector Bellerin – 5 – The speedy defender struggled to deal with the likes of Arjen Robben and failed to provide an attacking threat Kieran Gibbs – 5 – Enjoyed a good first half but saw his performance gradually slip towards disaster. Bayern enjoyed particular success down his flank Shkodran Mustafi – 4 – The German international was far too lax in his marking and has gradually become a figure of weakness in the Arsenal backline last_img read more

Leicester 2-3 Liverpool: Reds stars rated and slated

first_img 14 14 Philippe Coutinho – 8 – A sublime free-kick helped fans remember the good times with their Brazilian playmaker. Also produced a wonderful cross for Salah to open the scoring. Alberto Moreno – 7 – The Spaniard, while accused of being defensively naïve, is always a threat going forward. Drew the foul for Coutinho’s free-kick and made a positive habit of finding space on his flank. Mohamed Salah – 8 – A superb finish from the tightest of angles gave Liverpool and early lead. A constant threat and looks to be one of the signings of the summer already. 14 14 Roberto Firmino – 6 – Linked up nicely with Coutinho at times and looked in his element alongside his compatriot. Not the most lively performance on a whole, however. Georginio Wijnaldum – 5 – So often anonymous away from home, Wijnaldum drifted through proceedings at the King Power Stadium. Kept possession ticking over but did little else of note. SUB – Daniel Sturridge – 7 – Helped change the game for Liverpool in the attacking third and showed his quality with an inch-perfect pass for Henderson to score. 14 14 Simon Mignolet – 5 – A penalty save masked what was a shaky performance by the Belgian. Missed a punch to gift Leicester an opening goal before teeing up Vardy with a weak save to his right. SUB – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A – Came on too late to make an impact. Joel Matip – 6 – To nobody’s surprise, Matip looked the calmer of Liverpool’s defensive pairing. Guilty of making a mess of a few simple clearances when there was little to no pressure. 14 Dejan Lovren – 5 – A nervous showing by the Croatian. Struggled to keep the offside line when given the task of dealing with the trickery and pace of Mahrez. 14 14 14 14 14 SUB – James Milner – 6 – His experience proved invaluable to securing all three points as Leicester piled on the pressure. 14 Jordan Henderson – 8 – An all-round impressive performance by the Reds captain. Started the move which led to Coutinho’s free-kick and got himself on the score-sheet with a well taken goal. Liverpool avenged their midweek Carabao Cup exit as the Reds edged past Leicester 3-2 at the King Power Stadium.Goals from Mohamed Salah, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson ensured the Reds put their most recent defeat behind them against Craig Shakespeare’s side.Jurgen Klopp’s men move level on points with fourth placed Tottenham thanks to their win as they looks to keep in touch with those at the top.But how did the Reds perform at the King Power Stadium?Click the right arrow, above, to see talkSPORT’s Liverpool player ratings… Emre Can – 7 – It was the German midfielder’s searching pass which allowed Coutinho time and space to cross for Salah. Showed his leadership in the centre of the park. 14 Joe Gomez – 5 – Found it tough going to deal with the pace of Vardy and co. Too easily beaten on occasions and was unfortunate to get the touch to set up Okazaki for Leicester’s first goal. last_img read more

L.A. rolls welcome mat out in China

first_imgThe number of Chinese tourists increased 41 percent in 2003-04 over the previous year. That number also grew by 26 percent in 2004-05 over 2003-04. Tourism is the second largest industry in Los Angeles, employing more than 260,000 area residents. In 2005, 24.9 million tourists visited Los Angeles, contributing $28.5 billion in total economic impact, including direct visitor spending, according to the Mayor’s Office. The mayor is set to visit Japan next week. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Los Angeles will open a tourism office in Beijing, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Sunday during his 14-day trip through Asia to promote trade. Saying the tourism industry is critical to the economic health of Los Angeles, the mayor said the office would market the city to the Chinese as an attractive business and leisure destination. “With the opening of the new tourism office in Beijing, Los Angeles is putting down a permanent welcome mat for the tens of millions of Chinese tourists who will visit our great city in the coming years,” he said in a printed statement. “More tourism means more jobs and a healthier economy.” Of the $12.9 billion in direct visitor spending in Los Angeles in 2005, officials said $78 million was generated by visitors from China, and Chinese tourists were the fastest-growing foreign-visitor group. last_img read more

Incredible stat emerges after Tammy Abraham’s goal for Chelsea in Lille

first_img 1 Tammy Abraham’s brilliant debut season for Chelsea continued on Wednesday evening as he claimed his first ever Champions League goal.The Blues forward put his side ahead when he collected a pass from Fikayo Tomori and controlled the ball before firing home. And following his strike, a brilliant stat has emerged which has once again shown how well these young English stars are playing for Frank Lampard.Abraham’s goal was Chelsea’s first in the Champions League scored and assisted by two English players since March 2012, when Lampard himself set up John Terry against Napoli.Coincidentally, that was the year Chelsea went onto win their first ever Champions League title – so could this be a good omen for the west London side? Chelsea Twitter center_img 1 – Tammy Abraham’s goal (assisted by Fikayo Tomori) was Chelsea’s first in the Champions League scored and assisted by two English players since March 2012, when Frank Lampard set up John Terry against Napoli. Lions. pic.twitter.com/GxQgJAAoIA— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 2, 2019Unfortunately for Chelsea, their lead didn’t last long as Lille were level with just over half an hour gone as their leading scorer Victor Osimhen rose highest to head home a corner.Jonathan Bamba’s flag-kick was converted by the Nigerian for his seventh goal of the season – another goal in which Chelsea have failed to deal with a set-piece.However, thankfully for Lampard, Willian struck late on to secured a crucial first three points for the Blues in Group H. Abraham netted the opener for Chelsea against Lille last_img read more

Tourlestrane reach semi-finals of Leo Kenny Cup

first_imgTourlestrane are through to the semi-finals of the Connacht Leo Kenny Cup.They beat fellow Sligo side Shamrock Gaels by 0-20 to 0-6 at home in last night’s quarter-finals.St Mary’s are out however, after they lost out by 0-14 to 1-7 to Mayo side Aghamore.The Sligo county champions will now face Galway side Mountbellew/,oylough in the semi-finals next Tuesday at 7.30pm a the Connacht GAA Centre in Bekan.They second semi-final on the same evening will involve aghamore and another Galway side in Killanin. Tue 01 Aug Leo Kenny Cup, Venue: Headford GAA Pitch, (Semi-Final 1), Killanin V Aghamore 19:30, Ref: Barry JudgeLeo Kenny Cup, Venue: A: Connacht GAA Centre, (Semi-Final 2), Mountbellew/Moylough V Tourlestrane 19:30, Ref: John Glavey Tue, 25 Jul, Leo Kenny Cup, Venue: Killannin Community Pitch, (Quarter Final 1), Killanin 0-12 Mícheál Breathnach 0-10Leo Kenny Cup, Venue: Aghamore, (Quarter Final 2), Aghamore 0-14 St Mary’s 1-7Leo Kenny Cup, Venue: Tourlestrane, (Quarter Final 3), Tourlestrane 0-20 Shamrock Gaels 0-6Leo Kenny Cup, Venue: A: Connacht GAA Centre, (Quarter Final 4), Mountbellew/Moylough 3-11 Ballina Stephenites 1-7last_img read more

Gigi Rates Mitsukoshi Pick-a-Pearl Experience

first_imgShare This!As is my job as a responsible parent, I am raising my 6 year old to love all thing Disney. This includes a healthy appreciation for Epcot and all of the unique shopping ( Shopping in the Epcot Countries – Get to Know Japan) and eating (Takumi-Tei Chef’s Table: New Best Meal at Walt Disney World?) experiences it has to offer. Although we’ve passed it countless times on our path through the Mitsukoshi shopping mecca, we have never tried the Akoya pick-a-pearl experience until recently. Gigi’s feedback and reaction to the experience surprised me and made me think of some Disney experiences for little ones in a new light. Before we get to her rating, let’s discuss the basics.You can find the Akoya Pearl counter inside the first entrance to the Mitsukoshi shopping area just behind the Hello Kitty wall on the right.If you’ve ever been through these doors, you can probably smell the incense just by looking at the picture. Top 5 Disney smells of all time in my opinion. At the time of this article, the price for one oyster is $16.90 plus tax. Like all other merchandise purchases in Japan, no annual pass discounts are accepted. As with any Disney event or pricing, this is subject to change at any time. The cast member at the jewelry counter explained that certain settings would take an additional hour to complete and would require us to return for our purchase. I was shocked that Gigi wasn’t interested in any of the rings or charms and was prepared to leave with just our little plastic bag and one pearl when the cast member showed us small glass bottles filled with “pixie dust” for a much less expensive price.Gigi selected purple pixie dust bottle for $4.95 plus tax and we were on our way. Below is a picture of the finished product.Gigi’s Review: Two out of five unicorns. We discussed this at length and while she loves the little glass bottle with pixie dust and her pearl, the volume of the presentation and amount of “stranger attention” focused on her was overwhelming. In her words “I felt like everyone was staring at me while she screamed.” Eek.Mom’s Review: Gigi has never been described as shy or retiring in any setting, but this was too much even for her. I found myself immediately mentally crouching into “protective mom mode” while we were there. I could tell her little shoulders were tense and I could barely hear her voice when the cast member asked her questions. This is a child that cannot ever be described as quiet so I was on alert. My advice would be to prepare little ones for the noise and attention in advance. Overall, I’d say the glass bottle is a great value for $4.95 but I would think twice about doing this experience with another little one.On a research day in Epcot the week after Gigi’s experience, I stopped back in Mitsukoshi to ask if they could do a different presentation for people with sensory processing issues and the staff member on duty assured me they could alter the volume and eliminate the drums.Have you ever done the Akoya Pearl experience at the Japan pavilion in Epcot? What did you think? Have you ever asked for a more toned-down version? Please share your experiences in the comments! After the oyster was opened, the cast member used the scale above to measure Gigi’s pearl at 7.5mm. She then polished it and placed it in a small, clear bag – all with significant volume and drama.After Gigi was handed her pearl, we were directed to the counter immediately to the right where we could select a jewelry setting for an additional fee. After paying for the oyster, we were given a number and waited for less than 5 minutes before it was our turn to move to the main counter.After our number was called, the cast member performing at the pick-a-pearl counter began her show by asking Gigi to walk around the tank to select the oyster she wanted to open. After making her selection, the cast member reached in with a pair of long, silver tongs and grabbed her pick.Next, the cast member made a very dramatic and very loud show of opening the oyster for Gigi to reveal the pearl inside. I’ve been well inside the candy / sake section of the Mitsukoshi merchandise location at the other end of the building and have still been able to hear the drums and yelling that accompanies each pearl reveal.last_img read more