More thoroughness by international observers needed

first_imgDear Editor,I have noted the decision of the Kenyan High Court in relation to the recently held presidential elections in that country. The Court pronounced the elections null and void.The Court came to that decision because of the many irregularities that were found. The Parties would go to the poll in two months’ time.This is a historic decision and it spells well for democracy, not only in Kenya, but in Africa and the world.It is apposite to note that the reasons for pronouncing the elections null and void has many similarities with the elections in Guyana, held on May 11, 2015.The Kenyan Court found credible evidence of fictitious polling places and statements of poll. In Guyana, one of the charges was that fake statements of poll were used to determine the election results.In Kenya, the charge was that the IT system was hacked. In Guyana the IT section was shut down. It was not used to tally the votes to determine the results of the poll as the law prescribed.Both the Kenyan and Guyanese elections clearly instructed that international observers need to be more thorough in elections observation.It should be noted that the Carter Centre was there headed by John Kerry, former Secretary of State in the US Government. The European Union was also present.In Guyana we have had international observers, including the Carter Centre. Yet significant fraud took place in Kenya and in Guyana.I wish to point out that in the case of Kenya in less than a month the Kenyan Court heard the case and pronounced on it. This is indeed a giant step forward in the advancement of democracy and the rule of law.In Guyana, after more than two years, the case cannot be heard. This is due mainly to the manoeuvring of the Secretariat of the Elections Commission and the sloth of the Judiciary.In normal circumstances, the CEO and Secretariat of the Elections Commission would be pushing to vindicate themselves in the courts and in public opinion. It is therefore, strange and monstrous that the body is trying to frustrate a hearing by the court.I wish to once more call on the Elections Commission/Secretariat to stop frustrating the hearing and urge the courts to hear this case immediately.The delay will further undermine our democracy and lead us back to a period of similar to what we had from the late 1960s to 1992, when Guyana’s Government was regarded as dictatorship due mainly to electoral fraud.I wish to express my congratulations to the Court of Kenya in the professional and efficient way in which it conducted itself. This is a great example to all countries striving for democratic government, separation of powers and the rule of law.Sincerely,Donald RamotarFormer Presidentlast_img read more

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DCC supports Christopher Barnwell

first_imgDear Editor,This intervention – informed by Rajiv Bisnauth’s “opinion piece” of February 5, 2017) and by Royston Alkins (Sportscope) on February 13, 2017 – is intended to support Christopher Barnwell’s selection on the Guyana National Cricket Team, together with the supporting facts and statistics being a member of the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC), who experienced a tough patch in the recent WI Regional Super50 Tournament.This unfortunate turn of events is not singular to this player alone, but it would be recognised that other accomplished cricketers have at one time or another suffered a similar setback in the loss of form, exemplified by a string of low scores and poor batting performances.The DCC condemns in the strongest possible terms the adverse and demeaning comments and aspersions by many of Barnwell’s detractors who, with some contempt, suggest that he has not achieved much since his score of 88 runs against Jamaica, whilst ignoring his maiden Regional first class century (148) in 2015, scored together with other significant innings in the First Class Regional Tournaments, namely viz.•    2015 – Regional first class four-day competition when Guyana won the Regional title, Barnwell was the leading all-rounder with 475 runs and 17 wickets at an overall average of 40, placing him amongst the top three all-rounders in the Region;•    In that season he got a five-wicket haul (5/37) and scored 79 runs in the same match. “What a player!!!”•    In the 2016 season, he was faced with injuries, playing five games and with his average somewhat reduced to 28;•    It is also important to note and to place on record that Barnwell received a B contract in 2015/2016 seasons, but was demoted to a C, which many thought was a harsh decision and one that was deflating. However, many should recognise that Barnwell is one of the players with exposure to leagues outside of the CPL – “therefore one should not throw away the baby with the bathwater”;•    Perhaps a team strategy missed for this year’s Regional 50-over should have considered Barnwell as an opening bowler to partner with Ronsford Beaton and even the possibility of gambling with him as an opening batsman, since our opening batsmen were having struggles with real fast bowling at the top of the order. I believe that better use could have been made of Barnwell’s talent as a bowler and as a batsman which definitely contributed to his loss of confidence. This trend is becoming a permanent fixture by team management at both franchise level (Guyana Jaguars and Guyana Amazon Warriors) and has weighed heavily against Barnwell being able to give a true account of himself.•    It is my hope that corrective measures be put in place to restore “the fate” in Barnwell as one of the better all-rounders Guyana has produced over the years and in so doing, allow him the chance to redeem himself and to wear the maroon colours again;The DCC, in support of Barnwell, is encouraging him to return to top form and to talk with his bat and bowling efforts in his next outings for Guyana.We, at the DCC, for our part, are confident that with studious application, dedication and solid commitment, Barnwell will eventually prevail and return to his “halcyon” days when he displayed such tremendous potential and talent to be able to catch the “nod ‘of the West Indies Selectors and be preferred for the T20 and one-day version for the West Indies team.I personally, as President of the Demerara Cricket Club, strongly believe that the best is yet to come from this very promising and dedicated cricketer whom is still in his prime and has so much more to offer given opportunity and the right use in a team sport.Sincerely,Alfred MentorePresident –Demerara CricketClub (DCC)last_img read more

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Hamilton equals Schumacher F1 record with 68th pole

first_imgHamilton’s lap in 1min 42.553sec was the all-time record fastest at the spectacular Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the forests of the Belgian Ardennes, 0.242 seconds quicker than Vettel.The 68th pole position for the Mercedes driver drew him level in the record books with seven-time champion Schumacher whose congratulations were conveyed to him immediately afterwards by former Ferrari and Mercedes technical director Ross Brawn.Briton Brawn, who guided Schumacher to all seven of his titles with Benetton (two) and Ferrari (five), hugged Hamilton on the track and said he had a special message.“I am here to deliver a special message from the Schumacher family who want to congratulate you on equalling Michael’s record,” said Brawn.“He always said records are there to be beaten and they want to say a special thanks.”Hamilton, who appeared to be visibly moved with emotion, said: “First, a big shout to the fans here – I can’t believe it. A big thank you to my team.“Ross was a big part of that. This is one of my favourite circuits so to put a lap together like that is like a dream.“To hear that message which Ross just gave… a big thank you.“I pray for Michael and his family all the time.“I have always admired him and I still do today. I am honoured to be there with him now on the pole positions, but he will still be one of the greatest of all time.”Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident at the end of 2013 and has been in prolonged private recuperation at his family home in Switzerland since then.Vettel, who Ferrari said Saturday has signed a three-year contract extension, secured his front-row spot with a late and dramatic lap for Ferrari.He leads Hamilton by 14 points with nine races remaining this year.Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas of qualified third ahead of Finnish compatriot Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, Dutchman Max Vestappen and his Red Bull team-mate Australian Daniel Ricciardo.German Nico Hulkenberg was seventh for Renault ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez and his Force India team-mate Frenchman Esteban Ocon and Briton Jolyon Palmer, who was 10th for Renault after an engine failure.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton enters the pits during the third practice session at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa on August 26, 2017 ahead of the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix © AFP / LOIC VENANCESPA, Belgium, Aug 26 – Lewis Hamilton roared to a record-equalling 68th career pole position on Saturday, matching Michael Schumacher’s record in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.The 32-year-old three-time world champion will start Sunday’s race, the 200th of his career, from his sixth pole this year with Germany’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari alongside him in second.last_img read more

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Greyhound calling for intercity bus travel to be subsidized like city buses

first_imgWe are continuing our discussions regarding viable options for rural connectivity in British Columbia with the provincial and federal governments. We will continue to provide up-to-date information, signifying our ongoing commitment to our customers.” VANCOUVER, B.C. – Greyhound Canada is calling on the provincial government to subsidize intercity bus companies as public hearings into the company’s application with the Passenger Transportation Board to cut service to Northern B.C. began yesterday.Greyhound said in a release yesterday that it is encouraging the creation of a Connecting Communities Fund which it said would provide rural and remote communities require transportation connections to larger centres that provide essential health services, employment opportunities and post-secondary education. The company pointed out that governments at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels spend billions annually on urban transit services, and that BC’s rural communities deserve transportation investments as well.The company said municipalities and First Nations would be able to seek competitive bids with qualified private sector operators to link rural and remote residents with regional hubs on primary transportation corridors, giving Prince George and Kelowna as examples.- Advertisement -The company explained that it was not guaranteed to benefit from such a funding model, as a competitive process would be open to all bidders to attempt to provide the best private sector transportation for a given community.Greyhound Canada’s Senior Vice President, Stuart Kendrick, issued the following statement with yesterday’s announcement.“I know that the proposed route reductions will be a difficult change for affected passengers and communities, and we deeply regret having to issue this filing. The situation has come to a head, however, and despite a long-standing series of corrective measures and discussions with policymakers, the reality is that we can no longer operate the unsustainable routes, and we are proposing changes that will make other BC routes more viable.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Ipswich 0-1 Norwich: Canaries grab derby spoils

first_imgNorwich City continued their good start to the Championship season as they dispatched rivals Ipswich Town 1-0 at Portman Road for their third win in four games.The Canaries were dominant for most of the clash but in the end it was a solitary Lewis Grabban goal which earned them all three points, and the bragging rights, in the East Anglian derby.After a quiet start the visitors were forced into an early change in Suffolk as Ryan Bennett was forced off with a shoulder injury and replaced by Javier Garrido.Having waited 40 months for the derby, both sets of fans created an electric atmosphere at Portman Road but on the field they only had shots from Daryl Murphy and Steven Whittaker to cheer in the opening 20 minutes.After 24 minutes though, the home fans were silenced. After a Norwich corner was poorly cleared, Dutchman Alexander Tettey was allowed to head the ball back into the area and, with the Ipswich defence at sixes and sevens, Lewis Grabban drifted behind the unaware Cole Skuse to nod beyond a stranded Dean Gerken for his fourth of the campaign.David McGoldrick nearly handed the Tractor Boys a leveller as he flashed a clever Skuse free-kick past the right-hand upright but it was Norwich who seemed the more likely to score as Kyle Lafferty and Nathan Redmond went close at the opposite end.The diminutive Jay Tabb never shirks his responsibility in the Ipswich midfield and his cross after break nearly saw Murphy score, but the former Celtic man could only nod past the post when unmarked.At the other end meanwhile, Grabban was a constant threat. The prolific frontman netted 22 times last season for Bournemouth and already looks set to continue his fine form after a summer move to Carrow Road. He should have done better though when he attempted to chip Gerken seven minutes into the second half.Around the hour-mark the Canaries pressed forward to double their advantage as Grabban and Bradley Johnson kept Gerken and his defence on their toes.McGoldrick then slammed into the side netting in the closing stages as Town attempted to find the equaliser they sought, but ultimately Norwich were able to hold on for victory. 1 Norwich match-winner Lewis Grabban last_img read more

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Feds seek Northrop ex-worker

first_imgEL SEGUNDO: The man and his wife are accused of stealing about $2.6 million. By Denise Nix STAFF WRITER Federal authorities issued arrest warrants Thursday for a former Northrop Grumman Corp. employee and his wife, who allegedly obtained about $2.6 million from bogus contracts while working at the El Segundo plant. Michael Crabtree, 47, and Susan Crabtree, 44, were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on seven criminal counts that could result in 125 years in prison for each. The husband started working for the government defense contractor in August 2004, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. His responsibilities included ordering materials and supplies for various programs, including the F-18 Hornet and the F-35 Joint Strikeforce Fighter. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that from the time Crabtree was hired until he left earlier this year, he ordered approximately $2.6 million worth of composite materials – such as carbon fiber tape and silicone rubber damming material – from a company called Advance West, never intending for the materials to be delivered. Crabtree persuaded Advance West of Santa Ana to act as an intermediary to order materials through Driscoll Enterprises, which was actually a shell company set up by his wife, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel O’Brien. Advance West agreed to place the orders because Crabtree said his brother-in-law worked at Driscoll, and conflict-of-interest rules at Northrop prohibited him from contracting with a family member, O’Brien said. Northrop would then pay Advance West through its American Express payment system and Advance West would forward the money to Driscoll – which was actually Mrs. Crabtree, O’Brien added. While Advance West is not accused of any wrongdoing, it is believed the company was given a portion of the proceeds for its trouble, O’Brien said. Crabtree then allegedly tricked Northrop personnel into believing that the materials had been delivered to him personally before they arrived at work, according to the prosecution. O’Brien said the scheme was unusual, especially since Crabtree was able to convince Northrop workers that he had received the materials. “He would have to have a heck of a personality to convince people that what he is saying is true,” O’Brien said. The scheme also involved a phony contract bidding, which the Crabtrees controlled and manipulated, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “The indictment alleges that the Crabtrees spent the proceeds of their scheme on luxury items, including a new home, a race car, a recreational vehicle, a luxury box at the Honda Center in Anaheim, jewelry and electronics,” according to the release. At the time of the alleged crimes, it is believed they lived in Irvine and Newport Coast. The authorities believe they are now residents of Buckeye, Ariz. O’Brien said he does not think the Crabtrees are aware of the federal investigation. No listing could be found for them. Northrop officials became suspicious after reviewing the size of the orders Crabtree placed, O’Brien said. When the suspicions were raised, Crabtree basically “disappeared,” O’Brien added. The indictment includes one conspiracy count and three charges each of wire fraud and money laundering. denise.nix@dailybreeze.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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Anaverde school caught in dispute

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.But grading for the school will require hauling in enough dirt to raise the height of the site by 4 feet, contrary to what the city letter says, according to Steven Walton, The Empire Companies’ chief operating officer. In addition, Walton said, city officials have not approved street plans necessary for the installation of campus water and sewer lines. “This is nothing more than a public-relations ploy. They are starting to feel the heat because they are responsible for holding up the school,” Walton said. More than 270 Anaverde youngsters are now going by bus about six miles each way to a leased Palmdale School District school near the Antelope Valley Mall, with Anaverde to be billed for half the cost until the new school is built. Anaverde Hills School’s construction has become ensnarled in other issues between the developer and city officials, who are refusing building permits for about 500 homes yet to be constructed in Anaverde’s 1,400-home first phase and blocking the second phase. City officials said they want the developer to make significant progress on both financing and designing a dam to control normally dry Anaverde Creek. PALMDALE – City officials have told Anaverde builders they can move ahead with a long-delayed school in the midst of a dispute over a flood-control dam and other issues that have led officials to stop issuing building permits for more houses in the development where 5,200 homes are ultimately planned. On Monday, however, a top Anaverde official called city government’s letter a public-relations move, not real clearance to start school construction. The letter dated Friday from city government to Empire Land says the company can grade the Anaverde Hills School site in the development’s second-phase area, where city officials have blocked any homes. “Westside School District has a need for that school there. They were already behind,” Mayor Jim Ledford said. The developer also is required to build a road and bridge to provide access for emergency vehicles across the California Aqueduct south of Elizabeth Lake Road. Walton said city officials have twice changed their minds about how the road is to be built, and the latest plan revision is awaiting a city design decision. “We have now designed that road three times,” Walton said. About 810 homes have been completed in the master-plan community, and an additional 90 are under construction with previously issued building permits. An additional 500-some lots have been graded, but city officials are refusing to issue building permits. Westside officials had originally hoped a school would be ready when the first homes were occupied in May 2005. But under an agreement finally reached in November 2005 between school and Anaverde officials, construction on Anaverde’s own school is to start this year, and Westside officials expected the school to open in November 2007. Westside Superintendent Regina Rossall said school officials asked city government in May to let school construction proceed despite the dispute with Anaverde. But she said school officials are trying not to get caught up in the dispute. “We’re not taking anybody’s side. We’ve had a long issue with this entire process. Our desire is to have a school for children,” Rossall said. Anaverde Hills School is expected to resemble Westside’s Esperanza School and initially serve children in kindergarten through eighth grade. It will be designed for 750 students. Westside officials expect the school will cost about $20 million and will be paid for with state matching funds and money that Anaverde’s builders have been paying into a special account.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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See Celtic stay top with 2-1 league win over Partick Thistle

first_imgWatch highlights of Celtic’s 2-1 win over Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premiership.The win kept Celtic ahead of Aberdeen at the top of the Premiership with a 2-1 win over Partick Thistle at Firhill as Leigh Griffiths once again got on the scoresheet.The Hoops striker notched his 35th goal of the season seconds before the interval before midfielder Callum McGregor added a second in the 54th minute.The visitors were cruising until Jags midfielder Sean Welsh pulled a goal back from the spot in the 84th minute but they saw out the final moments to increase the gap over the Dons who host Kilmarnock later in the day, after which the Hoops have a game in hand. The victory comes as some respite for Parkhead boss Ronny Deila whose future has been subject to speculation in recent weeks following draws in the league against Hamilton and Dundee.last_img read more

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Adorable Themed Rain Gear Seen at Disney World

first_imgShare This!We just spotted this rain gear in the Magic Kingdom and it’s so cute it almost makes us wish for a sudden shower, just for a guilt-free excuse to buy it all. (And, just like that, a thunderstorm advisory has been issued for the Walt Disney World area. Gotta be careful with those wishes!)Hybrid jacket/poncho. Look at that hood!These darling Mickey and Minnie poncho jackets are sized for adults and priced at $49.99.The traditional style rain jackets are also $49.99. They come in the Tiki Bird and Disney Food prints that we’ve seen in the parks for while, but somehow using them on rain gear makes them extra adorable. Photos: Christina HarrisonWould you wear a Tiki Bird jacket? Or carry a cupcake umbrella? Let us know in the comments below. The collection also includes umbrellas with Tiki Bird, cupcake, and Mickey and Minnie designs. Priced at $39.99 each, they’re a little over the top, but hey, isn’t most Disney merch a little over the top?last_img read more

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Malware distributors target small and medium business websites

first_imgSmall and medium businesses beware.  More than ever, you are being targeted for malware distribution launching points.Malware distributors like a broad network of supply points to host and deliver their malicious software.  They compromise websites and upload their malware or links which infect unsuspecting site visitors.  Much of this malware has been crafted to harvest financial credentials from infected machines.  First, big companies with lots of visitors and search engines were targeted.  But large operations have the resources to make it difficult for attackers to compromise defenses.  Attackers changed tactics and began targeting porn and gambling sites.  But they too began erecting technical defenses which add to the already present user-awareness of caution.So, where can attackers go where technical and behavioral defenses are light but traffic is acceptable?  Small and medium businesses of course.  Organizations of this size are typically more focused on operations, growth, and building relationships with customers, rather than IT security.  This can result in being an easy target for malware distributors.  Sophos estimates 30,000 SME websites are targeted per day to spread malware.  As a bonus, if malware can be infected on Point-of-Sale systems at the same time, it can add to the wealth of retail transaction data for the attackers. A recent report out of England, Crime against businesses: Detailed findings from the 2012 Commercial Victimization Survey, found companies with fewer than 20 employees are spending as little as £200 per year.  Interestingly, the report found that small and medium companies spend more on physical security than cyber-security. Security investment decisions must align to the risks.  With an uptick in attention from attackers, small and medium business should reevaluate their priorities and insure they are not unknowingly hosting malware to their precious customers.  If the task seem daunting, there are many resources and solutions to help.   Security experts have seen this coming and also been changing tactics to adapt.  Awareness is the first step.last_img read more

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