Dear EditorI refer to a letter that appeared in another section of the media on November 4 written by a “Concerned Citizen” which criticised the government’s decision to hold Cabinet meetings at the GDF headquarters. The concerned citizen asked “where are the voices of Dr David Hinds and Freddy Kissoon”—an obvious inference that we have been silent on the issue.On so many occasions I have heard that line—where was Hinds when so and so happened or why didn’t Hinds speak up when so and so was happening? The truth is that Hinds did comment on the issue to which the letter writer refers.No single individual can be everywhere or speak on every issue. But maybe it would help if people did a little bit of research before they make some sweeping assertions. This is relatively easy to do in the age of the internet. Further, maybe editors can use the “editor’s note” a little bit more to correct some of these glaring inaccuracies which when allowed to go unchallenged could be interpreted by readers as the truth.For what it is worth, the writer of that letter should be informed that I did comment on the Government’s decision to hold Cabinet meetings at the GDF headquarters in a news item on October 26 under the headline “Meeting of Cabinet at GDF HQ pilloried by Jagdeo – presidential complex undergoing urgent repairs” In an invited comment by Stabroek News I made the following observations.The Government’s decision to hold Cabinet meetings at the GDF headquarters, while not politically explosive, is bad optics and not tactically sound. At the end of the day, there are political consequences for such actions. The explanation that there were security concerns seems plausible on its face, but may not be worth the political cost.We have to believe that the Government tried very hard to find an alternative meeting place for Cabinet meetings. But I would have stayed away from the GDF headquarters for two reasons. First, by going there, the government is playing into the hands of the opposition, which has already raised the issue of the militarisation of the government. For the PPP’s support base this linkage of the military to government has long been a sensitive issue with ethno-political overtones that the government ought to do everything in its power not to feed.But there are also murmurs about the over-reliance on ex-military personnel among government supporters. Ours is a society in which political optics matter even among supporters and perception quickly becomes reality. We are also a society whose political culture is partly grounded in a separation of the military from the government; we don’t have a history of military coups and are not accustomed to seeing ex-military people in high political office.Mr Granger rose to political prominence, not because of his military background, but primarily because there was and is a perception that he is a decent man who is not tainted by the old politics. I think that a section of the society expected that his closest advisors would include some of his military comrades, but he has to be careful not to veer too much in that direction. In my estimation, we are at the borderline as far as the military linkage to Government is concerned.Sincerely,David Hinds
Several customs and immigration officials participating in national border security training were on Monday warned against taking bribes, as this could undermine security.Caricom Assistant Secretary General, Dr Douglas Slater urged officials working in the area of border security to resist the temptation to accept bribes.While addressing the opening of the workshop at the Police Training Centre, the Caricom official said law enforcement agents were vulnerable to inducements for many reasons.Top Police, immigration and customs officials including Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud (fourth from left); and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Winston Felix (centre)Assistant Secretary General Slater told officers that they had a responsibility to act professionally, and to be vigilant and compassionate. He said if they stepped aside from these values, it had the potential to create great chaos.“With the economic situation in our Region, you are going to be faced with a challenge – the temptation of corruption and I am saying that plainly because we know that our workers within our border protection agencies, they do have that temptation and the criminals are out there making offers,” the official said.He also urged the officers to become familiar with the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) framework and the rights of the free movement of Caribbean people, as this was an important issue that must be taken into account by all border control officials across the Region.Meanwhile, Guyana’s Citizenship Minister Winston Felix, a former Police Commissioner, echoed similar sentiments, urging the officials not to fall prey to corruption.“Fight the corrupt elements; don’t let them get to you. They get to you, they destroy you and, by extension, they destroy the image and reputation of the Government,” he asserted.Felix also highlighted the fact that many people were caught daily with false immigration stamps in their passports and this was an issue in many countries.In his comments, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud observed that Guyana has the political will to stamp out terrorism and other forms of organised crime.He said this was fully supported by the Government. “In Guyana, we are fortunate to have the political will to deal with crime and violence. That is a necessity – political will is a necessity to deal with the crime and violence problems that exist today,” he said.The workshop is being organised by the Caricom Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS); the European Union and the United States Customs and Border Protection.The training will enhance the capacity of border security officials to identify and intercept persons, goods or vessels travelling across borders by illicit means or with illicit intent.The workshop’s training tools and manuals have been developed to facilitate harmonised standards and practices, policies and procedures to be used by Caribbean countries.
0Shares0000ABUJA, September 30- A vote to choose the new president and executive committee of Nigeria’s troubled football association was delayed on Tuesday after the apparent arrest of the election chief, witnesses said. The uncertainty over Samson Ebomhe’s whereabouts is the latest in a series of scandals to hit the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), which could face an eight-month FIFA ban if the vote does not take place. The 44-member NFF congress was scheduled to meet in the southern city of Warri with voting to elect a new leader set to begin at 10:00 am (0900 GMT). But one delegate, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Ebomhe, the election chairman, “has not been seen since this morning and so the elections cannot begin”.Multiple witnesses said Ebomhe had been seized in his hotel room by officers from Nigeria’s main intelligence agency, the Department of State Services (DSS). The DSS and police could not immediately be reached for comment. The NFF has been plagued by controversy since the end of the World Cup. Outgoing NFF President Aminu Maigari was arrested by security agents when he arrived back from Brazil in July and was later impeached by some of his executive committee members on corruption charges.FIFA then imposed an international ban on the grounds of political interference after a court sacked the NFF high command and the sports minister imposed a civil servant to take temporary charge.The ban was lifted after nine days and Maigari was reinstated because his dismissal did not follow laid-down procedures.But in August, the secret police detained him again, preventing him from attending an executive committee meeting where the owner of Nigeria Premier League side Giwa FC, Chris Giwa, took charge.That prompted Nigerian referees, clubs and players to boycott the domestic leagues and FIFA to threaten to again suspend the African champions if Maigari were not reinstated and fresh elections held.Football’s world governing body has warned that any further breaches of election procedure will see Nigeria banned from international competition until its own annual congress next May.Maigari has ruled himself out of the election, with businessman Shehu Dikko, who helped arrange a tour by Manchester United in 2008, tipped as the front-runner. Former NFF general-secretary Taiwo Ogunjobi and Delta FC chairman Amaju Pinnick are seen as his main rivals. 0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
At the top of the list is South Peace Secondary School in Dawson Creek, coming in at 241, dropping from an average of 212 in the past five years. In Fort St. John, North Peace Secondary School dropped to 257, after averaging 243 for the past five years. Fort Nelson Secondary School ranks 261, Tumbler Ridge Secondary School 271 and Chetwynd Secondary School wraps up the bunch at 275. The rankings are based on academic performance from the 2010 to 2011 school year. The rankings and averages are based on items such as courses that include provincial exams, the school’s graduation rate and differences between female and male students grade 10 English marks. There’s an overall maximum rating of ten, and NPSS’ decline mostly comes from exam marks, which have declined more than two per cent since 2007. To view the full results of the Fraser Institute’s ranking, download the document below.- Advertisement –
He has said he will stand down as FIFA president on February 26 when an election for a new leader will be held.IOC president Thomas Bach said that Blatter “does not deem it to be appropriate to stand for re-election for eight years knowing that after seven months his term would come to an end.”Bach thanked Blatter and other members leaving the IOC for their “great contribution” to the Olympic movement. Blatter, who has been an IOC member since 1999, did not attend the Kuala Lumpur meeting.The FIFA president was part of an IOC commission that decided on reforms of the Olympic organisation after it was hit by a bribery scandal over the Salt Lake City Winter Games in 2002.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Sepp BlatterKUALA LUMPUR, August 3- Under pressure FIFA leader Sepp Blatter on Monday gave up his International Olympic Committee seat because he will soon end his reign in charge of world football.Blatter, whose organisation is embroiled in a corruption scandal, was among a group of eight IOC members who should have sought re-election on Monday at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
In Kisumu, skipper Dennis Odhiambo scored from the spot to salvage a point for Thika United to draw 1-1 against Western Stima while Moses Otieno netted the winner as Posta Rangers beat Sofapaka 1-0 in the final match of the day at Kasarani Stadium.Ekaliani Ndolo and Collins Shivachi were on target to hand Tusker a slim lead at the summit on nine points, one behind Mathare while AFC leopards, who lock horns with arch rivals Gor Mahia in Sunday’s Mashemeji Derby come forth on seven points.On form Wycliffe Ochomo continued with his brilliant goal scoring run to send Muhoroni ahead after two minutes of play when he curled in a free-kick for his fourth goal of the season to take an early lead in the top scorers chart.The Brewers found their rhythm in the 20th minute with Humphrey Mieno commanding the midfield but the Muhoroni backline remained firm to deny Tusker forwards the break through.The Paul Nkata side thought they had restored parity nine minutes later when Jackson Macharia fed Ndolo, who was flagged off side despite finding the back of the net.Tusker mounted pressure five minutes to half time with Shivachi pulling a thunderous strike but Muhoroni keeper Faruk Shikalo stood tall to finger tip for a fruitless corner.The visitors showed impressive determination to recover through Ndolo’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time when the former Sofapaka midfielder benefited from a fortunate deflection that freed him down the left before cutting in to pick the par post.Muhoroni should have found themselves two up in the 71st minute but captain James Situma came to his side’s rescue when he headed away Abbas Akinyemi’s attempt.However, the host could not contain the pressure five minutes later when Shivachi directed a header past Shikalo from Danson Kago’s corner to seal the win that saw Muhoroni pick their first loss of the season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Timonah Wanyonyi in action in the past SPL.Photo/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, March 5 – Tusker FC leap frogged Mathare United to move top of the SportPesa Premier League following their 2-1 win away to Muhoroni Youth on Saturday.In the early kick-off, Mathare were held to a goalless draw by visitors Kakamega Homeboyz at Kasarani stadium while Chemelil Sugar and Nairobi City Stars fired blanks to settle for a barren stalemate in Awasi.
With Cannabis only just becoming legal there were no studies done on its effects to the lungs because it was hard to study. There will be a lot more studies and data in the future shared Dr. Myers at the moment she said “we simply don’t know, yet we know it is not good to inhale combustibles”In our environment, we are already exposed to air pollution and particulate that our lungs filter which is hard to control, what we can control is what we put into our bodies, shared Dr. Myers. VANCOUVER, B.C. – With National Non-Smoking Week upon us this campaign reminds us of the importance and benefits to quitting smoking for your health.In speaking with Dr. Renelle Myers, Thoracic Interventional Respirologist at BC Cancer, our conversation was a better understanding of why it is important to not smoke, how you can have success in removing cigarettes from your life and why inhaling combustibles are bad for your lungs.Dr. Myers shares it is never too late to quit smoking. The process of inhaling from a lit cigarette is drawing combustibles which are made of 7000 different chemicals and compounds while being burned.- Advertisement -Your lungs and airways are lined with tiny brush like hairs, called cilia. Cilia protect the lungs from the environment we breathe in by sweeping out mucus and dirt so your lungs stay clear. One cigarette a day impairs the cilia shared Dr. Myers as the contents of the cigarette temporarily paralyzes and even kills cilia preventing them from doing their job.When you stop smoking it takes 48 hours for the cilia to go back to their working function and once again begin to clear the lungs. Although cilia have the ability to heal themselves smoking does destroy lung tissue. Dr. Myers shares that on CT Scans you can see that lung tissue will be missing from the lungs of someone that smokes.Dr. Myers goes on to say, for people to be successful in their action to stop smoking they should not go cold turkey. By using pharmaceutical therapies such as a nicotine replacement patch, inhaler, spray or even Champax are an asset. The action of smoking cigarettes is a delivery system to receive nicotine. This creates receptors in the brain that seek nicotine infusions, the longer you smoke the more receptors you will have. When these receptors need to be balanced by using a nicotine replacement by patch or medicine this fills and binds the receptors so you don’t feel the craving.Advertisement Counselling can also help teach new coping strategies such as lifestyle changes and what other things one can do with themselves when you want to reach for a cigarette. This is also important for the people that choose to smoke at a time of stress.“The body is quite remarkable in repairing itself,” said Dr. Myers “It is best to not inhale things into your lungs.Vaping and E-Cigarettes have been used as a way to quit smoking yet have also become extremely attractive to people that had never smoked cigarettes, especially amongst teenagers. Dr. Myers warns that Vape juice contains Propylene glycol which is used in making antifreeze.“People need to understand these are not safe and they are not a healthy alternative,” said Dr. Myers “We don’t know a lot about them as they were non-regulated products and the Federal Government only just introduced laws, as there was no idea what was in them.”Advertisement
If I hadn’t seen it for myself last week, I’d be a lot less bullish on the box office prospects of “Superbad.” But the raunchy comedy, from “Knocked Up” and “The 40 Year Old Virgin” producer Judd Apatow, should really strike a chord with the teen crowd and nail down first place this weekend on its way to the $100 million club. “Superbad” was written by “Knocked Up” star Seth Rogen, who has a supporting role in the flick. But the real stars are Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, who play high school best buddies experiencing their last summer before going to separate colleges. The movie has the potential to be this generation’s “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” or “American Pie,” so I don’t want to underestimate its potential. It should have a $25 million-plus debut, displacing the softer-than-expected “Rush Hour 3” and besting other new wide releases “The Invasion” and “The Last Legion.” SERIOUSLY? Like Kidman, Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins are Oscar winners with spotty box office records. Along with Colin Firth, they headline “The Last Legion,” a historical epic from The Weinstein Co. that I think won’t manage a debut of more than $5 million or so. Audiences are not in the mood for anything remotely serious this summer as evidenced by fine films like “A Mighty Heart” and “Rescue Dawn” being virtually ignored. Meanwhile, a silly flick like “Licensed to Wed” has grossed $43 million and counting. FOR THE RECORD: Despite a lackluster stretch in June, summer 2007 could end up being a revenue record-setter. The biggest summer on record is 2004, when domestic ticket sales between the first weekend of May through Labor Day were $3.93 billion. As of Sunday, overall summer grosses stood at $3.624 billion, according to box office tracker Media By Numbers. That is 9.42 percent ahead of last year’s summer-to-date total of $3.312 billion. Attendance is 4.63 percent of the 2006 summer season. It has helped that August has been so strong, led by “The Bourne Ultimatum.” For the past five weeks, ticket sales have exceeded last year’s with the overall box office picture helped immensely by the terrific grosses for “The Bourne Ultimatum,” which had the biggest August opening of all time.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! KIDMAN NOT ALWAYS GOLDEN: Nicole Kidman is an Oscar winner, a three-time Golden Globe recipient and one of the biggest movie stars in the world. But a major summer box office draw? Not quite. Think “Bewitched.” Think “The Stepford Wives.” Think “Eyes Wide Shut.” None managed to even reach the $65 million mark domestically, despite heavy marketing pushes and massive amounts of publicity. Kidman did co-star in the $184 million hit “Batman Forever” in 1995 but was not key to that film’s success. With today’s release of the Warner Bros. sci-fi thriller “The Invasion,” I think Mrs. Keith Urban has an opportunity to have her biggest summer hit as a headliner since her 2001 smash “The Others,” which grossed $96.5 million. That, too, was a thriller with an August release date and this time around, Kidman’s co-star is James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. “Invasion” could scare up a $15 million opening.
It’s an employment collapse that threatens to rival the massive layoffs in the airline industry that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when some 100,000 employees lost their jobs. “It’s far from over,” said Bart Narter, a senior analyst with Celent, a Boston-based financial research and consulting firm. “The subprime lending collapse will continue to ripple through the financial sector.” For five years, the nation’s housing market was booming and mortgage companies grew quickly, at times offering lucrative jobs to people with little experience. But as home values declined and interest rates rose in the past year, rising delinquencies and defaults – especially in subprime mortgages targeted at borrowers with risky credit – have pounded lenders who couldn’t keep pace. “These kind of mortgage lenders just sprung up like mushrooms and grew like men,” said John A. Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “They staffed up and now you have a bust.” America’s largest mortgage lender, Calabasas-based Countrywide Financial Corp., began layoffs this week. Last week, Arizona mortgage lender First Magnus Financial Corp. shut down its operations and laid off nearly 6,000 workers. On Monday, Capital One Financial Corp. said it would shutter Greenpoint Mortgage, its wholesale mortgage banking business, and lay off 1,900 employees. “It’s only been weeks,” Challenger said. “These companies are acting remarkably quickly, stopping on a dime.” “I don’t feel like HomeBanc did anything. It was a perfect storm of a bad housing market,” Clark said as his job draws to a close. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TRENDS: Lenders are eliminating subprime departments and letting thousands of people go. By Ieva M. Augstums THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CHARLOTTE, N.C. – At the North Carolina offices of mortgage lender HomeBanc Corp., Archie Clark is the only employee left. But in a few days, he’ll be gone, too. “It’s pretty much a ghost town over there,” Clark said. “Somebody went in and took the furniture from the lobby. I don’t know who did that. I put some of the other stuff in the back and locked it up.” When Clark finishes helping movers from the company’s Atlanta headquarters collect computers and other property, he’ll join the more than 25,000 workers nationwide who have lost jobs in the financial services industry in August – with more than half coming since last Friday. With few exceptions, the cuts result directly from the woes in the nation’s housing market. More layoffs are announced daily. On Wednesday, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. closed its “subprime” mortgage business, laying off 1,200 workers at 23 offices; Scottsdale, Ariz.-based 1st National Bank Holding Co. closed its wholesale mortgage unit and cut 541 jobs, and Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. added 1,600 positions to the heap. On Tuesday, banking giant HSBC said it would close an office and cut 600 jobs. Since January, more than 40,000 workers have lost their jobs at mortgage lending institutions, according to recent company layoff announcements and data compiled by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Meanwhile, construction companies have announced almost 20,000 job cuts this year, while the National Association of Realtors expects membership rolls to decline this year for the first time in a decade.
Sunderland legend Micky Gray insists Jermain Defoe deserves a place in England’s Euro 2016 squad after firing the Black Cats towards another Premier League great escape.Former Tottenham striker Defoe has been a goalscoring revelation at the Stadium of Light this season with 18 goals for the top flight strugglers, including the winner in a brilliant 3-2 win over Chelsea last weekend.And those strikes mean Sunderland now have the chance to guarantee their survival, and in turn relegate rivals Newcastle and Norwich, by beating Everton on Wednesday evening.And, with Roy Hodgson delaying is final 23-man squad announcement until Monday in order to fully assess his options during the final round of Premier League fixtures, club hero Gray insists the Sunderland striker should get a spot in the plane to France.“Jermain has certainly got to be in with a shout of the England squad,” Gray told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“Scoring that many of goals in a struggling side is absolutely incredible and is testament to the way Jermain has looked after himself.“He really took to the challenge at Sunderland. He really wants to stay in the Premier League and he’s come up with the goods every single time this season.”Tune into talkSPORT from 19:45 on Wednesday for EXCLUSIVE live commentary of Sunderland v Everton!READ: Defoe has been ‘phenomenal’ this season, but his time with England ‘has probably just gone’ – Matt Le Tissier