Govt stifling economic drivers in Regions 5, 6 – Nandlall

first_img…says BBCI toll increase a clear “political gimmick”Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall believes the actions of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration has negatively impacted the two major economic activities in Berbice, which in turn has significantly reduced spending power and may even be the reasons behind the Berbice River Bridge not earning revenues. Following previously failed talks with Government, the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI) last week went ahead and announced new toll increases. These include $8040 for cars and minibuses; $14,600 for pickups, small trucks and four-wheel drive vehicles; $27,720 for medium trucks; $49,600 for large trucks; $116,680 for Art trucks; $1680 for freight, and $401,040 for boats passing through the bridge.The new tolls are to take effect from November 12 and according to Chairman of the Bridge Company, Dr Surendra Persaud, who is a close associate of AFC, it has nothing to do with the impending Local Government Elections (LGE) which will be held on the same day. He explained that the Bridge Company has incurred losses in excess of GY$2.8 billion, and has never paid dividends to its ordinary shareholders.However, Nandlall has posited that the blame of the Bridge Company experiencing huge losses squarely lies at the feet of Government for destroying the economy of Regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).“The driving economic forces of Regions Five and Six are the sugar and rice sectors. The Government is closing down the sugar sector and is killing the rice sector by imposing VAT (Value-Added Tax) on agricultural equipment and increasing the rates and rents for rice lands by several hundred per cent,” he stated.According to the former Attorney General, the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary-Agriculture Development Authority (MMA-ADA) is unable to maintain the infrastructural dams in the rice cultivation areas while the Drainage and Irrigation Authority, along with MMA, have completed neglected the drainage system in the rice industry.“All of this culminates in economic stagnation in these two regions so there is no money circulating and this obviously will have a negative impact on the revenue generated by the bridge. In short, people simply are travelling less so we go right back to the Government being responsible,” Nandlall contended.He went on to call the proposed toll increases a “political gimmick” and an “electoral stunt” being engineered by the coalition Administration, noting that a number of factors can support this reality. Political gimmickNandlall stressed that there was no way Government, through its Infrastructure Ministry, did not know about the increases when the subject Minister, David Patterson, and the BBCI Chairman are executive members of the AFC party.“When the announcement was made by Dr Persaud, Minister Patterson came out with a statement that he is unaware [of the toll increases]. One has to be extraordinarily gullible to believe that Dr Persaud would not have communicated his decision to his party colleague before making it public. So when Minister Patterson came out claiming ignorance, it was laughable,” Nandlall stated.He further posited that it is also a strain on the intellect of the average Guyanese to accept that the bridge company sought and obtained legal advice from a reputable senior counsel to raise the tolls when only the minister can levy an increase in the toll.Furthermore, the Opposition parliamentarian outlined that it cannot be coincidence that the proposed increases are scheduled to take effect on the same day Local Government polls will be held.“Is it that no other date could have been chosen? And simultaneously, it cannot be a coincidence that there is a plethora of comments both from the Government and the paid PR personnel, both in the press and social media, blaming the People’s Progressive Party for the increase,” he continued.This entire fiasco, Nandlall noted, was staged to drive fear into the people of Berbice with this mammoth increase.“Then we will see the Government stepping in like a knight in shining amour and quash the increases, and take credit for it so as to garner votes especially from these two regions because they sense that they would be soundly thrashed at the Local Government Elections,” he stated.The proposed toll increases have been the subject of much criticisms with Government saying that it would not accept.However, outspoken political activist and former Presidential Advisor Ramon Gaskin is suggesting a total buyout of the bridge company by Government so as to resolve the issue.The BBCI, in which the National Insurance Scheme has majority voting rights on the Board of Directors, was forced to push for the increase in tolls in order to protect its investment. To this end, Gaskin suggested that an alternative can be for Government and the NIS to solely own the bridge, thus buying the shares from all the other shareholders.On the other hand, one of the shareholders told this newspaper that it recognises that BBCI is in serious financial jeopardy, given that debts have reached maturity and few options are available to stave off bankruptcy.Another noted that if an agreement cannot be reached, them it is recommended that the Government buy back the bridge and compensate investors in keeping with the financial model and other investment documents. (Vahnu Manikchand)last_img read more

Rowing Finishes Third at 2019 MAAC Championship

first_img2V8 (4th, 07:37.041)C Stock8 Rimes*7 Roehrs6 Lajoie5 Hargreeves4 Hovland3 Hunt2 Faria1 Hovland­ “The team brought everything together today,” said Drake head coach Charlie DiSilvestro. “Our team had a goal to earn a top three finish. We set that goal back in January when we assumed that we would row at home. Our physical condition was outstanding, we were in the best shape ever and we’re so mentally tough from constantly erging and no practice water time and came together as team.”The 2019 MAAC championship was contested on a 2,000-meter course on the Cooper River in the Cooper River Park. Marist ended Jacksonville’s five-year championship run as the Red Foxes edged the Dolphins, 53-49 for the conference title. The Bulldogs earned 37 points for the third-place finish ahead of Stetson University, which had 32 points. Robert Morris rounded out the top five with 30 points. Canisius (22), Fairfield (21), Manhattan (19) and Sacred Heart (7) rounded out the bottom of the standings. Story Links Several Bulldogs earned individual honors as 11 were selected to the MAAC All-Academic team. Freshman Clara Froeschner and senior Sarah Konopacki garnered All-MAAC Rowing First Team accolades while seniors Madison Peterson and Erica Thacker garnered second team honors. Marist claimed the conference’s automatic berth to the 2019 NCAA Championship May 31-June 1 at the Indianapolis Rowing Center at Eagle Creek ParkLineups/Results/TimesV8 (4th, 07:07.904)C Rambhia*8 Bigus7 McNeely*6 Peterson*(2)5 Konopacki*(1)4 Dahlstrom*3 Thacker*(2)2 Smith1 Froeschner (1) The varsity 4 boat began the day for the Bulldogs with a third-place finish in their morning’s heat to advance. The 2nd varsity 8 moved on after it finished third behind Jacksonville and Manhattan, respectively. Finally, the varsity 8 was next and made up a large deficit on Manhattan over the final 1,000 meters to place third to also advance. Pennsauken Township, N.J. – The Drake University rowing team finished third at the 2019 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship on Sunday, May 19. It is the best MAAC finish for Drake since 2016 when it also earned a third-place showing.center_img Drake, which was only one of four teams that had all three of its boats advance to afternoon grand finals, was led by its varsity 4 boat that claimed a bronze medal while the Bulldogs’ varsity 8 and 2nd varsity 8 boats each placed fourth in their respective grand finals. V4 (3rd, 08:20.890)C Killian*4 Janes*3 White2 Coffman*1 Cogdill Final Results “Our four really led us off so well today,” DiSilvestro said. “We made sure we got faster from heats to finals and all three boats did that today led by them who shaved 31 seconds off their time. We were a little disappointed to be in sixth after heats but we reset and used our great fitness, mental toughness and real team effort to battle Robert Morris, Jacksonville and Marist and get that top three finish.” *MAAC All-Academic Team selection (Elyse Simons also named to team)(1) All-MAAC First Team(2) All-MAAC Second Team Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

With Tokyo 2020 looming, Japan aims high at Asian Games

first_imgTokyo, Aug 10 (AP) With the Tokyo Olympics less than two years away, Japanese athletes will be using the Asian Games to build confidence as they prepare to host the world on sport’s biggest stage. The Japanese Olympic Committee has set an ambitious target of 30 gold medals for the 2020 Olympics, almost double the national record. The most gold medals Japan has won at the Summer Olympics is 16 in 1964 at Tokyo and in 2004 at Athens. At the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, Japan claimed the sixth-highest number of gold medals with 12. The Asian Games, being held Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang, are an important stepping stone. While Japan can always count on medals in traditional Japanese sports such as judo and karate, the Asian Games will give the country a chance to gauge preparations in sports they haven’t always dominated. Nowhere is this more evident than in athletics where Japan’s 4×100-meter relay team has set its sights on the gold medal at Tokyo in 2020. Considering the team of Yoshihide Kiryu, Aska Cambridge, Shota Iizuka and Ryota Yamagata won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics, that’s no longer a far-fetched dream. At the Asian Games, they’ll face a stern challenge from China’s 4×100 relay, silver medalists at the 2015 world championships and another Olympic medal contender. “We’re aiming for the gold medal in Indonesia,” Yamagata said at a recent training camp. “We want to use the Asian Games to build confidence toward next year’s world championships and the Olympics in 2020.”advertisement Cambridge, whose father is Jamaican and mother is Japanese, competes in both the 100- and 200-meter sprints as well and is one of the rising stars in Japanese athletics. “We can feel the excitement building,” Cambridge said. “There are a lot of runners in the 100 (at the Asian Games) who can run under 10 seconds so I expect it will be a very tough race.” Five new sports have been added to the program for Tokyo 2020, and the Asian Games will feature several of those. Japan has established itself as a global powerhouse in bouldering, one of three disciplines in sport climbing, and will be aiming to dominate the event in Indonesia. Baseball and softball are also returning to the Olympic program in Tokyo and, while Japan has always been a medal contender, the Asian Games will provide a good test run after a long absence from international competition. Baseball and softball haven’t been contested in the Olympics since Beijing in 2008 and Japan is hoping to take home the gold medal in both events in two years’ time. Another area where Japan is expecting an impressive medal haul is in the pool. Kosuke Hagino and teenage star Rikako Ikee are among 22 swimmers going to Indonesia for Japan. Hagino collected four gold medals and was awarded the MVP award at the 2014 edition of the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. The 18-year-old Ikee competed in seven disciplines, including relays, at the Rio Olympics. She is the junior world record holder in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly long-course events. Japan placed third overall at the 2014 Asian Games behind China and South Korea and is aiming to increase its medal haul from Incheon to Indonesia. (AP) ATKATKlast_img read more

10 months agoWalker-Peters, Eriksen admit Spurs ‘buzzing’ after Bournemouth rout

first_imgWalker-Peters, Eriksen admit Spurs ‘buzzing’ after Bournemouth routby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChristian Eriksen hailed the manner of Tottenham’s rout of Bournemouth yesterday.The Dane was among the goalscorers for the 5-0 win.He said, “It’s always nice to know that you will score at some point. “With the players we have, someone will score at any point, even in the first 10 minutes not playing as well as we could and still scoring and leading – that gives you the confidence and the trust in your team that you can sit back, be professional, be focused and that you will win the game.”Spurs fullback – and fellow goalscorer – Kyle Walker-Peters added: “There’s a buzz around the team at the moment, we’re winning games and everyone is confident. When I step on the pitch I have that confidence as well.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

9 months agoEx-Wolves midfielder Andrews slams Liverpool pair Sturridge, Shaqiri

first_imgEx-Wolves midfielder Andrews slams Liverpool pair Sturridge, Shaqiriby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Wolves midfielder Keith Andrews was unimpressed by Liverpool for their FA Cup defeat on Monday.Andrews pulled no punches when looking back on the match and picked out Daniel Sturridge and Xherdan Shaqiri for particular criticism.Speaking to Off The Ball, Andrews said: “A few of those Liverpool players need to have a good look in the mirror after their performances, some of them were shocking, they’re fringe players and it shows they haven’t got the strength in depth.”There’s talk of Sturridge getting a new contract, but I don’t know where that’s come from.”Shaqiri only got going when the big boys came on, he was having a sulk up. Fabinho at the back, forget about it.“I wanted to bring up that issue from that game, I wasn’t watching it in depth, it was on at home, the first half, in particular, was horrendous.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Jamaica Boasts Most Seamless Airport System in Region – Tourism Minister

first_imgStory Highlights Addressing business interests and tourism stakeholders at the unveiling of 20 automated kiosks at the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay, on December 16, Mr. Bartlett said the new machines will ensure that visitors are processed “in the quickest time possible”. “The point of arrival is always that moment of truth, and these kiosks will ensure better facilitation and seamlessness for the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected for this winter tourist season and beyond,” the Minister explained. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica now boasts the most “seamless” airport system in the region. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica now boasts the most “seamless” airport system in the region.Addressing business interests and tourism stakeholders at the unveiling of 20 automated kiosks at the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay, on December 16, Mr. Bartlett said the new machines will ensure that visitors are processed “in the quickest time possible”.“The point of arrival is always that moment of truth, and these kiosks will ensure better facilitation and seamlessness for the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected for this winter tourist season and beyond,” the Minister explained.“This is the start of the traditional high season, which we expect to be a record-breaking winter season. One of the reasons for this record growth comes from the fact that we have 120,000 new seats from destinations around the world, 89,000 of which are from our main source market, the United States,” he noted.Cabinet, in July, signed off on US$1.3 million to acquire additional automated border-control kiosks to be used at the island’s two major international airports.The aim, Mr. Bartlett said, is to have world-class tools to significantly reduce the processing of passengers traversing through the Sangster International Airport and also at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.The kiosk project, he added, involves a partnership with the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), through the Ministry of National Security, to reduce congestion at Immigration and Customs during peak periods.In the meantime, Mr. Bartlett said the United States market continues to over-perform, accounting for 65 per cent of Jamaica’s stopover arrivals and 15 per cent of cruise arrivals, totaling 80 per cent.“So, if we grow phenomenally from our main source market, growth will be secured. So this winter season we are expecting growth in the region of five per cent, and we are excited about that,” the Minister argued.“Air connectivity is another major strategy we have in our arsenal. We have also been aggressively pursuing new markets and gateways and today we have received the latest flight out of Canada, the inaugural Swoop Airlines out of Hamilton, which saw a full flight of 196 passengers. This will help us to grow our Canadian market and add to the many other air connectivity arrangements that have come on stream recently,” he added.Mr. Bartlett said that Eastern Europe is also emerging as a major market for Jamaica, noting that the numbers have been nothing short of phenomenal.“Croatia and Russia have been looking real good, and there are some other Eastern bloc countries that are slowly coming to fruition. We are on track to have another record-breaking year,” the Minister said.last_img read more

Timeline Key dates in the history of the Trans Mountain pipeline

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. — Here are some key dates in the history of the Trans Mountain pipeline and Kinder Morgan Canada’s efforts to expand its capacity:October 1953: The Trans Mountain pipeline begins shipping oil with an initial capacity of 150,000 barrels per day. The project features four pump stations along its 1,150-kilometre route and a marine dock that connects loading facilities on the east side of Edmonton with ocean tankers in Burnaby, B.C.1957: Pipeline capacity is expanded via the construction of a 160-kilometre pipeline loop. The Westridge Marine Terminal is built and commissioned in Burnaby, B.C. Jan. 12, 2016: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says in a written submission to the NEB that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is in the best interests of both Alberta and Canada.Jan. 27, 2016: The federal Liberal government says pipeline projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion will now be assessed in part on the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the extraction and processing of the oil they carry. Proponents will also be required to improve consultations with First Nations.May 17, 2016: Ottawa appoints a three-member panel to conduct an environmental review of the Trans Mountain expansion project.May 29, 2016: The NEB recommends approval of the pipeline, subject to 157 conditions, concluding that it is in the public interest. Jan. 14, 1985: Trans Mountain’s biggest spill occurs at a tank farm in the Edmonton area. Nearly 10,000 barrels of oil are released.2006 – 2008: The Anchor Loop project adds 160 kilometres of new pipeline through Jasper National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park between Hinton, Alta., and Hargreaves, B.C. The extension includes 13 new pump stations and modifications to existing stations, increasing capacity from 260,000 bpd to 300,000 bpd.Feb. 21, 2012: Kinder Morgan says it wants to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline after receiving support from oil shippers and will begin public consultations.Dec. 16, 2013: An application is made to the National Energy Board (NEB) to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline. Construction is proposed to begin in 2017, with the aim of having oil flow through the expansion by December 2019.November 2014: More than 100 people are arrested after they camp out in a conservation area on Burnaby Mountain, east of Vancouver, to block crews from conducting drilling and survey work related to the pipeline expansion. Most of the charges are later dropped.August 2015: The NEB postpones public hearings after striking from the record economic evidence prepared by a Kinder Morgan consultant who was to begin working for the regulator.center_img Nov. 29, 2016: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sanctions the Trans Mountain expansion, part of a sweeping announcement that also saw approval of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline replacement but the end of its Northern Gateway project.Jan. 11, 2017: B.C. Premier Christy Clark announces her support for the project, saying Kinder Morgan has met five government conditions including a revenue-sharing agreement worth up to $1 billion.May 15, 2017: The Federal Court of Appeal grants Notley’s government intervener status in a lawsuit filed by municipalities and First Nations against the project.May 25, 2017: Kinder Morgan makes its final investment decision to proceed with the development, now estimated to cost $7.4 billion, subject to the successful public offering of Kinder Morgan Canada.May 29, 2017: The B.C. NDP and Greens agree to form a coalition to topple the Liberal party, which won a minority government in an election earlier in the month. The parties agree to “immediately employ every tool available” to stop the project.May 30, 2017: Kinder Morgan Canada debuts on the Toronto Stock Exchange after a $1.75-billion public offering.June 29, 2017: The B.C. Liberals lose a no-confidence vote, clearing the way for NDP Leader John Horgan to become premier.Aug. 10, 2017: The B.C. NDP government hires former judge Thomas Berger to provide legal advice as it seeks intervener status in the legal challenges against the project filed by municipalities and First Nations.Oct. 26, 2017: Kinder Morgan Canada asks NEB to allow work to begin despite a failure to obtain municipal permits from the City of Burnaby.Dec. 7, 2017: NEB allows Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass Burnaby bylaws.Jan. 17, 2018: Kinder Morgan Canada warns the Trans Mountain expansion project could be a year behind schedule.Jan. 18, 2018: NEB establishes a process to resolve permitting issues between Kinder Morgan Canada and provincial and municipal authorities.Jan. 30, 2018: B.C. government moves to restrict any increase in diluted bitumen shipments until it conducts more spill response studies, a move that increases the uncertainty for Trans Mountain.March 9, 2018: B.C. Supreme Court grants interim injunction aimed at preventing anti-pipeline activists from protesting construction at two terminals in Burnaby.March 15, 2018: B.C. Supreme Court grants indefinite injunction preventing protesters from coming within five metres of two work sites for the project.March 23, 2018: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart arrested at a protest against the pipeline expansion; Federal Court of Appeal dismisses a B.C. government bid challenging a NEB ruling that allows Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass local bylaws.March 27, 2018: City of Burnaby, B.C., says it will file an appeal to the Supreme Court in connection with the Federal Court of Appeal ruling.April 8, 2018: Kinder Morgan Canada suspends non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain expansion project and sets a May 31 deadline to reach agreements with stakeholders.last_img read more

Central Forces in 98.8% booths for phase four

first_imgKolkata: Central Forces will be deployed in 98.8 percent of the booths in the fourth phase of the seven phase Lok Sabha elections, where poll will be held in eight constituencies spreading over five districts on Monday.Poll will be held in Berhampur (Murshidabad), Krishnanagar, Ranaghat (Nadia), Burdwan East, Burdwan-Durgapur, Asansol (Burdwan West) and Bolpur and Birbhum (Birbhum). Over one crore voters will exercise their franchise on Monday. The Election Commission of India has taken elaborate measures to ensure free and fair polls in the eight constituencies. Chief Election Commissioner Sudip Jain has recently held a video conference with the CEO and election observers and taken a stock of the situation. 561 companies of Central Forces will be deployed on Monday. There will be 88 Quick Response Teams under the Central Forces. In Asansol, there will be Central Forces in all booths along with Birbhum and Bolpur. In Asansol, 87 companies of Central Forces will be deployed. There will be 15,277 polling booths spread over 9,803 premises. In Bolpur, there will be web casting facility in 300 booths. In Krishnanagar, there will be Central Force deployment in 97 percent booths. It may be recalled that in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool had established its control over six of the eight seats. At Berhampur in Murshidabad and Asansol in Burdwan West, Adhir Chowdhury of Congress and Babul Supriyo of BJP had been elected. Chowdhury is set to face his one-time aide Apurba Sarkar who recently joined Trinamool Congress in Monday’s poll, while Babul Supriyo will face Moon Moon Sen, the Trinamool Congress MP who was elected from the Bankura Lok Sabha seat in 2014. Political experts feel that in both the Berhampur and Asansol seats, there will be a tough fight for the winners of the 2014 election. If Trinamool Congress can win the Berhampur seat, it will be a major victory for Suvendu Adhikari who is looking after Murshidabad district. In the Panchayat election held in 2018, Trinamool had bagged the Zilla Parishad. In Krishnanagar, Trinamool has fielded Mahua Moitra, the party’s MLA from Karimpur whereas in the Ranaghat (SC) seat, Trinamool has fielded Rupali Biswas, widow of Satyajit Biswas, the former Krishnagunj MLA who was murdered in February. In Burdwan East and Burdwan Durgapur, Trinamool has retained two sitting MPs, namely Sunil Mondol and Mumtaz Sanghamita. In the Bolpur (SC) seat, the party has fielded Asit Mal while Satabdi Roy, the sitting MP, is contesting from the Birbhum seat.last_img read more

Schools re-open in Sri Lanka amid tight security

first_imgColombo: Schools in Sri Lanka resumed classes on Monday with few students arriving in classrooms, two weeks after the devastating Easter Sunday bombings forced the authorities to close the educational institutions. Amid tight security, the classes commenced for mid-to-upper stream (grades 6 to 13) and will be followed by lower grades (1 to 5) on May 13. “The second academic term for school children in grade 6 and above classes, commenced today (Monday). The three armed forces, police, civil security officers, parents and old boys gathered at their respective schools to provide protection,” News 1ST channel reported. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportNine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on April 21, killing 253 people and injuring over 500 others. Following the attack, the authorities closed the schools until further notice. Despite the tight security arrangements, most classrooms were near empty. Private schools, including Catholic institutions, remained closed. The attendance of teachers was also low, the report said. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsAn extensive security programme has been implemented in schools. Special circulars have been issued by the Education Ministry about the security of the schools. Children will have to carry transparent or see-through school bags, lunch boxes and water bottles. Parking vehicles near schools have been completely banned. Separate places have been prepared to park school vans, buses. Special search operations will also be conducted from Sunday in schools. The Islamic State terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ). Sri Lanka banned the NTJ and arrested over 100 people in connection with the blasts. Sri Lanka has imposed a state of emergency since the attacks and given sweeping powers to soldiers and police to arrest and detain suspects for long periods.last_img read more