LOOK: LeBron activates ‘Zero Dark 23,’ goes dark on social media

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite On his Twitter, the four-time NBA MVP said Saturday: “Zero Dark Thirty-23 Activated!! #StriveForGreatness🚀” Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig out LATEST STORIES Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Dozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government On the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Zero Dark Thirty-23 Activated!! #StriveForGreatness🚀 pic.twitter.com/HE6VWEaWB8— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 15, 2017Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is taking his annual break from social media ahead of the anticipated 2017 NBA Playoffs Sunday (Manila time).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnJames has regularly imposed a social media blackout every year during playoffs since his days with the Miami Heat.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ READ: NBA: James scaling back social media activityThe defending champions, who finished second in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics, face the Indiana Pacers in the first round. They hold the home court advantage in the series.Last season, James ended his hiatus with a bang after winning the NBA Championship against the favored Golden State Warriors.READ: LeBron blasts critics on social media after winning title He posted a photo of himself clutching the Larry O’Brien trophy, his third, with a caption blasting his doubters.ADVERTISEMENT View comments More Taal volcanic quakes recorded despite weaker eruptions Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pacquiao not underestimating Horn, says Roach SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape testlast_img read more

Will break favor BaliPure, Power smashers?

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Swing Out Sister back to PH this April Valdez emerged the top spiker in the eliminations but BaliPure was the No. 1 attacking team and No. 2 in blocks. The Cool Smashers lorded it over the field in service.BaliPure coach Roger Gorayeb hopes to also draw the best from setter Jasmine Nabor, Risa Sato, Aiko Urdas and Jorelle Singh. Tai Bundit of Creamline will eye support from Pau Soriano and Ivy Remulla.The 6:30 p.m. clash between the Power Smashers and the defending champions is also expected to go the full route with both teams splitting their two elimination-round duels.ADVERTISEMENT Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Grethcel Soltones of Bali Pure attempts a spike against two Philippine Air Force blockers. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOTop seed BaliPure and No. 2 Power Smashers hope to come out fresh from a weeklong break as they take on Creamline and Pocari Sweat, respectively, at the start of the Premier Volleyball League semifinals Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Water Defenders and the Power Smashers earned their rest after gaining outright semifinal berths following a 1-2 finish in the double round eliminations.ADVERTISEMENT Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working Their Final Four, meanwhile, needed to survive grueling quarterfinal matches marked by five-set thrillers.Pocari Sweat swept the four-team field while Creamline finished 2-1 as they clinched the last two semifinals slots over Perlas Spikers and Air Force.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundBut BaliPure enjoys a big psychological edge over Creamline in their best-of-three semis series as the Water Defenders toppled the Cool Smashers their two meetings in the elimination round of the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.The marquee match at 4 p.m. will not only feature the league’s top two local hitters in Grethcel Soltones and Alyssa Valdez, but also a pair of talented imports in Jennifer Keddy and Jaroensri Bualee (BaliPure) and Laura Schaudt and Kuttika Kaewpin. Tokyo 2020 qualifiers to train in Japan Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak LATEST STORIES Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Tony Becca | Where are the real West Indies?

first_imgIn 1926, cricket in the West Indies was administered by the West Indies Cricket Board of Control in a move that preceded the first West Indies tour to England and one aimed at bringing the West Indies territories, the British colonies, together under one umbrella for the purpose of playing cricket. Through thick and thin, up, and downs, including becoming the world champions, the “Board” remained in control up until 1996 when it was changed in a bid to get away from any misconception relating to its name. The West Indies Cricket Board of Control dropped “of Control” and became known as the West Indies Cricket Board. Today, courtesy of its directors, representatives of the territories, who ruled a change, the West Indies Cricket Board is now Cricket West Indies. With the new name comes a new cricket team, and the new cricket team is “Windies”. The team made its debut appearance in England, where it is now taking on the home team in a three-match Test series dubbed “England versus Windies”. England is England, Australia is Australia, India is India, and so on. Who or what, however, is the “Windies”? It certainly is not a country, nor is it a region, unless it was recently, and secretly, named. What’s in a name? I don’t know, except that maybe it is an identity, and even then, it is not easily changed, especially not when it involves so many people and that it has lasted for so long, means so much to so many, and has so much history. In making the change, however, easy or not, what has become of the past? What has become of the West Indies, especially the great West Indies and the great West Indies players? Maybe the name change was justified; maybe the present West Indies team has been performing so poorly that the members of the West Indies Cricket Board, or Cricket West Indies, were so embarrassed that they decided to protect the memory of West Indies cricket by christening it and giving it a new name. They even changed the colour of the once cherished West Indies cap: the Windies cap, as worn during the opening Test in England, was more red than maroon. Schoolboy cricket Thank God the helmets were maroon! Or were they the old helmets? What’s in a name? I really do not know, but the team in England, especially on the first day of the first Test, played more like a team of calypsonians, and less like what is expected of a team named the West Indies. I reported on nearly 200 Test matches all over the world, plus many World Cup matches, and I saw many more Test matches early in life and before I retired. One of the worst performances I have seen, however, and I have seen some really bad ones, at home and abroad, was by the “Windies” in the first Test match last week, especially their performance on the opening day. It was total agony while watching them on cable, and I was really sorry for greats like Viv Richards, Andy Roberts, Curtly Ambrose, Michael Holding, and Richie Richardson, who had a first-hand view of their performance. On a day when the “Windies” went into a Test match at Edgbaston with four medium-pacers and without leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, and on a day when England ended on 348 for three, the bowling was atrocious, way down the leg-side or way outside the off stump; the fielding was also embarrassing, and the captaincy, surprisingly; was bad, downright bad, And with so many big scores in cricket, it was not because of England’s huge total highlighted by two of the world’s best batsmen in Alistair Cook and Joe Root. It was purely and simply, the standard of bowling and fielding. Administration’s fault Team of calypsonians Going in without a spinner and with four medium-pacers was bad but not as bad as playing under lights with a pink ball, for the second time, and not taking the second new ball when it became due and instead bowl two batsmen who, at best, sometimes bowl off-break pitched wide of the off stump. The “Windies” cricket was so poor that the England batsmen, and bowlers, were seen smiling at times. It was “help yourself bowling” said one commentator. The other commentators, including Michael Atherton, former captain of England; Ian Botham – another former captain of England; Nasser Hussein – former captain of England; and Michael Holding – former West Indies great fast bowler, all said, among other things, during the commentary, “this bowling is not up to international standard”, “Roach is the best of a bad lot”, and, “a century is a century regardless of the opposition”. One commentator called it schoolboy cricket, and once, when Botham referred to the “Windies” attack, Holding remarked, as cool as ever, “careful how you use the word attack”. After losing Kraigg Brathwaite for zero at zero for one at the start of the “Windies” first innings on the second day, however, Kieron Powell and Kyle Hope fought like tigers against some good bowling by James Anderson and Stuart Broad to survive some anxious moments during a testing time when the lights came on and were still together when the rain came. With the “Windies” losing 19 wickets in less than a day, however, the batting was just as poor. The Test match was scheduled for five days, but with the Windies failing to save the follow-on, and forced to follow on, it finished in under three days, and England won by an innings and 209 runs. A friend of mine, a former West Indies cricketer, jokingly suggested after England had scored 512 runs, had set the “Windies” 313 runs to avoid the follow-on, had dismissed them for 168 and for 137 after batting twice, and they were still eight runs short of saving the follow-on, that the follow-on should have been enforced a second time in an effort to give the spectators some more play. Although the state of West Indies cricket is not entirely the administration’s fault, their time would have been better spent trying their best to improve it. It was very cold in Birmingham, and, hopefully, the “Windies” will improve in time for the second Test, the wave of the magic wand will eventually motivate the players, and the West Indies of old will not be missed. The elected members of the “Board” dropped “control” from its name in 1996. The elected directors of the West Indies Cricket Board took control of West Indies cricket and secretly changed its name. When we remember that the “pet ” name of the West Indies was once “Windies”, the hope is also that teams like England, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Pakistan will not follow the fad and suddenly become Poms, Aussies, Kiwis, Indus, or worse, Coolies and Pakis.last_img read more

Tipster

first_imgSUPREME VENTURES RACING & ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED TIPSTERS’ COMPETITION Racedate : 16/10/2017CABLE SPORT NETWORK TRACK & POOLS RJR DAILY GLEANER1. MALACHI MALACHI MALACHI MALACHI2. LOVELY DAY LOVELY DAY LOVELY DAY LOVELY DAY3. SILVER SURF #SILVER SURF #SILVER SURF SILVER SURF4. OCEAN SEEKER PRINCESS BRIANNA SIR LEYLAND HALL OCEAN SEEKER5. #VISION OF GOLD VISION OF GOLD VISION OF GOLD #VISION OF GOLD6. BORONIA #HAPPY LEE #HAPPY LEE #HAPPY LEE7. ROYAL GIRL ROYAL GIRL ROYAL GIRL ORIGINAL TRAIN8. #CORALANDO DREAMING THE CODE FLYING MACHINE FLYING MACHINE9. CHACE THE GREAT CHACE THE GREAT CHACE THE GREAT CHACE THE GREAT10. CHENBUCKCHEN BREEZY BREEZY CALL TO DUTYNEWS TALK 93 WESTERN MIRROR STAR KLAS1. PLEASANT SECRET #MALACHI MALACHI MALACHI2. LOVELY DAY APOLLO BAY MY BEIRUT LOVELY DAY3. SILVER SURF SILVER SURF NASDAQ PRINCESS SILVER SURF4. PRINCESS BRIANNA OCEAN SEEKER OCEAN SEEKER #OCEAN SEEKER5. #VISION OF GOLD CHEERS #VISION OF GOLD VISION OF GOLD6. HAPPY LEE HAPPY LEE #HAPPY LEE #HAPPY LEE7. ROYAL GIRL ROYAL GIRL ROYAL GIRL ARIZONA GOLD8. #WARTIME BROOKLYN DREAMING THE CODE DREAMING THE CODE9. SEEKING MY DREAM BRAWN CHACE THE GREAT CHACE THE GREAT10. CALL TO DUTY #HAIL MARY BREEZY BIGMAN UNIONCVM TV TVJ IRIE FM POWER 1061. COUNCIL OF TRENT #MALACHI #MALACHI MALACHI2. LOVELY DAY LOVELY DAY LOVELY DAY LOVELY DAY3. NASEEN VESPERS SILVER SURF SILVER SURF4. DREAMLINER PRINCESS BRIANNA PRINCESS BRIANNA #OCEAN SEEKER5. RAISING THE BAR VISION OF GOLD VISION OF GOLD VISION OF GOLD6. HAPPY LEE HAPPY LEE HAPPY LEE HAPPY LEE7. #ROYAL GIRL ROYAL GIRL ROYAL GIRL ORIGINAL TRAIN8. GOLD MINER WARTIME DREAMING THE CODE #PROUD PRESIDENT9. ANOTHER BULLET HOUDINI’S MAGIC #CHACE THE GREAT CHACE THE GREAT10. #CHENBUCKCHEN #HAIL MARY BREEZY CHENBUCKCHENJAMAICA OBSERVER SPORTS GLOBE1. MALACHI MALACHI2. LOVELY DAY #LOVELY DAY3. SILVER SURF SILVER SURF4. SIR LEYLAND HALL SIR LEYLAND HALL5. #VISION OF GOLD MINNIFFIA6. HAPPY LEE #HAPPY LEE7. ROYAL GIRL ROYAL GIRL8. CUP O TEA GOLD MINER9. ANOTHER BULLET CHACE THE GREAT10. #BREEZY CALL TO DUTYlast_img read more

Rejecting…

first_img…the CCJThe good citizens of Grenada and Antigua just voted – in separate referenda – to reject the CCJ as their final Court of Appeal in criminal and civil matters. They’d rather continuing taking their appeals to the Privy Council of Britain, thank you!! Grenada had already done this few years ago…and was followed by St Vincent’s rejection back in 2011. So, what does this say about the CCJ when only four Caricom countries – Guyana, Barbados, Belize and Dominica – have accepted its appellate jurisdiction?Well, that 9 of the 13 members of Caricom that were colonised by Britain and ruled for hundreds of years under slavery and indentureship feel justice will be more fairly dispensed by the British Judiciary!! And it’s not as if the idea of a Regional Appellate Court is a new one: even British members of the Bar – and of the Privy Council even! – over the years have advocated for one. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the reason for their stance: in law, context is always a major factor in reaching decisions on matters before a court – and who but local jurists would appreciate local context more?When Caricom was in its formative stage in 1970 – led by Jamaica, there were proposals from locals to establish a Caricom Appellate Court. They might’ve been making up for breaking up the WI Federation when they voted out in a referendum in 1962. But ironically, when the CCJ was finally launched in 2005 in the wake of the Caricom Single Market and Economy, Jamaica stood determinedly aloof – as did its fellow heavyweight Trinidad!All the members of Caricom, of course, accept the CCJ’s ORIGINAL jurisdiction to interpret the Treaty of Chaguramas – it’s the final appellate power they balk at. And the question, once again, is why? Well, from our experience in Guyana since 2005, it’s not hard to figure the answer to that question. It’s not just a matter of jurists not being respected in their own countries – but the quality of some of the judgements coming out of the CCJ.While the old positivist, scholastic and exegetical approach to law might’ve worked for the British, because they wanted the law to be whatever they wanted, West Indians intuitively reject interpretations that go against their own reading of “what ought to be” for their own good. The fear is the excruciating contortions that the CCJ sometimes engages in on sensitive cases – especially when it concerns constitutional issues – is unduly influenced by the old “buddy system”.The Privy Council – with no skin in the game – is seen to be more impartial.Maybe it’s time Guyana takes another look at the CCJ??…army discipline?Maybe it’s not only the British Privy Council that might be seen as more solid than its autochthonous version – the CCJ – but also our “Disciplined Forces”. It’s rather shameful to read about all the dodges being practised by so many high-ranking officers of the GDF. Last year these officers racked up $10.6 million in fuel and lubricants – with one officer’s Mark X alone guzzling $3 million – or $256,000 per month!! So imagine the games that might’ve been played with the $569 million – more than HALF A BILLION DOLLARS – that the rank and file paid for fuel!!When we were granted independence, the Disciplined Forces were promoted by Burnham as a “modernising” force. They were supposedly steeped in discipline – and along with the Civil Service – would provide the example to framework for our development as a nation. Sadly, Burnham threw out the British-trained officers – and their stress on loyalty to the State.The personal loyalty Burnham demanded involved shooting civilians and stealing elections.From there, stealing gas is practically honourable!!…the world’s slap on the wristAs your Eyewitness predicted, the developed world’s always short attention span has allowed the murder of Journalist Jamal Khassoghi to fade from the headlines.Saudi Crown Prince MbS (!) just thumbed his nose at them, touring the realm with his father, the King!last_img read more

Youth and societal challenges

first_imgThe United Nations General Assembly has designated August 12 as International Youth Day. Since it was first observed in 1999, the day serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the many diverse and complex challenges young people face.According to UN estimates, there are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. But 1 in 10 of the world’s children live in conflict zones, and 24 million of them are out of school. The UN notes that political instability, labour market challenges, and limited space for political and civic participation have led to increasing isolation of youth in societies.Here, in Guyana, there are many social ills affecting citizens, especially the younger segment of the population; and programmes and support services to help address these issues could never be enough. For example, the use of illegal drugs and alcohol, crime, suicide, domestic and other forms of violence, lack of jobs, and so on are having a huge negative impact on communities. And now, more than ever before, there is need for a genuine collaborative approach, with inclusive planning and coordination, where volunteerism is a key element, to help find practical and lasting solutions to these many ills.While the Government must play a crucial role in designing the relevant policies and putting in place the necessary legislative framework and other support mechanisms aimed at addressing these issues, this burden must also be shared by other stakeholders; such as religious groups, the private sector and other non-governmental organisations (NGO) etc.A case in point is that there is hardly any family in Guyana that has never been touched directly or indirectly by suicide. Experts have pointed to the fact that about 90 percent of people who die by suicide had some sort of mental illness at the time of their death. Many people die by suicide because depression is triggered by several negative life experiences, and the suffering person does not receive effective treatment or support. Young people are crying out for attention; they need guidance, or simply someone to speak with; many want to find a way out of their misery. However, sometimes accessing that source of help is very difficult.The role of the private sector should never be underestimated. There is need for funding for many crucial programmes aimed at creating better opportunities for young persons. Such programmes, once effectively implemented, would see our children and young people become well equipped with the necessary skills to develop themselves, and in turn contribute to the overall development of the country. The private sector is one of the main beneficiaries of an educated and skilled workforce, and it should seek to invest in, and help to build, the pool of talent it wishes to draw from.It is well accepted that progressive countries in the world have strong systems for engaging youth in policy formation, and in creating or altering programmes designed to support youth. One of the most effective ways to create a sense of belonging and give youth a voice is through national and local youth councils, which aim to create platforms for young people to discuss and debate relevant issues and influence policy decisions.That said, with the upcoming Local Government Elections, it is hoped that young people from across the country would come out of the shadows and actively participate in the process; either by making themselves available to serve their communities, or be very vocal and start to lobby for the changes they wish to see in their communities. With opportunities afforded by new technologies, including the deployment of social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, this should lead to more interest for youth to get involved in debates and discussions, and to pose questions to their leaders on issues that are relevant to the electorate.We encourage all stakeholders here, including the Government and private sector, to use International Youth Day to raise awareness of the challenges young people face, and to lobby for more support, both in terms of designing the necessary policies and allocating the resources needed that would hopefully result in better opportunities for this segment of our population.last_img read more

Jagdeo most approved politician in Guyana

first_imgDear Editor,Former President Bharrat Jagdeo is the “most approved” political leader in the country and is likely to win the Presidency with a comfortable majority of votes if a free and fair general election were to be held soon, according to the findings of the poll recently conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA). However, a majority of voters do not feel the next general election, due by May 2020, will be free and fair. Even the business community overwhelmingly feels Jagdeo would win a general election once it is free and fair, but almost all of them said the next general election “will be rigged” because they are of the view that the PNC will not yield power. As such, voters do not feel the PNC (APNU) will allow a free and fair election, noting that the country will return to the period of rigged elections so that the PNC can remain in office, albeit fraudulently. Interestingly, many who voted for APNU/AFC coalition also think the next election will be rigged. It was noted that the PNC rigged all elections after the country became independent in 1966 till 1992, when international political pressure forced the dictatorship to allow its only democratic election resulting in its defeat. A slight majority (51 per cent) of voters also feel the May 2015 general elections involved some fraud that allowed the APNU/AFC coalition to capture power. However, significant credible evidence was not presented to support an argument that the last election was fraudulent in favour of the coalition; the poll did not ask for evidence to substantiate a claim of electoral fraud.The findings were based on interviews with 710 voters reflecting the demographic composition of the population.Asked (overall) if they approve of the performance of the government, 39 per cent said ‘yes’, with 54 per cent saying ‘no’ and 7 per cent not offering a response. Some feel the government needs to be given a few years in order for a fair evaluation of its performance to be undertaken. Asked if they approve of David Granger’s performance as President, 48 per cent said ‘yes’, with 47 per cent saying ‘no’ and 5 per cent not offering a response; many feel President Granger is not running the government. Moses Nagamootoo has an approval rating of 46 per cent and a disapproval rating of 48 per cent, with 6 per cent not offering a response; almost every PPP supporter rates Moses negatively. The government, Granger and Nagamootoo receive support primarily from traditional PNC supporters.Former President Bharrat Jagdeo has the highest approval rating (for his performance as Opposition Leader) among the three political leaders. Jagdeo’s approval is 55 per cent, with a disapproval rating of 39 per cent. Even many PNC supporters and some AFC supporters give Jagdeo a positive rating, expressing their disappointment in the coalition government. Several AFC and APNU supporters say that they are disappointed with Nagamootoo’s silence on violations of the APNU/AFC Accord signed before the general elections that called for sharing of powers between the coalition partners. Many who supported a change in government in May 2015 expressed regrets saying the new administration is “not performing”.A large majority of respondents (58 per cent, including some who will not vote for him) feel Jagdeo will win the next elections if it is free and fair, and if the constitution allows him to be the PPP Presidential candidate. But some 55 per cent feel the next election will be rigged, ruling out the return of the PPP to office; even many AFC supporters say they are concerned about the direction of the country and are worried that the next election will be rigged. Almost every PPP supporter feels the next election will be rigged.The poll also queried voters on who are best performing Ministers and Opposition members of parliament. The findings will be released later.Sincerely,Political analystDr Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

Closing sugar for oil is a monumental mistake in the making

first_imgDear Editor,Just on eve of the APNU taking power here in Guyana, oil was found in commercial quantities. It is one of the largest finds in recent times. Understandably, the new regime is ecstatic at this find. Indeed, its members seem to be thinking that this is the answer to all our problems.This find is most likely one factor that has influenced their decision in relation to the sugar industry. The old hatred for sugar workers has resurfaced. They have announced that they are closing several estates. The intention is to shut the whole industry down.This decision to decimate and close the industry was taken even though the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) that they set up did not recommend any closure.It is clear they believe that oil will more than compensate for the loss of revenue from the closed/decimated sugar industry. They therefore decided to abandon the plan to restructure and revitalise the industry.This will prove to be a colossal mistake, one from which Guyanese will suffer great pains, both now and in the future.If you look around the world, you will find that countries which are very heavily dependent on oil are going through great economic difficulties. Some have major political problems as well, because of the hardship flowing from loss of oil revenues. We don’t have to look very far to prove this. A Caribbean Development Bank Senior Economist has just released an opinion in which were expressed grave concerns about the economic difficulties that Trinidad and Tobago is experiencing because of the fall in oil revenues.Venezuela’s economy is also in some crisis, mainly due to the fall in oil prices. In that country, the economic difficulties have led to a dangerous political situation.Further afield, even though to a less extent, Russia’s economic problems are also traceable to the fall in oil revenues.There are many other examples, but this will do for the time being.It is not likely that, in the future, the price of oil will reach the heights it did in the 1970s. Since the oil crisis in the 1970s, countries have been searching for alternative sources of energy.In the post-oil crisis period, another huge problem has arisen, and has forced the best minds in the world to deal with it. That is the problem of climate change, all the evidence is there to prove that our climate is changing rapidly. This is mainly caused by the heavy dependence on fossil fuel. If nothing is done, the world can experience more and more catastrophic disasters.This has fuelled the search for alternative energy. Indeed, scientists have gone a far way in finding alternative sources of energy. Solar, wind, bio-fuels have all made considerable strides, and are poised to replace fossil fuel as the most used product to generate energy for our industries and transportation, etc.One of the main obstacles to the commercial use of alternative energy is now being overcome. That obstacle was the development of batteries to store large quantities of energy. Our scientists have now developed batteries to perform at the level of industries and transportation. Those batteries will do so at a level comparable to oil, keeping in mind that batteries are being improved all the time.This means that oil is losing the strategic importance it once held and, to a lesser extent, still holds. However, technology is moving so fast that it is predicted that by the year 2020, alternative fuels will become cheaper than using oil.Many countries in Europe have been setting dates to stop producing vehicles powered by fossil fuel.  France, for instance, has just announced its intention to stop producing vehicles driven by fossil fuel by 2040.Another development that suggests that alternative energy is going to largely replace oil is the fact that many big oil companies are investing heavily in companies that produce alternative energy.The reason for this is two-fold. On the one hand, they have huge investments in fossil fuels and would like to ensure maximum returns for their capital. Therefore, one of the reasons is to slow down the growth of alternatives, to keep oil prices up.On the other hand, they are recognising the inevitable and the need to stay ahead of the curve, so to speak.While we must welcome the oil find and try to maximise our benefits, we must not lose sight of these facts. We can become a major player in alternative energy as well. Our potential in bio-fuels is significant.Sugar offers us the best opportunity in this regard. Already, we have sunken capital in the industry, and that will give us a strategic advantage. With sugar at the base, we can also develop alternative energy using rice, coconuts, soya, and other crops.President Granger has professed a commitment to a green economy. He is on the right side of history in his pronouncement. However, it is hard to see how he would succeed in building a green economy when he has abandoned the Amaila Falls Hydro Project and is now devastating the sugar industry. Both of these could go a far way in reducing our carbon footprint.It is still not too late to prevent this inevitable hardship that closure of estates would cause. President Granger has an opportunity to reverse this ill-advised position. We can be both a major player in oil and in alternative energy. Let’s grab the moment. Do not squander our future.We could avoid this colossal mistake by not closing the sugar estates.Donald RamotarFormer Presidentlast_img read more

Why Guyana needs tax reforms

first_imgDear Editor,President Granger did not mention the phrase (tax reform) once in his “2015 manifesto” message, while his Prime Ministerial Candidate stated that his team “proposes to restructure the tax recovery system, not to oppress the wage earner, but to catch the tax dodger”. But after some two and a half years, although the Government’s Tax Reform Committee made sweeping recommendations, tax reform appears to have been relegated to the back burners.I want to focus on one particular set of tax measures against the backdrop of the Guyana Business Summit 2017; I speak specifically of Corporation Tax (CTAX). According to the Ram and McRae website, there are three rates of CTAX in Guyana – a 30 per cent rate that applies to non-commercial companies, a 40 per cent rate that applies to commercial companies except telephone companies, and finally a 45 per cent rate for the telephone companies.If one just observes the CTAX rates in Trinidad as an example, they have a basic rate of 25 per cent and a band of 35 per cent that is applied to the oil and gas industry.  If you are a company in Guyana, and you have a legal choice, which country would you prefer to pay your taxes? Guyana at 35 per cent/40 per cent or Trinidad at 25 per cent/35 per cent!This situation has opened a door to a practice called transfer pricing that allows companies to avoid paying their fair share of taxes in Guyana legally.  It is called tax avoidance. In reality, the tax burden is exported from Guyana to another country with a lower tax rate, allowing that company to bypass the Guyana Treasury. In reality, there is such a company called Guyana Stockfeeds (Trinidad) Ltd which is a subsidiary of Guyana Stockfeeds Inc (Read the Annual Report).The solution to increasing the CTAX payment to the Guyana Treasury is simple – reform the tax system. But it requires a phased reduction of the CTAX rates. A strategic starting point is a reduction of the rate from 35 per cent to 25 per cent for the non-commercial companies (mainly the dwindling manufacturing sector). That one concession will make a world of difference to the investment landscape.I disagree with the Minister’s excuse that tax reforms will have adverse budgetary consequences. It has been empirically proven in many instances that any reduction of the CTAX will directly enhance the investment climate, generate new jobs and new tax payments. Reduction in the rate of taxes is a flow, not a spot transaction and thus to quantify the impact of the tax reform, one must quantify the cost-benefits over a period of time (let us say a year) and this is what the Minister has refused to do.  Rather he is focused on the spot position and his “book losses” at a particular date.  But that is a “bean-counting” mentality.Any reduction in the CTAX will result in the freeing-up of hundreds of millions of new dollars for new investments.The ideal principle of taxation is “broaden the base and lower the tax rates”. The principle goal of tax reform is to promote economic well-being and drive aggregate demand – new investments, enhanced productivity and a living wage.  Instead, Finance Minister Winston Jordan continues to delay the implementation of the recommended tax reforms that even Statia advised (he sat on the Tax Reform Commission).It is time for the Minister to wake up and cut through the fog and if he does not understand the core concepts, why isn’t he buying expertise to help him.  For how long more can Guyana bear a Minister in training behind the 8-ball?At this stage of the game, we should not be discussing the reduction of the CTAX rate for the Private Sector; it should have been a well-advanced process already reaping the benefits from the increased investments, augmented productivity and expanded wages for the workers which would have all been feeding into the expansion in aggregate demand and by extension the economy.Sincerely,Sase Singhlast_img read more

Alleged purse thief remanded

first_imgA man was on Friday remanded to prison when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged with larceny.Anthony Price, 25, denied the charge which alleged that on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at Georgetown he stole a purse valued $5000 which contained US$700, and a cellular phone valued $35,000, property of the virtual complainant (VC) Camille Brazilo. The accused told the court that he is unemployed.Police Prosecutor Deniro Jones did not reveal the circumstance surrounding the charge, however he objected to bail based on the seriousness and prevalence of the offence. Bail was refused and Price was remanded to prison until May 17 when he will return to court.last_img