Cartoon: July 21, 2015

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Important role of Judiciary

first_imgFor decades, there have been concerns about the strength, effectiveness and efficiency of Guyana’s Judiciary and its ability to discharge its functions with the highest level of independence.These concerns have never disappeared despite the fact that there have been successful efforts, from all parties involved especially successive Governments, to modernize the functions of the judiciary, insulate its officers from political and other forms of interference, and professionalize its operations in line with the developments taking place in the wider world with respect to the advancement in technologies and the shifting social world order.The modernisation of the judiciary has also been impacted by alternative interpretations of certain religious beliefs and the shift in cultural norms and traditions which are redefining criminality, humanity and the concepts of moral and social justice which are the bedrock and foundation of modern democratic societies and independent judiciaries, the world over.In Guyana’s case, the judiciary plays the most important role as the defender of the public’s interest and the custodian of the Constitution. The framers of this country’s codified and supreme laws ensured that enough provisions were made to safeguard the judiciary from the whims and fancies of politicians and the influence of the wealthy.All Guyanese are, therefore, equal before the law and deserving of equity and fairness whenever they are the subject of judicial action regardless of their race, sexual orientation to a limited extent, creed or religion beliefs.Our judicial officers at every level of the Judiciary are schooled, baptized and re-cultured to understand the importance of the role they play in safeguarding the rights of the ordinary citizens from the excesses of the powerful. They are also encouraged to reject any inducement or attempt to interfere with the dispatch of their duties because of the sensitive and untenable position in which it places the judiciary and the reputation of those who serve within its hierarchy.The Judiciary at home and abroad knows too well that it has a commitment to discipline those who seek to unjustly malign its character, image or reputation by even suggesting that it is somehow compromised or incapable of delivering independent judgment free from interference unless evidence and facts could be provided.It is in this context that the recent statements made by senior functionaries in the coalition Government about the perceived outcome of the Sovereignty of the People Case, the charges brought against former Government Ministers of the Peoples Progressive Party Civic Administration, and a slew of other private charges filed against opposition politicians must be analyzed and contextualized.The utterances are worrying because they paint the picture that the current Government and executive has some perceived or real power or even influence over how the court is handling these specific matters.The fact that Ministers of Government believe that they can make statements which suggest that they have inside “information” undermines the integrity of the decision in the minds of some even if it was arrived at within the confines of reasonable law and jurisprudence.Even a blanket rebuke or caution from the local and regional courts would have eased the minds of an understandably worried populace who continue to fear that the Government may be exhorting undue influence over not only supposedly state-owned independent agencies like the Special Organised Unit, and Special Assets Recovery Agency et al but now the sections of the judiciary, constitutional judicial offices like that of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Caribbean Court of Justice.The judiciary here must not allow ‘loose statements’ made by politicians or any citizen publicly to go unchallenged within Guyana’s fragile democracy because of the concomitant implications that may follow if the public loses confidence in its ability to discharge its functions without duress or partisanship.There must be a clear line drawn between the executive and the judiciary.last_img read more

Poppies and pride as England, Scotland collide

first_img0Shares0000England’s interim manager Gareth Southgate talks to his players during training while sporting one of the commemorative poppies that are banned from matches under FIFA rules © AFP / Paul EllisLONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 10 – England and Scotland renew the oldest rivalry in international football on Friday in a 2018 World Cup qualifier that has been dogged by a pre-match row about commemorative poppies.The football associations of both countries have pledged to defy a FIFA ban on political, religious or commercial symbols by wearing black armbands with red poppy emblems. It leaves both teams at risk of sanctions from FIFA, but England and Scotland are determined to observe the custom, by which people in Britain pay respect to the country’s war dead on November 11.“As head coach, I was keen for us to wear poppies,” interim England manager Gareth Southgate said this week.“It’s important we represent the nation and wearing the poppy is the right thing to do.”Players on both sides have backed the stance taken by their national associations.But the risk of punishment by world governing body FIFA has led Northern Ireland to decide to wear plain black armbands without poppies on for their home game with Azerbaijan on the same day.On the sporting front, Friday’s game at Wembley represents Southgate’s penultimate opportunity to show his Football Association bosses he deserves to be awarded the manager’s job full-time.Southgate was promoted from his role as England Under-21 coach when Sam Allardyce was brought down by a newspaper sting after just one match at the helm.His four-game tenure has been underwhelming so far, with a laboured 2-0 win over Malta followed by a 0-0 draw away to Slovenia in which England were indebted to the reflexes of goalkeeper Joe Hart.England’s striker Harry Kane could start for England in the match against Scotland after seven weeks out with an ankle injury © AFP/File / Paul EllisBut England remain top of UEFA qualifying Group F, two points clear of Lithuania and Slovenia, and the Daily Telegraph has reported the job will be Southgate’s barring a disastrous result against Scotland.England host Spain at Wembley on Tuesday in their final game of 2016.England and Scotland’s first meeting, a 0-0 draw in November 1872, was the first recognised fixture in international football and they will be facing off for the 113th time.– Iconic images –Their rivalry has produced some iconic images, from Scotland’s fans storming the Wembley pitch after a British Home Championship win in 1977 to Paul Gascoigne’s memorable volley for England at Euro 96.This will be their first competitive meeting since a two-legged Euro 2000 qualifying play-off in November 1999, which England won 2-1 on aggregate.Southgate has been educating his players on the history of the rivalry with the aid of video footage.“Of course there will be tackles flying in and a lot of battles and duels, but that’s what it’s all about,” said England striker Harry Kane, who could start after seven weeks out with ankle ligament damage.“You have to keep a cool head, but still keep that passion.”England prevailed in their two most recent friendly encounters with Scotland, winning 3-2 at Wembley in August 2013 and 3-1 at Celtic Park in November 2014.Scotland’s Robert Snodgrass, who plays for English club side Hull City, has taunted England with claims their fans have lost interest in the national team due to recurrent underachievement © AFP/File / Lindsey ParnabyBut Scotland winger Robert Snodgrass, who plays for English side Hull City, has taunted England with claims their fans have lost interest in the national team due to recurrent underachievement.“I speak to English people and I don’t think they want England to do well because it’s the same old story all the time,” he said.“England know their fans will turn on them if they don’t score first.”As well as Kane, England captain Wayne Rooney will hope to return to the hosts’ starting XI after being dropped for the draw against Slovenia.Rooney has returned to Manchester United’s starting line-up in their last two games and could replace Kane’s injured Tottenham Hotspur team-mate Dele Alli.Celtic midfielder Scott Brown is expected to overcome a dead leg and start for Gordon Strachan’s Scotland — fourth in the group — after reversing his decision to retire from international football.But Sheffield Wednesday striker Steven Fletcher is a doubt with a knee injury.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Man City should have had a penalty, insists Manuel Pellegrini after Everton draw

first_img Raheem Sterling challenged by John Stones in injury time 1 Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was in no doubt his side were denied a late penalty as a frustrating goalless draw with Everton ended in controversy.Raheem Sterling appeared to be brought down by John Stones in injury time as City looked to make their dominance of a lively Barclays Premier League clash tell.But referee Roger East gave only a goalkick and City’s last chance to claim another three points for their title challenge was lost.Pellegrini said: “I don’t think I need to give my thoughts about that action. The whole stadium could see it was a penalty. It was so clear, so near for the referee and both legs of Raheem were taken. It was a clear foul from Stones but if the referee doesn’t whistle for it, we can’t say anything about that.”Despite the scoreline, the contest was an entertaining one, with both sides having opportunities in the first half. City upped the tempo after the break and created several good chances but Everton, and most notably goalkeeper Tim Howard, held firm.Pellegrini said: “We did enough to win the game, especially in the second half. In the first 45 minutes it was a very close game with not many chances, maybe one or two in each box, but in the second half it was complete dominance by us – of possession, of shots, of saves from their goalkeeper.”last_img read more

‘It should not be done’ – Hiddink refuses to condemn Hazard after shirt swap

first_img1 Guus Hiddink has told Chelsea fans ‘not to overvalue’ Eden Hazard’s half-time gesture in their Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.The Ligue 1 side edged the last 16 second leg and Blues fans were angered by the Belgian playmaker at the interval.As both sides headed for the changing rooms, with the score 1-1, Hazard swapped shirts with former Manchester United attacker Angel di Maria – something Hiddink did not approve of, although he refused to condemn the 25-year-old.“I’m aware. It should not be done,” the Dutchman said.“But in some countries it’s usual that you do it (at half-time) and not after the game. Maybe they’re both used to doing that.“Don’t overvalue this issue.” Eden Hazard limped of with a knock in the second half last_img

Spain v Czech Republic: Euro 2016 live stream commentary on talkSPORT

first_imgLIVE ON talkSPORT: Spain v Czech Republic – click here for commentary from Toulouse from 2pm (BST) on 13 June 2016.Euro 2016: Every Goal, Every Game, Every Day on talkSPORTFour years ago Spain became the first nation to successfully defend the European Championship trophy, having also won the World Cup in 2010.But in 2014 they crashed out of the World Cup in Brazil, bringing to an end a remarkable run of success that yielded an unprecedented three major tournament victories in succession.Can the Spaniards bounce back and win what would be a remarkable third European title in a row, and a record fourth overall, in France?First up for Spain is a Group D match against the Czech Republic, the runners up from Euro 96 and semi-finalists 12 years ago.The game will likely see Arsenal’s Petr Cech line up against his old Chelsea team-mate Cesc Fabregas, and you can tune in to find out what happens with talkSPORT’s live commentary.UPDATE: The teams are in! A look at the lineups with 45 minutes to go before kick-off! #EURO2016 #ESPCZE pic.twitter.com/13fp3ZFKdO— UEFA Nations League (@UEFAEURO) June 13, 2016 Listen live, via talkSPORT.com, on radio (1053 or 1089AM, and DAB), on your television or through our app.center_img 1last_img read more

Small firms optimistic

first_imgFreeman’s company looks over a borrower’s books and determines whether it’s likely to default. After the real estate and mortgage boom of the past few years, “I think we’re going to see a lot of setbacks,” Freeman said. That will keep his revenue increasing, but Freeman also noted that he’s not immune from the challenges that other small-business owners are contending with. He’s also had to deal with rising expenses, including higher energy prices and the rising cost of property and casualty insurance because Florida is a hurricane zone. Other business owners had the foresight to make their companies less vulnerable during a downturn. Jon Bailey, co-owner of Bailey Gardiner, a San Diego-based marketing firm, described himself as cautiously optimistic about his company because it diversified away from a heavy dependence on clients in the real estate industry. More of Bailey Gardiner’s clients are now in industries such as tourism and hospitality. Bailey said the company has had a slight increase in revenue and profits this year, and said “that has been a very happy experience.” Memories of the dot-com bubble and bust contributed to Bailey Gardiner’s change in strategy. “We had layoffs, salary cuts – we didn’t want to go through that pain again.” Bailey said. Jennefer Witter, owner of the New York-based marketing firm The Boreland Group, said while her company is steadily growing – “I’ve already started to get nibbles from people who are doing their business planning for 2007” – she’s also preparing for a possible slowdown.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – If you believe the surveys, small-business owners are growing less optimistic as they see the economy slowing. Look closer and you might find that owners can be pretty upbeat – provided their businesses are well-positioned to weather a downturn. Even though the housing market has slowed, John Reinhardt is very positive about his real-estate company, based in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. “I’m really excited. I wasn’t a few months ago, but the numbers are doing real well – if I took my average monthly production, it’s up 20 percent the last month and a half or two months,” said Reinhardt, owner of Fillmore Real Estate. Reinhardt said the slide in home prices has made buying a house more affordable for many first-time home buyers, including blue-collar workers who are now being priced out of the rental market. “Many of them are saying, `Maybe it makes sense to buy,”‘ he said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsReinhardt put his company in place to benefit from this shift by diversifying away from a focus on more upscale housing. A survey of small-company owners by the National Federation of Independent Business found that, overall, they were less optimistic last month; the NFIB’s small-business optimism index fell 2.2 points, to 95.9, the lowest reading for the index since March 2003. The survey found that more businesses are borrowing – a possible indication that cash flows are slowing along with the economy. But two components of the index – the number of job openings and owners’ plans to create new jobs – rose last month. That indicates that even as small-business optimism has ebbed, many owners are comfortable enough to think about expanding. Some business owners are upbeat because they’re in industries that stand to benefit from a downturn. Lew Freeman, whose Miami-based businesses include forensic accounting and real-estate consulting concerns, specializes in helping lenders who are worried about borrowers who look like they’re heading for default. Business is up right now – “bad is good,” Freeman said – because lenders are seeing more signs of trouble as the economy slows and they don’t want to wait for an actual default to occur. last_img

Derby v Bristol City live stream and confirmed line-ups

first_img1 Gary Rowett’s side can extend their lead in second spot to five points with a win tonight YOU CAN LISTEN TO DERBY V BRISTOL CITY ON TALKSPORT 2. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN LIVE ONLINE. Second-placed Derby entertain fifth-placed Bristol City in the Championship’s Friday night game. The Rams go into the contest in great form and are unbeaten in their last eight league games, while the West Country side have lost their last four games in the Championship. Gary Rowett’s side have also been active in the transfer market after signing striker Cameron Jerome earlier this week as they look to push for automatic promotion to the Premier League. Meanwhile, the Robins will have one eye on their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at home to Manchester City on Tuesday night. But which players made the cut for tonight’s game? Scroll down to see the confirmed team news…Derby County XI: Carson, Forsyth, Keogh, Davies, Wisdom, Huddlestone, Thorne, Russell, Vydra, Lawrence, NugentSubstitutes: Mitchell, Baird, Pearce, Winnall, Weimann, Hanson, Jerome Bristol City XI: Fielding, Wright, Flint, Baker, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Bryan, Paterson, Reid Substitutes: Steele, Kelly, Eliasson, Walsh, Kent, Engvall, Diédhioulast_img read more

Morales uses tractors to sow support

first_imgUCURENA, Bolivia – President Evo Morales handed out titles for farmland and tractors made in Venezuela and Iran to Bolivian peasants on Wednesday as he drummed up support for his ambitious agrarian reform. Morales drove into town on a Chinese tractor bedecked with flags and covered in confetti. Behind him followed a convoy of tractors manufactured in a joint venture between Venezuela and Iran and sold to Bolivia by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The government announced plans to distribute as many as 500 tractors – made in Venezuela, Iran, Spain and China – and 2,000 individual land titles. At least 50 tractors were given out Wednesday. The trip to the symbolic center of Bolivia’s land-reform movement was intended to celebrate a proposed law that is part of what Morales calls his agrarian revolution, but Bolivia’s congress has yet to vote on the controversial measure. It was in dusty Ucurena, on the high plains near Cochabamba, where Bolivia’s first agrarian reform was launched in 1953. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “The idle lands in eastern Bolivia that have been run by political interests and powerful families, these lands must be returned to the Bolivian state so that they can be redistributed,” Morales said. “That is our great desire.” Morales kicked off his reform effort in June by giving about 9,600 square miles of state-owned land to poor Indian groups. On Wednesday, he handed out only about 15 titles without indicating the amount of land. Morales used Wednesday’s event to press Congress to allow the government to seize private lands found to be unproductive, obtained illegally or used for speculation.last_img read more

Median proce for Valley home drops

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It had to happen sometime. The median price of a San Fernando Valley house had to fall. Last month it finally did, by just less than 1 percent. And, just maybe, November brought us a glimpse of what the residential real estate landscape is going to look like for months to come. But you probably shouldn’t get too giddy thinking prices are going to collapse. Those inside and outside the industry agree that prices are leveling out, which means the Valley will remain a very expensive market. And the median price, the point at which half the units cost more and half less, will remain closer to $600,000 than $500,000. ”I would be shocked if prices dip below the $500,000 level. That would take a major turn in the economy, and that’s just not there,” said Jim Link, executive vice president of the Van Nuys-based Southland Regional Association of Realtors. Prices have been on a 10-year tear. In February 1997, the median price fell an annual 13.9 percent to $155,000. The next month it rose 1.6 percent to $160,000. It increased annually for 116 months, gaining 283.9 percent in that time span. And this certainly is not the early 1990s again, a period of prolonged price declines. The slide began in earnest in April 1992 when the median fell an annual 8.3 percent to $220,000. It continued falling annually for 45 months. During that last boom and bust period, the median price fell from a high of $245,000 to a low of $155,000. From the low point, April 1997, it took 43 months to regain a record level, finally hitting $255,000 in August 2000. Then prices really heated up. That record fell in nine months, hitting $260,000 in May 2001. The record fell the next three months, too. And the median price did not stay in one price neighborhood for long, either. It crossed into $300,000 in May 2002 and moved to $400,000 in August of the next year. In June 2004, it broke through $500,000 and a year later it was at $600,000. And it’s been bouncing around that level ever since then even as sales have plunged for months. Most of the Valley buyers are still shopping in the same price range this year as last year. In October, the most current numbers available, 367 sales were in the $450,000 to $600,000 range. A year ago, there were 462 sales at this level. At the next step up – $600,000 to $800,000 – there were 236 sales this year and 381 last year. ”We’re kind of right at the price point now that we’re going to have to get used to,” said John Karevoll, an analyst at DataQuick Information Systems, a market tracker. He’s neither a cheerleader nor a market basher. He simply interprets the numbers. ”We’re way ahead of the game. It just depends on how much of the gains we made in the past four years we get to keep. Is it 95 percent, 90 percent or all of it? It’s still pretty sweet.” greg.wilcox@dailynews.com (818) 713-3743last_img read more