Historic Caymanas Park divestment agreement signed

first_imgOrville Clarke, Gleaner Writer The official signing regarding the Government’s divestment of Caymanas Park, between Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) and new owners Supreme Ventures Limited was concluded at the offices of the Ministry of Finance at Heroes Circle, on Friday afternoon in the presence of Finance Minister Audley Shaw, who described it as an “historic occasion”. With the process now complete, Shaw described the development as a “win-win” for the racing industry, while speaking to the large gathering, which included representatives of the new company, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited, the government’s negotiating team, CTL board members, technocrats and various stakeholders. Paul Hoo, chairman of Supreme Ventures Limited, signed on behalf of his company, while CTL’s Danville Walker did likewise. Noting that since 1987, there have been five attempts to divest Caymanas Park, Shaw highlighted that the Government of Jamaica having recognised the importance of the racing industry in the scheme of things, was pleased that this was now a reality. Shaw spoke of numerous advantages not only to the wider industry but to the Jamaica Racing Commission and the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission, among other entities. The handing over of the racetrack to Supreme Ventures will take place on Tuesday, March 7 and a $200 million redundancy package has been set aside for the CTL workers, most of whom will be re-employed by Supreme Ventures.last_img read more

Committee Rejects Act to Make CB Dunbar Referral Hospital

first_imgThe House’s Joint Committee on Health, Social Welfare and Judiciary has advised plenary to reject the “Act to elevate the CB Dunbar Maternity Center to a regional maternal hospital,” arguing that the Phebe referral hospital is already located in the same vicinity – Gbarnga, the capital city of Bong County.River Gee County District #1 Representative Johnson Chea, who is also the chairman on the Health and Social Welfare Committee and the head of the Joint Committee on Health, Social Welfare and Judiciary, said the recommendation was a result of a discussion with the Ministry of Health, which involved the Chief Medical Officer, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, the Director of Family Health, the president of the Liberia Medical and Dental Council, the World Health Organization and other stakeholders.Rep. Chea said witnesses had indicated that the CB Dunbar Hospital is currently a maternity health center that is backed up by Phebe Hospital, which is one of the key referral and teaching hospitals in the country responsible for the training of middle level health workers and postgraduate medical doctors.After the endorsement of plenary to reject the “Act to elevate the CB Dunbar Maternity Center to a regional maternal hospital,” a motion for reconsideration was filed by Bong County District #3 Representative George Mulbah to overturn the decision.Rep. Mulbah argued that the joint report from the Committee on Health and Judiciary did not get the required number of signatures – the majority of the House – for it to be discussed or voted upon by plenary.He said the report should have been signed by at least eight of the 14–member Joint Committee, instead of six.The motion for reconsideration was tested and prevailed, which overturned the decision of plenary to reject the Act.It means that the Joint Committee will have to acquire the needed signatures and resubmit their report, which will be tried through votes.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

20 Coaches Commend LNOC for Basketball Seminar

first_imgSome of the members of the participating coaches at the end of the seminarParticipants of a one-day basketball coaching seminar organized by the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) over the weekend told journalists that their hearts were filled with joy for the knowledge they gained from it.The coaching seminar was held on Saturday, January 26, at the headquarters of the LNOC on Randall Street in Monrovia, and 20 out of the 25 second and third division coaches invited for the seminar attended.Karnto Tonkeleh of female division side Commissioners said all that she and the rest of her fellow coaches gained from the seminar would help to advance their ideas in coaching basketball.Angel R. Buckle of Desert Ladies described the knowledge she gained from the seminar as outstanding and that it has added to the ideas she already had in the field.Wonween Toe paid tribute to the organizers of the seminar because, according to her, what she learned will strengthen her player and game development.Kun C. Lewis is the head coach of Invaders basketball squad, and he said he is happy for the ideas he acquired from the seminar and will use the experience for his team and players.Abel Z. Cole is the head coach of the Seventh Day Adventist high school, and he described the seminar as timely.Jerry L. Bryane is the head coach of female side Desert Knights, and he believes that the knowledge he gained from the seminar would help train basketball players better.LNOC Secretary-General Mr. Boie F. L. Corvah spoke on the long-term athlete development and the seven stages of physical activities of athlete’s performance in sports.Mr. Corvah described the responses of the coaches as positive and promised to organize another seminar for first division coaches. He called on the beneficiaries to contribute their knowledge for the growth of basketball.LNOC Assistant Secretary Ahmed Samuel Tukpeh, who spoke on LNOC’s activities with all sporting institutions in Liberia, described the huge turn up as an advantage for the coaches and the institutions they represented.Mr. Tukpeh called on the coaches to help disseminate the knowledge they received from the seminar, because it would help develop talents of current and future athletes.One of LBA’s senior coaches Varfley Corneh called on the coaches to use their knowledge from the seminar better in order to replace the old hands in the coaching of basketball.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Revised outlook even more threatening – former Minister

first_imgBalance of Payments…wider deficit expected if mining sector underperforms – economistWith the overall Balance of Payments (BoP) recording a deficit of US$139.8 million in the first half of 2018, compared to a deficit of US$46.0 million recorded in June 2017, former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government Minister Irfaan Ali has said this trend is becoming even more worrying.Ali, the finance spokesperson for the Opposition in Parliament, told Guyana Times that in order to finance this humongous deficit, the Government usurped US$110 million from the Bank of Guyana’s (BoG) Foreign Assets Reserve, tanking the reserve to a 10-year low of US$473.4 million.The overall Balance of Payments, by end 2018, is projected to record a total deficit of US$182.1 million. He said it is also important to note; the initial projection of the BoP deficit was set at US$79.7 million for 2018. In other words, we haveOpposition MP and former Minister Irfaan Alisurpassed that amount by 130 per cent within the first half of 2018.Moreover, the former Minister, noted that the current account deficit is expected to weaken to a deficit of US$366.3 million by end 2018, down from an initial projection of US$292 million.“In other words, the revised outlook for our Balance of Payments is even more ominous than initially anticipated,” he explained. According to him, this means there would be a greater need for more foreign exchange by end 2018 to cover Guyana’s import bills, something that may be difficult.Ali said another critical element of the BoP is factor services (net). And according to the report, net factor services is projected to record a higher than anticipated deficit of US$66 million, compared to US$11.5 million last year. This is mainly the outcome of lower investment income and higher interest payment.Widening deficitMeanwhile, economist Collin Constantine told Guyana Times also that based on the report, the widening BoP deficit is driven largely by higher import prices for fuel and lubricants. “When this is juxtaposed with lower export earnings in sugar and gold, we must expect a worsening of the external accounts,” he opined.Constantine reasoned that part of the widening deficit is also related to the recovery in the construction sector, a recovery in real estate increases the importation of capital goods. Further, the economist noted that the downsizing of the sugar industry will definitely have an adverse effect on the BoP balance.“It (sugar) served as a major source of foreign exchange earnings… since gold isEconomist Collin Constantineunderperforming a wider deficit is expected,” the economist added, while reiterating that projection is it will widen further.Despite this this, Constantine feels that the projected 3.7 per cent growth rate is achievable because as he explained, the wider BoP deficit is not driven by consumption but by intermediate imports, which are key inputs for production and therefore growth could be experienced.“I cannot speak to specific numbers but the expectation of a growth rebound seems plausible. However, construction recovery and so on will have an impact. We also have to see how gold performs for the remainder of the year,” he added.The Mid-Year Report warns that global risks, such as rising commodity prices, climate change and turbulent international trade relationships, do pose a threat to the stability and progress of Guyana’s economy. And it warned that increased importation will put a strain on the country’s foreign reserves.“Specifically, the issue of climate change, which brings with it unpredictable weather patterns, has the ability to adversely affect the agriculture and mining and quarrying sectors, and, consequently, restrict production. On the other hand, while commodity prices are expected to strengthen, in 2018, this will have mixed effects.”However, on the positive side, it states that rising prices offer favourable prospects for the exporting sectors – gold, rice, timber and aluminium. However, the increased importation of intermediate goods, especially fuel and lubricants, and consumption goods, could likely offset the gains from export earnings.This could put a strain on Guyana’s international reserves, reinforcing the urgency with which economic diversification and resilience.Balance of Payments is statistical data on a country’s fiscal transactions, including imports and exports. To therefore record a deficit, Guyana would have had to spend more on imports, among other things, that it derived from exports.According to the 2017 Macro-economic Report, Guyana’s overall Balance of Payments in the last fiscal year showed a deficit of US$69.5 million. This is a hike when compared to US$53.3 million the previous year.last_img read more

Cope slams Government’s treatment of seasonal workers

first_imgDeputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has lambasted the Government for what he claims is their complete failure to address the needs and rights of the thousands of seasonal and part time workers.The West Donegal TD said the workers annually find it impossible to obtain social protection entitlements, when their seasonal or part time work ceases.He said an absolute commitment was given by the former Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar in the budget debate 2017 – that a full review and report would be compiled and completed by February / March. He said “This has been long fingered and buffed over by numerous Government representatives since and absolutely no action has followed on their part.“This report has been reneged by the Government despite the firm commitment given in the Dáil on 22nd November 2016 during a debate on the matter which I addressed personally on the matter.“Numerous Dáil questions on the matter and topical debates highlighting the workers concerns since were raised by me since but to no avail, the Government simply are not listening to the plight of the workers or if they are they are failing completely to take any action.“This entire process of reviewing seasonal workers’ rights has been nothing more than an empty promise given for cynical political purposes by a Minister who simply does not understand the ordinary people’s needs – there is a complete failure by this Government to understand the problems and difficulties facing seasonal and part time workers on a daily basis especially in west and south west Donegal. “It is a further example of how out of touch this Government is with rural matters and the struggle ordinary families have on a daily basis as a result of their policy decisions,” he fumed.Pat the Cope added not alone is the report going to be 8 months late but understands the report will not address the matters which directly affect the part time workers’ rights.He said these matters include the requirement to make 13 new contributions within the last 78 days of your existing claim, the need to maintain 117 contribution over a three year period to mention a few.“It appears that only the subsidiary income threshold which will be addressed and adjusted, this is very disappointing news but it is clear the Government just do not understand the problems and hardships facing seasonal workers.“The lack of knowledge of the ongoing problems and hardships by the various rule changes for seasonal workers is truly shocking; it is increditable that after years of highlighting the issues the Government still simply does not understand the problems which face seasonal and part time workers.“They continue to fail to take any action or to alleviate the problems and what is shocking is that the average annual income for these seasonal and part time workers could be as low as €5,000 to €7,000 on average and that social protection payments would top up their employment income.” He said he is now calling on the Government to wake up to the crises in the livelihoods of seasonal and part time workers and their families, which if not addressed will lead to a skills shortage in certain employment sectors notwithstanding the difficulties it is causing in households right through out Donegal and the west of Ireland.He added “The Government must honour their commitment to the Dáil and complete the review of workers’ rights as requested by me and outlined in great detail during the budget debates in November 2016 – nothing less will be tolerated and the seasonal and part time workers are entitled to their rights. Sufficient time has elapsed in order for the relevant Department and Minister to have dealt with this and provided a solution which would have helped seasonal and part time workers.”Cope slams Government’s treatment of seasonal workers was last modified: August 9th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalGovernmentPat The Cope Gallagherseasonal workerslast_img read more

TODAYFM LISTENERS VOTE RATHMULLAN CHIPPER ‘BATTER’ THAN THE REST!

first_imgWe always knew a certain chipper in Rathmullan was a top spot.But we didn’t know it was ‘Batter’ than more of the rest in the country!Salt n Batter has just been named in the Top Ten chippers in Ireland by listeners of the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on TodayFM. With a sizzling summer and cracking fish and chips, it all points to being a very few months ahead for Salt n Batter.Here’s is the list chosen by the listeners of TodayFM.Roscommon – NoriosWicklow – American Food FareWaterford – Johnny WalkersWexford – Saltee ChipperMonaghan – The Monte CarloLongford – LuigisLimerick – Donkey FordesKilkenny –MariosMeath – The Valley CaféDonegal – Salt n BatterTipperary – The Mona Lisa in ThurlesKildare – Di NardisDublin – Beshoffs in HowthCork – KC’sCavan – Roma in Cavan TownGalway – McDonaghsCarlow – Fast EddiesMayo – Danollas in Westport & CastlebarClare – Enzos in EnnisKerry – The Hungry KnightLouth – Roma Takeaway in DundalkSligo – Shells In StandhillOffaly – Angelos in banagherWestmeath – Roma in MullingarLeitrim – Giovanni’s in Carrick On ShannonLaois – Donies TODAYFM LISTENERS VOTE RATHMULLAN CHIPPER ‘BATTER’ THAN THE REST! was last modified: May 28th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

PROP 76 PRO: Fiscal woes need action now

first_img A poll last month by the Public Policy Institute of California found that only 26 percent of likely voters support the measure, although a more recent poll by Survey USA found the measure supported by 58 percent. “This will have the effect of smoothing out the peaks and valleys so if we ever undergo another dot-com boom, we won’t just go out and spend that money like drunken sailors,” Coupal said. Harrison Sheppard, (916)446-6723 harrison.sheppard@dailynews.com PROPOSITION 76 State spending and school funding What it does: Limits state spending increases to a formula based on the average of the previous three years’ growth. Modifies Proposition 98 to eliminate some payback requirements when money is borrowed from the education budget. Gives the governor greater authority to make budget cuts. Key Supporters: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Chamber of Commerce, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Key Opponents: California Teachers Association, California Democratic Party, California Labor Federation. Fiscal impact: The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates it will likely reduce state spending and result in smaller fluctuations in spending.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The measure would allow the state budget to grow by no more than an amount equal to the average of growth in the past three budgets. Proponents argue that this would help smooth fluctuations in state spending. It also would modify Proposition 98 – the voter-approved law that guarantees education funding – to lessen the amount that would need to be repaid when the state borrows from the education budget. Under current law, if the Legislature suspends Proposition 98 to fund education at less than the required level, it must add the money back to the base amount in future years. Proposition 76 also would prohibit borrowing from special funds and would give the governor greater power to make budget cuts in years when revenues are falling short of projections. “The centerpiece feature is the fact that it would limit increases in spending to the average rate of increase in the three previous years,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which endorses the measure. SACRAMENTO – Known as the “Live Within Our Means” act, Proposition 76 is the centerpiece of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s reform agenda on the November special-election ballot. The measure would enact multiple reforms to the state budgeting process in a move that the governor and his supporters say would make the process smoother and keep spending under control. Schwarzenegger is proposing the measure as a way to get the state’s fluctuating revenue cycle under control, demonstrated by the state turning a multibillion-dollar surplus during the dot-com boom into a multibillion-dollar deficit only a few years later. “We don’t have any mechanism now that compels the state to balance its budget within a fiscal year,” said Tom Campbell, the governor’s finance director who is on leave to run the “Yes on 76” campaign. last_img read more

Boxing club pays touching tribute to late TD Paddy Harte

first_imgRaphoe Boxing Club has paid a touching tribute to the later Paddy Harte, TD.The boxers and officials, past and present, said they wanted to extend their sincere sympathy to the wife and family of former Deputy who passed away this week.When the Raphoe club decided to build their own clubhouse back in the 1990s, Paddy was instrumental in securing land from Donegal County Council for the new gym at the bottom of St. Eunan’s terrace. Along with the late Sean Toner from Convoy, Paddy looked after all the relevant paperwork and helped the club secure planning permission for the building project.A spokesman for the club revealed “With everything in place, but no funds available, Paddy then helped the club secure an interest-free bank loan that got the project up and running and the rest is history.“The Raphoe club will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year and they now have one of the finest gyms in the county.“For all the work that Paddy did for the club, the members will be forever grateful and they also appreciate immensely the frienship and sponsorship offered down the years to the Raphoe Boxing Club by Paddy’s son Jimmy, former councillor and Senator. “Sincere sympathy is offered to all the Harte family and to Paddy’s many friends and relations at this sad time.”Boxing club pays touching tribute to late TD Paddy Harte was last modified: January 10th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalpaddy harteRaphoe Boxing Clublast_img read more

Warriors bracing for DeMarcus Cousins being out ‘for a while”

first_imgOAKLAND — The NBA All-Star fought so hard with his recovery and his integration on a star-laden team. So, of course, DeMarcus Cousins would fight hard to chase a loose ball.Then, Cousins’ aspirations to make a significant NBA playoff post appeared to come crashing down. Well before the Warriors weathered frustration with a 135-131 Game 2 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday at Oracle Arena, the Warriors also nursed anxiety with Cousins. With the Warriors tied with the Clippers, 1-1, in …last_img

Adult Stem Cells Continue to Offer Hope

first_img(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Advances with adult stem cells continue to promise new cures without violating ethical concerns over embryo research.Bone from skin:  A test of using iPSCs from skin cells to manufacture bone has been successful in rhesus monkeys, Science Daily reports.  Also encouraging is that the risk of developing tumors called teratomas appears less than previously thought from experiments on mice.  Bone progenitor cells were generated from skin cells derived from the same individual.  “Those progenitor cells were then seeded onto ceramic scaffolds that are already in use by reconstructive surgeons attempting to fill in or rebuild bone,” the article explains.  “And, it worked; the monkeys grew new bone.Blood from umbilical cord:  Scientists at Mt. Sinai Medical Center have overcome a limitation with cord blood stem cells: small numbers.  They identified a technique that causes these cells to “generate in greater numbers making them more useful in adult transplantation,” Science Daily says.  With this advance, adults may share in the life-saving treatment used commonly for pediatric patients.  With their ability to regenerate blood, these stem cells could be useful to treat leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood-related disorders.”Poised for greatness:  Dr. Bradley Cairns and a team at the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute are finding that sperm progenitor cells are “poised for greatness.”  He means that these “mundane” cells that await signals to mature into sperm could be trained to become totipotent (fully capable of differentiation into any cell type); after all, that’s what happens after fertilization with an egg.  By learning the methylation signals on the cells that switch on totipotency, the researchers see new avenues for understanding fertilization, cancer and applications for cells that have the “incredible flexibility to mature into skin, heart, gut, or any type of cell.”Nuclear transfer good in new context :  The phrase “somatic cell nuclear transfer” used to wave red flags about the tainted practice of putting nuclei from embryonic cells into body cells (somatic cells), thereby initiating a process of human cloning.  But what if the nuclei come from skin cells that have been reprogrammed into “embryonic-like” induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)?  That capability was demonstrated at Hebrew University of Jerusalem recently.  The press release calls this a “Major step toward future therapies for combating life-threatening diseases by cell replacement.”Are embryonic stem cells needed any more?  If nuclear transfer can be achieved with iPSCs, why use embryos?  That’s a question Gretchen Vogel hinted at in Science Magazine when reporting about parallel research:Last week [prior to May 2, 2014] stem cell researchers finally reached a goal that has eluded them through more than a decade of setbacks and scandal. Two teams have independently derived human embryonic stem cells by cloning adult skin cells. The promise of the technique remains tantalizing: replacement tissues for treating diseases from diabetes to Parkinson’s, matched to the patient whose cells gave rise to them. But the practical, ethical, and legal hurdles are as high as ever. The method will also have to prove its worth against a strong competitor: a way to make personalized stem cells that doesn’t involve embryos.Vogel refers to historical episodes: Dolly the sheep, the Hwang scandal (1/22/14), the Mitalipov announcement (6/20/13), and more.  The ethical line she draws seems arbitrary: “Researchers eagerly set out to clone human cells—not to replicate humans, which most scientists strongly oppose, but to generate early human embryos from which stem cells could be harvested.”  This is arbitrary in the sense that it’s only a matter of what point on the timeline to stop progression of embryo to adult.   Ethical concerns also arise in the treatment of women:But spurred by ethical worries about undue pressure on women, many organizations and governments prohibit paying egg donors. That includes the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a major funder of stem cell research, which put these cells off-limits for its many grantees.With ethical concerns driving funding laws, why are some labs so willing to continue work on human embryos for somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), otherwise known as “therapeutic cloning”?Legal issues still constrain SCNT. Many governments forbid or otherwise restrict its use with human cells. In the United States, no federal funding can be used for research that harms or destroys a human embryo, so scientists must set up separate lab space that does not use any National Institutes of Health or other federal grant money. Several U.S. states have banned all human SCNT research.Vogel seems at a loss to justify continued research with SCNT.  Indeed, “The political energy needed to overturn those laws might be hard to generate given that there’s now an embryo-free alternative to producing patient-specific stem cells.”  All she can point to is possible flaws in the use of iPSCs.  Those flaws seem to be rapidly disappearing with each new advance like those reported above.  But until all the differences between embryonic and somatic sources are understood, some scientists want to continue their questionable work.Imagine if Vogel had said, “The political energy needed to overturn anti-slavery laws might be hard to generate now that there’s a free-market alternative to getting work done.”  Good grief; if something is unethical, you don’t do it whether or not there is a benefit.  Embryos are not the slaves of the living.  If human life is sacred, you don’t treat it like a commodity (see 5/15/14).last_img read more