Anti-gold smuggling laws need to be enforced – Allicock

first_imgBy Shemuel FanfairGold exports are one of the main sources of revenue that adds significantly to the Guyanese economy. TheIndigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicockassociated industries of the precious commodity provide many avenues of employment for both men and women, especially indigenous citizens, the majority of whom reside in the interior.However, Guyana has not been able to gain the optimum revenue from this lucrative industry as a high percentage of the commodity is not declared to the Guyana Gold Board. Government had announced earlier this year that thousands of ounces of gold are being smuggled out of the country regularly.In this light, Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock has reiterated calls for enforcement of regulations that are geared at preventing gold smuggling.In an interview with this newspaper late last week, the minster suggested that government agencies need to implement better measures of management to correct the “wrongs” that have persisted in the industry:“More systems need to be put in place to retrieve that gold is being taken out of the country without proper management; the laws need to be enforced…[but] things have gone wrong for so long, to do the right seems wrong,” Allicock noted.According to figures as quoted by Gold Price and the London Fix, the price for gold stood at US$1321 on Friday, up from US$1088 for the same period last year.This reflects a 17 per cent year on year increase. Late last week, it was announced that the Aurora Mines of Canadian company, Guyana Goldfields Inc had produced an estimated 75,000 ounces of gold for the first half of this year.In January, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman had announced that about 15,000 ounces of the country’s gold were smuggled every week. Minister Trotman’s previous estimation suggests that the local economy will not fully benefit from the significant price increases on the world market.In 2015, gold raked in some US$500 million for the country while the early first-half of 2016 earnings stood at some US$366 million.However, these figures are below the true earnings for the sector, likely reducing the amount of revenue that can be obtained. In September last year, the Natural Resources Minister had pointed out that a multi-stakeholder meeting was held where the anti-gold smuggling task force was established.The stakeholder agencies the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), and the State Asset Recovery Unit (SARU) were included.In January 2016, it was revealed that the United States government was assisting Guyana to curb gold smuggling to South American nations; and also Europe, Miami and New York.It was reported that the US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) were both involved in the anti-smuggling operations.Gold prices on the world market skyrocketed following Brexit, which saw the majority of citizens in Great Britain voting to leave the European Union in a nationwide Referendum last month.last_img read more

SCoL Provides Assistance to Ebola-made Orphans

first_imgThe child advocacy group that took nine Liberian youngsters to last March’s Street Child World Cup in Brazil continues its first quota supplies to its beneficiaries in West Point, Buchanan, Caldwell, Banjor and Redlight Bassa Town.The nine young boys are known as Liberia’s ambassadors and are fully involved in SCoL’s activities.SCoL’s program director Michael John Bull told the Daily Observer yesterday that the donation is on-going to cover nearly 174 Ebola-made orphans in those identified communities.“We’ve provided mattresses, toys, footwear and medication to our beneficiaries who are strictly children made orphans by the Ebola Virus Disease,” Bull said.Bull said while the Liberian government has mobilized international efforts in the Ebola fight, “When Ebola is finally defeated the children made orphans by the scourge would remain.” Therefore, he said the Liberian government and other agencies must begin to develop strategies to care for them.“We must be aware of the impending social problem since these orphans are emotionally affected,” Bull said, “therefore four interventions should be considered.”He named them as ensuring acceptance into their communities due to stigmatization; providing clothes, food and medication; being pro-active in their kind of education and assistance to caregivers or a grant that would used for their sustainability.“Street Child of Liberia is providing the above named interventions,” Bull said, “and we would also providing grant assistance to caregivers or responsible relatives so that the children would have no reason to feel neglected.”Bull said SCoL’s field officers are working in several communities, particularly areas highly affected by the Ebola scourge to identify needed children for further support. He put the number to 250 children or more, with cash value of the intervention set around US$20, 000.00 in a continues process of several months.Street Child of Liberia, (SCoL), was first established in Freetown, Sierra Leone and later director Bull was charged to come to Liberia to get it started.Street Child UK currently partners with Street Child of Liberia (SCoL), a registered NGO that delivers street-based programs in Monrovia. SCoL is made up of a team of dedicated Liberian social workers who are trained and supported by a street work expert.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Funding sought for pedestrian overpasses on ECD

first_img…in Public Infrastructure Ministry’s 2019 budget proposalThe Public Infrastructure Ministry has made provisions in its 2019 budget proposal for the construction of two pedestrian overpasses on the East Coast of Demerara, Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).This is according to the Ministry’s Technical Services Manager, Nigel Erskine, who told Guyana Times that the two proposed overpasses would be at Montrose and Mon Repos.The first pedestrian overpass is expected to be constructed next year in proximity to Apex Education – a private school. That area is usually busy and prone to traffic congestion.The other overpass will be constructed in 2020 near the Mon Repos Market, another busy and congested area on the East Coast.According to Erskine, upon approval of its budget proposal, the Ministry will move ahead with tendering for the design after which it will move onto the construction process. The Ministry’s Technical Services Manager said that it was expected thatTwo pedestrian overpasses for ECDthe first overpass would be completed by the end of 2019.This project comes on the heels of the completion of the country’s first set of overpasses. Five pedestrian overpasses were built along the East Bank corridor at Houston, Eccles, Peters Hall, Providence and Diamond. Construction of those pedestrian overpasses commenced mid last year and were mostly completed by December 2017. Elevator lifts were subsequently installed a few months backs to cater for disabled persons and the elderly.The aim of the pedestrian overpasses was not only to reduce road carnage and enhance public safety, but to also eliminate traffic congestion along the East Bank Road, which is said to be the busiest in the country.The contract for the overpasses at Houston, Eccles and Peters Hall were awarded to B & J Civil Works for the sum of US$1,034,326. Meanwhile, there were separate contracts for the Providence and Diamond overpasses which were both awarded to S Jagmohan Hardware Supplies and Construction Services to the tune of US$364,247 and US$364,727 respectively.Trinidadian supervision firm – RM Engineering Limited – was recruited to oversee the construction of the overpasses.last_img read more

Bloggers key in battle for press freedom

first_imgAnd “Drima,” aka The Sudanese Thinker, said his identity had been leaked and there were safety concerns, but he had no plans to stop blogging. “Thanks to (the Internet), political blogging has taken off in a major way within the Muslim and Arab worlds,” he said. “A lot of people have `liberal thoughts’ going on through their minds that they could easily express on blogs but definitely not dare to do so in newspaper columns.” I was asked to moderate a panel on the U.N. trip to bring attention to these very issues. Hosted by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations last Thursday, the panel included Jeffrey Krilla (deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the State Department), Watson Meng (founder of China’s Boxun News), Frank Xie (Boxun blogger), Egyptian blogger Nora Younis and Tala Dowlatshahi from Reporters Without Borders. Live blogging captured the presentation of various views on how to protect bloggers’ free speech around the globe. Interestingly, the event itself faced censorship. Fliers advertising the panel featured a woman with duct tape over her mouth sitting at a laptop computer, on which was superimposed a news brief about the imprisonment of blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil Soliman – datelined, of course, Egypt. Carolyn Vadino, deputy spokeswoman at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said that the ambassador’s office was asked by U.N. officials to remove the Egypt dateline from the image if they wanted the fliers approved for posting. So after the U.S. refused to censor the flier, U.N. officials responded they could only approve fliers for “cultural events.” The purported reason for the initial denial was that a member state was supposedly singled out. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and throws young bloggers in prison for dissing Hosni Mubarak, though, one wonders how the usage of the country’s name could be deemed unfair. IN the days leading up to my trip to the United Nations for World Press Freedom Day, I asked questions of some bloggers around the globe: Have you faced harassment for the views expressed on your blog? Do you feel that bloggers play a vital, increasing role in unseating traditional hard-line regimes? After all, the Internet is proving to be a dangerous place for the free-speech minded in oppressive nations. As I’ve learned, just quoting a dissident blogger can draw threats from regimes who disagree with or feel threatened by the expressed views. “My blog is banned, I regularly receive viruses and I have received nasty and threatening e-mails,” replied Britain-based Iranian blogger Ardeshir Dolat. “I believe bloggers do play a vital role in unseating the regime of the mullahs. … I know many Iranians inside Iran who started blogging had little or no knowledge of democracy and its principles, but you can tell from reading their blogs that they are learning fast about what democracy is all about.” Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas is basically that country’s YouTube king, exposing to the world police torture and sexual-harassment crises. “I’m getting weird messages threatening me of cooperation with human-rights organizations, and accusing me of working for a Western agenda,” he said. “I still don’t know the source of these messages but I guess it is state security.” After the U.N. event, some of us hit the road to take the panel to Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio. Here I sat down for an interview with Al-Jazeera, and was asked why American students in a small town such as this should be concerned about a blogger in danger halfway around the world. Simple: The greatest appreciation we can show for our freedoms is the willingness to help others trying to attain the same. Many argue that the U.S. would not have won the revolution if it weren’t for the financial aid of a young, idealistic Frenchman who fought for America’s liberty, the Marquis de Lafayette. It was a cause he should have cared little about, hanging around the privileged halls of Versailles, but the fact that he saw beyond his little corner of the world shaped the course of history. “Humanity has won its battle,” Lafayette wrote shortly after the Battle of Yorktown. “Liberty now has a country.” Liberty now has a World Wide Web on which anyone can voice his or her opinion, and no country should be able to take away a person’s fundamental right of free speech. Hopefully everyone came away from World Press Freedom Day events more aware, more outraged and more willing to support bloggers who risk their freedom or lives to speak out. Bridget Johnson writes for the Daily News. E-mail her at local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Developers’ power politics

first_imgDIAMOND BAR – This affluent residential community of 60,000 has suddenly become prime political real estate, with development companies chipping in more than $70,000 to last November’s City Council race, newly released campaign finance documents show. Those familiar with city politics say high land values and the fact that Industry owns most of the property surrounding Diamond Bar have stirred outside interest. That helped add about $390,000 to the coffers of council candidates and Political Action Committees. Incumbents Bob Zirbes and Wen Chang and challenger Steve Tye won three open seats. Incumbent Debby O’Connor and challenger Osman Wei lost. O’Connor, who took money from developers doing business in the city, said it’s unfortunate how much money flows into the city during elections. “I did it, everybody does it,” she said. She said she doubts most residents realize how expensive a campaign is, or how much council members accepted from people asking for city approval on contracts and projects. “I guess that’s the saddest part,” said O’Connor, who attributed her ouster to personal conflicts with other area politicians. “That a person who really felt strongly about the issues might not be able to run a successful campaign, because you’ve really got to be connected to this network of people who can help you get money.” In the campaign, about $6,000 in funds came from PACs funded in part by companies co-owned by Industry Mayor Dave Perez. Industry’s largest land owner, Majestic Realty Co., gave $8,000. Another $15,000 in donations came from a companies associated with Lewis Operating Co., which had partnered with Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea, for a proposed development at a site in Diamond Bar at Brea Canyon Road and Diamond Bar Boulevard. At least $33,000 more came from other developers, according to campaign-finance forms. Industry owns about 6,000acres surrounding Diamond Bar, which means Industry officials try to stay in the good graces of the Diamond Bar City Council, according to Claire Schlotterbeck. “I think everyone knows that you generally don’t contribute to a campaign unless you think it’s going to pay off,” said Schlotterbeck, director of the open-space preservation group “Hills For Everyone,” who opposed several purchases of open space by Industry. Dave Perez’s family owns Valley Vista Disposal, which has waste disposal contracts in several area cities, including Diamond Bar. He said his nephew, David M. Perez, handles politics for the family’s companies, and added that companies in the disposal business cannot avoid getting involved in elections. “Everybody in this business is, I guess, trying to gain access,” he said. “If we’re not in there donating money, someone else is. Sometimes you back the winner, sometimes the loser. For us, it’s kind of the way life is.” Companies in which Perez owns a share contributed $48,000 to the California Leadership Alliance Committee, which in turn donated $2,500each to Steve Tye and Bob Zirbes, according to campaign-finance documents. Tye got $5,000 from Kent Valley of Majestic Realty, Majestic donated $3,000 to Zirbes. Home builders also contributed a large chunk of political donations. Although a complete set of campaign finance reports for the campaign was not immediately available, it appears from finance reports stretching from July to November that home developers donated about $48,000 to the campaign. “I think developers are all hoping for the chance at some of the last land here that’s available for development,” said Mayor Carol Herrera, who was not up for re-election in November. The two parcels that seemed to stir most attention are commonly called Site D and South Point, two properties owned by the Walnut Valley Unified School District that could be sold to developers. A group comprised of Lewis Operating Co. and Rep. Gary Miller hoped to build homes at Brea Canyon Road and Diamond Bar Boulevard, according to statements from city officials. Negotiations seem to have stalled after the city insisted at least half of the development be commercial, according to statements from Miller and city officials. Lewis Operating Co. and member companies donated $15,000 to the campaign. Another company, Young Homes, donated about $18,500 to candidates and committees, according to finance reports. JCC Homes of Torrance has submitted plans for a residential development at the South Point property, according to Nancy Fong, the city’s community development director. The company also donated to several candidates. Diamond Bar Residents Against Government Abuse spent $10,434 to print fliers opposing O’Connor and Chang. The committee spent $5,103 for fliers supporting Wei, Zirbes and Tye. (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2703 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgA motorist had a lucky escape after their vehicle was almost swept out to sea after getting stuck on the popular Rossnowlagh beach earlier this afternoon.The motorist from Northern Ireland was caught out by the volatile tides on Rossnowlagh which is has now become a notorious hazard for drivers who park on the beach.Over the last number of years other drivers have been left stuck on the beach and locals have appealed for visitors to stop parking on the beach to alleviate the on-going issue. However, the tide coming in quickly wasn’t the issue today unlike in previous years.The engine of the VW car cut out and the motorist couldn’t get it started.As the tide moved in the motorist was helped by locals who battled tirelessly to get the car off the strand.Eventually the community effort ensured the vehicle got off the beach before it was swallowed by the waves. At one stage the Sligo 118 Rescue chopper swooped overhead as the rescue operation took place.Thankfully the car was removed in time and a releived motorist admitted they’ll think twice about parking on  a beach from now on.DRIVER LEFT ALL AT SEA AFTER GETTING STRANDED ON BEACH was last modified: April 8th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:FeaturesMotoristnewsrossnowlagh beachStrandedvehiclelast_img read more

DD Fitness: Paddy’s Day drinks

first_imgHappy St Patricks day everyone.Everything and everywhere is going green to honour the patron Saint of Ireland and today’s article is doing the same.I am giving you three green-themed drinks that you can use and they all taste great. These are all non-alcoholic as most of you will be having enough of that over the next few days.Have a great day and don’t over-do the festivities!ST PATRICK’S DAY SMOOTHIEServes 1INGREDIENTS 1 Kiwi, peeled1 Avocado, flesh only1 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds25g Spinach200ml Almond Milk 2-3 Ice CubesMETHODPlace all the ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.Serve and enjoy.GREENS ‘WAKE UP’ BREAKFAST SMOOTHIEServes 1 INGREDIENTS100ml Coconut Water1 shot Espresso2 handfuls of Spinach½ Lemon½ Avocado1 tsp Flax Seeds1 scoop Protein Powder2-3 ice cubesMETHODPlace all the ingredients into highpowered blender & blend until smooth.Serve immediately and enjoy.CUCUMBER, ORANGE & MINT SMOOTHIEServes 1INGREDIENTS1 small Apple, roughlychopped½ Cucumber, roughlychopped1 Orange, flesh onlyfew Mint Leaves100ml Water2-3 Ice CubesMETHODPlace all the ingredients in a blender &blend until smooth.Serve immediately and enjoy.There you have it.3 green drinks where you can get your vitamins and minerals in, in a delicious smoothie.This is especially good for people who struggle to eat fruit and veg.Give them a go and let me know what you think of them.#leanin2019If you would like more recipes like these, we give our members weekly recipes in our LEAN IN 2019 program.We had numerous members lose over three stone in the past few years and they now know how to keep it off.Our next program starts on April 1st and you can sign up now through the link below. Fitness: Paddy’s Day drinks was last modified: March 16th, 2019 by Emmet RusheShare 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:dd fitnessemmet rushelast_img read more

South Africa must up competitiveness

first_img7 July 2015The government and the manufacturing sector should raise South Africa’s competitiveness, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.Speaking at the opening of the permanent exhibition site of the South Africa Technical Textile Cluster (SATTC) in Irene, Pretoria, yesterday, Davies said he was glad that the government supported the clothing and textile industry.The SATTC focuses on the military, police, fire fighting, navy, and camping sectors. The site showcases the impact that government support has on the cluster programme. The cluster comprises five groups, namely: Canvas and Tent, Parachute Systems, Stepahead Military Headwear, Gelvenor Textiles, and Fields Wear.Davies said that his department had established this cluster and others to ensure that members worked together in order to promote the sectors.The government and manufacturers needed to raise South Africa’s competitiveness and to appreciate the role that government support programmes could play in encouraging the manufacturing sectors to embark on a journey to becoming more export competitive.The previous incentive programmes based on the duty credit certificates were not working, he added, hence the department had adopted a different strategy with the Competitiveness Improvement Programme.According to Davies, the SATTC could benefit from the government in different ways.“First of all we have this tool of localisation which is called designation. All clothing and textile products which are procured by public entities in South Africa should come from local manufacturers using local raw materials. There also is a need for a deeper conversation with the [Department of Trade and Industry] on market access opportunities with some of the countries on the continent.“We do have foreign economic representatives on the continent that would be of great assistance with regards to market penetration,” Davies said.Barend Pretorius of Parachute Systems said that the cluster had helped his company with co-ordination and marketing its products.“Working on the cluster configuration is so much easier to move out into the world marketing not only our product but also other members’ products. We have agreed that we will market the products of other sector members when we go out of the country,” said Pretorius.The SATTC has also enhanced employment in the sector, thanks to the government’s interventions.Other than the SATTC, there are three other clusters in the textile and clothing sector on which the government is also spending money to promote and enhance the competitiveness of the sector. These clusters are: National Fashion Council, Mohair Cluster, and the South African Sustainable Textiles and Apparel Cluster.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

Getting things “just right” for that summer livestock show with judge Gary Childs

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This time of year, Ohio State Fair exhibitors are beginning to really focus on a myriad of tasks all to prepare for one thing this summer — providing what the judge of their livestock show will be looking for in the show ring. Every exhibitor knows how much time and effort goes into getting things just right at just the right time, but what exactly is the “just right” in terms of both animal and exhibitor for earning that champion banner?Gary Childs, one of the barrow judges for the 2016 Ohio State Fair Junior Market Show, had plenty to say on the subject.“Success in the show ring requires lots of attention to many small details,” Childs said. “There are no shortcuts leading to show ring glory.”With that in mind, Childs compiled a few points to help exhibitors maximize their chances for success. Here they are. Work at homeThe harder I work, the luckier I get. Everybody wants to win the day the pigs are picked out or purchased. Everybody wants to win at the show, but not everybody is willing to put the time in it takes to develop a champion in between purchase date and show date. I tell the kids I work with that “the days you decide not to clean the pens or work on breaking your pigs to drive are the days you get beat because your competition is working!” Make the pig the limiting factorThey need to be shown at 12 o’clock! It is almost impossible to win a show at any level if the pig isn’t being driven as close as to show ready as possible. Regardless of the kind of pig a judge may or may not prefer, almost all judges select pigs that are show ready. Proper nutrition is one of the key factors for getting pigs to look their best on show day. Showing the right age pig is another huge advantage. Remember, every pig is unique and developing a specific plan for each individual is very important. ShowmanshipDon’t beat yourself. The higher the level of competition, the more important showmanship becomes if the plan is to maximize the opportunity for success. Most judges dislike having to pull that great one out of the corner that is squealing and about to stress out. Pigs have to be broken similar to a steer to get that extra look. The pig needs to have the endurance level to be able to drive at least 45 minutes without gasping for air. SportsmanshipI like to see humble winners. It is my sincere wish that every child that ever exhibits a pig is able to experience what it is like to win at least once. Learning how to win is as important as properly coping with a loss. Experiencing both winning and losing are valuable life lessons for young people. Humble winners don’t do “victory laps” in front of other competitors. Gracious losers don’t whine and pout — they address what needs to be done differently in the future. Always respect the judge’s decision. It is your right to disagree, but listen carefully to the reasons and the answer should be clear as to the placing. Family timeFamily time is the most important time. Showing pigs in 2016 has evolved into a family project. The time the exhibitor spends with their family or mentor is reason enough to show pigs, if there was no other benefit. Dad helps in his way and Mom does her thing and the child benefits almost as much as the parents. I firmly believe that the family that shows together grows together.last_img read more

Geocaching with the Smithsonian

first_img SharePrint RelatedWisconsin’s West Bend Four Seasons GeoTour (GT40)August 23, 2018In “Community”Want a Reward for Finding Geocaches? Keep Reading…March 2, 2015In “Community”GeoTour Spotlight: West Bend Four Seasons GeoTour (GT40)March 23, 2017In “GeoTours” The mailman recently delivered a nice surprise to me: a beautiful trackable geocoin from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) GeoTour. I completed the GeoTour last year, and in the process earned a digital badge for my profile. Little did I know that the NMNH was working on a geocoin that would eventually take a place of honor in my collection.National Museum of Natural History GeocoinThe National Museum of Natural History is a truly spectacular place. Located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., it’s the most visited natural history museum in the world. The NMNH GeoTour debuted in 2013 with several Mystery caches, a Traditional cache and three EarthCaches.Inside the National Museum of Natural HistoryAll but one of the caches’ posted coordinates are at the museum, with one outlier located about a two-hour drive north, in Pennsylvania’s Michaux State Forest. (The NMNH also owns a Letterbox Hybrid with posted coords on the museum grounds. It is not an official part of the GeoTour.)Get up close with nature during the GeoTourMy wife and I started the GeoTour during a trip to D.C. in November 2013, when we were able to stamp our passport for all but two of the caches. I was back in that part of the country for the GeoWoodstock Mega-Event last year, and jumped at the opportunity to complete the tour and earn my digital badge. The NMNH GeoTour is a really fun way to enjoy the museum from a new perspective, and to continue exploring outside the Smithsonian walls. I had visited the NMNH a time or two in the past, but this GeoTour encouraged me to dig into subjects that had escaped my attention on previous trips. Plus, it led me to a few beautiful sites outside of D.C.See colossal things while caching!So how can you qualify for a digital badge and one of these super-cool geocoins? The requirements are listed on all of the NMNH’s GeoTour cache pages. If you’re looking for a way to enhance your next visit to the U.S. capital, I highly recommend making this GeoTour part of your trip!Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more