…even as Govt seeks $30B ‘survival’ loanWhile $30 billion in loans are being sought for the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo’s) operations over the next four years, the corporation is still to clear the $77 billion in debt it had accumulated by January of last year.GuySuCo’s Finance Director, Paul BhimIn an interview with this publication, GuySuCo’s Finance Director, Paul Bhim, was questioned on this situation; and according to Bhim, the corporation has not been able to acquire any write-off of its debt since appearing before the Economic Services Committee last year.“That’s still there at the moment,” said Bhim regarding the mountain of debt. “But we are actively pursuing the restructuring of the debt.”In January of last year, the National Assembly’s Economic Services Committee was informed by then GuySuCo Chief Executive Officer, Errol Hanoman, that the debt stood at $77 billion. This money was owed to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), the Guyana Revenue Authority, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and other entities.This publication made contact with current Chairman of the Economic Services Committee, the Minister within the Finance Ministry, Jaipaul Sharma. He assured that, in 2018, the committee would continue examining the corporation and its financial status.“The first interim report was discussed in Parliament; that report will tell you that we only interviewed GuySuCo,” Sharma said. “We didn’t come up with any recommendations; we have to continue looking at GuySuCo.”It was announced over the weekend that the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited’s (NICIL’s) Special Purpose Unit (SPU) is seeking some $30 billion in loans and investments to support its new ward — the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).It is understood that this funding would cover a four-year period, and would provide capital and support infrastructure maintenance and upgrades at Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt. The funds are also expected to go towards developing new co-generation capacity for the estate operations and the national electric grid.One of NICIL’s first acts since assuming responsibility for GuySuCo has been to abruptly end the life of the old Board of Directors. Coming out of a special board meeting, a decision was taken to have a new board installed as of February 14.The NICIL board has also handed down instructions to GuySuCo to freeze all hiring. According to NICIL’s public relations consultant Alex Graham, instructions have also been handed down to not renew any employee contracts that are in the process of expiring.Graham also revealed the status of negotiations between the state and Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL). In January, DDL had submitted an Expression of Interest (EoI) for the purchase of one of the estates. This was even as the SPU was seeking interested buyers for the Skeldon and Enmore estates.DDL, which produces the international award-winning El Dorado rums, has raised concerns over Government’s plans to downsize the sugar sector. The company heavily depends on molasses for its production of rums.Graham had also noted that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the firm blacklisted in India but valuating GuySuCo’s assets, had raised concerns about the need to have the estates seen as “fully functioning operations and facilities”.
EL SEGUNDO – At least the Lakers won’t lose any games this weekend. Of course, the All-Star Game break begins Friday, so after tonight’s home game against Cleveland the Lakers will have five days to rest and ponder what has gone wrong during their four-game losing streak. “It won’t hurt, let’s just put it that way,” coach Phil Jackson said after Wednesday’s practice. “I told them that they can’t take it off yet. They still have a game to play.” Jackson cut short practice Wednesday and limited it mostly to film review, and that couldn’t have been a fun exercise. As the Lakers try to head into the break with some momentum, there is plenty to correct. With the Cavaliers, a team that handed the Lakers a nine-point loss just five days ago, in town tonight, the Lakers don’t have much time to correct their disturbing habit of coughing up leads late in games. “I would say it’s just a lack of playing together and finding a way to win,” Jackson said. “Those are the things the team was capable of doing earlier in the year and they’re not now. Sometimes you can throw it out and say it’s bad luck. Sometimes you can say it’s a lack of execution.” Odom woes Twice in Tuesday’s game, as the team huddled during a timeout, Jackson yelled at Odom, once for a quickly taken 3-pointer and once for a defensive lapse. It’s been a tough go for Odom since his return from his knee injury. Odom went scoreless in the first half Tuesday, finished with 12 points and missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer. “I’m sure he’s not happy with his game,” Jackson said. “He can play a lot better than that.” Not much rest The All-Star break isn’t that much of a break for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant will play in the game, Bynum and Jordan Farmar will play in the rookie-sophomore game and the Lakers are scheduled to practice Tuesday in preparation for a game the next night. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Tonight: vs. Cleveland Staples Center, 7:30 p.m. TNT, KLAC/570 In each of the last three games, the Lakers have held the lead with less than five minutes to play, but lost. Transition defense continues to be an issue, as does the ineffectiveness of Lamar Odom.
Disagree with any of the above? Let us know how you’d like Arsenal to look.For live commentary of Arsenal v Man United keep it talkSPORT on Saturday 22 November at 5pm. 1 It’s unlikely Walcott could play the whole game, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in great form at the moment, as is Sanchez. Big news from the Emirates: Olivier Giroud is available to play against Man United.The France striker was not expected back until January after undergoing ankle surgery, but he is “three or four weeks ahead of schedule,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.But will he partner Danny Welbeck against the Red Devils? In fact, will the Gunners have any of their first choice attackers available?Theo Walcott is a major doubt.“Theo could not practice yesterday – I don’t think he will be available tomorrow,” said Arsene Wenger.“He has a little bit of a tight groin. I have to check Sanchez, Welbeck had a little hamstring problem.“[Mikel] Arteta and Giroud will be available.”It’s anyone’s guess who Wenger will select, but based on all the above being fit, here is how the Gunners could line up Olivier Giroud In October, Wenger spoke about his two strikers playing together. “Welbeck and [Giroud] can play together in the centre or separately,” he said. “Welbeck also played on one side to Manchester United. Welbeck played in the same team with Rooney and van Persie. He can play down the sides.”We imagine there would be a few smiles on the faces of United fans if he was forced out wide against them. 1
The Emirates Cup pre-season tournament is not only a great opportunity for Arsenal to get their hands on some silverware but also to test out some young talent.This year, one player in particular stood out like a sore thumb in north London and looks to be a bright prospect for the Gunners – Jeff Reine-Adelaide.Seemingly out of nowhere, the rangy midfielder has popped up and already looks likely to be a member of the first-team squad at Arsenal.So who is Reine-Adelaide? talkSPORT’s Talent Spotter takes a look.Name: Jeff Reine-AdelaideDate of birth: 17 January 1998Birthplace: ParisPosition: Midfielder/forwardClub: ArsenalDid you know?1) Born in Paris, Reine-Adelaide was on Lens’ books as a youngster but didn’t make a first-team appearance for the club before joining Arsenal, although he was on the bench for their Ligue 1 clash with Metz.2) While in the Lens Under-19 side, Reine-Adelaide impressed with his versatility, as the player is capable of playing across a number of positions in midfield and attack.3) The midfielder’s progression was monitored by several sides but Arsenal swooped to sign him and team-mate Yassin Fortune for a combined £3m, with bonuses possible, too.4) Reine-Adelaide spent the summer representing France in the European Under-17 Championship where he featured heavily as they won the tournament with a 4-1 victory against Germany in the final.5) His performances saw him named in the team of the tournament along with Arsenal team-mate Chris Willock and Tottenham youngster Marcus Edwards6) He was meant to go with the Arsenal squad to take part in their Barclays Asia trophy but withdrew. The 17-year-old eventually made his debut for the club during pre-season, playing as an Arsenal XI beat Bristol Rovers 1-0 through a Stephy Mavididi goal.7) His unofficial first-team bow came on Saturday in the Emirates Cup as a substitute in the Gunners’ 6-0 demolition of Lyon and then played more than an hour in the 1-0 victory against Wolfsburg where he was voted Man of the Match.They say:Reine-Adelaide is something special you know. He is a great talent and when he came on you could see that – 17 years old let’s not forget that. In fact I don’t remember how I played at 17 but I didn’t play like that!– Arsene Wenge on his performance against WolfsburgHe looks very promising but he needs to work with us now for a year with the first team, to play with the Under-21s and develop. There is a fantastic potential there and he will stay with us– Arsene Wenger on his progressionHe says:Arsenal is an institution. I have always enjoyed this club and how his team plays. When discussing my departure with my family, we quickly turned to the Arsenal option… I think the philosophy of play introduced by Mr Wenger for years suits me. Arsenal was the logical choice for me– Reine-Adelaide on joining the Gunners (Onze Mundial)Video evidence:You can see Jeff Reine-Adelaide’s performance against Wolfsburg here Jeff Reine-Adelaide in action for Arsenal 1
Singing sensation Daniel’s O’Donnell’s Visitor Centre is already proving a huge boost for Donegal’s tourism trade.The centre, which hosts much of the star’s memorabilia, is open less than a week but has attracted more than 600 paying visitors from across the globe.Daniel fans from as far away as New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Scotland, England as well as from across Ireland have signed the visitor book. The man behind the museum in Dungloe, Pat ‘Nora’ Gallagher, said the town is already feeling a huge benefit from the centre.“Most of those 600 people may not have come to Dungloe but for the opening of the centre and that’s a real positive in this day and age.“The reaction has been terrific and we are hopeful those kind of numbers of visitors will continue over the summer,” he said.The Kincasslagh entertainer officially opened the centre last Sunday in a blaze of publicity. Organisers were hoping to attract up to 10,000 fans to the centre between now and September but it now looks like it will easily pass that number.Mr Galagher said the real star attractions of the centre has been Daniel and wife Majella’s wedding outfits as well as the red book the singer received after appearing on This Is Your Life.“People are spending a lot of time looking at those items and also the large number of gold discs around the walls.“We have had some fantastic comments left in the visitor’s book,” he said.He also revealed that despite jetting out for a break to his villa in Tenerife, Daniel is still thinking about improving the centre for fans. “He has a few ideas and he has let me know. Daniel is delighted with the museum but he wants to make it the best it can be for fans who are bothering to come and see it,” he added.THE NUMBERS ARE ADDING UP FOR DANIEL’S VISITOR CENTRE! was last modified: May 10th, 2012 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:Daniel O’Donnell Visitor’s Centre
EXCLUSIVE: A group of families were left ‘stuck’ when vandals glued the front door locks of their homes on the same street in Letterkenny this morning.It is understood it is the THIRD such attack in recent days in the town.Outraged residents from 25 houses on Ballymacool Terrace woke to go about their daily business. However when the residents tried to get back into their homes they could not because they had been tampered with.The residents soon discovered superglue had been deliberately put in the front door locks of ALL their homes.A number of residents also had glue put in the locks of their cars which were parked outside the terraced homes which is known locally as The Row.Resident John McGeever said there have been a number of smaller incidents of vandalism in recent months. These include damage being caused to flower pots on the terrace but he said this was the most serious incident.He slammed those responsible for the attack.“Why anybody would do this is just beyond me. Ballymacool Terrace is one of the oldest areas in the town and is home to many older residents as well as young families.“They must have known the damage and the problems they would cause these families and old folk.“They have been completely put out today not to mention the cost of probably having to replace the locks – that all costs money,” he said. Another resident Majella McGranaghan said she didn’t realise what was wrong until the Gardai arrived.“You could open your door but you could not get back in from the outside.“This is just pure vandalism and these people should be dealt with.“We all know eachother on The Row and I’m just so sorry for the older people living along here,” she said. Gardai have launched a full investigation into the incident and spent this morning at the scene.RESIDENTS LEFT OUTRAGED AFTER LOCKS ON 25 HOUSES GLUED was last modified: September 27th, 2012 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:Ballymacool TerraceGardailetterkennysuperglue
Get live news and analysis Saturday at 5:30 p.m. when the Warriors try to avoid a three-game losing streak while facing the 76ers in Philadelphia.The Warriors (43-19) are in a tie with Denver in the loss column as both teams look to grab the top seed in the Western Conference playoff chase. Golden State will have to get past the 76ers (40-22) without star Klay Thompson, who has right knee soreness and will get an MRI. Of course, the 76ers will have little sympathy for Thompson …
An artist’s impression of the 66-hectare Giant Flag, with colured desert plants, white gravel road and a field of solar panels. (Image: Giant Flag)Mary AlexanderIn the Valley of Desolation in the Camdeboo region of the Eastern Cape, a global online crowdfunded project with huge ambitions is set to transform a community where four of every 10 people don’t have jobs. This is South Africa’s Giant Flag, a development project so big it will be visible from space.Infographic: South Africa’s world-first Giant FlagThe Camdeboo is part of South Africa’s dry and tough Karoo desert, where economic opportunities are limited to sheep and ostrich farming, and not much else. Its major town, Graaff-Reinet, has an unemployment rate of 40%.The Giant Flag aims to turn this around by combining tourism and sustainable green energy with job creation. The plan is to grow a 66-hectare field of desert plants, succulents and cactuses indigenous to the Karoo, in the colours of South Africa’s national flag – red, yellow, blue and green. The white part of the flag will be represented by gravel roads bisecting the cactus fields, and the black by 6.6 hectares of solar panels capable of delivering four megawatts of electricity to 4 000 homes.It is, indeed, a giant project. The flag will take up an area equivalent to 66 football fields, or 660 000 square metres. The full precinct will ultimately include a hotel, conference centre, food gardens and adventure tourism.The flag: excitement and national prideThe flag is the brainchild of Guy Lieberman, the green and social new business development manager at advertising firm FCB. The agency asked Lieberman to come up with a project that would both rekindle the national pride and excitement of South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup and stimulate growth in neglected rural regions. He came up with a Giant Flag of plants to bring colour and jobs to the barren Camdeboo.Read more: Fred Brownell and the creation of the South African flagIt is not a modest project. Over its two-year, three-phase development, is expected to cost something in the region of R180-million. But when its gates do open it will have brought 700 permanent “green-collar” jobs – mostly for women – into a deeply depressed region, and built enormous tourism infrastructure for the Eastern Cape.The first phase, which cost R4-million, is complete. The land has been secured, and the zoning, environmental impact study and business plan have all been approved. The second phase, launched in late October, will cost some R25-million.A visualisation of a satellite image of the town of Graaff-Reinet with the completed Giant Flag. (Image: Giant Flag)Rural tourism key to job creationThe project is supported by three government departments – including tourism – as well as provincial and local authorities, a range of corporate sponsors, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and Development Bank of South Africa. The SABC has committed to broadcasting 52 weekly two-minute episodes about its progress. Google has given the flag a permanent monthly advertising grant worth R100 000, and powers its online platform.At the launch in Graaff-Reinet on 23 October, tourism minister Tokozile Xasa said her industry had enormous power to improve the lives of people in rural areas, far from urban centres of economic activity.The Giant Flag project, she said, “dovetails with our department’s National Rural Tourism Strategy that has community beneficiation as is its core. The strategy is aimed at developing rural tourism that can greatly contribute to the alleviation of pressure in areas that are often characterised by poverty and underdevelopment. The strategy illustrates the National Department of Tourism’s commitment to the development of rural economies in general and rural tourism in particular.”Offsetting thousands of tons of carbonThe second phase will see the flag take form. The 2.5-million plants – fire barrel cactus for the red, golden barrel cactus for yellow, blue dan succulent for blue and spekboom for green – will be planted on the 66-hectare site, and the white road laid down.The plants will not only create a stunning display of South Africa’s national flag and help draw tourists to the area. They will also scrub 87 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year – equivalent to the energy used by 7 276 typical American households. They will also bring rich and diverse plant life to this barren desert area.The full site will take up a full 100 hectares, one square kilometre, surrounded by security fencing. In the 34 hectares between the flag and the fence, gardens growing food and medicinal plants will be established.The key to getting the Giant Flag in place is global crowdfunding through the project’s Google-powered website. People anywhere in the world are invited to set up profiles on the site, and purchase units of plants, road or solar panels. The prices range from US$10 for the plants (about R110), $100 for the road (R1 110), and $250 (R2 700) for a unit of the solar field. Registered users are then given the GPS coordinates for the sections of the flag they have bought, and can monitor progress online, in real time.Helping people and the environmentThe third phase of the Giant Flag is where the green development really begins. Starting early next year, construction will begin on the 6.6-hectare solar field, set to cost R100-million. A further R45-million will be spent on a 22 000 square metre canopy structure, a biogas facility, algae plant, civil works and a water reservoir with an 11-million-litre capacity.The solar plant will be the first large, commercial scale solar field in the world to harvest water. The energy it produces will be sold into South Africa’s national grid, and the money – with other profits from the Giant Flag project – will go into endowment and education funds. These will finance micro-loans and skills development for the local community, as well as school upgrades and tertiary education bursaries.The final phase of development will include building a tourism precinct with a conference centre and hotel, which will offer adventure tourism activities such as microlighting and hot air ballooning.“The sky’s the limit,” Lieberman, the mastermind of the Giant Flag, said at the launch. “I see opportunity upon opportunity upon opportunity when I visualise the flag and the communities that live around it.”
Torrential rain, thunderstorms and hailstorms have claimed two lives in Manipur over the past five days. Thousands of tin-roof houses and standing crop in the North-East, particularly in Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur, have also been destroyed. There are reports of 10 persons sustaining injuries in rain-related incidents as well.Despite weather forecast that pre-monsoon rain accompanied by thunderstorms would end by Sunday, weather conditions remained unchanged on Monday.The Manipur government had formed an action committee about four days ago to tackle ‘artificial floods’ caused by stagnant rain water. However, funds are yet to be sanctioned for distribution of relief materials.“Relief materials in government stock are for drought victims,” said Manipur Consumer Affairs and Food Public Distribution Minister Karam Shyam.Displaced personsDisplaced persons who have been taking shelter at community halls and local clubs in absence of government relief camps are yet to get cooked food, drinking water and other relief materials.Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar, who toured some flood-affected areas and damaged houses on Monday, said, “Collectors have been instructed to submit a report.”However, the delay has angered affected persons. Some said they can’t understand what the action committee has been doing all these days since they are yet to see any sign of relief.Manipur Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Leppao Haokip, who toured some flood-affected areas in Imphal, said, “Artificial floods have been caused by the small dam located in Manipur University. In the larger interest of the people, this dam should be demolished today [on Monday] itself so that water drains away.”According to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the region is expected to see more rain and thunderstorms.
Demanding the resignation of Chief Minister M.L. Khattar, Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda has cast doubt over the “intentions” of the Haryana government. “It was either intentional or inexperience, there can be no other reason to explain the sheer breakdown of administration. One feels there is absolutely no government in seat in Haryana,” the former Chief Minister of the State told The Hindu on SaturdayBetween “intention” and “inexperience”, Mr. Hooda blamed “intentions” more for Friday’s mayhem. “Their intentions are not honourable. It is part of ‘vote bank’ politics,” he said. This is the third massive public protest under the vigil of Mr. Khattar. In the first one in November 2014, within months into the government, it took 20,000 security personnel to arrest self-styled guru Rampal from Hisar. Five women and an 18-month-old child were killed in the siege. Last year’s Jat agitation saw a similar death toll and loss of ₹34,000 crore worth of property. “After the Jat Andolan, they had appointed the Prakash Singh Committee, which studied the lapses. The committee had indicted an SP, a DIG, the Home Secretary and even the Chief Minister’s Office. Where is the report today? No one knows,” Mr. Hooda said. No lessons learntThe government, Mr. Hooda said, did not learn any lessons from its own “misadventure” during the Jat agitation. The Union government and the BJP, meanwhile, gave a clean chit to the Khattar government, appreciating the administration for reportedly bringing in order within hours. “The BJP can go on giving clean chit for themselves, [but the] people of Haryana have lost confidence in them and will not give them a clean chit now,” he said. “If they [BJP] believe that they have done an excellent job in handling the recent tension and also in the last three years, they should go in for fresh elections and the voters shall deliver the verdict,” he added.