GuySuCo still buried under $77B debt – Bhim

first_img…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”.last_img read more

Exclusive: A sitdown with Warriors guru Andre Iguodala

first_imgOAKLAND – Practice ended. Andre Iguodala came off the floor, but the protective tape stayed on his back.Iguodala, the 34-year-old swingman whose value to the Warriors is immeasurable, takes great care with addressing his ailments. Last season, injuries to his knees, ankles and shoulders sidelined him for 24 games, including six in a row in the playoffs. After missing a scrimmage Wednesday because of a rib injury that was considered minor, Iguodala participated in Thursday’s scrimmage and …last_img read more

Shaming Racists On Social Media Continues With New Tumblr

first_imgRelated Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#privacy#Trolls The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img fruzsina eordogh Hello There, Racists! is the hot new Tumblr everyone is talking about on Twitter. Best New Tumblr, they are calling it. Like much of the digital vigilantism happening since President Obama’s re-election, this particular trending Tumblr is about shaming racists.What It IsHello There, Racists! began on November 11, but didn’t seem to pick up steam until Wednesday, after it was tweeted by Jeremy Botter, the editor of the Houston Chronicle’s Brawl sports blog, quickly followed by K. Thor Jensen, the award-winning writer, illustrator, and influential Twitter user.  The Tumblr has, at press time, shamed 60 people based on their racist tweets. The blog collects not just the alleged racists offensive online remarks, but all publicly available information about them. This includes pictures from their Facebook page, as well as where they live and what high school they go to. (A solid majority of the people being shamed are high schoolers.)The About page for to Hello There, Racists! claims that because the “(un)official motto of the GOP is ‘personal responsibility,’ ” these racists “words, names and faces” will “be documented so that they may be responsible for them.” Tweets about the Tumblr show people are even writing letters to school officials to let them know their students are behaving in a racist manner online. To those familiar with Internet lingo, this here is a “doxxing.”Is This A Good Thing?While it might make Web citizens feel good to tell off some jerks on the Internet, is online naming and harassment really the way to go? Matt Buchanan thinks so, and said as much in his Buzzfeed piece titled “Why Social Media Shaming Is Okay,” written in response to a Twitter debate over my musings prompted by the second annual International Digital Ethics Symposium.Buchanan writes social media shaming is OK because “the consensus is rapidly crystallizing that the rules and sensibilities of the rest of our lives should largely apply online as well.” (Ironically, Buchanan doesn’t think the rules and sensibilities journalists practice in real life regarding minors should apply to online coverage.) At face value, this idea that calling out these racists will teach them a lesson seems legit, until you think about the real effects of this kind of social media shaming.Feeding A Persecution Complex“A feeling of persecution does wonders to embolden someone,” said Jon Hendren, a well-known Internet troll, constant retweeter of teen bad behavior, and writer for the Web culture forum Something Awful. (Hendren distinguishes himself from the vigilante Tumblr by saying what he does is an “exhibition and not ‘Hey, lets find these [jerks] and publish where they live’” and added he repeatedly asks his followers to not engage with the people he retweets.)“I mean, put yourself in the racist jerk’s shoes for a second,” wrote Hendren in gchat. “You post something terrible, and a bunch of progressive/liberal/whatever folks come out of the woodwork to mess with you. You’d be like ‘Well I must be on the right track if these people I didn’t like in the first place hate me.’ ”Why Bother?So why are we even bothering to shame someone on social media anyway? Two years ago harassing someone online for something they did, when 4chan and Anonymous did it, was frowned upon by many media outlets. In my impromptu gchat with Hendren, I asked him why he thinks vigilantism is now not only mainstream, but suddenly cool to do.“Ironically, I think it has to do with the portrayal of ‘cyberbullies’ in the last few years,” wrote Hendren. “It’s become okay to go after people being mean on the Internet in the eyes of the law in some places, so why not go after people saying other horrible things?”Media outlets have been unmasking trolls for more than a year now, the most recent and infamous being Violentacrez. I believe this type of coverage fosters a culture of social media justice where everyone feels empowered to be judge, jury and executioner. Vigilantism isn’t just for tween boys turning into super heroes any more. What happens when we are done shaming racists, though? Are homophobes next? Misogynists? When those people have all been called out, do we come down on milder misanthropes? Or maybe even parking scofflaws? Is this just what we do now as so-called respectable members of society? Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Velingkar disbands breakaway unit, to rejoin RSS in Goa

first_imgPanaji: Members of the breakaway faction led by sacked Goa unit RSS chief Subhash Velingkar on Monday unanimously dissolved the rebel unit and announced their collective re-entry into the parent body.Addressing a press conference here , Mr. Velingkar, however said, that their re-entry into the RSS fold did not mean he and the local RSS cadre, had mended bridges with the Goa BJP, and warned BJP leaders not to deviate from the core values and principles of the RSS.Mr. Velingkar also said that all members of the RSS, who had stepped out of the organisation with him, would rejoin the shakhas and continue their work as volunteers of Sangh under the aegis of the Nagpur-based organisation. Message to BJP“The BJP cannot take all RSS rank and file for granted on the matters of ideology, core values and principles, for they know to en mass stand against it and teach BJP a lesson. This is the message which has gone on an all-India level. This is the biggest takeaway from this six-month exercise,” asserted Mr. Velingkar replying to a question about the achievement of the rebellion.RSS publicity division chief Manmohan Vaidya later told presspersons that the re-entry of Mr. Velingkar and other swayamsevaks back into the RSS fold was expected.“This was bound to happen. We had initially said that Mr. Velingkar would join back,” said Mr. Vaidya.Earlier, Mr. Velingkar said that the Goa RSS leaders and volunteers had shown immense respect towards the ideals and teachings of the RSS, despite their exit from the organisation in September last year.Mission complete“When we stepped out of the RSS hierarchy, our objective was to teach the Goa BJP, which was destroying the core of RSS teachings, a lesson in the Assembly elections. We have succeeded in doing that. Our mission in that sense is complete. The BJP leaders should realise that they should never take the RSS for granted,” Mr. Velingkar said.Mr. Velingkar was sacked from the RSS in August last year after he incessantly attacked Defence Minister and former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, and the Goa BJP for “deviating from RSS teachings and betraying the cause of regional languages by declining to stop the government grants to English medium primary schools, most of which are run by Arch Diocese”.After he was sacked, Mr. Velingkar formed a rebel Sangh outfit in September with the backing of thousands of local volunteers as well as several State unit office bearers.In a bid to defeat the BJP, Mr. Velingkar and the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch(BBSM), the movement spearheading the cause of regional languages in primary education, went on to form a regional party — Goa Suraksha Manch — which contested the February 4 elections in alliance with the Shiv Sena, and the MGP, one of Goa’s oldest regional political party, which broke its alliance with BJP just ahead of elections.During his tenure as CM, Mr. Parrikar through a Cabinet decision in 2012, had allowed continuation of State financial grants to English medium primary schools as against RSS and BJP’s direct participation in the BBSM agitation in the run up to the 2012 Assembly elections, opposing grants to English schools granted by the previous Congress government.Mr. Velingkar, who is also the convenor of the BBSM had responded by accusing Mr. Parrikar and the State unit BJP of betrayal and had unleashed a stringent public campaign across the State which led to his eventual ouster as state RSS chief and the appointment of Laxman Behare as his replacement.On Monday, Mr. Velingkar insisted that their stand over opposition to English medium primary school grants and involvement in BBSM movement and GSM as political party will continue. When asked what was the hurry to merge with the RSS ahead of election results as their own party, the GSM, is in the fray, Mr. Kiran Nayak, vice-president of GSM and senior member of Velingkar group recalled their earlier announcement that they would merge on February4. However,it was delayed because some time was needed to convince everyone for a collective and unanimous decision.“To work as RSS we don’t need to wait for results of the election. We are sure BJP will be defeated. Imagine if we were to join after the results and on the background of BJP defeat, we would have been accused of being selfish and opportunists,” said Mr. Nayak.“The Sangh constitution is such that RSS members can join any party. Only he cannot be an office bearer in the Sangh if he joins a party,” Mr. Vaidya said over the issue of continuation of the Velingkar-led Sangh members in the political outfit.last_img read more

AAC Football’s Official Twitter Account Trolled Penn State

first_imgAmerican Athletic Conference twitter page trolls Penn State.American TweetPenn State made some news yesterday when it was revealed that the team literally buried the game tape of its 27-10 season-opening loss to Temple with a shovel. In the embarrassing defeat, the Nittany Lions surrendered 10 sacks. While Penn State was ready to let that game go, the American Athletic Conference, of which Temple is a member, wants to relish the memory of it . That’s why the AAC’s official football Twitter account dropped a solid troll job on Penn State this morning. Penn State may have buried the game tape, but you can watch all 10 @Temple_FB sacks from Sat on our YouTube page https://t.co/xkp5lidkzS— American Football (@American_FB) September 9, 2015That’s tremendous. This was Temple’s first win over PSU in over 70 years, and they set a conference sack record in the process. The AAC doesn’t have many opportunities to brag about its football accomplishments, so it is understandably proud of the Owls’ performance.last_img read more

Conservative MP Gerry Ritz to announce his resignation sources say

first_imgOTTAWA – Gerry Ritz, one of the longest serving Conservative members of Parliament, is leaving federal political life.Sources tell The Canadian Press the former agriculture minister and MP for a Saskatchewan riding is expected to make the announcement this week.Ritz was first elected in 1997 as a member of the Reform Party, and went on to win his seat in every subsequent federal election.Between 2007 and 2015, he served as agriculture minister under former prime minister Stephen Harper, overseeing among other things the marquee Conservative promise to overhaul the Canadian Wheat Board.In 2008, in the midst of an outbreak of listeriosis that killed about 20 people, he drew widespread condemnation for cracking a joke that the political damage from the issue was “like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts.”He later apologized for the remark, which Harper’s office had called tasteless and completely inappropriate.Ritz had informed Scheer of his planned retirement earlier this summer as the Conservative leader was in the midst of putting together his shadow cabinet.Under interim party leader Rona Ambrose, Ritz had served as critic for international trade. That position will now be held by Ontario MP Dean Allison.Ritz, 66, had spent two decades working as a farmer before entering political life. He won office in the same election that saw Deepak Obhrai secure a seat for the Reform Party in Calgary — Obhrai was sworn in before Ritz, because of the alphabetical list, so is technically considered the longest serving Tory MP.But the duo represent the last of the old Reform guard in the House of Commons.Just after the Tories were reduced to Opposition status last election, Ritz told the Manitoba Cooperator his wife had hoped he wouldn’t run again in the 2015 race, but he felt had unfinished business.“I’m not ashamed of anything I have done or how I’ve done it,” he said.“I certainly will look anybody in the eye and say ‘the greater good prevailed’ and that’s what democracy is all about — having your say but not having your way (necessarily) with the election we just went through.”last_img read more

PQ candidate Guy Leclair quits Quebec election amid drunk driving charges

first_imgMONTREAL – A candidate for the Parti Quebecois has withdrawn his candidacy just weeks before the provincial election.Guy Leclair, the PQ candidate and outgoing member of the legislature for the Montreal-area riding of Beauharnois, announced his resignation in a statement late Wednesday.The announcement came on the same day Leclair was charged with impaired driving and refusing to obey a police officer.In his statement, Leclair says he expects to be acquitted of the charges but he had to withdraw for the good of the party.He’s due to appear in court Sept. 21, just 10 days before Quebecers go to the polls.PQ Leader Jean-Francois Lisee, who spent much of the past two days defending Leclair after the allegations became public, has 10 days to find another candidate.last_img read more

Walmart ends involvement in program for people with intellectual disabilities

first_imgMONTREAL – Walmart Canada has confirmed it is ending its involvement with a Quebec program that provides job training to people with intellectual disabilities and those on the autism spectrum.Company spokesperson Anika Malik confirmed in an email Friday that the program, which was in place in several stores, will be phased out in the coming weeks.“We are pleased to have been able to collaborate over the years with these organizations and to allow program participants to gain new knowledge and opportunities to grow,” she said.“However, after analysis, we had to make the difficult decision to terminate Walmart’s partnership in the professional training program.”She said the decision was made after a review that took into account legislative changes and Walmart’s own policies.Walmart has been facing criticism over the decision since a health agency in the Mauricie region alerted the media to the job losses.While some social media users and organizations representing people with disabilities have denounced the company, others have said it should be commended for having participated for so many years.Malik insisted the decision did not amount to firing the employees, even though they are losing their positions.“These people participated in a voluntary program coordinated by local agencies who partnered with our stores to provide an environment in which they could get involved,” she said.The company would not confirm how many people will be affected by the change.last_img read more

Open to flexibility Rahul Gandhi on AAP alliance

first_imgNEW DELH: Just as possibilities of a Congress-AAP alliance looked more and more unlikely, Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the first time on Tuesday shed clarity on whether a tie-up was possible in the next few days. “There is no confusion on this, the situation is clear. We have constructed alliances and are constructing alliances, and are open to flexibility”. Interestingly, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had told reporters just on Monday that Rahul Gandhi said ‘no’ to an alliance with AAP. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderDespite Gandhi saying that the situation is clear, the two sides remain as far apart as ever when it comes to joining hands. Gandhi had a meeting with the two warring sides in Congress — the pro-alliance lobby led by PC Chacko and the anti-alliance lobby led by Sheila Dixit. While Dixit remained silent after the meeting, Chacko simply indicated that options were open. Earlier, Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit met party president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday triggering fresh speculations on the party’s possible alliance with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe meeting, which last for around 20 minutes was also attended by All India Congress Committee (AICC) in charge of Delhi PC Chacko. Dikshit, who has been opposing an alliance with the AAP, had said on Sunday that the decision on tie-up for Lok Sabha polls will be declared in a few days. The decision from Rahul Gandhi on an alliance is expected “anytime” now, sources said. The Congress is learnt to have discussed a 3:3:1 (three seats for both Congress and AAP and one mutually accepted candidate) or a 4:3 (four seats for AAP and three for Congress) formula in Delhi. This, though, remains unacceptable to AAP. The AAP, sources said, is slowly veering to the position that an alliance with the Congress just in Delhi is not worth the price. AAP is clearly indicating that it wants space beyond Delhi. AAP sources indicate that the party is willing to give 2 seats in Delhi, if Congress is also willing to give 2 in Haryana, and may consider giving 3 seats in Delhi, if Congress adds 3 seats in Punjab.last_img read more

Kevin Love Is Only Following The Same Rubric As Six Decades Of

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love made news Monday when he endorsed Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA MVP race. Now, normally that wouldn’t be much of a story — we’ve made the case for Westbrook ourselves — except for one not-so-tiny detail: Love picked Westbrook over his own teammate, LeBron James.Asked to choose between Westbrook (Love’s old college teammate at UCLA) and James by Dan Patrick on his eponymous radio show, Love said:They’re both having an MVP-type season, but I’m going to go with Russell Westbrook because … every single night you’re looking at his stat sheet, they’re fighting for a playoff spot, with Serge Ibaka going down now, Kevin Durant potentially being out the rest of the year and him still going out there and fighting for his team, and winning, and fighting for that seventh or eighth spot in the playoffs. … I think Russ is arguably having the better season.The supposed slight between teammates was later downplayed by James (“Kevin has his own opinion of who he believes is the MVP. No one should fault him for that.”). But to some, it added to the speculation about a growing rift between the two superstars — and what it could mean for Love’s future in Cleveland. If he chooses to, Love can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer.Then again, maybe Love was just following the same rubric that MVP voters have adhered to for over a half-century. Several years ago, Justin Kubatko (then of Basketball-Reference.com) analyzed historical patterns in NBA MVP voting, attempting to create an algorithm that would predict the front-runners for the award in-season. After going through a variety of statistical combinations, he found that four categories had by far the most influence on MVP results: team wins, points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game.That research forms the basis for Basketball-Reference.com’s MVP tracker tool, which currently gives Westbrook about twice as good a shot at the award as James. While James’ team has been better, winning 64 percent of its games — compared with 58 percent for Oklahoma City — Westbrook’s edges over James in points, rebounds and assists per game are traditionally more than enough to offset the difference in team records. The Thunder’s winning percentage would have to drop to 48 percent for Westbrook and James to have the same MVP probability per the Basketball-Reference.com model.(For what it’s worth, the metric also lists Houston’s James Harden and — especially — Golden State’s Stephen Curry as overwhelming MVP favorites, with Curry garnering a 41 percent probability of taking home the hardware. So it’s still unlikely that Westbrook or James will win the award.)In other words, Love isn’t necessarily going out of his way to disrespect James here. Perhaps the homer pick — publicly backing one’s teammate despite evidence to the contrary — is still a customary gesture of solidarity among colleagues. But by picking Westbrook instead, Love was at least highly consistent with the way media members have voted for players since the first MVP was handed out. read more