Blind loyalty, unabashed support to preserve status-quo

first_imgDear Editor,I have been following quite closely the different views that have emerged since the ruling and subsequent orders by the CCJ. Quite a few persons have expressed what I consider as reasonable views but then, unfortunately, there are sadly the odd few who have taken outlandish views to unprecedented levels. In that process, they have descended to unfortunate levels and have eroded their credibility.This grouping, which I recognise as self-identified champions of democracy, upholders of the rule of law, and fighters on behalf of the oppressed and exploited, have today sold themselves for a few pieces silver and have become obvious agents doing the ignoble bidding of their political masters. These now former honourable individuals, who hold themselves out as leaders, are apparently hell-bent on a campaign of misinformation, undoubtedly, to safeguard their cushy perks and posts. For me, this is particularly disheartening as some in this grouping were very much involved in the struggle for the restoration of democracy in our country. It is particularly hard for me to imagine that these so-called comrades have today apparently sold out their once cherished principles and ideals. They have in that betrayed what they once stood for and, astonishingly, have joined in perpetuating actions they previously rallied against. I wonder how they can really be taken at face value.Swinging from one rickety limb to another, they have launched, more recently, an unconvincing defence of the just commenced house-to-house (H2H) exercise. True to their new form, they have expressed critical views of those calling for a boycott of the exercise as they seek to justify the H2H alongside calls for a credible elections process. I am sure right-thinking Guyanese are desirous of a credible, free and fair elections process. This is an achievement that our people won out of struggle. But the misguided few want to have their cake and eat it too, as they seek to promote electoral credibility to suit the whim and fancies.While they seek to embellish a situation, democracy, constitutional respect and our people’s franchise are literally held hostage and judicial rule has become a mocking stock in the eyes of those in high positions. The shedding of crocodile tears does not wish away that H2H is a product of the ‘unfit-and-improper’ Chairman of GECOM. Nor does the wailing erase that the Chief Elections Officer, himself, publicly said that H2H is not necessary as the current list is more than suitable.I also see the lamentations over Government’s “caretaker” status. It is laughable to see statements that CCJ-deemed caretaker Government must retain its full array of powers. Arguments have been proffered to say there is really not any difference in the current status of the administration. In the real world, this is just being as disingenuous as one could possibly be, but then it seems we have those among us living in wonderland. If this were really the case, the CCJ needed not label the administration with the caretaker status? I am disturbed, yet amazed, to see how far the new minions are willing to bend over to defend their masters. It seems they have no backbone whatsoever and they have become puppets whose strings are pulled by their handlers with impunity. Of course, President Granger, himself, has thrown a wet towel on the matter and has recognised his Government has lost a full mandate to govern as he wishes.I recognise too the almost consistent calls for dialogue between the main forces. I must admit on the surface this seems to be the right approach. But it is wisely said once bitten, twice shy. Clearly, the administration is apparently showing no intention to engage in meaningful, good-faith discussions. The immediate aftermath of the NCM vote saw expressions to engage in meaningful dialogue. The hope and optimism that sprung up were scuttled by the bad-faith actions of the administration. Certainly, had there really been a commitment to sincere interactions, we would not have found ourselves seven months after the NCM without an election. Undoubtedly, the matter of the GECOM Chairman would have been settled. The imputing of tangential conditions, at best, would have never risen to the fore and bellowed calls for H2H would have been abandoned. In fact, the approach to the Courts for adjudication would have never entered the fray. While certainly attempts have been made to engage in dialogue, reasonableness on one side has been lacking and every attempt has been made to stall and procrastinate. One would have felt that following the CCJ’s ruling and orders the ploys would have ended, but it appears that the plot is merely thickening.Similarly, the calls for the Government to act unfettered after losing the NCM belies the notion of the NCM in the first place. If that were the intentions of the framers of the Constitution, wouldn’t it have been prudent to just not have recourse to an NCM in the first place? The mere fact that the NCM inserted says that a loss meant it could not be business-as-usual as the current grouping seems to practice. Then, too, there are the calls for a return to the National Assembly to extend the current life of the administration. I wonder how such a suggestion can be really realised when all attempts at being reasonable have failed to begin with and previous commitments, some of which were recorded for posterity, have been thrown to the wayside without explanation or justification.It is clear that there are those wolves among the sheep who will unashamedly seek to defend a situation that is indefensible. They, in my mind, are equally, if not more guilty than those who seek to perpetuate the current situation in our country and in which our people have found themselves in today. These individuals, who themselves, should know better and do better while offering crucial and critical leadership are today no longer practicing what they preach. Principles, consciousness and conscientiousness have departed their psyche, and nowadays, blind loyalty and unabashed support to preserve the status-quo are now blindly in charge.Yours faithfully,Liebert Alleynelast_img read more

Employer, 2 others charged for killing Berbice labourer

first_imgTwo teenagers and a block maker were on Tuesday charged with the murder of a Bloomfield, Corentyne, Berbice labourer whose body was dismembered and burnt.A businessman, his 16-year-old son and a 19-year-old employee have been jointly charged with the murder of the Bloomfield Village resident.Bharrat Ramsaywack, 42, a cattle farmer and businessman of Number 55 Village, along with his teenage son and Mohanlall Sewsankar, 19, a labourer were jointly charged with the capital offence.It is alleged that between October 2 and 6, 2017, at Number 55 Village Corentyne, Berbice, they murdered 21-year-old Mahendra Ghanie of Bloomfield Village, Corentyne.The trio was unrepresented and said nothing to the court during the proceedings.Magistrate Rabintranauth Singh remanded Ramsaywack and Sewsankar while the teenager has been sent to a juvenile holding facility.The matter has been transferred to the Number 51 Magistrate’s Court and will continue on October 18. Reports are the Police have since received confession statements from the trio.It had been reported that the 21-year-old Mahendra Ghanie, also known as “Sanjay”, of Lot 198 Bloomfield Village, had gone to the home of his employer on Monday to collect $70,000 which was owed to him. However, he never returned. This prompted family members to launch a search for him.It was also reported that one of the suspects had confessed that he and his sons accused Ghanie of stealing two of their goats and one of his sons lashed him to the head with a piece of wood, allegedly resulting in his death.In an attempt to dispose the body, they allegedly chopped the deceased into pieces and then took the dismembered body parts to the side of the yard on Monday evening and used dried coconuts and dried palm branches to burn it.last_img read more

A huge investment in education

first_imgSpending on education has increased tremendously in the post-apartheid era. Spending on education has increased since 1994 and South Africa’s rate of investment in education is among the highest in the world. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)Brand South Africa ReporterOf South Africa’s over 12-million potential schoolchildren, more than 90% percent are in school – a far higher enrollment rate than in most other developing countries.Spending on education has increased tremendously in the post-apartheid era. In 1994, the government spent R31,8-billion on education. By 2006, this had risen to R92.1-billion – 17.8% of total government spending. At roughly 5% of national GDP, South Africa’s rate of investment in education is among the highest in the world.EducatorsThe qualifications of educators have improved significantly in post-apartheid South Africa, with the percentage of under-qualified educators decreasing from 36 percent in 1994 to 26 percent in 1998. Various strategies, including the redeployment of educators, have been successfully employed to redistribute teachers to areas of greater need and establish more equitable learner/educator ratios. Whereas the average learner/educator ratio was 41:1 in 1994, by 2000, this average had changed to 35:1.Classrooms, basic services and learning materialsThe Reconstruction and Development Programme saw R1,4-billion spent on school construction and maintenance from 1995 – 97. The building of new classrooms lessened classroom shortages from 49 percent in 1996 to 40 percent in 2000. Whereas 40 percent of schools had no access to water, only 34 percent had no access by 2000. Sanitation provision has improved by 68 percent over the same period, although 16,6 percent of schools still lack toilet facilities. And whereas 59 percent of schools were without telephones in 1996, only 34 percent still lacked them in 2000.In the pipelineProvincial education departments have put aside a total of R1-billion over the next three years for the development and delivery of learning materials, starting in the 2002 school year. A sum of R280-million per year has been made available to improve financial management and the quality of education provision; and an additional R150-million per year will be spend on HIV/Aids programmes, implementing the pre-school Reception Year, and adult literacy and skills development.Higher EducationThe state-funded National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has been significantly expanded to fund higher education for disadvantaged students. Whereas the scheme funded 72 788 students in 1996, the fund had reached 81 609 by 2000, with funds paid out increasing from R333-million to R551-million. By the end of 2001, the total funds paid out, combined with donor money, was more than R2,8-million.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

SAFE at first for autonomous car “best practices”

first_imgTags:#autonomous cars#energy#Internet of Things#IoT#lobbying#SAFE#Self-Driving#Washington Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… Related Posts center_img For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… An anti-petroleum nonprofit has launched a new commission dedicated to studying and publishing the best practices for autonomous car operators that plan to test cars on public roads.Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) created the commission, dubbed the Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety, as a way to inform operators on the best practices and improve dialogue between operators and the public.See Also: Get ready for a thermonuclear autonomous ride-hailing warIt comes at a delicate time for the autonomous car industry, two months after the fatal Tesla AutoPilot accident. Customer opinion on self-driving cars is at a low-point, with most drivers still not interested in a fully autonomous car.SAFE trying to galvanize public perceptionSAFE hopes a revitalized focus on safety will change public perception towards self-driving cars, which in turn could help regulations pass in the United States.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is in the process of setting regulations for self-driving, but if these regulations miss the mark, SAFE may be a strong lobby group for automakers and tech firms to get autonomous cars legalized quicker.The autonomous car industry already has a few lobby groups set up in Washington. Uber, Ford, Google, Lyft, Volvo and GM have all increased the amount spent on lobbying for autonomous car assurances, including less regulations.SAFE has good reason for wanting legalization and adoption of self-driving, most reports say it reduce cars on the road by half. Operators like Google, Uber, and Tesla are also focused on all-electric vehicles, reducing the monopoly oil has in the automotive market.The U.S. could be one of the first countries to adopt fully autonomous (Level 5) driving, but the public opinion may delay the NHTSA ruling. We suspect forward thinking states like California and Michigan will be open doors sooner, followed by federal legalization. David Currylast_img read more

Armed with more experience, Amer expected to lead Meralco in Finals

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMeralco pushed Barangay Ginebra to its limit in last year’s Governors’ Cup Finals and it took a buzzer-beating triple by Justin Brownlee in Game 6 to finally put away the Bolts.It was a series that saw five games decided by five points or less considering it also marked the first time Meralco had been in the finals since entering the league in 2010.ADVERTISEMENT ‘No favorite, no underdog’ in Ginebra-Meralco series, says Tenorio “Baser Amer’s improvement this year has just been extraordinary. Starting the second conference on he’s probably, arguably been our best player, one of our best players,” Black said.“He had taken control of the team, he is the quarterback of the team and there are no areas where he can’t improve.”READ: Tasked to guide the Bolts, Amer drops 31 in crucial gameBlack said Amer is a totally different player today than he was as a backup to Jimmy Alapag.Amer will be tested anew against Ginebra’s slew of guards with LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson and Sol Mercado.Game 1 is on Friday night at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena. MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games His stellar play hasn’t gone unnoticed with even the Gin Kings are fully aware of the former San Beda star’s exploits.“Baser is playing really well. Meralco has been successful because of him,” said Ginebra guard Scottie Thompson.READ: Amer’s breakout conference earns him Gilas nod “He’s playing like a veteran,” said Ginebra playmaker LA Tenorio.Meralco coach Norman Black also spoke highly of Amer.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa And with added experience, guard Baser Amer believes Meralco is armed with more tools in its finals rematch with GinebraREAD: After frustrating him in NCAA, Thompson looks to turn tables on Amer FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It was our first time in the finals last year. We had no experience then,” said Amer in Filipino. “Now we’re back in the finals and this time, we know how it feels like to play in the finals.”The 25-year-old Amer has established himself as a fast-rising star in the league in only his third season and his breakout year could also be attributed to his finals experience. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Read Next Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View commentslast_img read more

LG G6 India launch set for April 24

first_imgSouth Korean major LG will launch its flagship phone, aka the G6 in India on April 24. The company had recently started taking online pre-registrations — not to be confused with pre-orders — for the G6, clearly indicating its imminent launch in the days to come. Those who pre-register will be eligible for live updates regarding the G6’s India launch, LG had said.To recall, the LG G6 was first announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. Successor to last year’s modular phone, the G5, the LG G6 comes with an unusual 18:9 Full Vision display — instead of a regular 16:9 — and a wide-angle 13-megapixel dual rear camera system. The G6 is also notably the first smartphone in the world to come with Dolby Vision (and HDR 10) for enhanced videos which was until now limited to high-end TVs.Also Read: LG G6 launched with 18:9 Full Vision display, wide-angle 13MP dual rear cameras The USP of the G6, according to LG, is its ‘big screen that fits.’ The phone comes with ridiculously slim bezels allowing the display to take up over 90 per cent of its front side: a concept also seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.The 5.7-inch QHD+ 18:9 Full Vision display of the G6 boasts of a 2,880×1,400 pixel resolution which when combined with LG’s Android Nougat-based UX 6.0 software will allow users to run apps in two perfectly square windows side by side. The feature, which seems to be a gradual progression of Android 7.0’s split-screen multitasking capabilities, has been extended to the camera software as well.  advertisementThe camera app in the case of the G6 comes with a specialised Square mode that has been designed to make best use of the phone’s one-of-a-kind aspect ratio. It will allow users to take a picture and then simultaneously review the same in a square — 1:1 — identical to the one offered by the view-finder. All in one go: which means, what you (will) see is what you (will) get. The feature will particularly be useful for uploading snaps to social media channels like Instagram, says LG.Speaking of which, the LG G6 comes with a dual camera system on the rear, consisting of two 13-megapixel sensors – – offering a 125-degree wide angle — with one working ‘specifically’ to offer the wider field of view. LG, as usual, has put in cute software enhancements to make the two lenses even cooler to play around with. While one of them can make your food look better by boosting color quality and saturation, another can combine two to 100 images in a loop for making animated GIFs on the go.The G6 also sports a 5-megapixel camera with a ‘wide’ 100-degree field of view on the front.Also Read: LG G5 review: Just another star in the galaxy On the inside, the phone is powered by a 2.35GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor clubbed with Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB of RAM. It comes with 32/64GB of internal memory which is further expandable via a microSD card slot. It is further backed by a 3,300mAh battery with support for fast charging.On the outside, the G6 comes with a ‘minimalist’ design consisting of a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 (Gorilla Glass 3 on the front) and metal — with chamfered edges and rounded corners — and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Additionally, the G6 is also dust and water resistant and is available in the colours: Mystic White, Astro Black, and Ice Platinum.last_img read more

Surging Moustakas on Pace for Career Season

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) – A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:___MIGHTY MOOSEAs Kansas City’s once-anemic offense has surged, scoring seven or more runs in each of its last five games entering the weekend, so has Royals third baseman Greek-American Mike Moustakas. The left-handed hitter, who is a free agent after this season, entered a weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels hitting .400 (20 of 50) with five home runs and 16 RBIs in June. Moustakas already has 18 home runs for the season, four away from his career-high of 22 set during Kansas City’s World Series championship season of 2015, and his 42 RBIs put him well on pace to top his career-best of 82.POOR PORCELLORed Sox right-hander Rick Porcello allowed four or more runs in a start eight times all of last season on his way to winning the AL Cy Young Award. He’s already done it seven times in 14 starts this year, a troubling trend he hopes to end when Boston visits the Astros, who have the best record in the majors. After finishing 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA last season, Porcello enters this outing at Houston with a 3-8 record and a 4.67 ERA — including an ERA of 6.38 in three starts in June so far.MR. ANDERSONThe Milwaukee Brewers lead the NL Central, thanks in part to the emergence of lefty Chase Anderson as nothing short of an ace. Anderson, fifth in the league with a 2.83 ERA, has been particularly effective in his three starts in June so far, allowing only one run in 20 2/3 innings. He’ll next start at Miller Park vs. the Padres.TANKED TANAKAThe next chapter in Masahiro Tanaka’s mysterious season will take place when the struggling right-hander starts for the Yankees at Oakland. Tanaka, whose highest ERA for a season since joining the major leagues in 2014 was 3.51 two years ago, enters this game with a 6.07 ERA through 13 starts this season. The Japanese hurler has already faced the A’s once this season, allowing one run in 7 1/3 innings in New York’s 4-1 loss to the A’s on May 26.CHECK HIMThe Braves will see how star outfielder Matt Kemp is feeling as he deals with a sore left hamstring. He didn’t start Friday night against Miami, and Atlanta manager Brian Snitker says the team will wait a couple of days before reassessing Kemp’s condition. Kemp is hitting .327 and leads the Braves with 32 RBIs despite missing nine games in April with a sore right hamstring.TweetPinShare33 Shareslast_img read more

India coach Ravi Shastri under BCCI scanner after Lord’s Test debacle

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India’s Committee of Administrators (COA) have taken note of India’s poor performance in the Test series against England and reportedly have had a word with coach Ravi Shastri in this matter.India suffered a humiliating innings defeat in the second Test at Lord’s on Sunday and now trail 2-0 in the five-match series.India’s batsmen failed to fire for the second match in succession which led to another slump with the visitors now staring down the barrel with three matches to go.Harbhajan Singh furious after Lord’s defeat: Make coach Shastri accountable”The COA has already mentioned this to Ravi Shastri, that after having sent the team so much in advance, allowing adequate preparation time (in English conditions), this kind of performance from the top order is not encouraging at all.”The Committee has also mentioned in its communication that they need to discuss this with the head coach. When the team returns, the CoA will have a meeting with the selectors at the first opportunity to discuss some of the procedures,” sources told The Indian Express.Humiliation at Lord’s: Gut-wrenching defeat should come as no surpriseThe COA had earlier faced criticism after Indian Test players complained against the lack of preparation time before the South Africa Test series earlier this year which is why the team was sent to England well in advance this time where they played three T20 internationals and three one-day internationals before the five-match Test series.Coach Ravi Shastri must answer some questions after Lord’s horroradvertisement”The Indian team can’t complain that they were not given enough time to prepare. When we lost the South Africa series, the players spoke about tight scheduling and lack of practice games. It was after speaking to them that we decided that white ball matches will be held before the Tests,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.India needs Virat Kohli at Trent Bridge even if he is half fit: Sunil GavaskarNow the question doing the rounds in the BCCI corridors is why the Shastri-Kohli duo has been given a carte blanche in team management.”We arranged white ball matches first. It was on the senior team’s insistence that we send the India A team during the same time starting the concept of ‘Shadow Tour’.India in love with London, hope they practice from Tuesday: Sunil Gavaskar”Two senior India players (M Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane) were accommodated for A team games. Whatever they wanted, they were provided. Now if results don’t come, the Board is well within its rights to ask questions,” the source said.Virat Kohli after innings defeat at Lord’s: We were outplayed and deserved to loseIn fact, there is a possibility that if India lose the series, the Shastri-Kohli duo may not enjoy unlimited powers as it has been the case till now.”Don’t forget under Shastri and current support staff, we have lost major Test series in Australia (0-2 in 2014-15), South Africa (1-2 in 2017-18). Now we are in dire straits in England.”If you remember, BCCI removed Duncan Fletcher’s assistants Joe Dawes (bowling coach) and Trevor Penny (fielding coach) after India lost the Test series 1-3 in England. Shastri became the Director along with Sanjay Bangar, R Sridhar and Bharat Arun joining the support staff before the ODI series,” the BCCI official recalled.The performance of batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar’s is therefore, also being evaluated along with the head coach. Since Sridhar took over, the Indian slip fielders have dropped 50 catches.In case of Bangar, his biggest challenge was to get the players ready for tough away tours but even after four years, it is evident that he has not been able to provide a solution to their woes.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Nokia 1 Plus launched: Key specs, features, price and everything you need to know

first_imgHMD Global announced its latest Android Go phone, the Nokia 1 Plus, at its keynote on February 24 at MWC 2019 in Barcelona. The Nokia 1 Plus comes exactly a year after the launch of the company’s first Android Go device, the Nokia 1. The Nokia 1 Plus is an updated version that offers a bigger display, a unique new design and the latest version of Android Go.The Nokia 1 Plus has been announced for a few markets, and India is expected to make the list. The company announced that the Nokia 1 was the best selling Android Go device last year, and it will be interesting to see whether the Nokia 1 Plus can help the company achieve better numbers in 2019. Here’s what you need to know about the new Nokia 1 Plus.Nokia 1 Plus specificationsDisplay: The Nokia 1 Plus sports a 5.45-inch FWVGA+ IPS display and an 18:9 aspect ratioProcessor: It is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6739WW chipsetRAM: The Android Go device comes with 1GB of RAMInternal storage: The phone will be offered with 8GB or 16GB of internal storageRear camera: The Nokia 1 Plus comes with a single 8MP AF rear camera with flashFront camera: There is a 5MP fixed focus front camera on the Nokia 1 PlusSoftware: The Nokia 1 Plus ships with Android Pie (Go edition)Battery: The handset houses as 2,500mAh batteryNokia 1 Plus features– The Nokia 1 Plus comes with a bigger display and an updated design compared to the Nokia 1. The phone sports a 5.45-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which means thinner bezels on the top and bottom.advertisement– The polycarbonate rear panel seamlessly covers the entire back and the frame, and it also comes with a 3D nano pattern that offers a unique texture. The company said it has focused on delivering high quality, toughness and durability. The Nokia 1 Plus is offered in red blue and black colours.– The Nokia 1 Plus also gets a bump in storage. Apart from the standard 8GB internal storage option, the phone also comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which should come in handy for consumers who like to store a lot of music or content.– The Nokia 1 Plus ships with the latest Android Pie (Go edition) software. Google’s latest version of Android customised for entertaining-level devices claims to deliver faster boot times and an accessible dashboard for tracking and monitoring data consumption. Android Go also promises monthly security updates.Nokia 1 Plus price and availabilityThe Nokia 1 Plus has been launched at a price of USD 99 (approx Rs 7,000). This is for the base model that comes with 8GB of internal storage. There is no word yet on what the 16GB storage variant costs. The Nokia 1 Plus will be available in early March. We can expect India to be one of the first markets to receive the Nokia 1 Plus.ALSO READ | Nokia 3.2 and 4.2 quick review: Affordable Nokia phones with trendy displays and buttonsALSO READ | Nokia 1 Plus quick review: A bigger, better Android Go smartphonelast_img read more