Meninga: This is a genuine trial for us

first_imgCoach Mal Meninga made it clear the Kangaroos team for the Rugby League World Cup 2017 is close to be finalised.“This is a genuine trial for us, for the players for the upcoming World Cup. We picked our strongest available side.”Meninga said all players in the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII are in calculation to make the Kangaroos.“Tomorrow is part of a really important process we have for the players to maintain their match fitness, and then obviously we’ll pick the Kangaroos side after the NRL grand final.“The guys I know are all keen and will play to the best of their ability on Saturday because they want to make the national side,” said Meninga.“We’re looking forward to tomorrow.”last_img

Read More

Tall tales…

first_img…and integrityIf there was anything to that Pinocchio story, PM Moses Nagamootoo’s nose should be reaching further than his outstretched hands by now when it comes to the Integrity Commission he’s supposed to’ve launched over a year now. You remember the Integrity Commission, don’t you Dear Reader?? Yeah…that institution the PNC refused to participate in for a decade and a half because they said Bishop Randolph George, head of the Anglican Church, wasn’t a “fit and proper” person to head it!! So since then, even though it was the law of the land that all Members of Parliament report their income and assets to the Integrity Commission, the PNC MP’s refused to do so. So, who cared they were breaking the law – certainly not them! But when they slinked into Government leading the “APNU/AFC coalition”, suddenly they became all hot and sweaty about a “Code of Conduct” for their MP’s and Ministers. NOT the Integrity Commission. Raphael Trotman, then in charge of “Governance”, announced the Code would be built on a foundation of the Ten Principles of Public Life – accountability, dignity, diligence, duty, honour, integrity, loyalty, objectivity, responsibility and transparency!! That took months to compile!! During which time, of course, such “accountable” acts like collecting of private funds by a Minister of Government for constructing Jubilee Stadium slipped through the absent Code of Conduct net. Then “Governance” was handed off to Nagamootoo (who should’ve had it in the first place, under the Cummingsburg Accord). What to do about the Code of Conduct? You couldn’t very well implement it when warehouses had to be set up by Government Ministers, Ministers had to get scholarships when they were on their jobs and so on. But Nagamootoo – with 50 years of experience at this sort of thing – came to the rescue!! Like Christopher Columbus of yore, he discovered the Integrity Commission to which he would yoke the Code to that Commission. But hold it! That needed legislation to mesh the institutions. So the Code was passed to the Parliamentary Drafting office for “Drafting” – NOT stalling! And that’s where it stood while mega pharma contracts were hived off illegally to foreign companies who built arches and donated fridges…and suchlike. But now, two years later, Nagamootoo glided down from the mountain top and burning bush and announced the combined “Code of Conduct and Integrity Commission” is nigh upon us! While he didn’t have two engraved stone tablets, he assured us it will address, “issues of bribes, discrimination, gifts, conflict of interest, use of official influence, handling of classified information, use of public property, sexual misconduct and entertainment.”Does “use of official influence” exclude helping sons-in-law?…at Culture MinistryOver the last couple of hundred years, there’s been an ongoing debate about what’s usually purveyed as “culture”, is actually elitist “high culture”. There’s since been a sustained movement to rope in the more mass-based “culture of the people” into the swing of things. In Guyana, it seems the Culture Department in the Education Ministry has taken its mandate rather seriously. This was first exhibited at the Jubilee celebrations when the Ministry – under the direct direction of its Minister – introduced the “culture of confusion” that permeates every Guyanese mass event – from weddings to bus parks.At the ongoing Public Account Committee’s (PAC’s) hearings we now see the mass “culture of corruption” has also been taken up by the Culture Department of the Ministry. Quite blithely, the PS announced that somehow the employment of 50 persons slipped off the radar when it came to following the proper hiring procedures. But of course, it didn’t…really. They just introduced the “common touch” of hiring “we own” into the Ministry!…and fishy storiesOnce again, we’re hearing that tilapia will be the salvation of GuySuCo. Didn’t Burnham and the PNC try this back in the day when they were trying to make sugar workers redundant? That’s when the GNS failed to break GAWU’s 177-day “recognition” strike!!last_img read more

Read More

Don’ ke’ dam…

first_img…PNCWhen Burnham plunged our country into the racial turmoil in which we’re still mired, he offered his rationale in a pithy, if brutal, folk saying: “Back to back; belly to belly; ah doan give a damn; ah done dead a’ready!” Meaning, of course, he’d long decided that he would seize power by any means necessary and having cut a deal with the “imperialists” after launching his X-13 terror plan, there was no deed foul enough to faze him anymore! He wasn’t concerned about denunciations, internal or external – “he done dead a’ready!!”There’s no question that Granger’s following the script that Burnham bequeathed him as he and his party piss all over the Constitution, the country, the people – and of course, the CCJ. Internally, Granger has battened down the hatches even tighter than Burnham: the Police, Army and civil service are all still poised at his beck and call to put down any protests civil society might try to muster in support of the Opposition.But on the “external” front, your Eyewitness wonders where Granger’s getting his “spunks” from?? While we know about the supposed international “norm” of non-interference in other countries’ affairs, we know too that’s as big a piece of fiction as “Gone with the Wind”!! In the real world, of sharks and sardines, little fishes look at cues from the big fishes!!Back in the day, Burnham could count on the Americans to turn a blind eye to his excesses because all he had to do was point to Jagan and ask, with a smirk, “You want HIM to take over??” That was a time when the Cold War was on – about whether capitalism or communism could piss furthest. But it was only “cold” in the two antagonists’ homelands: in shithole countries like ours and the Congo, it was hotter than that place down under where the fella with two little horns keeps stoking the fire with his trident!!There’s no question, of course, about who owns the trident nowadays and even though the age of ideology is long dead and buried, there’s a new interest that’s even more fundamental in play – OIL!! So the real question is whether the power-that-be will give Granger a free pass, like he obviously thinks they will, from the way he’s carrying on!! Your Eyewitness don’t think they will. While one of their presidents famously (and approvingly!) described one dictator acting in the mould of Granger as, “He’s a son-of-a bitch, but he’s OUR son-of-a-bitch”! –  with the PPP showing they have enough political nous to know which side their bread is buttered, there’s no need for “sons-of-bitches”!!Granger has overplayed his hand, and will be slapped down.…CaricomSome folks are all het up that Caricom hasn’t made a squeak since the PNC-led Government’s been blithely sticking their middle finger at the CCJ’s judgement on the NCM! After all, a quick Google search showed Caricom recently condemned terrorism in New Zealand; violence against children; and Trump calling Haiti a “shithole country” – so why condemn not the dissing of a major institution which it created??Now they can’t say they don’t want to interfere in our “internal” affairs when back in 1998, they sent a group of Caribbean wise men to broker the “Herdmanston Accord” between the PNC and the PPP, after the former claimed electoral hanky panky. The PPP had two of their five-year terms snatched away – not to mention conceding a host of power-sharing institutions to the PNC. So what was different then? Well, for one, the PNC had come out into the streets and were creating mayhem to life and limb – with property thrown in for good measure!So is Caricom signalling they need to be signalled by some PPP extra-parliamentary activities??…media workersYour Eyewitness was intrigued by the story of the British High Commission commiserating with media workers who’re traumatised by stories they cover – and suggested psychological counselling.Yes…dealing with the PNC and their bullyism is a bitch!!last_img read more

Read More

Brickdam lock-ups’ repairs “taking too long” – acting Top Cop

first_imgActing Police Commissioner David Ramnarine is calling on the relevant authorities to fast-track renovation works being done at the Brickdam Police Station lock-ups, which he said have been ongoing for “too long”.The Brickdam Police Station lock-ups pictured here still under rehabilitationSpeaking at a press conference over the weekend, Ramnarine pointed out that the state of the key detention facility continued to be of grave concern for the Police Force. “It’s taking a bit too long. It’s a key facility and should be given the requisite attention or more attention as it needs,” he posited.According to the acting Top Cop, the Brickdam lock-ups is a “travesty” to law enforcement efforts in A Division (Georgetown-East Bank Demerara); hence, he is calling for work on the holding facility to be expedited since it affects the work of the Police in that division.“The burden of shifting serious crimes suspects to other lock-ups on a daily basis is one we have been bearing with tremendous patience over the years. I wish to take this opportunity to urge the officials concerned to spare no efforts to realise this much-needed facility in the capital city of Georgetown,” he implored.According to Ramnarine, there has been much said about the Brickdam lock-ups over the years, especially the need to make the detention facility more efficient and accommodating to address human rights issues.However, he added that the prolonged renovation works are inconveniencing the work of the division, since already limited resources are being stretched to accommodate the ongoing works.“A Division, over the years, has had to deal with and will continue to deal with, because this is the most populous (division), close to 60 per cent of the reports of serious crimes. And then you have to eke out scarce mobile resources and manpower every day to traverse long distances to detain suspects at other facilities and so on. I don’t have to explain; one would understand the challenges and that the reconfiguration of that lock-up has been dragging on for too long,” the interim Police Commissioner highlighted.Furthermore, Ramnarine explained that these concerns have been raised with officials, but more efforts needed to be undertaken to have the process expedited, given the importance of the Brickdam lock-ups in the Division.The condition of the Brickdam lock-ups has come in for much scrutiny and criticisms over the years. This resulted in the Division’s main detention facility undergoing a major overhaul back in 2009, when some $14.4 million was expended to rehabilitate the once smelly and unsightly facility that was once referred to as a ‘dungeon horrible’ by a Commission of Inquiry several years prior.Initially, phase one of the rehabilitation project begun with the signing of a $5.9 million contract, but physical works commenced the following month and continued for a period of 10 weeks.The scope of works entailed fumigating the lock-ups environment, demolition and alteration to metal doors, rehabilitation of the existing steel grilles and door framings, rehabilitation of the enquiries area and re-doing of defective concrete works which were followed by a process of plastering.There was also the demolition of existing plumbing works and restoration of plumbing to each of the 15 cells that were rehabilitated. This phase of the project also included the constructing of a concrete reservoir and concrete trestle, which now supports six new water tanks, and tiling of the floors and walls of the lock-ups.Subsequently, an additional $8.5 million was secured for the completion of the project in its entirety. The latter phase included the installation of 15 penal style toilets for each cell at a cost of US$700 each. There was also the fabrication and installation of 42 metal bunks and rehabilitation of the holding area grille and construction of seating accommodation.Further, the project entailed the tiling and painting of the enquiries staff area, including toilet and bath, and painting of the general facility.last_img read more

Read More

Exclusive – Arsenal’s Jenkinson destined for West Ham, claims Hull boss Bruce

first_imgSteve Bruce admits Hull were interested in signing Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson – but claims the 22-year-old is destined for West Ham.The Gunners right-back has been linked with a move away from the Emirates, following Calum Chambers’ arrival, with the Tigers, Swansea, Sunderland and the Hammers all interested in his services.Reports on Monday claimed Bruce had launched a £3million bid, and, speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show, the KC Stadium chief admits the club did make an offer but believes Jenkinson is set for a move across London.“There are about five or six clubs who would be interested in Carl Jenkinson,” he told talkSPORT. “He’s a very good player. We did show an interest in him.“West Ham manager Sam [Allardyce] is in the box seat though because they are in London.“When a really good young player comes out of Arsenal, or one of the big clubs, then the likes of Hull will always be looking at them.“He’s got the choice of five or six clubs. From what I understand Carl wants to stay in London.”last_img read more

Read More

Peter Crouch compensated by Tottenham following White Hart Lane exit

first_imgStriker Peter Crouch reluctantly left Tottenham for Stoke five years ago after his accountant got a transfer deadline day text saying he was no longer in the first-team squad and would “sit out” two years, a judge has heard.Crouch said his contract was being ended nearly two years early and asked to be recompensed – and Spurs agreed to pay, Judge Jonathan Richards was told.Midfielder Wilson Palacios left Spurs for Stoke at around the same time and was also given a contract termination payment, the judge heard.Judge Richards had been asked to analyse a dispute on whether income tax was due on payments made to players.Detail has emerged in a written ruling on the case following a tax tribunal hearing in London.Tax officials said payments should be classed as “earnings” and subject to income tax.Spurs’ bosses disagreed, saying payments were “compensation” for early termination of contracts not “earnings”.The judge ruled in Spurs’ favour.Palacios was given £1.5million, the judge’s ruling showed.No figures for payments given to Crouch were revealed.The judge said Spurs had viewed Crouch as “more demanding” than Palacios and better represented. 1 Peter Crouch signed for Stoke five years ago last_img read more

Read More

Wilt-ing heat

first_img “They could still be playing for all I know,” Jackson said. This wasn’t the thing of beauty that was the second half of Bryant’s 50-point game Saturday night against the Clippers. He finished with 45 points on 14 of 32 shooting and blazed a path to the foul line, where he hit 15 of 21 free throws. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “I don’t think Kobe would say it was the best of the four games he’s played,” Jackson said, “but he manufactured points out there tonight in a way that we had to have them.” As it was, Bryant joined Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor as the only players in NBA history to score 45 points or more in four consecutive games. It was the 10th 40-point game of the season for Bryant, who has scored 188 points the past four games. Bryant played every minute of the second half once again and totaled 17 points in the fourth quarter. But the biggest basket came from Odom, who had missed his four previous 3-pointers before he connected with 1:20 left to put the Lakers ahead 90-85. Odom had missed previous late-game 3-pointers against New Jersey, Miami and Washington this season. He also fouled out Fred Jones by taking a charge deep in the lane with three minutes remaining. “The big 3 he took says a lot about him because he hadn’t been shooting 3s well all night,” Bryant said. “And he pulls up down there in the stretch, on a big possession and not only takes it but drills it.” Odom finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds and was the only Lakers player other than Bryant to finish in double figures. And Bryant was asked after the game if his scoring exhibition might be tough on his teammates. “Not when we’re winning ballgames,” Bryant said. “We have to keep that in perspective. The most important thing is winning. That’s why I go out there and I do what I do. I sense the moment. I see if we need me to take over the game and that’s when I do it. “It’d be different if a player goes out there and just wants to score the ball. But I do it with a purpose.” The Lakers (18-16) are 3-0 since Bryant returned from suspension and started a stretch of games that Jackson described as “sink or swim” with a victory. They will play Cleveland and Miami plus three Pacific Division teams in the next 11 days. Just having to defend Bryant wreaked havoc with the Pacers. Guard Stephen Jackson stayed on the court for 3:35 and 3:57 at the start of the first and third quarter, respectively, before heading to the bench in foul trouble. Bryant drew 15 of Indiana’s 30 fouls by himself. Jackson, Indiana’s second-leading scorer, picked up his fifth foul with 1:35 left in third quarter, played only 24 minutes and finished with eight points. “It’s a terrible problem,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said of Bryant. “He gets you into foul trouble and double teams get other people open shots.” Jackson came into Monday’s game encouraging Odom to find opportunities to use his size and score. The 6-foot-10 forward did just that with 5:28 left, posting up Danny Granger and hitting a shot to put the Lakers up 81-78. “He needs to find a way to involve himself in the game,” Jackson said, “and the scoring end at times so Kobe doesn’t have to all of a sudden say, ‘I’m going to have to pick this team up by the bootstraps and go after it.’ ” Ross Siler, (818) 713-3610 ross.siler@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img The only thing history will remember is that Kobe Bryant on Monday night became the first NBA player since Wilt Chamberlain in November 1964 to score 45 points in four consecutive games. Not that the Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers 96-90 to win their third in a row. Not that Lamar Odom finally hit the late 3-pointer he had missed so many times this season. Not that Lakers coach Phil Jackson described the foul-filled game as “unending.” last_img read more

Read More

Hu piracy pledge encouraging

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Karan Bhatia said he is encouraged by Chinese President Hu Jintao’s pledge last week in Washington to curb piracy. Bhatia, who will travel to Los Angeles on Tuesday to speak at the Milken Institute Global Conference and meet with business leaders, said Hu spoke more forcefully on intellectual property protection than ever before. But the Motion Picture Association of America and other Los Angeles business leaders suffering from an estimated $2.5 billion annual loss to China’s piracy of movies, software, apparel design and other intellectual property said they would prefer action. “It’s good to hear them voicing a greater concern on intellectual property. Unfortunately, we’re not seeing signs on the ground that there is any great reduction of pirated goods on the street,” said MPAA spokeswoman Gail Ostenberg. Ostenberg said about 90 percent of all film DVDs available in China are pirated, a loss the industry pegged at $244 million last year alone. That is compounded, she said, by China’s refusal to allow more than 20 foreign films into the country annually. Hu, at a dinner hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders, gave no specific commitments but said China would better protect intellectual property rights. Bhatia said the administration takes both piracy and market access in China seriously, and acknowledged that China still has to prove it can back up its promises. “Let’s be frank. We’re looking for America’s knowledge-based industries to feel like they can do business in China in a way that’s fair,” he said. He praised the country’s recent agreement to require that every computer come with pre-loaded operating systems as one means of curbing theft, as well as China’s new vows to audit companies to ensure that illegal software is not being used. The U.S. has considered bringing a World Trade Organization piracy complaint against China. “What we’re looking for is to see that they make continuous progress,” Bhatia said. Bilateral trade between China and the Los Angeles customs district reached $102 billion last year, according to Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. Yet Kyser, too, gave the country low marks on protecting intellectual property rights. “Yes, you can come in and buy 80 737s, and we like that,” Kyser said, referring to the Boeing deal Hu announced. Still, Kyser said, “For Southern California, the issue of intellectual property rights is very, very important. China keeps promising, but progress is measured in inches.” — Lisa Friedman, (202) 662-8731 lisa.friedman@langnews.comlast_img read more

Read More

Alistair Brownlee on heroic act, world record attempt and more! Alan Brazil BB

first_imgListen back to the best bits of another top week on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.Highlights include an interview with Alistair Brownlee, the double Olympic triathlon champion who won plenty of praise this week for helping his brother, Jonny, over the line and giving up his chance of victory at a race in Mexico.Plus, Alan delivered a unique ‘tribute’ to The Smiths and gave some more expert advice to the listeners on Alan Answers, while there was a world record attempt live on the show.Listen to the Alan Brazil Best Bits podcast above!last_img

Read More

Can they do it? Leicester 40/1 to WIN the Champions League – Coral

first_imgCoral’s Simon Clare joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.Leicester suffered a 1-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash on Wednesday night.The Foxes are 40-1 to recover and go on to win the competition, while Real Madrid are 2/1 favourites and Juventus are next in the betting at 3/1.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfastlast_img

Read More