President leads Lindeners in tree-planting exercise

first_img– palm, coconut trees planted along Burnham DriveBy Utamu BelleAs a prelude to National Tree Day, which is observed on the first Saturday in October, President David Granger on Sunday led Lindeners in a tree-planting exercise along Burnham Drive, Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).The initiative was also hosted in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the People’s National Congress (PNC).As such, palm and coconut trees were planted at key areas along Burnham Drive,President David Granger and others plant and water trees along Burnham Drive in Linden on SundayMackenzie. Speaking at the ceremony to mark the occasion, President Granger cited the significance of October 1, the date on which the exercise was hosted, noting that just last year the “cutting-edge” Department of the Environment was created on the same date.The Head of State further pointed out that the event was a celebration of greenness as he reminded those present of Guyana’s important role in protecting the environment against the harmful use of mercury as well as the harmful effects of climate change. As such, President Granger urged all to join in the efforts of protecting Guyana’s forests and trees.“We should celebrate greenness. Greenness is about the whole country and I call Guyana ‘the Green State’…Once we continue to cut down trees, we would be faced with the challenge of climate change and global warming…because the trees keep the earth cool,” the Head of State noted.President Granger noted that trees were more profitable standing than cut downPNC members and others at the eventsince Guyana was paid to keep its forests standing.“We must make sure we replant the trees we cut down, so that we can regenerate…So this exercise is very important and I refer to Guyana as ‘the Green State’ because we need to protect our biodiversity and our wildlife…If you cut the trees down, you remove the habitat, you destroy the habitat.”The President also stressed the need to protect the landscape in an effort to sustain life. He said planting trees was not only ornamental but a living could be made out of it, as he congratulated Lindeners for leading in the National Tree Day observance, further encouraging them to come out and have another Tree Day on Saturday.“I’d like to ask that you pay attention to the previous speakers and care those plants, so that your children can come and not only shelter under them but also pick the fruits and they, learning from their parents and grandparents, can do the same for their children and grandchildren,” Granger said.Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland, in his remarks, said all should be reminded that as new life was sown into the future, it must also be nurtured, guarded, and guided to ensure that yields were indicative of values, as he urged Lindeners to protect the newly-planted seedlings.“This tree-planting exercise, it is indicative of planting of new life, not only into our soil but into our next generation. It reminds us of the need to continue planting seeds and invest in our youths, so as to ensure the continuous regeneration of new life,” he said.Regional Party Chairman Sandra Adams, who organised the event, in her remarks, said the party thought it best to begin the 60th anniversary celebration by using Burnham Drive as the symbol to commemorate founder leader Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, who the area is named after, who started the journey in 1957. Also present at the exercise were PNC members including General Secretary Amna Ally, Chairman Basil Williams and Executive Members Jermaine Figueira and Valerie Adams Patterson-Yearwood among others.last_img read more

Coach pleads guilty to fraud

first_imgThe plea agreement called for the dismissal of all 26 counts and the addition of a 27th count – falsifying government documents between July 7, 1999, and March 27, 2002, Torrealba said. He will receive a two-year suspended prison sentence and five years’ probation, Torrealba said. In addition, he must pay $70,758 to the U.S. Department of Education, which reflects the amount awarded as a result of fraudulent dependency overrides. And he must pay Cerritos College $20,799, the amount the college lost by charging in-state tuition to out-of-state players. During his probation period, Torrealba said, the defendant also must attend a conference at the Josephson Institute of Ethics in Los Angeles and will be prohibited from accepting employment that would require him to handle public money. wendy.russell@presstelegram.com (562) 499-1272160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BELLFLOWER – You could say that Patrick Callahan took one for the team. The former Cerritos College assistant coach pleaded guilty Tuesday to falsifying government documents so that 13 of his football players could receive more than $91,000 in federal aid to which they were not entitled. As part of a plea bargain announced before Bellflower Superior Court Judge Leland Tipton, Callahan agreed to serve 90 days in jail, give up his job at the college, attend an ethics seminar and pay back the money fraudulently awarded to players between 1999 and 2002. No players were charged. Callahan, 58, will appear back in court Oct. 27 for sentencing and is scheduled to begin his jail term in November, said Deputy District Attorney Leonard Torrealba, who prosecuted the case. “He actually didn’t receive the benefits of the money,” Torrealba said of Callahan. “The students did. But he was in a position where he was teaching them how to cheat and teaching them how to break the law.” Callahan and his attorney, John Barnett, declined to comment. Dressed for court in a blue suit, his hair and beard trimmed short, Callahan answered a series of questions before entering his guilty plea Tuesday. Specifically, he admitted that he helped submit fraudulent documents to Cerritos College for the purpose of obtaining “dependency overrides” and in-state tuition for out-of-state football players. Dependency overrides allow students who are estranged from their parents to receive federal Pell Grants without providing their families’ financial information. Pell Grants are a form of financial aid given on the basis of economic need and can provide students up to $4,000 a year. Callahan served as an assistant coach at Cerritos for 16 seasons, most recently acting as defensive coordinator, before being charged in August 2005 with 26 felony counts of grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft. At the time of his arrest, the college suspended Callahan from coaching and made him coordinator of student activities – the position he must now relinquish. last_img read more

Who do you think Deepika Padukone wants to do a biopic on?

first_imgIn a career spanning over a decade, Deepika Padukone has played versatile roles on screen. The actor, who has made a mark for herself in Bollywood, is all set to make her debut in Hollywood with Vin Diesel’s XXX: The Return of Xander Cage.  With a handful of films in her kitty, the 30-year-old actor is unstoppable and wants to try her hand at a biopic too.The daughter of celebrated badminton player Prakash Padukone, Deepika says she would love to essay the role of badminton ace Saina Nehwal on the silver screen.”I would love to play Saina on screen. In fact, we have played together, and obviously she was way better … She also said that I was ‘good’ at it. We had a fun time… Of course, anything for the love of sports… especially if it is badminton,” Deepika told IANS at an event in Delhi.The Tamasha actor spoke about her inclination towards bringing the life of the sportsperson alive on the sliver screen.Saina, who was also present at the event, shared her wish to see Deepika bringing her life in front of the camera in the forthcoming biopic, through a live video chat.When asked about her preference, Saina said, “Of course, Deepika Padukone. She used to play badminton. Her father was a badminton player. I think she would do good justice to the role. I wish she could do the role.”Filmmaker Amol Gupte is making a film on the Indian badminton champion.last_img read more

Love in Rio: Chinese divers get engaged on medal stage

first_imgChina’s He Zi received the shock of her life when team-mate and boyfriend Qin Kai rushed up with a diamond ring during the medal ceremony of the women’s 3 meter springboard event, marking the second marriage proposal of the Olympics.Qin, who won a bronze medal in his own synchronized diving event last week, climbed up to the stage after He received her silver medal, getting down on one knee while holding a red box with the ring and a glass-encased rose.”I didn’t know he would propose today and I didn’t expect myself to marry myself out so early,” said He, who tearfully accepted the proposal with a big hug.”I saw him during the afternoon and he seemed to be memorizing something, so I asked him ‘what are you doing?’ and he said he was singing,” she told reporters.”I’ve forgotten most of what he’s said (during the proposal), but it’s largely what you can expect like promises, but what touched me the most is that he said he was willing to be bullied by me for life,” she said.The 25-year-old has been dating the 30-year-old Qin for the past six years, she added.Shi Tingmao, speaking to reporters after her gold medal win in the same event, said she had knew about the proposal before the event, which Qin watched from the sidelines with the Chinese team.”I’m really happy for them, because these years, be it career or relationships-wise, they have had to face a lot of pressure,” she said.advertisementThe engagement is the second of the Games, after Brazilian women’s rugby player Isadora Cerullo accepted a marriage proposal from her girlfriend at the medals ceremony for the first Olympic rugby sevens competition last week.last_img read more

Chelsea’s loss to Crystal Palace makes title race ‘more interesting’: Antonio Conte

first_imgChelsea manager Antonio Conte believes that his side’s defeat against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday has made the title race “more interesting”.Chelsea, who are currently leading the Premier League points table, suffered only their second home defeat of the season as Palace boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 win.The Blues, who had won their past 10 league games at Stamford Bridge and had not lost there in any competition since 16 September, saw that run ended by a battling Eagles side.Cesc Fabregas scored the opener for Chelsea in the fifth minute of the game. However, quick-fire goals from Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke ensured Palace won the game 2-1.”For sure, for people watching this league, it’s a good result,” Guardian quoted the Chelsea manager as saying. “It makes it more interesting. But I always said that the league only finishes when it is mathematically sure you have won. Otherwise you must play every game to try to win because, I repeat, in England easy games do not exist. In every game here, anything can happen because the league is so strong.”Conte maintained that they were beaten by a team with “strong players, very good players”.”But we have to think about the next game. If we had won we would have been happy, but now we must focus on Manchester City. We all know the strength of their team. So we must recover and rest, and remember that in England there are no easy games,” he said.advertisement”You could see that today against Crystal Palace. Every game will be very tough from now until the end. Also, if the team is Manchester City or a side fighting in the relegation zone,” he added.Meanwhile, Palace boss Sam Allardyce, who has never been relegated from the Premier League as a manager, said, “It’s an absolutely outstanding victory for us, particularly in the position we’re in.””Nobody expected it,” he insisted.Tottenham have closed the gap to seven points with Chelsea after a 2-0 win at Burnley, while Manchester City will also be able to haul themselves back into contention, if they win at Arsenal on Sunday.last_img read more

DAKOTA CITY DEDICATES NEW FIRE HALL

first_imgDAKOTA CITY CELEBRATED THE DEDICATION OF THEIR NEW FIRE HALL SUNDAY AFTERNOON.FIRE CHIEF CLINT RASMUSSEN SAYS THE NEW FACILITY PUTS ALL OF THE DEPARTMENT’S EQUIPMENT IN ONE LOCATION AND SHOULD IMPROVE RESPONSE TIMES:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/FIREHALL.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC….THESE DAYS. ;17THE 2.2-MILLION DOLLAR FIRE HALL WAS FINANCED BY A HALF CENT SALES TAX APPROVED A FEW YEARS AGO BY VOTERS.THE PROJECT HAS SPECIAL MEANING FOR MAYOR JERRY YAECEVICH, WHO IS IS ALSO DAKOTA CITY’S FORMER FIRE CHIEF:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/FIREHALL2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………..MANY MORE COMING. ;15RASMUSSEN SAYS AROUND $50-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN GRANTS HELPED PAY FOR SOME NEW EQUIPMENT FOR THE STATION ALSO:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/FIREHALL3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……..FROM THE COMMUNITY. :22THE NEW FIRE STATION IS ONE OF FOUR IMPROVEMENTS TAKING PLACE IN DAKOTA COUNTY.SOUTH SIOUX CITY AND EMERSON HAVE BEEN WORKING ON NEW BUILDING PROJECTS AND HOMER IS EXPANDING THEIR FIRE HALL.last_img read more

Customs to go after Tax Cheats

first_imgCommissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese says the Department is clamping down on “leaking revenues” and will be going after persons who try to beat the system. He said that additional measures are being looked at to deal with persons, who breach the Customs Act. “You have persons, who evade duties and have excess goods. You have persons, who undervalue their cargo,” Major Reese lamented. “A lot of persons commit breaches and we have taken a position where we even warn persons when we become aware of their operations, some heed the warning and some still get caught. We recognise that if everybody does their part, we will have less need to impose additional revenues and once we can reduce the leakage in revenue, we can actually have a more equitable system,” he stated. He was addressing a Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC)-organised forum held yesterday (June 11), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, to address the new adjustment to Customs Administration Fees (CAF), which is applied to imports at the nation’s ports. The fee structure, which replaced the Customs User Fee, was among measures introduced by the administration on April 1 this year, to increase revenue flows.  It is intended to raise $1.2 billion. Initially, there were some glitches in Custom’s information system, which resulted in delays at the ports, but these have since been ironed out. In addition, after discussion with a number of sectors, there were reduced rates on raw materials for manufacturers, and an adjustment in fees, which took effect on June 1. Importers are seeking further modifications to the CAF, which is applied based on the weight and type of product being imported. Major Reese said that the Customs Department is undertaking a review of the rates, noting that “soon as that review is done, we can look at adjustments.” “It (adjustment) has to be done when we have full consultations, just as we are doing here…we are committed to reviewing all of the fees that we have implemented, especially in the areas that have been brought to us,” he stated. Past President of the JCC, Howard Hamilton informed that representatives from his organisation, the Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF), Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA), are to meet representatives from the Ministry of Finance, “to highlight some of the problems and hopefully we will be able to make some adjustments”. “Let us remember that the agreements with the IMF (International Monetary Fund), limits any discretionary action but based on the analysis that we are putting forward, we hope they can make some adjustments, which will not interfere with the revenue streams expected but satisfy some of the anomalies with respect to small importers…and the larger importers,” he said. By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporterlast_img read more

5 nuclear agency staff died in Russia missile test explosion

first_imgMoscow: Russia said Saturday an explosion at an Arctic missile testing site killed five nuclear agency staff and involved radioactive isotopes after a nearby city reported a spike in radiation levels. In a statement, Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom said the accident on Thursday at a secret military facility also left three staff with burns and other injuries. The military had not previously described the accident as involving nuclear fuel and said radiation levels were normal afterwards. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USBut officials in the nearby city of Severodvinsk reported that radiation levels were briefly raised after the accident. The accident occurred in the far northern Arkhangelsk region during testing of a liquid propellant jet engine. An explosion sparked a fire, killing two, the defence ministry said in a brief statement. Rosatom said its staff were providing engineering and technical support for the “isotope power source” of the engine being tested. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe authorities have released few details of the accident at the Nyonoksa test site on the White Sea, used for testing missiles deployed in nuclear submarines and ships since the Soviet era. The defence ministry said six defence ministry employees and a developer were injured while two “specialists” died of their wounds. It was not immediately clear whether the death toll reported by Rosatom included the fatalities announced earlier by the defence ministry. Russian state news agencies quoted a defence ministry source as saying both defence ministry and Rosatom employees were killed. The authorities in Severodvinsk, 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the test site, said on their website on Thursday that automatic radiation detection sensors in the city “recorded a brief rise in radiation levels” around noon that day. The post was later taken down and the defence ministry said that radiation levels were normal after the accident. An official responsible for civil defence, Valentin Magomedov, told TASS state news agency on Thursday that radiation levels rose to 2.0 microsieverts per hour for half an hour from 11:50 am (0850 GMT), before falling sharply. He said this exceeded the permitted limit of 0.6 microsieverts, TASS reported. Greenpeace Russia published a letter from officials at a Moscow nuclear research centre giving the same figure, but saying higher radiation levels lasted for an hour. The officials said this did not present any significant risk to public health. Russian online media published unattributed video that journalists said showed a line of ambulances speeding through Moscow to take the injured to a centre that specialises in the treatment of radiation victims. Rosatom said that the injured were being treated at a “specialised medical centre”. An expert from Moscow’s Institute for Nuclear Research, Boris Zhuikov, told RBK independent news site that isotope power sources are mainly used in spacecraft and are not usually dangerous for people working with them. “If they are damaged, people who are nearby could be hurt. Isotope sources use various types of fuel: plutonium, promethium or cerium,” Zhuikov said. The radioactivity levels involved are “absolutely not comparable with those during serious accidents at reactors,” he added. The news of the accident prompted residents of Severodvinsk to rush to pharmacies on Thursday to stock up on iodine, which can be taken to stop the thyroid gland absorbing radiation. “People started to panic. Within a matter of an hour all the iodine and iodine-containing drugs were sold out,” pharmacist Yelena Varinskaya said. The Soviet Union saw the world’s worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986, when the authorities sought to cover up the seriousness of the disaster.last_img read more

A friend indeed

first_imgRegular interaction with neighbours helps to keep relations harmonious. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s visit to Bangladesh and Nepal last week completed the round of visits to South Asian neighbours for the NDA government in its new term. The minister’s visit came immediately after PM Modi’s successful visit to Bhutan. Modi had earlier visited the Maldives and Sri Lanka to attend the inaugural of Maldives President Ibrahim Solih. India is keeping up its regular interaction with neighbours even as China has increased its influence in the region. China has tried to woo the South Asian countries with large infrastructure projects under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the past few years. Jaishankar’s low-key visit had an added significance following the abrogation of Article 370 and scrapping of special status to Kashmir. It provided the opportunity for the Indian government to convey its position to its friends and neighbours. Also Read – A special kind of bondWhile Bangladesh had supported the Indian government action, Nepal made no official comment and its initial response was that it was watching the situation. Later, Nepali Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said that Nepal favoured dialogue and peaceful resolution of India-Pakistan disputes including the Kashmir issue. The Indian leadership was capable of resolving any issue peacefully, he added. Bangladesh held that it was an internal issue of India. Bangladesh Foreign Minister, Dr AK Abdul Momen said that Bangladesh has always advocated, as a matter of principle, that maintaining regional peace, stability and development should be a priority for all countries. Also Read – Insider threat managementIndia-Bangladesh relations have bloomed in the past five years but there are some niggling issues that need to be resolved. The issue of the Teesta River waters has been hanging fire for some time. Jaishankar reiterated Modi’s assurance that the issue would be resolved during his tenure. The Rohingya issue is exercising the Bangladesh government which had made plans to repatriate about 300 Rohingya families to their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine province. However, on the date of departure, all families cleared by the Myanmar government refused to board the buses provided for their return by the Bangladeshi government. When the Rohingya influx into Bangladesh took place in 2017, India’s response had faltered, seeming to back the Myanmar position as against acknowledging the problems faced by Bangladesh. India later made amends by providing generous quantities of relief material and provisions for the refugee camps. It also constructed prefabricated housing for the return of Rohingya families to Myanmar. However, Dhaka would like New Delhi to persuade Myanmar to hasten the repatriation process. The issue of “illegal Bangladeshi immigrants” in Assam has also caused concern in Bangladesh but Dhaka has been careful in not mentioning it in public. India has maintained that the detection of illegal immigrants was an internal matter. But the question of what will happen with those declared as illegal immigrants in Assam has not been revealed as yet, and the issue continues to cause concern in Bangladesh, despite the Indian government’s assurances. Some of these issues will be taken up during Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s planned visit to Delhi in October. Jaishankar’s Nepal visit was to participate in the fifth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission with his Nepali counterpart, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali; he called on Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Nepal’s President Bidya Devi. He also met former prime ministers Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepali Congress and Nepal Bhattarai whose Unified Communist Party later merged with the Maoist party to form the ruling Nepal Communist Party. Jaishankar had last visited Kathmandu in September 2015 when he was Foreign Secretary; his visit had taken place just before the new Nepali Constitution was adopted by the Legislative Assembly. An agitation was brewing in the Terai region as demands of the Madhesi parties were ignored. The Madhesi agitation led to the blockade of goods and cargo from the Indian border to Kathmandu causing severe shortages of essential items. Nepalis blamed India for instigating the blockade which caused immense hardship to the people of Nepal. India-Nepal bilateral relations are currently coming out of the trough into which they had fallen after the controversial blockade; they had got aggravated with the election of the Maoist party headed by KP Sharma Oli. The Joint Commission meeting made some slow progress. The two sides agreed to an early conclusion of the review of treaties and agreements related to the trade, transit and rail services,” according to Nepali foreign ministry statement. They also agreed to upgrade infrastructure and logistic facilities for trade and transit at all major border crossing points. High-level visits vitalise bilateral relations, but India needs to impart greater energy in implementing promises made to the neighbours and addressing issues of concern. (Shubha Singh is a foreign policy and strategic affairs commentator. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more