Accolades for Irfaan Ali and others

first_imgDear Editor,In an opinion poll being conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA), voters are showering accolades on the PPP Presidential Candidate Mr Irfaan Ali.Irfaan, as he is widely called by voters, has been standing side by side with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo (and leader of the PPP) in the street battle for early elections as legal luminary Anil Nandlall leads the fight in the courts to force the Government to abide by the Constitution and judicial rulings.NACTA has been conducting opinion surveys in Guyana since 1990 on electoral and other socio-politico matters. In a survey conducted in June-July, a majority of voters supported the call for abiding with the CCJ ruling on the No-Confidence Motion and the holding of elections. The latest finding of the ongoing tracking poll sees an increase in that view. Voters express confidence that elections will be held this year and that the President, David Granger, should announce a date so that GECOM can commence preparation for a poll.The latest survey also finds an increasing endorsement of Irfaan as Presidential Candidate of the Opposition PPP as compared with earlier NACTA polls conducted in February, April, and July. Voters are getting to better know and understand the PPP candidate for President and they feel he has a very good chance of being elected, especially since he has the endorsement of Jagdeo.Voters were asked to describe some of the positive and negative attributes of the potential Presidential Candidates. Voters describe Irfaan as hard-working, energetic, vibrant, courageous, youthful, and visionary. An increasing number of supporters believe he will make for a good President especially since he will have former President Bharrat Jagdeo at his side for advice and guidance. Jagdeo has been described as the best Finance Minister in recent times. A large majority rated his presidency positively, saying they had a better standard of living.On Irfaan, voters stated he was among the most effective Opposition parliamentarians after Opposition Leader Jagdeo. Irfaan, alongside Gail Teixeira, Anil Nandlall, Frank Anthony, and others held the Government to its toes, exposing contradictions. Irfaan played a most important role in parliamentary scrutiny which is a critical tenet of democratic governance. In addition, voters say Irfaan made very insightful remarks on budgets and Government policies when he was in Government and in Opposition. They say he was effective at exposing wasteful expenditure and questionable spending that were subsequently addressed by the Auditor General.Voters describe Irfaan as the most effective Head (Chair) of the Public Affairs Committee (some say the most effective in the history of Parliament, taking Government to task) exposing flaws in Government spending and lack of accountability. Many voters also say that when he was a Minister, Irfaan was results-oriented, and they are confident that an Irfaan Presidency will get results. They note, for example, that his Housing Ministry gave out the most house lots in the history of Guyana. And that he also effectively ran the Ministry of Tourism at the same time. Many felt he was like a super Minister. During his tenure at Tourism, there was an increase in tourists in Guyana. The country received tourism awards and was spotlighted internationally.Many voters feel Irfaan, although young, has the experience and capacity to take Guyana forward. They say he has shown maturity, and that he understands the multi-cultural and multi-dimensional politics of Guyana. Some say he has grown from when he was a Minister and would have learned from mistakes he made when he was a Minister of Government. They also note he has spoken well on oil and gas and that he will be able to take Guyana forward, especially in the coming energy economy.Some voters note that Irfaan has been unfairly maligned in the media without incontrovertible evidence. Some also point out that Irfaan has recognised and owned up to mistakes in his past conduct and that he has learned from them. They feel he will make for a much better President than when he was a Minister.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

Suspect stands trial in slaying

first_imgNORWALK – Opening arguments were heard and testimony began Wednesday in the trial of a Pico Rivera resident arrested after deputies found a letter in his car in which he allegedly confessed to shooting a man. Randy Aguila, 19, is charged with murdering Oscar Rubio, 26, of Whittier on Sept. 22, 2005, in a car-to- car shooting in unincorporated Whittier. A medical examiner who testified Wednesday said Rubio bled to death within minutes after a bullet entered his chest, fractured his rib and punctured his lung, aorta and heart. Detectives believe Rubio may have yelled derogatory statements at Aguila from his car at about 3 p.m. while he was driving in the intersection of Vicki Drive and Godoy Street. Angered, Aguila shot Rubio once in the left hand and once in the chest, said Deputy District Attorney Doug Herring. After Rubio was shot, his car sped forward and crashed through a fence and into the parking lot of Aida S. Nelson Elementary School on Vicki Drive. It hit a parked car and came to a stop. Moments later, a 16-year-old neighbor who heard two gunshots and saw Rubio’s car crash ran to Rubio’s mother’s house across the street, the teenager testified. Rosa Rubio, Oscar’s mother, testified that Oscar had lunch with her and left her house minutes before the shooting. He was driving back to work at a Santa Fe Springs auto body shop, she testified. Rosa Rubio ran to the parking lot and saw her son’s car. “I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “I was hysterical, crying, telling them to call paramedics.” She followed paramedics to the hospital. There, she was told that Oscar was dead. Defense attorney Robert Conley said his client was acting in self-defense. “The evidence will show that the victim had a large knife” in the console under his emergency brake, said Conley. “Witnesses originally told police they saw a gun in \ hand.” Conley also questioned Rosa Rubio about Oscar’s gang affiliation. “He used to be in a gang,” said Rosa Rubio. “He wasn’t a gang member anymore.” Testimony is scheduled to continue Friday. sandy.mazza@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Aguila was arrested nearly two months after the shooting – on Nov. 20, when deputies stumbled upon a letter in his car. Deputy Matt Ohnemus testified he stopped Aguila’s car in Norwalk for having a plastic cover over its license plate. When he approached Aguila, Ohnemus said, he believed he was high on drugs and conducted a field sobriety test. Ohnemus said Aguila failed the test and was arrested on suspicion of DUI. He said he searched the car and found a methamphetamine pipe and a notebook. He said he searched the notebook for drugs and found a letter addressed to a friend of Aguila’s in New York. The letter allegedly described a murder. “Just about a week ago I killed someone my first time,” the letter read. “I was by myself and I hit him twice with two hollow-point bullets from a .38 special revolver close very close range. One in the gut and one in the chest. He died on the way to the hospital.” Experts testified Wednesday that Rubio was shot with two hollow-point bullets from a .38-caliber revolver. last_img read more

Nothing’s mellow without the yellow

first_imgQuite simply, Martin cut off all the arguments about whether or not NASCAR made the right call by not throwing out a yellow flag at the finish of the Daytona 500. Martin could have ended years of frustration at the track had the caution been displayed. Rather than whine, pout and point fingers, Martin accepted the situation. He deprived a potential fire of its fuel by refusing to second-guess NASCAR’s decision. His disappointment was great, but he displayed great class by not throwing the sport into another crisis. Random thoughts for a Tuesday morning, getting ready for the speed circus, wondering whatever happened to Katy Dulock, all-time career soccer assist leader for San Gorgonio High School in 1984-88. NASCAR knows hows to steal a headline or two, and the sanctioning body can thank Mark Martin for not creating another one. Even non-racing fans, and there appears to a bigger number in the area than once thought, can agree that Martin set a high standard not many associated with NASCAR. Cheatin’ is one thing, integrity quite another. NASCAR violated its own past practices with its action. If a similar crash happens Sunday at the Auto Club 500 at Fontana, many believe NASCAR will throw a caution. Daytona skewers any equation since it is the biggest and most important race. However, if NASCAR wants to maintain its popularity and perception of an even playing field, it must be consistent in all its rulings. … Perhaps now the CIF basketball playoff committee will listen. There was quite a buzz – some characterized it as fear – of the decision to place the Sunkist League in the Division IV-AA last year. All three Sunkist teams – public schools Kaiser, Bloomington and Jurupa Valley – have advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating three smaller parochial schools and two public schools. From this corner, it doesn’t seem quite right that the Sunkist League plays bigger schools in football but not in basketball. … Leave it to the promotional folks at the speedway to schedule the first Southern California appearance by Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick in Hollywood. Now that’s a real NASCAR hotbed. It’s all part of the annual California Speedway Day in L.A. Harvick will take the stage in the courtyard of the Hollywood & Highland Center on Wednesday at 1 p.m. and hang out with the public until 3. If you’re interested in going, it’s best to take the Metrolink into L.A. and then use the subway to Hollywood. It beats battling traffic all the way on the return trip. According to a speedway release, “fans will have the opportunity to change a tire … and take their picture next to a real race car.” If Chewbaca doesn’t attack once again. What are the chances the next Daytona 500 winner visits the next city to proclaim California Speedway Day? It’s Barstow’s chance to get in on the action. Now that’s a real NASCAR hotbed. … According to colleague John Murphy, the football coaching career of Mike Churchill may be finished. He was recently named as athletic director at Laguna Beach, stepping down as football coach at Riverside La Sierra. Churchill was a fixture along the sidelines of many local games. He coached in the area at Damien, Riverside Poly, Redlands and Carter high schools plus had a stint as the head coach at Riverside City College. His departure from Carter in 2005 was unwarranted, due to a suspension for arguing with an unruly parent. He laid a foundation that resulted in Brian Kidd’s Lions reaching the playoffs last fall. It won’t be the same without Church around. … John Smith coached basketball at San Bernardino Valley College and Chaffey College before finding a comfortable home in Riverside. Smith led the Riverside Community College Tigers to a 26-4 record this season and has been named Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year. … What do California Speedway president Gillian Zucker and Mt. San Antonio College women’s basketball coach Laura Beeman have in common? They each worked for the High Desert Mavericks. Zucker worked in Adelanto for a year before returning East, and soon landing a job with International Speedway Corp. Beeman was with the Mavs before taking her first coaching job at the University of Redlands. She was then hired at Mt. SAC, winning the state title last year and entering the playoffs this season as the top-seed in Southern California. … Kent Walton, who as an outfielder at Yucaipa High School, was an all-San Bernardino County selection, has moved to second base this year. The BYU sophomore is batting .381 through the Cougars’ first five games. … Corporate American can make a difference in youth sports. AYSO Region 130 – San Bernardino/Highland – has received more than $1,420 in funds and equipment from Discount Tire Centers and Uniroyal Tire. In seven years, the program has distributed 655,000 free soccer balls and $9 million in funds and equipment. … Although it would be great to see a Ken Schrader or Bobby Labonte win this weekend at Fontana, the truth is only three car owners – Rick Hendrick, Jack Roush and Roger Penske – have visited the winner’s circle for the Auto Club 500. Given that, we like Kyle Busch to win on Sunday. Louis Brewster is the Sports Editor for The Sun. His column appears on Tuesday. He can be reached at (909) 386-3935 or louis.brewster@sbsun.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Pit stops helped us have a strong finish

first_imgJeff (Burton) ran up front all day and finished fourth. Really, we had three top-five cars yesterday. That’s a huge testament to all the hard work that everyone on this race team has put in over the last two years to get us to where we are today. I’m really excited about the direction of our entire organization. I know it’s early, but I honestly believe our team has the resources and the abilities to win a championship this year. Kevin and Jeff are both veteran race car drivers and know what it takes to win a title. The Jack Daniel’s team has a year under our belts and I know we’re going to make some noise. It’s up to us and it’s there for the taking. See you in September. Clint Bowyer, who drives the No. 07 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, wrote a daily diary during NASCAR Weekend at California Speedway. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet ran really well all day long and my guys did a great job in the pits. I can’t say enough about those guys. They kept us in at all day long. Our pit stops were awesome. I think two of our stops were under 13 seconds. That’s pretty sporty for a four-tire pit stop. Like I explained yesterday, my crew chief Gil Martin had a good plan for the Auto Club 500 and it showed. We started out a little bit on the loose side and the car didn’t settle down until the middle of the corner but once the nose took a set, we were fast. It took a little while for the tires to come in but once they did, we were in good shape. There were a bunch of cautions early and that made me a little nervous because it kind of got everyone’s pit stops out of sequence with one another, but it all came out in the wash at the end of the day. We made our first stop on Lap 21 and had to give up third place. There were two cautions before that and a lot of other guys had already pitted, so we gave up a ton of track position but it was kind of a blessing in disguise. We came out of the pits in 28th and in 20 laps we made up 17 spots. We were passing two and three cars every lap and, believe me, when you can do that in a Nextel Cup race, it’s a pretty big confidence booster. After that, I knew we had a car capable of racing in the top five and that’s what we did for most of the day. I thought yesterday’s race would be a pretty good test for RCR’s intermediate program and it really showed. Kevin (Harvick) was going to catch Matt Kenseth until he cut down a left-front tire. If that last caution wouldn’t have come out, he would have been two-for-two to start the year. center_img We had a pretty good day. Honestly, the only thing I can complain about was that we didn’t finish a little better but I’ll take sixth and go to the house. NASCAR Photo Galleries: • Fans Auto Club 500: One | Two | Three Complete coverage: Motor Sports last_img read more

Liverpool injury news: All 11 Reds players ruled out and their affliction

first_img 11 2. Danny Ings – ACL Knee injury 11 11 1. Joe Gomez – ACL Knee injury 7. Jordan Henderson – Ankle/Foot injury 11 3. Daniel Sturridge – Hamstring injury 11. Jordon Ibe – Hamstring injury 10. Philippe Coutinho – Hamstring injury 8. Mamadou Sakho – Knee injury 11 5. Martin Skrtel – Hamstring injury 11 11 11 11 4. Jordan Rossiter – Hamstring injury 11 9. Dejan Lovren – Hamstring injury 6. Divock Origi – Hamstring injury 11 Liverpool face a huge injury crisis to start the new year with no less than 11 players out of their FA Cup third round clash with Exeter on Friday night.Hit by long-term blows to Danny Ings and Joe Gomez near the start of the campaign, Jurgen Klopp’s players have been hit regularly by series of muscle problems and knocks.In an interview on talkSPORT, Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce accused the German boss of underestimating the ‘ferocious’ nature of the Premier League, although Klopp has refuted the claims.So what is the current state of Liverpool’s injury list? Click the right arrow above to see which of their players are currently crocked…last_img read more

WATCH: Syria goalkeeper clears the ball in the style of a VOLLEYBALL serve

first_imgGoalkeepers like to think of themselves as footballing mavericks.Some may think they should be their side’s star striker, others are simply mad – but Syria’s goalkeeper displayed a talent for a different sport altogether.Ibrahim Alma decided to mix up a routine clearance by punching the ball up the pitch in the style of a volleyball serve.The stunt took place during Syria’s 1-1 draw against Japan in an international friendly.Alma may want to reconsider his approach if he wants to keep his joints supple for performing saves instead of bizarre moments like above.last_img read more

A BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF SPRAWLING LETTERKENNY

first_imgWell-known photographer Clive Wasson is reaching new heights.The Letterkenny cameraman risked life and limb to capture pictures of the Cathedral Town this week.And here are his results. Can you spot your house, business or garden?A BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF SPRAWLING LETTERKENNY was last modified: July 25th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:aerial viewClive Wassonletterkennylast_img read more

DONEGAL HOUSES PRICES SHOW SHARP RISE FOR START OF 2015

first_imgHouse prices in Donegal have shown a sharp rise in the first part of 2015..The price of an average three bedroom semi detached house in Co Donegal has risen by 3.45% to €75,000 in the first three months of the year.It means an overall rise of 5.63% in the past six months, according to a national survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance. The Real Estate Alliance Average house index concentrates on Ireland’s typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving a picture of the property market in towns and cities countrywide.It now takes seven weeks to sell the average house in Bundoran, compared to 12 weeks in September 2014, where the rise in sterling has been a contributory factor in a 7.69% rise in prices in the first three months of the year to an average of €70,000.“The affordable end of the market is extremely busy with strong demand for homes priced up to €100,000,” said Michael McElhinney from REA McElhinney in Bundoran.“We see a shortage of supply at this end but the market remains quite buoyant and this is reflecting the sterling exchange rate.” According to Paul McElhinney from REA McElhinney in Milford: “There is still strong interest in three bed semis, with our average price at €80,000, and although supply has eased up, there is still a steady stream and demand has kept pace.“As a result prices are stabilised rather than rising although over the course of the year we may see a slight increase.”The average semi detached house nationally, including Dublin, now costs €187,153 the latest REA survey has found – a rise of 16.23% over the past 12 months.However, the average house has risen by just 1.32%, or €7,005, across the country over the December 2014 figure of €184,713 – and the lack of a supply of suitable housing is a feature of the market across the country.“There is an acute lack of supply of three-bedroom family homes because it is still not financially viable in many areas for builders to construct homes and make a profit,” said REA Chief Executive Philip Farrell. “In country and commuter areas where the average value is below €200,000, supply of new homes will remain reduced even if lands become available due to profitability issues for developers who need houses to sell for above that mark.“This is caused by the current high cost of construction which is exacerbated by the significant taxes which are payable on a new home (28% of the cost) and the recently increased building regulations.“DONEGAL HOUSES PRICES SHOW SHARP RISE FOR START OF 2015 was last modified: April 20th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalfor saleHOUSE PRICESlast_img read more

DeGale eyes world title after joining Hearn

first_imgJames DeGale has been handed a chance to fight the winner of the world title rematch between George Groves and Carl Froch after signing with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom promotional stable.DeGale will face the unbeaten Brandon Gonzalez in a final eliminator for the International Boxing Federation super-middleweight title on the undercard of Groves’ clash with Froch at Wembley Stadium on 31 May.Hearn, who also promotes both Froch and Groves, snapped DeGale up after the Harlesden man split with Mick Hennessy, his promoter since 2012.It paves the way for a possible rematch with his arch-rival and fellow West Londoner Groves, who is preparing for his second attempt to take Froch’s IBF and World Boxing Association belts.Hearn also promotes Froch and GrovesGroves, who won narrowly on points against DeGale in May 2011, appeared to be on his way to dethroning Froch in November last year before referee Howard Foster controversially stopped the fight following a flurry a shots by the champion.DeGale had been due to face Badou Jack in an eliminator for the World Boxing Council crown currently held by Sakio Bika, but that path to a world title became complicated when Jack suffered a surprise defeat in what was supposed to be warm-up fight.Clearly frustrated with Hennessy’s apparent failure to secure him a world title opportunity, DeGale had hinted that he could seek to move on.And he believes signing with Hearn will reignite his career.“I’m back, I’m back big,” he declared.“The last year or so has been very frustrating for me. If I’m brutally honest, I’ve been depressed but that’s the past and I am looking forward to the future.“Potentially the fights out there for me are crazy. But I can’t look past Gonzales, this guy is unbeaten and is a good fighter.”American Gonzalez, 29, has a record of 18-0-1 (10 stoppages). His last outing was a points win in November against the previously unbeaten Jonathan Nelson.DeGale added: “After I have dealt with him then the big fights are there and that’s what I need to motivate me and to get me boxing the best I can.“The future is looking extremely bright so fasten your seatbelts. Enjoy the ride with me because it should be exciting and I’m looking forward to it.”See also:Heartbreak for Groves in world title clashDeGale in line for world title eliminator DeGale wants Groves clash at the EmiratesDeGale stays on track with 11th-round winConfident DeGale eyes world title shotFroch-Groves rematch will be at WembleyGroves vows to avenge ‘stonewall robbery’Froch ‘mentally more switched on’ for rematch, says HearnGroves’ trainer Fitzpatrick convinced Froch wanted to avoid rematchFroch sees rematch with Groves as the biggest fight of his careerGroves predicts ‘changing of the guard’ in rematch with FrochFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

South Africa’s culture, heritage and people defined

first_imgSouth Africa needs to use its strengths, tied up in the spirit of ubuntu, to our advantage.(Image: Brand South Africa) 30 August 2016South Africa was still a young, evolving nation, agreed participants in the Culture, Heritage and People plenary session of the Brand South Africa Nation Brand Forum. It was, however, a nation of stories, with a people who were inventive, spellbinding storytellers.The forum is a gathering of the government, business and civil society with the objective of defining an inspiring narrative that can be used by all stakeholders when marketing South Africa internationally. It was launched by Brand South Africa on 24 August 2016.It is a proactive marketing programme that will be a flagship initiative for Brand South Africa and will be used to promote a positive nation brand image and reputation.The plenary participants said that apart from this storytelling talent, South Africans were also passionate, friendly, tolerant and kind. These qualities – summed up in one word, ubuntu – were the strength and advantage that set the country apart from other nations. This was what people experienced when they visited South Africa, and what they remembered when they returned home.The group took the time to define arts, culture and heritage to guide their conversation. For the group, the arts served as a means of individual and collective creativity and expression. It was through art that a nation created identity.This identity, especially as it was expressed through popular art forms, was our culture, the things we held important that formed our collective identity.Heritage, in the opinion of the group, was the shared inheritance that South Africans embraced as a people.Together, they created an identity that referred to as Brand South Africa. If it was true that a brand was more than symbols, as was argued in the group, and was the emotional connection a person formed through experience, then South Africa worked from a position of strength.How best to take advantage of its strengths led to lively debate. Through consensus, participants decided on four points:–   South Africans needed to focus on their shared history and heritage.–   They needed to document their history, keeping in mind the context.–   South Africans needed to avoid selective amnesia.–   The country needed to build up and promote new icons who embodied the South African story.In relooking at who South Africans were, it was important to remember their place in Africa, geographically and historically. South Africa had a unique recent history, one that gave it a louder voice to change the “heart of darkness” narrative people used to tell the story of Africa.For Brand South Africa, it is important to find a way to change the misguided, but popular narrative of the country. The country should remind the world that it is a “nation of achievers in the midst of adversity”. South Africa’s  great richness is its  rich heritage and cultural history. (Image: Brand South Africa)last_img read more