AEK continue win streak to extend lead at the top

first_imgBy Iacovos ConstantinouAEK continued their winning run against Enosis and extended their lead at the top of the Cyprus football championship to six points after their nearest rivals Anorthosis could only draw against Doxa over the weekend. APOEL managed a win after two successive losses, while at the wrong end of the table, AEL and Paphos FC played out a goalless draw.Brazilian striker Andre Alves was yet again AEK’s saviour scoring the game’s only goal and his 11th in the last 10 games. It was also AEK’s sixth straight win, a feat never achieved before by the Larnaca team.Alves’ second-minute goal allowed AEK to control the game without being too adventurous resulting in a game of very few chances. Monteiro missed a chance just before the break to double his side’s score while the best chance for Enosis fell to Boudimir who fluffed his shot when clean through.Doxa proved that last week’s win over APOEL was no fluke as they drew with second-placed Anorthosis.Anorthosis, who are winless in the last three league games, took the lead when Doxa’s defender Leonardo headed into his own net only for Lopes to equalise for the home side just after the break.APOEL returned to winning ways after a disastrous festive period defeating Aris in Limassol 2-1.APOEL’s heavily criticised coach Ketsbaia made six changes to his team, the ‘boldest’ move was relegating the league’s top scorer, Cavenaghi to the bench, in favour of Soteriou. The young Cypriot repaid his coach with APOEL’s second goal.Another APOEL player who was missing (through suspension though) from previous games, Thomas de Vincenti, had opened the scoring with a beautiful strike from the edge of the box after beating a couple of defenders.Aris’ Bonyface reduced the arrears with 20 minutes still to play but the visitors were rarely troubled and hung on comfortably for the win.At the foot of the table four teams are separated by just three points following AEL’s draw with last but one Paphos FC.It was the team from Paphos who were celebrating at the final whistle, not only because they were playing away from home, but also because they had to play the final 30 minutes with ten men after defender Alabi was dismissed with a second yellow card. Ethnikos beat Apollon 2-0 at home on Monday night in the final game of the round.Omonia vs Ayia Napa 4-0AEL vs Paphos FC 0-0Enosis vs AEK 0-1Nea Salamina vs Ermis 3-2Doxa vs Anorthosis 1-1Aris vs APOEL 1-2Highlights courtesy of the Cyprus Football Association (CFA)last_img read more

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England could struggle to find a top manager – Dyke

first_imgThe Football Association (FA) might struggle to convince top managers to take the England job, chairman Greg Dyke has said.Former manager Roy Hodgson resigned following the team’s ignominious Euro 2016 exit to Iceland on Monday and a three-man panel of FA staff has begun the job of finding his successor.England under-21 coach Gareth Southgate has been linked by British media with the job, amongst a list that includes Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, Hull City’s Steve Bruce and former England manager Glenn Hoddle.“It’s got to be somebody who really knows English football,” Dyke, whose term ends in July, told British media.“But there’s loads of them now, more of them than there are English. The harder question is why anybody would want it.“They get media pressure that no one else in football gets.”However, David Bernstein, a former FA chairman, backed Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce to succeed Hodgson.“I’m not saying we should have an English manager. But, of the English managers, I actually would go for Sam Allardyce,” Bernstein said.“He’s a very powerful character. I think he’s got the personality, the strength, he’s a good technical manager, he’s very experienced and he’s someone who perhaps could imbue confidence.”England next play in a 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Slovakia on Sept. 4.last_img read more

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New film shines light on cattle industry link to Amazon deforestation

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Controversial, Corruption, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation Article published by Glenn Scherer Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Approximately one fifth of the Amazon rainforest has already been cut down, and nearly 80 percent of this deforestation is attributable to the cattle industry, says a new nearly hour-long documentary, “Grazing the Amazon.”Many ranchers are outspoken in their justification for deforestation, possibly because they feel safe from prosecution under Brazilian law because of the bancada ruralista, the powerful agribusiness lobby that has a huge influence in congress and on the Temer administration.One of the major problems driving deforestation is “cattle washing,” illicit techniques for raising cattle on newly deforested land by falsifying records, or shifting the cattle from illegal pasture to legal pasture, before sending them to slaughterhouses. Better recordkeeping could help to illuminate and limit this practice.Government and/or banking sanctions and incentives are also badly needed to motivate cattle ranchers to move away from deforestation, and to support already proven techniques for sustainable livestock production in the Brazilian Amazon. Documentary director, Marcio Isensee e Sá in action aboard an IBAMA environmental agency helicopter during a federal operation to crack down on illegal deforestation inside Jamanxim National Forest, Novo Progresso municipality, Pará state. Image by Bernardo Camara.“The cow is the worst environmental problem in the Amazon, and in the world,” says Greenpeace’s Paulo Adario, speaking out in a new documentary which this April won the One Hour prize at the Film Research and Sustainable Development” (FreDD) festival earlier this month.In his ground-breaking documentary, Grazing the Amazon, director Marcio Isensee e Sa alerts audiences to the fact that approximately one fifth of the Amazon has already been cut down, and attests that nearly 80 percent of this deforestation is attributable to the cattle industry. The film traces the history of the Amazon’s invasion by entrepreneurial ranchers, and examines the responsibility of all major actors in the supply chain, including livestock growers, slaughterhouses and government.Throughout the documentary, Amazonian ranchers operating in deforestation hotspots voice a recurring theme: a sense of entitled impunity which flies in the face of government land use restrictions and imposed environmental fines. According to analysts, ranchers’ flaunting of the law is largely facilitated by the bancada ruralista, the agribusiness lobby which has a huge influence on Brazilian politics — this powerful caucus includes just under half of all deputies in the lower house of congress, dominates policymaking by the Temer administration, and often panders to ranchers’ interests.In perhaps the most explosive revelation of the film, which documents this marriage between agribusiness and politics, former Minister for the Environment, José Sarney Filho, tells the filmmakers that he has advance knowledge of the impending Carne Fria (Cold Flesh) sting operation, which took place in March 2017, and saw huge meatpacking companies penalized for deforestation taking place within their supply chain.This interview takes place mere days before Sarney Filho released a video directed at key agricultural sector players, apologizing for the untimely nature of the federal operation, and claiming that he had not been warned in advance by Brazil’s environmental agency that the sting was going to take place.Cattle ranching long linked to deforestationThe documentary provides considerable historical background as to how ranching originally came to drive Amazon deforestation. Using interviews and archive footage, Sa shows how the Brazilian government began incentivizing occupation of the then largely untouched Amazon by entrepreneurs and ranchers in the 1960s, looking to colonize the land before foreigners did. Nationally funded roads were cut through the rainforest throughout the 1970s, and would-be ranchers were encouraged to transform public land into pasture. The incentive: if the ranchers did not deforest at least 50 percent of the property they were working, they were not awarded a land title by the government.Often, the tree cutting was accomplished by manual labor working in conditions analogous to slavery. One rancher tells how he and a neighbor coerced 200 men into felling trees on their parcel of land in 1994.“We rented a big shed, hired and set up a cook inside and gave plenty of cachaça [an alcoholic drink made from sugarcane] to these men. We went to every brothel, hotel and street corner and picked up men, paying their bills and leading them inside the shed. Two gunmen stayed at the front door and two at the back so no one could flee. Kind of held there against their will, right? We wouldn’t let them leave.”He tells how the police supported the operation, marching the captive men single file from the shack to a ferry so that they could not escape. Upon landing, they were force marched through 15 kilometers (9 miles) of forest and told to begin cutting down trees.“Was this forced labor?” he asks, laughing. “Perhaps it was, but there really wasn’t an alternative. That was the reality of that world.”It wasn’t until the 1990s that environmental NGOs got wind of the alarming rates of deforestation taking place in the Amazon. In 2004, news that a forest area had been lost equivalent in size to Belgium resulted in international pressure being placed on slaughterhouses to stop buying meat from ranchers who had illegally deforested their land.In 2009, the three major Brazilian slaughterhouses operating in the Amazon — JBS, Marfrig and Minerva — signed zero-deforestation agreements with Greenpeace and the Brazilian government in which they vowed to only buy cattle from ranchers who had behaved within the law.Documentary director, Marcio Isensee e Sá filming illegal cattle pasture in Jamanxim National Forest, a protected area located in Novo Progresso municipality, Pará state. Image by Bernardo Camara.Cattle washingAccording to the Brazilian Forest Code, landowners in the Amazon can only legally cultivate 20 percent of their property; the rest must be preserved as native vegetation. However, in the historical context of governmental support for deforestation, along with current official lenience regarding enforcement of the law, many ranchers remain reluctant to comply with the forest code, seeing little benefit in it for them, and seeking loopholes by which they can transform their land from unprofitable forest to lucrative pastureland.Many interviewees in the film are strikingly candid concerning their self-interest. One rancher explains that it is simply much more profitable to raise cattle on land in the Amazon than it is to produce anything else: “I’ll never stop raising cattle. Never. As long as I’m still blinking my eyelids, I’ll keep struggling on,” he says. This man claims that his fellow ranchers find ways to keep on illegally selling livestock to slaughterhouses, even after being caught deforesting.One technique: continue fattening cattle on illegally deforested land, then transfer the stock to a friend’s legally cleared pasture just days before the animals go to the slaughterhouse, concealing their true origin. Or the ranchers may falsify records, putting portions of the land they own and graze under other family members’ names. These techniques are known collectively as “cattle-washing,” and are rife in the Brazilian Amazon, say experts.Recent research, published in January of this year, corroborates the stories told in the film, offering evidence that the zero-deforestation cattle agreements made with slaughterhouses are having little to no effect on ranchers’ behavior. The researchers cross-checked data compiled regarding the locations of cattle vaccinations, and found that hundreds of thousands of cattle continue to graze on areas in Southwest Pará state which were meant to be excluded from the beef supply chain, per the terms of slaughterhouse cattle agreements.A key problem: the lack of transparency in the nation’s beef supply chain. The major meat companies in Brazil operate through a complex supply chain; livestock owners are constantly buying, selling, and reselling cattle, moving them from ranch to ranch, which makes it exceedingly difficult to determine the origin of each head of cattle. While meat companies JBS, Marfrig and Minerva have achieved good oversight of their direct suppliers, they have little to no insight into their indirect suppliers — and that, say experts, is where the grand majority of cattle washing occurs.Smoke signals the use of fire, a primitive but effective tool used to clear away forest in Marcelândia, Mato Grosso. Image by Marcio Isensee.Sustainable beef offers hope for forestsNot all the news is bad for forests. The documentary strikes a hopeful tone when it focuses on sustainable cattle ranching, practiced by a few Amazonian landowners. One interviewee describes how he makes grazing on already degraded land fourteen times more efficient than that achieved by other ranchers: he divides up his land into quadrants, plants lots of grass everywhere, then rotates his cattle from one grassy segment to the next.“We wanted to include people [in the documentary] that are more progressive and are trying to do the right thing,” explained Paulo Barreto, a senior researcher at Imazon who worked on the documentary. “We knew that these people existed and it’s good to have them saying in their own words that we don’t need to deforest anymore.”The challenge faced by environmentalists: how to scale up these rarely practiced, but viable, sustainable ranching techniques.“These methods are pretty straightforward. However, they require some skill and lots of investment to work, which are both conditions that are rarely met by Amazonian farmers,” said Eduardo Pegurier, professor at PUC University in Rio de Janeiro, editor of the ((O)) eco news service in Brazil, and one of the co-creators of Grazing the AmazonGovernment laxness regarding cattle-driven deforestation, and a failure by the state to offer incentives to encourage sustainable ranching, are partly to blame. There are at present few promising initiatives aimed at improving pasture productivity, and at accurately monitoring the deforestation that occurs along the indirect and direct supply chain leading to slaughterhouses.One existing sustainability program is run by Pecsa, a ranch-management firm based in Mato Grosso state which helps farmers transform highly degraded land into productive pasture, thereby reducing new deforestation. Pecsa takes over ranches for between six to eight years, and has a record of making the properties it supervises roughly seven times more productive, while also tracking indirect and direct cattle suppliers. The firm, which currently manages 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres), receives external funding from The European Investment Fund, which means that contracting ranchers pay nothing for the service.“We intend to expand in our region of Mato Grosso,” the firm’s creator, Laurent Micol, told Mongabay. “Once it reaches an adequate scale, we’ll be ready to replicate it elsewhere in the Amazon.”However, Barrreto warns, the success of such sustainability schemes rests heavily on a swift response from the market. Amazon deforestation is currently very profitable for cattle ranchers, and that needs to change if sustainable livestock raising is to have a chance.Many argue that in order to sever the link between deforestation and cattle, the government needs to put financial deforestation disincentives in place. Ranchers must either face substantial fines or prison terms for breaking the law, and be prevented from supplying to the national and global market when they deforest.Barreto believes that the government’s current lack of enforcement capacity, and its unwillingness to severely punish environmental offenders, indicates the need for a new approach. International and national beef producers, he says, should enforce strict rules regarding who slaughterhouses are buying from, and who they are funding.Recently deforested land in the Brazilian Amazon being used to raise cattle, Novo Progresso municipality, Pará state. Image by Marcio Isensee.Putting added state pressure on slaughterhousesMany environmental activists advocate for the application of increased legal pressure on slaughterhouses who buy beef from inside Legal Amazonia. They note that just 110 slaughterhouses are responsible for the processing of 93 percent of all cattle in the Brazilian Amazon. With state pressure, supply chain transparency could be increased among these meat processors, allowing them to trace all of the meat they purchase, including that coming from indirect suppliers, the source of most of the deforestation.At the moment, none of the three major slaughterhouses have such monitoring programs.Barreto emphasized the critical role that Brazil’s independent Federal Prosecutor Offices could play in investigating slaughterhouses and holding them accountable for failing to monitor their supply chains. In fact, many Amazonian federal prosecutors have recently called on slaughterhouses to submit supplier audits.Pará state became the first to release this type of detailed data last month. Meatpacking companies were asked to answer questions relating to the cattle they purchased in 2016 and, according to the data, more than 146,000 head of cattle were acquired from deforested land. JBS performed worst in comparison to other audited companies. The firm accounted for 84,420 head of cattle, 57 percent of livestock that had come from illegally deforested areas that year, and it received a 19 percent non-compliance score. The MasterBoi company raised the second highest livestock count on deforested land, at 28,231 head, with Frigol the third highest at 8,290 head, and Aliança the fourth highest at 7,530 head.In what is deemed a disappointing response by environmentalists, the Federal Prosecutors’ Office in Pará chose not to adopt sanctions against the slaughterhouses who performed badly in the cattle deforestation audits. According to Attorney General Daniel Azeredo, who has been at the helm of zero-deforestation agreements since 2009, it is now up to the market to reward the companies with the best audit results, something few experts expect to happen.The Mato Grosso state Prosecutors’ Office has yet to release the results of the livestock / deforestation audits it has received from slaughterhouses. The Attorney General of Mato Grosso told Mongabay that no date for the release of this data has been set, because prosecutors have been unable to overcome the slaughterhouses’ data protection policies.One of the cattle producers interviewed for Grazing the Amazon summarized the current situation: “The law is weak, it punishes nobody.”For now, with the government actively employing neither stick nor carrot, it seems little will happen to change the status quo, or to end illegal deforestation due to cattle ranching in the Amazon. It is conceivable, though analysts say unlikely, that the situation could change with October’s Brazilian elections.Cows grazing illegally on recently deforested rainforest land within Jamanxim National Forest, a federally protected area in the state of Pará, Brazil. Image by Marcio Isensee.Following the moneyBarreto believes that there are other things that could be done to solve the problem besides penalizing those who buy cattle fattened on newly deforested land. Banks have historically been major funders of big meat processing conglomerates in Brazil, and these financial institutions could bring pressure to bear on slaughterhouses with known connections to illegal deforestation within their supply chains.For example, Brazil’s gigantic national development bank, BNDES, has a 21 percent stake in JBS, and so could put economic pressure on the meatpacker. In fact, the government-run Norwegian Oil Fund, which invested $144,000 in JBS, came under fire earlier this month for failing to call into question proven deforestation in the meatpacking company’s supply chain.Perhaps as importantly, the public needs to be made aware of the alarming extent of rainforest destruction occurring at the hands of the cattle industry. Which is where Grazing the Amazon comes in, a film produced by ((O)) eco and Imazon, and sponsored by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). It offers invaluable insight into the environmental damage caused by ranchers, and provides a model for a sustainable and economically lucrative alternative.The ultimate practical solution is clear: academic researchers and environmentalists agree that there is already a wealth of degraded land in the Amazon which could be profitably utilized by cattle ranchers; there is simply no need to deforest further. All that is required is the will, the sanctions and the market incentives, to bring positive change into being.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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Kobe Paras hopes to see amateurs at the forefront of SEA Games campaign

first_imgTaal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing down For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold01:45Explosive Gilas Pilipinas not yet at its best, says Tim Cone05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown LATEST STORIES MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Negros Occidental gov’t, church call for prayers for safety of Taal evacuees LOOK: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 takes you straight to hell with a Music Video and First Look-Images Standhardinger, the Fil-German big man, along with Stanley Pringle had also been mentioned by SBP president Al Panlilio to be included in the pool.Tim Cone, the winningest coach in PBA history, is the SBP’s top choice to call the shots for the national team in the SEA Games, which will be held in the country. Francis Kong, Jason Magbanua headline ‘The School for the Passionate, New Bold U 2020’center_img View comments UP star Kobe Paras grateful to be part of the training pool for the 2019 SEA Games. | @MarkGiongcoINQ pic.twitter.com/bpBuj24Gr0— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) September 21, 2019ANTIPOLO—With his sight set toward the future, Kobe Paras thinks it would be best if all non-PBA standouts part of the Southeast Asian Games training pool would be included in the Philippine team’s final lineup for the regional meet.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4Paras, the University of the Philippines star, is just one of eight amateurs part of the list the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas submitted.ADVERTISEMENT Taal Volcano eruption: House to develop rehab plan for Batangas, Cavite, Laguna Kiefer Ravena makes smashing PBA return as NLEX trips Phoenix LOOK: Taal Volcano island 2 days after eruption ‘People evacuated on their own’ Also included are Paras’ teammates Juan Gomez de Liaño and Ricci Rivero, teen sensation Kai Sotto, Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena and Isaac Go, La Salle’s Justin Baltazar and National University’s Dave Ildefonso. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I’m just really happy. As you guys know, I was the youngest last time when we represented the SEA Games so hopefully, I get another chance by the SBP and whoever the head coach is because you know representing the country is just one thing I love to do,” Paras said after notching a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to help UP hold off University of the East, 62-56, in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday.READ:“I love just to represent the name in the front and not at the back and hopefully, by the 30th we may know who is part of the team.”“For me, I think all the collegiate [players on the pool] need to be part of the team because I saw in the interview that they want to like mix and match the pros and amateurs but I think it’s way better that we put the amateurs in front right now because like the saying, the kids are our future and I hope  they can help us amateurs be in the spotlight and to represent the country because it’s once in a lifetime so hopefully, that’s what happens but whatever they choose, whoever they choose it’s for the country.”Paras won a gold medal in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as a 19-year-old teamed up with the likes of Kiefer Ravena and Christian Standhardinger.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Spring Garden, Supenaam residents frustrated over water quality

first_img… says water “useless” Residents living in the villages of Spring Garden and Supenaam in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are complaining bitterly about the poor quality of water they are receiving from Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI).According to residents, over the past few months, they have been receiving “rusty” coloured water at a very low pressure. However, they are still made to pay a bill for water supplied.Despite several reports made to regional GWI officials, residents say the problem still exists. The water cannot be used for washing or cooking, causing residents to describe it as “useless.”Several residents also explained that in an entire day, they sometimes do not receive water at all through their taps and when it does flow, it usually takes hours for one bucket to full. “The water supply to us is very bad, it’s so red you cannot use it for anything, we pay our bill monthly, we should be provided with proper water, this is really unfair and we are making reports regularly,” one resident told Guyana Times.A housewife, who spoke with this publication, described the service provided by GWI as “poor” and said that many times, she has been forced to fetch water from a nearby canal to use in her home. She too said that despite the bad quality of water, GWI is efficient in sending their bills on time.Residents are therefore calling on the relevant authorities to look into the matter in an effort to have the situation rectified. This newspaper was told that residents are now solely dependent on rain water for domestic purposes when in the past, GWI’s water was used for domestic purposes.When this newspaper contracted a senior official from the Anna Regina branch of the water utility, this publication was told that the issue of dirty water is as a result of difficulties the Warousi well is experiencing.last_img read more

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Former AG representing Ashni Singh in SOCU probe

first_img…Jagdeo reluctant to have official return for questioningFormer Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, in face of the interest directed his way by the Guyana Police Force’s Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU), has secured the services of his former Cabinet colleague, former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall.Former NICIL HeadWinston BrassingtonDr Ashni SinghNandlall communicated news of this development yesterday to SOCU Chief, Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Sidney James.An official missive dispatched by the law offices of Mohabir A. Nandlall & Associates to SOCU head, Lieutenant Colonel (rtd) Sidney James, read: “Although my client is out of the jurisdiction, he always was and remains accessible, ready, able and willing to provide all, or any information at his disposal which your Unit may require.”Recent media reports have suggested that SOCU may be looking for Dr Singh, the Finance Minister and NICIL (National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited) Chairman during the Donald Ramotar Administration.SOCU is also reportedly focusing on the then NICIL Executive Director, Winston Brassington.Former President Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday expressed hesitancy in supporting efforts to have the two men — both of whom are out of the jurisdiction — return to Guyana to be at the disposal of SOCU, since that body has become a political outfit. Jagdeo told media operatives at his Church Street Office on Tuesday, “The thing is that these people can’t be there, put their whole lives on hold; because SOCU — one morning, every time the Opposition criticizes the Government — will get a call from (Attorney General) Basil Williams or (Public Security Minister) Khemraj (Ramjattan) or (Public Health Minister) Volda Lawrence to go after Ashni Singh or Nandlall for that day.”According to the Opposition Leader, “That is how the SOCU is operating; they getting calls, regular calls from Government (Ministers).”He has, in fact, suggested that the Commissioner of Police has been sidelined from command of the unit that is supposed to be under his purview. “You hear ministers talking about who will get lock up. Ministers have no line responsibility over SOCU…It comes through the Commissioner (of Police).”Jagdeo has posited that SOCU is entirely being used by the political directorate to pursue a witch-hunt. “It’s a pure witch-hunt. SOCU has been converted into a PNC (Peoples National Congress) outfit to go after PPP officials; not drug dealers, not money launderers, not anyone else, but to go after PPP people.”The Opposition Leader is adamant that the PPP will “continue to oppose the witch-hunt.”In seeking to qualifying his position, Jagdeo said the political direction being handed down to SOCU “is so blatant that when they (are) in Parliament, they (are) doing it all the time. Every time they get (criticized) and feel embarrassed about an issue, they say, ‘Watch out for SOCU next week! It is so blatant.”Jagdeo has also declared his support for former NICIL Executive Director Winston Brassington by pointing to the questionable audit that was conducted by former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran, a pro-coalition supporter.According to the former President, the witch hunt is persisting and the two identified victims for the weekend were Brassington and Dr Singh.He referred to a public missive written by Brassington in light of the media reports, “where he (Brassington) pointed out that he had responded paragraph by paragraph to Goolsarran’s audit, if we can call it an audit, because it’s more like a propaganda document.” The former President suggested that an impartial editor would juxtapose Brassington’s response with the actual audit findings presented by Goolsarran, “and then you will see how deficient his audit was.”Jagdeo observed that, given the history of the audit and how it was handled in the public domain, “that would be the only fair thing to do.”The Opposition Leader reminded that the audit report was first leaked to the media before it was even turned over to the NICIL staff to provide a formal response, after which there was a ceremony to publicly hand over the report to the Police.“Why would you need to publicly hand over an audit report to the police if it was not done only for propaganda value?” Jagdeo questioned.last_img read more

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Pico Rivera Gigante store to close

first_imgThe Gigante Supermarkets chain was founded in Mexico and is widely recognized there. The company began its expansion into the U.S. in 2000 and currently operates nine supermarkets in the United States, including the stores in Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Covina. The store was popular among Latinos in the area for the wide selection of traditionally Latino foods, the Spanish-speaking staff and signs written in English and Spanish. One customer, Rosa Ruelas, 54, said many products at Gigante are hard to find elsewhere. “They have a lot of things I really need,” Ruelas said. “When I read they were closing, I felt sad. The people who work here are so nice.” Gigante’s frugal prices are also a large draw for customers looking for a bargain. “I’m not too happy about it because their prices are really reasonable,” Lydia Lopez said. Lopez, 45, said she may shop at Food-4-Less when Gigante closes, but is not looking forward to the inconvenience of finding a new grocery store. A Time magazine article in 2003 said Gigante endured early controversies over labor problems when the company resisted unionization for workers. Critics claimed the supermarket used racist practices by hiring primarily Latinos, many of whom did not speak English and were willing to accept sub-market wages. Gigante eventually reached an agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and the store in Pico Rivera thrived, outdoing profits of other grocery stores in the area. Web site records show the Pico Rivera store is the first Gigante in the United States to be shut down. Eddie Valdez, 58, pointed to competition with Wal-Mart and other grocery stores in the area as a reason for the closure. Valdez said he does not shop regularly at Gigante, but uses the store when he is in the area. Valdez said he thinks the closure will be hard on those who shop there often. “For the people who live around here, it’s going to hurt them,” Valdez said. “They’re going to have to go right into Commerce.” Much of the staff of Gigante in Pico Rivera is being reassigned to the nearby location in Santa Fe Springs, where they will continue to work with the company. Others have chosen transfers to stores nearer their own homes, according to Maggie Arteaga, 36, who has worked with the company as a cashier trainer for eight months. “I still have my job,” Arteaga said. “Everybody is going to be put where they need to be.” A few were not so lucky. Delilah Miranda, 25, works for Gigante stocking merchandise. Miranda speaks little English, but expressed her concern about losing her job. Work will end for Miranda tomorrow, and she has not yet found a new position. “I don’t know,” Miranda said. “It’s difficult.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Residents of Pico Rivera looking for a little Latin flavor in their groceries may soon notice a gigante void in their supermarket options. The city’s Gigante supermarket on Whittier Boulevard will close Sunday after seven years of serving the community. Pico Rivera Store Director Juan Luis said he was brought in to Pico Rivera to shutter the 60,000- square-foot store two to three months ago. He would not comment further on the store closing its doors. Company executives did not return phone calls for comment. last_img read more

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Man United signings? Khedira and four more Real Madrid makeweights in De Gea deal

first_img 5. Raphael Varane – the pick of the bunch? – ?The France international is one of the finest young defenders in world football. General consensus seems to be that Madrid will be unwilling to negotiate in regards to the future of their prize asset. The question of why the Spanish outfit would even consider allowing him to leave certainly needs to be asked, but so does why he has not yet been installed as a clear first choice ahead of Pepe? At just 22 years of age, Varane’s development is not yet over, but he already commands an excellent understanding of the game, which has been coupled with frightening pace. United’s defensive situation might not be as bad as many made out at the start of the season, but new centre backs are required to bolster the back line. Varane would be a superb acquisition, but would need to be convinced that he should jump ship to become a pivotal figure at Old Trafford instead of biding his time at the Bernabeu. 5 1. Dani Carvajal – should the full back be one of the players that Man United attempt to include in a deal for David de Gea this summer? No? Don’t agree? Well, see the other players that we’ve picked by clicking on the yellow arrow, above right! – Antonio Valencia has performed admirably on the right hand side of United’s defence this season, but it would be naive to see him as a long-term solution to the problematic position. The Ecuadorian’s pace and power have helped to mask his defensive frailties, but a natural, modern-day full back is required. Such a role was supposed to be filled by Rafael, but the Brazilian has slipped down the pecking order and could now, like his twin brother Fabio, face an Old Trafford exit. His temperament has not developed and he is as rash and hot headed as the day he arrived at the club. Meanwhile, Carvajal has established himself as first choice at Madrid after the Spanish side opted to exercise their buy-back option and welcome him back into their first team fold at the start of the 2013/14 season. At 23 years of age, the Spain international is not immune to a mistake, but has the technique and attacking qualities that will appeal to Van Gaal. 3. Karim Benzema – check out the lowdown on Los Blancos’ striker below, then click right to see another midfield maestro – The purchase of the French forward may be somewhat fanciful, but he is one of few players of the ilk that United should be aiming for that could be available this summer. The 27-year-old has always been underappreciated at the Bernabeu, and is constantly believed to be the fall guy to make way for new arrivals, but his record is impressive. 15 La Liga goals is a tally that has only been bettered by Cristiano Ronaldo this season, while Benzema has also provided 10 assists for his team mates. Madrid could attempt to make a marquee signing up front during the close season, given that they do so on an almost annual basis, which could pave the way for a move to United. Van Gaal needs to strengthen his front line if a realistic title tilt is to be launched next term. Radamel Falcao has failed to impress and Robin van Persie’s form has faltered, while question marks remain over James Wilson. Wayne Rooney’s contribution alone will not be enough to compete. David de Gea is a key reason why the Red Devils are not staring down the barrel of a second season in the European wilderness, but a move to Real Madrid is now a distinct possibility.The goalkeeper, who arrived in the Premier League from Atletico Madrid with a slender frame and timid demeanour back in the summer of 2011, has firmly established himself at the top of tree.Unfortunately for United, Los Blancos are in the process of shaking the 24-year-old’s branches and trying to tempt him to return to the Spanish capital. In truth, it is rare to see a player leave Old Trafford of his own will and go on to better things, yet the Bernabeu is one of only a handful of locations where such a fate could prove to be true.By Louis van Gaal’s own admission, De Gea faces a difficult decision. His waves to the United faithful as he left the pitch with an injury against Arsenal last weekend may not represent his final actions in English football, but the opportunity to be installed as Madrid’s first-choice does not arise all too often. It could be a case of now or never for the Spain international.However, it may not solely be cash that United seek in exchange for their first-choice goalkeeper. Carlo Ancelotti has an abundance of options at his disposal, several of whom United could attempt to tie into the deal for De Gea. It’s not all about Gareth Bale. The forward may represent an ideal scenario for the Red Devils, but check out the five other Madrid players that should be on Van Gaal’s radar this summer above. 4. Asier Illarramendi – could the midfielder cope with regular game at Old Trafford? Get all the gossip below and then click right to find out the final man that definitely would – ?The fact that Madrid shelled out a whopping £34 million to sign the midfielder just two years ago highlights the vicious conveyor belt of transfers that takes place at Madrid. The Spaniard was heralded as the long-term successor to Xabi Alonso after his exploits with Real Soceidad, but has been eclipsed by the club’s more recent signings, such as Kroos. He has made 29 appearances in La Liga this season, 20 of which have been as a substitute, and an opportunity to play regular in the Premier League would surely be seized upon. His stint on the sidelines may count against him, but many have forgotten the manner in which Illarramendi can produce a composed and calming presence in front of the back four, courtesy of his superb passing repertoire. Carrick and Daley Blind may both represent better options at present, but the Spaniard’s signature could be a masterstroke if it arrives at a cut price. 5 5 5 2. Sami Khedira – read why the German could be an ideal candidate, then click right to see the front man who could ease Van Gaal’s front line headache – ?Speculation surrounding the Germany international’s situation has quietened down in recent weeks. Khedira was strongly tipped to leave Madrid last summer, but interest in his signature has disappeared since his proposed move failed to materialise. However, his situation remains the same. The midfield pair of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are unlikely to budge given that their nigh on flawless passing displays have epitomised some of the finest football Madrid have produced this season. Meanwhile, Khedira is simply too good to stagnate on the substitutes bench any longer. Heralded as one of the world’s best defensive midfielders prior to his knee injury, the 28-year-old could provide another welcomed option in front of United’s back four. An ageing Michael Carrick will not be around forever. 5last_img read more

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Bodyguards might have killed Afghans after suicide bombing

first_imgSayed Mohammad Bakir Hashimi, a Shiite cleric who performed a religious ceremony on Kazimi after the blast, told the AP the lawmaker had three bullet wounds. However, Kazimi’s family now denies he was hit by bullets. Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said most of the victims were hit by ball bearings from the bomb, and not bullets. Bashary gave different casualty numbers than the Education Ministry, saying 59 people in total were killed and 100 wounded. “There was small number of people injured by bullets,” Bashary said. “Bodyguards of lawmakers opened fire into the air and hit some people.” Adrian Edwards, the spokesman for the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, said there is “very, very conflicting” information on the number of gunfire victims. “The reports we’re hearing are that significant numbers were victims of gunfire, but defining who died from gunfire, who died from the explosion is pretty difficult,” Edwards said. Hundreds of children had crowded onto the tree-lined driveway leading to the New Baghlan Sugar Factory to greet visiting lawmakers when the blast went off. Witnesses and survivors describe bodyguards firing into the thick black smoke for up to five minutes after the attack. “One guy pointed his gun at me, but I put my hands up and said, `Don’t shoot!”‘ 13-year-old Nezamuddin said this week from his hospital bed. He said a bullet had passed through his ankle, which was bandaged with gauze. “A lot of bullets were fired. … My friends were hit by bullets.” The trees near the blast are pockmarked from the impact of the bomb’s ball bearings, and a nearby wall is scarred with bullet holes. Mourners set up a small memorial, including a red plastic flower wreath from the British Embassy. Visitors lit candles on the site, leaving puddles of white wax around the tree. Dr. Khalil Narmgui, director of the Baghlani-jadid hospital, said his staff treated 11 gunfire victims – five killed and six wounded. In the nearby city of Pul-i-Khumri, Dr. Mohammad Yousuf Fayyez of the provincial hospital said his staff were not able to differentiate between gunfire and bomb wounds, while Dr. Habib Rahman Fazli said none of those treated at the Pul-i-Khumri Textile Hospital suffered from gunfire. However, the U.N. official who asked not to be identified said that doctors told investigators that “we know how to differentiate between the bullet and blast wounds, we know how to tell the difference.” One doctor who helped treat patients said he was pressured to hide the truth. “One of the deputies of the ministry – I won’t say which ministry – said please don’t reveal the high number of casualties by the bullets,” the doctor said. He asked not to be named out of fear of reprisals. The head of Baghlan’s elected provincial council said he found it hard to believe that so few people admitted to the hospital were gunfire victims. “The people said it was raining bullets from the gunmen and security guards,” said Sarajuddin, who goes by one name. “It is surprising a mine or suicide bomb could hurt 200 people,” he said. At the Baghlani-jadid hospital this week, six boys and one man lay in a room, recovering from wounds. Ahmad Fareed pulled up his left pant leg to show where surgeons removed a bullet lodged in his left knee. A doctor held up the silver-colored, inch-long bullet. Outside on the hospital steps sat Mohammad Gul, who buried his 5-year-old son, Nazir. His older son Nassir, 13, is recovering from shrapnel that ripped through his legs. “Nassir doesn’t know about his younger brother. He asked me just now, `Where is my brother?’ … I told him, `He’s fine. He’s at home,”‘ Gul, 55, said, his voice cracking. “Half of Nazir’s head was blown off, and he was hit in the shoulder by a bullet.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Separate teams of U.N. investigators have uncovered conflicting information about the number of people hit by gunfire and are trying to reconcile the differences, according to two Western officials who have seen the internal reports. The two spoke to the AP on condition they not be identified, talking about preliminary findings. But at least one of those reports – based on interviews with witnesses and medical authorities and a reconstruction of the bomb scene – says that of the roughly 77 people killed and 100 wounded, up to two-thirds were hit by the three to five minutes of gunfire the bodyguards fired into the crowd, one official said. “A large number of people – and quite probably a majority – were killed and wounded as a result of gunfire after the blast,” said the second official, a U.N. employee. The official said one internal report is highly critical of the bodyguards’ reaction. Among the dead were 61 students and five teachers, said Education Ministry adviser Hamid Almi. Six members of parliament and five bodyguards also died. The deadliest previous suicide bombing in Afghanistan was in June, when 35 people were killed in a bomb attack on a police bus. Among the parliamentarians killed was Sayed Mustafa Kazimi, the chief spokesman of Afghanistan’s only opposition group, the National Front. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and Afghan officials say they don’t know who was behind the bombing. The Taliban has denied it was responsible. A government investigation is also under way. BAGHLANI-JADID, Afghanistan – Up to two-thirds of the 77 people killed and 100 wounded in a suicide bombing last week were hit by bullets from visiting lawmakers’ panicked bodyguards, who fired on a crowd of mostly schoolchildren for up to five minutes, a preliminary U.N. report says. Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry says only a “small number” of the victims were hit by gunfire, but an Afghan official in Baghlan province told The Associated Press that bodyguards were “raining bullets” on the crowd. The suicide bomb contained ball bearings, the Interior Ministry said, which may have caused wounds that look like bullet holes. An Afghan doctor who treated patients after the Nov. 6 blast, meanwhile, told the AP that a high-ranking government official told him not to publicly reveal the number of gunfire victims, suggesting a possible government cover-up. last_img
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WATCH: Luis Suarez shows off INSANE ball control – aided by a CRANE!

first_imgThere are no doubts Luis Suarez is one of the best footballers in the world, and the video above shows off just how incredible his talent is.The Barcelona star took part in a video for Adidas, aided by the F2Freestylers, in which he had to control a ball dropped from a 35 metre high crane.Lionel Messi was there for moral support, and clearly it worked – as Suarez completed the task in exceptional fashion.You can watch the video above…last_img

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