WITH APOEL crowned champions and the European slots all but secured by AEK, Omonia and Apollon, attention this weekend will shift towards the relegation dogfight. Ethnikos Achnas and Paphos FC are tied at the foot of the table on 35 points while Aris are just three points above them and with two games still to play, any of the three teams can join Ayia Napa and Paralimni in the second division.However whatever the results this weekend, the relegation scramble is set to go down to the wire as the two teams tied in last position will face each other in Paphos on the final day.This weekend, Paphos FC appear to have the toughest task as they are away to group leaders AEL.However AEL have long forgotten this season and have already begun their plans for next season. Their coach Pambos Christodoulou will not even be present at the game as he will be abroad scouting for players for the ‘new’ AEL.AEL are expected to field a number of youngsters as a number of foreign players have already been shown the door.Despite a bright start to the playoffs Paphos FC let slip a seven-point cushion and are now in imminent danger of relegation.“We have two finals, with hard work we believe that we can win both games and save our season”, Paphos FC’s press spokesman Louca said earlier this week.Ethnikos Achnas have finally regained the form that saw them defeat teams in the top group and know that their fate is now in their own hands.They are up against Aris who up until two weeks ago were sitting comfortably in second place. Two consecutive defeats and the Limassol team has begun to look over their shoulders as they still need a point to be sure of safety.In the final relegation group game Doxa Katokopias are at home to Ermis Aradippou.In the top group, champions APOEL travel to Limassol to face Cup finalist Apollon while second-placed AEK face the other finalist, Omonia, in Larnaca.At least three of the four teams – AEK and the two finalists – will field weakened teams.AEK will rest no fewer than eight plays while another three are suspended for their game against Omonia. With the Cup at the back of his mind Omonia coach Vladan Milojevic is also expected to give some of his key players a breather while Apollon coach Pedro Emmanuel is expected to do likewise.In the final game of the weekend Anorthosis take on pointless Nea Salamina and they need to win if they are to stand any chance of ‘stealing’ the last European slot from Apollon.
Olympic officials on Thursday cleared about 270 Russian athletes to compete at the Rio Olympics, just one day before the opening ceremony, the TASS news agency reported, citing the head of the Russian Olympic Committee.Russian boxers, tennis players, judokas and shooters were among those given the last-minute approval by an International Olympic Committee panel set up to review the eligibility of allRussian athletes previously cleared to compete by their international federations.“We have received documents on the admission of about 270 sportspeople, now we need to do the updated counting,” TASS cited Alexander Zhukov, the head of the Russian committee, as saying. That is about 70 percent of the 387 athletes Russia initially planned to send to the games.Russia, which narrowly avoided a complete ban from the Olympics following revelations of state-backed doping, had hoped to have between 272 and 280 athletes declared eligible for Rio after the IOC review.The International Boxing Association (AIBA) said all 11 Russian boxers who qualified for the Games had been given the all clear.They will be joined by eight Russian tennis players, 18 shooters, 11 judokas and Russian golfer Maria Verchenova, the sports’ international federations said.Russian news agency R-Sport reported that 29 Russian swimmers and canoeing world champion Andrey Kraitor would also be allowed to compete.“AIBA has carried out an individual analysis of the anti-doping record of each of the 11Russian boxers qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games…” AIBA said in a statement.“That process is now complete and confirmation has been received from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) Review Panel that the following 11 Russian boxers are eligible to compete at Rio 2016.”Russia‘s doping scandal, which centres on allegations that the Russian government and FSB security service systematically covered up widespread cheating in sport, has already cost the country’s track-and-field athletes and weightlifters their place at the Rio Games.The IOC chose not to impose a blanket ban on all Russian athletes at a meeting in July, but directed sports federations to allow Russians to compete if they met a set of criteria, including a clean doping past and sufficient testing at international events.The Games’ ruling body said on Saturday those decisions would now be reviewed by an independent panel consisting of Ugur Erdener, the IOC’s medical commission chairman, Germany’s Claudia Bokel and fellow IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr.
The ICC announced that an independent assessment has found the bowling action of Nosiana Pokana to be illegal and, as such, the left-arm fast bowler has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect.The assessment revealed that all his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.In accordance with Article 6.1 of the ICC Illegal Bowling Regulations, Pokana’s international suspension will also be recognised and enforced by all National Cricket Federations for domestic cricket events played in their own jurisdiction.However, according to Article 11.5 of the Regulations and with the consent of the Cricket PNG, Pokana may be able to bowl in domestic cricket events played under the auspices of Cricket PNG. Pokana was reported during a One Day International (ODI) between the Hebou PNG Barramundis and Hong Kong in Dubai on 8 December 2017, and had undergone an independent assessment of his bowling action on 6 January 2018 at the National Cricket Centre, Brisbane.Pokana can apply for a re-assessment after modifying his bowling action in accordance with clause 4.5 of the Regulations.Pokana, from Kalo Village in Central Province, has been a regular member of the Hebou PNG Barramundis since making his debut in a T20 International (T20I) against Ireland in Townsville in February, 2016.Pokana became the 114th player to play for the Hebou PNG Barramundis PNG and has played five ODIs and three T20Is for his country. This decision has meant that Pokana will not be available for selection for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, where the Hebou PNG Barramundis will be vying to qualify for their first ever ICC Cricket World Cup. (Nosiana Pokana bowling)
In the forests surrounding Río Abiseo National Park, in the Peruvian Amazon region of San Martín, a burgeoning chocolate industry is gaining traction.After dedicating more than twenty years to the cultivation of coca to supply cocaine trafficking, today the community of Mariscal Cáceres is committed to legal production of cacao that allows them to protect more than 300,000 hectares of forest.Cacao growers in the community are partnering with Swiss dairy farmer to produce high-quality chocolate for markets in Europe and the U.S. Augusto Sangama confesses that, twenty years ago, his life was worth nothing. He believes others in the community of Huicungo in the San Martín region in northern Peru felt the same way, saying that if any of them had been killed, no one would have asked for explanations of their death.These were times when cocaine paste was sold as if it were a kilo of sugar or rice, showing how high the demand was and leading to an increase in trafficking. Planes with drugs left daily from the Alto Huallaga Valley, where the community is located. Augusto recalls that the majority of local farmers were engaged in the illicit cultivation of coca crops, from which cocaine is produced. Now at 64, he observes the hundreds of cacao tree seedlings destined for the chocolate industry he has planted on land once used to grow coca, as well as the intact biodiversity of nearby Río Abiseo National Park, he can’t understand why he could not live like this before.“Where there was coca, there was money,” Sangama recalled, saying that no cacao producer forgets what happened in the 1980s and 90s after the drug cartels and the Shining Path guerrilla rebel organization had seized the region. “You could not make a mistake because if you did they beheaded you in front of everyone,” he said. Many share these memories with their children and grandchildren. “We must remember how much progress we have made,” said Sangama, who is now president of the Association of Agricultural Producers of Huicungo (Apahui).Río Abiseo National Park extends along 274,520 hectares (678,353 acres) in the province of Mariscal Cáceres, in the San Martín region. It was created to preserve the cloud forests of the Tropical Andes. Photo courtesy of SernanpMuch has happened since 2000 when there were only a few farmers who believed they could make a living cultivating cacao in San Martín. After the eradication of illegal coca crops and the capture of the primary narco-terrorists who controlled the area, many farmers were forced to find another way to support themselves and their families and so began growing citrus fruit. This shift increasingly focused on cacao, and today there are at least four cooperatives that are dedicated to the production and export of the crop in the province of Mariscal Cáceres.Sangama’s association, Apahui, currently has 120 partners that sell their raw material with an organic certification, a title that they were able to obtain in 2014. Now the profits have allowed them to buy new machinery to dry and process the cacao they export especially to Europe.Today Mariscal Cáceres is the site of many success stories. These include the communities of Santa Rosa and Pucallpillo, two of the hardest hit by narco-terrorism that now export their cacao for the production of Gaggo Leche milk chocolate bars, which are prepared with Peruvian cacao and the milk of 200 Swiss producers. Both the milk and cacao used to make the chocolate bars come from two protected areas: the Gran Pajatén Biosphere Reserve of Peru and the Entlebuch Biosphere Reserve of Switzerland.The farmers who grow the cacao are full partners in the production association, which means they have access to profits for equipment and conservation projects. “Last year they obtained 100,000 Peruvian soles ($30,442.50 USD) and bought one of the best drying centers in the region,” said Ronald Rojas, executive director of the Fundación Amazonía Viva, an organization that brings together several cacao cooperatives and local conservation organizations.The Swiss Peruvian company Choba Choba partners with 36 farming families in the Alto Huayabamba Valley. With the cacao they produce and the milk from Swiss dairy farms, they have created the first chocolate produced in two biosphere reserves of UNESCO. Photo courtesy of Choba ChobaWinston Ruíz Weninger, who was born in the village of Dos de Mayo sayd he saw how his parents and grandparents had to work hard to break free from their dependence on illegal coca cultivation. Now, as a forestry engineer in the Association for the Protection of Communal Forests of Dos de Mayo – Alto Huayabamba (Aproboc), Ruíz Weninger can fulfill the dream he had since adolescence: to protect the forests. The influence of recognitionIn addition to cacao production, the province of Mariscal Cáceres is also home a protected area granted some of the highest levels of protection of the country. Río Abiseo National Park comprises 274,520 hectares (678,353 acres) and was created in 1983 to “protect the cloud forests of the Andean tropics and conserve wildlife in danger of extinction, in addition to protecting the archaeological complexes of Gran Pajatén and Los Pinchudos,” according to the National Service of Natural Protected Areas (also known by its acronym in Spanish, Sernanp). Due to its cultural wealth, the park was also declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity site by UNESCO in 1990. Two years later, it was listed in the Mixed World Heritage Site category that recognizes places that are important both naturally and culturally.According to Sernanp, Río Abiseo National Park is home to around 409 species of birds. Photo courtesy of Christian Quispe/SernanpSince then, the park has received other designations. The head of the park, Víctor Hugo Macedo, says that in 2015 the Ibero-American Model Forest Network listed the park as a Model Forest Río Huallabamba Abiseo. The following year, the park, together with two million more hectares, were grouped in what is known today as the Gran Pajatén Biosphere Reserve — a designation again granted by UNESCO. With it, the area became the fifth UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the country.“All these titles are not only for recognition. They serve so that a farmer who works near the park or conserves lands in the buffer zone can capitalize on these achievements and add an economic and social value to his product,” Macedo told Mongabay.Drying the cacao is an important part of the production process. Photo courtesy of SernanpA 2013 study by the Pacific University found that the average cacao grower receives between S/. 2,031 and S/. 3038 ($630 and $940 USD) more annually than would be earned working outside of the park’s area of influence.In addition, the study found that Río Abiseo National Park “contributes to improving the welfare of cacao producers in the buffer zone.” And it states that “this improvement can be valued in S/. 1.32 million to S/. 1.97 million ($320,000 to $340,000) annually for the entire San Martín region.”Ronald Rojas of the Fundación Amazonía Viva (Fundavi) argues that cacao grown in this area is 40 percent more productive than in the rest of the San Martín region.“The Regional Agrarian Directorate of San Martín points out that in 2017 the province of Mariscal Cáceres alone generated S/. 113 million ($34 million) in cacao,” he said.The head of the park affirms that, since the park’s inception, one of the objectives has always been to support the development of local communities.“At the beginning, it was difficult because the cultivation of the coca leaf was very aggressive. Little by little, when the organizations realized that they had a better commercial acceptance of their legal production, we started to gain allies,” he said.Cacao growing in the buffer zone of the Río Abiseo National Park. Photo courtesy of Christian Quispe/SernanpPlanting for the futureA further boon to both conservation efforts and cacao growers was the official approval of the Martín Sagrado Biocorridor in 2010. The biocorridor grouped 303,685 hectares (750,422 acres) within the buffer zone of Río Abiseo National Park and delegated its administration to three associations of cacao farmers. This was accomplished through a REDD+ project, which is the application of a mechanism created to fight against climate change — established by the Bali Action Plan during COP 13 in 2007 — that economically compensates tropical developing countries for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Through this project, a company seeking to offset its carbon emissions can buy “credits” in forests such as San Martín, the revenue from which allows local communities to continue caring for this natural area instead of cutting down trees.Gran Pajatén Biosphere Reserve includes Río Abiseo National Park and other concessions for conservation concessions and areas for reforestation and sustainable agriculture. Courtesy of Fundación Amazonía VivaRonald Rojas of Fundavi highlights the value of the Martín Sagrado Biocorridor, explaining that it provides important habitat for wildlife like yellow-tailed woolly monkeys, yellow-browed toucanets, spectacled bears, cock of the rocks and jaguars, as well as threatened tree species.The Martín Sagrado Biocorridor is divided into three concessions for conservation purposes: Martín Sagrado, El Breo and Montecristo. They have been authorized by the National Forest and Wildlife Service (also known by its acronym in Spanish, Serfor) as areas for scientific research and environmental education. Inside them, sustainable tourism and the use of non-timber forest resources is allowed, which go hand in hand with conservation projects such as beekeeping or seed collection.Around 114,000 hectares (281,700 acres) are part of the El Breo concession, which is managed by Aproboc.“For us, it was an opportunity that fell from the sky,” says forest engineer Winston Ruíz Weninger. Although he left his community for many years to receive training, he said he never stopped thinking about Dos de Mayo and its potential.Río Abiseo National Park is home to an archeological site called Gran Pajatén. Photo courtesy of SernanpRuíz Weninger says he has not forgotten how his neighbors and residents of other regions of the country once raided the forest at will.“There was a lot of mahogany here and that made the forest a gold mine,” he told Mongabay. That is why he recognizes that the creation of the association was an important step towards conservation.According to Ruíz Weninger, the creation of the association also added value to their products. But the Dos de Mayo community decided to go a step further and began working on the commercialization of “Chocoplatano,” a powder that brings together two of the most important products of the village: chocolate and plantain. “Now with the stamp of origin certifying that the product comes from a conservation area, the price increases,” Ruíz Weninger said.“Now we are in a place of excellence and the world can learn from us,” he added.Ronald Rojas of Fundavi says that residents from different countries visit the region learn about their REDD+ project, and to study how they implemented this system and gain insight into the conservation management plans they have in the biocorridor.The concessions “El Breo” and “Montecristo” have now been joined by “Martín Sagrado,” which is managed by the Agricultural Cooperative Cacaotera (also known by its acronym in Spanish, Acopagro) and has certified 108,800 hectares (268,850 acres) within its territory as part of the REDD+ mechanism. Concession manager Linda Weninger believes that the future of agricultural associations is to invest in conservation.“We export organic cacao to Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, Canada and France. If we were seen as a strong cacao business when we started, now we are also considered advocates of conservation,” Weninger said.Acopagro is also taking part in tree-planting efforts in the buffer zones of both Río Abiseo National Park and its concession. The most common seedlings planted are bolaina and shihuahuaco species. Photo courtesy of AcopagroConservation efforts and implementing new sources of income does not stop with the concessions located in the biocorridor. The associations that Fundavi created have a tree-planting project that has so far resulted in the establishment of more than 2 million trees. The project consists of restoring and stabilizing the soil through the cultivation of timber species so that younger farmers have an assured retirement security fund via these plantations.Augusto Sangama, from Apahui, is excited for this project, which is called “Safe Retirement.”“The objective is that we can use forest resources to guarantee our pension,” he said.Ronald Rojas says that this initiative has spread to other communities in San Martín, and by 2017 had resulted in the planting of some 4 million trees.“We dream of becoming a forestry power in a few years,” Rojas said.“Fair Amazonia,” a social enterprise, has also been created to improve management. Through it, cooperatives of growers have become shareholders, which will allow them to ultimately benefit from the commercialization and profits gained from ecosystem services as a result of tree-planting and, eventually, timber extraction.But Rojas believes that the happy ending has already been written for the cacao farmers of Mariscal Cáceres.“First it was rubber, then coca. We prosper with cacao and now the carbon arrives. It’s as if the letter ‘c’ is guiding our way,” he said between smiles.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on June 19, 2018.Banner image: The Río Abiseo National Park has made local cacao farmers conservation allies. Photo courtesy of SernanpFeedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Archive, Cacao, coca plantations, Community-based Conservation, Conservation Solutions, Deforestation, Drug Trade, Environment, Featured, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Illegal Trade, National Parks, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Redd, Redd And Communities, Tropical Forests 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 overSponsored
National senior men’s football team head coach Theodore Whitmore has said that despite his satisfaction with the team’s 0-0 draw with Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Thursday night in Denver Colorado, there is still work to be done to improve. The Reggae Boyz put on a very defensive, but organised display, and Whitmore said that although that was not the original intention, he credits his team for how it adapted to the situation in the game and kept its shape defensively. “That’s how the game developed,” Whitmore said. “At times, we caught out the Mexicans. At times, (Oneil) Fisher made runs behind the defenders. (Darren) Mattocks made runs, but again we failed to execute that pass, and as I said, it’s game by game. We didn’t have enough time to work on things we wanted to do or what we wanted to achieve, but again, we are very pleased with the draw.” Team P W DL F A GD Pts 1 Mexico 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 4 2 Jamaica 2 1 1 0 2 0 +2 4 3 El Salvador 2 1 0 1 0 4 0 3 4 Curacao Following Sunday’s 2-0 win over CuraÁao, Whitmore had said that the team had issues transitioning from defence to attack. Those feelings have not changed, as he said he still saw those problems against Mexico. “I think it was a very tactical, disciplined performance. We knew what the Mexicans had to offer. I think we didn’t give them enough room and space to hurt us, and we know they were gonna go down the flanks and they were gonna cross, but we took that out of their game. We didn’t create just as they did. They had a lot of ball possession but they didn’t create anything in front of our goal. We still need to work on our transition. I think going forward, when we catch teams on the break, we tend to go back instead of pass. There’s a lot we can take from this game, but we still have room for improvement. Whitmore said that his team has gotten the better of both teams they have faced so far in the Gold Cup, after losing the Caribbean Cup final 2-1 to Curacao last month and the Gold Cup final 3-1 to Mexico in 2015. “I think we have put the Caribbean Cup behind us, knowing the fact that we want to retain our title, but despite not retaining the title and now that we are in the Gold Cup 2015, I think that augers well,” he said. “We have lost to CuraÁao in a final, we have lost to Mexico in a final, now we play them back to back – Curacao and the Mexicans and I think we got the better of them.” The Reggae Boyz now move to four points, the same as Mexico, but are second on goal difference. They will meet El Salvador at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. Jamaica time. Standings Transition issues
President Donald Trump’s criticism of players who protest during the national anthem incited a mass increase in such activism yesterday, with more than 100 NFL players sitting or kneeling, others raising their fists and whole teams standing with locked arms to display unity. One team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, stayed in the locker room during The Star-Spangled Banner. Last week across the entire NFL, only four players knelt or sat, and two stood with their fists raised. In the nine early games yesterday, AP reporters counted 102 players kneeling or sitting, and at least three raising their fists. The reactions reverberated across the Atlantic, where about two dozen players, including Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before the start of the teams’ game at Wembley Stadium in London. Other players on both teams and Jaguars owner Shad Khan remained locked arm-in-arm throughout the playing of the national anthem and God Save The Queen. No players were kneeling during the British anthem. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first athlete to refuse to stand during the national anthem as a protest to police treatment of minorities last year. This season, no team has signed him, and some supporters believe NFL owners are avoiding him because of the controversy. That protest movement ballooned yesterday following Trump’s weekend rant that began with him calling for NFL protesters to be fired. It continued Saturday with the president rescinding a White House invitation for the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, who had said they were considering not attending. By yesterday, it was one of the main topics of conversation on social media and around the country. Wading into thorny issues of race and politics, Trump’s comments in a Friday night speech in Huntsville, Alabama, and a series of Saturday tweets drew sharp responses from some of the nation’s top athletes, with LeBron James calling the president a “bum”. Hours later, Major League Baseball saw its first player take a knee during the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump said to loud applause at Friday night’s rally, comments he kept echoing over the next two days. “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our flag & country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!” the president said in a tweet yesterday morning. – AP PROTEST AGAINST POLICE
When sugar and rice sneezes, Guyana catches a cold. It is an old adage that has always been associated with the Guyanese economy. Therefore it was quite surprising to many that the Administration failed to conduct a proper social and economic impact study on the sugar belt before moving forward on the decision to close Wales Sugar Estate at the end of 2016. Only recently, following an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team visit in Guyana, the preliminary findings in its report ‘IMF speak’ warned the Government to be “mindful of the large social impact” and the “need to protect those affected” by the process of change in the industry.Today, we are witnessing a rapid tumbling of the foreign exchange rate. However, the Administration is attempting to cast aspiration on all and sundry rather than look inwardly. The Government even dismissed civil society organisations, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) for speaking on this issue. All the GMSA was doing was its job as a Private Sector organisation by independently advocating on the issues that are affecting its membership.On March 31, the Bank of Guyana released its Banking System Statistical Abstract for February 2017. This is a critical tool for financial strategy in any country. It is prepared by the Central Bank with assistance from the Finance Ministry, the Bureau of Statistics and the commercial banks. What was revealed in that document reinforced what the Private Sector and the Leader of the Opposition and former President Bharrat Jagdeo had been saying all along. It was former President Jagdeo who said “the Government’s policy is driving the foreign currency market into a panic”. The GMSA even went further to urge the authorities to “take immediate step to stabilise the value of the local currency.” But according to the figures we are now seeing in this Central Bank Report, the “boat done gone a falls”.The report illustrated that at the end of February 2017, the Net International Reserves at the Central Bank was US$594.4 million, a decline of some US$45.4 million from a year ago. If we add the foreign currency in the vaults of the commercial banks into the equation, the situation is even worse. All the evidence is now pointing to the economy actively heading back to the days of 1976-1979 when, because of grave mismanagement of the economy under the then People’s National Congress Government, the real per capita income cumulatively declined by 25 per cent according to a World Bank Report published in 1984. And it only took less than two years this time.Guyana experienced cumulative positive growth for its people since and continued under all of the People’s Progressive Party Government. So much so that the GDP per capita in 2015 was 10 times what it was in 1992. From the very inception, it required a partnership between the Government, the Private Sector, and civil society. This is what is lacking today under the present Administration.Guyana has always been about the six sisters as President Granger describes them (rice, sugar, gold, bauxite, forestry and seafoods). But the manner in which this Administration continues to treat the productive sectors, especially the sugar and rice sectors, is starting to show serious symptoms of economic stagnation. No amount of new taxation measure can turn this situation around. It requires positive public policies continuously that will return confidence in the economy.This inability to formulate positive public policy continuously after some two years at the helm has already brought great hardship to the ordinary people. President David Granger cannot remain a bystander to this issue. He has to lead.
Dear Editor,President David Granger, according to a report appearing on an online news entity, during a function he attended in New York, is reported to have described sugar and the other traditional economic sectors as a curse. The President, if the report is accurate, has made a very bold statement and one which, in my view, says a lot about him and his Government.As Guyanese, we learnt that we should never curse the bridge that you walk on. But the President, through his utterances, has done exactly what we were told we should never do. Our traditional economic sectors, which the President has described as the six sisters, have served us well and continue to remain relevant. In fact, two of them – rice and sugar – are the only sustainable industries that our country possesses, now more than half a century after independence.From the report, the President says we should look forward to oil and gas which would be transformational. But it seems the President, his large Cabinet and the Administration’s several dozen advisors have not been reading the news.Certainly had they done so, they would have read about the growing resistance and the moves by quite a few countries to turn away from fossil fuel to electric vehicles, with some nations hoping to have such a transformation in just about 20 years from now.Just a few months ago, investment guru Dennis Gartman admitted in an interview that petroleum is “a worthless commodity”. Gartman went on to say that “crude oil, over the course of the next 20 to 40 years, is going to be a worthless commodity… it will be supplanted by something else.”I urge President Granger and his Government not to cast aside the ‘six sisters’ and place our dreams, hopes, aspirations and our future in oil. It is a very slippery slope and as the experience of Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela is showing us, sole dependency on oil is far from being a panacea.As famed Caribbean economist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, Sir Arthur Lewis has taught us, let us maintain our existing sectors as we seek to diversify and build our economies.Yours sincerely,Patricia Persaud
0Shares0000BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil, June 27 – A towering Paulinho header saw Brazil edge out Uruguay 2-1 on Wednesday in an ill-tempered Confederations Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte to set up a final with either world champions Spain or Italy.Fred scored from close range two minutes from half-time to calm home nerves for the five-time world champions and Confederations title holders after Diego Forlan had first missed a penalty for Uruguay. But Edinson Cavani pulled a poachers strike out of the bag three minutes after the restart and thereafter the Samba stars were rocking before Paulinho rose high to plant a firm close-range header past Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal to cement a barely deserved victory.Matches between the South American neighbours have long been tense affairs – not least since the Uruguayans shocked the Brazilians in the 1950 World Cup final in Rio to deny their hosts a first title.But what gave this meeting added spice as both nations limber up for next year’s World Cup were pre-match comments by Uruguayan skipper Diego Lugano labelling Brazilian starlet Neymar a diver.The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) issued a furious rebuttal of the claim, but there was clearly no love lost between the sides as they snapped into tackles and scrapped for every smidgin of territory.Brazil made a sluggish start and Lugano was to the fore as he won a penalty for the Uruguayans after 16 minutes.The veteran defender tussled with Chelsea centreback David Luiz in the box and went down – but Chilean referee Enrique Osses quickly spotted that Luiz had tugged on his rival’s shirt and gave the spotkick.Uruguay’s record goalscorer Forlan stepped forward but placed his low kick too close to Julio Cesar, the Brazilian keeper diving away to his left to push the ball round the post and elicit a deafening cheer from a 60,000 crowd at the Estadio Mineirao.Around twice that number were in the streets, kept out by a police cordon as they joined yet another protest against crumbling public services and government corruption as well as the multibillion bill for staging major sporting events.Police said beforehand they expected trouble but Brazil, mindful of coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s urging them to make their countrymen proud, finally awoke from their nervy slumbers and took the lead two minutes before the break with their first chance of note aside from a speculative Oscar effort over the top.Neymar chased a long punt down the left and stretched to flick the ball across goal for Fred to poke home a scissor kick finish from the edge of the six yard box, sparking pandemonium in the crowd.By then, Neymar had certainly spent some time on his back – yet the Barcelona-bound 21-year-old was a marked man as Cavani earned a booking for yanking him back.Yet Brazil were still nowhere near to finding the flowing form which had brought three wins and nine goals in the group stage and three minutes after the restart Uruguay were level through Cavani, the Napoli man threading a left-foot strike past Cesar.Some dreadful defending saw the hosts fail to clear their lines as Luiz, Thiago Silva and Luiz Gustavo lost their bearings and Cavani drilled in hard and low to stun the home support.Forlan then had a half-chance to atone for his earlier faux pas but fired straight at Cesar.Scolari reacted to a increasingly leaden showing taking off Hulk, replacing him with local favourite Bernard.Scolari also took off Oscar and sent on Hernanes in an attempt to inject some fresh drive.Yet it was Uruguay who were turning the screw with first Luis Suarez heading fractionally over from a Forlan cross on 73 minutes before Cavani turned Hernanes inside out and slid an effort just wide as the Uruguayans attacking trident almost embarrassed a shaky home back four.But with four minutes remaining Neymar whipped over a corner from the left and Paulinho outjumped Martin Caceres and seal their place in the final.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
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