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Monday December 31, 2012

Kaieteur News

Motorcyclist dies in Aubrey Barker Road accident A motorcyclist did not live to see the year 2013 as he was pronounced dead at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) at around 20:00hrs last night following an accident on Aubrey Barker Road, South Ruimveldt Park. The man’s name was given as Christopher Fraser.

Although reports are sketchy, Kaieteur News learnt that Fraser ’s motorcycle crashed into a car as he towed his wife, Sharon Fraser, and their three year old son. The three persons were rushed to the hospital by public spirited persons who claim to not have any knowledge of what occurred.

“We just see the crowd and somebody raised up an injured child. When we go, people like they didn’t even want carry the people to the hospital, so we just put them in our car and bring them here,” a woman said. The driver of the car is said to be in police custody assisting with investigations.

Wife beater placed on one year bond Seeran Gurdat ,21, of Reliance East Canje Berbice was on Friday given a stern warning and placed on a oneyear bond by Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo at the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court before whom he appeared on a charge of assault. The cane cutter was accused of beating his wife, Anisha Inshanally, with a cutlass at their home on Monday 10th December following a

misunderstanding over the couple’s baby. Prosecutor Sergeant Godfrey Playter presenting the state’s case told the court that on the day in question the couple was at home. The woman was making something for the baby who was crying. The accused called out to her to hurry up. The woman in turn told him to take care of the baby until she was finished. Gurdat got annoyed and dealt the woman several

‘broadsides’ about her body, while using indecent language. The matter was reported to the Reliance Police Station and the accused was arrested and charged. Gurdat apologized to the court and asked for pardon and promised to be of good behaviour. The Magistrate took him up on his promise and placed him on one year bond, failing which he will be jailed for 14 days.

Pomeroon boat tragedy...

Captain of regional vessel suspended from operating The Captain of the Regional Administration vessel that was involved in the Pomeroon tragedy has been suspended from operating any vessel, a police official said yesterday. The Captain is at the centre of the investigation, following allegations that he left the scene of the collision without attempting to assist the victims. It is unclear whether the probe has implicated anyone else, given that there were senior regional officials on the vessel at the time. The Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) has recommended criminal charges and a preliminary investigation found failure to render assistance to the victims as one of several breaches of maritime regulations that occurred during and after the accident. Criminal charges could be issued today. The MARAD investigation revealed that the collision occurred after “one or both captains” failed to observe the international regulation for preventing collision at sea and the Guyana Shipping Act of 1998 Sect 225 (1). The probe also found that a number of breaches had occurred in the Collision Regulations. They included failing to maintain a proper

look out at all times; failing to proceed at a safe speed so as to take proper and effective action to avoid collision; failing to alter the vessel’s course to starboard and failing to render assistance to operator and passengers. Both the captain of the Region Two vessel and Regional Chairman Parmanand Persaud refuted allegations that the vessel left the scene without attempting to rescue the victims. The Ministry of Public Works release stated that a preliminary investigation was conducted immediately “into this most unfortunate accident and the facts are that on the day of the accident, both vessels were travelling close to the left bank of the river on a reciprocal or nearly reciprocal course when they collided.” The collision was caused by one or both Captains of the vessels having failed to observe the international regulation for preventing collision at sea and the Guyana shipping act of 1998 Sect 225 (1). The probe revealed that at the time of the collision it was raining but that did not obscure the Captains’ visibility. The Region Two vessel and a smaller boat carrying the captain and six passengers collided in the Pomeroon during a

downpour. Boat captain Harrynarine Bhagwandeen and passengers Velda Rodrigues, 50; Shawn Anthony, 14; Rajkumar Singh, 14 and his sister Amerieta Singh, 10; and Vincent Singh, 42 were all killed. A child, Eli Orlando, was the lone survivor. Relatives of the victims have accused the captain of the vessel owned by the Region Two Administration of failing to render aid to the victims. But the captain and Mr. Parmanand Persaud told Kaieteur News that the boat operator discharged his passengers and tried to help the victims. However, they claimed that by then, two other vessels had gone to the rescue. The captain also claimed that Bhagwandeen swerved into his path and should have been travelling on the other side of the river. A passenger from the Region Two vessel had told Kaieteur News that she heard Regional Chairman, Parmanand Persaud, shout: “Captain look out, there’s a boat coming!” seconds before the two boats collided. The passenger said that the captain swerved and Bhagwandeen’s boat struck the side of the vessel she was in.

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Dameon Belgrave killing...

Two cops to face manslaughter charges - one accused rank goes missing Two police ranks are likely to appear in court today on manslaughter charges related to the October 7 shooting death of 21-year-old Dameon Belgrave. But there are reports that one of the ranks has gone missing. The decision was made late last week after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) returned the file to the police after clearing up some queries related to the identity of the rank who fired the fatal shot. Both ranks are from the Tactical Services Unit (TSU). One of the policemen is a corporal while the other is a constable. Both men have similar surnames. Kaieteur News understands that police investigators have been unable to locate the corporal, who failed to turn up for work yesterday. An official said that investigators also failed to

locate the policeman after checking at his home. His apparent disappearance is similar to the scenario in which two police ranks disappeared shortly before they were charged with the shooting death of 17year-old Agricola resident Shaquille Grant, who was shot dead last September in Agricola. Belgrave was accidentally shot by TSU ranks who were pursuing the occupants of a vehicle in the vicinity of the White Castle Fish Shop in Hadfield Street. He would have celebrated his 22nd birthday the following day. One bullet struck the 21year-old and exited his body. Of the three police ranks that were at the scene, two were armed with assault rifles, while the third had a 9mm pistol. The policeman with the pistol and one of the ranks who had an assault rifle

Dameon Belgrave admitted to discharging their firearms. However, none of the two ranks admitted to firing directly at Belgrave. While one rank claimed that he shot in the air, the other said he accidentally discharged his weapon. Kaieteur News understands that forensic pathologist Dr. Vivekanand Bridgemohan indicated that Belgrave was shot with a highpowered weapon.

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Kaieteur News

KAIETEUR NEWS Printed and Published by National Media & Publishing Company Ltd. 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana. Publisher: GLENN LALL Editor: ADAM HARRIS Tel: 225-8465, 225-8491 Fax: 225-8473, 226-8210


Beyond the ethnic reflex

The rumination of the African-American intellectual Glen Loury on the constraints of identity politics is salutary for Guyanese at this time: We are all familiar with what I will call the “identity reflex.” We all hear the call of some tribe or another. We humans are a variegated lot—differing by race, ethnicity, cultural heritage, religion, and political and sexual orientation. This is, of course, as it should be. Diversity is a good thing—really. Still, there are times when the call of the tribe just might be a siren’s call and when an excessive focus on “identity” could lead one badly astray. What is more, I firmly believe that now is just such a time. In On Liberty John Stuart Mill offers a radical, passionate defence of the norm of unencumbered public discussion. Mill’s profound argument holds that individual persons must be allowed to express themselves freely, except when harm results for discrete individuals. Mill’s point is cultural as well as political; he is concerned not only with oppressive laws, but also with an intolerant culture: Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them. The most important challenges and opportunities that confront any of us derive not from our cultural or sexual identities, not from our ethnic or racial conditions, but from our common human condition. I am a husband, a father, a son, a teacher, an intellectual, a citizen. In none of these roles is my race irrelevant, but neither can identity alone provide much guidance for my quest to adequately discharge these responsibilities. The particular features of one’s social condition, the external givens, merely set the stage of one’s life. They do not provide a script. That script must be internally generated; it must be a product of a reflective deliberation about the meaning of this existence for which no political program or ethnic category could ever substitute. Or, to shift the metaphor slightly, the socially contingent features of one’s situation—one’s racial heritage, family background, or sexual orientation, for instance—and the prevailing views and attitudes about such identity tropes held by other people in society—these things are the building blocks, the raw materials, out of which one must yet construct the edifice of a life. The authentic expression of a person’s individuality is to be found in the blueprint that he or she employs to guide this project of selfauthorship. And the problem of devising such a plan for one’s life confronts all people, whatever their race, class, ethnicity, or other identifying category. By facing and solving this problem we grow as human beings and give meaning and substance to our lives. A personal program overly dependent on the contingencies of identity falls tragically short of its potential because it embraces too parochial a conception of what is humanly possible, and of what is humanly desirable. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce says this about Irish nationalism: When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by these nets. . . . Do you know what Ireland is? . . . Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow. But the trick, as Joyce knew, is to turn such nets into wings.

Monday December 31, 2012

Letters... Where your views make the news

Are we caught in a cycle of an eternal downward spiral of despair? DEAR EDITOR, Will this be a chance for the working-class to break the chains or more chances for the chosen few to accumulate more gains? Guyana with its people and abundant natural resources was poised for greatness in the Englishspeaking Caribbean. Yet despite its natural resources and industrious and brilliant people, Guyana spiraled into a cycle of unprecedented decline and disrespect. The land and its resources, outsiders and natural disasters are not to blame for this decimation. This means that the Guyanese people are responsible for this decline. Or more accurately, some people in leadership roles and their faithful followers have been forcing us into the ground or across the Ocean. We must ask what made us so prone to self-destructive tendencies. Is it our genetic heritage, historical environment, or both? We shall try to have a brief review of our history in an effort to understand ourselves and get some idea of how we can stop this self-destruction. Yesteryear, the plantation owners kept their slaves under their heels, denying them among other things not only their basic human rights and dignity, but also their cultural heritage including opportunities to learn their own histories, religions, folklore, myths and traditions. The ‘Lords of the Plantation’ lawfully decided the punishment and pain (or

death) inflicted on any (‘subhuman’) who violated or challenged the authority of their self-proclaimed ‘divine’ status and rights. The inflicted public executions of punishments on the rebellious slaves were delegated to other oppressed slaves. Often the choice faced was to kill or be killed. Those who killed their own remained in the gene pool. (We have never been in their shoes and cannot say what we would do under similar circumstances.) Those brave few who refused and chose death were eliminated from the gene pool. Great people are among the first to be eradicated. Yet great people keep replacing those eliminated. We therefore had a vast reservoir of great people here. But there were a few opportunistic slaves who did such ‘evil things’ (beating, snitching etc.) willingly for personal gain (better treatment, bigger lodgings, sexual opportunities etc.) or to ingratiate themselves with the oppressors. (Likewise we cannot judge this small subset since we have never experienced the horrors of their lives.) These survived and contributed to the gene pool. Some of our slaveforbears took flight to the bushes to escape from the plantations. (There were no foreign safe havens for escapees). Some mimicked their superiors out of necessity to survive. Some realized that education was a tool to lift themselves out of their abysmal conditions

when hopefully slavery ends and tried to learn as much as possible, when the opportunities were presented. (In fact, this love of learning and respect for knowledge was in their genes – later evidenced by the superb scholarship shown by their descendants.) A few dreamed of one day wearing white corked-hats and plumes of feathers on their heads, various medals on their chests and a baton (symbol of authority) in their hands and walking or riding on horses as the Governor – the supreme local ‘LordGovernor’ overseeing the ‘happy workers,’ and have your own men and women bowing and kissing their hands and feet. Children learn from what they observe. Likewise A few children too had such grandiose dreams of having the populace similarly bowing to his Lordship, as they trotted around the country in their finery. A somewhat analogous mistreatment was meted out to those who came later to replenish the labour pool as indentured servants, after the abolition of slavery. The honorable and rebellious suffered and were punished, whereas those who ingratiated themselves to the authorities surely thrived and contributed to the gene pool. We will now fast-track to the recent past days of our own local-born absolute dictator, Mr. L. F. S. Burnham, who similarly became the ‘Lord-Governor’ (Big Kabaka) on the horseback surveying

the realm with the whip in his hand. What a story from slave ancestry to LordGovernor of the realm! Similarly, no tolerance for any who questioned His ‘divine’ status and prerogatives, and the justice meted out was swift and brutal. As in the past, many ran seeking cover wherever they could; some stood up and fought, and paid the price for their decency and courage with their lives. Great people again suffered and were removed from the gene pool of Guyana – death, poverty, submission or flight. Some had no problem serving this new ‘Lord of the Realm,’ and showed no mercy for those who were even suspect of ‘traitorous’ inclinations or dare to question the will of their new proclaimed deity. They too thrived and contributed to the gene pool. As in the past, education was also seen as a hindrance to His Kabaka’s authority and therefore had to be controlled. At the highest forum of education, the control was made more absolute. The acid test of being employed there was ‘Is he with us or against us?’ Some dreamed of one day being the new Lord of the Realm and engender the same loyalty of the faithful and inspire fear in the unbelievers. Children learn from what they observe. A few too dreamed of achieving similar god-like status. The child emulated his idol and the boy became ‘The Continued on page 6

Monday December 31, 2012

Kaieteur News

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Letters... Where your views make the news... Letters... Where your views make the news

The 1823 Monument site was already settled on by the Jagdeo administration

DEAR EDITOR, The relatively young Frank Anthony is the Minister of Culture and was a Commissioner on the Ethnic Relations Commission. Being given the opportunity to serve this nation at the named levels, he more than most in the PPP, having been exposed to the thrust that gave meaning to the these two bodies, ought to understand and appreciate the importance of culture and race to weld this nation together under the motto ‘One People One Nation One Destiny’. The lived experiences of every group in this society gives us our unique culture of oneness (Guyanese) and the honest weaving of these diverse tapestries help in the building of one nation where together we recognise a shared destiny, i.e. our wellbeing are intertwined by virtue of the land we share, the respect shown to each other, and the laws we must all adhere to. Having said this, it is disgusting and disturbing that this country is again caught up in racial conflict that has the potential of creating animosity when none ought to exist in the first instance. The move by the Minister to construct the 1823 monument at the seawall is indicative of the government’s penchant to use race as a wedge in this society and its intent to not honour agreements made with or on behalf of the African community. When the relatively young Bharat Jagdeo assumed the presidency, he was initially seen as someone to take bold steps and move this country forward by putting systems in place to avoid and manage racial conflict. It wasn’t too long before many realised that youth in itself does not offer change, leaving the

impression that if one is suckled on a belief, it is difficult to change thinking. Frank Anthony now finds himself in a similar position. And based on how he handles the matter of the 1823 monument, it will prove whether he is an agent of change or he cowardly refuses to wean himself off the idea that discrimination on the grounds of race, while relevant to the politics of the PPP, has no place in modern society. The Minister is being conniving in his statement that he invited opinions for locating the monument, when he is fully aware that the site was already settled on by the Jagdeo administration and the people with a formal sod turning at Parade Ground on 1st August 2000-the 162nd anniversary of emancipation. This act in itself sealed the agreement, thus there was no need for subsequent invited opinions. Or, was the act of August 2000 a political stunt by Jagdeo to court the support of the African community which Anthony must now undo? And for the Minister to argue that public notification was disseminated, absent efforts to realise consultation with the original actors with whom the agreement was made amplifies the connivance on the matter. It is also deceptive to argue that the placement of the monument on Parade Ground will disturb sport activities when such activities were already being conducted prior to the turning of the sod, and of which no such excuse was made when the Cheddi Jagan Dental School was placed on this very ground. The rumour that the 1823 monument is now not being placed at the Ground because the area has been subsequently identified as a business location for one of the PPP’s major financiers

needs to be investigated and exposed. And if this is so, like it has been for the coveting of African lands in Sparendaam to build Pradoville 2, it confirms the non-stop efforts by this government to take away and deny others what’s theirs. In the instance where the government in 1976 located the Enmore Martyrs Monument, while the sugar workers along the East Coast of Demerara in 1948 were

collectively on strike and suffered the atrocity of the colonial authority, the site was chosen out of recognition for the symbolism of the incident and respect for the sensitivity of the affected people. Enmore was the bedrock of the struggle that saw the death of five sugar workers at the hands of the colonial police. And while the 1823 rebellion began at Success, East Coast of Demerara, a

significant amount of these slaves who revolted were beheaded at Parade Ground in Georgetown coupled with other acts of symbolism attached to the area. In any self respecting heterogeneous/multi-racial society, consideration is shown for these factors and such is not one-sided but universal. And if it was right to respect the symbolism of 1948 to the Indians then it cannot be wrong to respect

the symbolism of 1823 to the Africans. Further, it bodes well for racial respect, the people’s collective development and this nation’s stability given our history that resolution on the 1823 monument be attained by respecting the site location made in the 2000 agreement and/or the wishes of the people in whose struggle this monument represents. Lincoln Lewis

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Kaieteur News

Monday December 31, 2012

Letters... Where your views make the news... Letters... Where your views make the news

Are we caught in a cycle of an eternal downward spiral of despair? From page 4 Man.’ Enter President B. Jagdeo newest local ‘Lord of the Realm,’ with similar trappings, the plumes on his hat are the honorary doctoral degrees conferred on his Lordship. In addition, some with overseas qualifications and human rights credentials bear the litter of their Lord as they sing his praises. There is no shortage of persons who kowtow to his Lordship for personal gain and perks. Several who served the previous dictator now find profitable employment in His Lordship service. His Lordship similarly dispenses favours to the faithful. This God and his PPP ensemble has even exceeded the excesses of their mentor

and admired absolute ruler. The gene pool is apparently heavily stocked with those would who readily serve any tyrant for the right price. Their children are better fed and educated overseas. The intimidation and punishment meted are often more sophisticated, but often with the same brutalization of local subjects. Many leaving as fast as they could, run to overseas enclaves and even from there proclaim the greatness of His Lordship. The subservience expressed is likely a reflection of their own gene pool since even when they removed from under the heels of the tyrant, these escapees expressed the greatness of their god. As before, education

remains a dangerous tool for the masses and must be controlled. At the higher level, likewise the same mantra is used (‘Is he with us or against us?’) for termination and elimination of dissidents and potential problem-makers. Children learn from what they observe. The protégées of his Lordship are waiting for their chances to wear the crown. The Coins are in the fountains. Which one will His Lordship bless? What has changed? The faces have changed, but it is essentially the same ugly pattern in the mind-set in some (with the help of others) seeking to dominate and subjugate others of this country. As before, the brave ones suffer, whereas those who collaborate with the self-

appointed deities thrive while the masses cry for mercy. Are we caught in a cycle of an eternal downward spiral of despair? There were windows of hope in the early Dr. C. Jagan and the PPP years, and sun was again peeking through the dark clouds during the Mr. D. Hoyte’s years. It takes exceptional people to break this cycle of self-destruction and brutalization of Guyana, but it can be done. It was done before here and other places. Four Presidents under the banner of the PPP have failed the working-classes whose pinned hopes were repeatedly dashed. Where hopes diminish the people suffer and history has shown that no Govt. can last without

the support of its people. Whether this spiral cycle, under this new President Ramotar-led PPP Government would continue is yet to unfold. It all depends on what is the guiding light of President Ramotar’s and his PPP Govt., that is, is it the will of the people, or the will of the entrenched Lordship and His enriched managers of the plantation that would take precedence? Will this be a chance for the working-class to break the chains or more chance for the few to accumulate more gains? What happens will tell us what is in the gene pool of

those who govern. Our history has shown that even during the travails of slavery, the pool of our great people was large enough so that they continuously oppose tyranny, irrespective of personal consequences and executions. It is within us to oppose injustice and thrive to improve out lot. Hope that we get some idea of where we have been and what we are. An understanding of our strengths and weaknesses are essential to moving forward. Seelochan Beharry

Mr. Kissoon’s obsession with lovely lasses dressed as wenches DEAR EDITOR, Like Mr. Kissoon, I spent a good part of my adult life living and studying in England. But unlike Mr. Kissoon, based solely on the position he has taken on this issue, I frequented many British pubs where I was served by lovely lasses dressed as wenches and experienced no instances of denigration towards these lovely ladies. Mr. Kissoon’s comments are frivolous when one considers the numerous instances of abuse of women and children that occur in places of worship and elsewhere that have

absolutely nothing to do with the way they were dressed. In my opinion, establishments like these should be welcomed with open arms as an alternative to the “bottom-house rumshops” that grace the entire landscape of Guyana. These establishments attract patrons who are not just looking for a “watering hole”, but a place to socialize because of its ambiance and a bit of nostalgia. One can only imagine Mr. Kissoon’s criticism should Hooters apply for a spot at the Giftland Mall. Concerned Guyanese

Two shocking and disgusting things about this particular video DEAR EDITOR, Peace unto you and the reading public. I happened to catch a glimpse of a music video on the morning program Daybreak on Cable 65. It was a song featuring Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull. Two things were shocking and disgusting about that particular video. Ms. Lopez’s outfit was her undergarment! Second, the movements of the artistes were definitely not dancing. I know what dancing is. Their movements reminded me of what a husband and wife do in the privacy of their bedroom. What I saw prompted me to call and mention it to the host. Lo and behold, this host saw nothing indecent about Ms. Lopez’s outfit. I want him to tell me and all decent-minded citizens of this country what could be more indecent than seeing a woman in only her underwear. All I can think of is what that underwear is supposed to be covering. In the name of entertainment, is this what we

have to watch? I know there are a lot of people who watch these videos, but may I suggest that they be showed at a time when our little and innocent ones are asleep or at school? Does this host have the mentality of a two-year old, who runs around naked and does not realize he is being indecent? No. he is a grown man, and ought to know what is morally right. Now, I know he is not the only one to be blamed here. There are other shows that propagate this kind of music. And what about the producers, videographers and artistes of these videos? Indeed they are the “big ones” up there who influence the musical market. We “little ones” down here in Guyana can at least censor what we broadcast to our nation’s impressionable minds. Programs like Daybreak are quite nice, and make for a refreshing morning routine. However, they should choose their videos more wisely. Bibi Shaheeza Majid

Monday December 31, 2012

Kaieteur News

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By Leon Suseran The year 2012 is almost over. Many of us would have made resolutions when the year just began. I made mine a few months earlier; coming on to the end of 2011— to lose the weight. I weighed about 275 pounds. Now that’s a lot of weight, but it did not really show since I am about six feet one inch tall. But I was badly overweight, a condition which I chose to ignore for years, ever since I gained the pounds, just after I finished high school over a decade ago. I had exhibited a level of comfort about my body weight and totally adapted to the situation. And I got bigger and bigger. Eating the wrong kinds of foods the wrong time of the day—and night—fatty, sugar, starchy, carb foods only sped up the process to being morbidly overweight. My addiction to food—yes it was an addiction—drove my cravings wild, especially for fast foods and the junk that goes along with that category of food. On a regular basis I would even eat meals with soda

Kaieteur News

beverages. And I was getting bigger. And I ignored the fact. There was that level of satisfaction and comfort in what I looked like. But back pain and other ailments associated with overweight started to kick in. I ignored all of this too. The food was good, so why should I change my lifestyle, I asked myself. And so, this foodbinging lifestyle of eating what I wanted, when I wanted, consciously and unconsciously continued, until I decided to make the proverbial lifestyle change. I was propelled and determined to get the weight off. It’s not every day someone gets this push of determination and courage. I got it, used it and began my transformation. I started it all with daily 30 minute exercise on a treadmill at the end of October last year. My body was not used to this kind of physical ‘push’. It complained to me in various ways. I started to eat healthier, too. Morning meals were essential. I have always ignored breakfast, always. I had no appetite whatsoever

to consume food in the mornings. This changed and my morning meals were the heaviest and largest. During the day, I would consume some fruit; watermelon is good, even papaya, pineapple and so on. I can even munch on some finger food during the day. I started running 30 minutes, instead of the brisk walking on the equipment in February. I was drenched in sweat after the activity and I felt so good. I still do. My heart pounds, the brain, medical specialists say, release ‘feel- good’ chemicals—the body rejoices during and after any form of exercise! And bit by bit, with a combination of diet and exercise. I started to shed the pounds. Diet and exercise are a very powerful combination. I had tried walking over the Canje Bridge many times, Years ago, but I did not practice the diet aspect, and hence I did not lose weight. I started to weigh myself on the first day of every month. The progress I was making only pushed m e t o g o f u r t h e r. T h e comments I was getting and my clothes that were

‘swallowing’ me, only pushed me to even greater heights on this journey. I started to look ridiculous in my clothes since I was getting smaller. I touched 200 pounds sometime in May of this year. Persons started to see a change in my appearance and then the questions started to come like bullets. People began to wonder if I was getting sick. And I became fed up of answering the same questions over and over. At some point, I was getting very angry, too. But I continued my transformation. I loved the person I was becoming, physically. During this journey, I have stopped the use of soft drinks. I depend heavily on water on a daily basis. My weight loss has cost me too. I had to get new clothes, smaller clothes. From wearing 2XL shirts, I now wear medium. From a waist size of 44, I am now 33—or 32. Exercise does so much for us if we only allow it to become a regular and crucial part of our lives. We feel better, our bodies last longer, diseases have no control over us (chronic diseases), and we look younger and have less stress. I can truly attest to all of this. My daily workouts today last only 20 minutes since I can afford to tone it down a bit. I run and feel no kind of strain on my heart, quite the opposite of how I felt when I started this regime a year ago. I still diet and watch what I eat. At this point I am 175 pounds, very much within my limit of my Body Mass Index (BMI). I do not eat meals after 5:00pm. I will eat some fruit or salad after my workouts.

Monday December 31, 2012

Perhaps some nuts, too, or some milk should I become hungry at nights—and I do—but that is my body’s way of tricking me into eating and binging very late! We must NEVER go to bed on a full stomach! Obesity can take over our livers only if we allow it to. I have lost over 100 pounds since my lifestyle change— 100 pounds! Try lifting 100 pounds and experience how heavy that weight is! Just imagine, 100 pounds being lifted off your body, 100 pounds of fat! It is not easy to lose weight these days. Just look at all the restaurants and fast- food joints opening all over the place. Nobody eats homecooked food that much anymore. Nobody drinks water anymore. The beverage companies are profiting from selling tons and tons of ‘sweet drinks’ every day. We delude ourselves, too, by thinking we are doing something good to ourselves when we use ‘Diet’ this and ‘Diet’ that and ‘low- fat’ this and ‘low- fat’ that. Wrong. These are highly misleading phrases, if only we can become aware of this and be more cognizant of what our foods contain. Why don’t we eat more fruits and vegetables? I never thought I would be giving people advice to losing weight—ever! I was a food addict. I loved food. I ate not because I was hungry, but for other reasons. And so, many people, like it or not, are psychologically dependent on food, not really to survive but for other reasons. And they get more overweight with time. I turned around my life before it was too late. My mother always used to worry for me, that I would not live a full life. Today, I can safely

say that she is one relieved mother. I love who I have become. And I know that I am a big inspiration to many others with weight issues. Due to our biological and physiological make- up, it is easier for men than women to lose weight and we must each set our weight loss plan to suit our individual needs. Being consistent was a major factor, too. My exercise regimen was done every single day, despite what my schedule looked like or despite what time I came home from work or classes. My commitment was essential to the entire plan, and I watched what I put in my mouth. If you are extremely overweight and struggling with food cravings and addictions to food, you have to recognize this right away and deal with it. Food was put on this earth for a purpose, for our survival, not for overenjoyment and binging. We have become too much of a world that idolizes fast food and unhealthy food products out there. We have become a people, too, that have embraced a sugar revolution. We have become less hungry during the day and hungrier as the night closes in! This is a perfect disaster for weight gain! And eating healthy does not mean that you cannot enjoy a little junk food every now and again. I do ’treat’ myself to my favourite soda, ‘I-cee Cream soda’ and Chinese food, both of which I love, every month or two. As it currently is, I am on the right track. Anyone can lose weight. Commitment, dedication and common sense are the keys; oh, and the right motivation/ inspiration can make all the difference in the world.

Monday December 31, 2012

Kaieteur News

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THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT STRATGEY Under Cheddi Jagan, the government designed, with the assistance of the Carter Center and a range of Guyanese stakeholders, a National Development Strategy. This was in recognition of the fact that if Guyana was to consolidate its democracy, it needed a development

platform around which donor resources and private investment could have been mobilized. The attempts at developing a strategy were successful and produced one of the best development plans ever produced anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, the PNC

refused to accept this plan and eventually a compromise was brokered whereby the plan was subject to a review by a former PNC parliamentarian, now deceased. The revised draft did not significantly alter the substantive policies enunciated in the original draft strategy. What it did was

Dem boys seh

Dem wicked people worried De year coming to an end and nuff people worried bout wha de New Year gun bring. Fuh some of dem, de past year had grief because some of de people who dem been holding on now got new people holding on pun dem. Tek Ed de Mad One. De Rat and he was good friends. That was de man who send two container of goods fuh Bharrat when he was President. De Mad One end up tekking people like if was he own and de Feds tek he in fuh safe keeping and fuh punishment because de Good Book seh that Thou Shalt not Steal. De Mad One didn’t only

steal he also break another rule in de Good Book. That rule seh that Thou Shalt not bear false witness. In short, don’t present youself as what you ain’t. Then dem had de man who come wid Easy Come Easy Go. It gone. He too break de rule which seh that Thou Shalt not Covet. He covet de hospital money and tek it like if was he own. He in de arms of de Feds waiting fuh he day when dem gun ask he fuh pay back. But de man ain’t got two cents to see two bugs wine suh only he know how he gun pay.

Is only in Guyana dem woulda get off because in this country, de more you thief and you lie is de better you deh. In fact you does get promotion. Well in de New Year all of dem who been enjoying life doing wrang things think that dem gun get ketch in Uncle Sam. Dem know that Uncle Sam waiting pun dem and t h a t is why dem put off travelling. Dem even refuse to accompany De Donald when he mek de official visit to meet Barack. Talk half and hope that dem who do wrang things get pull in.

establish unattainable levels of growth. This discredited the review but the strategy itself remained intact and should have been used to direct the policies of the PPP after Cheddi Jagan passed away. That did not happen because the international donors were not interested in a development strategy that would conflict with the prescriptions of the Washington Consensus. As such, they prevailed on the ten ruling administration which effectively dumped the strategy. That strategy however was developed by local stakeholders and still has relevance. What is needed is for these policies to be updated and others resurrected. If the PPP is interested in having stability during the remaining four years of its term, it should use this strategy as a working document to initiate a process of dialogue with both the political parties and those who were part of the process of developing the strategy in the first place. It will take a great deal of work because after so many

years, the landscape in most of sectors would have changed. For example, the emphasis today is less on value- added production. The global demand for raw materials is driving economic growth and therefore there will have to be shift within the strategy to accommodate the present developments which is seeing Guyana benefiting. Guyana is also gaining substantially from the low carbon development strategy and this is another area that needs to be examined to see how it can be incorporated into a national development plan. While the opposition is concerned about staving off a Budget crisis, the issue goes beyond one year plans. What Guyana needs to do is to have more long term plan, one with a twenty, thirty and fifty year outlook. The fastest growing economies in the world do not plan for one year. Surely they have their annual Budgets, but the plans for each year are based on long term development objectives and what Guyana needs is such an outlook that would then feed into its annual

Budget. It is time for Guyana to begin to think strategically, at least when it comes to the economy. While broad macroeconomic plans are in place, the real problems as we have seen in sugar originate not at the macro level but at the level of the various sectors and it is the absence of policies at the sector level that is most affecting the ordinary citizens. An updating of the National Development Strategy would allow for these sector policies to be developed and thus ensure that the right mix of policies are produced that would enable strategic thinking from the macro level to the micro level. President Ramotar himself an economist must be all too aware of the problems that are facing the country and the idea of updating the National Development Strategy would also be a good way of him to show that he is willing to develop a long term vision of the country.

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2012: Human Services Ministry sustained focus on vulnerable, heightened domestic violence awareness With the completion of the Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintegration at Onverwagt, West Berbice, over 300 persons will be housed, removing them from off the streets. The building was close to completion as the year ended. Residents will benefit from skills training to further their rehabilitation process. This $420M facility is a collaborative venture between the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela, and comprises two dormitories, an administrative building which houses a training centre, library and, an infirmary and rooms for persons with communicable diseases and disabilities.

Senior citizens receiving hampers from Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster. The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security continued to cater for the segments of the population who were affected adversely by poor socio-economic circumstances. These are the people, who because of their challenges have been unable to consistently sustain their livelihood on their own, hence the Ministry reaching out to them. The Ministry deals with a wide selection of responsibilities, ranging from orphans, abused children in any form, the homeless, domestic violence victims, providing shelter for abused victims, old age pension and social assistance, apart from mounting awareness programmes that focus on issues in society. The year 2012 was a very

busy one for the sector. There was the continuation of many programmes, as Government continues to focus on ways to further improve the quality of lives of the vulnerable. The sum of $199.7M was allocated in the 2012 budget for the Ministry to execute its responsibilities. BETTERING THE LIVES OF PENSIONERS An increased sum was given to the Human Services Ministry which saw about 44,000 pensioners receiving 33.33 percent or $10,000 monthly prior to the $7500 they were collecting. The Ministry commenced its annual pension book distribution in November throughout the 10 administrative regions at locations nearest to

beneficiaries’ homes. Additionally, pensioners continued to receive other support services which include subsidies on water tariffs, free travel on public vessels, and free spectacles, under Government’s Eye Care Assistance programme. PUBLIC ASSISTANCE Over 9000 people benefited from public assistance during the year. This grant was increased by 7% to $5,900 in 2012. CATERING FOR THE HOMELESS More than 200 persons continued to receive accommodation, meals, medical assistance, counselling, training and job placement assistance at the Night Shelter in East La Penitence during the year.

SEXUAL OFFENCES AMENDMENT BILL Government tabled the amendment to the Sexual Offences Act, which when passed is expected to allow for a level playing field with regards to the submission of evidence by the prosecutor and the accused. This came as Government continues to make strides to eliminate sexual and domestic violence. The National Conversation on Domestic Violence and the International day for the elimination of violence against women sought to further raise awareness of issues that affect both men and women. And, altogether, these national awareness and public education campaigns have aided the effort of reducing and preventing violence against women and men. In addition, the Ministry engaged in 16 days of activism against gender violence. It was an opportunity to renew the commitment to release women

from any form of violence. MEN’S ROLE The Men’s Affairs Bureau (MAB) was actively involved in highlighting the need to end violence and other forms of abuse within the home. This came at a time when the rate of domestic violence was high. In this regard, MAB promoted several activities throughout the 10 Administrative Regions to help men realise their true potentials as father husband and role model. MAB also engaged in several conversations with students in 75 schools. More than 15,000 students participated in sessions which explored alternative ways of thinking, conflict management and conflict resolution, gender, and gender equality. There was also a concert aimed at celebrating and empowering Guyanese men and boys through the various art forms. This organisation is being complemented by the Women’s Affairs Bureau that is actively involved in gender issues and training of women. CHILD CARE The National Foster care Programme, the Child Care Protection Agency, the Sophia Care Centre and the Mahaica children’s home continued to provide for the needs and protection of the country’s children. These facilities provide holistic care for children including specialised counselling services, and development of children in fields such as music, dance, art and craft, and information technology. Moreover, the Ministry launched a new campaign

aimed at encouraging primary school children to disclose any form of sexual violence. The TELL scheme is designed to promote disclosure, prevention and develop community based i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication activities so as to reduce children’s vulnerability. Through this initiative, children will constantly be educated in the class room so that they are able to recognise when they are abused which will increase the number of cases reported. The implementation of the campaign over the next few years can result in Grades 3 and 6 teachers being trained, and for all primary school children to receive information to protect themselves. SINGLE PARENTS In an effort to promote policies and programmes to empower women, especially single parents, under the Women of Worth Programme (WOW) single mothers continued to access loans for investing in small businesses. Under the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) and the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute (GWLI), over 653 single parents were trained in cosmetology, Information Technology and electrical installation. This is with the aim of increasing economic opportunities and generating income for single mothers. Hundreds of single parent mothers are now able to work towards providing a better quality life for themselves and families through these programmes. (A GINA feature)

First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar and Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster at International Women’s day walk.

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Obama wants gun violence measures passed in 2013 WASHINGTON (AP) — Recalling the shooting rampage that killed 20 first graders as the worst day of his presidency, President Barack Obama yesterday pledged to put his “full weight” behind legislation aimed at preventing gun violence. Obama voiced skepticism about the National Rifle Association’s proposal to put armed guards in schools following the Dec. 14 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The president made his comments in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Instead, the president vowed to rally the American people around an agenda to limit gun violence, adding that he still supports increased background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity bullet magazines. He left no doubt it will be one of his top priorities next year. “It is not enough for us to say, ‘This is too hard so we’re not going to try,’” Obama said. “I think there are a vast majority of responsible gun

owners out there who recognize that we can’t have a situation in which somebody with severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high capacity weapons that this individual in Newtown obtained and gun down our kids,” he added. “And, yes, it’s going to be hard.” The president added that he’s ready to meet with Republicans and Democrats, anyone with a stake in the issue. The schoolhouse shootings, coming as families prepared for the holidays, have elevated the issue of gun violence to the forefront of public attention. Six adult staff members were also killed at the elementary school. Shooter Adam Lanza committed suicide, apparently as police closed in. Earlier, he had killed his mother at the home they shared. The tragedy immediately prompted calls for greater gun controls. But the NRA is strongly resisting those efforts, arguing instead that schools should have armed guards for protection. Some gun enthusiasts have rushed to buy semiautomatic rifles of

President Barack Obama the type used by Lanza, fearing sales may soon be restricted. Obama seemed unimpressed by the NRA proposal. “I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools,” he said. “And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem.” The president said he intends to press the issue with the public. “The question then

becomes whether we are actually shook up enough by what happened here that it does not just become another one of these routine episodes where it gets a lot of attention for a couple of weeks and then it drifts away,” Obama said. “It certainly won’t feel like that to me. This is something that - you know, that was the worst day of my presidency. And it’s not something that I want to see repeated.” Separately, a member of the president’s cabinet said Sunday that rural America may be ready to join a national conversation about gun control. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the debate has to start with respect for the Second Amendment right to bear arms and recognition that hunting is a way of life for millions of Americans. But Vilsack said Newtown has changed the way people see the issue. “I

really believe that this is a different circumstance and a different situation,” Vilsack said on CNN. Vilsack said he thinks it’s possible for Americans to come together. “It’s potentially a unifying conversation,” he said. “The problem is that these conversations are always couched in the terms of dividing us. This could be a unifying conversation, and Lord knows we need to be unified.” Besides passing gun violence legislation, Obama also listed deficit reduction and immigration as top priorities for 2013. A big deficit reduction deal with Republicans proved elusive this month, and Obama is now hoping Senate Democratic and Republican leaders salvage a scaled-back plan that avoids tax increases for virtually all Americans. In addition, he issued a defense of former Republican

Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who has been mentioned as one of the leading candidates to replace Leon Panetta as defense secretary. Hagel, who opposed President George W. Bush’s decision to go to war with Iraq, has been criticized in conservative circles for not being a strong enough ally of Israel. Also, many liberals and gay activists have banded against him for comments he made in 1998 about an openly gay nominee for an ambassadorship Obama, who briefly served with Hagel in the Senate, stressed that he had yet to make a decision but called Hagel a “patriot.” Hagel “served this country with valor in Vietnam,” the president said. “And (he) is somebody who’s currently serving on my intelligence advisory board and doing an outstanding job.”

Pakistan militants kill 41 in mass execution, attack on Shi’ites PESHWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) Pakistani militants, who have escalated attacks in recent weeks, killed at least 41 people in two separate incidents, officials said yesterday, challenging assertions that military offensives have broken the back of hardline Islamist groups. The United States has long pressured nuclear-armed ally Pakistan to crack down harder on both homegrown militants groups such as the Taliban and others which are based on its soil and attack Western forces in Afghanistan. In the north, 21 men working for a government-backed paramilitary force were executed overnight after they were kidnapped last week, a provincial official said. Twenty Shi’ite pilgrims died and 24 were wounded, meanwhile, when a car bomb targeted their bus convoy as it headed toward the Iranian border in the southwest, a doctor said. New York-based Human Rights Watch has noted more than 320 Shias killed this year in Pakistan and said attacks were on the rise. It said the government’s failure to catch or prosecute attackers suggested it was “indifferent” to the killings. Pakistan, seen as critical to U.S. efforts to stabilize the region before NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, denies allegations that it supports militant groups like the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network. Afghan officials say Pakistan seems more genuine than ever about promoting peace in Afghanistan. At home, it faces a variety of highly lethal militant groups that carry out suicide bombings, attack police and military facilities and launch sectarian attacks like the one on the bus in the southwest. Witnesses said a blast targeted their three buses as they were overtaking a car about 60 km (35 miles) west of Quetta, capital of sparsely populated Baluchistan province. “The bus next to us caught on fire immediately,” said pilgrim Hussein Ali, 60. “We tried to save our companions, but were driven back by the intensity of the heat.” Twenty people had been killed and 24

wounded, said an official at Mastung district hospital. International attention has focused on al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban. But Pakistani intelligence officials say extremist Sunni groups, lead by Lashkar-eJhangvi (LeJ) are emerging as a major destabilizing force in a campaign designed to topple the government. Their strategy now, the officials say, is to carry out attacks on Shi’ites to create the kind of sectarian tensions that pushed countries like Iraq to the brink of civil war. As elections scheduled for next year approach, Pakistanis will be asking what sort of progress their leaders have made in the fight against militancy and a host of other issues, such as poverty, official corruption and chronic power cuts. Pakistan’s Taliban have carried out a series of recent bold attacks, as military officials point to what they say is a power struggle in the group’s leadership revolving around whether it should ease attacks on the Pakistani state and join groups fighting U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan. The Taliban denies a rift exists among its leaders. In the attack in the northwest, officials said they had found the bodies of 21 men kidnapped from their checkpoints outside the provincial capital of Peshawar on Thursday. The men were executed one by one. “They were tied up and blindfolded,” Naveed Anwar, a senior administration official, said by telephone. “They were lined up and shot in the head,” said Habibullah Arif, another local official, also by telephone. One man was shot and seriously wounded but survived, the officials said. He was in critical condition and being treated at a local hospital. Another had escaped before the shootings. Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan claimed responsibility for the attacks. “We killed all the kidnapped men after a council of senior clerics gave a verdict for their execution. We didn’t make any demand for their release because we don’t spare any prisoners who are caught during fighting,” he said.

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No end to Syria war if sides refuse to talk – envoy AZAZ, Syria/CAIRO (Reuters) - The international peace negotiator for Syria pleaded with outside countries yesterday to push the warring parties to the table for talks, warning that the country would become a failed state ruled by warlords unless diplomacy is given a chance. Lakhdar Brahimi, who inherited the seemingly impossible task of bringing an end to the war after his predecessor Kofi Annan resigned in frustration in July, has launched an intensified diplomatic campaign to win backing for a peace plan. He spent five days this week in Damascus, where he met President Bashar alAssad. On Saturday he visited Assad’s main international backers in Moscow, and on Sunday he travelled to Cairo, where President Mohamed Mursi has emerged as one of Assad’s most vocal Arab opponents. “The problem is that both sides aren’t speaking to one another,” he said. “This is where help is needed from outside.” Brahimi’s peace plan - inherited from Annan and agreed to in principle in Geneva in June by countries that both oppose and support Assad - has the

seemingly fatal flaw of making no mention of whether Assad would leave power. The Syrian leader’s opponents - who have seized much of the north and east of the country in the past six months - say they will not cease fire or join any talks unless Assad goes and have largely dismissed Brahimi’s initiative. But Brahimi says the plan is the only one on the table, and predicts “hell” if countries do not push both sides to talk. “The situation in Syria is bad, very, very bad, and it is getting worse, and the pace of deterioration is increasing,” Brahimi told reporters. “People are talking about Syria being split into a number of small states ... This is not what will happen. What will happen is Somalization: warlords.” Somalia has been without effective central government since civil war broke out there in 1991. More than 45,000 people have been killed in Syria’s 21month war, the longest and deadliest of the revolts that began sweeping the Arab world two years ago. The rebels are mainly from the Sunni Muslim majority, fighting against Assad, a member of the Shi’ite-derived

Alawite minority sect, giving the war a dangerous sectarian dimension. The rebels increasingly believe that their military successes of the past half year are bringing victory within reach. But Assad’s forces still hold the denselypopulated southwest of the country, the main north-south highway and the Mediterranean coast in the northwest. The government also holds airbases scattered throughout the country, and has an arsenal including jets, helicopters, missiles and artillery that the fighters cannot match. Government troops scored a victory on Saturday after several days of fighting, seizing a Sunni district in Homs, a central town that controls the vital road linking Damascus to the coast. Opposition activists said on Sunday that many people had been killed in the Deir Baalbeh district after it was captured, although it was not immediately possible to verify claims that a “massacre” had taken place. The opposition Syrian Network for Human Rights said it documented the summary execution of 17 men. “They were young and old, mostly refugees who had fled

Court to rule on legality of Egyptian parliament

CAIRO (Reuters) Egypt’s highest court is to examine the legitimacy of the upper house of parliament, a case likely to increase the legal uncertainty of the country’s political transition and leave it without a legislature. The Supreme Constitutional Court has already forced the lower house to dissolve under a June ruling that said an electoral law used to elect both chambers - and which resulted in an Islamist dominated parliament - was unfair. The new case once again pits independent lawyers against the Islamists that have come to power since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak and who see the court as stuffed with the former president’s appointees. Yesterday, at its first session since going on strike over President Mohamed Mursi’s decision to expand his powers, the court set January 15 as the date for the first hearing. It will also examine the legitimacy of the Islamist-dominated assembly that wrote the constitution that Mursi fast-tracked to

Mohamed Mursi approval at a referendum this month. If the court rules against the upper house - which seems likely as it was elected under the same law that the court found lacking in the lower house case in June Egypt will have a legislative vacuum until new parliamentary elections, expected to start in about two months. The upper house assumed legislative powers just last week under the new constitution. The June ruling said the transitional electoral law -

drafted by the generals then ruling post-Mubarak Egypt in consultation with political parties - gave too much power to parties, at the expense of independent candidates. The court had to postpone the hearings from early December due to a protest outside its building by Islamists. “The (court) renews its condemnation of those who participated in it, as well as those who remained silent,” the court said in a statement. Mursi had shielded both the assembly which drafted the constitution and the upper house of parliament from legal challenges in a decree he issued in November which touched off protests by critics who accused him of a power grab. Mursi revoked the decree ahead of the referendum in which the constitution was approved by 64 percent of those who voted. The new constitution cut the number of judges who sit in the Supreme Constitutional Court to 11 from 18. One of Mursi’s most vocal critics was among the judges to leave the court.

Lakhdar Brahimi to Deir Baalbeh from central parts of Homs,” it said in a statement. Footage taken by activists showed the bodies of eight men with what appeared to be bullet wounds in the face and head. With severe restrictions by Syrian authorities on independent media in place since the revolt broke out in March last year, the footage could not be confirmed. Najati Tayyara, a veteran opposition campaigner from Homs in contact with the city, told Reuters residents

believed the death toll was as high as 260, although the area was sealed off by government forces and allied militia. “I am afraid that we have seen a massacre in Deir Baalbeh and a military setback for the rebels because of their lack of organization. They have been in need of ammunition for a long time and it finally ran out,” he said. “Communications are difficult and we are trying to piece together what happened in Deir Baalbeh. We so far know that regime forces went in after the rebels retreated and summarily executed dozens of people, including civilians.” Tayyara said the fall of Deir Baalbeh undermined supply lines to rebel held areas inside the city. Bilal al-Homsi, an opposition activist in Old Homs, said MiG warplanes bombarded the area overnight and medium range rockets and hit the area of alKhalidiya, a rebel-held Sunni district. In the north, opposition activists said fighters had surrounded an air defense base near Aleppo airport,

south of the contested city. Fighting raged in the area and warplanes bombed rebel positions near the base to try and break the siege. In the northern city of Azaz, where activists said 11 people were killed when air strikes destroyed six homes, gravediggers were already digging graves for whichever victims will be next. “We know the plane is coming to hit us, so we’re being prepared,” said Abu Sulaiman, one of a few men digging at the Sheikh Saad cemetery. “Massacres are happening. We’re putting every two or three bodies together. We’ve been working and digging since 6 in the morning. We’re going to dig 10 new graves today,” he said. “We’re preparing them. Maybe we’ll be buried in them.” Fida, a 15-year-old girl in a green scarf and purple coat looked on as her father shoveled dirt from the gravesite. The dead from the previous day’s attacks included friends she recognized when their shrouds were pulled back.

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Senate leaders offer dour take on ‘cliff’ talks WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Senate negotiators on the effort to prevent the government from going over the “fiscal cliff” offered a pessimistic assessment yesterday, barely 24 hours before a deadline to avert tax hikes on virtually every American worker. But negotiations continued, with Vice President Joe Biden taking on a new role. With the two sides differing on the income threshold for higher tax rates and how to deal with inheritance taxes, among other issues, talks between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell appeared to have broken down. A McConnell spokesman said the Kentucky Republican reached out to Biden, a longtime friend, in hopes of breaking the impasse. Republicans withdrew a long-discussed proposal to slow future cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients as part of a compromise to avoid the cliff. Democrats said that proposal had put a damper on the

talks, and Republican senators emerging from a closed-door GOP meeting said it is no longer part of the equation. Aides said the two sides remained at odds over the income threshold for higher tax rates, tax levels on large estates and whether Democratic demands for new money to prevent a cut in Medicare payments to doctors and renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed should be financed with cuts elsewhere in the budget. The aides demanded anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations. At stake are sweeping tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect at the turn of the year. Taken together, they’ve been dubbed the fiscal cliff, and economists warn the one-two punch — which leaders in both parties have said they want to avoid — could send the still-fragile economy back into recession. Reid said he’s been in frequent contact with President Barack Obama,

who in a televised interview blamed Republicans for putting the nation’s shaky economy at risk. “We have been talking to the Republicans ever since the election was over,” Obama said in the interview that was taped Saturday and aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” ‘’They have had trouble saying yes to a number of repeated offers.” “The mood is discouraged,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who caucuses with Democrats. He said he would be shocked if there was a deal Sunday. “The parties are much further apart than I hoped they’d be by now.” The pessimistic turn came as the House and Senate returned to the Capitol for a rare Sunday session. Reid and McConnell had hoped to have a blueprint to present to their rank and file by midafternoon. “I’m concerned with the lack of urgency here. There’s far too much at stake,” McConnell said. “There is no single issue that remains an

impossible sticking point — the sticking point appears to be a willingness, an interest or courage to close the deal.” Reid said he is not “overly optimistic but I am cautiously optimistic,” but reiterated that any agreement would not include the less generous inflation adjustment for Social Security. “We’re willing to make difficult concessions as part of a balanced, comprehensive agreement, but we’ll not agree to cut Social Security benefits as part of a small or short-term agreement,” Reid said. McConnell and Reid were hoping for a deal that would prevent higher taxes for most Americans while letting rates rise at higher income levels, although the precise point at which that would occur was a major sticking point. Obama had wanted to raise the tax rate on individuals making more than $200,000 a year and families making more than $250,000 from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. In talks with Republican House Speaker John Boehner, he offered to raise that threshold to $400,000. The estate tax issue was particularly tricky since several Democrats, including veterans like Max Baucus of Montana, disagree with Obama’s proposal to increase the top estate tax rate from 35 percent to 45 percent. Republicans said Democrats pressed to turn off more than $200 billion in the across-the-board spending cuts over the coming two years. This socalled sequester is the punishment for last year’s deficit “supercommittee” to strike a deal. Hopes for blocking across-the-board spending cuts were fading and Obama’s proposal to renew the 2-percentage-

point payroll tax cut wasn’t even part of the discussion. Obama pressed lawmakers to start where both sides say they agree — sparing middle-class families from looming tax hikes. “If we can get that done, that takes a big bite out of the fiscal cliff. It avoids the worst outcomes. And we’re then going to have some tough negotiations in terms of how we continue to reduce the deficit, grow the e c o n o m y, c r e a t e j o b s , ” Obama said in the NBC interview. Gone is the talk of a grand deal that would tackle broad spending and revenue demands and set the nation on a course to lower deficits. Obama and Boehner were once a couple hundred billion dollars apart on a deal that would have reduced the deficit by more than $2 trillion over 10 years. Republicans have complained that Obama has demanded too much in tax revenue and hasn’t proposed sufficient cuts or s a v i n g s i n t h e n a t i o n ’s massive health care programs. Obama upped the pressure on Republicans to negotiate a fiscal deal, arguing that GOP leaders have rejected his past attempts to strike a bigger and more comprehensive bargain. “The offers that I’ve made to them have been so fair that a lot of Democrats get mad at me,” Obama said. Boehner disagreed, saying Sunday that the president had been unwilling to agree to anything “that would require him to stand up to his own party.” The trimmed ambitions of today are a far cry from the upbeat bipartisan rhetoric of just six weeks ago, when the

leadership of Congress went to the White House to set the stage for negotiations to come. But the deal in the works Sunday was not meant to settle other outstanding issues, including more than $1 trillion in cuts over 10 years, divided equally between the Pentagon and other government agencies. The deal also would not address an extension of the nation’s borrowing limit, which the government is on track to reach any day but which the Treasury can put off through accounting measures for about two months. That means Obama and the Congress are already on a new collision path. Republicans say they intend to use the debt ceiling as leverage to extract more spending cuts from the president. Obama has been adamant that unlike 2011, when the country came close to defaulting on its debts, he will not yield to those Republican demands. Meanwhile, a senior defense official said if the sequester were triggered, the Pentagon would soon begin notifying its 800,000 civilian employees that they should expect some furloughs — mandatory unpaid leave, not layoffs. It would then take some time for the furloughs to begin being implemented, said the official, who requested anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the internal preparations. Lawmakers have until the new Congress convenes to pass any compromise, and even the calendar matters. Democrats said they had been told House Republicans might reject a deal until after Jan. 1, to avoid a vote to raise taxes before they had technically gone up, and then vote to cut taxes after they had risen.

Venezuela deports French man over alleged Chavez plot

(CNN) — A French man jailed for an alleged plot to kill Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2009 was deported to France on Saturday, a Venezuelan official said. Frederic Laurent Bouquet’s expulsion was announced via a tweet by Iris Varela, the minister for the prison system. “Frederic Laurent Bouquet was sentenced to four years (in Venezuelan jail), after confessing to plotting against Chavez. He had an arsenal in his possession” Varela tweeted. According to Venezuelan state-run National Radio and the state-run Venezuelan TV station, Bouquet was arrested in 2009 with three men from the Dominican Republic. He had multiple guns as well as explosives and

other military gear with him, according to reports. “This arrest is a serious blow to terrorism and to those groups that seek to drag into Venezuela scenes of blood and confrontation,” Tarek El Aissami, then-interior minister, told reporters at the time. El Aissami at the time said Bouquet had military experience and had spent some time in Israel. He also said Bouquet was presumed to be a French intelligence agent. In her tweet, Varela said Bouquet’s deportation complies with a Venezuelan law that allows the government to expel anyone who jeopardizes the security and defense of the nation.

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Argentina to court: revert order on debt holdouts BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina is asking a US appeals court to reverse an order for the country to pay $1.33 billion to “holdout” creditors who refused to join two swaps for the country’s defaulted debt. Argentine government lawyers said in papers filed late Friday that the order violates the country’s sovereignty. The lawyers said the order also threatens service on at least $24 billion of the county’s restructured sovereign debt, impairs the rights of third parties and puts global debt markets at risk. “The Amended Injunctions have no basis in law, are inequitable, and threaten to wreak havoc on countless innocent third parties, which have already suffered losses due to the plunge in their bonds’ value provoked by the insecurity that the Amended Injunctions have created in the market for Argentina’s New York law-governed

bonds,” the briefing said. “This harm to private and sovereign creditors, as well as to New York law and New York as a place to do business, will only grow if the Amended Injunctions are affirmed. “ The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ordered the country on Oct. 26 to pay the holdouts an equal amount whenever it makes payments on other debt that has been restructured since the country’s economic collapse 11 years ago. It agreed with U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa, who ruled that with more than $40 billion in foreign reserves, Argentina can afford to pay. The ruling gave Argentina a difficult choice: pay all bondholders equally, or pay none of them and risk going into default. The court then returned the case to Griesa who ordered Argentina to pay the $1.33 billion into escrow for holders of its defaulted debt and banned banks and other

third parties from intervening. Griesa based his ruling on the principle of “pari passu,” or equal footing, which says debtors can’t pick and choose between creditors. President Cristina Fernandez called Griesa’s ruling “judicial colonialism,” and Argentina sidestepped the impending economic chaos when the order was suspended by the appeals court on Nov. 28. But just the threat of the payment deadline set by Griesa had harsh outcomes. In the week after he issued his order, the cost of maintaining Argentina’s overall debt soared in trading on U.S. and European bond markets and the cost of insuring those debts spiked. “A court can arguably enjoin a foreign state from engaging in a commercial activity within the United States. But it cannot issue an order to force or preclude a foreign sovereign to act or not act within the limits of that sovereign’s own territory,” Argentina’s brief said.

“By dictating to Argentina that it cannot pay moneys it owes to the exchange bondholders in a funds transfer in its own country, and commanding that it make a payment (including via escrow) to holdout creditors that it is precluded from paying under its own laws, the Amended Injunctions violate this fundamental principle.” Argentina, however, said it’s willing to make concessions. To end the lengthy dispute, government lawyers said the country is willing to ask Congress to give holdout creditors the same treatment as those who joined a 2010 debt swap. “The only definitive and equitable solution to pari passu claims that would bring legal and economic certainty is to treat plaintiffs and all other similarly situated claimants equitably on the same terms as participants in (Argentina’s) 2010 Exchange Offer,” the brief said. The new arguments are part of the final stage of

Argentina’s legal battle with NML Capital Ltd., the investment fund that brought the case and that specializes in suing over unpaid sovereign debts. The US government filed an “amicus,” or friends of the court brief, late Friday backing Argentina’s request for a rehearing in the case citing that the appeals court order affects US-Argentina relations, threatens the solution of future debt crises and blocks the legal immunity given to a sovereign country. It also says that it potentially blemishes the role of New York as financial center. Argentina tarnished its reputation worldwide by engaging in the biggest sovereign debt default in history a decade ago. Since then, the government has restructured about 92 percent of its world record $95 billion debt default. But Fernandez refuses to pay the holdouts calling NML Capital and others “vulture funds” for buying debt for pennies on the dollar

in 2002, when Argentina’s economy was in ruins and now wanting to collect in full. The fiery, center-left leader says it was their loss for refusing two opportunities to swap defaulted bonds for new, less valuable bonds that the state has reliably paid since 2005. NML Capital fund, run by billionaire Paul Singer and other plaintiffs, slammed Argentina’s arguments late on Friday. “With more than $43 billion in foreign currency reserves and tens of billions of dollars in additional resources, Argentina has the overwhelming capacity to pay the $1.3 billion it owes in this matter,” Peter Truell, spokesman for NML’s parent company Elliott Management Corp., told the Associated Press in e-mail. “Today’s filing by the Republic once again demonstrates Argentina’s irrational persistence in evading its contractual obligations and the orders of US courts.”

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Jamaica could be hard hit if the US falls off the fiscal cliff Jamaica Gleaner - Partly by fate, partly by design, some scary fiscal forces come together at the start of 2013 unless the United States Congress and President Barack Obama act to stop them. If the US falls off the fiscal cliff Jamaica would be hard hit with a decline in visitors from America, reduced remittances, reduced demand for Jamaican goods and services in the US and other economic woes that could deepen the recession the country now faces. But not many Jamaicans, it seems, are keeping their eyes on the machinations in the US as last-ditch efforts continue to avoid what could be catastrophic for Jamaica and the region. Last week, Americans woke up to the reality that falling off the cliff is a real danger and many Jamaicans are slowly showing interest in that issue. Here is a summary of what is the fiscal cliff and what Americans and the rest of the world would face if they fall off. Some $536 billion in tax increases, touching nearly all Americans, because various federal tax cuts and breaks expire at year end. About $110 billion in spending cuts divided equally between the military and most other federal departments. That’s about eight per cent of their annual budgets. Hitting the US economy with that double whammy of tax increases and spending cuts is what’s called going over the “fiscal cliff.” If allowed to unfold over 2013, it would lead to recession, a big jump in unemployment and financial market turmoil, economists predict. If New Year’s Day arrives without a deal, the US shouldn’t plunge on to the shoals of recession immediately. There still might

be time to engineer a soft landing. So long as lawmakers and the President appear to be working toward agreement, the tax hikes and spending cuts could mostly be held at bay for a few weeks. Then they could be repealed retroactively once a deal was reached. The big wild card is the stock market and the nation’s financial confidence: Would traders start to panic if Washington appeared unable to reach accord? Would worried consumers and businesses sharply reduce their spending? In what could be a preview, stock prices around the world dropped last Friday after House Republican leaders’ plan for addressing the fiscal cliff collapsed. If negotiations between Obama and Congress collapse completely, 2013 looks like a rocky year. Taxes would jump $2,400 on average for families with incomes of $50,000 to $75,000, according to a study by the non-partisan Tax Policy Centre. Because consumers would get less of their paycheques to spend, businesses and jobs would suffer. At the same time, Americans would feel cuts in government services; some federal workers would be furloughed or laid off, and companies would lose government business. The nation would lose up to 3.4 million jobs, the Congressional Budget Office predicts.Much of the disagreement surrounds the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts, and whether those rates should be allowed to rise for the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers. Both political parties say they want to protect the middle class from tax increases. Several tax breaks begun in 2009 to stimulate the

economy by aiding low- and middle-income families are also set to expire January 1. The alternative minimum tax would expand to catch 28 million more taxpayers, with an average increase of $3,700 a year. Taxes on investments would rise, too. More deaths would be covered by the federal estate tax, and the rate climbs from 35 per cent to 55 per cent. Some corporate tax breaks would end.

If the nation goes over the fiscal cliff, budget cuts of eight per cent or nine per cent would hit most of the federal government, touching all sorts of things from agriculture to law enforcement and the military to weather forecasting. A few areas, such as Social Security benefits, Veterans Affairs and some programmes for the poor, are exempt. All sorts of stuff could get wrapped up in the fiscal cliff

deal-making. A sampling: Some two million jobless Americans may lose their federal unemployment aid. Obama wants to continue the benefits extension as part of the deal; Republicans say it’s too costly. Social security recipients might see their checks grow more slowly. As part of a possible deal, Obama and Republican leaders want to change the way cost-of-living adjustments are calculated,

which would mean smaller checks over the years for retirees who get social security, veterans’ benefits or government pensions. The price of milk could double. If Congress doesn’t provide a fix for expiring dairy price supports before January 1, milk-drinking families could feel the pinch. One scenario is to attach a farm bill extension to the fiscal cliff legislation - if a compromise is reached in time.

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IMF agreement still pending New SSA appointment raises eyebrows KINGSTON, Jamaica CMC – Despite promises to the nation that the letter of intent between the Government of Jamaica and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would have been signed by the end of this year, there is still no word on when the agreement will be concluded. On Saturday, Finance Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips stated that the talks were almost at an end, however it appears that the promised deadline will not be met. In a five page press release, Phillips stressed that negotiations with the IMF were ongoing and indicated that talks took place with IMF staff as late as Friday. The government also placed the country on notice that there would have to be further “belt tightening”. “There are complex and weighty issues at stake which will determine the future prospects of our country,” said Phillips Last month, Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) President Christopher Zacca, while expressing confidence that the country will get another agreement with the IMF, complained that the group was in the dark about details of aspects of the negotiations. In response to concerns expressed by members of the private sector Phillips said, “There is no reason for pessimism – none at all….I think I have communicated more frequently than was done by the Opposition (Jamaica Labour Party) about the state of the negotiations,” asserted Phillips. “We have, at every point, given information as to what is happening. We have

Dr. Peter Phillips spoken in the Budget Debate, we have given regular updates in the Parliament, and, certainly, we have given more updates in the period of negotiating this programme than was given in the whole period of the collapse which took place in March 2011… In that nine months, there was nothing said.” He noted that the final issues on which the government is now focused include the approach and timetable for a comprehensive policy on tax waivers and incentives, from which it foregoes billions in revenues each year. The administration has promised to seek to keep its spending in line with revenues and to grow those revenues further in keeping with its debt reduction strategy. It’s also focused on safeguards against fiscal slippage and the examination of even higher primary surpluses in the medium term to underpin targets for debt reduction. He noted that there will be prior actions before finalization of an IMF deal, subject to the approval of the cabinet and the necessary

consultations with local stakeholders. Meanwhile, Financial Analyst, Ralston Hyman said this latest development concerning the deal with the IMF has not come as a surprise. “Looking at the magnitude of the things that were supposed to be done, looking at the technical tam that the minister had around him, because he basically had the same team that failed in the agreement that was inked by the Jamaica Labour party that broke down after only one quarter. I am not surprised, this will lead to greater uncertainty and a greater decree of lack of confidence that will impact on investment flows, economic growth and the value of the currency, it also means that there will be no agreement with the IMF before the first quarter of next year as I have always contended and this means that the uncertainty will continue going into that period” Hyman also noted that the country should prepare for the belt tightening as serious economical challenges are on the horizon for the New Year. He said this will translate into cuts in basic social services and in the public sector. In 2010 the JLP which was then in Government resumed a borrowing relationship with the IMF but was unable to meet several of the targets under the Stand-by Agreement (SBA) and in July this year, Phillips indicated that the Portia Simpson Miller government intended to renegotiate the US$1.47 billion agreement with the IMF which expired in May.

CLICO shares trading Jan. 7 Trinidad Express - As of January 7, 2013, the CLICO Investment Fund will be listed on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE). In a release Saturday, the TTSE’s board of directors said trading for the Fund will also begin that day. This is one week later than the proposed date of January 2, 2013, given by Finance Minister Larry Howai in his budget presentation in October. Once the fund begins trading, however, Government’s obligations towards negotiations of settlements to policyholders will have finally been brought

to an end. The symbol for the Fund will be CIF. Units in this fund will be listed at a price of $25.00 each and will be traded in the Mutual Fund Market. The Fund was launched November 1 as part of the settlement to CLICO policyholders by the government as part of the $20 billion bailout of the country’s largest insurance company’s collapsed empire. Policyholders of ShortTerm Investment Products (STIPS) sold by Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd and British American Insurance

Company (Trinidad) Ltd valued at over $75,000 received cash payments up to $75,000 and zero-coupon one to 20-year bonds for the difference. When the Fund begins trading they will be able to exchange those bonds for units in the Fund. Republic Bank Ltd is the Fund Administration agent as well as one of the distributors of the Fund. Eighty-six per cent of the Fund comprises 40,072,299 Republic Bank shares with a nominal value of nearly $4 billion. These shares represent 25 per cent of the total issued share capital of Republic.

...if it’s true, then it’s wrong says police association Trinidad Guardian - This country’s new lead national security agency, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), is expected to be in operational mode sometime next year. The unit, which has been touted by Government as being an elite intelligence gathering agency, lacks legislative framework and is still unable to function. Plans are afoot to merge the now defunct Security Intelligence Agency (SIA), which has no legal framework; and the Strategic Services Agency (SSA), which is currently undergoing structural change, with other intelligence networks to form the NIA. Despite promises that the NIA will become functional soon, several of the sensitive managerial positions have already been filled. The SSA is currently being led by Bisnath Maharaj, who assumed the post in April this year, taking over from Col Albert Griffith. Griffith’s oneyear contract was not renewed. Maharaj, a police officer, was seconded to the SSA. Sources say the appointment of acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Surajdeen Persad to the post of Director of Security Intelligence with the SSA was approved by Cabinet recently. Persad is currently on 22 months vacation leave from the T&T Police Service and was last assigned to Community Relations. Prior to this, he served as the second in command at Special Branch. Sources say Carlton Dennie has been elevated to the position of Director of Intercept. Dennie previously held the position of Assistant Deputy Director of Intelligence. Cabinet has also approved that NIA will be headed by a Director General with two deputy directors offering assistance, sources confirmed. The positions of Director of Criminal Intelligence, Director Corporate Services and Director Communication and Internet are yet to be filled. CoP confirms Persad is on vacation However, it is the appointment of Persad which is raising eyebrows. Many are questioning who gave Persad permission to be employed at

the SSA while on vacation from the police service and what criteria were used to interview people for the post. Contacted for a comment, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams confirmed that Persad was on vacation. “Obviously if he is on vacation, he will be getting paid,” Williams said. Asked about Persad’s status at the SSA while still being employed with the T&T Police Service Williams said: “The SSA is an intelligence unit and I try not to speak on them. You will have to contact them. I try not to interfere with matters involving the SSA.” Questioned whether he (Williams) gave authorisation for Persad to take up the position at SSA, Williams said he chose not to comment on the issue. Efforts to contact Persad were unsuccessful as calls to his cell phone went unanswered. In January 2011, the SIA was headed by Reshmi Ramnarine but her appointment was short-lived following her resignation from the top post. Ramnarine, 31, was touted to have in her possession a Bsc in Information Technology from the University of the West Indies, and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and several government ministers said part of the reason she was appointed as SIA director was due to her qualifications. It was later learnt that such qualifications were falsified. Police Association: If Persad’s appointment is true, it’s wrong Secretary of the T&T Police and Social Welfare Association Sgt Michael Seales said: “If the information is true” and Persad is now employed at SSA, then this is wrong. “If that is true, then it is wrong and the acting commissioner of police needs to address this immediately.” Seales described Persad as being a decorated officer in intelligence gathering and even if permission was given to Persad to function at SSA while still being employed at the T&T police service, such

Surajdeen Persad permission did not make it right. He said the association has always complained about such situations and in the past, officers have found themselves “on the wrong end of the disciplinary process when they did this.” Also commenting on Persad’s position at SSA, was president of the association Sgt Anand Ramesar. Ramesar in a brief telephone interview said it was not unusual for officers to take up contract postings while retaining their office as police officers. “However, such situations fall under the purview of the police who has the authority to grant permission as is provided for in the Police Service Act and Regulations,” he said. Ramesar said it would be unusual and a breach of the regulation, “should the officer proceed to pick up employment without the permission of the Commissioner of Police, especially where the employee for the second employment is also the Government. He said in recent times the association has seen different regulations in the organisation not being complied with and various issues not being addressed. Ramesar said the association had voiced complaints about “selective enforcement of the police service regulation and that some officers are now getting away with misconduct, while other are dealt with for smaller offenses.” He said acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams must address the issues with haste “so members can be assured that our confidence in him and his leadership is intact.”

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APNU to focus on state media Artificial Insemination Lab for improved accountability produces 548 new animals A Partnership for National unity (APNU) has some plans for the state media in the New Year. While the main opposition lauds itself for what it says is “forcing the Government to be more accountable to the people,” come 2013, they said they plan to force the state media to be responsible. According to the party, the Opposition had forced the Government to be responsible to Parliament and by extension the country. They, however, charged that within the dissemination of information, state media houses are extensively flawed and continue to mislead the nation. APNU member Rupert Roopnarine said last week, that despite the budget cuts to the Guyana Information News Agency (GINA) and the National Communications Network (NCN), the agencies are still functioning and continue to act in the same manner. Despite the Government’s bogus ‘tears’ of retro development and the loss of work for staffers, the organizations are still hiring and continue to peddle inaccuracies to the country. Roopnarine said the issue is of continued concern to his party and in 2013 the opposition may have to devise other methods to force the agencies to act responsibly.

APNU head David Granger

APNU second in command Rupert Roopnarine

“I think in 2013 we will have to devise other mechanisms to bring NCN and GINA to greater levels of accountability and to behave like public broadcasters.” Roopnarine said while those living on the coast are closer to the realities of what the agencies peddle, misinformation fed to those who do not know what is actually happening is frightful and is an abuse of people. “It is degrading how those people are treated when you go to those i n t e r i o r areas and are confronted with what they were fed. The misuse and misinformation is really a kind of human rights abuse.” Roopnarine said that the issue must be taken up on all those counts as there are international, “Protocols in relation to media behaviour,

to which the Government is a signatory.” APNU head David Granger said the issue entails greater accountability. He charged that “If in any instance, the Minister or any agency is found to have spent public funds that were not authorized by the National Assembly, they could be sanctioned.” Granger said investigations are being carried out to ascertain where the money is coming from for those agencies which were cut but are still carrying on merrily and in a manner that is unchanged. “If any Minister is found to be in breach of instructions or decisions of the National Assembly, he will be dealt with by the Committee of Privileges in the National Assembly.”

With the use of the 14,000 straws of pure bred semen which was imported from the United States of America at a cost of US $20 to US $30 per straw, specialists at the recently commissioned Artificial Insemination Lab at Mon Repos were able to produce 548 new animals. This was done by the Ministry of Agriculture under the arm of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) in an effort to ensure food security, as well as making way for the future exportation of local produce, including meat. Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy had explained that if Guyana wants to enhance its economy and ensure food safety, producing meat of better size and quality is vital. Thus, high quality genetics is the way forward, as it will enable local scientists to produce better breeds of animals that are of international standards. Ramsammy, during his year end briefing on the Agriculture Sector last Saturday, promised that the year 2013 will se e a n increase in the importation of animals for the purpose of creating better breeds, which will later result in Guyana being more able to export its meat instead of importing it. Guyana he says has the largest Imported Food Bill in

the Caribbean. In this regard, the artificial insemination initiative was set up under the Agriculture Diversification Programme (ADP). The ADP is there to establish services and institutions for a sustainable increase in the income derived from the export of nontraditional agricultural exports in the aquaculture, fruits and vegetables, and livestock sub-sectors. It was under this programme that 33 bulls were imported from Florida at a cost of $26M These bulls are of the species- Brahman, Beef Master, and Brangus. Each cost roughly about $800,000. These bulls are commonly used for breeding and meat purposes. The Semen of these animals were all extracted, evaluated, preserved, and processed at the Artificial Insemination Lab, a multimillion dollar facility located in the GLDA compound, Agriculture Road, Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara. The facility itself totals $28.2M. It was funded by the Government of Guyana, in partnership with the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB). It was only commissioned in October last, and Ramsammy during his briefing Saturday, gave the project a success rate of 2030 percent.

Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy It was also listed in the Ministry’s yearend report as one Guyana’s Agricultural accomplishments. Ramsammy pointed out that during the short period of time, scientists were able to conduct 31 embryo transfers, using local animals as surrogate mothers for these high standard genetics. The Minister had said that these initiatives are just pieces to the puzzle which is to tackle the global issue of food security in a more comprehensive manner, so that Guyana never has to face the issue of food shortages, or substandard produce. Ramsammy promised that come 2013, the Agriculture Ministry will be working tirelessly to pave the way for great food exportation.

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Curtains for Christmas Home on the range on Christmas Eve but there being no deer and antelope around I had to make do with chicken. In my lexicon, Good Housekeeping is not a standard of sanitation that is impossible to meet, or even as Lord Hamlet said, a consummation devoutly to be wished. It is my favourite cookbook and my standard tome if I want a consommé devoutly to be cooked, a cheesecake done to perfection or, in this case, baked chicken breasts stuffed with potatoes and pastrami. This year, to honour Santa’s Rudolph-led reindeer due to land on the roof, I added a special ingredient. Not a Blitzen, Dancer or Prancer but the forgotten one. Olive. Remember the song – Olive the other reindeer? She was in the mix, adding colour to my Christmas mélange. This particular Christmas was turning out to be a gas despite two of the curtains being burnt because the iron struck while it was too hot. I had returned home just in time to terminate the rain-fed weeds with my usual coup de

grass, trim the malevolent bougainvillea bushes that scratch but fortunately have not yet learnt to bite, helped in my own clumsy way to put up the remaining curtains, and threaten to cook our Christmas Eve lunch on the Mabe stove. It was then that the Mexican-made stove took the opportunity to demonstrate why my friends in Belize call it a “Maybe” stove. It staged its own coup de gas and exploded. It was almost curtains for me too. Well, no range-fed chicken and no small potatoes either, I said to myself after checking to see that all my limbs were intact and that cooking was not a cinch so much as a singe. In my youth we used to take an Ovaltine or Milo tin, punch a hole in the bottom of it, put in some carbide, spit on it, quickly close the lid and apply a flame to the bottom of the tin. The carbide gave the tin more energy than its original contents and the lid would blow right off with a good solid thump. It seems I had a carbide stove. Even though it was Christmas time, the stove made a whoosh instead of a

wish and almost turned my Christmas into a war zone – a bummer and a bomber at the same time. Having made up my mind that I would cook the meal, and with the chicken already marinating in lemon juice, I took a saunter down electric avenue without Eddy Grant or Joanna but with hope that all would go well. It was then that the large electric toaster oven refused to work. This madness did not surprise me as it too was made in Mexico. I figured that it had a screw loose and I was right. Immediately after we took off the many screws holding it together, and without getting into the vital parts, the oven started running like Usain Volt. Had the iron done that it would have been curtains for all the curtains. I told my wife who had run into the kitchen after the explosion and was still a bit stunned, “The current situation means that despite the high cost of electricity we have no choice but to do watts required in the circumstances.” She was wired, I tell you! We pulled out the Chinese rice cooker from a cupboard

where it had been fallow for a long time, and tested it, standing far back to make sure it did not have a fuse problem. I could hear Confuse-ius saying in the background, “Rice cooker that stay too long in cupboard not wok.” My son Zubin had volunteered to help me and I gave him the chicken breasts to flatten. Because of his love for cricket, and the implement he used to pound the chicken, I changed his name to Ashley Mallet (the Australian spinner). In the meantime we called the “electric stove” man who reminded us that it was Christmas Eve and that he was not sure when he could come. Another Mabe I thought. However, his response did not shock me as much as his charges for work done. What did give me a jolt though was when Zubin put his finger into the socket of a Christmas tree light. Lunch having been consumed and commended, we moved on to a little cricket until it was time to complete the adornment of the premises, bougainvillea and all, with what in my tiredness I call these “blinking” lights.

Zubin’s job is to climb the ladder and link together the lights. When the current hit him and I saw the look on his face, I immediately changed Zubin’s new name from Ashley to Ashok (Mankad, the Indian cricketer whose surname became a verb for a bowler running out a batsman who is out of his ground at the bowler’s end). Zubin took it as a good sport and though a bit strung out by that time, lit up almost immediately when his mother, looking at the huge Christmas tree in the yard said, “We need an outdoor star for that” and I immediately suggested Clint Eastwood. I had acquired a collection of Scrunter’s “Parang Soca” songs and it was the ideal accompaniment to our labours – the touch of country in Scrunter’s voice and the truly infectious rhythm. No piece of pork for Christmas but who needs it when your life has been spared and you live to light another day. Some of the outdoor electrical cords, dormant in boxes for a year, had left us

facing an economic crisis similar to the one now confronting President Obama – how to deal with both the haves and have-knots. The Republican approach was tempting but we could not just look after the haves and leave the have-knots to suffer. I did what Obama should have done and snarling, “Don’t you dare tangle with me” I fixed the entire mess without breaking a sweat or a bulb. Later, we allowed the children to each open one gift and leave the rest for Christmas Day when we gather together after breakfast and open all the gifts under the Christmas tree. It was just around midnight when we finally left the stove and the day’s events behind us and switched off the lights. My next recollection was seeing the faint morning light and it suddenly dawned on me. Christmas. *Tony Deyal was last seen asking, “What do Trinis call the day before Christmas Eve?” Christmas Adam.

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APNU not stalling Local Govt. bills

Opposition Leader David Granger has refuted Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud’s claim that his party is responsible for local government bills being stuck at the select committee. Granger said that he has denied the statement in its entirety. According to Granger, on the last sitting of the National Assembly on December 20th 2012, at a meeting of the members of the Special Select Committee on the local government Reform Bills, under the chairmanship of Raphael Trotman, Mr. Basil Williams was elected chairman of the said committee ahead of the minister. Granger said that with the Yuletide season (Christmas) being at hand, Parliament was adjourned to the 3rd of January, 2013. He said that as a result, members have returned to different parts of Guyana and abroad.

- David Granger The APNU has maintained that with an interview with the Stabroek News, Mr. Basil Williams told the reporter that on the resumption of the National Assembly, he would call the first meeting of the Committee. Granger said that was fallacious to assert that the local government reform bills were stuck in the Select Committee when the Assembly has been adjourned to a date after the Christmas season. He said that his party has always dilated on the fact that the PPPC government is responsible for the nonimplementation of local government reform in Guyana. According to Granger, for over a decade the PPPC government has had custody of the process of introducing local government reform, but failed to do so.

Opposition Leader David Granger He said that likewise, the PPPC had custody of the said local government bills in the ninth Parliament and only passed into law one of the five bills. Granger further noted that he hoped that the negative utterances of the Minister were not the precursor of a plan of noncooperation by the PPP in the Select Committee under the new chairmanship.

Improving nation’s food security status-among 2012 goals Safeguarding Guyana’s food security was one of the milestones for achievements in the agriculture sector for 2012 and this effort was consolidated with the acknowledgement that the sector is already a mainstay in Guyana’s development. The sector focused on preserving and stren g t h e n i n g food s e c u r i t y, r e d u cing food imports, developing valueadded (agro-processing) industry, developing an agro-fuel industry and creating employment and generating wealth. Agriculture contributes almost 23% of the economy, accounts for more than 33% of employment and about 50% of Guyana’s export earnings come from the sector. FOOD SECURITY Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy has acknowledged that Guyana is a food secure country, as such the aim is to ensure that not only is food security preserved, but that status as well. The agriculture sector acknowledges that the taste in food varieties, by Guyanese, has impacted the food import bill which is US$225 per capita. Nevertheless that is slated to change with the implementation of projects like the Jagdeo initiative which was introduced to the Guyanese business and farming communities at GUYEXPO 2012.

The achievement of food security was the basis on which the Jagdeo Initiative, a regional programme, was conceptualised by former President Bharat Jagdeo who was responsible for agriculture in the Caribbean Community (Caricom). The initiative identifies and defines nine key, critical and binding constraints to the development of the agriculture sector in the Caribbean region and practical interventions at the regional and national levels to alleviate those constraints. The ‘new agriculture vision’ aims at making the sector more than food production by exploring the numerous opportunities that exist for agro-businesses which will create more employment, increase export earnings and the income of all stakeholders, especially farmers. HISTORIC RICE PRODUCTION The local rice industry continued to stand in the face of the negative global economic changes to shoulder food security, gain export strength, and provide steady employment opportunities for Guyanese. At the beginning of 2012, the rice production target was set at 412,000 tonnes, and at the close of the year, the Agriculture Ministry reported that as of December 18, production figures were at 420,000 tonnes, by far, the largest output in the history of rice production in Guyana.

This tremendous increase in output surpassed the 2011 production of 402,000 tonnes. The rice sector has also done exceptionally well in export as well with more than 300,000 tonnes of rice sold to other countries. The rice export earning now stands at US$176M and has the potential to increase by US$20M by the end of December 2012. Over the last three years, Venezuela has been the major export market for Guyana’s paddy and rice, accounting for approximately 60% of total export. While this is a very good trade for the country, the Ministry of Agriculture intends to continue rice exports to traditional markets in Europe and CARICOM countries like, Jamaica and Trinidad. Claiming yet another major accomplishment for 2012, the Agriculture Ministry announced that Guyana’s first aromatic line of rice was successfully cultivated on 60 acres of land; moving from experimental conditions to actual field conditions. The aromatic rice is expected to be tested across the country during 2013, with the expectation that at least 25 farmers will undertake the first commercial production of the rice. This success can be credited to dedication of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Guyana Rice Development Board’s (GRDB) research programme. (A GINA feature)

Monday December 31, 2012

DTV CHANNEL 8 08:55hrs. Sign On 09:00hrs. GMA 10:00hrs. Live! With Kelly and Michael 11:00hrs. The Ricki Lake Show 12:00hrs. The View 13:00hrs. World News 13:30hrs. The Young and the Restless 14:30hrs. The Bold and the Beautiful 15:00hrs. The Talk 16:00hrs. MacGyver 17:00hrs. The Ellen DeGeneres Show 18:00hrs. World News 19:00hrs. Greetings and Announcements 20:00hrs. Channel 8 News

Kaieteur News

21:30hrs. Movie: Dragonheart 23:15hrs. New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 00:00hrs. DTV’s New Year’s Messages NTN CHANNEL 18/ CABLE 69 05:00h - Sign on with the Mahamrtunjaya Mantra 05:15h - Meditation 05:30h - Queenstown Masjid Presents Quran This Morning 06:00h - R. Gossai General Store Presents Shiva Bhajans 06:15h - Jettoo’s Lumber Yard Presents Shiva Bhajans 06:30h - Muneshwar Limited Presents Shiva Bhajans 06:45h - Double Standard Taxi

Presents Shiva Bhajans 07:00h - RRT Enterprise Presents Shiva Bhajans 07:15h - M & M Snackette Presents Raja Yoga Discourses 07:30h - Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital Inc Presents Shiva Bhajans 07:45h - The Family of The Late Leila & David Persaud Presents Shiva Bhajans 08:00h - Timehri Maha Kali Shakti Devi Mandir Presents Shiva Bhajans 08:15h - NTN This Morning Live with Reyaz Husein 09:30h - Indian Soap - Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke 10:00h - Indian Soap - Rab Se Sohna Isshq

Monday December 31, 2012 ARIES (March 21 - April 19): The heat is getting turned up a lot higher in one of your personal relationships -- but unfortunately, it might not be in a good way. Look for little annoyances to suddenly turn into full-fledged fights. ******************* TAURUS (April 20 - May 20): Try to keep matters of the heart on the up-and-up right now. Being brutally honest is tough sometimes, but it is much more valuable than softening the truth with little white lies. ****************** GEMINI (May 21 - June 20): You have an important choice to make today. You can either expend all your energy trying to avoid any and all conflict, or you can have fun debating people whose thoughts and feelings differ from yours. ******************** CANCER (June 21 - July 22): Staying conservative and cautious might be the right strategy when it comes to investing money. But when it comes to sharing your emotions, the more extravagant you are, the better! ********************* LEO (July 23 - Aug. 22): Sure, it takes a little bit of confidence to get out and meet people. But meeting the right people also takes luck -- you need to be in the right place at the right time. You've got both luck and confidence, today! ******************* VIRGO (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22): When a goal is too easy to attain, it is not as fulfilling as a hard-won victory can be. So take the more difficult route today and don't be too rigid about what you are willing or not willing to do. ********************* LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct.

22): The situation with another person is getting interesting, but it's also getting a lot more complicated. You'll have do some creative problem solving to keep them at arm's length until you can figure out for sure exactly how you want them to fit into your life. ********************* SCORPIO (Oct. 23 Nov. 21): Today you might get so wrapped up in overcoming a challenge that you lose track of the time. ******************** SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 Dec. 21): Right now, risk is something that you should embrace with all of your heart, not run away from! The exciting opportunity that arrives today might intimidate or even frighten you a little bit, but if you focus on the potential rewards it could bring you, you'll find yourself more and more willing to take the chance. Go for it! .********************* CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 Jan. 19): You're in a real fix-it mood! Today, you'll want to put things right, make people smile, and solve any and all problems that come your way. ******************** AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 Feb. 18):The extraordinary efforts of someone in your crew -- social circle, office clique, team, whatever -are creating some incredible opportunities for you right now, and today is the day to take advantage of them! ********************* PISCE S ( F e b . 1 9 March 20): This is a good day for you to work on your self-esteem and communication skills. The day isn't going to be too hectic, so you should have all the time you need to get introspective and check in with yourself.

10:30h - Indian Soap - Pavitra Rishta 11:00h - Indian Soap:- Mrs. Kaushik Ki Paanch Bahuyien 11:30h - Indian Soap:- Punar Viivaah 12:00h - DVD Movie:- DREDD 14:30h - DVD Movie:- THE BOURNE LEGACY 16:00h - Drying Tears Live with Pastor Edson 16:30h - Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2012 17:45h - Ganesh Parts Presents - BHAGAVAD GITA ( Discourses in English) Serial 18:15h - Birthday Greetings / Anniversary / Congratulations / Death

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Announcements & In Memoriam 18:30h - HARE KRISHNA TODAY 19:00h - Ricks & Sari Presents Bed Time Songs Live with Joel 20:00h - THE HOT SEAT Live with host Mr. Ossie Roger 21:00h - Headline News

21:30h - Indian Soap - Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke 22:00h - Indian Soap - Rab Se Sohna Isshq 22:30h - Indian Soap - Pavitra Rishta 23:00h - Old Year’s Eve Countdown Live with Frederick Rampersaud 01:00h -.Sign Off

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Kaieteur News

Monday December 31, 2012

Young offenders benefit from USAID’s SKYE project Over 25 young people, who faced the courts for minor offences, were able to acquire alternative methods of sentencing via the USAID’s Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment (SKYE) project. The Inter-Agency Team on Juvenile Justice is a group supported and formed by USAID’s SKYE Project to be a sustainable body to advance justice options for youth, within the existing legal framework. Key members in the team include the Ministry of Human Services, UN’s Rights of the Child Commission, the

Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports, the Probation Department, UNICEF, and USAID’s SKYE Project. The judicial limb of the project which commenced on October 19 of this year has since seen an average of thirty young people being enrolled. In October and November, these youth met with SKYE’s Employment Coaches to develop Individual Employability Plans and map out their paths to sustained employment opportunities and reintegration into society. Additionally, they received counseling from the Ministry of Labour, Human

Services and Social Security Probation Department. This initiative is part of the SKYE’s mandate to prevent or reduce the number of at-risk youth between the ages of 14 and 25 from being ‘held’, jailed, or incarcerated in the Juvenile Justice System through its Detention Prevention Strategy. Representatives from the Inter-Agency Team on Juvenile Justice, USAID’s SKYE Project COP, Juvenile Justice Specialist, and Employment Coaches met with the youths diverted from incarceration and provided them with options, which

include community services, technical vocational training, and other formal and nonformal education opportunities. During the process, employment coaches and local Probation Officers were assigned to each young person. SKYE expands education, skill-building, and employment for at-risk youth in Guyana, with the goal of reducing youth crime and violence by strengthening economic participation and civic engagement. The two-year project provides targeted alternative sentencing, work-readiness

training, and livelihood coaching activities for 805 youth, in Regions Four, Six, Nine, and Ten. SKYE is also working within the New Opportunity Corps detention facility in Region Two. The Project is funded by USAID under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative and executed through the Education Development Center; a US based global education and training institution. The SKYE Project is a

two-year initiative to equip youth with market-driven skills and improve their ability to transition into the workforce. SKYE’s target youth beneficiaries are school dropouts, youth who completed formal education but do not have the necessary skills to find employment, and youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Contributors of SKYE project hope to further this aspect of their work in 2013.

Shopkeeper’s family peeved at robbery victim’s release Relatives of shopkeeper Eileen Gibson are upset that police have released a man who allegedly beat the 56year-old shopkeeper into a semi-conscious state during a robbery on Boxing Day. Gibson was attacked at her Kuru Kuru, Soesdyke, Linden premises by a man who pretended to be a customer. The robber fled with $14,000. According to relatives, at 22:00hrs on Boxing night a man (name given) who is a distant relative of the victim, lured Gibson out of her shop while pretending that he wanted an item from a glass case. Gibson lives alone. “I left at nine in the night and when I reached home, I called Miss Gibson and she told me (name given) was in the shop…she told the man that she was locking up but then he asked for something in the glass case at the centre of the shop which cause the woman to leave her safe confines and go out the shop to open the glass case. That is when the man lashed her behind the head after she bent down to open the glass case,” one relative lamented. It is alleged that the man then entered the shop where he emptied the drawers of all the money. Relatives believe that the perpetrator saw the shop keeper counting several thousand dollar bills and

believed that the woman would have put the cash in the drawers. Fortunately, Gibson had stashed the money elsewhere. The relative alleged that the shopkeeper pretended to be dead after the robber struck her. “After the woman played dead, the man then did the unthinkable. He picked up her body and placed it on his shoulder and was heading to the gate behind the house to dump the body. But on the way, the woman pretended that she did not know what happened and decided to say thanks to the man for picking her up when she fell down…the man replied: ‘right now I confused.” The man then put Gibson down, and she then fled into the shop, bolted the doors and screamed for help. This prompted neighbors to come out but by then the thief had fled. The relatives said that the police were summoned, but the suspect turned up at the Timehri Police Station with his mother giving the police his own version of what transpired. According to one relative, the thief claimed that Gibson had collapsed near her shop and that he had placed the woman in a chair. “This boy needs to be imprisoned, he is a deceptive young man, who is dangerous!”

Monday December 31, 2012

Kaieteur News

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Lampard inspires Chelsea, Suarez torments QPR Lampard scores Chelsea's winner (Ian Hodgson)

LONDON (Reuters) Frank Lampard underlined his value to Chelsea with a welltaken double to secure a 2-1 comeback win at Everton on Sunday and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez heaped more misery on Premier League strugglers Queens Park Rangers. The subject of intense speculation about his future at Stamford Bridge, midfielder Lampard reminded Chelsea’s power-brokers of his class by scoring either side of halftime to cancel out Steven Pienaar’s powerful strike after 63

seconds. Chelsea’s fourth successive league win under interim manager Rafael Benitez lifted the Londoners back up to third in the Premier League, four points behind second-placed Manchester City with a game in hand. Manchester United are seven points clear at the top and QPR’s 3-0 home loss to Liverpool left them three points adrift at the bottom. Lampard has made more than 500 appearances for Chelsea in 11 years but has

been linked with a move away from the club when his contract expires at the end of the season. “We haven’t been talking (about a new contract) in the last couple of weeks and I’m just concentrating on playing,” Lampard told Sky Sports. “Playing games gives me enough satisfaction, then what will be will be.” Benitez praised his side for the way they responded to conceding early on but he would not be drawn on Lampard’s future. “My job is

to keep Lampard fit,” he said. “He is under contract, fully committed and working hard and that is it. My job is to coach the players, and keep winning games and keep my opinion.” Lampard’s performance at Goodison Park was an example of just how influential he can be. He rose in the box to meet a well-directed, left-footed cross from Ramires, planting the ball in the corner of Tim Howard’s net to draw Chelsea level, before slamming home the winner after a goalmouth scramble with 18 minutes left. Lampard has made popping up in the right place at the right time an art form in his time at Chelsea. The goals against Everton were his 191st and 192nd for Chelsea, which took him to within one of Kerry Dixon, second on the club’s all-time goalscoring list with 193. Bobby Tambling, with 202, remains out in front. While Lampard was the hero for Chelsea, Everton will lament their inability to finish off a number of opportunities. Pienaar’s goal gave the hosts a flying start and for the first 20 minutes, the Toffees bossed Chelsea and should have doubled their advantage.

A stirring Nikica Jelavic free kick struck the woodwork and Chelsea keeper Petr Cech kept out an effort by Leon Osman. But the European champions warmed to the task and Lampard showed off all his class. “It was very hard,” he said. “This is always one of the most difficult games of t h e s e a s o n . We g o t a tanking here last year and we had to stand up for ourselves... It was always going to be very close and we did ride our luck at times. “We have to keep believing this season there is a long way to go. We can only win our games then rely on other things.” HAPLESS QPR Liverpool are not involved in the title race but they showed in 30 minutes at Loftus Road how good they can be despite their mid-table position. They raced into a 3-0 lead primarily thanks to the brilliance of striker Suarez, who weaved through some feeble defence for his opening goal before adding a second after 16 minutes. Defender Daniel Agger’s powerful header from a Steven Gerrard cross effectively ended the contest

before halftime, leading to some sections of the crowd booing the QPR players as they left the pitch. “We played probably our best football of the season in the first half,” Gerrard told Sky Sports. “QPR are having a tough time at the moment, and we knew if we started well we could quieten the crowd then play our football.” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was unable to take his place on the sidelines due to illness and his opposite Harry Redknapp was unable to inspire a dramatic comeback like the one QPR produced in the corresponding fixture last season when late goals carried them to victory. Liverpool’s level dropped off as the game wore on and they were unable to add to their dominance but the hosts offered little in attack and the result was never in doubt as Liverpool climbed to ninth in the table. “It was difficult, they’ve got real quality....Suarez, Gerrard,” Redknapp said. “Second half we changed how we played and we did better but it’s can only get what you can with what you’ve got but I still think we’ll get out of trouble.”

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Kaieteur News

Monday December 31, 2012

GCA enjoys fruitful 2012 The Georgetown Cricket Association closed its 2012 season for the Christmas holidays, and planned to resume on the 12th January, 2013 weather permitting. The GCA had planned to run off 9 competitions in 2012 but due to the inclement weather only 6 tournaments were possible. The competitions that were played are; The Brain Street U-15 limited over which was won by DCC who defeated Transport Sports Club in the final; The David Persaud Investment under 19 50 over. This competition was won by DCC-B with the runner up being DCC-A. The New Building Society 2nd division 40 over: GCC emerged victorious; runner up was DCC. The Queensway Open Cup 50 over Knock Out: GCC got the better of DCC to take championship honours. The 2011 1st Division Carib Beer and Friends of Cricket Heroes Cup was completed in 2012. Malteenoes Sports Club edged DCC to take the silverware, while GNIC won the 2nd Division 2011 Noble House Seafoods tournament ahead of UG which was also completed in 2012. Meanwhile, the 1st Division HADI’s World Incorporated City Mall and

the 2nd division Noble House Sea Foods 2 day competitions will be completed in 2013. Below are the point standings in the 1st (Hadi’s) and 2nd (Noble House Sea Foods) division tournaments. Chairman of the GCA competitions committee Shawn Massiah said that the 2012 50-over U-13 as well as the 1st and 2nd division

Twenty\20 tournaments were not played but will get underway in 2013. The members of the GCA would like to thank their sponsors for their support in 2012 and wish them a bright and prosperous 2013, as well as the executives of all cricket clubs in Georgetown and their hard working grounds men, the Media and supporters.


MATCHES PLAYED 2 1 1 2 1 2 2 1 3 MATCHES PLAYED 6 5 5 4 3 3 3 5 4 5 4 3 3 4

Distracted Williams sounds ominous warning in season opener BRISBANE (Reuters) - An angry and impatient Serena Williams overcame blustery conditions at the Brisbane International on Sunday in an ominous beginning to her only tournament before her charge at a 16th major title at the Australian Open next month. The American threw her hands in the air, shook her head, gesticulated towards her coach and stomped her feet in petulant protest - but that did little to help compatriot Varvara Lepchenko who suffered a 62 6-1 first round defeat. Howling with frustration in her first match since winning the WTA Championships at Istanbul in October, lacking rhythm in swirling winds on Pat Rafter Arena, Williams still delivered enough booming serves and punishing groundstrokes to prevail in a formidable if cantankerous display. TheAmerican claimed world number one Victoria Azarenka and number two Maria Sharapova, and perhaps a few fringe-dwellers, were eyeing off a near-impossible feat not achieved since Steffi Graf’s unbeaten run through 1988. Both Azarenka and

Serena Williams (Getty Images)

Sharapova are in a red-hot Brisbane field with Williams. Of the world’s top 10, only Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na are missing. The predictability of her defeat of Lepchenko was matched by the level of emotion surrounding Australian wildcard Jarmila Gajdosova’s victory on the opening day. HIGH EMOTION Playing her first tournament since the passing in September of her mother, also named Jarmila, and with her world ranking having plummeted from a career high of 25 to 183 in the last 18 months, Gajdosova

roared home from a one-set deficit to stun Italy’s world number 16 Roberta Vinci. Gajdosova wept after a 46 6-1 6-3 triumph that set up a second-round showdown against French Open champion Sharapova. Sixth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova recovered from a pretournament asthma scare to defeat Spain’s Carla SuarezNavarro 6-3 6-4. Kvitova has been gasping and wheezing in Brisbane’s humid weather and revealed one of her recent attacks had been her worst in three years.

Monday December 31, 2012

Kaieteur News

Powerhouses Pele and Alpha sent packing The pundits had predicted the results and already some had mentally inscribed the Alpha United insignia on the ‘Holy Grail’ while a great many has predicted a victory for Pele FC. The script was well written and both teams entered the semi-final stages full of confidence and ready to conform to destiny. ‘The Hammers’ were up against the lowly rated Buxton United FC, while Pele was set to dispose of Amelia’s Ward. In a strange twist of fate both underdogs threw a monkey wrench into those predictions, relegating the two powerhouses to the sidelines when the semifinals of the 23rd edition of the Kashif and Shanghai football extravaganza concluded at the Buxton Community Centre Ground, Saturday evening last. Pele went down 2-1, while Alpha lost 1-0 following a terrible mix up at their goal mouth that eventually resulted in a goal default situation. Pele was the first casualty after Travis Waterton scored from a free kick just outside the 20 yards box in the 18th minute to send the Lindeners ahead and the huge crowd of supporters into wild ecstasy. Those players stated their intention from the onset, invading Pele’s space while keeping their goalie, Shemroy Author on his toes. Three times he was tested after Amelia’s strikers sent in stern tests and he prevailed on every occasion, punching the ball out or firmly cuddling it to his chest. The Upper Demerara lads stuck to the tasks up until Waterton changed the score line. Pele’s determination rose to the fore with Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson, Konata Manning and Dirk Archer working in tandem to create problems for the Lindeners. The Amelia Ward’s defence was up to the task and averted any catastrophe. Sheldon Holder then got into the act, collected a pass just over the halfway line and sprinted down the left flank to Amelia Ward’s goal only to rue his chances with a limp strike which the ‘keeper’ scooped up. Cognizant of his goal scoring propensity, the Lindeners singled out Richardson for special attention and kept him in check for most of the session. This allowed Travis ‘Zorro’ Grant to capitalize in the 47th minute after a clever build up, supported by the persistent strike force of Richardson and Manning, to equalize the score. Their success was short

lived as merely one minute later, Amelia’s Ward had regained control after Keon Sears latched onto a loose pass from the opposition and thundered to their goal. A ferocious kick beat everything in its way and settled at the back of the net to send his team back into the ascendancy. Thereafter, there was a steady procession as both teams experimented with their substitutes. Amelia’s Ward sent out Marlon Simon for Oswald Benjamin and shortly after exchanged Terrence Aaron for Carlos Grant. Pele called in Quincy Adams and sent out Keoma Greavesande but the ploy failed to change the dynamics. It was around this time that Richardson broke the shackles and wended his way to the opposition’s goal. The flamboyant striker dribbled past the opposition’s defence cordon and planted the ball in their goal only to be greeted by the dreaded offside whistle. The pundits were divided over its authenticity. The Pele team demonstrated why they were regarded as a top local team when, despite trailing by one goal, they dug deep with excellent passes and clever dribbling tactics. Clearly, it was not their night, underlined after Manning drove in a ferocious strike that landed just in front of the Amelia Ward’s custodian who kicked it to the touchline. With every wasted opportunity, the Pele squad intensified its efforts while the Amelia ward’s supporters urged on the final whistle which, when it came sent the Lindeners to the finals. Alpha United played a good game of coordinated football but never bargained for the grit and determination of the Buxton team. The early exchanges saw both teams battling for possession in the Buxton half until Dwayne Jacobs broke away in what looked like a sure goal but Alpha’s defence unit managed to steer him wide and avert any danger. Jacobs continued to torment ‘The Hammers’ and was down their throats two minutes later but their custodian, Richie Richards proved his worth with aggressive keeping. In the meantime, Kelvin McKenzie was working hard on the left wing and did commendable after checking an enterprising run by Clive Andries. Despite the fierce exchanges neither side could find the magic to send their team ahead and went in at half time nil all. The Buxtonians started the second half aggressively and forced the opposition’s defence deep into the boxed area.

Thereafter following a goal scrimmage the ball bounced into Alpha’s goal by default. Buxton United, urged on by their coach, Herbert McPherson, held firm to their lead while just a few yards away Wayne ‘Wiggy’ Dover shouted instructions to his men. There followed several changes by both teams even as the Buxtonians, realizing they had a golden opportunity to advance, fought furiously to retain their dominance. In the meantime, the crowd, comprising largely of Buxton fans, willed the referee to blow

off the game. It seemed an eternity even as the Alpha side worked desperately to change their fortunes. When it sounded, the entire arena, comprising mostly Buxton United supporters, erupted into celebrations. They launched firecrackers and created enough noise to awaken ever villager on the East Coast corridor. Meanwhile, coach of the Amelia Ward team, Ceon Warner, was ecstatic after the game. He said that his men had worked hard during the preparatory stages of the tournament and while he was satisfied with their performance he was not surprised. “We entered the tournament as the underdogs and we would have wanted it

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no other way because it gives us the opportunity to spring a few surprises,” he said. The veteran coach feels that the result is just reward for all the hard work even as he exudes confidence of winning the finals. Buxton United coach, Herbert McPherson feels exonerated following an affirmative pre-tournament prediction. He had backed his boys then while pointing out their achievements in the GFF Leagues where they won 3 matches while conceding 2. The other two matches ended in draws. The team missed last year’s tournament and spent that time honing their skills under the tutelage of

McPherson. “We are all the way,” McPherson exhorted shortly after last Saturday night’s game. The players return to the field on New Year’s Day at the National Stadium, Providence where a new team will claim the top prize of over $4M dollars. The main game will be preceded by the third place playoff with Pele FC and Alpha United FC. The two rookie teams have risen to the occasion and have earned every right to contest for the top prize. Fans are assured of an intense battle as the two underdog teams ascend the big stage for the first in the tournament’s existence. Let the battle begin.

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Kaieteur News

Monday December 31, 2012

Pakistan beat India after Farah quizzed by customs officials Nasir Jamshed century in ‘terror bungle’ at U.S. airport Nasir Jamshed plays the pull (BCCI)

BBC Sport - Nasir Jamshed hit an unbeaten 101 as Pakistan beat India by six wickets in Chennai in the first game of a threematch one-day international series. Junaid Khan’s spell of 4-7 reduced India to 29-5 in the 10th over, before Mahendra Dhoni hit three sixes in an undefeated 113 in his team’s 227-6. Debutant Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck with the first ball of the Pakistan reply but Younis Khan and Jamshed put on 112. Left-hander Jamshed made his second ODI

ton as Pakistan won with 11 balls left. After missing the Twenty20 series that was shared 1-1, Virender Sehwag returned to open India’s innings with Gautam Gambhir. But both were back in the pavilion by the fifth over as Pakistan won an important toss, which was delayed for an hour because of a damp pitch. India captain Dhoni, dropped by Misbahul-Haq on 17, took 79 balls to score his first boundary but passed 7,000 one-day international runs, reaching his eighth ODI hundred with a six over cover off Mohammad Irfan. Despite that, India’s total looked below average, but they were given encouragement when the wiry Kumar, 22, bowled Mohammad Hafeez, who offered no stroke. Kumar, who also struck in the first over of his Twenty20 international debut on Tuesday, had Azhar Ali caught cheaply but Younis settled the innings with a stylish 48th ODI half-century. He clipped a low catch to mid-wicket but Jamshed, effective if not aesthetic, was reprieved on 68 when Yuvraj Singh spilled a chance at point. With 41 needed from 49 balls Shoaib Malik was caught behind off Ashwin, only for it to be called a no-ball after video footage was checked. On 99 , Jamshed, in his 20th international, was hit on the helmet by Ashok Dinda but the 23-year-old pulled the next ball for the single he needed to reach three figures from 127 balls, and Shoaib pulled the winning boundary in the penultimate over. Scores: Pakistan 228 for 4 (Jamshed 101*, Younis 58) beat India 227 for 6 (Dhoni 113*, Raina 43, Junaid 4-43) by six wickets.

Daily Mail - British Olympic hero Mo Farah has revealed how he was quizzed by U.S. border officials on suspicion of being a terrorist. The double gold medal winner, who was awarded a CBE in the New Year ’s honours list, said he was hauled before guards while entering the country for a holiday this Christmas. The 29-year-old runner told The Sun that border guards questioned him because of his ‘Somalia origin’. The athlete even resorted to showing his Olympic medals in an effort to prove who he was. On a previous visit to the country, Farah revealed that he was asked to leave before receiving a letter explaining that he was ‘under investigation as a terrorist threat’. Farah moved to the UK with his British-born father aged only eight. He said that he was taken aside by border guards while visiting Portland, Oregon, with his family on a Christmas break. The athlete said: ‘I couldn’t believe it. Because of my Somali origin I get detained every time I come through U.S. Customs.’ Farah said he had to resort

Mo Farah (PA)

to ‘getting his medals out’ to prove who he was, as he was conveniently carrying them in his luggage. Farah, whose triumphs in the 5,000 metre and 10,000 metre races provided two of the most exciting moments of London 2012, trains in the U.S. After failing to qualify for the 2008 Olympics he moved his wife Tania and daughter Rihanna to Portland to work with legendary coach Alberto Salazar at Nike’s headquarters. But the runner said that he had previously encountered problems with border officials. Assuming that his sponsors Nike had sorted out

his residency visa, Farah ‘had to leave’ America as he was using a tourist visa. He said: ‘We flew to Toronto to stay for a few days, then come back in. ‘But when we were there we got a letter telling us we were under investigation as a terrorist threat and we would have to stay away for another 90 days.’ Distressed because he only had four days’ worth of clothes with him, Farah got in touch with Salazar. Farah claimed that his American coach had a ‘friend who works for the FBI’ who was a ‘massive running fan’. According to the athlete, the contact ‘got it sorted’.

Monday December 31, 2012

Kaieteur News

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The ubiquitous Bissoondyal continues with his national hypocrisy DEAR EDITOR, I noticed recently in the news media, the National Disgruntled Cricket Administrators Group (NDCAG) and Roger Harper hosting a Press Conference again urging the Government to intervene in the positive actions being taken by the GCB to resolve the cricket impasse and file contempt of court charges against these Execs. It is instructive that the same Roger Harper had filed contempt charges against some members of the Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) but had to withdraw same for reasons which I would leave him to explain. Yet still he is allowing himself again to be misled by this disgruntled group to join in offering advices to the Government on something which he himself was unsuccessful with at another level. I surely hope they are not trying to set up this Government again with their wild and reckless statements and advices. Since they are all injuncted against at the DCB level, they are now seeking a national title to compete with the GCB hence the name NDCAG. Another observation is that these disgruntled individuals seem to have abandoned the IMC or has it now been disbanded by the Government? That would be correct as they set it up and, as such, can do whatever they want with it. The former President of the DCB, Bissoondyal continues to peddle the falsehoods of financial irregularities at the GCB level but I need to remind him of his own indiscretions at the DCB level for which he has never offered an explanation for the financial irregularities that he presided over directly with his East Coast colleague, Mr. Jaigobin, former Treasurer of the said DCB. Hereunder is an extract of an email that was sent from the former Secretary of the DCB, Mr. Rajendra Singh on October 5th 2010 to him and other Execs of the DCB at that time: “At our last statutory meeting scheduled for September 28th 2010, only 4 persons turned up for this meeting, namely, myself, President, Messrs Sanasie & Harper so we did not have quorum. Mr Sanasie left prior to some discussions taking place between the other persons present. Mr Harper and the President discussed the playing off of the 1st Division finals where Mr

Harper reminded the President on more than 1 occasion that DCB competitions took precedence over GCA or any other area association cricket and requested adequate notice to reschedule their cricket accordingly. The President then made a startling announcement that a large sum of money was withdrawn from the DCB account recently to pay for some expenses incurred. I immediately pointed out to him that this was not proper accounting control, to which he responded that several other large organisations operate the same way and he sees nothing wrong with the DCB doing this. I also pointed out to him that he had earlier said that there were no check leaves available to make payments and he accepted this but revealed that a single old check leaf was found somewhere by the Treasurer and this was used to withdraw this large sum of money- the quantity was not revealed.” “I then pointed out to the President that he was aware that I had uplifted the check books from the Bank several months ago and he could have easily contacted me to get the checkbooks and ensure that the correct accounting procedures were followed. {I had contacted the President when I uplifted the books to process the EBDCA & WDCA payments which were approved at out last Exec meeting earlier this year, but could not be issued as the Treasurer advised then that they would only be issued when the check books are uplifted. He also advised that the Treasurer is in possession of all the supporting docs and he does not want to ask his wife for same due to the Treasurer’s status in hospital.} He responded that he was unaware that I was in the country. This is a real sorry state of affairs and I am shocked that the President would authorise the operations of the Board to be carried out in this manner. This seems to be very similar to the alleged financial irregularities that the same group is protesting at the GCB level. This smacks of hypocrisy. I have not gone public with this but am raising this at our Executive level and await the comments of the other execs”. Mr. Bissoondyal has never responded to the Honorary Secretary on this issue which involved approximately 75% of the total

funds held in the accounts of the DCB at the time (almost $800,000) nor has he ever responded about the legal fees issue which was alleged paid to Mr. Nandalall and several other mismanagement issues that attracted a no confidence motion during his tenure. These accounts attracted a qualified opinion by his fellow IMC member, Parmasar & Co with the issuance of a management letter identifying this misconduct. We do not want to hear excuses about his huge personal fortune or inheritance and his

intolerance for such miniscule amounts of the DCB nor who he is indebted to or does or does not pay his debts. These are not his personal funds to be used as he pleases. How can you have any credibility with these issues left hanging out there? The above email smacks of him sucking up to the wishes of Mr. Harper during the discussion about the staging of the 1st Division finals and his arrogance in dealing with matters of financial accountability and respect for accounting controls for which he has

absolutely no regard yet still he feels free to accuse others of doing the same. I have always said that people in glass houses should never throw stones. Another very glaring issue about the contents of this extract is the absolute silence of Mr. Harper during the exchanges between the Secretary and the President regarding this financial irregularity. It reminds us again of his selective silence during the said President’s attempt to exclude the said Messrs. Raj Singh & Rovin Stanley from participating in

the last AGM of the DCB in January 2011. How can we have respect for such persons who allow themselves to be prostituted by some power hungry people? Bissoondyal is on record of saying several times during 2010 that if he cannot get what he wants at the GCB level, he will ‘bruck’ up everything. These words have been proven to be so true as he has spearheaded the demise of cricket in Guyana for the last 3 years and has singlehandedly been responsible for the state of affairs of cricket in Guyana Colin Europe

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Kaieteur News

Monday December 31, 2012

Super Bowl champ Giants eliminated from playoffs (Reuters) - The reigning Super Bowl champion New York Giants lost any chance of a repeat performance when they were eliminated from playoff consideration despite closing the season with a 427 win over the visiting Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The Giants (9-7) missed out on the postseason when the Chicago Bears (10-6) defeated the Detroit Lions (412) 26-24. New York had needed a win and three different teams to lose on Sunday in order to grab a wildcard berth. New York, which squandered a 6-2 start to the regular season, had the inside track to a playoff berth before absorbing one-sided losses to playoff-bound Atlanta and Baltimore by a combined 6714 in the previous two weeks. Responding to coach Tom Coughlin’s call to show their pride in the finale, quarterback Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes in the first half as the New Yorkers stormed to a 35-7 lead by intermission. “I’m very proud of our team about the way we played today,” Coughlin said, though there was no sugarcoating the bottom line. “It goes without saying, the first thing is you don’t ever rely on anyone else in this business. You have to take care of your own business,” said the coach. “We had it in our grasp. We knew exactly what we had to do but we weren’t able to get that done. I’m sure that will be first and foremost on our minds throughout the off-season.”

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning leaves the field. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn The lopsided loss may have signaled the end of a long run for Philadelphia Eagles (4-12) head coach Andy Reid, who was challenged by the team owner to post a winning mark this season. Reid has been at the helm of the Eagles for 14 seasons. “I take blame for the year,” Reid told reporters. “It’s my responsibility to make sure we get there.” FIVE TD PASSES Manning threw five touchdown passes in all for the first time in his career, connecting with rookie receiver Rueben Randle for two touchdowns and finding rookie running back David Wilson, fullback Henry Hynoski and Victor Cruz as well. The quarterback, who was 13-for-21 for 208 yards, was happy to get back on track after two weak offensive showings but obviously disappointed in the season. “Each year you want to make the playoffs. That’s always the goal, to give yourself a chance to win a

championship,” said Manning, the most valuable player of last season’s Super Bowl triumph. “This year, we were in a position, but we didn’t win the games we needed to. You’ve got to handle your business to get into the playoffs and win the important games.” Safety Antrel Rolle said the Giants had to decide what kind of team they were. “It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling today,” said Rolle. “We were hoping things would fall in our favour, but we put ourselves in this position. “It’s definitely disappointing. I’m disappointed in our approach, especially knowing what was on the line in those two games. We got to close out better, we got to finish better, understand who we are as a team, what’s going to be our identity.” Sunday’s victory gave the Giants the same 9-7 record they carried into last season’s playoffs for their Super Bowl run.

Vikings make playoffs on rookie’s field goal

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) scores a touchdown past Green Bay Packers safety M.D. Jennings on a seven-yard carry in the first half of their NFL football game in Minneapolis, December 30, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Miller (Reuters) The Minnesota Vikings claimed a wildcard playoff berth by beating the NFC North

champion Green Bay Packers 37-34 on a 29-yard field goal by rookie Blair Walsh with no time remaining on the clock

on Sunday. The victory by the Vikings (10-6) deprived their North division rival Bears of a trip to the postseason as Minnesota advanced thanks to a tiebreaker even after Chicago had improved to 106 with a 26-24 victory over the Detroit Lions. Minnesota’s win also denied the Packers (11-5) a first-round bye in the playoffs. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson led the way with 199 yards rushing on 34 carries, becoming the seventh man to surpass 2,000 yards rushing in a season as he finished just nine yards behind the record of 2,105 logged by Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams in 1984.

Kaieteur News  

Monday Edition

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