MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel head coach Leo Austria knows the controversies that had surrounded his new player Terrence Romeo is all water under the bridge as he prepares his team for a fifth straight PBA Philippine Cup title.ADVERTISEMENT No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew ‘Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance PLAY LIST 01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch01:32Austria: Ginebra is playing like a ‘well-oiled machine’02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Romeo has also had some altercations in the past with his now teammates Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos.Any bad blood among the players, however, seemed to have evaporated with Santos immediately greeting Romeo before practice started and Lassiter giving his new teammate a few chocolate bars that he also gave away to the team.Austria was well aware of any potential chemistry issues San Miguel may get into but he hopes Romeo’s work ethic alone would help him get along with his new teammates.“There’s always a question about chemistry when Terrence got here and not just because of the issues but the fact that Terrence deserves to have a longer playing time than his previous teammates,” said Austria who led the Beermen to their past six titles. “Terrence’s work ethic is really impressive, he has this high passion for playing basketball. It was like he was born with a basketball in hand.”ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES Romeo made his first official appearance as a Beerman on the team’s Thursday practice at Acropolis Clubhouse, and Austria showed optimism towards his new player.“We all know what he’s capable of, and the good thing is his teammates’ body language feels like they’re already welcoming Terrence,” said Austria in Filipino. “As long as Terrence works hard for the team, I think it would be a great relationship between him and the team.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“What we want is for him to work hard and follow the system and he should learn to have a good relationship with his teammates because he’s a strong player.”Romeo had unceremonious exits from NorthPort and TNT after he got into several misunderstandings with Batang Pier head coach Pido Jarencio. International coaching heavyweights seek Asian Cup success Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
In a strongly-worded press statement issued on Monday, SSF Entrepreneur Incorporated has out-rightly rejected claims—by what the entity calls ‘unscrupulous individuals—that the company has gone bankrupt.’The statement added that claims by such individuals that the company can longer honor its contractual obligations and responsibilities are indeed far from the truth.The SSF management further described the claims as containing no iota of truth and that such utterances are intended to damage the solid reputation of a company that has performed exceptionally, to the overall satisfaction of the Liberian Government, private entities and the Liberian people.The statement further explained that SSF Entrepreneur, as a vibrant and result-oriented Liberian construction company, is indeed in good institutional and financial standing and has no plans of stopping or of closing down.The press statement, signed by the SSF’s Communications and Public Relations Manager, Ahmed Sheriff, pointed out that the company remains committed to settling all liabilities the entity owes its legitimate clients in the country.The statement also indicated that the company wonders how in the world it could possibly leave several lucrative, ongoing projects and close down when those projects are yet to be completed.“The negative articles and stories in the local dailies about my company are just mere politics from some competitors who do not want to see us progress as a serious and focused local company,” C.E.O. Shawki Fawaz said.“Over the years, the statement explained, the SSF Entrepreneur and the Liberian Government have had a very good relationship and at no point have we complained to any media house that government has refused to pay us for work completed or done,” Mr. Fawaz indicated.The statement emphasized that the SSF Entrepreneur views such utterances and articles as part a ploy by detractors to affect the cordial relationship that exist between the construction company and Liberian Government.The statement—on behalf of the SSF management—called on the general public to reject such negative articles and utterances as they are only chunks of misleading stories intended to tarnish the hard-earned reputation of the company.“The company reiterated its dedication to the people and Government of Liberia to playing that pivotal role in the reconstruction of the country.”It said that the company remains committed to the full completion of all ongoing projects contracted to the entity by the Liberian Government.In closing, the statement declared that as a company that believes in the new Liberia, they would continue to invest in the country’s infrastructure sector as evidenced by their new asphalt, batching, (sic) and rock plants among others in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Early Sunday morning people in the capital, Monrovia, awoke to the terrible news that a certain band of individuals were going around spilling formaldehyde in wells in the general vicinity, beginning in the Roberts International Highway area in Margibi County.There are those who believe it is not formaldehyde but some other highly poisonous substance being used to contaminate the wells.Early Monday morning there was commotion at the New Georgia Junction on Somalia Drive when a man or group of men was spotted putting unknown substances in wells with syringes.The first story was immediately reported by the state-run Radio ELBC.When the Daily Observer reporting team went to Zone 8 near ELWA Hospital junction, they were told to proceed to police operations further up the Robertsfield Highway, because the people poisoning the wells had first been spotted in the Margibi area not far from the Roberts International Airport (RIA).Indeed the Daily Observer web site carried early Monday the photograph of a man who had been arrested for allegedly putting substances into wells in the Margibi area.The Observer web site also reported that 10 persons had died in Dolo’s Town along the Robertsfield Highway; and later that another 20 or more people had perished after eating food at a repast in the town. The site carried photographs of the incident, including that of a dead dog which had also been poisoned.But there were two developments that, in the midst of all this, created serious suspicion: ELBC, which had first broken the story, back-tracked on it, saying that it was a “mere rumor.” The suspicion intensified when it was later learned that the National Traditional Council of Chiefs had gotten involved in the investigation, taking it over from the police. Now for Heaven’s sake, what do traditional chiefs have to do with a criminal investigation? This very serious and alarming matter should be in the hands of professionally trained criminal investigators working for the Criminal Investigation Division (CID), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and, given the reports of so many dead, the entire Joint Security.But the back-tracking by ELBC and the alleged sudden involvement of the Traditional Chiefs in the investigation have raised alarm bells as to what is really going on. Is this something far bigger that it appears? Who is behind it? Is this a new form of ritualistic killings, only on a massive scale as the elections approach? Are there higher-ups involved? Who are they and why do they want to traumatize the already Ebola-terrified Liberian people?The man arrested on the Robertsfield Highway was quoted as having said that he was not alone in this criminal and murderous adventure. “We are many more, about 250 of us, who have been well trained to carry out this exercise,” he was said to have revealed.It is indeed mindboggling (unbelievable) that in the wake of the Ebola epidemic, anyone would want to inflict upon the hapless Liberian people another deadly menace, such as pouring poison into the people’s sources of drinking water.What on earth is the motive? Is it a ritualistic exercise feeding the ruthless ambitions involving higher ups seeking or consolidating political power? Or is it politically motivated by detractors to destabilize the country in order to force regime change?And why are the Traditional Chiefs involved? What business do they have to do with this criminal investigation? Do they know the people involved in these wicked deeds? Is there any connection between them and the suspects?With people dying from poisoned drinking water, and reports of other marauding murders intent on poisoning more wells to kill more people, it seems to us that this is a very serious matter that demands the immediate intervention of the Ministry of Justice and the entire Joint Security Force, including UNMIL, to get to the bottom of this new deadly menace that has befallen the already Ebola-traumatized national landscape.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Superintendent of the Monrovia Consolidated School System has a wonderful plan for the re-opening of schools, hopefully next January.He has pledged to feed the children as a key component for the enhancement of learning. Reflecting on the truism that “An empty bag cannot stand,” MCSS Superintendent Benjamin Jacobs has pledged that the System will do its best to feed all the children, many of whom come to school hungry. These hungry students, in the middle of the school session or earlier, soon find their way back home in search of food. Hunger contributes to truancy (absence or non-attendance), and nothing defeats the educational purpose more than that.Superintendent Jacobs should be commended for acknowledging this particular need which, if fulfilled, would definitely empower the children to be more responsive to the instruction they are receiving and take their lessons more seriously. And we hope and pray that the Education Ministry and the MCSS will be able to find the food to feed the students. We are sure that the World Food Program, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children UK and USA would be more that willing to help our malnourished youth by enabling MCSS successfully to execute this plan. But . . . and again, this is a BIG BUT!With the children’s stomachs full, what kind of instruction will they receive in the classroom? Who will the teachers be? How well prepared will they be? What will be the syllabus? Are their textbooks to back it up? What will be emphasis on reading in a country where over 60% of the people are illiterate and so many of our school going pupils and students have serious difficulty reading?If there are textbooks, where are they coming from? This newspaper has long argued that the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Liberian government as a whole should insist on locally produced texts for our students because such texts help the students learn faster and more retentively.We have no idea why the MOE has persistently had difficulty finding the resources to recruit and train textbook writers. This is most certainly one of the key challenges of our new Minister of Education, Dr. Elizabeth Davis Russell who, given her impeccable educational qualifications and professional accomplishments, we are sure will be confirmed by the Liberian Senate.We wonder what Superintendent Jacobs is thinking about Civics, a vital subject that for reasons few can understand was some years ago expunged (deleted) from the Liberian school curriculum. The most puzzling thing about this deletion is that this happened in a country whose people have difficulty being patriotic. Civics not only helps students learn more about their country; it helps them understand their history and the functioning of their government. Without putting forward what we believe is an unnecessary argument for the restoration of Civics in the Liberian educational curriculum, we are straightforwardly calling on the Education Ministry and MCSS to make sure that Civics is taught in ALL elementary and high schools, public and private, throughout the Republic. In order to do this, it is axiomatic (self evident) that textbooks at various levels will have to be produced and teachers trained to teach Civics.We hope also that Superintendent Jacobs and his team will ensure that each school has a library and trained Librarians to help students develop the ability and habit of reading. The Ministry should also help MCSS find the money to equip each school with a fully equipped laboratory. Our students must learn Science at every level, including Nursery. We all have seen what Ebola has done to us–killed so many of our nurses and doctors. They need to be replenished and that can be done only when we teach our students Science and Math.Needless to say, MCSS and the MOE have a lot to do to train and retrain our teachers–the existing ones and the thousands more that need to be recruited to man our educational institutions.Superintendent Jacobs should be commended also for his plans to keep Ebola at bay by insisting on hand washing, temperature taking and all the other measures in place to fight the virus. It is a great thing, too, to engage Guidance Counselors in all the schools to help keep out students focused, and properly guided and direct through their academic journey the vocational and professional choices they must eventually make.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,I refer to a letter written by one Hamilton Green in a section of the media on March 22, 2019, calling for solutions but offered none. He put forward the ludicrous argument that “the Carter Center’s continued involvement in our political affairs is anathema”. My caution to the Guyanese nation is – beware of these political dinosaurs like Hammie. They preach love today but behind their words are the minds of the real enemies of the people. These people are the banes to democratic progress in Guyana.Here we have Hammie talking down the Carter Center which saved Guyana in 1992 from the intellectual authors of dictatorial rule. These odious people who put out their thousand man group of thugs in front of the Elections Commission building on Croal Street in 1992 with clear instructions to seize the building, burn all documents and equipment as a means to suppress the results which reflected the will of the people. If it was not for that call from President Carter to then President Hoyte who then did the legal thing and instructed the GDF to mobilise and supplement the Police, these thugs might have made Guyana into another Equatorial Guinea, a nation that is resource rich but with the majority of the people living in absolute poverty.So I write this letter in support of the work of the Carter Center. I believe our friends from the Carter Center can best serve the masses of people of Guyana by expanding their operation in 2019 Georgetown since we have a band of people in power who only respect the rulings of the court when it goes in their favour and who are doing everything within their power to frustrate the mandate of the Elections Commission by setting themselves up to be unprepared for General Elections? It is now almost 100 days since the no-confidence vote and the GECOM Chairman has done very little to offer any leadership to improve its preparedness for elections in the event that the CCJ overturns the Court of Appeal’s decision.This is the Guyana we have today where a small cabal of PNC leaders think they have a legal transport over all of Guyana, so much so that they can unilaterally decide to drive a wedge between our people by hiring 16 of the 17 permanent secretaries from one group with the clear purpose of excluding all the other three groups (Guyana is a land of 4 major groups). To rub salt into the wounds, they have extended this ethnic supremacist action into ensuring that 85 per cent of all the heads of department in the public service are from the same group of people. One PNC leader who said she is “only hiring PNC people” confirmed this strategy and look what they have now done to Valmiki Singh, another competent head of department who was also sent packing.In such conditions, there is an important role for the Carter Center to ensure that our diversity is best served with stronger internal control systems unlike what Hammie dished out to the workers of the Guyana Stores Ltd on the picket line back in the days with the hockey stick gang and the House of Israel thugs.My message to the youths of Guyana – beware of Hamilton Green, he is nothing but a wolf dressed up as a sheep.Regards,Sasenarine Singh
Dear Editor,As the coalition ‘circus’ campaign continues, helplessly trying to distract Guyanese from their failures, entourages from the Ministry of Public Health, financed by taxpayers, moves into Region Six to continue their comical displays. I received a letter of invitation from the Regional Executive Officer, Kim Williams-Stephens which indicated that the Ministers of Public Health would be in Region Six for two days – (3rd and 4th) April 2019 – to conduct a series of commissioning ceremonies for several projects and health centres in the Region Six.But the two notable acts that really amaze me is the re- commission of the National Ophthalmology Hospital at Port Mourant, and an appreciation ceremony for the Ministers. This hospital has not done a single cataract surgery for the past Four years, but despite this, the Ministers of Public Health have the audacity to come to Berbice to fool Berbicians that the health sector is perfect. What is the purpose of recommissioning a Hospital that is not functioning for its actual purposes? Millions would be spent on the appreciation dinner and this visit by this entourage that could have complemented the 60 cataract kits that were purchased by the Region to be used at New Amsterdam Public Hospital.The Ministers are yet to even respond to or rectify the numerous inefficiencies that exist in the functioning of the New Amsterdam Public Hospital or the Regional Health Services. The entire Health Services is being used to reward political activists and cronies of APNU/AFC .The fact remains that because of the incompetence in sector, health-care delivery and the lives of Berbicians are at stake.Regards,Zamal Hussain
Dear Editor,It hurt me to the core when I read of the rape of a six-year-old boy in his school’s toilet, by pupils a few years older than him. Imagine the pain that this child was forced to endure! Imagine the agony of his parents as they seek to come to grips with the violation of their child in the “safety” of his school! Then there’s the ripple effect as other parents, fearing for their children’s safety, congregate outside the school, seeking assurance that their children are safe.This case is just one more negative scenario that has been exposed. We have been hearing more and more of bullyism, drug use, sexual experimentation etc in our schools. Where did we go wrong? Can we blame the internet for all of society’s ills? We cannot merely sit and wring our hands and ask ‘ what is the world coming to…?’. We must find solutions on different fronts!I believe that firstly, we must instil moral values in our children at home, so that they can act responsibly and humanely, standing tall and unshakeable in a world of shifting standards. We may need to arrange parenting seminars for parents, who themselves may need help! Secondly, because children spend more waking hours at school than at home, our teachers must be equipped to encourage and guide our children in the way of truth and help to shape their behaviour in a positive way. Thirdly, we need national leaders who will stand resolutely against anything, anyone, or any system that seeks to tamper with or distort this God-ordained (not man-made) foundation of our world – the family and family-oriented values! Also, we must be our brothers’(and sisters’) keepers. We have to look out for each other and lend a helping hand if or when the occasion demands it.Religious education, which benefited all of us who were privileged to experience this system (regardless of our religious persuasion) was taken out of the school system. Now we have become more “enlightened” and accommodating, and we and our children are reaping the rewards of rejecting absolutes – right or wrong, true or false!I propose that at least once weekly there be a general assembly in every school, and for just about ten minutes or so, students are given a talk on moral issues, for, if we lose our children, we lose ourselves, we lose our nation, we lose our world!There is hope! Let us get back to basics! Our nation will prosper, our children and the wave of the future will flourish, as we see beyond oil and other forms of material prosperity and embrace tried and tested values!Sincerely,Claudia Heywood
A team from the International Police (INTERPOL) was in Guyana last week to commence a project that aims at tackling Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and migrant smuggling.The team, which was welcomed by the local Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons, was in Guyana from April 9-13. The visiting team comprised two officials representing INTERPOL and one officer from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).This Needs Assessment is the first of a three-phase INTERPOL Project to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling in the Caribbean. The INTERPOL Team kicked off their mission with visits to Itaballi, Puruni and Bartica in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) during which they were accompanied by a team from the Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons in Guyana.The visit to Region Seven enabled the visiting team to experience the difficulties associated with travelling to interior regions in Guyana and policing these areas, to witness working conditions in the mines and the general conditions in which persons in the area lived. This experience facilitated the team from INTERPOL in making a general assessment of the risks and other difficulties associated with curbing occurrences of trafficking in persons in interior regions in Guyana.In addition, before returning to Georgetown, the INTERPOL team joined representatives of the Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons in conducting sensitisation on the issue in the Bartica Market, Arcade and Beach areas. This activity followed a similar Task Force ‘Roving Sensitisation’ activity conducted along the seawalls from the Seawall Bandstand to Vlissengen Road on Easter weekend.The awareness activity in Bartica saw vendors and customers alike engaged in discussion on the topic of trafficking in persons and were encouraged to report suspected cases; posters affixed to the walls of various market stalls, shops and other establishments; and brochures, flyers and other material bearing messages of awareness and the trafficking in persons hotline number distributed to individuals along the way.The activity seemed to yield instant results as a report was received soon after through the TIP hotline of suspected trafficking in persons in the area. A raid was subsequently conducted by ranks of the Bartica Police Station and resulted in eight females from The Dominican Republic being recovered from a house in Bartica. One suspect has since been arrested. The case is currently under investigation by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Guyana Police Force.However, subsequent to the visit to Region Seven, the INTERPOL team met with the ministerial arm of the Trafficking in Persons Task Force, other Government officials, frontline officers and other stakeholders in the fight against trafficking in persons in Guyana. Discussions at these meetings afforded the INTERPOL team the opportunity to articulate the goals of their project and to gather more information on the operational and technical needs of the agencies involved in the fight against trafficking in persons.The Needs Assessment phase of INTERPOL’s project would be followed by a training phase and an operational phase. The training phase will see officers from different agencies in Guyana being invited to benefit from a number of regional training courses which will span a total of seven weeks. Training will focus primarily on law enforcement, but there would also be sessions which would benefit trafficking in persons stakeholders from other agencies.A ‘Training of Trainers’ would be one of the courses included. As such, those trained would be encouraged to return to Guyana to train others – both law enforcement and otherwise – in the topics learned. INTERPOL would also share a curriculum, to be contributed to by authorities in Guyana, which is intended to be added to the training programme at the Guyana Police Force Officers’ Training Centre.Meanwhile, the operational phase would see INTERPOL lending support to the countries being considered in the project in their local anti-trafficking in persons operations.The Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons eagerly anticipates the development of this project and looks forward to continued collaboration with INTERPOL, as well as other international partners, as it seeks to effectively combat this scourge of trafficking in persons in Guyana.
Hire car drivers operating from the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling on Thursday picketed the region’s Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) after it rescheduled the operating hours of the water taxies across the Berbice River.Hire car drivers picketing the T&HD office in NAThe notice was placed on Wednesday, indicating that from September 1, the speedboat service will operate from 06:00h until 09:00h and then again from 14:30h until 18:00h. Previously, the service operated between 6:00h and 18:00h.However, the hire car drivers are complaining that this change in the operating hours of water taxis will affect them since persons would usually cross the river during the day with the boats and use the cars to move around New Amsterdam.Kirk Lagoudou, one of the drivers, argued firstly that the notice given is too short. “This morning [Thursday] we and notified that there is a change in the time that the water taxies will be operating. They put up the notice Wednesday. They did not come and inform us in advance,” he told Guyana Times on Thursday during the picketing exercise.According to Lagoudou, pensioners will be adversely affected with the new hours of operation since they are given free crossing by the water taxis. However, he noted that with the time change, pensioners as well as other persons wanting to cross the river, will now be forced to use the minibuses which charge a fee of $300 per trip compared the $120 water taxi fare.It was pointed out that operating from the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling is considered a lucrative route for hire car operators who charge $140 per trip around the town as against $100 which is the fare in other parts of the town.“The Government should rethink its decision, taking into account the poorer class of persons who need to use the service to get from one side of the river to the other,” Lagoudou said.He warned too that the move could make the town of New Amsterdam become a ghost town.After the ferry service was scrapped, and the Berbice River Bridge became the only means of crossing the river – economic activity slowed down in the town as businesses in the vicinity of the stelling came to a standstill.On the other hand, minibus operators plying the New Amsterdam/Rosignol route raked in large sums of money as they charged $300 for the 12-minute journey and made three trips per day.With the introduction of the water taxies, they protested, calling on Government to also subsidise their operations saying that the $2200 to cross the Berbice River was too high. Many were forced to leave the route and fares had been reduced to $260 in an effort to attract more persons. But this amount was recently raised back to $300 – the same price it was when the Berbice Bridge was charging $2200. Now the bridge fair is $1900.Asked for a comment today on the new scheduled for the water taxies, the minibus operators – who had been very vocal in the past complaining of the difficulty in their operations as a result of the water taxi service – remained silent.
Three women were on Tuesday jailed for four years each after they were found guilty of fraudulently converting in excess of million from Telecom Solutions (Guyana) Inc.Initially, the women – Melissa Naughton, 39, of Robert Street, Better Hope, East Coast Demerara; Candacie Marshall, 26, of North Ruimveldt, Georgetown; and Oladara Christian, 28, of Shell Road, Kitty, Georgetown; had all pleaded not guilty to the charge.In a packed court room before City Magistrate Leron Daly, the sentence was handed down to the three tearful women while the Magistrate noted that the women of mature ages were fully aware of their actions and continued.The charge stated that between June 25, 2008 and November 23, 2009, they conspired together with other persons to embezzle in excess of $48 million in credit from Telecom Solutions Inc.The Magistrate stated that the court and society condemns the exploitation of employees towards employers.Defence Attorney Glen Hanoman who represented Naughton and Christian requested that the court grant his clients non-custodial sentences based on President David Granger’s remark that “there is no place for women in prison.”The trio was found guilty by Magistrate Daly on August 31, 2016, after it was found that the prosecution had proven its case against the women beyond reasonable doubt.The women’s lawyers at the previous court hearing – Adrian Thompson, Ronald Burch-Smith and Everton Singh Lammy – had requested probation reports on the women after they were found guilty of the offence.In 2011, the women were employees of the company where Naughton and Christian served in the capacities of cashiers, which they were responsible for selling large amounts of Digicel credit via a computerised system.It was reported that Marshall was the person who, from time to time, solicited the customers.According to reports, the two cashiers had invalidated several transactions which were written off, after which they would revalidate those transactions and sell them to persons and receive the proceeds for themselves.