Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal on schedule as US Open begins

first_imgLATEST STORIES MOST READ UEFA orders Lyon to close stadium for Champions League game Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 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 Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Rafael Nadal participates at the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)NEW YORK — A long list of returns highlights Day 1 at the U.S. Open as the year’s last Grand Slam tennis tournament gets started.The schedule Monday includes Serena Williams, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka — all past champions at Flushing Meadows who missed last year’s U.S. Open.ADVERTISEMENT ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewcenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Peza offers relief to ecozone firms View comments Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college In addition, defending champions Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens are slated to play.Williams will face Magda Linette in Arthur Ashe Stadium to start the night session, followed by Nadal against David Ferrer in a rematch of the 2013 French Open final.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’No. 1-ranked Simona Halep takes on Kaia Kanepi in the first match ever played in the reconstructed Louis Armstrong Stadium, which now features a retractable roof. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displacedlast_img read more

LOOK: Jia Morado gets game-worn jersey from longtime volleyball idol

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Morado, who draw comparisons to Tomkom for her style of playmaking, said that receiving the gift made her “speechless” and even “more inspired” to double her work.“To be in the same tournament, much more in the same court as the player I have always looked up to definitely makes the hard work and sacrifices I made worth it,” the former Ateneo superstar who now plays for Creamline.“But bringing home the jersey she wore in their championship game leaves me speechless, and even more inspired to work harder to be given an opportunity like this again,” she gushed.In 2015, Morado posted a photo of her with Tomkom on Instagram in which she described the prized Thai setter as her “ultimate setting idol.” View comments Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Elephants in Thailand ‘broken’ for lucrative animal tourism PLAY LIST 03:12Elephants in Thailand ‘broken’ for lucrative animal tourism06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball02:14Carpio 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 Morado and Tomkom faced each other in the opener of the Asian Games which the powerhouse Thailand won in straight sets.In the end, Morado said that the veteran Thai setter will remain an inspiration not only to her but to all volleyball players in the word.“Thank you so much, @nootsara13! You’re an inspiration to me and millions to volleyball players in the world,” she concluded.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The Philippine women’s volley team may have not gotten a podium finish in the 2018 Asian Games, but setter Jia Morado is still going home with something unforgettable— a souvenir from her longtime idol.The 23-year-old Morado will be returning to the country after the team’s eighth-place finish with a game-worn volleyball jersey from her idol Thailand’s veteran setter Nootsara Tomkom.ADVERTISEMENT In a tweet, Morado could not help but fangirl over Tomkom, as she shared a photo of her holding a jersey of the celebrated Thai setter which the latter wore during the gold medal match against China in the continental meet.I’m speechless. Thank you so much ❤️ pic.twitter.com/pxkcGdih3RFEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’— Julia Morado (@juliacmorado) September 1, 2018 Red Lions blast Heavy Bombers anewlast_img read more

Vettel fighting to keep F1 title challenge alive in Russia

first_imgAllen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown “We try to give it everything we have. We still believe that we have a chance,” Vettel said. He added that he is “staying in the moment” and thanked fans for messages of support.“We have races in the past we should have won but didn’t and others we won but shouldn’t have,” he said. “Everything is possible.”It’s the second season in a row that Vettel has started strongly only for Hamilton to surge in the second half. Last year the British driver won five times in six races from August to October to deal a heavy blow to Vettel’s bid for a fifth title. Hamilton has won four of the last five this time round and hopes he can continue that good form to snuff out Vettel’s hopes.Still, Hamilton rejects the idea his lead means he has one hand on the championship trophy.“I don’t think you ever have one hand on it. You either have both hands or you don’t,” he said. “There’s still a long way to go.”ADVERTISEMENT Now Vettel comes to Russia, where the long straights should in theory favor Ferrari. Then again, Ferrari was widely expected to dominate the last two races in Italy and Singapore, both of which Hamilton won.Vettel seems uncertain of his chances in Russia.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“We expect to be competitive here. Having said that, we need to take into account the races where we struggled to have the race pace,” the four-time champion said Thursday.The title is still mathematically within his grasp. Even if Hamilton finishes second to Vettel in the remaining six races, the German would win the title by two points. WADA report: Kenya doping serious, not institutionalized Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 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 Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Williams, Force India, Toro Rosso and Haas have yet to confirm drivers for 2019, though some seats seem freer than others. Lance Stroll, for example, is widely expected to switch from Williams to Force India after his father led a takeover of the team last month.The number of free seats dropped by one Tuesday when Sauber said Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi will partner Raikkonen, with Marcus Ericsson dropping into a reserve role.Williams driver Sergei Sirotkin said Thursday he was “not hugely concerned about his future,” but remarked that “unfortunately this is Formula One, so you can never be 100 percent certain about anything.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES MOST READ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California collegecenter_img Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew While Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen could still mathematically become champion, each would need at least four wins from the last six races, something which seems almost impossible.RUSSIAN RIDDLESWinding around arenas from the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi’s circuit is barely used outside of F1 race weekends and in the words of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo “feels like driving flat out in a car park.”The smooth asphalt and generally cool conditions mean tire wear is very low, leaving teams to work out how long the “hyper-soft” tire compound, new for this year, can last on track. The track’s gray backdrop can also make it hard to judge braking and turn-in points.“It’s a track where the timing is crucial to find the right rhythm,” Vettel said. “Everything looks the same so there’s no reference.”Pole position isn’t everything in Russia, as Bottas proved last year when he started third and slipstreamed past both Ferraris on the opening straight to win, but it’s hard to overtake.CONTRACT UNCERTAINTYThe big teams have confirmed their 2019 lineups but many drivers remain on edge.Force India’s Esteban Ocon is targeting a spot at struggling Williams — likely a step back given his eight top-10 finishes this year — but admits he may be forced to skip the 2019 season entirely.“It could be an option to be on the bench next year, but even if that’s the case I will be back in ’20 and I will be back stronger and prepared,” he said Thursday. “The only thing I look at is Formula One and my only target is to be world champion one day.” FILE – In this file photo dated Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore. Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari are 40-points behind the lead even though his Ferrari has often seemed the faster car, Thursday Sept. 27, 2018, ahead of the upcoming Russian Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, FILE)SOCHI, Russia — Have Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari blown their title chance?That’s the key question ahead of the Russian Grand Prix as Vettel enters with a 40-point disadvantage to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton even though his Ferrari has often seemed the faster car.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taallast_img read more

Clippers extend home winning streak to 9 by beating Suns

first_imgView comments TIP-INSSuns: T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson each scored 15. … Ayton, the top pick in this year’s NBA draft, had a season-low four points but led the team in rebounds with nine. … Richaun Holmes came off the bench to score 10 points. … This was the first time in five games Phoenix did not have the lead going into the fourth quarter. … The Suns are 0-2 in the second game of back-to-backs. … G Isaiah Canaan was waived. He appeared in 19 games and averaged 7.5 points and 3.3 assists. Kokoskov said it “was a business decision but I feel good about his future.” Canaan began the season as the team’s starting point guard before Kokoskov moved Booker to the point and inserted rookie Mikal Bridges into the starting lineup.Clippers: Montrezl Harrell scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half. … Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 13 points. … Los Angeles has won nine straight against the Suns, dating to the start of the 2016-17 season. It is the club’s second-longest active winning streak against a single opponent — the Clippers have won 10 in a row vs. Orlando. … F Marcin Gortat did not play due to back spasms. … F Luc Mbah a Moute (sore left knee) and G Jerome Robinson (strained right foot) were inactive.UP NEXTSuns: Host Orlando on Friday.Clippers: Play at Sacramento on Thursday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Los Angeles improved to 14-6, which ties the fourth-best record after 20 games in franchise history. Along with being the surprise leaders in the West, the Clippers own the NBA’s longest active home winning streak and have won 10 of their last 12 overall.“We have a lot of confidence. We know what we can do,” said Gallinari, who matched his season high with 28 points and grabbed a season-best 10 rebounds. “We are happy but it is just the beginning. It is such a long marathon that the record we have now doesn’t mean anything. It’s just November.”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 ChrissLou Williams scored 20 points while Tobias Harris (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Boban Marjanovic (12 points, 12 rebounds) also notched double-doubles for the Clippers, who outrebounded the Suns 56-34 but committed 21 turnovers.“It was not a great night except for winning the game,” coach Doc Rivers said. “It was one of those games where we didn’t execute well. You’re going to have games like this but when you win them, they’re forgivable.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The game was tied 49-all at halftime before Los Angeles took control with a 20-4 run over a five-minute stretch in the third quarter to go up 83-63. Gallinari scored 12 of the first 15 points during the run, including a pair of 3-pointers.Los Angeles was 11 of 17 from the field, including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers. The Clippers also went 13 of 15 from the foul line as they outscored Phoenix 40-25 in the quarter.“The third quarter was brutal. We couldn’t find the rhythm and the stops. We were taking individual action, which isn’t the way to win,” Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said.Phoenix, off to the worst start in franchise history at 4-17, pulled to 104-93 on Deandre Ayton’s reverse layup with four minutes remaining but could not get any closer.Devin Booker led the Suns with 23 points and Elie Okobo added 19.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 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 LATEST STORIES No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday spark Pelicans’ rout of Wizards Los Angeles Clippers’ Tobias Harris (34) reaches for a loose ball next to Phoenix Suns’ Mikal Bridges during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES— Nearly a quarter of the way into their season, Danilo Gallinari and the Los Angeles Clippers are the surprise leaders in the Western Conference.Gallinari was one of three Clippers to record a double-double as they won their ninth straight home game, defeating the Phoenix Suns 115-99 on Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college MOST READ ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

Government’s Gamble Backfires: Sesa Goa Cuts 80% in Western Cluster Project

first_imgThe Liberian media, most especially the Daily Observer newspaper, talked and talked, and wrote and wrote, warning the Liberian government to tread carefully and transparently with the people’s resources in the Western Cluster.  But the more we talked, the more we wrote, the more determined the government became to hurry ahead and give away the Western Cluster iron ore mines to whomever was willing to spend a fast buck.First, against our persistent warnings that this company had absolutely no experience in iron ore mining, the government hurriedly sold the Western Cluster to a bogus Israeli company called Elenilto Minerals and Mining LLC.  The Elenilto people, confirming that they had no experience or track record in iron ore mining,  almost immediately sold 49 per cent of its imminent ownership to the Indian steel giant Sesa Goa. We say ‘imminent’ because Elenilto had not yet signed any paper with the Liberian government, and here they were selling what they did not yet own.  That was in August, 2011.  Just four months later, in December, 2011, Elenilto sold its remaining shares in the concession to Sesa Goa for US$35 million.The Daily Observer continued to criticize this deal because we said the Liberian government did not know this new company they were dealing with.   Only Elenilto had contacts with these new speculators.  But government went ahead and handed over the concession Sesa Goa. Once they started their operation, Sesa Goa, a company whose full background government did not know, showed up one morning and presented to government a most preposterous (outrageous, silly) proposal: they want to ship their iron ore from Cape Mount and Bomi by road on trucks, through Duala to the Free Port of Monrovia!In its over 50 years of operation, the iron ore firm   Liberia Mining Company (LMC) shipped its iron ore from the Bomi Hills mines by railway,  which LMC built, to the Free Port of Monrovia.  But Sesa Goa said it would cost too much to rebuild the railroad to the Free Port.   The Liberian government also seemed to be in agreement with Sesa Goa, arguing that too many people had built in the path and it would cost US$30 million to pay them off and rebuild the railway.  But there was a public outcry against trucking millions of tons of iron ore through an already congested Duala traffic, on a fragile highway that can hardly manage the regular traffic.The government had itself to blame for this terrible  proposal, because it did not know enough about Sesa Goa or its capacity to do anything.  Whoever heard about such a thing—road transport of tens of millions of tons of iron ore by road?Now there is a new and alarming development: Sesa Goa announced recently that it was scaling down to the staggering tone of 80 per cent, its operations in the Western Cluster!  They say the demand for iron ore has suddenly  dropped.  This means that the majority of its workers will be out of work.Did the government really know who Sesa Goa was, and what kind of company it really is?  Sesa Goa negotiated not so much with the Liberian government as with Elenilto from whom it purchased the concession.Had the people currently in government been in the opposition today, and had the press been silent on issues of national urgency such as these being discussed in this editorial,  those in opposition would be complaining about media silence on burning national issues.  Now that they are in power, they seem to have great difficulty understanding the role and responsibility of the press. But the press MUST understand its role and responsibility because there is too much at stake.The press has to speak out to help keep the government and the whole country on their guard.  It is this early warning system that will hopefully prevent the country from falling into chaos again.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

21 Radio Stations to Go Off Air

first_imgIf warnings issued by Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) are not adhered to in the coming days, the frequencies of 21 radio stations operating in the country will be revoked, thereby putting them off the air, LTA Acting Commissioner has threatened.According to LTA Acting Commissioner, B. Anthony McCritty, the LTA will with immediate effect begin revoking the licenses of the listed 21 radio stations for what he termed, “illegally operating in the country.”Mr. McCritty said the 21 radio stations will face closure for failing to clear their arrears and reactivating their licenses in keeping with the LTA’s regulations.The LTA acting boss made issued the threat last Thursday when he appeared at the Ministry of Information’s  regular weekly press briefing held on Capitol Hill, Monrovia.Should the pending actions take place, the affected radio stations will be shut down.  The include Kings FM 88.5, Destiny Radio 89.7, City FM 90.2, Radio Monrovia 92.1, Power FM 93.3, Radio Advent 93.7, Super FM 95.5, Teach FM 92.7, Radio VERITAS 97.8, United Methodist Radio 98.7 and Voice of Hope 100.7 FM.Other stations are: Love FM 105.1, SKY 107, Destiny FM 101.9, Radio T-Five 107.7, HOT FM 107.9, Miracle FM 107.3, L-Net Radio 98.3, Radio Bethel 103.5 FM, FCA Radio and Nubian FM 96.7.Reacting to this threat of closure, the management of the Roman Catholic-run Radio Veritas told the Daily Oberver that its management has met all financial obligations.But the LTA Acting Commissioner observed that the frequencies of those listed radio stations are “jamming, because they are using those frequencies without the consent of the LTA.” He pointed out that the situation was “very troublesome because it makes it difficult for the LTA to provide quality broadcast for the people.” Mr. McCritty disclosed that some of the radio stations involved in this “unwholesome act” had authorizations that have expired, and have “deliberately decided to default in renewing their licenses for years.”He pointed out that obtaining a frequency is a privilege and not a right and as such, it is within the mandate of the LTA to revoke the license of any radio station that refuses to renew its license or that will act outside of the code of ethics governing it.According to Commissioner McCritty, the action to revoke the licenses of radio stations by LTA is not to create problems or target any radio station, but to build a vibrant communication sector. He has named Liberty Radio FM 88.1, Liberia Women Democracy Radio FM 91.1, Buffalo FM 94.1, Radio Al-Falah 95.1, Magic FM 99.2, and TRUTH FM 96.1 as radio stations that have complied and cooperated with LTA by clearing their arrears and rectifying theirlicenses.Radio Veritas FM 97.8  Management described as “misleading, the blanket categorization of the station by the Ministry of Information, and the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) allegation that it (Radio Veritas), is operating illegally.”MICAT and the LTA told the Liberian public at a press conference in Monrovia on Thursday that Radio Veritas is among several other radio stations operating illegally, with their radio FM license and permit having expired. This, Radio Veritas management believes, is a misrepresentation of the facts, something that it said tends to smear its good name. According to the station manager, Frank Sainworla, Jr., The Information Ministry officials have got it very wrong by listing Radio Veritas among the 21, “because documents are there to prove that the station has paid its annual MICAT registration for 2014,  with official flag receipt dating back to January.“As regards LTA, the Veritas management said the charge that station’s FM radio license had expired, contradicts the fact that back it April, 2014, Radio Veritas paid the amount of US$1,600, for annual spectrum/regulatory fee,” Mr. Sainworla noted.According to him, LTA is fully aware of the station’s challenge to its insistence that Radio Veritas paid the license fee for shortwave (SW) frequency, which was decommissioned many years ago.For years now, the Radio Veritas has neither mounted any antenna/transmitter nor operated any SW frequency.Therefore, it is puzzling that the LTA would insist that license fee be paid for SW.Radio Veritas, Mr. Sainworla said, takes serious exception to the joint MICAT/LTA statement portraying the station as being a ‘deviant’ in meeting its registration and radio spectrum/regulatory licensing obligation. Therefore, the station assures its many “dedicated FM 97.8 listeners” that it will continue to remain law abiding and meet up with its legitimate tax obligations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Modi to return as PM of India

first_imgDear Editor,Elections concluded on Sunday in India. Counting of ballots is on Thursday. But based on exit polls, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will prevail over Congress Party (INC) led by Rahul Gandhi, scion of the Gandhi dynasty. The BJP contested in a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that it led while the Congress (INC) led the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). The NDA is made up of 41 constituent parties while the UPA is made up of 36 parties. A party in an alliance contested the election under its own symbol and name without opposition from members of the alliance.Some dozen exit polls released on Sunday evening put BJP/NDA ahead between 245 seats and 369 seats – a wide distribution. In India, exit polls are not very reliable. The poll showing NDA winning 369 seats could be well off though its outcome is not impossible. The poll showing NDA getting only 245 seats – 27 short of a majority also does not reflect the reality, based on my findings travelling around India. Modi is extremely popular in India – the most popular political figure in the country and people want him to serve another term. His NDA is reliably expected to clear a majority.Some 917 million voters were eligible to cast ballots, but only about 65 per cent actually voted or around 600 million. The counting of ballots is quick – within two hours the results are known unlike in Guyana where it takes at least two days “to count” less than 600 ballots per polling booth. GECOM should consider hiring some election workers from India to help with counting and honesty in managing elections.There has been keen interest in this election by people from Guyana and the wider Caribbean and their diasporas. Several were in contact with me over last month while I was in India on Modi’s chances of re-election. I told them not to worry, Modi would return as PM, though the exact number of seats was uncertain.It is very difficult to make sense of the wide distribution and differences in the exit polls in India. But one commonality among all of them is that the BJP and its alliance partners will form the Government. The opposition Congress party and its partners dispute this conclusion. The Chair of the UPA, Sonia Gandhi, has invited leaders of her alliance and others to dinner on May 23 for a discussion on selecting its prime ministerial candidate and Government formation. There will not be a Prime Minister from the opposition or from “a third front”, an idea that was floated a week ago. Modi will return as PM and his alliance will win a majority.I travelled around several states and from the trends I picked up, BJP will lose seats in the key states of Uttar Pradesh (from where most Guyanese trace roots), Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, and Punjab but make gains in other states that will more than balance off losses. The Congress won state elections with alliance partners in four states last year. There has been simmering discontent in all four states. Congress will see a reversal in all of those states in general election results that could lead to unrest among its elected members and the toppling of at least two of its coalition Governments.The election was a referendum on Modi and he has beaten back critics. He was struggling early in the year to win an election when I was in India in January. But his decision to carry out surgical strikes by Indian air force against terror camps deep inside in Pakistan in February closed the deal for him. Almost every Indian supported the strike. Indians are concerned about national security. There is rising nationalism as India becomes wealthy.As I indicated in a previous write up, the BJP will win around 269 seats (possibly more) and alliance around 40 for a minimum total of 309 (and possibly more). Only 272 seats are needed for Government formation. Last time, BJP won 282 and the alliance 54 seats for a total of 336. Over the last couple of years, alliance partners fell out with BJP and linked up with Congress and new partners joined BJP; new partners boosted BJP’s chances. In addition, there are three parties in southern India, not partnering with BJP, but will support the NDA and that is expected to win around 47 seats.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisram (PhD)last_img read more

NEW GPC clears the air on its pharmaceutical warehouse

first_imgHere are the facts:Even after its Press Release of August 9th, there are still some misunderstandings on the facts concerning NEW GPC’s pharmaceutical warehouse in the ongoing controversy over the Ministry of Public Health signing a contract for another facility to store pharmaceuticals. This press release is to reiterate and expand on the clarifications offered earlier on the proposed charge for storage made by by NEW GPC to the Ministry of Public Health.Firstly, it was the Ministry of Public Health that approached the NEW GPC requesting specifically to rent its entire 70,000 sq ft warehouse, which was to be segregated into two equal sections of 35,000 sq ft each. These were to be used to store pharmaceuticals for the GPHC and the Ministry respectively. The price offered by NEW GPC was $237/sq ft. per month. In commercial real estate transactions on rentals charges are quoted in “dollars per square footage” so as to offer prospective clients a basis of comparison.If the MoPH wanted 10,000 sq ft for storage space from NEW GPC and requested that rather than the 70,000 sq ft it did, it would have cost the government just $2.37M/monthly. However it rented 10,000 sq ft of space from Linden Holdings Inc for $12.5M/monthly which works out to $1250 per sq ft. It was therefore surprising to readNEW GPC’s state-of-the-art storage facility at Ruimveldt, Georgetown showing air conditioning systems and loading docksthe Govt  describing NEW GPC’s quote as “punitive”, when it is less than one-quarter that of the new facility rented.Secondly, in addition to the basic storage expenses, NEW GPC’s proposed charge included the IT, security, certification and sanitation to comply with WHO/PAHO standards. The facility also has three separate temperature control zones for the storage of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals in addition to a separate area for the storage of controlled substances.It also has testing facilities for pharmaceuticals as well as several loading docks to handle the multiple containers that are usual in the government procurement shipment.If the government has to pay these charges to Linden Holdings in addition to the rental then its effective unitThe Sussex Street bondcharges will be much  higher than $1250/sq ft.The NEW GPC has no desire to become embroiled into what appears to be a political diversion from parliamentary revelations. It simply wants to have the facts as it relates to its business not be misrepresented. For instance yesterday, one section of the media reported that the corporation had “jacked up” it’s rental charges and thus implying that it had been previously charging the government for storage when in fact there were no charges for over a decade.The minimal charges were now initiated because government scrapped the pre-qualification process that demands at least 30,000 sq ft storage space.last_img read more

A Husband’s Tribute

first_imgMy Dearest “Archmar”,            It has been 8760 hours  since you were snatched away from us  by the cold hands of death…these have  been the most difficult days of my life thus far… for death is the only natural phenomena of life that we are  never prepared for nor can we accept no matter when it occurs , how it occurs or how old the person is… yet we must all experience it… how it is handled by us differs from individual to individual and from situation to situation…. but there are certain elements that are just unique to death itself… it creates an illusion as to whether it  is real or not… is this really happening to us… am  I in a dream .. is she/he  really dead…. Ultimately, you come to grips with reality that your loved one is no longer with you physically…this creates a very deep seated pain that you must bear… such a pain is like a gigantic hole in your heart.…then the grief  period begins…very difficult time that has no specific time frame…. At times you get mad with your loved ones for leaving but was it up to them?… certainly not…it was all  another natural act of God… you  have to bear the various stages of grief…. These come without any time frames and are not to me in any specific order… there is the shock & denial period.. when you cannot realize what just happened….the excruciating pain and guilt  follows…. This must be experienced by you…For it  cannot be hidden…Anger and frustration set in .  We  began to ask “why us”…. did we deserve this ??…Depression / frustration set in…the magnitude of one’s  lost is realized….Then comes the upward turn…the adjustment period without the one you loved….Is this possible  you asked yourself…then comes the reconstruction period….The hope  that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.. this is the belief that will take you through all of this… without this you are forever down…finally will come the acceptance & hope period  that  will allow you  to deal with the reality of the situation… such an acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness…given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy…But you will find a way forward…Friends and family members  would say  to you…you need  to move on… some will say it this is life….it happens all the time…you will get over it…you are being too hard on yourself…..you will hear all sorts of words that are sincerely meant to comfort you…Yet  they do not realize that they are not in your shoes… but  in your mind, you only want to believe for the moment that this  is not really happening… it is a dream…. they do not know your situation and perhaps have not yet experienced  such a lost….. all that is left with you as an individual are the loving/ cheerful  memories of the fun , good  and sad times that you encountered over the years  As I reminisce about my “kidoh”, my “archmar”, all I can think about  is her desire to live a good life…. indeed, she did…she achieved the goals she set for herself….she even went beyond them…Her day was done on this earth….the Good Lord took her from labor to eternal rest…all of us miss her uplifting  smile…her unique cheerful giggle, her comforting  laugh  and her warmth  that she showed us whenever she was around….she loved folks…She cared for her family, her friends , co-workers and even her known enemies…the sad thing is that we did not get to grow old together as a couple to reach the promised “three scores and ten”  and by his Grace, years beyond that  point …..But above all I am grateful that I struck that conversation with her back in  1994…neither of us ever thought that this was  the beginning of a lifelong relationship…yet it turned out to be an indelible, enchanting and amazing encounter for  us …… She  will always be my amazingly, loving wife that  I so dearly miss…. Without whom I am very lost…but by His Grace, I do believe that true love will come around again…rest in peace my love…Until the resurrection….ANS Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Minister Dukuly Urges Gov’t, Media to Contribute to Peace

first_imgInternal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly has observed that efforts aimed at taking the country to the next level will require peace and reconciliation as the only options.Minister Dukuly made the statement when he spoke Monday, May 19, at the event marking the first friendship and reconciliation luncheon held in Monrovia. The event was organized by the Liberia Peace Initiative (LPI) to reunite citizens of Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties.The Internal Affairs Minister said the two counties prior to the Liberian civil war had intermarriage tides. Minister Dukuly, however, expressed optimism that with the launch of the peace initiative between the two counties, it will eventually resolve their differences and stand for a just cause.He also urged Peace Ambassador George M. Weah not to focus his attention only on Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties, rather to include counties that have issues of land related conflict in order to ensure that there is peace in every part of Liberia.“We must put to practice the peace we speak of every day, and carry out peace building activities in our various communities. The government remains committed to insuring there is peace and stability in Liberia.”“I am also urging the media because the media plays a major role in the peace process. Your role is major because many at times, people react to the kind of stories you published and your head-lines. But again, without the media, we cannot have a sustained peace.”Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County is of the opposing view that both counties are the real problems. According to him, if Ambassador Weah does not look at the root cause of the whole situation, then he will not have his (Sen. Johnson’s) support.  “I have already told him that,” Sen. Johnson added. “We don’t have money to buy guns, so let’s involve everybody including the traditional leaders and traditional council,” Senator Johnson suggested. According to the Nimba lawmaker, the peace process should include those who he claimed brought into the conflict the guns.“The Ambassador should set up a national conference to involve all of us and bring us to one voice then I know he is serious,” Senator Johnson urged.Like Senator Johnson, Senator Thomas Grupee of Nimba County is also of the view that both counties still maintain their good friendship, and there is no cause for alarm.He added that since the allotment US$5 million into the peace process, much has been done and the occasion is a dream comes true.He also agreed with his colleague, Senator Johnson on the inclusion of all the stakeholders to the Liberian conflict.For his part, George Bolly, a head of the disbanded rebel Liberia Peace Council (LPC) expressed gratitude for the Peace Initiative, which he described as ‘kind gesture.’He said that peace is about the young people and their future, therefore, the situation of Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties is a mere illusion of other people.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more