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first_img– as citizens reiterate revocation callCitizens have once again turned out in their numbers, calling for the scrapping of the parking meter project and not a reduction in rates.This is the second protest organised by the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) and more protests are expected in the coming weeks, if the parking meter project is not shelved. The crowd, which increased from last week, assembled in front of City Hall and vented their frustration, this time, however, there were no parking meter supporters.Businessman and television personality Nizam Hussain told Guyana Times that while he supported the country’s development, he was completely against the fashion in which the parking project was implemented.“End the bullyism” – the protesters want a revocation of the parking meter contract“I have no issue with parking meters and paying a nominal fee, but I have an issue with how this parking meter [was] forced down the throats of the Guyanese people. This is like a state far beyond a police state,” the businessman noted.He surmised that the entire project was an atrocity that was committed on citizens.Similarly, Satesh Rajpat, who is a Grievance Officer attached to the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), questioned the merits of the contract which Mayor Patricia Chase Green had initially refused to disclose.“I can’t see you signing a deal or contract and you’re only benefiting 20 per cent – that is madness!” Rajpat exclaimed.“Everybody paying tax here, so we can’t stand for that,” the GAWU representative added.This demonstrator decries the Value Added TaxMeanwhile, outgoing Deputy Mayor of Georgetown, Sherod Duncan was seen moving among the protesters on his bicycle while holding placards advocating for the populace to “starve” the parking meters.Meanwhile Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran also threw his support behind the protest. On Thursday, he highlighted that it was too late for considerations to reduce the parking meter fees.Ramkarran echoed the call to revoke the parking meter contract. He joined a number of business people and other concerned citizens who have noted the added burden the parking meters have brought to the populace.Ramkarran said the project was past the point of reduction. “Reduction from $32,000 a month to what, are you planning to reduce it to $2000 a month so that people can afford?” pondered the former Speaker. Ramkarran’s comments come just one day after President David Granger ordered a reduction in the rates which at present amount to $200 an hour before the Value Added Tax (VAT) is factored in.Suggesting that the by-laws were a burden, the former Speaker noted that consumers may be forced to sell their vehicles if they could not afford to pay the hefty fines attached for parking without paying.“This is just absolutely horrendous. This is not going to be accepted by people in Guyana, Georgetown or anywhere,” the former Speaker stressed.Ousted Town Clerk and Attorney-at-Law Carol Sooba also joined the picket line. She noted that the parking meters should not have been implemented before the approval of the by-laws.“I don’t think at this stage reducing fees would remedy the situation…I don’t think that the current Administration [is] humane or they have a heart or care about the citizens,” the former Town Clerk noted.Sooba also assessed the performance of current Town Clerk Royston King, questioning his administrative skills.“He has to go back to school…he is not an administrator; he has to be in a system where he can utilise his bullyish attitude,” Sooba expressed. Mayor Chase Green and the Town Clerk were not seen throughout the hour-long protest on Thursday.At its conclusion, the large crowd disbursed after a rendition of the National Anthem. The parking meter fees were rolled out on January 24. However, as a backlash to the “exorbitant” fees, motorists have mostly stopped parking in the central business district where several areas are metered.Meanwhile, the New Building Society (NBS) Commercial Bank has taken the movement against the parking meters one step forward and has filed a court action, challenging the bylaws that were approval by Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan.The Court has since ordered that the Minister show cause why his approval should not be quashed. The case is set to be heard on February 20.last_img read more

first_img…as GFF President Forde wraps up successful trip to BrazilThe Guyana Football Federation’s Elite League will benefit from significant capacity-building partnerships as a direct result of a recent three-day visit by GFF President Wayne Forde to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he met with the respective Presidents of Vasco da Gama and Botafogo FR football clubs.This initiative will see the introduction of an elite referee programme, a player exchange programme, and the recruitment of a Coach Instructor to build capacity among the Elite League Coaches and Coaches across the country.“Over the couple of weeks, we will be formalising some relationships that will see an elite referees’ programme being introduced, which is a key programme I’d like to commence,” said Forde following the July 6-8 trip.Referee courses will be offered for both males and females, and local match officials will be exposed to professional football in Brazil.“We will also see a player exchange programme; we are looking at bringingGFF President Wayne Forde shares a warm moment with Botafogo FC’s President, Nelson Mufarrejplayers at the developmental/transitional level in some of the professional clubs and maybe some of the lower divisions to play within the Elite League and taking some of our U-20 players to the Brazilian clubs. I’m trying to get as many as 30 U-20 players into Brazil. The goal is to get around 30 U-20 Guyanese players playing in Brazil first and foremost, and secondly, bringing good Brazilian talent and professionalism into the training and playing set-up of the Elite League.”Additionally, Forde said coach education and development was a key pillar of the GFF, which would also be prioritised: “The GFF will be hiring a Brazilian Coaching Education Instructor to work with the Coaches within the Elite League in particular and other Coaches around the country.”Apart from these concrete measures, Forde also discussed other developmental opportunities with the Presidents of the two leading football clubs in Brazil.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON – A day before four of the company’s security guards died in Iraq, a Blackwater USA employee wrote company officials that it was time to stop the “smoke and mirror show” and provide crucial equipment for the private army in the field. “I need Comms (communications equipment). … I need ammo. … I need Glocks and M4s. … Guys are in the field with borrowed stuff and in harm’s way,” said the e-mail, released at a House hearing Wednesday. Blackwater’s Iraq operations manager at the time, Tom Powell, wrote the memo to other company officials March 30, 2004. The next day, a mob in Fallujah ambushed a supply convoy guarded by Blackwater, killing the four employees who all were former members of the military. The incident brought to U.S. television some of its most gruesome images of the Iraq war. The guards’ bodies were dragged through the streets and mutilated and two of the corpses were strung from a bridge. In a related development, an Army procurement official, Tina Ballard, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the military service has withheld $19.6 million from Halliburton subsidiary KBR. The penalty resulted from the Army’s discovery, after months of denials to committee members, that Blackwater was hired as a subcontractor under KBR’s support operations for the U.S. military in Iraq. The contract prohibited hiring private guards, leaving that job to the U.S. military. The Powell memo was released after four family members of the men killed in Fallujah testified at the hearing that their loved ones were not given the armored vehicles, heavy weapons and other protections they were promised. “Did Blackwater meet its responsibilities?” asked committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif. “Yes we did,” Andrew Howell, general counsel of Blackwater, replied. “Have you skimped on equipment?” asked Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah. “We have not skimped on equipment, no sir,” Howell said. The hearing became emotional when Kathryn Helvenston-Wettengel, mother of slain Blackwater guard Stephen Scott Helvenston, read a statement on behalf of the families. She stopped several times to collect herself. The three men killed in addition to Helvenston – a former Navy SEAL – were Wesley Batalona, a former Army Ranger represented by his daughter Kristal; Michael Teague, formerly in an Army helicopter unit, represented by his widow, Rhonda; and Jerry Zovko, a former Army Ranger represented by his mother, Donna. The families have sued Blackwater, contending that was the only way they could learn the circumstances of the killings. Howell said the U.S. military had classified the incident and he could not discuss the details. The Blackwater attorney and several Republican lawmakers said the families were improperly trying to argue their case in a congressional hearing rather than a courtroom. Helvenston-Wettengel said the security guards were denied armored vehicles, heavy weapons and maps for their convoy routes, and that the rear gunners were removed from vehicles to perform other duties. “Blackwater gets paid for the number of warm bodies it can put on the ground in certain locations throughout the world,” she said. “If some are killed, it replaces them at a moment’s notice.” Helvenston-Wettengel said her son was alive when Iraqis tied him to his vehicle and dragged him through the streets. He eventually was decapitated. Howell said lawyers for the family members were using the hearing for their own purposes, and that it should not delve into an “incomplete and one-sided exploration of a specific battlefield incident.” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said he did not believe that the testimony was germane to a house committee scrutinizing U.S. companies with Iraq contracts.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgDruskin led the structural expense review, which was aimed at reducing costs at the New York-headquartered bank and improving profit. Citigroup executives have been under pressure from analysts and a number of investors, including Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Citigroup’s biggest individual shareholder, to improve performance. The bank’s stock has not done as well as its peers, including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which have been more profitable. The elimination of the jobs won’t reduce the bank’s work force, but merely slow its growth, Citi executives said. Druskin told a conference call with Wall Street analysts they should expect Citi’s headcount to grow this year because of acquisitions and plans to open new branches, especially overseas. “But that rate of growth will be at a significantly diminished rate,” Druskin said. NEW YORK – Under pressure from investors to contain burgeoning costs, Citigroup Inc., the nation’s largest financial institution, announced that it will eliminate about 17,000 jobs, shift 9,500 positions to “lower cost locations” and consolidate some corporate operations. The steps – which are expected to shave more than $2 billion from the bank’s operating costs this year alone – also should result in faster service for consumers and businesses, Citi’s chief operating officer, Robert Druskin, said Wednesday. “A lot of the initiatives undertaken in the name of expense reduction also are designed to unclog our corporate system,” he told The Associated Press. “We want to make Citigroup a more nimble, entrepreneurial place. We want decision-making to be quicker. We want things to move through the pipelines faster.” The 17,000 job cuts amount to about 5 percent of the bank’s 327,000-strong work force. Goldman Sachs analysts William F. Tanona and Daniel Harris predicted “a tepid reaction” by investors they said had expected deeper cuts. In afternoon trading, the bank’s shares dropped 89 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $51.51 on the New York Stock Exchange. Carter Burgess, managing director of the Directorship Search Group, a recruiting firm based in Greenwich, Conn., said that “the question is, if all these areas for cutting expenses exist, why wasn’t it done sooner?” He noted that Citigroup, like many of the giant money center banks, was built through a series of mergers and acquisitions and that “it’s not totally clear you can make all of this work efficiently together.” Charles Prince, the bank’s chairman and chief executive officer, said that implementation of Druskin’s recommendations “will improve business integration as well as our ability to move quickly and seize new growth opportunities.” Prince also emphasized that more expense cutbacks were possible, saying that Citi was adopting “a continuous approach to improving our efficiency – this is not a one-time effort.” The changes announced Wednesday include eliminating unnecessary layers of management, reducing staff at corporate headquarters and other locations, expanding centralized procurement and consolidating some back-office and middle-office functions to eliminate duplication. The bank said that including previously announced information technology savings, the overhaul will save the New York-based bank about $2.1 billion in 2007, $3.7 billion in 2008 and $4.6 billion in 2009. Citigroup said it will record a pretax charge of $1.38 billion in the first quarter of 2007, and additional charges totaling approximately $200 million pretax over the subsequent quarters of 2007. The bank reports its first-quarter earnings next week. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgHe said the discussions will be guided by the idea that participation of Indigenous communities could help their economic development, that the government bought Trans Mountain to benefit all Canadians, and that the pipeline will be built and operated on a commercial basis.Morneau said Indigenous communities that are unable to attend the meetings can meet by teleconference or submit views in writing.Other interested parties, including the general public, can also have their say until Aug. 30.Earlier this summer an Indigenous-led group called Project Reconciliation said it could make a bid for majority ownership of the pipeline.The group said almost 340 Indigenous communities across British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan could choose to share ownership in the project that would ship crude from the Alberta oilsands to the west coast and from there to overseas markets.Advertisement The Canadian Press OTTAWA — A former Enbridge executive has been appointed to head a committee that will advise the federal government as it consults with Indigenous communities that want a financial stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Finance Minister Bill Morneau says Linda Coady will lead a group of experts that will help the government during the engagement process.Coady was chief sustainability officer for Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. and was the former co-chair of the government’s Generation Energy Council.- Advertisement -The government says a number of Indigenous communities have expressed interest in participating economically in Trans Mountain through equity and revenue sharing.Morneau sent letters on July 9 to the 129 potentially affected Indigenous communities, or their delegates, that might have an interest in securing economic partnership in the oil pipeline.The letters say the government will host discussions with First Nations this month in Ottawa, Victoria, Vancouver, Kamloops, B.C., and Edmonton that will determine what that potential economic participation could look like.Advertisement But another organization called the Western Indigenous Pipeline Group has argued that Trans Mountain should be owned by communities actually located on the route as they are most at risk from an oil spill.The proposal to twin an existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., was first approved by cabinet in 2016, but resistance to it by the British Columbia government, environmentalists and some Indigenous groups grew.The federal government purchased the existing line last year from Texas-based Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion when the company threatened to walk away because of the uncertainty.The Federal Court of Appeal shelved the original approval last summer and the federal government approved the pipeline expansion again in June after a second round of consultations with First Nations.Last month, six First Nations filed another legal challenge against the project, saying Canada’s ownership of the corporation created a bias that prevented full consultations as ordered by the courts.Advertisement “The Trans Mountain expansion project presents a real economic opportunity – for Canadians, and for Indigenous communities,” Morneau said in a release Friday.“With the approval of the project, we can begin discussions with the many communities that may be interested in becoming partners in getting Canada’s natural resources to market.“Our government looks forward to moving the project forward in a way that reflects our commitment to reconciliation.”Morneau said the government intends the engagement process to be “open and fair.”Advertisementlast_img read more

first_img0Shares0000Mathare United players line up for a freekick before a previous Kenyan Premier League match. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – Mathare United’s unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday after falling 2-1 away to bottom side Mount Kenya United in a Kenyan Premier League match hosted at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.In other results, Tusker FC were held to a 0-0 draw by Posta Rangers with the point seeing them climb to second on the log with 18 points. At the Afraha Stadium, Peter Amani hit the back of the net twice to cancel Chrispin Oduor’s penalty that had handed Mathare United the lead five minutes to half time.The result left Mathare still pegged at the summit of the Kenyan Premier League table with 24 points.Oduor broke the deadlock from the spot after Mount Kenya United keeper Phillip Odhiambo had hacked down Cliff Nyakeya gifting the 2008 KPL champions the lead in the 40th minute as seasoned Oduor sent the keeper on the wrong side.But Mount Kenya levelled on the stroke of half-time trough unmarked Amani who rose high to meet a corner delivered by veteran Moses ‘Dube’ Odhiambo and nod it home.The hosts could reclaim the lead in the 64th minute had James Kinyanjui’s shot not rattled the woodworkHowever, the goal came their way finally after they were awarded a penalty in the 81st minute when veteran stopper James Situma handled the ball in the box as he attempted to make the clearance away from his area.Amani stepped up to take the penalty that was punched away by the Mathare keeper with the rebound landing on Amani’s right foot for Andrew Juma to foul him again and the referee did not hesitate to award Mount Kenya the second penalty. Amani this time converted it successfully to complete a brace.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

first_imgLeaving no talent untapped in its quest for perfection, the Ford Motor Co. asked Marianne Moore, one of America’s foremost poets in the 1950s, to suggest a name for the product it would debut in late summer, 50 years ago. She replied: “May I submit Utopian Turtletop? Do not trouble to answer unless you like it.” Ford instead named the product for Henry Ford’s late son Edsel. The Edsel would live 26 months. The short, unhappy life of that automobile is rich in lessons, and not only for America’s beleaguered automobile industry. The principal lesson is: Most Americans are not as silly as a few Americans suppose. No industry boomed more in the 1950s than the manufacturing of social criticism excoriating Americans for their bovine “conformity,” crass “materialism” and mindless manipulability at the hands of advertising’s “hidden persuaders.” Vance Packard’s The Hidden Persuaders was atop The New York Times best-seller list as Edsels arrived in showrooms. No product in history had been the subject of so much “scientific” psychology-based market research. Remember the basketball coach who said of his team, “We’re short but we’re slow?” The Edsel was ugly but riddled with malfunctions. So many malfunctions that some people suspected sabotage at plants that had previously assembled Fords and Mercurys. Those two Ford divisions perhaps hoped the Edsel would bomb. “It was clumsy, powerful, dowdy, gauche, well-meaning – a de Kooning woman,” wrote John Brooks, a student of American business, in The New Yorker. Chrome seemed to be piled upon chrome. Potential buyers recoiled from the vertical egg-shaped grill. The transmission was worked by push buttons placed – convenience sacrificed on the altar of novelty – in the center of the steering column. The larger Edsels weighed more than two tons, were 219 inches long and 80 inches wide. These were not the cars for a year in which the success was American Motors’ little Rambler. By Oct. 13, barely more than a month after the Edsel’s debut, anemic sales caused the company to pre-empt “The Ed Sullivan Show” with a Sunday evening Edsel extravaganza featuring Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. But there was no sales spurt. Nine days earlier, the Soviet Union had launched its first Sputnik satellite, provoking a crisis of confidence in America’s technological prowess and a reaction against chrome-laden barges as emblems of national self-indulgence. On Nov. 27, Manhattan’s only Edsel dealer gave up his franchise and switched to selling Ramblers. In the spring of 1958, S.I. Hayakawa, a professor of semantics (and later a Republican U.S. senator from California), ascribed the Edsel’s failure to the Ford executives’ excessive confidence in the power of motivational research to enable them to predict – and modify – Americans’ behavior. In their attempt to design a car that would cater to customers’ sexual fantasies, status anxieties and the like, Ford’s deep thinkers had neglected to supply good transportation. “The trouble with selling symbolic gratification via such expensive items ? is the competition offered by much cheaper forms of symbolic gratification, such as Playboy (50 cents a copy), Astounding Science Fiction (35 cents a copy), and television (free),” Hayakawa wrote. In 1958, with the Edsel already turned to ashes, John Kenneth Galbraith, with bad timing comparable to the launch of the Edsel, published The Affluent Society. It asserted that manufacturers, wielding all-powerful advertising, were emancipated by the law of supply and demand because advertisers could manufacture demand for whatever manufacturers wished to supply. This theory buttressed the liberal project of expanding government in the name of protecting incompetent Americans from victimization, and having government supplant the market as the allocator of wealth and opportunity. But all of Ford’s then-mighty marketing prowess could not keep the Edsel from being canceled in 1959. Brooks calculated that it would have been cheaper for Ford to skip the Edsel and give away 110,000 Mercurys. Today, the United Auto Workers union and General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are trying to reverse the slide of the American automobile industry. Fifty Septembers ago, the country was atingle with anticipation of a new product that turned out to be a leading indicator of the slide. As Detroit toils to undo some contractual provisions that have burdened the companies with crippling health care and pension costs, it should remember the real lesson of 1957: Americans are more discerning and less herdable than their cultured despisers suppose, so what matters most is simple. Good products. George Will’s e-mail address is georgewill@washpost.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_img England manager Roy Hodgson 1 FA chief executive Martin Glenn believes Roy Hodgson will walk away from the England job if the Three Lions flop at the European Championship next summer.Hodgson met Glenn recently after rumours of a rift between the pair emerged around the World Cup qualifying draw in St Petersburg, Russia.The England manager seemed surprised that the recently-appointed chief executive claimed he would not discuss a contract with the 68-year-old until after France 2016, when his current deal expires.Glenn clarified the situation over a few drinks with Hodgson recently.“I have spoken to Roy.” Glenn said.“I had a cup of coffee with him, which turned into a few drinks.“It is a bit of a storm in a teacup. But I spoke to him about it, the position I thought was clear anyway, so yes the air has been cleared.”When asked if he had told Hodgson there would be no talks until after the Euros, Glenn said: “Yes… We are all on the same page.”Should England bomb just like they did at the World Cup last year, when Hodgson’s men were eliminated at the group stage, Glenn is convinced the manager will not ask for a contract extension.Instead, the chief executive expects Hodgson to leave the FA after four years in charge.He said: “Roy is a really good manager and he would be the last person in the world who if, and I don’t think it will happen, we had a bad Euros, he would not expect to be kept on. He is a proud man.“The question for Roy is how do we set him up to be as successful as we can in the Euros? What can we do and that is what we plan to do.”last_img read more

first_img Even so, Raynoso went ahead and lowered the unleaded regular price by one cent to $2.78 Tuesday afternoon. “They come in the store and say this price is cheaper than anywhere else,’ she added. “Everybody wants to save money me too.’ Station owner Antonio Vallejo said he is able to keep prices lower when he has a large volume of gas. “I look at competition and volume. If my volume of gas goes down, I increase the price,’ he said. “I absolutely get a lot more business when the price is lower than my competition.’ Gas stations have no limits high or low on the price they can charge for gas. WHITTIER — For some, finding cheaper gas prices is something to yell about. “It’s been crazy,’ said Maria Raynoso, manager of the ARCO station at Hadley and Pickering avenues, where $2.79 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline had as many as 15 cars waiting behind the station’s eight pumps Tuesday. It’s been that way for the past few weeks as the station slashes prices to beat out most of its competitors in the Whittier area. “Everybody wants to be on the same pump,’ Raynoso added. “Someone will be waiting for a pump and someone else takes it. They argue. Then they come into the store mad.’ “It’s a free- market economy, and there are no restrictions,’ said California Energy Commission spokesman Rob Schlichting . “They can set whatever price the market will bear.’ Statewide, the average price for regular unleaded gasoline was nearly $2.96 Tuesday. That represents a 63-cent increase from this time last year. The highest price in Los Angeles County was found in Malibu, at $3.19 per gallon Tuesday. Schlichting said there is no sign of relief. “As long as the price of crude oil is as high as it is, we’re not going to see a big drop in gas prices at the pump.’ Pedro Sosa, 27, of Whittier filled up his Nissan Sentra on Tuesday afternoon before picking his daughter up from school. He makes a point to stop at the ARCO on Hadley because of its cheap prices. “I go to my mom’s house in Paramount, and thought gas would be cheaper there. But no, it’s cheaper here,’ said Sosa. @tagline columnist : Sandy Mazza may be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026, or by e-mail at sandy.mazza@sgvn.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “With their bold, contemporary styling and innovative technology, the new Civics are primed for success in one of the most competitive market segments in the country,” Motor Trend said in its announcement. Motor Trend picked its Car of the Year from a field of 28 new models, including the Audi A3, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac DTS, Chevrolet HHR, Dodge Charger, Ford Fusion, Mercedes-Benz R-Class, Pontiac Solstice, Toyota Avalon and the Volkswagen Jetta and Passat. Last year’s winner was the Chrysler 300, the uniquely styled sedan that attracted buyers from rappers to grandmothers. Last month, the publication named Nissan’s Xterra its sport utility vehicle of the year. Motor Trend plans to announce its truck of the year in December. DETROIT – The Honda Civic, which in its latest incarnation offers drivers a more sleek and upscale take on the popular compact car, has claimed the honor of 2006 Car of the Year from Motor Trend magazine. All four new Civic models – a sedan, a coupe, a high-performance model called the Si and a gasoline-electric hybrid – were given the award. “Honda deserves a standing ovation for not playing it safe again,” Motor Trend’s editor in chief, Angus MacKenzie, said in a statement. “The engineering passion that Honda … was founded on radiates from these new Civics.” Motor Trend editors put the Civics through two weeks of track testing, performance drives and walk-around appraisals. The magazine chooses its top car based in part on value, standing in its class and significant developments. last_img read more