NTC concerned about accusations of malpractice

first_imgDear Editor,The National Tosahos’ Council (NTC) is expressing its deep concern over the numerous articles published in the media by someone purporting to represent the indigenous peoples of Guyana and accusing the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) of malpractice at various levels.The NTC wishes to distance itself from this(ese) organization(s) or person(s) and categorically state that those views and articles do not represent the indigenous position.It must also be noted that the NTC sees these articles not only as contrary to constructive ongoing dialogue with the IDB as civil society partners, but also as irresponsible in nature considering the IDB’s role in Guyana as a development partner to Guyana.From the signing of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) project agreement in February 2014, there have been funds that have been budgeted for institutional support for the NTC and other indigenous NGO’s.In December 2014 funds were initially disbursed to the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) as the executing agency to facilitate the commencement of the FCPF project as determined by the GFC but laid dormant.As of June 2015, no activities related to the project had taken place and to avoid cancellation of the project, the IDB recalled the initial disbursement of funds advanced to the GFC to reset the clock on the funds and the project.The IDB has formally communicated to and confirmed to the NTC and the indigenous beneficiary NGOs of the FCPF project, that all resources remain available to the project and to the Government of GuyanaMost recently it was identified to the indigenous NGOs that the new implementing agency for the FCPF project is the Ministry of Natural Resources.This news now gives us – the NTC and applicable NGO’s, an opportunity, with the government’s support, to finally access these funds for institutional support for the NTC and other NGO’s to build our capacities for REDD+ as one priority area of the FCPF project.Also, the NTC and the FCPF beneficiary NGOs recently received a communication from the IDB in response to a letter sent to the World Bank and the IDB complaining of the conduct of the IDB’s Guyana office in handling the FCPF project. The IDB in keeping with its principles of transparency responded to the complainant’s concerns and shared their response and all the FCPF project documents and policy guidelines with the beneficiary stakeholdersIt would appear that the complainant to the World Bank, though knowledgeable of the IDB’s role in Guyana to support development, has made some accusations that may have arisen out of a lack of understanding of the IDB’s and the Government’s role in the LCDS and execution of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) project in Guyana, respectively.As per the contractual agreement between the IDB as the delivery partner and the Government of Guyana, the procurement and fiduciary functions of the FCPF project are the responsibility of the executing agency; now the ministry of Natural Resources. Contrary to what was written in the press, the project agreement and procurement plans which is publicly available on the IDB’s website does not cater for any direct transfer of funds to any other organization or entity.Based on the letter sent to the IDB and the IDB’s communication to the beneficiary stakeholders, the NTC has formally submitted a request to the IDB for an independently facilitated meeting engaging ALL stakeholders to the FCPF project to clear up all issues – real and perceived – as it relates to the FCPF project, the IDB’s role, and the Government of Guyana’s role in the implementation of the project.We are of the expectation that all stakeholders, including the ones publishing in the media, will be in attendance when such invitation is issued to avoid any missed opportunities to appropriately communicate to the relevant personnel all their concerns regarding the funds, implementing agency, and institutional conduct – if so desired.This, we firmly believe, is the most appropriate mode to achieve the transparency and accountability that is sought by the various authors of the various articles and may prove exceptionally useful to alleviating any fears or misunderstanding of the various stakeholders’ positions.The NTC looks forward to this meeting and to the potential it holds to achieving the objectives laid out in the NTC’s request.The National Toshaos Council is a body comprised of all the Toshaos of all the 212 indigenous communities of Guyana. As such we are charged with representing all 75 000 plus indigenous peoples of our 9+ indigenous nationsSincerely,Lenox ShumanVice ChairNational Tosahos’Councillast_img read more

Kilmarnock to appeal against Kris Boyd’s red card

first_imgAnd his view was backed up by opposition manager Derek McInnes, who didn’t think the tackle merited dismissal.He said: “My first thought was it was a yellow card. I think Kris has caught Shinnie, and there’s a bit of speed there going into but, I thought it was a yellow card.” Kilmarnock have confirmed that they will appeal the red card shown to Kris Boyd in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Aberdeen.Boyd was shown a straight red by referee Nick Walsh in the 82nd minute for a challenge on Graeme Shinnie.The Rugby Park club felt the decision was harsh and will argue their case at a fast track hearing, which is likely to be held on Thursday.After the match, Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke said: “I’ve only had the look I had from the bench but from my experience in the game, my first impression was that it was at most a yellow card.”last_img read more

Springboks, England draw final test

first_img25 June 2012After a 14-14 draw with England in Port Elizabeth on Saturday evening, the Springboks remain undefeated under coach Heynecke Meyer, but they were the less satisfied of the two teams following a sub-standard performance.Neither coach was happy with the outcome. After the game, Meyer termed his team’s performance “unacceptable”, while England’s Stuart Lancaster called the result “frustrating”.Meyer’s unhappiness was further underlined when he added: “Today was a step backwards.”Springbok captain Jean de Villiers commented: “We won the series 2-0 and we are satisfied with that, but I think they got better as the series progressed and I guess we got a little worse towards the end.”South Africa could have won had Morne Steyn’s kicking slump not continued, but that would have been unfair to the English, who delivered a committed and physical performance. By the same token, it was not worthy of a victory either.Wet conditionsThe wet conditions were not conducive to an open contest, and with ball in hand the match was played mostly around the fringes of the set pieces and rucks, while both sides made liberal use of the boot too.England excelled on close-in defence and the Springboks aided the tourists by seldom testing them out wide with backline runners instead of forwards driving the ball up.Having said that, the most controversial choice for the South African team, centre Wynand Olivier (playing in place of Frans Steyn who was getting married), proved to be the best of the South African backs. He found gaps on attack and made good ground, while on defence he neutralised English battering ram Manu Tuilagi.Up front, the set pieces were very even. The Springboks shaded the possession stakes and did put the English under some pressure with their driving play, a fact that was underlined by the sin-binning of captain Dylan Hartley for deliberately slowing the ball down.It could just as easily have been prop Dan Cole who received a yellow card after he was blown up at least three times for clumsy infringements at rucks by referee Steve Walsh.ControlBehind the pack, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard and flyhalf Morne Steyn failed to provide the control the Boks were seeking. Hougaard’s service tended to be a little slow, as he tends to take too many steps before passing, while Steyn’s kicking game was off all-round. He also tended to take the ball too deep behind the forwards when on the attack.That was one of the reasons why fullback Alex Goode was one of England’s most impressive players, but give credit where credit is due, he had to make the plays after fielding the kicks.Scrumhalf Danny Care provided good service and was a constant threat on attack. He was rewarded with England’s only try of the game after taking a quick tap and powering through some poor South African defence.The three men who came into the South African team did a satisfactory job. At the back, Gio Aplon delivered a wholehearted performance and showed a willingness to mix it up with the big boys. Olivier, as already mentioned, was good, while Jacques Potgieter on the flank was solid. However, he could not provide the physical dominance of the injured Willem Alberts, whose power was missed.Marcell Coetzee, on the opposite flank, was the pick of the South African forwards, with his work rate unrivalled.VociferousA vociferous Port Elizabeth crowd provided superb support for the home team as the contest kicked off, but it was England who went ahead early on.Flank Marcell Coetzee was penalised for not rolling away at a ruck and England flyhalf Toby Flood knocked over an easy kick to give his team a 3-0 advantage.A couple of minutes later Bismarck du Plessis gave away a penalty when he fielded a ball in an offside position after Gio Aplon had spilt a high-up-and-under in one of his few missteps of the evening. Flood, who had been hurt in a tackle, again took a kick at goal, but was wide with his effort.Good following up on kick by Bryan Habana put the English under pressure and led to them going offside as they scrambled to defend. Steyn took a shot at goal and landed it to level the contest at 3-3.After a charge-down by England lock Tom Palmer, South Africa were forced onto the defensive in their own 22.England tryThe play moved to the left where referee Walsh blew for an earlier offside on the right of the field. Scrumhalf Care reached the mark quickly and took a quick tap. Spotting a small gap, he accelerated, put his head down low and ploughed over for a try.Flood missed the conversion, leaving England 8-3 ahead.It didn’t take long for South Africa to reply with a penalty. With the Boks on attack, England were blown up for not rolling away at a ruck and Steyn slotted the kick to make it 8-6 in England’s favour.A minute later, England flyhalf Flood left the field with an injury and was replaced by Owen Farrell.In the 22nd minute, the home team had an opportunity to take the lead when the English were once more pinged for not rolling away at ruck time. Steyn was off target this time and the tourists remained in front.Aplon, the smallest man on the field, then turned over possession among the big forwards after making a strong tackle on scrumhalf Care. South Africa had good ball to attack with, but England once again slowed down the release of the ball and referee Walsh gave captain Dylan Hartley a warning.South African leadSteyn made them pay with his third penalty of the match, moving South Africa into a 9-8 lead.The final 10 minutes of the half saw the home team on the offensive, but England’s committed and powerful tackling stifled De Villiers and company’s attacking intent.South Africa managed to get within five metres of the English try line, but a good tackle on lock Eben Etzebeth dislodged the ball and stopped a dangerous attack.Three minutes into the second half, the Springboks created a little space on the right flank, but winger Ben Foden made an important stop on eighthman Pierre Spies, who would have been away had it not been for the good tackle.England then moved into the lead with a Farrell penalty from inside the South African 22.England aheadHe started the penalty-winning movement with a pin-perfect high-up-and-under, which landed just outside the 22. Aplon bravely fielded the kick, but was drilled by Chris Ashton sprinting full tilt down the field. The big hit made it hard for the fullback to release the ball without conceding possession and he was blown up for holding onto it.Steyn had a chance to restore the lead to South Africa shortly after that, but his kick at the posts was off line.Referee Walsh’s patience with England’s slowing down of the ball at ruck time was finally tested too much by Hartley and he was sinbinned in the 51st minute. The Springboks, though, struggled to make the opposition pay.Springbok tryIn the 62nd minute, South Africa finally broke through the English defences to score what would be their only try of the match. The forwards set it up with some strong surges at the try line and Ruan Pienaar, on for Hougaard at scrumhalf, set JP Pietersen loose with a nice pass that outflanked the defensive line and allowed the winger through for an easy score.Steyn’s conversion passed just left of the uprights, but South Africa led 14-11.Eight minutes from time, England drew level when Farrell landed a penalty after the Boks had strayed offsides during a period sustained English attack.Steyn attempted a drop kick, but his kicking game had gone well and truly south, and so, too, did his kick, off to the right of the posts.The game came to its conclusion with England stringing together almost 20 phases of play. The Springboks defended manfully, refusing to give away a penalty nor much ground.Eventually flyhalf Farrell attempted a drop goal from just inside the South African 10-metre line, but his effort resembled a grubber more than a drop and the final whistle sounded with the teams playing to their first draw since their first clash way back in 1906.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Where Does Real-Time Matter? In Viewing the Stream or Searching It? (Facebook Bets on the Latter)

first_img“Real-time” – as in the “real-time web” – has certainly become the buzzword du jour. It’s even possible that the move of web services to support a real-time, immediate flow of information is what will ultimately define the next version of the web…if you’re someone who likes to attach version numbers to something that’s in as much constant change as today’s Internet, that is. Still, it’s easy to see the benefits of real-time in action, especially when it comes to disseminating news…as was apparent when the immediacy of Twitter trumped CNN’s coverage of the Iranian elections and subsequent riots. Yet exactly how a company should integrate “real-time” into their service is something that’s not always easy to grasp. It’s clear that Facebook, for one, is still trying to figure it out. Facebook Tests Real-Time SearchIn a Facebook blog post, the company announced that a limited, private beta of a new search interface is being rolling out to a small group of folks on the social network. The new interface will allow those fortunate enough to have access to it the ability to search for content from people, organizations, and other public figures as soon as they share it on Facebook. They’ll also be able to search through their News Feed for status updates, photos, links, videos, and notes for items being shared by friends, by pages of which they’re a fan, or by those who have chosen to leave their profile open. Again, this is described as “up-to-the-minute” search results. In other words, Facebook is testing a real-time search engine. Ironically, Facebook’s other attempt at real-time didn’t go quite as well. After March’s site redesign which was responsible for the real-time stream of updates on users’ homepages, Facebook faced protests by hundreds of thousands of users within days of the revamp. Apparently, those complaints didn’t fall on deaf ears. According to a recent article on VentureBeat, Facebook is moving away from that real-time homepage stream, but towards what isn’t exactly clear. All we know is that Facebook did acknowledge that their users “missed the News Feed in its former structure.” The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… It’s also being rumored that Google may be working on a real-time search engine that would pull in results from Twitter and other microblogging sites. Perhaps “real-time” works in search because the stream is focused on one subject, not a chaotic mass of disjointed thoughts and links. Or then again, maybe it works because even though they’re real-time, search results don’t move across the screen in a constant flow – you have to refresh the page to see the new ones. Questions about Real-TimeSo does this mean that real-time doesn’t work in streams but only in search? Can we just not process a rapidly updated flow quickly enough for it to make any sense? Or does it all come down to some magic number of people we follow that determines how much new input we can stand to see streaming by in real-time? Or maybe the problem is that real-time is simply too raw, without filters we miss seeing the updates that matter the most. Do you agree? Or do you feel that real-time streams are indeed the future, but unfortunately the masses (as in the majority of Facebook users) just haven’t gotten the hang of it yet. Or that real-time is just so new that no one has mastered the ideal UI for following a real-time flow? It seems like we don’t really have all the answers just yet, the only thing to do is experiment and see what works. Just like Facebook is doing now. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Related Posts center_img sarah perez Real-Time: Good for Search, Not for Streams? That just goes to show that real-time doesn’t always make sense everywhere, in every service. Unlike FriendFeed, who boldly bet on real-time and made it the new default for their stream, mimicking that same feature over on Facebook was a recipe for disaster. (It could be argued that real-time updates don’t work on FriendFeed either, but that may be just a personal opinion).Even in Twitter, where information flows in immediately to the service, the Twitter.com homepage doesn’t constantly auto-refresh for you, forcing you to see the updates as they happen. And Twitter desktop clients tend to poll for updates on a scheduled basis…so, not quite real-time there either. Where real-time does work is search, something we’ve learned not only from using search.twitter.com but also from using some handy Twitter greasemonkey scripts that add Twitter results to a traditional search. (Here’s one for Google and one for Bing). Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Facebook#Trends#web last_img read more

Charges officially dropped against Arthur Porter two years after his death

first_imgMONTREAL – Criminal charges against the doctor accused of committing what Quebec authorities described as the biggest corruption fraud in Canada’s history have officially been abandoned, two years after his death, the Crown announced Friday.Crown prosecutor Nathalie Kleber said she filed Arthur Porter’s death certificate in court after receiving confirmation of its authenticity from authorities in Panama.Porter died in Panamanian custody in 2015 after being detained in that country at Canada’s behest in 2013.He was 59.“This ends the judicial process against Dr. Porter,” Kleber told journalists at the Montreal courthouse.Kleber said it took so long to close the case against him because she only recently received confirmation of the death certificate from Panama.Quebec’s anti-corruption unit accused Porter of accepting a $22.5-million bribe in connection with engineering firm SNC-Lavalin winning a $1.3-billion contract to build the McGill University Health Centre superhospital.Porter was once highly regarded among Canada’s business and political elite and served as head of the MUHC as well as on the board of the independent agency that oversaw Canada’s spy services.Quebec’s anti-corruption unit said Porter’s alleged crimes amounted to the biggest act of fraud corruption in the country’s history.His wife, Pamela Porter, pleaded guilty in late 2014 to two counts of laundering the proceeds of crime and was sentenced to 33 months for her role in the alleged bribery scandal connected to the superhospital project.Kleber said the charges against Porter’s other co-accused will remain, with the case set to resume Sept. 27.last_img read more

Hasselbaink backs Sarri at Chelsea

first_imgThe former Chelsea footballer believes Maurizio Sarri can still do well in the English Premier League.Chelsea started the 2018-2019 English Premier League season with a bang, winning 12 consecutive matches.But then they fell into a slump, and have struggled recently to pick up points.The Blues are currently in the fourth position of the standings with 50 points, seven behind third-place Tottenham Hotspur and 12 behind second and first place, Liverpool and Manchester City respectively.And for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, a former Chelsea striker, boss Maurizio Sarri can still lead the team to greatness.“I think the criticism is a little unfair towards him, he had a really good start to the season,” Hasselbaink told Sky Sports News.“You need to give him the time, it’s only six or seven months that he’s been in the building, so you need to give him the time and you need to give him the trust.”“He’s put Kante in a different position because he sees that position in a different way and that’s where it (the criticism) started,” he added.“Whatever you say, Kante’s the best defensive midfield player at winning the ball back, so that has raised eyebrows.”Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.The ex-Netherlands international played for Chelsea from 2000 to 2004, scoring 70 goals in 136 matches.He also played for Telstar, AZ, Campomaiorense, Boavista, Leeds United, Atletico Madrid, Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic, and Cardiff City.And now he’s a coach, having managed Royal Antwerp, Burton Albion, Queens Park Rangers, and Northampton Town.“He believes in playing football in a certain way and that is dominating the ball in possession,” the 46-year-old continued talking about Sarri.“That’s how he believes Chelsea is eventually going to win titles and cups.”’I want to see him happy.’— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 8, 2019last_img read more