Slothfulness in building houses from the Housing Department

first_imgDear Editor,Editor, I have a genuine interest and specific concern for people like me who are desirous of owning their own house or home.This concern has germinated out of the slothful progression of work in relation to the actual building of houses from the Housing Department for our fellow Guyanese citizens, the poor people who are in the majority.The Ministry with responsibility for housing, Editor, has two Ministers with this portfolio and sadly not much has been done since 2015 for the actual construction of houses and the jobs that can be created from this Ministry.I do acknowledge the work done by Minister Yearwood who is in this post at present and ensures that house lots are made available for many Guyanese who had their applications in the system for many years, and today, they are now house lot owners.As commendable as this may be, this is not the principal mandate and primary objective of this Ministry as set out by his Excellency in his well-articulated vision for housing. The building of communities as posited by our President, require houses to be built on those lands and people living in them.Since 2015, this Ministry without a shortage of funds have not built 200 houses as yet!The houses that are being built by the Ministry are too expensive for the average Guyanese public servant, who works for less than five hundred US dollars per month.The price tag of over seven million for those 24X30 two-bedroom flat houses is burdensome and will cause the poor to be poorer. Furthermore, I do not believe there is a lending institution that will provide a loan for one to purchase a duplex house/apartment in the country.On the notion of the poor, the Food For The Poor (FFTP) organisation is doing what the Housing Department is not and should be doing, which is building houses. Houses that are affordable for the average paid workers in this country.With over a billion plus dollars spent, what is there to show that is noteworthy of mentioning.FFTP has recently boasted about its 3500 houses it has built already for the poor in our country and is now taking there project to the interior and rural communities.What is this Ministry doing to achieve the President’s vision of building communities?The Minister of Housing has the opportunity to create a multiplicity of opportunities for countless Guyanese to gain employment by clearing the land, selling the materials for the drainage and water system, lighting, building materials for the houses, the actual building of those houses as well as create possibilities for youngsters to learn a skill.The Minister is sleeping on the Ministry’s tail and depriving countless young Guyanese of not only work but the pride and joy of home ownership. We need a Minister of housing, not house lots.It is sad when a Ministry has allowed an organisation like Food For The Poor to lead the way with its mandate of building houses for Guyanese.Sincerely,Houseless land ownerlast_img read more

Liberia Passes 73 Days of ‘Heightened Surveillance’

first_imgLiberia continues to be an Ebola-free country having officially passed day 73 of the 90-day period of heightened surveillance without any reported new Ebola cases, Madam Leela Zaizay, the National Surveillance Officer and Public Health Lead at the Ministry of Health (MOH), has said.In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer over the weekend, Madam Zaizay said after the heightened surveillance, Liberia will come under the usual or regular surveillance as other non-Ebola countries.Liberia, after 42 days without a single new case of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) that gripped three West African nations for over a year, was declared free of the transmission on May 9, but the disease re-emerged on June 29. Six additional cases were identified midway through the first 90-day period when a routine postmortem swab taken from a 17-year old male, who died on June 28 tested positive for the EVD. The end of the 90-day period of heightened (or active) surveillance of the country would mean that Liberia is truly free of the transmission of the EVD, which has killed nearly 5,000 Liberians and several foreigners.In partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), Emory University (USA) and African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), Liberia has meanwhile reactivated its Disease Outbreak Surveillance Program to intensify vigilance and rapid response to any outbreak. Two weeks ago, 30 surveillance officers graduated from the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) – the first of its kind in the country. During their surveillance activities, the 5,893 suspected cases of Ebola they were monitoring in the 15 counties tested negative. The investigation was done at 91 health districts, 718 health centers as well as swabbing of dead bodies.The report said that at the time, Grand Gedeh County had the highest suspected Ebola cases (1,676), followed by Grand Bassa County (1,015) and Lofa County (130).The report further said besides the suspected Ebola cases, there were also 2,345 suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea followed by 37 suspected cases of measles.Last week, according to Madam Zaizay, another batch of trainees began instruction in surveillance, epidemiology, response and scientific communication skills of public health workers at the district, county and national levels. The FETP basic training will last for three months and will focus on fundamental skills used in frontline surveillance and response for diseases in Liberia or elsewhere.It may be recalled that Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said disease outbreaks would not end with Ebola and surveillance officers were the frontline defense to identify early signals of any epidemic and marshal a rapid response.Meanwhile, in order to build a resilient health sector to tackle pending outbreaks, MOH has employed 736 health workers with plans to hire up to 4,132 more over seven years.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Organic-matter traces recovered from T. rex

first_imgIn a retrieval once thought unattainable, scientists have recovered and identified proteins in a bone of a well-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex that lived, died and was fossilized 68 million years ago. The scientists say the success, with advanced research techniques, opens the door for the first time to the exploration of molecular-level relationships of ancient, extinct animals, instead of just relying on their skeletal remains. Dinosaur fossil hunters are planning nine expeditions this summer to search wide and deep for more specimens as promising candidates for similar tests. A few large dinosaur bones already in laboratories may be examined for surviving traces of organic matter. The earliest previously identified ancient proteins were from mammoths that died about 300,000 years ago. The oldest confirmed samples of DNA, a more direct bearer of information of molecular evolution but more degradable, have come from Neanderthals that lived 30,000 to 50,000 years ago. The extraction of DNA would be necessary for studies in dinosaur genetics and for cloning experiments. Repeated analysis of the Tyrannosaurus rex proteins, the researchers said, uncovered new evidence of a link between dinosaurs and birds, a widely held but contentious hypothesis. Three of the seven reconstructed protein sequences were closely related to chickens. The scientists resisted being drawn into speculation on the likely taste of a Tyrannosaurus rex drumstick. Two research teams are reporting the findings in today’s issue of the journal Science. The principal investigators discussed the results with reporters in a teleconference on Wednesday. Speaking of her doubts when she went into the work, Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University, leader of one of the groups, said, “We had always assumed that preservation does not extend to the cellular level” in ancient fossils. Schweitzer described several tests conducted on soft tissues found deep inside the tyrannosaur’s femur, or thighbone, excavated in eastern Montana. She reported the surprising tissue discovery two years ago. Though barely detectable, proteins of collagen1, the main organic component of bone, were separated and examined. Protein fragments, or peptides, were pieced together into strands of the seven sequences. Three of these reacted with antibodies to chicken collagen. Two others appeared possibly related to living creatures: a frog and a newt. The findings, Schweitzer and her colleagues wrote, “suggested that, under certain conditions, remnant organic constituents may persist across geological time.” The second team, headed by John M. Asara of the Harvard Medical School, said its independent tests had confirmed the presence of proteins in the tissue.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

Colombia motivated by England disrespect warns Woodward

first_img0Shares0000Gareth Southgate has established a link between his players and the English public claims 2003 Rugby World Cup winning coach Clive Woodward but he worries believing facing Colombia in the last 16 was an easier half of the draw could backfire. © AFP / ODD ANDERSENLONDON, United Kingdom, Jul 2 – England manager Gareth Southgate has risked ratcheting up World Cup last 16 opponents Colombia’s motivation by fielding a B team in their last group game believing that would earn them an easier route to the final, warns England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winning coach Clive Woodward.England earned the right to play the Colombians on Tuesday after a 1-0 loss to Belgium last Thursday to finish runners-up in their group. Woodward takes issue with the selection policy of Southgate — although his Belgian counterpart Roberto Martinez also made sweeping changes — but is more staggered by another facet of the thinking behind the policy.“The thing I am really struggling with, though, is a much bigger point,” he wrote in the Daily Mail on Monday.“England have hardly covered themselves in glory in tournaments over the last two decades yet they were wasting time and energy and getting distracted thinking about possible quarter-finals and semi-finals.“Don’t even go there, just win the next match and the next after that.”Woodward drew on his experience of a tough first knockout stage match in the 2003 World Cup with Wales, after taking their pedal off the gas for their final two pool matches, to illustrate to Southgate the perils of tinkering with winning line-ups and taking the sharpness off the first team players.“Who on earth ever thought that somehow Colombia would be the easy route, one of the best attacking teams in world football and a side who reached the Olympic quarter-finals?”“Nobody qualifying for the World Cup last 16 gets lucky.“The one team who will be relishing all this is Colombia —- what greater motivation than an England team believing playing them is an easier way to glory!– ‘zero chance’ –“I would love to be in charge of the Colombia team this week, reminding my players how England don’t respect them. The England players will know this too.”Woodward, said there is no need to play players as Southgate did against Belgium to sew unity within the squad.“I have been amazed how former players used unity in the squad as a reason for Southgate’s selection -— well, if this is what creates unity, we have zero chance,” said Wodoward.“Unity is simply everyone doing everything that is required of them to win the next match even if that is just carrying the water bottle.”England coach Gareth Southgate has built ‘a genuine connection with the country’ – Woodward © AFP / PAUL ELLISOn the plus side, though, Woodward says Southgate has got his patriotic juices flowing like no previous England football manager.“This is the World Cup knockout stages and, despite Belgium, I haven’t been so excited about an England manager and his group of players for a long time,” said Woodward.“They have built a genuine connection with the country and the opportunity of a lifetime is still there.“But there is no hiding place, this is when champion teams find a way of winning. I can’t wait.”Only Woodward and the late Alf Ramsey who managed England to 1966 World Cup success, have delivered a global trophy for the country that introduced the rest of the world to cricket, rugby and football.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_imgBUSINESSES and consumers are furious after a card payment meltdown in west Donegal.People trying to pay for goods and services haven’t been able to do so with laser or credit cards for THREE DAYS.And in a world where cards are fast replacing cash as the chosen method of payment, it’s causing serious hardship for businesses. “We have had to turn people away,” said one angry Dungloe businessman who contacted“I’ve called the bank several times but they just say they are working to repair their systems.“It just shows how important card services are….we’ve lost an awful lot of business. And it has been hugely inconvenient for customers who have had to go to the post office to withdraw cash.”Even local petrol stations have had to erect ‘No Cards’ signs. But a breakdown in such services in not unusual. CARD PAYMENT MELTDOWN FURY IN DONEGAL was last modified: May 29th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgA 30-year-old Convoy man has been remanded in custody on one charge of criminal damage.Eamon McGill arriving in court today. Pic copyright of Northwest News Pix.Eamon McGill, who had addresses in Convoy and Strabane, was charged with causing €100 worth of damage to a fence outside Convoy. He also faces motoring offences.Judge Paul Kelly refused bail.McGill was remanded in custody to appear again at Harristown District Court on Friday.After the case a large crowd of people cheered Mr McGill as he was taken away by Gardaí.CONVOY MAN REMANDED IN CUSTODY CHARGED WITH CAUSING DAMAGE TO A GATE was last modified: October 8th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Turkeys feted rather than fried

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Our guests of honor will be these two turkeys rescued from the slaughterhouse,” Gentle Barn founder Ellie Laks-Callahan said. “They’re really cute and little right now, but they will be much bigger by Thanksgiving.” The two young birds, their upper beaks and talons clipped in the days when they were being fattened for dinner, are living the good life now on the six-acre farm along with goats, pigs, chickens, roosters, horses and cattle that Laks-Callahan uses to teach nonviolence. A side benefit is introducing people to a vegan lifestyle. “The vegan population in Santa Clarita is definitely growing,” said Tina Landrum, marketing manager for Whole Foods in Valencia. “We’ve had to grow the vegan section of the store and last year’s vegetarian Thanksgiving feast class completely sold out.” Landrum attributes some of the change to outreach programs such as those conducted by Animal Acres and Gentle Barn and increased discussions of the vegan lifestyle on television. “There is more education out there in terms of healthy eating lifestyles,” Landrum said. “When I give school tours, I’ve heard kids as young as 8 say they were vegetarians. I always ask them if they are doing it for health reasons or because they care about the animals. They always say it’s about the animals. “We’ve also seen a certain community of young professionals who are health-oriented looking for alternative protein sources that are not animal,” she said. “There are a lot of replacements so people can still have that feeling that they’re eating meat and not have to deal with the health issues.” Landrum said college students, people in the movie and music industries and those who have moved to the area from other regions are more in tune with alternative lifestyles and are creating the demand for more vegan fare. The menu at Gentle Barn will include Tofurky (made of tofu), potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, dressing, yams, collard greens, green bean almondine, green salad, cornbread, pumpkin and apple pies and vegan chocolate chip cookies. And because the 500 diners for the Thanksgiving feast won’t experience the post-dinner fatigue brought on by an overdose of tryptophan, hayrides and other activities, guests will be kept busy. Along with animal rescue, the Gentle Barn administers a violence prevention outreach program to at-risk youths from foster or group homes. Several of the boys who visit the barn during the school year will be attending to check on their furry and feathered friends. “All these boys come in looking like Mike Tyson,” Laks-Callahan said. “They’re so tough, so defensive, they don’t look us in the eye. By the end of the program, they turn into sweetie-pies and soften up.” Tickets for the Animal Acres Feeding the Turkey event are $35 per person (age 12 and up) and $25 per child (ages 3 through 11). Reservations for the event, scheduled from noon to 4 p.m., must be made by today either online at or by calling Bauston at (661) 269-0986. Animal Acres is at 5200 Escondido Canyon Road. Tickets for the Gentle Barn Thanksgiving event, planned from 1 to 6 p.m., are $100 per person (age 17 and over) and may be made online at or by calling (661) 252-2440. Directions to the Gentle Barn will be sent to those making reservations; deadline for reservations is Friday. Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ACTON – The turkeys at Animal Acres in Acton love being the center of attention – even as Thanksgiving rolls around. Rather than meeting the cook’s cleaver, the trotting turkeys will be guests of honor Saturday at a vegan feast, the first at the new facility, and a sign of a growing movement. In fact, feeding the turkeys that live on the pastoral farm is among activities planned, along with tours and the feast, said Lorri Bauston, executive director of Animal Acres. In Canyon Country, the sixth annual Vegan Thanksgiving will be held on Nov. 24 at Gentle Barn, another shelter for animals normally found on a farm. last_img read more

Reshaping reportage on Africa

first_imgJournalists in newsrooms and editorial offices all over Africa, and abroad, will benefit from the proposed syllabus. (Image: Wikimedia) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jaco du ToitUnesco Southern Africa +264 61 291 7221 • Prof Fackson BandaSchool of Journalism and Media Studies+27 46 603 7156 or +27 78 208 7529RELATED ARTICLES • Boosting African journalism • Press freedom on Sanef agenda • Unesco, AU to boost journalism • SA celebrates media freedomJanine ErasmusSouth Africa’s Rhodes University, in the Eastern Cape province, and Unesco are in the process of developing a syllabus for better reporting on Africa.The two organisations have a common goal of ensuring top-quality journalism education and training on the continent, which will result in equally high-calibre reportage. A crucial step towards achieving this is to provide media learning institutions with the capacity to deliver good journalists.The university’s SAB-Unesco Chair of Media and Democracy, Prof Fackson Banda, is at the helm and is working closely with Unesco’s regional office, based in Windhoek, Namibia.Zambian-born Banda specialises in new media, media policy and sustainability, and political communication. He is a frequently published, award-winning author and lecturer who obtained his PhD from the University of South Africa, as well as an MA degree from the University of Leicester in the UK, and a BA degree in Mass Communication from the University of Zambia.Online discussionUnesco and Rhodes’ School of Journalism and Media Studies have opened up an online discussion that, they hope, will attract the necessary expert opinion to enhance the proposed syllabus.The syllabus will be based on Unesco’s model curricula for journalism education, which is a generic model that any country can adapt and use for its own specific needs.This model took four Unesco journalism experts two years to develop, with extensive input from experienced journalism teachers in developing nations, and is aimed at both undergraduates and post-graduates. It was finally presented at the World Journalism Education Congress in Singapore in 2007.To date, 16 groups have joined the online discussion, including the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Namibia University’s Department of Media Studies, and journalism departments from the Tshwane University of Technology, Stellenbosch University, and the Walter Sisulu University.Consultation and input at all stages of development from experts and relevant bodies, such as African Journalism Schools and the World Journalism Education Congress, will ensure a practical, easily accessible syllabus.African journalism experts and practitioners are encouraged to have their say during the development stages, thus applying their experiences to the development of a convincing style of African journalism, which also presents the continent to the world as an attractive and interesting subject.Interested parties may register on the African Journalism Schools website.Unesco, through its ongoing collaboration with Rhodes to promote excellence in African journalism, will seek insights from its already-established centres of excellence and potential centres of excellence. These were identified during a continent-wide investigation in 2009.Expert participationThe success of the project rests on two facets – research and development, and presentation and distribution.A small team of pan-African experts will undertake the former, drawing up a framework for the syllabus, as well as researching specific subjects, and later gathering more expert input.The latter aspect is to take place during panel discussions at the second World Journalism Education Congress, which sits from 5-7 July 2010 in Grahamstown, where Rhodes University is based.Distinguished experts already confirmed for the panel include communications specialist Prof Alfred Opubor from Benin; Prof Ralph Akinfeleye from the Department of Mass Communications at Lagos University, Nigeria; and Prof Kwame Karikari, executive director of the Ghana-based Media Foundation for West Africa.Accurate reportingReporters, especially those from overseas, at times struggle with compiling accurate, wholly representative news and features from the continent. Even African journalists are not immune to misrepresentation, but often they are just conforming to the models already established by foreign media.Not only should any reporting reflect Africa’s immense cultural diversity, it should also be relevant and sophisticated enough to appeal to a global audience. Basic journalism practices and media theory must entrench this thinking to avoid formulaic reporting.“Such a project promises to open up new possibilities for negotiating how foreign – especially Western – journalists could possibly see the continent afresh,” stated the project’s introductory document.“The same applies, albeit with some differences, to African journalists. But the process of leading up to such a reconfiguration of journalistic attitudes and behaviours must be driven by Africans themselves as a way of subverting the imperial, unidirectional gaze under which Africa has been seen and reported in the West, and possibly elsewhere in the world.”By positively influencing the way Africa is portrayed in the media, said the document, Africans will regain the intellectual ground they have lost over many years.last_img read more

Dry fields in west central Ohio causing early issues in corn

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest DuPont Pioneer Field Agronomist Kyle Poling covers the west central part of Ohio and parts of his area have been drier than normal as the growing season begins. Poling has come across some fertilizer burn on young corn plants as a results. He gives the Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins the details on what to look for as you evaluate early corn stands and how checking those fields can help evaluate planter performance as well in this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report.last_img

J&K politics: I had the numbers, says Sajad Lone

first_imgSajad Lone of the Peoples Conference (PC) said here on Friday that his party was caught unawares by the coming together of the National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress. Their sole aim was to stall the “PC from forming a government in J&K”.“We continue to have the requisite numbers [for government formation]. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti did not have the support of a majority of former PDP legislators. This contemptuous presumption that elected leaders are cattle and can be herded is ridiculous. I am ready to prove it on the floor of the Assembly,” Mr. Lone said.However, Mr. Lone said, he respected Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the Assembly. He dared Ms. Mufti to challenge the dissolution in court. Mr. Lone on Wednesday evening staked claim to form a government with the BJP’s support. He claimed to have the backing of 18 MLAs from other parties. The PDP had also claimed the support of 56 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly.Denying reports of any horse trading, Mr. Lone said money was with those people and leaders who ruled the J&K in the past. “Where will I raise money to do horse trading,” he asked. He said the PDP was not serious about forming a government. “The party was lying. Even the letter shot off to Mr. Malik was not written to stake claim for forming a government,” he said. ‘Blatant lie’“The claim that the alliance of NC, PDP and Congress was formed to protect Article 35A and Article 370 was also a blatant lie. The Congress eroded the special status 95 times and made amendments at least 52 times,” he said.Describing Article 35A and Article 370 as “sacred for the people of J&K”, Mr. Lone said his party would reach out to the people and contest the next elections. “The PC has emerged as an alternative to the traditional politics of exploitation and misrule practised by the twin-family political monopoly that has used blackmail and expedient ideological ambiguity to deprive J&K of peace and prosperity. What I speak in Delhi is what I will say in Srinagar,” he said.On the BJP alliance, Mr. Lone said it was no sin as both Ms. Mufti and Mr. Abdullah had allied with it in the past.As for BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav’s remarks against Pakistan being behind the NC-PDP-Congress alliance, which he later backtracked on, Mr. Lone said, “I would not be surprised if the accusation proves true.”Mr. Lone was joined by former PDP legislator Imran Ansari, who joined the party. “There is a queue to join us. You will see more faces joining us soon,” Mr. Ansari said.last_img read more