Retreat, Extraordinary Session at Hand on Capitol Hill

first_imgThe Senate leadership in collaboration with the 15-man Special Committee temporarily responsible for managing the House of Representatives during the constitutional annual break, has planned to hold a three-day legislative retreat.Sources told the Daily Observer that the retreat will either be held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, or Ganta, Nimba County, from October 28 to 30.The purpose of the retreat is to reconcile members of the House of Representatives, discuss prospects, including the strategy for re-election, among others.This will be the second retreat to be held by the House of Representatives since its inaugural retreat held in Gbarnga, Bong County, in 2012. During that retreat, Montserrado County District #11 Rep. Moses Tandanpolie met his untimely death.House Procurement Director Eugene Collins has suggested that a topic on “Conflict Transformation” – the prevention and management of conflict – should be included in the discussions, arguing that disunity is hurting the Legislature.He stated that “Conflict Transformation” can tackle approaching conflicts. Meanwhile, the Daily Observer has also gathered that there will be an extension of the second extraordinary session of (the 5th session) of the 53rd Legislature.Reports said the extraordinary session would run for ‘two weeks,’ from Tuesday, Nov. 1 to 17.The extraordinary session is intended to allow members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass landmark bills, including the Land Rights Act, the Local Governance Act, the Affirmative Action Bill for Equal Participation and Representation of Women inPolitics, the Youth and Persons living with Disabilities Act, among others.When contacted, the newly appointed Press Attaché to the Speaker, Mr. Philip G. Moore, admitted that there is a plan for a legislative retreat, but said the details are yet to be discussed by the leadership. He could neither confirm nor deny that there will be an extraordinary session.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ramjattan boasts AFC played integral role in closing sugar estates

first_imgLeader of the Alliance For Change (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan has admitted that his party played an integral role in the decision to close sugar estates across the country – a move which affected thousands of Guyanese and which was widely criticised by stakeholders.AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan“When the sugar sector decision was made to close estates and factories and merge some of them, it was primarily the AFC who was a big part of that decision,” Ramjattan said during a Globespan 24×7 programme on Wednesday.“Myself, Mr [Prime Minister Moses] Nagamootoo, and a whole host of other AFC members were part of that decision,” the AFC Leader declared.He was at the time responding to a question posed by the moderator, who asked why the AFC has not represented the thousands of workers – where the party’s support base lies – who were negatively affected when the estates were closed.But according to Ramjattan, “nobody was disenfranchised.” He contended that an “economic decision” had to be made for the sugar sector.“So, it was not a PNC decision that we were forced to accept,” Ramjattan contended.The Rose Hall EstateIn 2016, the Government announced the closure of the first sugar estate located at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD).The move was made despite the fact that Government spent millions of dollars to hold a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) which recommended that there be no closure of the sugar estates.Estates at Enmore, Skeldon and Rose Hall were subsequently shut down – triggering widespread controversy.More than 10,000 persons have been directly and indirectly affected by the closure of these estates.Nearly 4000 workers from Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon were dismissed in late 2017, and over 1000 were dismissed from Wales in the previous year.Cottage industries that were once thriving in some of the communities in close proximity to the estates are now dying as spending power has been significantly diminished among the local populace.Retrenched workers, most of whom were breadwinners of their families, are still struggling to find a steady job – despite several piecemeal initiatives rolled out by the Government.Despite calls by stakeholders, the Government refused to conduct a socioeconomic study before closing the estates.In fact, an executive member of the Working Peoples Alliance (WPA) – a member of the coalition Government – had blasted the APNU/AFC for not conducting social impact assessments before making such a decision.“I think that when you are making decisions to lay off so many people, you have to think about the impact of families and on communities; and I think the decision makers did not put enough thought into that impact, and we are clearly seeing that here,” Hinds had expressed during an event at Patentia – a community neighbouring Wales.The rippling effects of the closure of the sugar estates can be seen in those communities, especially in the commercial districts where activities have practically been ground to a halt.Market areas which were once bustling are now almost isolated.In some cases, families face a daily struggle in finding a way to send their children to school.Government had eventually arranged a $30 billion bond, guaranteed by the State and National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) assets, to recapitalise the sugar sector.But to date, little information is available on how the money was spent.last_img read more

Eco brings in Africa Oil for Guyana exploration

first_imgAfrica Oil Corp (AOC) has entered into a partnership with Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas for exploration in Guyana and Namibia.Under the terms of an investment agreement, AOC has agreed to acquire a 19.77 per cent shareholding in Eco through the purchase, by way of private placement, of 29.2 million common shares at CAD>Africa Oil Corp (AOC) has entered into a partnership with Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas for exploration in Guyana and Namibia.Under the terms of an investment agreement, AOC has agreed to acquire a 19.77 per cent shareholding in Eco through the purchase, by way of private placement, of 29.2 million common shares at CAD$0.48 per share for a total consideration of CAD$14 million.<.48 per share for a total consideration of CAD million.The investment agreement also provides the company with the right to participate in any future Eco equity issuances, on a pro rata basis, and to appoint one nominee to Eco’s Board of Directors. AOC President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Keith Hill will join the Eco Board of Directors as soon as practicable.As part of the investment agreement, the parties have also entered into a Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA), whereby they will jointly pursue new exploration projects. Pursuant to the terms of the SAA, AOC will be entitled to bid jointly on any new assets or ventures proposed to be acquired by Eco.A statement issued on Monday said this would be done on the same terms as Eco and for an interest at least equal to the company’s percentage holding of the common shares in Eco from time to time. Additionally, under the terms of the SAA, AOC will also have a right of first offer on the farm-out of exploration properties currently held by Eco.Eco has been able to assemble an extensive exploration portfolio in two countries that are at the forefront of exploration, including one block in Guyana and four blocks in Namibia.In Guyana, ECO holds a block directly up dip from the Stabroek Block which holds Exxon estimates resources of 2.5 billion to 2.8 billion oil-equivalent barrels, including the supergiant Liza field.The ECO block exhibits good evidence of slope fan prospects and is expected to be fully defined after processing and interpretation of the 2550 square-kilometre 3D seismic survey recently completed in September. Eco also recently announced it has entered into an option agreement for a farm-in by Total on this Guyana acreage.This new investment has been described as a complement to the company’s existing investment in Africa Energy Corp (AFE) in which the company holds a 28.5 per cent shareholding interest. AFE holds blocks in Namibia adjacent to the Eco acreage and a block offshore South Africa. Together, the two companies represent significant holdings in several of the most attractive exploration areas in the world.Eco CEO Gil Holzman described AOC as “a like-minded company with a similar philosophy” highlighting that the new shareholder and potential partner is focused on frontier regions and has “significant financial muscle” to deliver on its strategy.“We are funded for our forthcoming work programmes in both Guyana and Namibia through a series of agreements with Tullow Oil, AziNam, and Total and through these new agreements with AO, we now also have the capability, as well as an industry leading partner, to identify further assets and to accelerate the work programmes on them”.He added, “This is a very exciting and busy time for Eco and we look forward to working with the AOC team to identify new projects to add to our portfolio whilst progressing our current assets in Guyana and Namibia together with our existing industry leading partners.”last_img read more

Fort St John Flyers to start playoffs tonight in Grande Prairie

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Flyers will be starting their playoff series tonight as they visit the Grande Prairie Athletics.At the last game of the regular season, on January 31, the Flyers were in Grande Prairie to take on the Athletics.It was a pretty close game as the Flyers trailed one point behind the A’s throughout most of the night.- Advertisement -In the end, the Flyers fell short 5-4 to the Athletics.Flyers Head Coach, Andrew Leriger, says he’s got some guys that can make a commitment to the team for the playoffs in order to have a full bench.“It’s going to be a good one. Grande Prairie, obviously, has a pretty solid team but we’ve got some guys that are able to make some commitments and their bosses are letting them get off work a little bit so, hopefully, we can go in there with a full bench.”Advertisement The Flyers are heading off to Grande Prairie for game one of the playoff series. That game is tonight, February 5, with puck drop at 8:30 p.m. at the Coca-Cola Centre.You can see the full playoffs scheduled here.last_img read more

Dybala returns Juve to Serie A summit as Napoli held at Inter

first_imgGonzalo Higuain missed a first-half penalty, but Juve took another comfortable step towards a seventh consecutive league title.“After the drama of Wednesday night (against Tottenham), there was a risk that we might have gone into tonight’s match too relaxed, but instead we showed character and experience to seal all three points,” Dybala told Juventus’ website.“I’m happy to have helped the team with my goals. We’re putting pressure on our rivals and we keep moving forwards. It all depends on us now.”Napoli were looking to restore their one-point lead and bounce back after seeing a 10-match winning streak ended by last weekend’s 4-2 home defeat by Roma, but couldn’t find a way past top-four hopefuls Inter.In Turin, 24-year-old Dybala continued his excellent run of form by curling a magnificent free-kick into the top corner to give the hosts a 20th-minute lead.Higuain missed a chance to double the advantage before half-time as he saw his spot-kick kept out by Udinese goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri.But the deadly partnership of Higuain and Dybala, who have scored 42 goals between them in all competitions this season, combined again to finish off the match as a contest.The 30-year-old Higuain used his strength to hold off the Udinese defence before sliding in Dybala with a clever pass, and his compatriot did the rest to net his fourth goal in three matches.Dybala missed a great late chance to complete a hat-trick when he fired wide, but Juve, who host Atalanta in a rearranged match on Wednesday, were never in danger of failing to close out the win.– Napoli title hopes hit again –Maurizio Sarri saw his Napoli side fall adrift of Juventus in the title race © AFP / ALBERTO PIZZOLIInter had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes at San Siro later on Sunday, as Antonio Candreva’s shot flew narrowly wide for Luciano Spalletti’s hosts.The hosts continued to create the better chances early in the second half, but Milan Skriniar’s header bounced off the post.Napoli needed a win to really keep the pressure on Juventus at the top, but Lorenzo Insigne fired over after doing well to create space for a shot.The visitors dominated possession in the closing stages, but couldn’t break down Inter as their hopes of a first title since 1990 took another body blow.There were poignant scenes as Fiorentina edged out bottom side Benevento 1-0, with the match stopping in the 13th minute as players and fans paid tribute to their captain Davide Astori, who died suddenly at the age of 31 last weekend in his hotel room before a game at Udinese.Brazilian Vitor Hugo scored the only goal in the 25th minute, celebrating by making a salute towards a photo of Astori on the side of the pitch.Elsewhere, Andre Silva came off the bench to head in a dramatic winner as AC Milan bounced back from Thursday’s Europa League loss to Arsenal by edging to a 1-0 win at Genoa.The Portuguese international directed Suso’s cross into the bottom corner with only five seconds left of added time to draw Gennaro Gattuso’s men within six points of fourth-placed Lazio in the race for the Champions League.Ciro Immobile grabbed Lazio a 2-2 draw at Cagliari with a stunning equaliser in the fifth minute of injury time.The Italian international striker met Felipe Anderson’s cross with an outrageous backheeled lob to score his league-leading 24th goal of the campaign.The capital club twice came from behind to secure a draw, enough to stay one point ahead of Inter in the race for fourth.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Argentinian striker Paulo Dybala followed his winner against Spurs with a double against Udinese © AFP / Miguel MEDINAROME, Italy, Mar 11 – Paulo Dybala struck twice to send Juventus to the top of Serie A with a 2-0 victory over Udinese on Sunday, as title rivals Napoli were held to a goalless draw at Inter Milan.Argentinian Dybala followed his midweek Champions League winner over Tottenham with a match-clinching double, as Massimiliano Allegri’s men moved a point clear of Napoli with a game in hand.last_img read more

Drilling association forecasts almost no growth in 2020 oilpatch activity

first_imgCALGARY — The association that represents Canadian drilling companies is forecasting a minuscule improvement in drilling activity in 2020.The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors says it expects a total of nine more wells to be drilled next year, taking the total number to 4,905.The stand-pat forecast is more positive than one released two weeks ago by the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, which called for a 10 per cent drop in wells drilled next year to 4,500, down from 5,000 wells this year and 6,950 in 2018.- Advertisement -The CAODC says it expects the Canadian drilling rig fleet to continue to shrink, dropping by 48 from 545 to 497 drilling rigs, as the projected number of operating days increases slightly from this year. It estimates each working rig supports 145 direct and indirect jobs.In a statement, CAODC chief executive Mark Scholz says sentiment toward Canadian oil and gas is nearing all-time lows since the federal election which returned the Liberals to lead a minority government.He says the industry has lost an estimated $30 billion in foreign capital since 2017, leading to layoffs and the relocation of at least 29 high-performance drilling rigs, several service rigs and their crews to the United States to find work.Advertisement “It has been another extremely difficult year for our members,” said Scholz.“The attacks from foreign-funded, radical environmental groups and punitive policy measures from our own federal government have caused Canadian oil and gas families to suffer unnecessarily.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2019.The Canadian PressAdvertisementlast_img read more

Disaster costs $1 billion in just 1 county

first_imgECONOMY: “It’s a human tragedy,” but region is strong and will rebound, expert says. By Alex Veiga THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Losses from the devastating Southern California wildfires are pegged at $1 billion in San Diego County alone, and the tally will only go higher as other areas add up the costs to rebuild. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Still, while the impact is huge, experts say the region’s strong economy should make for a fairly quick rebound. “It’s a human tragedy, it’s not an economic tragedy,” said Stephen Levy, senior economist at the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. “It’s asset losses, it’s property damage, probably a lot less than what people have lost through foreclosures.” About 1,500 homes and more than 410,000 acres have been scorched across seven Southern California counties plagued by the wind-driven fires. Ron Lane, director of emergency services in San Diego County, the hardest hit area, said damage in that region alone has reached $1 billion. At least 1,200 homes had been destroyed in the county. Losses linked to the fires could climb even higher throughout Southern California if winter rainstorms send mud cascading down fire-ravaged hillsides into neighborhoods, said Kevin Klowden, managing economist for the Milken Institute. “Vegetation is going to have been basically wiped out on a number of hillsides,” he said. A big slice of the repair bill will go toward rebuilding downed power lines and roads, including a stretch of Interstate 15, the main highway from Southern California to Las Vegas. In addition, agricultural areas in San Diego have also been damaged, hurting avocado, citrus and grape crops. Economists are also eyeing disruptions to businesses and productivity, as nearly 500,000 people were evacuated and businesses were forced to close their doors temporarily. Popular tourist destinations, such as SeaWorld in San Diego and the Wild Animal Park in nearby Escondido were forced to shut down. Along with those temporary disruptions, the impact of nationally televised images and media accounts of Southern California ablaze will likely dampen tourism for some time, economists said. “Incidents like this will drive away a certain number of people,” Klowden said. Still, rebuilding homes and businesses with an influx of insurance and government aid should stimulate the lagging construction industry, which has lost 28,600 jobs in the past year amid the housing slump. The pace of that rebuilding could be slow compared with the region’s recovery after the 2003 firestorms that destroyed more then 3,600 homes and caused insured losses surpassing $2 billion. Jerry Nickelsburg, an economist and co-author of the quarterly UCLA Anderson Forecast, said calculating the losses will be an ongoing process. “We are going to enter into a period of rebuilding in all of these areas that have been destroyed, and I don’t think we really know what kind of value to put on that,” Nickelsburg said. But the economic pain might be short-lived, he said. “All in all, the fires occurred in more remote, residential areas,” Nickelsburg said. “It will have very little effect on the medium and long-term economic growth and economic health of the region.”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

Importance of eye testing highlighted during World Glaucoma Week

first_imgTo coincide with World Glaucoma Week, 12 – 18 March, the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) are highlighting the importance of regular eye tests in helping reduce preventable sight loss.Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes permanent and irreversible damage to the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain. But it is one of many conditions that can be picked up by an opticians and successfully treated if detected early.While generally symptomless during its early stages, it slowly destroys eyesight through raised pressure within the eyeball. The most common cause of the increase in pressure is when the fluid, called aqueous humour, is unable to drain away properly or too much is produced. Most people affected experience no discomfort, which means that significant and lasting damage can occur before they notice any difference. In fact, 40% of optic nerve damage can occur before it is possible to notice any loss of vision. Eddie Dolan store director at Specsavers Donegal said: ‘Because glaucoma is a painless disease and does not cause symptoms until it is quite advanced, early detection through regular and thorough eye examinations is the key to protecting your eyes. Left undetected, glaucoma can cause blindness. However, it is readily treatable and the condition can be controlled if diagnosed early.’‘As we age we are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma, which is also hereditary. During World Glaucoma Week we want to remind people that they should have an eye examination every two years, especially if they are aged over 40 or have a family history of glaucoma.’Chris White, CEO of NCBI says: ‘Early detection is vital in the fight against preventable sight loss. What’s shocking is that as much as 75% of blindness is preventable*. Many people fear losing their sight over their other senses but they don’t often take the steps necessary to protect their vision. Regular eye exams are a vital health check, as your optometrist may be able to see changes in your eye before you’ve noticed a change in your vision, when steps can be taken to try to prevent or halt any damage.’In Ireland eye examinations are free if you have been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you are at risk of glaucoma, or you have already been diagnosed with the condition. They are also free if you are aged 40 or over and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma. Importance of eye testing highlighted during World Glaucoma Week was last modified: March 4th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare 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) Tags:eye testingglaucomahealthworld glaucoma weeklast_img read more

Around Whittier

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA MIRADA Applications are now being accepted for the Summer 2006 Leaders in Training program.The program assigns teens ages 13 to 16 to work at a variety of youth recreation programs such as summer day camp, P.A.R.K. programs, sports programs and office work.The application deadline is June 12, and the program runs from July 5 to Aug. 12. Applications are available at the Family Services Center, 13710 La Mirada Blvd., on the lower level of the Resource Center in the Civic Center complex.For more information, call (562) 902-3155. Library fundraiser set for Thursday NORWALK – Tickets for the annual Night of a Thousand Stars fundraiser are on sale now.The event takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, featuring a silent auction, games and musical performances.Proceeds from the event will be donated to Norwalk libraries for library materials, books, programs and services.Tickets are $30 per person and only available for pre-sale. Tickets can be purchased now until Thursday at Norwalk Regional Library, 12350 Imperial Hwy.; Norwalk City Hall, 12700 Norwalk Blvd., Room 5; and Alondra Library, 11949 Alondra Blvd. For more information, call (562) 929-5735. Tutor training workshop slated SANTA FE SPRINGS – The Santa Fe Springs City Library Literacy Services will be conducting volunteer tutor training workshops from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, May 30 and June 1, at the library, 11700 Telegraph Road.The workshops are for adults interested in helping other English-speaking adults improve their reading and writing. For more information, call (562) 868-7738, Ext. 7819. Relay for Life at Whittier College WHITTIER – The Whittier Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society would honor cancer patients and survivors at opening ceremonies for the Walk Around the Clock event at 9 a.m. June 10 at the Whittier College track.Survivors are invited to attend a special breakfast and participate in the first lap, the Survivor Lap, of the 24-hour event, which raises money for cancer research and treatment.To register as a survivor, please call (562) 464-3360. Drug seminar set for Wednesday MONTEBELLO – Beverly Hospital will host a free community seminar to provide information about combining prescriptions and various over-the-counter medications.The event is from 10:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Wilkinson Senior Resource Center, 2019 Whittier Blvd. Participants are asked to bring their medications or a list of the medications they are taking for a personal evaluation. For reservations, call (323) 725-4333. Summer camp signups begin WHITTIER – Registration for the city’s annual summer day camp program begins at8 a.m. today at the Community Center, 7630 Washington Ave.The program, which runs June 26 to Sept. 1, is open to children ages 5 to 12. Space is limited, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration fees are $80 per child per week, or $720 pre-registration total for all 10 weeks. Payment must be made at time of registration. For more information, call (562) 464-3430, Ext. 434. From staff reportslast_img read more

DEAL CLOSE! Wayne Rooney on verge of completing free-transfer to Everton

first_img1 Everton are expected to confirm the free-transfer signing of Wayne Rooney by the end of the week, according to reports.As talkSPORT exclusively revealed on Monday, the Toffees are determined to land the 31-year-old this summer.Sources close to the Merseyside club believe it is ‘almost inevitable’ that Manchester United’s record goalscorer will wear the Blue jersey again.United will waive a fee and may also fund part of Rooney’s £13million wages.The deal is not understood to be connected to Romelu Lukaku’s potential transfer to Old Trafford and is expected to be finalised before the Red Devils depart for their pre-season tour of the United States on Sunday.Jose Mourinho’s decision to hand midfield veteran Michael Carrick the captaincy for next season provided the biggest hint yet that Rooney’s days at the club were numbered.Rooney began his career at Goodison Park before joining United for £27million in August 2004. Manchester United’s all-time leading goal scorer is set to return to Goodison Park last_img read more