Van Gaal defiant as criticism mounts

first_imgMANCHESTER, England (AP)If Manchester United went on the attack in games as much as its manager does in news conferences, England’s biggest team may not be in such a rut.Yesterday, a defiant Louis van Gaal criticised sections of the British media who reported this week he had offered to resign in the wake of United’s latest poor result a 1-0 home loss to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.”I think it’s awful and horrible,” said Van Gaal, who walked out of a news conference last month. “It’s the third time I’ve been sacked and I’m still sitting here.”Lose to second-tier Derby in the FA Cup today and even Van Gaal acknowledges the scrutiny could be too much to take.The Dutchman said yesterday that he hadn’t offered to quit and the support of Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, was “fantastic.””It gives you a lot of pressure because when the board has such confidence in you, the pressure is much higher than when they say it’s your last game,” Van Gaal said. “Then the confidence is not so high.”United may be playing Derby just at the right time. They have won only one of their last six games in the FA Cup third round and have dropped off the top of the League Championship.Derby is managed by Paul Clement, the former assistant manager at Real Madrid where he worked under Carlo Ancelotti. Clement said he might speak to Ancelotti before today’s game at Pride Park.”I am not sure it will quite be a giant-killing if we get a good result,” Clement said. “It is a challenge we are really looking forward to, up against a team that is not in great form.”last_img read more

Thorough investigation needed into Citizenship Dept

first_imgDear Editor,The alacrity with which the Department of Citizenship has responded to revelations of incorrect and therefore fraudulent notices of application for naturalisation as Guyanese citizens is surprising. Anyone who has had any dealing or transaction with any Government agency in our country knows of the sloth; it is legendary, a bureaucratic labyrinth from which it is painful to extract information and answers for any purpose.The responses are themselves informative for what they say, as well as what is left out. “The Ministry would like to make it pellucid that all of the processes that the Department of Citizenship applies to applications for citizenship are enshrined in the Laws of Guyana – the Guyana Citizenship Act 1401”, and Minister Felix “requires the applicant for naturalisation to publish their applications for naturalisation in one of the daily newspapers. The department has nothing to do with what appears in the newspapers. If an error occurs in the publication, that is a problem for the newspapers and the applicant. They have to sort that out and clear up any error that may have occurred.”The statement by the Minister of Citizenship seems to be at odds with that of his ministry, for the laws are clear with whom the responsibility for false statements lies, and what the penalties are:Laws of Guyana Cap 14.01Evidence: 13. (1) Every document purporting to be a notice, certificate, order or declaration, or an entry in a register or a subscription of an oath of allegiance, given, granted or made under this Act or under Chapter IV of the Constitution shall be received in evidence and shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been given, granted or made on behalf of the person by whom or on whose behalf it has been given, granted or been made.Offences: 14. (1) Any person who for the purpose of procuring anything to be done or not done under this Act or Chapter IV of the Constitution makes any statement to be false in a material particular, or recklessly makes a statement which is false in a material particular shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than twenty five thousand dollars nor more than fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment for six months.Editor, was there an inquiry at the Department of Citizenship into the instances provided by the Leader of the Opposition? Did anyone pull these files and engage in close scrutiny of all documents provided? Was a biometric cross scan run to confirm no duplicity exists? From the Chronicle, answers, or should I say excuses, were quickly provided by the General Manager of the Guyana National Newspapers Limited, who blamed a ‘computer glitch’ for these ‘errors’. Given the glibness emanating from both entities, I would ask that an official Police investigation be launched into this affair. An inquiry not limited to the false notices, but to ascertain if indeed any effort was made at either entity to seek the truth.In numerous years of using computers, I am yet to experience any of these fabled ‘glitches’, and I would ask who conducted this inquiry at the Department of Citizenship, and if there was a written report submitted. Computer systems have logs built into the software; surely we can access those and see what exactly caused these ‘glitches’, and also if there has been any access of these files in the Citizenship Department.Given the concerns raised by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo about the digitisation of records and the ease with which excuses of ‘computer error’ are offered and accepted, a thorough investigation is of national importance.Yours truly,Vickram BharratMember ofParliamentlast_img read more

Contractor says works were done “within specification”, prepared to “fix defects”

first_imgFaulty 8M Kato Secondary School– Patterson says project was “poorly executed”Following numerous reports and evidence of shoddy work done on the Kato Secondary School project, the contracting company, Kares Engineering Inc has spoken out, saying that no complaint of substandard work was made when the building was completed and handed over to Government.The school, which was built at a cost of $728.1 million, has jarring evidence of poor construction. During a media tour on Wednesday at the school in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), it was seen that the walls and flooring were cracked, termites had infected the wood, and cheap materials were used to build rooms.According to Kares Engineering, in a lengthy statement on Thursday, the school was built to rigid specifications set out by the Government of Guyana and the project was completed within budget, accepted and received by Government without complaints.The company noted that the controversy over the past weeks has “taken a deliberate, in our opinion, political slant and we, as an engineering firm, want to clarify the engineering issues without delving into the political nuances”.The company clarified that it never received $1 billion as is being claimed and, in fact, it was owed $66 million. It was noted that the original cost of the project was $728 million, but only $662 million was paid over to the contractor.According to Kares, the building meets and in many cases, exceeds the contract specifications, which were accepted by the supervising consultant. It noted too that all specifications and changes in the design or materials were made by Government.“Kares Engineering made no independent decision to change or alter any specification. Kares Engineering is confident that the school will pass a compression strength test, the standard for concrete testing. The company is disputing the conflicting Schmidt Hammer readings, both the Public Infrastructure Ministry and the independent contracting firm results show vastly conflicting readings with differences as high as 2920 PSI. The company added that it passed 22 of 24 structural tests conducted by the Ministry and it was after this that an “independent” test was ordered.Moreover, Kares further outlined that the building was still under warranty for termite treatment and would be so for five years from the date of the contract completion.Furthermore, the company stated that Government has never officially notified or requested the engineering firm to correct any works.“To date Kares Engineering is not in receipt of a complaint or request for corrective works. The defects liability period was left to expire, without request for correction. The building was under warranty and corrections could have been made. The Government requested none. There are no structural cracks in the building. The building has a few cracks, which is common to concrete structures and could have been corrected under the defects liability period. This was never requested,” the company maintained.During the visit on Wednesday, residents in the area had complained that they were promised a wage of $7000 per day, but were only paid $2500 per day, of which $1200 was deducted each day for meals. However, the company denied this, saying that $9000 was higher than wages paid to similarly unskilled workers in Georgetown.Nevertheless, Kares Engineering said, like everyone else, it wanted to ensure that the children of Kato got to use the much-needed school, noting that the delays was also holding up the hydropower project promised to the Region through European Union funding.“Our company always has our client’s best interest in mind; as a result, we propose … to remedy any issue,” the release outlined.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has placed the extremely defective Kato Secondary School high on the agenda for projects to be completed, and it could cost the Government another $140 million to fix.Patterson told the National Assembly on Thursday that both the contractor and the consultant defended themselves, claiming that they were pressured by members of the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration to complete constructions by the 2015 General Elections. He made this statement during his presentation of the Technical Audit Report on the Kato School by Rodrigues Architects Ltd.Managing Director of Rodrigues Architects Ltd, Albert Rodrigues had stated that the project was flawed from the design phase.Stating the works were substandard, Patterson indicated that 50 per cent of the concrete testing failed. Nevertheless, he noted that the Ministry remained committed to correcting the deficiencies and would ensure that when an audit into the repair project commenced, it would be laid before the Parliament for scrutiny.The school, which was constructed to house 400 students, has been deemed unsafe and it has been advised that it should not be opened for the new school term in September. According to Rodrigues, it would take six months to fix the defects.However, Kares Engineering says it remains committed to the project and “is prepared to meet with the Government of Guyana to discuss issues with the building and how they can be resolved”.According to the company’s statement, “Kares Engineering is prepared to fix defects which should have been identified under the defects liability period and to remedy those that are applicable despite the fact that the liability period has expired.” Kato Toshao Clifton Pereira has stated that the residents were anxious for the school’s opening since the Paramakatoi Secondary School was severely overcrowded. He indicated that students were being forced to attend schools as far away as Sand Creek, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo)last_img read more

Exams Division urges students to query ungraded CSEC results

first_imgStudents who would have written the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations this year are asked to query the results which were marked as ungraded, or any other issues which they might be skeptical about.This advice was given by Assistant Superintendent of Examinations, Dawn Griffith, who told media operatives that an investigation can be carried out if students were marked as ‘ungraded’.This comes in light of the fact that one of the top students at this year’s examination, from Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice), was given a similar label to her Spanish subject area even after she would’ve reportedly submitted an SBA (School Based Assessment) and sat the examination.For this, Griffith explained, “Ungraded means that either the child did not submit an SBA or the child was opting for a particular part of the paper. You have paper one and two. They probably would’ve written one part of the paper and not the other one, but we do have persons that would come in and query, as in the school.”She noted that private candidates can probe a query by visiting the Examinations Division in the Queen’s College Compound, at the junction of Camp Street and Thomas Lands. However, students from the public schools can do so at their respective schools.“If it was done privately, they come directly to us, and if it’s a (public) school candidate, they go straight to the school, who would in turn prepare a letter and we will send that to CXC, who will investigate,” the Assistant Superintendent informed.As of Friday, only one person reportedly requested an investigation into their grades, but Griffith is cognisant that more will be coming in the coming weeks. She related candidates should pay attention to the slip which they would’ve collected to verify which component of the examination was lacking.“Another thing that we tell the candidates is when they receive their exam slip or when they check online, there’s a little asterisk at the bottom which says if it was an SBA or whether its paper component.If its paper component, they need to return to us the receipt that the supervisor would’ve returned to them at the end of the examination.”This year saw a reduced number of persons writing the examinations, with some 12,266 candidates being registered to sit the examinations when compared to 12,684 candidates in 2017. The top student this year, Christian Pile of Queen’s College, secured 19 Grade Ones.last_img read more

Draft Mining Policy recommends: Govt seek consensus with parliamentary Opposition

first_img– increased Police, military presence in hinterland– tax waivers for green mining technology; assistance for minersBy Jarryl BryanThe draft National Mining Policy has been released, and with it, a plethora of recommendations, including a crucial one that urges Government to seek a consensus with the parliamentary Opposition on the policy, to insulate it from the effects of a possible change of Government.The 134-page document was compiled by University of Guyana Lecturer Sherwood Lowe and former Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Commissioners William Woolford and Karen Livan. Under the implementation risk assessment section, it stated that a change of Government is identified as one of the political risks, as well as Cabinet reshuffle and changes in national priorities.To mitigate these risks, the document urges the Government to pursue “multi-party parliamentary endorsement of policies; full Cabinet endorsement; full public disclosure and long-term strategic planning.”As the document has been made available to the public by the Natural Resources Ministry, at least one of these recommendations has been followed. It is unclear whether the parliamentary Opposition has been approached regarding the policy.According to the policy, these include financial, institutional, market, compliance, geological and security risks. Under compliance, the policy advises that miners be exposed to targeted education and encouragement.While it was recommended that stakeholders and the community become more involved in compliance management, the policy also urges stricter enforcement of laws in a sector that was once described as a ‘Wild West.’Noting that there are security risks posed by Trafficking in Persons (TIP), mining operators raiding neighbouring camps and stealing gold through intimidation and violent crime, the policy recommended increased Police and military attention and operations in mining areas. In addition, the policy speaks to using residents in communities as the “eyes and ears” on the ground for the authorities.When it comes to financial risks, the policy recommends that long-term budget planning and prioritisation of goals and actions are done to prevent budgets for work plans being unavailable or only partly approved by the GGMC or the Ministry.In terms of the institutional risk, it called for capacity building at the GGMC that included the use of external staff; including retirees, Private Sector and sister organisations. It was also advised that an interagency committee be set up to help coordinate decision-making that would include border security, health and law enforcement. To keep track of these initiatives, the policy advocates the use of monitoring and progress reports.Lastly, the policy recommended that continuous and systematic regional exploration and mineral resource assessments be carried out by the GGMC. It was noted that uncertainties about the existence and exploitability of undiscovered mineral resources are geological risks.RecommendationsOne recommendation that the policy document speaks of is introducing a scheme to provide assistance to miners in order to increase mechanisation. It also advises that tax waivers for green mining technology be expanded, in addition to the reach and resources of the Guyana Mining School.“Amend mining regulations to favour specification of equipment and process over mere performance standards,” the report states, adding that efforts should be made to “continue research on gold mining recovery options.”The document adds that Government should “make tax concessions on fuel, spares, machinery and equipment predictable and more attuned to the various classes of Small and medium-scale (SMS) miners. Build sealed roads based on a priority list for coastal hinterland activity. Build feeder roads for internal access to new mining grounds.”Right of appealThe report also makes a crucial recommendation that changes should be made to the process used by miners to appeal GGMC decisions. It notes that given the connections between the GGMC and the Minister, this may pose problems.“The Ministry, for example, has staff on GGMC’s Board and committees. Appeals should best be made to an independent agency, such as the proposed Inspector General for the GGMC,” the policy states.Giving its rationale for such an office, the policy observes that the support of an independent Inspector General (IG) can help the Geology and Mines Commission improve its responsiveness to the public and stakeholders. It also listed some proposed functions, including conducting and supervising audits and investigations relating to GGMC.Some specific functions, according to the policy, would also include receiving and investigating complaints from miners and general public against the GGMC. It warns that the office be kept spate and insulated.“The IG office shall be independent of and external to the GGMC and [Ministry of Natural Resources] MNR. It shall be empowered to prepare its own annual budget, which will be a direct charge on the Consolidated Fund, set its own internal rules and procedures and be answerable to the National Assembly,” the policy advises.last_img read more

Incredible last minute equaliser by goalkeeper you won’t believe

first_imgRene Higuita’s scorpion kick is perhaps one of the most iconic moments in football, but it could be challenged by a part-time goalkeeper from a small town near Zaragoza.With his side trailing in the final minutes, Sarinena’s goalkeeper came up and pulled off a simply unbelievable equaliser to draw 3-3 with SD Borja in Spain’s Tercera regional league.The result has moved Sarinena up to fifth in the table, just four points off of top spot.last_img

OFFICIAL DONEGAL INTERNATIONAL RALLY CAMPSITE CAN NOW BE BOOKED ONLINE

first_imgWITH every bed in Donegal for the International Rally in two weeks’ time already booked, the official rally campsite has launched an online booking system.O’Donnell Park in Letterkenny – home of St Eunan’s GAA club – will be hosting hundreds of rally fans over the weekend from June 17 to June 19.With showers and many other facilities available – including the club house – it has proven to be hugely popular with fans all over Ireland. Many rally fans have been using the online booking system, said a rally spokesman.“Every hotel and B&B was booked out weeks ago. Many fans book a year in advance and we are delighted St Eunan’s has opened up their superb facilities for fans this year,” he said.“There’s loads of room; there are superb facilities available and there will be security throughout the weekend at O’Donnell Park so fans can enjoy the rally weekend in confidence.”The club is also offering two nights for the price of three. It is €25 for per person for one night or €50 for three nights. A two-night stay is also discounted to €40 (or €20 per night per person) Fans can book their pitch online here:https://www.klubfunder.com/Clubs/St_EunansFans can also book by phone on the numbers on the poster.  OFFICIAL DONEGAL INTERNATIONAL RALLY CAMPSITE CAN NOW BE BOOKED ONLINE was last modified: June 3rd, 2016 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) Tags:campO’Donnell Parkofficial camp siterallySt Eunan’s GAA clublast_img read more

Finn Valley AC perform superbly at Ulster Novice event – Pic special

first_imgATHLETICS: A good days cross country with the mix of solid running and muck and the odd shower thrown in just in case newcomers to the sport would think this is easy.It’s far from easy in a championship cross country race and full marks to Finn Valley men in the Ulster novice Sunday on home ground who actually made it look kinda easy as the pushed for individual and team victory a victory that had eluded them in 2015 as they lost out to Belfast quartet Malachys by a point.There was going to be no mistake this time round. DermotMc Elchar and Ramelton lad Mark Mc Paul whose mentor is Pat Hegarty many times county and Ulster champ vied for the top spot and in the end the latter got there with the support of John Mc Enhill and James Mc Fadden closing in a top 6 spot it was all over great excitement from large support group with Derry TC second team and Letterkenny thirdThere was a battling performance by the Valley women scoring Natasha Kelly ,Margaret Reid and Carmel McBride women of bronze in the end as a deserved team victory went to Letterkenny with Derry 2nd.Earlier in the day u 13 girls led by Sarah Bradley won the provincial u 13 team title and the u 11 girls just missing out on the gold by 3 pts.Other good performances Karen Gallagher, Oisin Toye ,the u 17 boys and u 11 boys ,Organisation first class so take a bow all the support crew there. Next up the Donegal senior and underage relays back at Valley and of course the Remembrance 10k Nov.20th again Finn Valley. Finn Valley AC perform superbly at Ulster Novice event – Pic special was last modified: November 8th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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

Bournemouth believed to have beaten Dortmund to LaLiga defender

first_img Diego Rico, centre, is closing in on a move to Bournemouth 2 Bournemouth appear to have beaten off competition from Borussia Dortmund for Leganes left-back Diego Rico.The Bundesliga giants are said to have made a late bid to sign the 25-year-old, who is now due in the UK in the next 24 hours to go undergo a medical and is expected to sign a four-year deal with the Cherries. Jefferson Lerma was part of the Colombia side beaten by England on penalties at the 2018 World Cup The 23-year-old midfielder played for Colombia against England at the World Cup and would add some bite in the centre of the park.But Bournemouth still have some way to go to convince Levante to sell.The Spanish outfit deem their man to be worth around £30million – around £10m more than the Cherries’ valuation. 2 According to SunSport, Bournemouth have agreed a fee of £10.7million despite the player being offered better financial terms to play in Germany.Rico’s preference, though, is to play for Eddie Howe and come to the Premier League.It is a major boost to the club, who have only added David Brooks from Sheffield United to their ranks so far this summer.Rico, who joined Leganes from Zaragoza in August 2016 for less than £1m, will compete with long-serving full-back Charlie Daniels down the left flank.Howe hopes to follow up his signing of Rico with a move for Levante ace Jefferson Lerma.last_img read more

Liverpool and Everton target ‘hoped for Arsenal bid’

first_imgYerry Mina has been hoping Arsenal make a bid for him amid interest from Premier League trio Everton, Liverpool and Wolves.Mina, the centre-back, is expected to leave Barcelona this summer as the LaLiga champions look to free up one of the non-EU spots in Ernesto Valverde’s squad. Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland 2 Everton and Liverpool have been long-term admirers of the Colombia international, who scored three goals at the recent World Cup. However, Mina himself has wanted Arsenal to bid for him, according to Tuttomercatoweb.The report states that Premier League new boys Wolves have made an offer for Mina that could total £18million (€20m), and they are at the forefront to sign the 23-year-old as Arsenal have not made an approach. LIVING THE DREAM Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star LATEST Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing REVEALED Mina has only made five appearances since signing for Barca in January Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ three-way race Yerry Mina has been linked with a move away from Barcelona targets Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father 2 Latest transfer news moving on IN DEMAND targets Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer RANKED Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? TOP WORK The Gunners have not been linked with Mina this summer, and the club’s new manager Unai Emery appears happy with his defence, having completed the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, from Borussia Dortmund, earlier this month.last_img read more