first_imgDear Editor,The Natural Resources Ministry thanks Ms Melinda Janki for raising her very valid concerns in a Letter to the Editor entitled ‘Exxon’s environmental record does not bear scrutiny’ on March 8, 2017, and entitled ‘Not comfortable with the Minister’s assurance about oil spills’ in another section of the media on March 9.Guyana is committed to advancing its green agenda; hence the preservation of the environment is foremost among any concerns in consideration of any economic or infrastructural activity. As we embark on oil and gas exploration and production, these considerations take on a heightened relevance and it is for this reason that the Government is carefully and assiduously building the capacity of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and is working with private service providers who have expressed an interest in assisting with spill response. The Government expects to be as prepared as can be at the time of “first oil” in a few years ahead.While we recognise that there is no well, offshore or onshore, that is 100 per cent foolproof or spill-safe, we do not take lightly our obligation to ensure that we make our best effort at putting world class safeguards in place.It is encouraging to see that Ms Janki believes ExxonMobil and its partners Hess and Nexen “must be made to carry out this oil venture in compliance with the law, using the best available technology, and with systems designed to protect, not damage, the environment.” This is the mandate given to the operators both by contract and by legislation.We believe this is a standard that is achievable. It is for this reason that we are seeking the best knowledge on the subject of safety and environmental stewardship as we develop the sector.Guyana is currently building local capacity at various levels in terms of its response to a spill. While it is a fact that the operator is contractually obligated to be the first responder to a mishap, this in no way removes the obligation of the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana from taking all of the necessary measures to ensure that a national response can be triggered should the need arise.As mentioned by the letter writer, national and regional agencies comprise the local Civil Defence Commission and the regional Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) – these can and will be activated as needed.We also expect to have bilateral arrangements with the Governments of the United States of America and Trinidad and Tobago whose scope will include capacity building in spill response and operational support in the event of a mishap.Regarding Ms Janki’s concerns about the use of the oil funds for the preservation of the environment, we share her view and are working with the guidance of our overseas partners to craft a Sovereign Wealth Fund that will ensure that not only the environment benefits from the revenues garnered from oil, but also the people of Guyana for now and generations to come. Indeed, the Environmental Trust Fund established under the Environmental Protection Agency Act is expected to receive adequate deposits, from natural resources revenues, to be used to protect our precious biodiversity.Yours faithfully,N Johann Earlelast_img read more

first_imgNow that the vendors in front of Stabroek Market have been relocated to Hadfield and Lombard Streets, and the storm and fury has subsided, at least for the next three months when they are due to be evicted once again, it is hoped by then the administrations – both central and city – would have crafted a coherent policy to deal with the phenomenon. Vending, like poverty, to which it is evidently related, will always be with us.After the abolition of slavery, as Georgetown’s population ballooned with the influx of the newly freed mass of humanity from the sugar plantations, Guyana was one of the early countries to confront what is now a global challenge: how do the authorities deal with vending and vendors as the world becomes increasingly urbanised. The United Nations projects more than 60 per cent of all humanity will live in cities by 2030. In Guyana, most of the new arrivals had to scrounge for the available menial labour and those who could not even find employment there – especially women who depended on being domestics in the town, turned to the informal sector. In the case of Guyana, this was primarily vending.Even in the developed world, the financial sector and Information Technology are throwing large numbers of urban residents into the informal economy. In Guyana, Georgetown has never been able to provide adequate employment opportunities for its entire populace and vending continues into the present to provide succour for the poor and powerless. Studies confirm that street vending contributes to job creation, income generation, and distribution, and conveniently provides goods and services even to middle class persons adversely affected by the economic downturn. In this regard, street vending provides a viable alternative for subsistence living in urban areas, when formal employment as it is in Guyana is high. It also helps cut down crime, prostitution, and other antisocial activities.Vending is attractive because, like other activities in the informal sector, it is characterised by ease of entry and self-employment while admittedly generating fairly low levels of income.Despite a general belief that street vending will recede as economies develop and income rise, it is actually on the increase in many places and Guyana cannot wish it away. Numerous studies have shown that urban vendors represent a strata of entrepreneurial energy that if harnessed properly can provide employment opportunities to many of the poor and at the same time develop linkages with the formal economy.The authorities therefore cannot continue to use vendors and vending as political football. In consultation with the vendors, they must craft policies and regulations in addition to providing services, infrastructure facilities and institutional support programmes for them. One researcher enumerated some of the specific tasks that must be accomplished to address the following challenges: “Difficulty in finding secure spaces to sell; harassment, demands for bribes, evictions from selling places, arrest, and confiscation of goods by authorities, who often see street vendors as a nuisance or obstruction to other commerce and to traffic. Also lack of services and infrastructure, such as water, electricity, waste removal, latrines, shelter, storage space, and financial services.”But there are negative aspects of street vending that cannot be swept under the rug. As we know only too well in Guyana, street vendors are seen as creating congestion, undercutting formal businesses, by squatting on pavements or erecting structures, which are in violation of building codes and zoning regulations. When they squat on pavements they force crowds onto the streets and cause traffic hazards. Food vendors as especially noted for creating litter and garbage which can become health hazards.In the short-term, City Hall has to identify commercially viable free spaces to accommodate vendors permanently and declare a limit to their numbers by licences. They should be identified by official badges that bear their photographs. There should be training programmes for street vendors that focus on entrepreneurship and creativity in addition to micro-credit services from financial institutions.last_img read more

first_img0Shares0000LONDON, England, May 21 – Tens of thousands of Chelsea fans gave their team a hero’s welcome on Sunday as they made an open-top bus parade through their west London home after their Champions League win over Bayern Munich.Blue-clad fans lined the streets and roared their delight as the hero of Saturday’s victory, Didier Drogba, held the trophy aloft, flanked by captain John Terry, who was suspended for the final in Munich. The bus was emblazoned with a banner proclaiming ‘Champions of Europe’ and Drogba, who scored the decisive spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out, milked the cheers of the crowd.Fans cheered, hung from lampposts and sounded horns as the bus passed along the route.Midfielder Frank Lampard, who was the captain in the final, told the crowd: “We’ve been here a long time waiting to win this thing and it was the most amazing night of all of our careers.“And we’re just so pleased to come back here and celebrate with all our fans. You’ve been amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The best club in the world — easy.”It was the first time that Chelsea have won Europe’s biggest club prize and fulfilled the ambition of their oligarch owner Roman Abramovich, who has pumped hundreds of millions of pounds into the club.The Russian owner and interim manager Roberto di Matteo were onboard as the bus made its way through the streets of south-west London.Veteran Drogba, 34, could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge after a hugely successful eight-year stay, but he was met with chants of “we want you to stay” by grateful fans lining the route.The Ivory Coast striker responded by grabbing the microphone and leading them in a rendition of ‘We Are The Champions’.It was a double celebration for the night’s other hero, goalkeeper Petr Cech, who turned 30 on Sunday.The Czech shot-stopper, who saved two penalties during the encounter, was serenaded with a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’.Fans also indulged in the quirky ritual of throwing celery at the players; a tradition that began in the late 1980s when the club’s supporters started throwing sticks in the air wile chanting0Shares0000(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

first_imgThe committee is also recommending an improved monitoring program and the creation of an impact security fund in case restrictions have to be placed on the consumption of country foods such as fish.The committee gave its recommendations to Environment Minister Eddie Joyce. ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A new report is recommending the capping of wetlands and removal of soil to reduce toxic methylmercury from the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.The Independent Expert Advisory Committee, appointed by the province after protests at the Labrador site, seeks a number of initiatives aimed at limiting a spike of methylmercury in wild food sources such as fish and seals.Methylmercury is formed as vegetation rots under water, and the reservoir for Muskrat Falls would require flooding 41-square kilometres.- Advertisement -Nalcor Energy does not support the removal of soil, noting that SNC-Lavalin has estimated the cost at between $409 and $742 million, not including a contingency fund and other costs.The $12.7 billion project – which will also provide energy to Nova Scotia through the underwater Maritime Link – has almost doubled in cost with financing since it was approved five years ago.Full power is not expected until 2020, about two years behind schedule.Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgA narcotics detective, who asked not to be identified for fear of blowing his cover, said the house in the 17800 block of Baintree Avenue was “just a stone’s throw away from” a similar grow home in the 17800 block of Nearbank Drive. Detectives served a search warrant at that home in April. “They were starting to set this thing up,” the undercover detective said. “It was only running for a couple of months, but their plan was converting the whole house.” Detectives learned of the possible operation from an informant, Butao said. “This informant basically said that the location is a marijuana cultivation site,” Butao said. The undercover detective said that deputies from the narcotics bureau were conducting surveillance of the home in anticipation of getting a search warrant. “The two suspects were there when we arrived so we decided to go ahead and get a judge to sign the search warrant immediately,” the detective said. The warrant was served at 6p.m., Butao said. The house was set up like other similar operations. Several sophisticated growing procedures had been implemented. The farm used hydroponic watering system and artificial lighting to stimulate plant growth, authorities said The plants seized were in various stages of growth from tiny clones to several plants over 6 feet tall, the detective said. The home was sold in March for $636,006, according to the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office. It is described as having four bedrooms, two baths and encompassing about 2100 square feet. The home was built in 1968. The amount seized in the bust was significantly less than was taken in a Nearbank Drive raid on April 11. In that raid, detectives seized plants with a street value of $9.6 million, authorities said. The Nearbank Drive home was ultimately linked to a home and pot seizure in Rosemead, they said. frank.girardot@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2717 http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvcrime 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ROWLAND HEIGHTS – Deputies busted a pot house Thursday night seizing 381 plants and arresting two men in their 20s, authorities said. Officials withheld the men’s identification while they interrogated them at the sheriff’s Walnut Substation, officials said on Friday. The two were booked on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana for sale, stealing electricity, conspiracy and using a home to grow marijuana, said sheriff’s Deputy Oscar Butao. Both are apparently Chinese nationals using Los Angeles mailing addresses, authorities said. last_img read more

first_imgMetro officials are scheduled to roll out a 65-foot bus on the Orange Line today, launching a yearlong pilot program amid record ridership. The bus will operate on the San Fernando Valley busway and can accommodate 66 seated passengers – 16 percent more than the line’s current 60-foot-long buses. The bus is fueled by compressed natural gas and can carry 100 people sitting and standing. That’s about 16 more passengers than the traditional 60-foot buses can carry. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved more than $3 million for the program. Orange Line ridership reached a record high earlier this year with more than 23,000 daily boardings in March – a goal the 14-mile-long route was not expected to reach until 2020. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_img Filipe Luis Chelsea left-back Filipe Luis has snubbed an offer from Real Madrid as he attempts to complete a move to city rivals Atletico.According to Marca, Luis has told his agent, Jorge Mendes, that only a return to the Vincente Calderon will persuade him to leave Chelsea this summer.Luis did spend one season with Los Blancos in 2005/06 but only ever featured for the club’s second string side.A move back to Atletico does seem to be on the cards with the Brazilian apparently unsettled with life in London. 1last_img

first_imgWayne Rooney believes he and his Everton team-mates have to shoulder the collective responsibility of scoring goals this season.The 31-year-old drew a blank on his first appearance since re-signing for his boyhood club, and it took a deflected shot from left-back Leighton Baines to beat Slovakian side Ruzemberok 1-0 in the first leg of a third round Europa League qualifier.While it is still early in the season, Everton manager Ronald Koeman would have liked to have held a bigger advantage for next week’s second leg, but getting more goals into the side is going to take time.Romelu Lukakau’s departure to Manchester United for a potential world-record £90million deal means the club have lost a player who scored at least 20 goals a season for the last three years, with 25 alone coming in the Premier League last year.Wantaway midfielder Ross Barkley was the next highest scorer with just six, so there is an obvious need for the goals to be shared around to make up for the deficit.Koeman has brought in former Barcelona striker Sandro Ramirez after he scored 16 for Malaga last term, the same number registered by another new recruit Davy Klaassen for Ajax.He is also interested in signing Gylfi Sigurdsson, who scored 10 for Swansea last season, if the two clubs can agree after a bid of £45m was turned down earlier this monthRooney himself managed just eight in his final season at Manchester United but accepts he – and his team-mates – will have to improve.“I felt comfortable (against Ruzemberok). I am ready to go,” the England international told evertonfc.com.“It is a new challenge for me and I want to help us be more successful. Hopefully I can help contribute to the team.“It would be great if we could get a few of us scoring the goals this season, but we will wait and see how that pans out and just keep working hard.“We will have to see how the start of the season goes and we will have to kick on from there.“The most important thing is making sure we are right for the start of the season, getting pre-season under our belts.“We are only a few weeks into pre-season, so we are still preparing.“It was a game (Ruzemberok) where we had to get a result and we have got a good win to take to their place next week.“We are pleased with that but, of course, there are things we can do a lot better.”Sandro came off the bench just after the hour at Goodison Park last night as Koeman continues to ease him in after playing for Spain in the European Under-21 Championships until mid-June.However, the Spaniard is confident he will be ready for the Premier League opener at home to Stoke on August 12.“We are still in pre-season and we still need to work on getting that little bit of match sharpness we need,” said Sandro.“There is still a while to go before the first league game of the season and we will find that level of fitness and that sharpness that we want. We still have a couple of weeks to go.“But I feel good in myself. There is still a lot of hard work to go. I think my team-mates are a little bit ahead of me but I am getting there and I feel sharper and sharper.“I am very happy and really pleased with how my debut went. It was my first competitive game for the club and to make it at home was fantastic“What I hope I can do is repay that confidence that the fans are showing in me. I will do that with lots of hard work – I can promise that – and hopefully lots of goals as well.” Wayne Rooney 1last_img read more

first_img M’Baye Niang 1 Torino have joined the race for Arsenal and Everton target M’Baye Niang, according to reports in Italy.The forward spent the second half of last season on loan at Watford, but he has now returned to his parent club AC Milan.Interest in the Frenchman remains high, though, with Arsenal, Everton and Fenerbahce all keeping tabs on him.Torino, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, are now the latest club to join the race for Niang after adding him to their list of summer targets.The Italian club’s coach, Sinisa Mihaljovic, worked with the 22-year-old during his time in charge of Milan and he is keen to link up again.Niang too is thought to be keen on a reunion and it could give Torino a vital edge in the race for the player.last_img

first_imgSINN FEIN’S two Donegal Deputies have been given key roles within the party in Dail Eireann, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has announced.Pearse Doherty will speak for the party on Finance while Padraig MacLochlainn will speak on Foreign Affairs and Trade.Speaking from Leinster House today Mr Adams said: “Sinn Féin is putting forward a first class team to shadow the Government and hold them to account. “I have every confidence that this enhanced Sinn Féin team will play constructive role in this Dáil.“Our priority will be to protect those on low and middle incomes, defend Ireland’s national interests and promote Irish unity.” Sinn Féin Dáil team – March 2011: ·    Gerry Adams – Party Leader, shadowing Taoiseach·    Mary Lou McDonald – Deputy leader and Spokesperson on PublicExpenditure and Reform·    Aengus  Ó Snodaigh – Spokesperson on Social Protection and Party Whip·    Pearse Doherty – Spokesperson on Finance·    Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin – Spokesperson on Health and Children·    Padraig  MacLochlainn – Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs  and Trade·    Peadar  Toibin – Spokesperson on Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation andAn Gaeltacht·    Jonathan O Brien – Spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Defence·    Martin Ferris – Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and NaturalResources·    Sean Crowe – Spokesperson on Education and skills·    Brian Stanley – Spokesperson on Environment, Community and LocalGovernment·    Micheal Colreavy – Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and Marine·    Dessie Ellis – Spokesperson on Transport and Housing·    Sandra McLellan – Spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Tourism and Sport KEY ROLES FOR SINN FEIN’S DONEGAL TDs was last modified: March 22nd, 2011 by gregShare 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