Dear Editor,National elections have polarised Guyanese society, politically and ethnically for the past fifty years. Unfortunately, on this occasion, they are likely to do so precisely when the issues facing Guyana require as unified a national response as possible. Civil society energies, effectively mobilised, could make a positive impact on this challenge.Normally, elections in democratic countries seek to win votes by focusing on issues most likely to attract votes. In Guyana, by contrast, debating alternative visions of the future is marginalised when the major contending parties’ resort to maligning each other over electoral fraud and ethnic mischief-making. Re-asserting ethnic insecurity in this way tends to marginalise smaller, as well as new parties.Despite the fact that changing political demographics are gradually undermining traditional ethnic alignments, the race play-book continues to be a determining factor in national elections. While a widely criticised practice by Guyanese of all backgrounds, the traditional parties have too much vested in its continuance to desist. Most significantly, they also control the elections machinery through their dominance over GECOM.Until the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is replaced by a modern, politically impartial Elections Commission, Guyanese elections will retain its deserved reputation as the most dysfunctional in Caricom. Since both major political formations have resisted ample opportunity to reform GECOM (23 years in the case of the PPP, and the past four years of coalition government), it is clear that a solution will not come before the next elections.However, while reform of GECOM and other fundamental reforms are not feasible in the short-term, this does not rule out the possibility of raising the quality of the upcoming national elections on March 2, 2020. For example, the parties listing names of candidates in the order that seats will be assigned is within their choice. A commitment to translate 50% of females on lists to 50% of seats won is another improvement within the parties’ choice. More scrutiny can be exercised to force parties to select candidates of integrity, with a record of public service and other qualities necessary for political leadership.Applying criteria of this nature in the run-up to elections allows voters to assert some measure of influence to improve their quality. Civil society can use the current election in this way to sharpen its own advocacy skills and capacity to influence the contending parties. The run-up to elections also provides an opportunity for civic society to review its own role in national politics.A more robust civil society is an insurance policy to ensure any eventual successful reform of the formal political culture is likely to endure. The most significant example of civic action in Guyana to improve elections occurred in 1990-1992, when the Guyanese Action for Reform and Democracy (GUARD) effectively put a stop to the history of rigged elections. Combined activism that included human rights, professional, faith-based, business and trade union activism produced the first clean national elections since Independence. Unfortunately, GUARD followed a familiar path with respect to civic action, namely, allowing the momentum to drain away once a short-term goal is achieved.Civic organisations are encouraged to express themselves in ways that build citizenship. Civic influence could be asserted on electoral debates, which need to be rescued from the bi-partisan bullying which debased them in the recent past. Moreover, even when civic bodies are not inclined to take action as a body, their membership should be encouraged individually to educate themselves on issues and take some elementary steps such as making full use of the Claims & Objections period to check the accuracy of their names and other details on the Voters’ List to guard against allegations of fraud surfacing on elections day.While national elections in Guyana often appear to be exercised in mass frustration, they also serve as opportunities for re-invigorating public life in positive ways. The essential lesson to be learnt is that civic interventions need to become a continuous part of the political landscape in a more systematic manner, and cannot be reduced solely to casting votes.Executive Committee,Guyana Human Rights Association
For one night only, the Pomeroy Hotel will host the Three’s a Party Tour, presented by Cap it/Trimtek with Canadian Country stars Jason Blaine, Tebey, featuring James Otto November 24, 2015.CCMA Award winner Jason Blaine has been at the top of the Canadian country music charts on both radio and CMT Canada, with more than a dozen Top 10 singles including the 2012 CCMA Single of the Year “They Don’t Make Em Like That Anymore.” Earlier this summer, Blaine’s single “Country Side” topped the charts as the #1 Canadian song at Country Radio nationally on both BDS and Mediabase charts and marks his sixth #1 song at Canadian radio. Fresh out of the studio with fellow Canadian Phil O’Donnell at the helm, Blaine will be releasing a new album in late October, just in time to join the party.World-renowned songwriter and three-time CCMA Award nominee Tebey will be joining the party to co-headline with Blaine this fall. Since the 2014 release of his sophomore album Two, Tebey has had incredible success with the radio hit “Now I Do” earning more than half a million views on YouTube, and his countrified version of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” (feat. Emerson Drive) reaching the Top 5 on Canadian country radio. This single also went on to become the most played Canadian Country single of the year (Nielsen/BDS). With a dozen high profile shows this summer, Tebey hit the festival circuit with his latest Top 20 single “When The Buzz Wears Off.”- Advertisement -Joining the tour from south of the border, soulful singer and perennial hit-maker James Otto recently released his latest EP Somewhere Tonight. With the release of the title track as his latest single, Somewhere Tonight marks the first release for Otto on Blaster Records, who announced their signing of the artist earlier this summer. In addition to the single, the three-song EP features another brand new track, “Back It Up” as well as Otto’s take on the Bob Seger classic “Night Moves,” a long-time crowd favourite from his live performances.Tickets will go on sale Friday, September 18, 2015, at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased through www.moosefm.ca, by calling 250-787-7100 or in person at Moose FM (9924 101 ave in Fort St. John). Tickets will cost only $49 each, plus fees and taxes.Moose FM will also run a special pre-sale on tickets September 16 and 17 if you download the Moose FM app. Use the app and buy your tickets before the show sells out! Download the Moose FM app for your iPhone and iPad here and the app for your Android device here.Advertisement You can also add an exclusive VIP experience that will include an intimate acoustic performance from Jason, Tebey & James on their tour bus! VIP Packages can be purchased at www.threesapartytour.com for only $69. You must purchase your tickets and the VIP Package separately.The tour stop in Fort St. John is presented by Cap it/Trimtek. Trimtek Signs serves Northwest Canada with signs, sign accessories, decal applications and design services. Boasting the largest sign shop in the Peace region, Trimtek Signs is able to provide short-run decals, custom pressure sensitive labels, and other visual indicators in a timely manner.Our team is skilled in the development and construction of many different types of signs, and can provide development consultation when required. Affiliate company CAP-IT now handles all accessory sales and installation here in our building! We encourage you to browse their website for more information about dressing up your vehicle.
1 David Moyes will be the named the new manager of Real Sociedad today, according to reports in Spain.The former Manchester United boss has reportedly already verbally agreed to join the La Liga club and will sign a three-year deal later today.talkSPORT told you last week about Sociedad’s interest in Moyes, who was sacked by Manchester United in April just 10 months after being given the job.The Spanish club had named Moyes on a three-man shortlist for the job, along with ex-Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella and former West Brom boss Pepe Mel.But now, according to AS, Sociedad have selected Moyes as the man to replace Jagoba Arrasate, who managed just six points from 10 La Liga matches this season. David Moyes
0Shares0000Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba got the goals for Barcelona at Eibar © AFP / ANDER GILLENEAMADRID, Spain, Feb 18 – Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba were on target as Barcelona saw off Eibar 2-0 on Saturday to continue their unbeaten record in La Liga and extend their lead at the top of the table.Lionel Messi had a hand in both goals against an Eibar side who finished the match at tiny Ipurua with 10 men after the second-half sending-off of Fabian Orellana. It was not a comfortable afternoon for Ernesto Valverde’s men in the rain in the Basque Country, but Barca are still unbeaten 24 games into the league campaign, and have now gone 31 La Liga matches undefeated in total to match their record run under Pep Guardiola in 2010/11.They are 10 points clear at the top, although Atletico Madrid can trim that lead when they host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.Barcelona will now turn their thoughts to the Champions League last 16, first leg against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, and Valverde said Eibar were ideal opponents ahead of that match.“Eibar always put you under a lot of pressure, so it was a good test. We really suffered, because they are in great form,” said Valverde.“It was a very difficult match just as we expected, and we will try and make sure it helps us, although the Champions League is another competition altogether.”Valverde sent out a strong team, choosing to start Andres Iniesta and leave Philippe Coutinho on the bench, despite the Brazilian being ineligible for the Champions League. Coutinho replaced Iniesta for the final half-hour.“Last week Coutinho started, and this week it was Iniesta,” Valverde added. “It is true that we have another match on Tuesday, but for me the important thing was today (Saturday).”Barca went ahead in the 16th minute, Messi’s superb pass releasing Suarez, who rounded goalkeeper Marco Dmitrovic to score.The visitors had a couple of let-offs in the first half, with Sergio Busquets lucky not to concede a penalty as he pulled back Kike Garcia in the box. Orellana then hit the bar with a fine strike.However, the Chilean was sent off midway through the second half and Barca took advantage of the extra man in the 88th minute. Messi, who hit the post in the first half, was denied by Dmitrovic, but the ball fell for Alba to score.– Valencia, Sevilla win –Ex-Arsenal man Francis Coquelin scored in Valencia’s win at Malaga © AFP / JORGE GUERREROValencia consolidated their grip on third place, coming from behind to win 2-1 at bottom side Malaga with a late Dani Parejo penalty.Nigerian Brown Ideye had put the home team ahead, but French midfielder Francis Coquelin headed Valencia level 10 minutes from time with his first La Liga goal since moving from Arsenal.Valencia are four points clear of fourth-placed Real Madrid but have played two games more than Zinedine Zidane’s side, who are at Betis on Sunday.Sevilla warmed up for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Manchester United by winning 2-1 at struggling Las Palmas, aided by a controversial late offside call.Goals from Wissam Ben Yedder and Pablo Sarabia had Sevilla in control in Gran Canaria, before Jonathan Calleri pulled one back for Las Palmas with a penalty.And the islanders were denied a 93rd-minute equaliser when an extremely tight offside call went against them — Alejandro Galvez looked to be level with the last defender before putting the ball in the net.Having experienced some indifferent form following the appointment of Italian Vincenzo Montella as coach in December, Sevilla have now claimed back-to-back league victories since progressing to the Copa del Rey final, and are fifth.“When you win games you rest and recover better. Now the only thing on our minds is Manchester,” said Montella.Also on Saturday, Deportivo La Coruna suffered a second defeat in as many games since the appointment as coach of former Dutch international Clarence Seedorf, as they lost 1-0 at Alaves to remain second-bottom.On-loan Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi scored the winner with a superb strike, with Alaves continuing their revival under Abelardo.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Merck & Co. said Friday that it is ending enrollment and vaccination of volunteers in the study, which was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health. It was a high-profile failure in the daunting quest to develop an AIDS vaccine. Merck’s vaccine was the furthest along, was considered the most promising and was closely watched by experts in the field. Officials at the company, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., said 24 of 741 volunteers who got the vaccine in one segment of the experiment later became infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In a comparison group of volunteers who got dummy shots, 21 of 762 participants also became infected. Michael Zwick, an HIV researcher at Scripps Research Institute, said it’s too soon to know if other vaccines using the same strategy would also fail. “It’s par for the course in the HIV field,” he said of the Merck result. The volunteers in the experiment were all free of HIV at the start. But they were at high risk for getting the virus: Most were homosexual men or female sex workers. They were all repeatedly counseled about how to reduce their risk of HIV infections, including use of condoms, according to Merck. In a statement, the NIH said a data safety monitoring board, reviewing interim results, found the vaccine did not prevent HIV infection. Nor did it limit severity of the disease “in those who become infected with HIV as a result of their own behaviors that exposed them to the virus” – another goal of the study. Merck’s was the first major test of a new strategy to prevent HIV infection. The first wave of attempts to develop a vaccine tried to stimulate antibodies against the virus, but that hasn’t worked so far. The new effort – an approach that Gottesdiener said is being tried in most other current research – is aimed at making the body produce more of a crucial immune cell called killer T cells. The goal is to simultaneously “train” those cells, like an army, to quickly recognize and destroy HIV when it enters cells in the bloodstream. Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said other vaccines are in line for testing that use a similar strategy but with important differences. One developed by the NIH – containing the same three genes as the Merck vaccine, plus 3 versions of another gene – is set in January to enter the same large, “proof of concept” testing stage as the Merck vaccine, Fauci said. Zwick said some researchers are still working on vaccines to neutralize HIV. He thinks what’s needed is one that combines that approach with a way to stimulate and train killer T cells. Merck and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, an international collaboration of researchers and institutions funded by the NIH, co-sponsored the study. The experiment, called STEP, began in December 2004 and had enrolled 3,000 volunteers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru, Puerto Rico and the United States. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HEALTH: Volunteers at high risk for contracting HIV were given the drug, which tries to kill the virus early on. By Linda A. Johnson THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TRENTON, N.J. – In a disappointing setback, a promising experimental AIDS vaccine failed to work in a large international test, leading the developer to halt the study.
Join Paul and Andy for the best bits from Wednesday’s Hawksbee and Jacobs show.
The beautiful Living Room at the show house todayMORE than 300 people queued today to see the latest Taggart Homes – with many hoping to get the keys to a dream new home in Culmore over the next few months.The viewing in Limavady, Co Derry, today involved people from hoping to be in with a chance to land one of the 20 homes left to sell on the development out of 82 released seven months ago.Many of them travelled from Donegal, some hoping to see what the homes in Culmore will be like. Taggart Homes – who design, build and finish the properties – recently started the 260 new homes in Derry’s Culmore and market research has demonstrated that there are many cash buyers and approved borrowers in the market place today looking for these homes.The developments have a broad range of new homes ranging from semis, detached and bungalows to luxury detached which will be completed by this summer.Work on Culmore began last Monday.Taggart Homes currently employs 160 people between subcontractors and employees and this will increase in the North West area to more than 300 within the next six months. Taggarts, established in 1986 as a family-run business, is recognised as key in the revival of the construction industry locally.These new developments has further boosted employment in other areas such as suppliers of the endless products required for development.Our picture special is from inside the show home in Limavady – stunning homes set to repeated in Culmore over the next few months.Between Derry and Limavady there are 7 stunning house designs starting at Stg£127k up to Stg£300k for 2200 sq ft.Below are more pictures from the exclusive development: WOW! INSIDE THE INCREDIBLE NEW TAGGART HOMES COMING TO CULMORE was last modified: January 17th, 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:CulmoreTAGGART HOMES
Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue has accused Fine Gael and Labour of attempting to hide behind false claims that they are being forced into introducing property taxes.The Donegal Deputy has voiced his strong opposition to the Government’s plans to hit homeowners with a property tax at a time when so many in people in Donegal are already in mortgage difficulty and negative equity.Deputy McConalogue said, “The reality is that many families in Donegal simply cannot afford more taxes on a home that they are already struggling to pay for. The latest figures show that more than a quarter of homeowners are in mortgage difficulty and I have spoken to many people locally who can’t afford their basic household bills as it is, let alone pay extra taxes of hundreds a euro a year on their home. “Let’s be completely clear about this – no one is forcing Fine Gael and Labour to hit homeowners with property taxes. Fianna Fáil met with Troika officials again last month and they could not have been clearer that property taxes are not necessary if we reach our overall savings targets in the Budget. It is completely up to the Government to chose what policies to implement to meet these targets,” he said.He added the Government needs to take a step back instead of blindly continuing down this road without considering the massive impact on homeowners at a time of a deepening mortgage crisis.“A property tax based on market value is highly discriminatory and makes no consideration whatsoever of ability to pay. What about a homeowner in Letterkenny whose house is worth €200,000 but who is in negative equity, struggling to meet mortgage repayments and has already paid stamp duty? Will they be forced to pay out an extra €500 a year in property taxes?“The reality is that this is the wrong tax at the wrong time and it poses unnecessary hardship on homeowners who already feel they are being squeezed from every angle. Fianna Fáil alternative budget proves that property taxes are not necessary to meet the overall adjustment of €3.5 billion next year. Instead of property taxes, we propose an increase in the Universal Social Charge for people earning over €100,000 a year, a direct levy on earnings in the tobacco industry that would raise €100 million and an increase in Capital Gains Tax and Capital Acquisition Tax. This is a much fairer way towards recovery.” Deputy McConalogue concluded, “The Government needs to tackle the escalating mortgage crisis before slapping additional hefty bills on hard-pressed families.”DONEGAL HOMEOWNERS CANNOT AFFORD HEFTY PROPERTY TAXES – MCCONALOGUE was last modified: November 30th, 2012 by StephenShare 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)
Karl Lacey has named his greatest ever Donegal XV.Donegal star Karl Lacey has selected his best ever Donegal side, and the Four Masters man has left out some notable names.Lacey selected the team based on who he has played with during his glittering Donegal career.His Four Masters teammate Paul Durcan is selected in goals, while his full-back line contains Damien Diver, Neil McGee and himself. His half-back line contains Shane Carr, Barry Monaghan and Frank McGlynn.His midfield pairing is that of Neil Gallagher and Rory Kavanagh.Lacey’s half-forward line is made up of Christy Toye, Brian Roper and Michael Hegarty.While his full-forward contains Colm McFadden, Michael Murphy and Adrian Sweeney. In his interview with SPORTSJOE.ie Lacey acknowledges Brendan Devenney was unlucky to lose out on a starting position, but you can’t really argue with that full-forward line can you?Double All-Star winner Kevin Cassidy is a surprise omission from Lacey’s XV as is Eamon McGee and perhaps Anthony Thompson.Lacey himself is arguably the greatest player to ever play for Donegal and his haul of four All-stars ensures he will be regarded as one the best players of his generation.Do you agree with Karl’s selection?SOME SUPRISE OMISSIONS AS KARL LACEY NAMES HIS BEST EVER DONEGAL TEAM was last modified: January 30th, 2015 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) Tags:donegalGAAkarl laceynewsSportXV
Kieran McLaughlin was today found not guilty of murdering a man in the NorthEXCLUSIVE: THE gun used in a “brutal and vile” execution-style murder in the North was stolen at gunpoint from a farmer in Donegal.We can reveal for the first time details of the weapon which was used to blast to death suspected drug dealer Barry McCrory in Derry city in October 2013. Police sources have revealed to Donegal Daily that the 12 bore, sawn-off double-barrelled, breach loading, side by side shotgun, marked ”F Williams London and Birmingham’, was stolen three years earlier at a rural farm in Donegal.A police source has told us: “On May 18, 2010 three masked men stormed his farmhouse at the dead of night.“A gun was put to his head and he was frog-marched into a room where he kept his gun cabinet.“He was forced to open it and the masked men made off with three firearms, all shotguns.“When the gun was recovered by police in Derry, detectives from the PSNI asked Gardai to check its records.“The serial number was checked on the Garda computer for missing or stolen guns and the match was found to the raid on the farmhouse on May 18, 2010.”Today, at Belfast Crown Court, suspected dissident republican hitman Kieran McLaughlin was found not guilty of murdering Barry McCrory with the same stolen shotgun.The 60-year-old had denied murdering Barry McCrory, who was shot dead in October 2013.The 35-year-old was found dead in bed at a flat in Shipquay Street in the city centre.The killer shouted at him ‘drug dealing scumbag’ before blasting him twice to the back and then twice to the back of his head from as little as a one metre away.Death was instantaneous, said a pathologist.There was uproar when the verdict was read out acquitting McLaughlin.Tearful relatives of the deceased were at Belfast Crown Court to hear the ruling.One woman ran from the public gallery shouting at McLaughlin in the dock: “You know you f***king did it, you f***king bastard.”Judge Mr Justice Horner, who sat alone without a jury in the diplock case, said there was no forensic evidence to link McLaughlin to the killing.“The court must conclude that the charge of murder against the defendant has not been proven to the requisite standard,” the judge told the court.“The Crown has not discharged the heavy burden of proof placed upon it to prove beyond reasonable doubt the defendant committed the murder of the deceased.”However, the judge found McLaughlin guilty of possessing the loaded sawn-off double barrelled shotgun and a Mauser pistol with intent to endanger life.McLauglin had previously pleaded guilty to possessing the firearms and a quantity of ammunition in suspicious circumstances.He will be sentenced in May following the preparation of a pre-sentence report.Following the murder, McLaughlin had gone on the run and was holed up in Donegal to avoid capture.A massive police manhunt was launched on both sides of the border for him and his picture was issued to the media with a warning to the public not to approach him as he was “armed and dangerous”.However, on October 16, 2013, the game was up for McLaughlin when a police copter fitted with an infrared camera picked up an “unusually large” heat source from underneath a parked car in Derry’s Galliagh district.McLaughlin was arrested and on his person police found newspaper clippings about the murder of Mr McCrory and the manhunt for the chief suspect – himself.REVEALED: SAWN-OFF SHOTGUN MURDER WEAPON STOLEN IN DONEGAL was last modified: March 27th, 2015 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:Barry McCroryDerryKieran McLaughlinREVEALED: SAWN-OFF SHOTGUN MURDER WEAPON STOLEN IN DONEGAL