Dear Editor,It is official: Guyana is now a backward and bankrupt place, despite all desperate measures being put in place by its desperate operators to salvage it. I make mention of the announced plan by the regime to force seizure of all dealers in foreign money.The Chronicle reports that, “The Authorities are clamping down on the rampant acceptance, especially of city businesses, of foreign currency as a payment for goods.” The article further states, “The Bank of Guyana notes with some concern that some businesses are accepting foreign currency for the purpose of settling payments for transactions, instead of Guyana dollars.” In this regard, there is a promise of retaliation by the Central Bank in the form of surprise raids made to seize the foreign dollars from those businesses, as well as from the private traders themselves.The targeted traders are the Cubans, who are doing brisk business here, buying up merchandise on a wholesale basis to take back to their home country. The preferred currency or cash transaction is the US dollar, of which the state is in dire need.The Government contends that the hard currency being cashed should flow in a more direct way to the national bank than it is at the present moment. Seeing “Jordan’s Treasury” is hard pressed for that “almighty” US dollar, the only solution he can come up with is to resuscitate that draconian law which states that all foreign monies entering this country are the property of the state, and as such should be subject to state regulation, so lay hold of it by taxation.Wrong! Burnham tried that, and it brought us as a nation to our knees. It never worked then, and there is no way, shape, or form that it is going to work now.Now, looking at it from that perspective seems good on paper; the law is the law and it must be respected, but what Jordan is not telling the nation is that this law will do one, if not both of the following: drive the foreign currency traders underground, or drive them out of Guyana altogether.The trader might very well take his trade elsewhere, like going to Margarita, where trading is freer than what obtains here. If the Cubans should ever contemplate that move, then it would be hell on earth for us here in this part of the globe. The Cuban traders are a Godsend to us here in Guyana, and if Jordan is sensible, he would not interfere with that arrangement.From experience, whenever a state takes that highhanded, ultra-strict control of the movement of foreign monies within its jurisdiction, the end result is quite the painful opposite of what had been intended. Taking complete control would also expose the Cubans to all forms of atrocities, such as bare them forth to the ubiquitous “shoot and rob” bandits that are so rampant in Georgetown.Jordan needs to remove his head from where it is, and create a climate for foreign investment, so that foreign currency can flow in copious supply into the economy. He needs to initiate fiscal measures like those of the PPP/C Government, where foreign companies were eager to set up bases here, and where our country became a success story.That is not forthcoming at the present, and we are going down the road of becoming a pariah state again. With sugar almost dead, rice limping along, mining and forestry contracting by the day, no foreign money is flowing into the national coffers, so Jordan is at his wits’ end to manage.Finally, the Government needs to take a major part of the blame, because it is the chief culprit responsible for the depletion of foreign reserves. Heavy and excessive borrowing from Central Bank has seen the drying up of reserves there, and no amount of patchwork would change that situation.But, like I said in the opening paragraph, it is desperation time in this country, and the only way this Finance Minister sees out of it is to add more tax. But no amount of taxation can stem the tide of a failing economy.This desperation code came into effect as a result of Government’s lack of wherewithal to manage the economy, hence its mad rush to get money any which way. It is a frightening place to be, because our country is going nowhere, and as a direct consequence, is doomed to failure.Respectfully,Neil Adams
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say AC Milan count on Wolves to help land Arsenal midfielder Elnenyby Carlos Volcano11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan are readying a bid for Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny.Currently on-loan with Besiktas, Milan believe they can sign Elneny in January for €15m.Gazzetta dello Sport says Milan would seek to fund the deal by inviting Wolves to bid for Franck Kessie.Wolves failed with an attempt for the midfielder over the summer.If a deal can be struck, then Milan will seek to do business with Arsenal over Elneny in the New Year.
Comic Relief, the nonprofit behind Red Nose Day, has announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match up to $1 million in donations to Red Nose Day’s US campaign through Facebook’s range of charitable giving products.The joint effort enables people across the country to double the impact of their donation to Red Nose Day in the US, which supports programs that keep children safe, healthy and educated here in the United States and abroad.Red Nose Day is all about coming together to have fun and make a difference for children in need. Red Nose Day supporters can take advantage of the match in a number of ways using new and existing Facebook products:• Set up a Facebook fundraiser for Red Nose Day USA and encourage friends to donate. • Use #RedNoseDay or #NosesOn in posts to prompt the option to add a donate button (text posts only). • Go live on Facebook from a smartphone and add a donate button for Red Nose Day. • Donate directly to the campaign from the Red Nose Day USA page. • Support friends’ Facebook fundraising efforts for Red Nose Day USA by making a donation.People on Facebook can make it more fun by doing a challenge or activity if their fundraising goal is met, or challenging their friends and family to do the same.Facebook users launch their own personal fundraisers here, or make a donation at facebook.com/rednosedayusa.Richard Curtis, founder of Red Nose Day, said, “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been a completely key partner of Red Nose Day and it’s so wonderful to have their continued involvement this year. With the Foundation’s match and Facebook’s innovative fundraising tools, it’s now easier than ever for people across the country to get involved and help raise money that will truly save and change children’s lives.”Rob Rosen, Director of Philanthropic Partnerships at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said, “Donating money should be meaningful and fun. Red Nose Day is both. We’re excited to partner with Comic Relief and Facebook to reach as many people as possible to inspire them to join us in ending child poverty.”Janet Scardino, CEO of Comic Relief, said, “Facebook’s latest donation and fundraising tools are the ultimate way to let our fans be our fundraisers. We see Red Noses all across social, and now Facebook has made it easy to turn that into a new and personal way to give.”The 2017 Red Nose Day campaign runs from now through Red Nose Day (Thursday, May 25) and everyone can get involved. Buy and wear a Red Nose, available exclusively at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores nationwide, take on a fundraising challenge and share personal stories of involvement on social media to encourage others to make a difference for children in need using #RedNoseDay and #NosesOn.On Thursday May 25, tune into NBC for a special night of Red Nose Day programming in support of the charity featuring: “Celebrity Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day” (8 p.m. ET); “Running Wild with Bear Grylls for Red Nose Day” (9 p.m. ET), featuring Julia Roberts in Kenya; and the third annual “Red Nose Day Special” (10 p.m. ET). The three-hour primetime block will both entertain viewers and give them an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children in need here at home and around the world.Follow Red Nose Day on social media @RedNoseDayUSA.
VANCOUVER – Loblaw Companies Ltd. is closing 22 stores and launching home delivery in two major Canadian cities, ahead of what it believes will be a challenging new year.The grocery and pharmacy giant has finalized a plan that will result in the closure of 22 unprofitable stores across a range of its banners and formats, said spokeswoman Catherine Thomas in an email, who declined to provide specific store locations. The store closures are expected to be mostly complete by the end of the first quarter next year.“We are excited about our future. But given all of the headwinds, we expect 2018 will be a very difficult year,” said Galen G. Weston, Loblaw CEO, during a call with analysts following the company’s earnings report.Canadian grocers face increasing pressure from several fronts, including discount and online retailers, and pending minimum wage increases in some provinces.Loblaw has already made several moves in recent months that some analysts attribute, at least in part, to cost pressures. The company recently announced a new handling fee on its largest suppliers and announced last month that it was laying off 500 employees from its office operations. The company did not immediately answer whether that figure encompassed the job losses from the upcoming store closures.The retailer is also doubling down on its e-commerce offerings, including launching home delivery with California-based Instacart in Toronto starting Dec. 6 and Vancouver starting January 2018.Shoppers will order from local Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore or T&T locations via the Instacart website or app and the company will deliver the food.“This is a premium service targeted at customers who are looking for the ultimate in convenience,” Weston said.Deliveries will cost $3.99 for orders of $35 or more — that jumps to $5.99 for one-hour drop off — and $7.99 for orders under $35, said Nilam Ganenthiran, Instacart’s chief business officer.Customers will also pay a 7.5-per-cent service fee, said Thomas, adding prices will be higher online than in stores and shoppers will see different sales on Instacart than in physical locations. Shoppers won’t be able to order alcohol online, or earn or redeem PC Plus points through Instacart.Loblaw, which said in 2016 it had no plans to launch home delivery due to lack of customer demand, plans to expand the program rapidly next year.In the U.S., Instacart aims to serve 80 per cent of households, said Ganenthiran. It will aim to do the same in Canada, which would require a presence in about 20 to 25 cities, he said. That could include partnerships with other grocers in the future.Canadians currently have few options for grocery deliveries, with companies like Grocery Gateway and select large chains offering the service in limited locations. Walmart, for example, announced in March it would start delivering groceries to customers living in certain parts of Toronto and the surrounding area.Most grocers, including Loblaw and Walmart, have opted to focus heavily on in-store pick-up for online orders instead. Loblaw launched its click-and-collect offering in 2014 and now offers it at nearly 200 locations. Weston said the company remains very committed to the program and is opening a new location nearly daily.However, Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market increased speculation that Canada’s grocers would have to step up on home delivery offerings.Weston said that recent initiatives, including combining PC Plus and Shopper Optimum points into a harmonized loyalty program beginning in February, expanding click and collect and launching home delivery, are key ingredients in the company’s strategy “to compete and win in a rapidly changing and increasingly digital world.”Loblaw reported that it more than doubled its third-quarter profit compared with a year ago as its results were boosted by the sale of its gas bar business.The retailer said its profit attributable to common shareholders totalled $883 million or $2.24 per diluted share for the 16 weeks ended Oct. 7. That compared with a profit of $419 million or $1.03 per diluted share for the same period last year.Revenue totalled $14.19 billion, up from $14.14 billion in the third quarter of 2016.The results included a $432-million gain on the sale of the company’s gas station business to Brookfield Business Partners.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.
“We can do it, it works. We don’t have to cut the forest down anymore,” said Allan Chatenay, co-owner of Explor Geophysical Ltd. and inventor of its PinPoint technology.The Calgary-based company worked with oilsands giant Suncor Energy Inc. over the past winter to see how the technology stacks up in comparison with traditional seismic techniques on one of its unexplored oilsands leases.The next step will be a commercial-scale trial aimed at proving it can compete on cost as well as effectiveness.Put simply, seismic surveying involves creating sound waves in the earth that bounce off rock formations hundreds of metres underground and then are recorded by sensors on the surface for analysis.Traditionally, surveys were conducted using truck-mounted drilling gear, heavy sensors and explosive devices weighing several kilograms each. Straight, six to eight-metre-wide seismic lines were chopped through the forest on rectangular grids to permit access and ensure the equipment was positioned to achieve the best results.The current standard, called low-impact seismic, cuts lines that are about three metres wide, often in a zig-zag pattern on the assumption that it prevents predators from being able to see their prey from a distance. CALGARY, A.B. – One of the most destructive ecological impacts of oil and gas exploration happens long before a litre of oil flows into a pipeline or a single atom of carbon enters the atmosphere.Seismic surveying, the exploration activity that helps identify where to drill, can result in as much as 15 percent of the forest being chopped down and mulched.But a new kind of seismic survey promises to leave only boot prints in the forest. And that’s good news for species such as the threatened woodland caribou that live alongside the oilsands industry in northern Alberta. Only about 25 percent of caribou ranges in the oilsands area are considered undisturbed, said Simon Dyer, deputy executive director of the Pembina Institute environmental think-tank.That’s well below the 65 percent undisturbed ratio required to allow threatened caribou populations to be self-sustaining, according to a 2012 federal government Species at Risk Act recovery strategy report.“A big contributor to that fragmentation and loss of habitat is the seismic footprint so any technologies that can prevent additional losses of habitat are obviously welcome,” he said.“Slowing the rate of loss of habitat is not good enough… Any responsible company should be proposing a plan that has a net improvement in caribou habitat, not just a reduced impact.”The PinPoint technology requires more labour than other forms of seismic so it costs more, Chatenay said, without being specific.On the other hand, he said, it saves users the cost of having to later replant and remediate seismic lines and may help companies fall in line with future environmental regulation.Suncor is looking at several technologies to reduce the impact of its seismic surveys and it will likely be years before any can be implemented on a commercial scale, said Gary Bunio, general manager of oilsands strategy technology development.He said the cost is important to consider but it’s not the only issue – Suncor could decide on a more expensive option if it provides a solution that is effective and is endorsed by community stakeholders and regulators.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) PinPoint takes the technology one step further by scaling down the size of the sensors and charges so they can be carried into the forest by people on foot. By greatly increasing the number of lower powered seismic events and their recordings, and processing them using detailed GPS readings and exact timing, Chatenay says the survey results are just as detailed as traditional seismic.Finding new ways to acquire seismic data fits in with goals by the industry, regulators and the Indigenous community to support caribou conservation, said Christine Daly, a senior technology adviser for land reclamation at Suncor.“Any fragmentation of the boreal forest has an impact on the animals in that ecosystem, including boreal woodland caribou, which are a threatened species,” she said.“We realized one of the root causes of the impact from our industry are these seismic lines, so completely removing them is a huge step in opening more responsible development and caribou conservation.”
Fulton says crews were able to contain the fire to the roof and attic space and managed to protect most of the contents within the home.No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Fulton would like to remind the public to fully extinguish cigarettes in water and dispose of in a proper vessel for discarding. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Shortly after 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 29, the Dawson Creek Fire Department responded to a call of a structure fire.According to Deputy Fire Chief Bob Fulton, crews were dispatched to the 500 Block of 99th Avenue for a house fire.According to Fulton, there was a fire on the back porch of the home that made its way into the roof.
Hong Kong: China has issued a protest over remarks the US ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom made criticising Beijing’s polices toward Muslim and Tibetan Buddhist minorities and saying the country was “at war with faith.”The foreign ministry’s office in Hong Kong said the speech Sam Brownback gave Friday “slandered” China’s religious policies. It said it had registered its dissatisfaction Saturday with the US Consulate in the semi-autonomous Chinese region, where the speech was given.China’s constitution and laws protect freedom of religion and critics should “cease their slander of China’s policies on religion and the situation with freedom of faith and cease using religious issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs,” the office said in a statement.US officials and UN experts say China is believed to be holding 1 million Uighurs, Muslims and members of other majority Muslim ethnic groups in political education camps in Xinjiang. The US and other governments have criticized the crackdown.The Chinese government says those camps are vocational training centers designed to rid the region of extremism.Brownback said President Donald Trump’s administration is “deeply concerned and considered it a deliberate attempt by Beijing to redefine and control these Muslim minority groups, (their) identity, culture and faith.”He urged Beijing to grant free access to the camps to investigate claims of abuse of inmates.More generally, Brownback said, China is “at war with faith.” “It’s a war they will not win,” he said. “The Chinese Communist Party must hear the cry of its people for religious freedom.”Brownback was expected to meet local religious leaders and religious studies students and instructors while in Hong Kong. The territory enjoys freedom of speech and religion far beyond that in mainland China, where the officially atheist government keeps tight control over any potential challenges to its authority.Brownback, the former governor of Kansas, was due to travel to Taiwan for a regional meeting on religious freedom Monday.In his speech, the Catholic conservative called on China to release Wang Yi and John Cao Sanqiang, detained pastors in the “underground” church that operates independently of official government agencies.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday promised traders Rs 50-lakh loan without any collateral, credit card facility and a pension scheme for small shopkeepers as he made a strong re-election pitch to the business community.Modi said while his government has stood by traders in thick and thin, the opposition Congress has abused businessmen by calling all of them ‘chor’ (thieves). Addressing a traders’ convention here, he said the BJP-led NDA government in the last five years at the Centre worked to simplify lives and businesses of traders by scraping 1,500 archaic laws, simplifying processes and providing easy credit. Traders are “backbone” of the Indian economy but had in past never got the respect they deserved, Modi said, adding that doubling the size of the economy to USD 5 trillion is not possible without their contribution. “I am impressed by the hard work of traders… their business has helped the economy bloom,” he said. “I have tried to make your life and business easy in last five years.” “The country is also seeing how we have stood by you in thick and thin,” Modi said. With a household audience, the prime minister said the trading community is like weather forecaster who can anticipate future tidings. Hitting out at the opposition Congress, the prime minister said the party has in its 70-year rule only “insulted” businessmen. “They called all businessmen chor (thieves)” without realising the contribution of the business community in the economy. Stating that Mahatma Gandhi too came from businessmen community of banias, he said the country has seen the “insults” meted out by the Congress to traders. After being re-elected, he said, his government will set up a National Traders’ Welfare Board, bring trader credit cards and a pension scheme for small shopkeepers. Also, the provision will be made to provide loans of up to Rs 50 lakh without collateral, the prime minister promised to traders. Congress-led governments blamed traders for ills like price rise when it was the party’s own hoarders who were black marketing commodities, he alleged. Listing his government’s achievements, he said the NDA regime has ended 1,500 archaic laws at the rate of one per day in the last five years to make doing business easier in the country. Processes have been simplified, inspector raj largely checked and personal interference in income tax assessment removed. “I consider you (traders) as biggest stakeholder of the economy. Opposition parties remember you only on special occasion,” he said. Modi said the Goods and Services Tax, which was brought in July 2017 by amalgamating 17 different central and state taxes, has made doing business transparent, ended state check-posts and resulted in doubling of registered traders. “I do not say there may have not been mistakes (in implementing GST) but we have quickly addressed any anomalies based on suggestions from traders,” he said.
New Delhi: Hansika Shukla from Delhi Public School, Ghaziabad topped the 12th Standard CBSE board exams, results for which were announced on Thursday afternoon.The teenager, who came in first along with Karishma Arora of Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, said she only dreamed of such results. Shukla scored 499 out of 500, securing full marks in all subjects other than English, for which she scored 99. She said that she has no regrets whatsoever for missing out on a full 500 because of one mark. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesSpeaking to media persons outside her school, Shukla credited her parents and teachers for the huge educational, moral, and emotional support they gave her, unable to control her happiness and sheer surprise. However, her teachers showed no surprise at her picture-perfect scorecard. One of her teachers reportedly said that Shukla has been a consistent performer and that it is reflected in her internal examination results as well. Talking to the press, Shukla said that although she has an active interest in Psychology, she has not planned too far into the future. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarFor the time being, she said she wants to pursue a Bachelor’s in Psychology and expressed an interest to join the Indian Foreign Services. From the humanities stream, Shukla had taken History, Political Science, and Psychology as her core subjects and scored 100 in all of them. For her elective, she chose Hindustani vocals and scored full marks for it as well. Speaking of how she managed to achieve such scores, Shukla said she never had a particular number of hours that she studied. All she followed was a strict but continuous regime of studying for one hour and then taking a break. The preparations also saw her taking a break from social media with Shukla saying she was almost inactive on social media in the months leading up to the exams. Her mother is a professor at Ghaziabad college and her father is a secretary in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament. The overall results in CBSE saw girls outperforming boys generally. A total of more than 12.87 lakh students appeared for the examination and out of all the students who cleared the exams, 88.7 percent were girls, while 79.4 per cent were boys. The three students who are tied for second place are all girls. Gaurangi Chawla (Nirmal Ashram School, Rishikesh), Aishwarya (KV, Rai Bareilly), and Bhavya BR (SK International School, Haryana) all scored 498. And continuing with the trend, out of the 18 people tied for third position in the examination, 11 are girls. The Delhi zone performed third best after Trivandrum and Chennai, with 91.87 per cent students passing the examination.
Ohio State freshman forward Andre Wesson attempts a 3-pointer against Northwestern on Jan. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorAfter the injury to junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, freshman forward Andre Wesson has been receiving some valuable minutes off the bench for Ohio State in his first year at the college level.Wesson was a starter throughout his career at Westerville South High School. He averaged 17 points, six rebounds and three assists as the senior leader on route to a 2016 Ohio Division I state title. Now at OSU, he has been asked to be a role player in his first season, but is showing his coaches and teammates alike what his abilities are on the basketball court.After the injury to Bates-Diop, OSU coach Thad Matta has relied on Wesson, not to mimic the highly touted forward, but to play his own style of basketball when his number is called.“I love the way Andre (Wesson) is playing right now,” Matta said. “Kind of coming into his own, and he’s different than Keita (Bates-Diop) but can do some of the same things.”In limited minutes off the bench in Big Ten play, Wesson has averaged 2.6 points per game, with only three rebounds and one assist. However, averaging only 9.7 minutes of playing time, the freshman is third on the team with five steals and has two blocks in conference play.In the Buckeyes’ last game against Minnesota on Wednesday, Wesson played a career-high 19 minutes and was a factor in the 78-72 victory. He connected on 6-of-7 foul shots and nailed a 3 in the second half to extend the lead to eight with 10 minutes remaining.Wesson’s minutes and production has spiked as he becomes more acquainted with the college game.“Just being more comfortable, getting used to the speed of the game,” Wesson said. “That’s probably the thing that has helped. Also, just changing gears a bit more and not playing at one speed. Just slowing down and letting the game slow down.”From what Wesson has done in practice, junior forward Jae’Sean Tate thinks that his production in the actual games will come with time.“He just has to keep getting more comfortable in the game because in practice, I mean when we go scarlet and gray, he dominates. I don’t think he ever misses two shots in a row,” Tate said. “He’s been playing good minutes and has been a big part of our offense and defense when he checks in. We are going to need him to do that and continue to get better.”Going forward, Wesson has some areas of the game where he knows he can improve. When it is all said and done, though, the team comes first.“Probably just being more assertive, being more aggressive on the offensive end,” Wesson said. “Just continuing to just do my job, whatever the team needs me to do to win.”