Hubert Lawrence | Whither the Russians?

first_imgAny way you look at it, the recent news of 31 positive findings from retests of doping samples from the 2008 Olympic Games is irksome. It means that the ill deeds of those 31 escaped undetected. If they won medals in Beijing – the wondrous city of those Games – they have enjoyed elevated status under false pretences. The news broke at a time when a feather can break sport’s back. Sponsors are pulling away from athletics, one imagines, for fear that the troubles of that sport’s federation will contaminate their brands. To its credit, athletics is doing a comprehensive review of its procedure and is working to stamp out corruption. In the midst of all this misery is a surprising statistic. Those 31 positive findings come from a sample pool of 454 retests. In keeping with the WADA code, test samples are held for a decade and retested with more exact methods that were unavailable originally. If you flip the number, it indicates that 423 retest samples were clean. That’s over 93 per cent. It would be wonderful if a day would come when a figure like that could be taken as an index for honesty in sport. Of course, those tests only tell some of the story. The whole truth lies with retests of year-round out-of-competition doping samples, with catching those scoundrels who might still be technologically ahead of the tests and putting the cuffs on those who may have paid to have their doping results doctored. The other point of interest is whether most of those 31 positives fall heavily on one or just a few countries. That penny will drop shortly. While that matter brews, the question of whether Russians should be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games this year is contentious. In athletics, it could be reasoned that the increased scrutiny has already hurt the Russians. At the 2013 World Championships, held in Moscow, the home team topped the medal tables with 17. Seven of those medals were gold. By comparison, at last year’s World Championships, the Russians took home only four medals, two of those being gold medals won by Sergey Shubenkov in the 110 metres hurdles and Marina Kuchina in the women’s high jump. While doping wrongdoings have led to the dismantling of the once-dominant Russian walk programme and middle distance giants like 2008 Olympic 800-metre winner Mariya Savinova have been pinpointed, Shubenkov and Kucina have so far remained unmentioned in the scandal. They may claim that they should be allowed to go to the Games to compete. Their Olympic bids sit on a knife’s edge. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980. ALREADY HURTlast_img read more

A crime was committed

first_imgDear Editor,Having received a sound thrashing at the hands of her partner – not the first time – which led to her being hospitalised, the victim is not only refusing to co-operate but has allegedly lied to law enforcement officers (“Woman severely beaten by husband refuses to press charges” Guyana Times September 24).A crime was committed but the victim is refusing to co-operate with law enforcement.This has to be seen as tantamount to an offence in itself and a travesty.Too often victims take matters into their own hands by refusing to have their partners and perpetrators of the offence face the consequences of their grievous actions, hoping that by giving a reprieve and another chance, change will come.But change does not come and then it is too late.Sincerely,Shamshun Mohamedlast_img read more

Region 10 officials, students rally for safer road use

first_imgIn a bid to raise awareness about safer driving and road use, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) officials and students turned out in their numbers on Friday last to participate in a grand rally organised by the Regional Road Safety Association (RSA) in partnership with the Regional Traffic Department.Students turned out in their numbers for the road safety rally on FridayThe event was organised as part of the 18th National Road Safety Week observances, which ended on Saturday under the theme, “Accidents can be deadly, use the roads safely. Drive defensively and stay alive”.The rally commenced at the Linden Technical Institute (LTI) Ground and culminated at the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) Ground. During the march, students chanted slogans and carried placards highlighting the importance of road safety and risks taken by drivers which often lead to fatal accidents.Delivering the feature address, Regional Chairman Renis Morian admonished the students to make road safety a way of life as he urged them to utilise the roads correctly.Police ranks educating students at the rally about the various equipment in the Traffic DepartmentTraffic Inspector Sherwin Henry told the gathering that the Regional Police Department currently had road safety campaigns ongoing in an effort to minimise fatal accidents as he pointed out several road safety violations detected within the Region.“The Traffic Department is running campaigns on speeding and drunk driving … We also have vehicles travelling at night without taillights. There are other obstructions and acts of lawlessness.“We are dealing with those situations and we are curbing those situations with those drivers who are using the road in a dangerous and careless manner,” Inspector Henry pointed out.The Traffic Inspector noted that it was the hope of the Traffic Department and the Region 10 RSA to see all road users use the roadways in a proper and safe manner.“Pedestrians, use the sidewalks and pedestrian crossing. Drivers must drive within the speed limit. Always look out for defaulting drivers, pedestrians who perhaps might be defaulting. Give proper signals, give timely signals so that other drivers will be able to know your intention,” he urged.Region 10 RSA Chairman Vernon Todd noted that the concerns were not only to reduce road deaths but to also reduce all accidents as he pointed out that even injuries could have long-lasting consequences.“Injuries can lead to pressures on home life and the public healthcare system. You may be in an accident and not die but be injured for years.“We need the people to work with us. The Police can’t do it alone, the Association or the Council can’t do it alone, the insurance companies can’t do it alone. Each and every single one of us has to take up the responsibility”, Todd said.He also highlighted numerous activities conducted within the Region in recognition of Road Safety Week. These include painting of pedestrian crossings, the ‘White Night’ campaign, a driver symposium, exhibitions and hamper distributions.last_img read more

GGDMA decries Govt’s burdensome taxes

first_img… tells Opposition Leader of hardships facing mining sectorThe top brass of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) decried the range of burdensome taxes implemented by the coalition Government.The Association’s executives raised their concerns during a meeting with a team of Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs), led by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday.The three-hour meeting, which was held at the GGDMA’s office at North Road,Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo along with his parliamentarian colleagues and the executives of GGDMA at Wednesday’s meetingBourda, Georgetown, saw the discussion of a number of important national issues affecting Guyanese; especially miners and those operating in the mining industry.In particular, the executives of the Association highlighted a number of critical challenges which the small-, medium- and even the larger-scale miners are currently facing.Among the challenges identified were the spike in taxes across the board implemented by the Government; in particular, the Tributors Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) on heavy-duty mining equipment, the two per cent Withholding Tax, breach of promises in respect of the grant of duty-free concessions on mining equipment, vehicles and fuel and the atrocious state of the roads in the mining areas and other related issues.After listening to the plight of the GGDMA executives, the Leader of the Opposition pledged his and his party’s continuous support in respect of the matters raised. He further endeavours to highlight their concerns in the National Assembly and at every other available forum.Jagdeo was accompanied by Opposition parliamentarians: Anil Nandlall, Irfaan Ali, Juan Edghill and Odinga Lumumba.Following the presentation of the 2017 National Budget back in December, and its subsequent passage in the National Assembly two weeks later, the GGDMA has complained bitterly about the range of new tax measures, accusing Government of ignoring the plight of small- and medium-scale miners. The Association has been the lobbying body of the mining industry for over 30 years.Of recent, stakeholders in the gold and diamond mining industry said they have “felt blindsided” and have been “surprised by the sudden, rushed and high-handed implementation of several new policy decisions” of the coalition in relation to the mining sector.In fact, in one of its missives earlier this year, the GGDMA bluntly questioned the “real motive of the [Government of Guyana] GoG in abandoning the long standing tradition of consultation with the industry and now resorting to an authoritarian style.”Taking a stance on the matter, the Association asserted that it was ready to take the necessary action to protect the livelihoods of all legitimate Guyanese and other miners who have invested time, money and energy in the sector.last_img read more

Dodgers notes: Valdez not making decision an easy one

first_imgAfter all, guys like this rarely make it through waivers. “Hopefully, I can stay here,” Valdez said. “That’s what I’m trying to do.” Valdez replaced Rafael Furcal at shortstop in the third inning and went 1 for 2, doubling into the right-field corner off one-time Dodgers pitcher Buddy Carlyle in the fifth. Despite committing an error during his six innings in the field, he had five assists and two putouts, started one double play, and turned the pivot on another. But his best moment came in the eighth inning, when he raced into shallow center field in pursuit of a high pop fly by Braves catcher Corky Miller. The ball landed just out of Valdez’s reach and died on the grass. But without even looking to see if Yunel Escobar had held up at first, Valdez picked up the ball and fired it into second base, where Tony Abreu tagged Escobar sliding in. The play robbed Miller of what should have been a clean, bloop single. “Wilson is probably one of the most heads-up shortstops I have ever seen play,” said Ken Howell, the pitching coach for the Dodgers’ Triple-A Las Vegas affiliate, where Valdez had the best season of his professional career last summer. “That play you saw with that fly ball, he just instinctively knew the guy had held up to see if the ball would be caught. That play didn’t shock me at all, because I have seen him make it far too many times.” Valdez went to camp last spring with Kansas City, signing there as a minor-league free agent because, he says, Royals officials told him he would make the club. “But they lied to me,” he said. “So when I got traded to the Dodgers (on March 31), I was just excited for the opportunity to play every day, even if it was in the minor leagues.” KISSIMMEE, Fla. – On an otherwise forgettable afternoon for the Dodgers, Wilson Valdez made sure people would remember him. Not just the people wearing baseball uniforms, but also the ones wearing khakis, golf shirts and Panama hats behind home plate. For Valdez, who is a long shot to make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster but is out of minor-league options, spring training is as much about impressing scouts from other clubs as it is about impressing Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and manager Grady Little. And if Valdez continues to perform the way he did in Thursday’s Grapefruit League opener – a 7-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves in front of 5,442 at the Ballpark – the Dodgers’ brass probably will face a clear choice: keep him or lose him. center_img Valdez was the 51s’ primary shortstop, hitting .297 with 24 doubles and getting named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team. He also posted a .366 on-base percentage, walked more times (56) than he struck out (52), and committed just 16 errors at the most error-prone position. For all that, the 51s’coaching staff voted him the team’s MVP. “He worked his tail off to become a key component to the organization,” Howell said. Still, he wasn’t enough of a component to warrant a September callup – or any other kind of callup – at a time when the Dodgers had a glut of middle-infield types already in the majors. But the club already has taken one step to avoid losing Valdez to free agency, adding him to the 40-man roster last October. So it isn’t inconceivable that the Dodgers would take another step by adding him to the 25-man roster when they break camp. But it’s tough to imagine that happening, given the team is crowded with veteran position players. Shaky pitching: The Braves roughed up Randy Wolf, Chad Billingsley, Travis Smith and Chin-Hui Tsao for 14 hits through the first seven innings. “We obviously gave up more hits than you want to give up,” pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. “We struggled to put people away, and that will come when our guys have better command of their secondary pitches. “Randy, when he would get ahead in the count, didn’t have that little something. He had a tremendous season against left-handed hitters last year (.086 average), and three of the four hits off him (in two innings) were by lefties.” (818) 713-3607 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

My Donegal… with musician Farrah Bogle

first_imgFarrah Bogle is a singer and musician from Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal. Not one to be shy, Farrah is heavily involved in local theatre, and has taken on several leading roles with the Ballyshannon Musical Society.In 2013 she released her debut album ‘Handle With Care’ and was a finalist in TG4’s Glór Tíre in 2014. Her passion for music extends into academia too, where she holds a higher national diploma in Music from the North West Regional College Derry.Farrah is one of the main organisers of the Marquee in Cashelard Charity Weekend, which begins on Friday. The charity weekend raises much needed funds for the Donegal cancer bus. Last year the Fonsie Bogle music extravaganza raised a massive €11,000 for the bus. This is Farrah’s Donegal…(1) What is your favourite place in Donegal and why? There’s so many gorgeous places in our county, but it’s hard to beat my own area, Ballyshannon. It is Ireland’s oldest town and has a wealth of history, music and heritage. There is beautiful scenery in the surrounding areas. (2) If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be? Why would you want to change anything about Donegal? Maybe a bit more sunshine would be good!(3) Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why? I think people can take great pride in Daniel , Majella and Margo O Donnell. Great ambassadors and role models for us all.(4) Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner? It’d have to be Daniel for me.(5) What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years? Can I be cliche and say the All Ireland win in 2012? I remember the electric atmosphere when we saw Murphy lift the Sam Maguire on the big screen at the gables in Ballyshannon! Magic!(6) What was Donegal’s saddest moment? I was really saddened earlier this year by the Buncrana Pier tragedy. I think the county mourned together for all those lives that were so sadly lost that day.(7) What is your favourite Donegal-made product? Magee’s tweed and Donegal Blonde craft beer.Donegal Blonde is brewed in Dicey Reillys, in my home town of Ballyshannon. It’s definitely a must try!(8) Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why? I think that it’s very hard to top Daniel O Donnell. He really put Donegal on the map and he loves his home county. (9) Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion? I think that Bundoran hotelier Brian McEniff is definitely one of the most successful businessmen in the county.Also, a man that was a key figure in business in south Donegal was the late James White. Ballyshannon and Donegal town owe an awful lot to Jim. Both have created huge employment also.(10) Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time? I like Neil & Eamonn McGee! They won’t be pushed around too handy 😀I also have great admiration for Seamie Coleman, a true Donegal man and a gent at that. Last year, he so very kindly sponsored a signed jersey for our auction which raised crucial funds for the cancer bus. (11) What is your favourite Donegal restaurant? On a good evening, nowhere will beat The Salmon Inn, Mullinasole, Laghey. Food and views are superb.(12) Donegal’s golden eagles or basking sharks? Golden Eagles.(13) What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression? Are you making tae?(14) What is the biggest challenge facing the people of Donegal today? I think that the recent Brexit will be a challenge for our border county, because we rely so much on tourism. I do a residency in the Central Hotel in Donegal Town, and most of the tours I play to are from the UK. So hopefully the dropping sterling will not have adverse effects on us.(15) What is your favourite Donegal food? Donegal seafood.(16) Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people? The roads in rural areas are pretty bad! They could do with a serious revamp! In a way we are a forgotten county.(17) If you had a million euro to spend on improving something in Donegal, what would it be? How far will a million go on the roads? Not very far I doubt!(18) What’s the most rewarding part of running a charity event? It’s very rewarding to see everyone out having a good time together, but I would have to say that when we handed over the €11,000 to the cancer bus last year, I had never experienced a feeling like it before.I was so proud of what our people had achieved. This was contributory to the new vehicle the Good and New were able to buy this year. Amazing.(19) How vital is the Good & New Cancer Bus service fo the people of Donegal? The cancer bus is an extremely important service, that a lot of Donegal people not only use, but rely on. Our nearest Cancer Centre of Excellence is in Galway, and that’s a fair journey from the top of Inishowen.I think that everybody should support the Good and New Cancer bus as no one knows when they, or someone belonging to them will need it next.(20) Is there anything about Donegal that you are very proud of? I am first and foremost proud of the lovely people in this county. I don’t think any people in the world will match the people of Donegal.My Donegal… with musician Farrah Bogle was last modified: July 28th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:cashelard charity weekenddonegal cancer busfarrah bogleGood and Newlast_img read more


first_imgKILLYBEGS will face Glenswilly in this year’s RnaG county senior final.The fishermen won by the narrowest of margins at MacCumhaill Park, seeing off the brave challenge by 0-11 to 1-07.Killybegs threw their shocking league form to one side to win the game – having performed poorly this year, failing to win in any of their last 12 league matches. But they pulled off the semi-final win – despite being down to 14 men for half the match after Enda Murphy was shown a straight red for a nasty challenge on Malin’s Damian Harkin.Now for the final – and a clash with Glenswilly, champions from 2011. GAA NEWS: KILLYBEGS PIP BRAVE MALIN TO TAKE PLACE IN COUNTY FINAL was last modified: October 6th, 2013 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)last_img read more

Murder charges filed in two deaths

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “That’s what the court found: There was insufficient evidence to hold my client to answer (on the dismissed charges),” Deputy Alternate Public Defender Walter Katz said. Hall, who was already on probation for battery on a peace officer after an arrest in May by Santa Clarita deputies, was being held without bail. The 28-foot-long motor home had been stolen June 18 from a Pearblosssom gasoline station, probably within one to three hours of the first fatal crash. The motor home hit Arevalo’s car after 4 p.m. June 18 on 47th Street East, south of Avenue R-8. Arevalo’s car went out of control and crashed into a utility pole. The motor home kept going, allegedly causing two other minor collisions before deputies spotted it near Avenue P and 26th Street East. LANCASTER – A Palmdale man accused of fleeing from a fatal crash in a stolen motor home and colliding with another vehicle, fatally injuring a teenager, has been ordered to stand trial on charges of murder. Christopher Anthony Hall, 40, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of 49-year-old Lilian Mary Arevalo of Palmdale and 16-year-old Brian McWright of Lancaster. Hall was also bound over for trial on two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer for steering close to patrol cars and on felony driving under the influence of alcohol. Prosecutors said Hall’s blood alcohol level was .15 percent, above the .08 level at which a motorist is presumed drunk under California law. Four counts of attempted murder on a peace officer were dismissed by the judge, who presided over the preliminary hearing last week, Hall’s attorney said. Deputies pursued the motor home for about eight minutes until it crashed into two more cars at Palmdale Boulevard and 50th Street East. The car containing McWright was dragged more than 100 feet before the motor home overturned. Hall was arrested there. McWright was on his way with his older brother, a cousin and the brother’s girlfriend to a Juneteenth celebration at Jackie Robinson Park in Littlerock. McWright, who attended Lancaster High School and was in the school’s Junior ROTC program, died three days after the crash. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 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

Manchester United v Chelsea preview: Bet365 free bets offer

first_imgIt’s the first heavyweight clash of the Premier League season – and right on cue, Bet365 have decided to run an exclusive free bet offer.Place a pre-match bet on the Manchester United v Chelsea game and Bet365 will give you a free In-Play bet to the same stake during the big match.To qualify for your free In-Play bet, simply place a bet before kick-off, then once the game starts place another bet on any In-Play market.If your FIRST In-Play bet loses we will refund this stake, up to the same value as your largest pre-match bet (max £50).It’s the latest offer for new customers from the online gaming giants and one which has proved very popular with punters in the past. The chance to lock in some profit through in-play betting has never been so enhanced.The rapid rise of in-play betting has revolutionised the opportunities available to punters. When logging onto Bet365’s in-play betting engine, you’ll have over 70 In-Play markets to play with, including Next Goal, Match Goals, Total Corners, Half-Time Result and Full-Time Result.Chelsea and United have been involved in some heated exchanges.Where has all the money been going in the build-up to this clash, then?Simple: it’s been piling on Chelsea’s chances.Jose Mourinho’s men have been all the rage in the betting markets all week with Bet365’s price of 9/4 still proving popular with Chelsea backers.The Special One and Chelsea, back together after a messy divorce, look a potentially destructive combination at Old Trafford.United have suffered 14 Premier League defeats against Chelsea – more than against any other side – while Mourinho has lost just two of his seven competitive games as a manager at Old Trafford (W3 D2 L2).Stopping the threat of Robin van Persie will be high on Mourinho’s agenda and past trends suggest that the Dutchman struggles when the pressure is on him to deliver against Chelsea in front of his own fans.Despite being in sensational form and scoring nine goals in his last eight Premier League appearances, van Persie has never scored a goal in a home game against Chelsea.That’s nine games in the colours of Arsenal and United where the deadly Dutchman has struggled to find his shooting boots.Van Persie is 4/1 to score first with Bet365 and 21/20 to bag at any time but the focus from punting circles regarding goalscoring betting has been firmly on one of the three Chelsea midfield musketeers that Mourinho will deploy behind the striker.In the opening half against Hull City last weekend, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Kevin de Bruyne were unplayable at times. The Red Devils may decide to stick an extra defensive body in that area of the field in order to try and quell the threat; however, the prices on Hazard and Oscar to score look very appealing.The Belgian international is 4/1 to score at any time, while Oscar has been very well backed with Bet365 around the 7/2 mark.last_img read more

Credit card fees to fall for most as Australia bans profiteering

first_img“The majority of Qantas customers will pay the same or less in fees than they do under the current system, and there’ll continue to be low-fee and fee-free options for customers who prefer not to pay with a credit card.” However, the new percentage fee structure means that people buying more expensive fares, such as international business class journeys and longer domestic trips, will pay more – in some cases substantially more.Qantas says its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar will announce its new credit and debit card fee structure “soon” – well in advance of the September 1 deadline laid down by the Reserve Bank of Australia in May.The Virgin Australia group, which includes low-cost carrier Tigerair, hasn’t yet announced its response to the new RBA rules, but it is expected to closely mirror the Qantas fees. Budget travellers appear to have had a small win, with Qantas becoming the first Australian airline to lower credit and debit card fees for ticket purchases, following the Australian government’s banning of credit card fee profiteering in February 2016.Qantas says a new percentage-based card payment fee will replace a flat fee of $A7 per booking from September 1 this year. The fee for payments made with a credit card, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners, will be 1.3 per cent, while the fee for payment using debit cards will be just 0.6 per cent. Qantas says that, for an average domestic return fare of $400, the credit card fee will be $5.20, compared with the current flat fee of $7. For an average international return fare of $2000, the fee will be $26, compared with the current flat fee of $30. The current debit card fees to be replaced by a 0.6 per cent charge are $10 for international travel and $2.50 for domestic fares. The airline says fees will be capped at $11 for domestic and trans-Tasman fares and $70 for international fares. “This gives passengers certainty about the maximum they’ll pay before they start booking and is in line with Qantas’ consistent position that it doesn’t profit from card payment fees,” Qantas says in a statement.last_img read more