Hiring of GECOM staff should be outsourced – PPP Commissioner

first_imgOpposition-nominated Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Commissioners are likely to push for external organisations to interview candidates for positions at the elections body, since it appears that the current process is being bypassed.Commissioner Bibi Shadick, at a press conference Tuesday, said she will be making this recommendation in the future, since it may be the only way to ensure there is credibility in the process of hiring key personnel.Her suggestion comes days after an investigation by the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) confirmed that GECOM had, for the first time in history, overlooked the top ranked candidate for a position within the organisation. Specifically, the probe found that Vishnu Persaud was ignored even though an internal recruitment process ranked him as the best qualified for the job of Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO).When the matter was put to vote at the full Commission however, the Government Commissioners and the Chairman voted for the second ranked candidate, Roxanne Myers.Commissioner Bibi ShadickJustice James Patterson told the ERC investigators that he did not vote for Persaud because he had a feeling he was “shifty”.This explanation, Shadick contended, is unacceptable. “How do you come to the conclusion that the man is shifty when you’ve never met him,” she inquired.Justice Patterson, according to the ERC report, had failed to provide evidence to substantiate his claims about Persaud.Further commenting on the report, Commissioner Shadick said she was disappointed with the general conclusion on the allegations of unfair hiring practices at GECOM.GECOM Chairman, retired Justice James Patterson“I am disappointed in the ERC report in that they did not have any documentation to make a finding on hiring practices at GECOM… what they should have said, was that in the absence of information, they could not have made that determination,” she explained.The ERC said it found no evidence to support claims that GECOM favoured one ethnicity over another in its recruitment process. However, this was because the Human Resources Manager did not cooperate.Commissioner Robeson Benn believes her lack of participation affected the outcome of the investigation.Like the ERC Commissioners, he too advocated for that body to have powers to summon persons and to administer penalties for failing to comply.last_img read more

Paul backing Warriors to shine against Stars

first_img– Coach Botha says team focusing on one game at a timeGuyana Amazon Warriors all-rounder Keemo Paul and Head Coach Johan Botha said the team were focused on this weekend’s upcoming double-headers, but were looking to take it one match at a time as they prepared to tackle the St Lucia Stars at Providence, today, Saturday, August 11.Guyana Amazon Warriors all-rounder Keemo Paul and Head Coach Johan Botha at a press conference on FridayDuring the Warriors’ pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon at the Marriott Hotel, the right-arm seamer, who was the pick of the Guyana franchise’s bowling in Thursday night’s opener versus the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, said it was good to have kicked off the campaign on a high note.“I just backed myself and bowled well and bowled my best ball when I thought it was the right time, so it’s all about having a clear mind. I see everything as a challenge, so I just want to overcome it and make strides,” said Paul.The West Indies fast-bowler starred with 2-16, standing out among a good bowling performance from the other world-class Warriors bowlers. The Essequibian said that he was happy to be called upon by his captain to be a key part of the pace attack, adding that he was looking forward to maintaining his form.“I’m looking forward to bowling in the death overs; to do it for the Warriors is an honour. I’m embracing the opportunity that has been given to me, so I just want to continue to do well in my death overs or whenever I’m given the ball.”From a bowling perspective, the ex-Windies U-19 Vice Captain said that overall it was good to have a first-hand look at the surface at Providence, especially with two more home games left over the weekend. He also maintained that the experienced as well as upcoming bowlers would need to work as a unit in order to keep teams at bay throughout the competition.“I mean we have a lot of senior bowlers in our team with international experience, they know how they want to go about doing their stuff; they played a few practice games on the wicket so they know what it’s like. I think everyone has knowledge of how the wicket plays, so it’s about backing yourself when you get out there,” Paul added.Head Coach Botha was also in good spirits as he said the team had ideal preparation ahead of the Patriots encounter. The ex-South African all-rounder also added that he was delighted with how the team handled their first assignment, adding that it was necessary to keep the momentum at a high going forward.Regarding the woes, Botha said while he was thus far happy with the batting and bowling returns following game one, he was focused on improving in the area of fielding as well as helping bowlers reduce the number of extra deliveries, something which he said needed to be rectified immediately.It was also highlighted by the Coach that they were not about to take the Stars lightly as he knew they would be seeking to rebound, given their opening round loss to the defending champs Trinbago Knight Riders.“Any team would want to start three from three, but we are going to focus on tomorrow (Saturday, get the result we want, then focus on Sunday. Personally I think we can win games on the road and if someone outplays us, we will have to go on the road and win games,” Botha declared.Meanwhile, the St Lucia team underwent their training session on Friday, with a rebound win definitely on the cards. Despite a star-studded top order, the Stars failed to shine in Wednesday’s game as the likes of Andre Fletcher, David Warner, Lendl Simmons, Captain Kieron Pollard, and Darren Sammy all failed.With a powerhouse line-up including T20 specialist bowlers – pacers Mitchell McCleneghan and Kesrick Williams, the Stars will be gunning for a win to get themselves going this season. The Warriors will, however, fancy their chances as they beat the Stars twice last season in two low-scoring games.The first ball is expected to bowl off at 16:00h Guyana time. (Clifton Ross)last_img read more

Local ranch doubles for Mideast

first_img“It’s a hot-ticket item now,” said Jody Hart, founder and president of Los Angeles-based Combat Casting. “A lot of TV shows are based on reality; so are movies. … The fact we’re at war is going to create story lines for writers in both (media).” Combat Casting lives up to its name, peopling TV shows and feature films with active-duty and retired military personnel as actors and crew members. Some performed in a History Channel drama on the death of football great Pat Tillman in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan, with Blue Cloud doubling for the rugged Mideast landscape. A fleet of exploded wrecks at the ready – helicopters, jeeps, buses, cars – lend a touch of realism. “When special effect puts that little puff of smoke in the cars, you’re there,” Veluzat said. SANTA CLARITA – Upscale tracts are cropping up all over Santa Clarita, but a bunch of shabby shacks in Bouquet Canyon that resemble a bombed-out Iraqi village won’t be replaced any time soon. The neighbors don’t care and the owner couldn’t be more pleased. “People don’t realize Newhally-wood is here in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Rene Veluzat, who owns the 100-acre Blue Cloud Movie Ranch. A faux gas station tapped for a Vogue cover shoot and the ’50s diner are nice, but Veluzat’s mainstays are the Iraqi and Afghanistan streetscapes and scruffy hills, burned by a fire years ago. The gold mine used to be an illegal dump, literally, before Veluzat rescued it. Skeptical friends shook their heads, wondering how the former stuntman and character actor would turn a buck from his questionable investment, but fate intervened. Wildfires in 2000 burned the trash and everything else. Popular TV shows filmed at the ranch include “The Unit,” “Medium,” “JAG” and “Without a Trace.” Feature films include “The Shaggy Dog” and the sci-fi film “Serenity.” The ranch is within the so-called 30-mile zone, which saves clients money. The zone’s centerpoint is in Los Angeles, and filming within its radius cuts costs on overnight lodging and per diem crew fees. “Rene stuck on something great before it actually happened,” Hart said. “He had a small town, he was a great businessman, knew what he had, what it could be used for.” Veluzat, a licensed contractor, fussed over some of the sets, enlivening them with vivid details, but when production crews balked about his choice of treatments he toned them down. The move paid off, and not only do the paying customers lend their own touches, they often leave them behind because it’s cheaper than demolishing them. Steven Bochco’s series “Over There” shot one episode at the ranch. Sam Sako served as a technical adviser on the series. Neighbors may do a double take when Sako appears with a carload of costumed extras, but Veluzat takes it in stride. Sako grew up in Baghdad and is cashing in on authenticity with his Mideast in Hollywood.com venture. He provides translations in Arabic, Afghani and Farsi and coaches actors, creates props, signs and costumes, as well as offering valuable cultural advice. He, too, worked on the Tillman project. “We created an atmosphere that resembled the Afghan location where Tillman was killed,” he said. “Rene has the sets. I dressed up the actors and we gave the look of the North Alliance, and I also taught them how to say a few words in Pashtu.” When Al-Jazeera hit town to shoot a piece on Arabs in Hollywood, they made a beeline to Sako. History comes in all shapes and sizes. Animal expert Phil Smith has known Veluzat for three decades. His company, Piru-based Phil’s Animals Rentals, has provided horses and livestock and more than 40 styles of period and modern wagons, carriages and buggies. “He’s so easy to get along with; he understands the business and knows what you need,” Smith said. “You can use the little towns for many different uses, but mainly its his personality.” judy.orourke@dailynews.com (661) 257-5255 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_imgPackie Bonner has revealed how his own family’s battle with cancer has driven him to meet the disease head-on.Packie BonnerThe Donegal soccer legend is backing the Irish Cancer Society’s latest book ‘Man to Man – Irish Stories of Hope in Prostrate Cancer.’The big Keadue man revealed that two of his sisters have been struck down with the disease. “I’ve had two sisters affected, one had breast cancer, one had ovarian cancer and both of them, thank God, are over it and are doing okay.“Cathy, one of my sisters, had cancer in her neck when she was a young girl and later had breast cancer – she went through chemotherapy and she’s over it.“Being around people with cancer is pretty harrowing and you need to help people out.“I’m delighted to be part of promoting this and getting it out there,” he said. Packie said he is particularly delighted that the book is aimed at helping men recognise the dangers signs of prostrate cancer.“We’re trying to promote that men come out and speak to each other about it, that is embedded in the book.“When I was reading it, I was trying to get into their minds, I was forced to get into their minds and ask “if this happened to me what would I do?”“For instance, 70 per cent of women use helplines, but only 30 per cent of men do,” he added. PACKIE REVEALS HIS FAMILY’S CANCER BATTLE DRIVES HIM ON was last modified: June 9th, 2014 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) Tags:cancerdonegalPackie Bonnerlast_img read more

Terror may be at bay at port

first_img“However, these more advanced measures will not be in place until much later, and their effectiveness has yet to be tested,” Moore wrote. But Rachel Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Port of Los Angeles, defended port security efforts and said the economic impact of an attack would be mitigated by transferring cargo shipments to other ports around the nation. “Also, we have put in place a myriad of new security enhancements at the port. And we have the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs, FBI and all of the local law enforcement agencies, including the LAPD, CHP, Long Beach police and our own L.A. Port Police. “We’re one of the few ports in the nation to have our own police force exclusively dedicated to us.” Still, conference keynote speaker Rear Admiral William D. Sullivan, vice director for strategic plans and policy for the U.S. Department of Defense, said al-Qaida’s goal is to bankrupt the nation and force it to withdraw its troops from the Middle East. “There is no question if you look at what we’ve spent in the last 41/2 years on homeland security and terrorism that it’s staggering,” Sullivan said. Gary Becker, a senior economist at the Department of Homeland Security, said the Congressional Budget Office has estimated the annual cost of fighting terrorism at tens of billions of dollars. But he said that doesn’t take into account many variables, such as delays at airports and the borders and other factors. “We really don’t know a whole lot about the overall costs and benefits of homeland security,” Becker said. At the conference, speakers recommended that experts further study the costs and benefits of homeland security and refine the new risk-based method of allocating the money to ensure that cities and states with the most likely targets get their fair share of the funding. Intriligator recommended that the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency begin working together and sharing intelligence and he suggested that jurisdictions nationwide should emulate the county’s Terrorism Early Warning Group, which holds regular intelligence briefings. “I think it’s a model for the world,” Intriligator said. “Al-Qaida’s goal is to kill 4 million Americans. The big one is coming, but it’s not an earthquake. It’s a terrorist strike.” troy.anderson@dailynews.com (213) 974-8985160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“I think we’re going to pay a big price for that because in my view I think we’re still extremely vulnerable,” Intriligator said. “I think we are facing a huge threat.” Intriligator was one of more than a dozen speakers at a conference on terrorism Wednesday hosted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-funded Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, based out of the University of Southern California. Jim Moore II, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at USC, said research on the impact of a “dirty bomb” or other weapon of mass destruction at the nation’s three largest port complexes found it would cost the economy tens of billions of dollars a month. A large attack on the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach alone would have a $23 billion-a-month impact on the local economy. In his study, Moore wrote it is well known that ports have been vulnerable since 2001 because of the infrequency of container checks. He noted that officials have replaced handheld radiation detectors with stationary radiation screening devices to screen containers coming through the ports since new rules went into effect in 2004. It’s been nearly five years since terrorists attacked the United States, but local experts predicted Wednesday that there will be another attack that will make Sept. 11, 2001, “look like peanuts.” And a likely scenario involves separate or simultaneous attacks on the nation’s largest ports – Los Angeles/Long Beach, New York City/New Jersey and Houston – that could cripple the nation’s economy. “Instead of talking 3,000 casualties, we are going to be talking about hundreds of thousands, or millions of casualties,” said Mike Intriligator, one of the nation’s leading economists and a professor of economics, political science and public policy at UCLA. Intriligator said the federal government has not responded innovatively to protect the country and instead has created a bureaucracy with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. last_img read more

Chelsea eye Liverpool target as potential Eden Hazard replacement

first_img REAL DEAL The France international was on the verge of joining Liverpool earlier this summer but a move collapsed at the 11th hour.That, though, has not put Chelsea off and they are now tracking the attacking midfielder closely. smart causal Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won gameday cracker Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Nabil Fekir has been earmarked by Chelsea as a potential replacement for Eden Hazard, should the Belgian leave for Real Madrid.Hazard is being heavily linked with a move away this summer after Los Blancos sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus. The Spanish side want to sign a marquee player, with the 27-year-old believed to be their top target.Chelsea are ready to dig their heels in over Hazard to hang onto him, but they are putting plans in place in case he does go.According to L’Equipe, Fekir is on their shortlist to replace the forward as they believe he could step up to the plate. Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade possible standings Fekir appeared in six of France’s seven World Cup games 2 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? shining Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars center_img tense How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures silverware REVEALED How Chelsea could line up against Southampton – what system will Lampard play? Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won All six of his World Cup appearances came as a substitute 2 Real Madrid ‘offer’ Isco to Chelsea in bid to ‘make room’ for Tottenham star Latest Chelsea News REVEALED possible xi last_img read more

Inmates caught soon after escape

first_imgADRIAN, Mich. – A convicted murderer and another inmate escaped from prison Friday by hiding in the back of a garbage truck, but they were quickly arrested, a state corrections spokesman said. Lyle Harvey Curtis, 37, and William Dean Michels, 47, left the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in a garbage truck but were captured less than an hour later, said Russ Marlan, the prisons spokesman. Curtis broke his leg when the two men jumped from the back of the truck at a nearby landfill, but the two kept going, Marlan said. He said the prisoners abducted a man shoveling his driveway and forced him to drive them to a strip mall, but neighbors who witnessed the abduction called authorities. The men were arrested when they arrived at the strip mall, he said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Curtis is serving a 40 to 70 years for second-degree murder, Marlan said. Michels is serving 34 to 60 years for rape, he said. There was no immediate word on additional escape or abduction charges. Last month in South Carolina, two inmates escaped from a maximum security prison in a garbage truck. The two, a convicted kidnapper and a convicted murderer, were captured at a motel two days later. 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

Daniel and Majella ‘thrilled’ to enjoy first night in new Donegal home

first_imgDaniel and Majella O’Donnell have finally been allowed to move back into their home in Kincasslagh following an extensive revamp. There was much excitement last year when the couple volunteered to let celebrity architect Dermot Bannon renovate their coastal home for a special edition of RTE’s Room to Improve. Although the project took much longer than expected, Daniel and Majella have shared their delight with being able to spend their first night back in their own home today.“Dermot has done a fantastic job and we are thrilled,” Daniel told his Facebook followers, sharing a photo to show off his new bright and modern kitchen. Daniel, Dermot and Majella. Photo: Daniel O’Donnell FacebookDaniel revealed last week how the renovation escalated from a small upgrade to a major revamp when Dermot became involved. Fans of Room to Improve will know that Dermot often goes above and beyond the budget limits when his design dreams take hold, but Daniel was less than happy to learn about his pricing.Speaking on Ireland AM last week, Daniel said he’s worried about what footage the episode will show from his exchanges with Dermot:“I’m not sure what’s going to be on TV. I’m kind of worried about because I was like a dog,” Daniel said. “We did have a couple of issues and let’s just say we both got our own way,” Majella said. The couple had hoped to improve just three rooms in the house, but when Dermot came along he put the building through a total transformation.Despite their disagreements, Majella and Daniel said they were happy to eventually follow his directions.“There’s no point in having somebody like Dermot, with the ability, the vision, the know-how and experience and then be telling him what he should do,” Daniel said.Now that the O’Donnells are delighted with the outcome, fans have sent many warm wishes of health and happiness to them in their newly-designed home. Fans are now eagerly awaiting the upcoming season of Room to Improve to peek inside the couple’s contemporary space by the sea.Daniel and Majella ‘thrilled’ to enjoy first night in new Donegal home was last modified: February 6th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:daniel o’donnellDermot BannonMajella O’DonnellRoom To ImproveRTElast_img read more

Red Bluff 11-12 Giants complete 24-0 season

first_imgCorning >> If you want to know how it feels to lose a Little League game, don’t bother asking a member of the Red Bluff Giants 11-12 girls softball team, which completed a perfect 24-0 season Tuesday evening with a 12-1 win over the Corning Alabama team at Estil C. Clark Park.The win was not unusual for the Giants, many of whom have played together for years, ending after just four innings due to a lead of 10 runs or more. The same thing happened in all but one game this season, a match-up …last_img

The Bible on a Pin

first_imgIsraeli scientists have reproduced the Old Testament on a chip smaller than a pin head reported PhysOrg.  They’re calling it the world’s tiniest Bible.  A picture of the chip, the size of a grain of sugar, was included in the report on the BBC News.    The scientists managed their feat, the article explains, by sending focused beams of tiny particles, called gallium ions, onto the surface of the silicon chip.  If you took a picture of the chip you would have to enlarge it more than 7 meters square to be able to read it.  They plan, in fact, to print such a poster next to the nano-Bible within the Faculty of Physics building.That’s nothing.  God can put 1018 bits in one cubic millimeter of DNA.  If you wrote that amount of information on DVDs, you’d have to stack them more than six times the height of Mt. Everest (08/16/2002).    Don’t be a pinhead; be sure not to miss the message inscribed in that tiny Bible: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more