Russel Westbrook explodes for 40 as Thunder pull away to beat Suns

first_imgT.J. Warren scored 19 and Deandre Ayton 16 for Phoenix, which had won five of its previous seven games after opening the season 4-24.“That’s a very winnable game for us,” Booker said. “We just let it slip. That team’s been together a long time. They know what it takes to close out games. We’re still learning.”The Thunder swept the four-game season series from the Suns.Schroder scored 10, including a pair of 3s, in what proved to be the decisive 17-2 fourth-quarter run that put Oklahoma City ahead 102-88 with 6:09 to play. Westbrook capped the outburst with a 3 and pretty much took over the game from there.“In the first half, my shot wasn’t falling and everybody else stepped up doing a great job,” Schroder said. “In the second half, everybody gave me confidence, told me to keep shooting and I did and in the fourth quarter I kept it going, shot every shot I could get and it went in.”ADVERTISEMENT ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) gets fouled by Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX — For three quarters on Friday night, the improving Phoenix Suns gave Oklahoma City everything it could handle.Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroder took over from there, and the Thunder rolled to a 118-102 victory.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES MOST READ Suns: Host Denver on Saturday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Suns’ reserves were the main contributors in a 16-4 second-quarter run.Nader converted a three-point play then scored again inside to put the Thunder up 43-35 with 10:02 left in the first half.But Josh Jackson sank a 19-footer, followed by a 3-pointer, to ignite the surge. Booker also hit a 3-pointer and Mikal Bridges scored from the baseline to put the Suns ahead 51-47 with 5:22 to go. There were five lead changes the rest of the half, with Oklahoma City leading 58-57 at the break.Phoenix scored the first six points of the second half to lead 63-55 and was up 82-77 after Warren’s 3-pointer, but Raymond Felton’s steal and layup cut it to 82-79. The Suns led 84-81 entering the fourth.“We can be pleased with the three quarters that we played and how we played, how we competed,” Phoenix coach Igor Kokoskov said, “but unfortunately it’s a 48-minute game.”TIP-INSThunder: Terrance Ferguson left the game due to stomach illness in the first quarter. Alex Abrines missed his second straight game due to stomach illness. … Oklahoma City has not lost three in a row since starting the season 0-4. … Thunder have beaten Phoenix six straight times. … George had started all 33 games this season. … Schroder made 3 of 12 shots in the first three quarters, 5 of 6 in the fourth. … Oklahoma City moved into second in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Denver.Suns: The Suns opened a season-long, seven-game home stand after a 3-2 road trip. … Booker missed his first six shots and was 1-for-7 shooting in the first quarter but with six assists. … Phoenix had won more games in the last seven than it had in the previous 28. … Kelly Oubre Jr. was 2 of 8 shooting, 0 of 4 on 3s, for four points in his home debut for the Suns.UP NEXTThunder: At Dallas on Sunday. No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkcenter_img Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lou Williams’ 36 sends Clippers past Lakers in first clash of year Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Westbrook scored 40 points, 15 in the game’s final 6 ½ minutes, Schroder scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Oklahoma City snapped a two-game skid despite the absence of Paul George, who missed his first game of the season due to a right quad contusion. Abdel Nader scored a career-high 18 for the Thunder.When the game was on the line, Thunder coach Billy Donovan said, “We defended really well, we rebounded really well and we took care of the basketball and were able to score points.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissDevin Booker had 25 points and 10 assists for the Suns, who had a three-point lead after three quarters but were outscored 37-18 in the fourth.“We lean on defense all season,” Westbrook said, “and it’s important that we constantly keep leaning on that to win games.” Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Bobby Portis scores 30 in debut as Wizards turn back Cavs

first_imgJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra MOST READ Whittaker meets Gastelum, Adesanya takes on Silva at UFC 234 Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES One of the players Washington acquired from the Chicago Bulls for Porter, Bobby Portis had a spectacular debut, scoring 30 points to lead the Wizards over the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-106 on Friday night.Portis had 16 in the first quarter, hitting all six of his field-goal attempts in the period.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“When I first got here yesterday, I felt the love right off,” Portis said. “Everybody welcomed me in. All my teammates and my coaches wanted me to be myself.”Portis said the advice he received was succinct. “‘Don’t try and fine tune. Come in and be who you are.’ That’s who I am,” he said. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ View comments Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Washington Wizards forward Bobby Portis gestures during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Washington. The Wizards won 119-106. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON — When the Washington Wizards found out that All-Star point guard John Wall was going to need surgery for a ruptured left Achilles tendon, just a month after surgery to repair bone spurs in his left heel, they decided to regroup.Wall’s surgery will cost him at least the majority of the 2019-20 season. After learning the news just ahead of the NBA’s trading deadline, the Wizards quickly traded Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris in separate deals.ADVERTISEMENT Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines?center_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “We turned the basketball over five times in that first quarter, which you just cannot do on the road,” Cavaliers coach Larry Drew said. “They built the lead, a lead just too big for us to overcome.”In his first game back after left foot surgery forced him to miss 50 games, Kevin Love started and played the first six minutes, scoring four points. He did not return to the game. Drew said Love would not play when Cleveland plays at Indiana on Saturday night.NEW ACQUISITIONSBesides Parker, Wesley Johnson, who came from New Orleans for Morris, had two points in 15 minutes.Brooks was impressed with Parker, but said he could have done more.“I’m probably the one that kept him from a triple-double,” Brooks said.Marquese Chriss, who was picked up by the Cavaliers in a three-team trade, had 13 points in 23 minutes.“I thought he did a good job for the first time, not really knowing what we’re doing as far as our plays and defensive schemes,” Drew said. “We threw him into the fire and I thought he responded well.”WALL SPEAKSWall, who will undergo surgery on Tuesday, said he was in “great” spirits and plans to spend time with his newborn son and his mother, who has cancer, during his rehabilitation. The Wizards led 77-57 early in the third quarter, but the Cavaliers got to within 89-86 late in the period. Thanks in part to 10 more points from Portis in the fourth, Washington pulled away.“Great pickup,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “That’s an understatement.”Bradley Beal added 25 points and 12 assists. Jabari Parker, who came along with Portis from Chicago, had seven points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.“I was actually surprised with how well (Portis) was able to mesh quickly on the fly, him and Jabari,” Beal said. “It was almost like free-flowing. That’s how we play anyway.”Cleveland, which has lost 21 of 24, was led by Collin Sexton with 27 points. Jordan Clarkson scored 24, and Larry Nance Jr. had 10 points and a career-high 19 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “I guess God is telling me something,” Wall said about the Achilles injury. “To sit down and get yourself fully healthy. I’ve played through injuries my whole career. I know a lot of people who played through injuries and don’t sit down. That’s one thing I don’t like to do. If something that’s nagging or not broken, I want to play. I guess it kind of caught up to me.”TIP-INSCavaliers: F/C Tristan Thompson, who is out with left foot soreness, missed his 10th straight game. … F Cedi Osman, who has a sprained right ankle, missed his second straight game. … G Brandon Knight, acquired in a trade Thursday, did not play.Wizards: Have just one home game between Friday and March 3. … F Troy Brown missed his third game with a sprained left ankle. Brooks said Brown was “probably another week or so” from returning.UP NEXTCavaliers: Visit the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.Wizards: Visit their former teammate Porter and the Bulls on Saturday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship historylast_img read more

Big finish needed

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWith their backs to the wall, perennial PBA Philippine Cup powers Magnolia and Alaska set out to snare crucial wins Wednesday in a bid to stay in the hunt for playoff berths in the PBA Philippine Cup.Fortunately for Hotshots coach Chito Victolero, his squad is not going to hope for a scenario to unfold for them to make it, and they start with their battle with struggling NorthPort at 7 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra “While we’re currently along the fringes, our fate this conference is still up to us,” he said in Filipino after Magnolia’s 97-93 overtime loss to crowd darling Barangay Ginebra last Sunday night.As things stand, the 3-5 Hotshots sit on eighth spot and would want to climb up the standings to play on a level field in the quarterfinals.And to do that, Magnolia needs nothing less than a sweep of their remaining three games.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“We just hope to stay together as we move forward,” Victolero said. “We just need to win the next three games. I think that will afford us a spot right in the middle.”NorthPort (2-7) has yet to secure a win after opening the conference with back-to-back wins. SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball PLAY LIST 05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college LATEST STORIES Meanwhile, the Aces, who lost to the Hotshots in last season’s Governors’ Cup Finals, are also at 3-5 and hard-pressed to pile up wins.They slug it out with Meralco in the 4:30 p.m. game and are looking to regain the form that gave them a 3-2 record in their first five games.Meralco, on the other hand, also has its back to the wall and at 3-6, would need to close out with two victories, counting this critical clash with the Aces.Norman Black’s Bolts have failed to advance past the eliminations here since 2015 and a victory tonight could give them hope of snapping that streak.ADVERTISEMENT Shouldn’t Pacquiao consult Roach again? Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history View commentslast_img read more

Athletics Concludes 58th Congress

first_imgThe Liberia Athletic Federation (LAF) has concluded its 2014 Special Assembly on Saturday, 21 February 2015.The congress marked the 58th General Congress of the LAF.The congress was held at the headquarters of the Liberia National Olympics Committee (LNOC) where the federation has its offices, on Randall Street, in Central Monrovia.Acting President Ms. Gbour Wilson, served as presiding officer, and was aided by Frederick B. Krah, vice president for technical affairs and/ acting secretary general.The congress, which was to be held in November-2014, was postponed owing to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).During the congress, 11 out of 16 stakeholders attended — which constituted a quorum for deliberations.During deliberations, stakeholders were informed about 11 major activities in 2014, some of which included Liberia’s representatives in the African Junior Championship that was held in Burkina Faso where Kadimel Enders won silver in the high jump event.Liberia was also represented at the World Junior Championship in the USA, and Wellington Zaza ran in the final and finished third, and is currently the record holder for Africa in the 110m in the male division.Tracy Cheyee and Nula Enders represented Liberia at the African Youth Games, held in Gaborone, Botswana. Nula didn’t participate because of age, but Tracy ran and made the qualifying standard for the World Youth Olympic.The Liberian delegation didn’t participate in the World Youth Olympic in Beijing, China due to the Ebola outbreak.According to annual financial report, balance brought forward on the 28th of October 2013, was US$1,168 and income generation in 2014 amounted to US$22,417.Revenue collection included annual grant from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in the amount of US$14,387; GOL grant US$1,000, amongst others.The total budgeted expenditure was US$20,970 and cash on hand and /or carried forward for 2015 is US$1,447.18.The LAF laid out ambitious goals for the next year, which is expected to start February 27-28 – a National Clubs/Open Championships, in the Senior, Junior and You Categories.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cricket in Guyana brings people together

first_imgDear Editor,We are often told about racism in Guyana, but to witness all Guyanese together cheering on the Warriors was indeed a marvellous sight. Persons of all cultures, identities, political views and opinions were, for the first time I should say, not divided, but standing together to support and cheer on our local team.In my opinion, this is the Guyana that we all dreamt of; not a country divided by political views and beliefs, but of persons working together as families and friends.The joy and happiness plastered on the faces of people as the Warriors won their first match at Providence was remarkable. Persons exchanged hugs, smiles, and high fives; and laughter was a sign that the Guyana you and I dream of is real, and by working together, we all can achieve this goal.I want to say to all Guyanese: Don’t allow the many political views to cause disunity, but keep in mind that this country belongs to each and every one of us; not the Government or Opposition, but Guyana belongs to each and every one of us equally.All the best to the Warriors for a successful tournament. Many thanks!Sincerely,Pt Surendra Tiwarilast_img read more

Cabinet took care of itself while punishing our children

first_imgDear Editor,The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) was defeated in a no-confidence motion on December 21, 2018. They were defeated because they took care of themselves, enriching themselves and their friends and family, at the expense of Guyanese children and their parents, while neglecting the Guyanese people. Now, with an impending election – within 90 days of December 21 – APNU/AFC is in a frenzied electioneering mode, pretending they care much for our children. Senior Ministers are insisting that Government must invest in our children. We agree one of the most important investments any Government can make is its investment in children. Parliament and the people lost confidence in APNU/AFC for many reasons, but one of the stand-out reasons is the total neglect of Guyanese children.For three-and-a-half years, children were victimised because APNU/AFC wanted to remove any of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) footprints of public good that Guyanese children benefited from.One of the first acts of the APNU/AFC after they assumed control of Government in May 2015 was the termination of the “Because We Care” programme. This programme, funded by the PPP Government, with about $1.5 billion in 2014 was a cash transfer programme that ensured parents received $10,000 per child in school. When the programme was rolled out in 2014, the PPP guaranteed the programme will be an annual cash transfer to be increased annually until the sum of $50,000 per child was achieved. When the PPP started the program in 2014, it was an instant lifeline for parents, many of whom were single-parent mothers. In 2015, these mothers and parents around the country looked forward to not just receiving their grants, but to receive an increased amount from the $10,000 they received in 2014. However, the PPP was replaced and APNU/AFC cruelly and immediately terminated the programme.Why was the popular “Because We Care” programme terminated by APNU/AFC? The answer is very simple. It was too steeped in the PPP footprints. In a depraved, reprehensible act of vengeance, APNU/AFC terminated the programme, punishing innocent children and parents, because of their vile wish for vengeance against the PPP. To hide its shame, APNU/AFC falsely and irresponsibly excused themselves claiming the Government was bankrupt, because the PPP bankrupted the country.But this patented lie was exposed when APNU/AFC simultaneously increased the salaries and benefits for Cabinet members by between 50 and 100 per cent. Suddenly, the President’s salary was a hefty $4 million per month, and the Prime Minister’s salary was a bountiful $3 million per month, with generous benefits, even though APNU/AFC tried to tell the Guyanese people that the Government was broke. APNU/AFC also selectively and discriminately increased the pension of Hamilton Greene, who was Prime Minister before 1992, to more than $20 million annually. APNU/AFC also began to vulgarly hire super-salaried contracted workers costing billions of dollars annually. The fact is that the APNU/AFC Cabinet looked after themselves, at the expense of citizens, like our children, like the parents of these children, particularly like the single parents.This is not the only way, APNU/AFC demonstrated they did not care for our children. The school feeding programme has been reduced and hundreds of millions from the school feeding programme have been diverted to other useless and meaningless initiatives. Almost a billion dollars for the school feeding programme was unutilised. In the meanwhile, parents of children in the sugar belts are unable to send their children to school because sugar estates, the main employer in the sugar belt, were closed, without the Government making provisions to help the parents and their children. It is these kinds of uncaring government responses that have caused an erosion of confidence in the APNU/AFC Government. These are the reasons why APNU/AFC is desperately, illegally trying to hold on to Government, because they know they have lost any chance of winning an election in Guyana. The parliamentary no-confidence is widespread in the communities across Guyana and APNU/AFC is painfully aware of it.Sincerely,Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more

Replace talk by action, please!

first_imgDear Editor,Recently, four of our sisters were brutally attacked by their spouses resulting in their hospitalisation and desperate fights for their lives. A fifth sister was mercilessly killed by a stalker who refused to take “No!” for an answer. Yet another sister was brutally attacked by her partner while accompanying a rural constable to serve what is described as “a restraining order”.Given that everyone is aware of root causes of the problem and the requirements to address it, expounding in front of microphones and cameras should urgently give way to proactive measures to reduce the incidences of gender-based violence. Replace talk by solutions now!Over the years, The Caribbean Voice has partnered with over 200 different entities to raise awareness, host workshops and outreaches, engage in advocacy and information dissemination and offer counselling and other assistance. During the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Domestic Violence held annually from November 25 to December 10, Voices Against Violence, comprising about 50 entities, activists and advocates focused on domestic violence speak out to raise awareness and provide motivation to victims to find ways out of their victimisation.  Imagine this process extended nationally across Guyana in an all-encompassing effort. We hope that this year’s observance of Sixteen Days of Activism Against Domestic Violence could see this become a reality!Indeed, collaboration is the definitive framework to tackle this plague that is claiming the lives of so many almost on a daily basis. In effect, we agree with a recent editorial in a local newspaper that called for, “a multi-sector and cross-ministerial approach” that would result in community-level activism to prevent this scourge. Policy makers and leaders are the ones with the capacity and wherewithal to institutionalise this collaboration that everyone continually demands. Government must reach out to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Faith Based Organisations (FBOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs), activists, advocates and community leaders across all divides in a concerted and continuous effort to bring about needed change. All of this has been repeatedly expressed across various platforms over time.Meanwhile, The Caribbean Voice is extending a hand for collaboration to anyone willing to fight against this rapidly growing epidemic that is taking the lives of our brothers, sisters and children. We are in the process of formulating a plan in collaboration with the Centre on Crime and Resilience at Northeastern University in the US under a USAID-funded Building Evidence on Security and Community Resilience in the Caribbean project.Abuse prevention needs actions, not words. So we are appealing to NGOs, FBOs, CBOs and other stakeholders to reach out to us so together we can build a network across Guyana to ensure the implementation of the upcoming plan in every community. We would provide training and necessary support to realise this effort and we fervently hope that relevant Government Ministries and agencies would join in the critical endeavour.Sincerely,Indi RamThe Caribbean Voicelast_img read more

Perpetuation of delay tactics

first_imgDear Editor,The insistence of the caretaker coalition Government for the data from the un-scrutinised House-to-House Registration to be merged with the National Register of Registrants Data Base (NRRDB) – which has been updated through several cycles of Continuous Registration and used as the basis for the last several elections, including the 2015 General and Regional Elections that led to the APNU/AFC coalition taking office – must be rejected as a perpetuation of delay tactics.Any merger with the NRRDB is worrisome for several reasons. Firstly, the merger of the data with the existing National Register of Registrants will contaminate the database and it may take months to address any such contamination.  Secondly, the data gathered is suspect since the gathering of said information was not scrutinised. Thirdly, the form used in the House-to-House Registration was not the statutory form required for such a purpose.Editor, it is clear that the push for a merger is premised on the caretaker coalition Government’s obsession with holding on to power – even if it means trampling of the Constitution of Guyana, which mandated that elections are to be held within three months of the successful passage of the No-Confidence Motion – that is by March 21, 2019.The fact that the caretaker coalition Government has a complicit partner within the Secretariat of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is also not lost on the Guyanese people, given the options that were presented on the way forward by the Secretariat. Only today we saw another statutory GECOM meeting concluded without any serious talk about preparations for elections.There can be no more delays, since Guyana is already over five months past the constitutional deadline for elections.Additionally, Editor, the comments by the Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, as quoted by News Room in an article on September 6, 2019, headlined “No ‘credible, practical’ alternative to merger of House-to-House data – Harmon”, is misleading at best.  While Mr Harmon insists that opponents of the merger have provided no “credible, practical and efficient alternative” he selectively forgets that the time-tested option of Claims and Objections is available. This proposal we have been making will capture new registrants and sanitise the list of those who are deceased among other things.There is no reason why extraneous matters should be allowed to cloud the situation at hand.  A Preliminary List of Electors should be extracted from the National Register of Registrants Data Base and a Claims and Objections exercise should commence almost immediately to allow Guyana to move toward an election and end the uncertainty plaguing all sections of society.Let’s all be reasonable and act with integrity.Sincerely,Bishop Juan Edghill,PPP/CParliamentarianlast_img read more

WPA’s unsubstantiated figure of US$5000 is totally bogus

first_imgDear Editor,I refer to a letter in a section of the media on October 18, 2019, captioned “The poor are invisible to the critics of cash transfers” written by David Hinds. While this idea from the WPA is something to reflect upon, the substance of the cash transfer models lies in the details.Mind you, I am not saying the idea is not a good one. I am on record recommending conditional cash transfers, albeit on a more economically feasible scale. At that time, my brand of conditionality placed a fixed cap of US$90 million on cash transfers being made to every tax registered resident of Guyana. I also advocated at that time for these expenditures to be only payable for long term investments in oneself like housing, education, transportation assets, etc rather than on rum and other consumables. Plus I applied an additional conditionality that you must register with the GRA for a TIN Certificate to ensure that the GRA and NIS have you on their radar.The way this model works is that if you repair your house (as an example), you can apply to a new Cash Transfer Unit in the Ministry of Finance for reimbursement up to your cash limit. Once the investigators confirm that these were bonafide purchases, the funds are transferred to a bank account of your choice. This does four things – puts everyone into the banking system, on GRA’s radar, in the NIS database and finally allows for cash to be transferred directly to the population.These cash balances are accumulative and can be withdrawn anytime. A child born in 2025 will automatically receive his cash transfer in his account because every Guyanese has to register at the GRA from birth. So by 2030, this child will have five years’ supply of cash available to pay for his education. At the retirement age of 65, whatever balance is left in your account, you will have the power to withdrawals any parts of it from the scheme for any purpose whatsoever (no conditions for the retirees).Since my interview with a section of the media, much has changed on the discovery front and the computations have evolved to a new distribution level of about US$400 million a year, which computes now to about US$600 per year per person starting in 2025. But this number is at great variance from the WPA’s proposal of US$5000 per year per household.If one is to read the Demerara Waves of September 29, 2019, it reported: “Thomas proposes to transfer 10 per cent oil revenues to households”. Using his statistics, he declared that there are approximately 210,000 households in Guyana. Is he saying each household will get one oil check per year? How fair is that if one household has 2 persons whilst the other has 8 persons? Which one is needier than the other?I have used the only credible data that I have seen on Guyana’s revenue stream from the oil sector (a comprehensive study done by Rystad). They had three estimates and in my world when you are doing financial planning, you pay attention to the most conservative option (in this case, an oil price of US$50 per bbl). Based at that level, Rystad found in August 2019, that Guyana will get closer to US$58 billion in profit oil over the next 20 years commencing in 2020 and peaking around 2033. Of course, this projection from Rystad is subject to change as more wells are discovered. But my elders always thought me, do not count your chickens before they hatch, so I shall stay grounded in the current data until more discoveries are made.Using the Rystad data, the computation illustrates that at the conservative level of US$50 per bbl, if 10 per cent of the oil wealth is distributed to 210,000 households starting in 2025, only US$1904 per year is available for distribution. Yet Clive Thomas spouts a figure of UDS$5000 per year. (see table below)Of course, the WPA argues that their estimated price for oil will be US$70 per bbl. But when I review the just-released EIA projections, the conservative oil price by 2030 will be below US$50 per bbl and this makes sense considering the rapid increase in available renewable energy options. So even this computed number of US$1905 using the WPA model seems high. What this entire exercise has revealed is that this WPA’s unsubstantiated figure of US$5000 is nothing but a “voodoo” number; totally bogus. This US$5000 number was designed as a cheap political trick to game the system as the silly season commences whereby the WPA seeks relevance as the PNC continues to assert itself in that group called the APNU. At least the more mature political parties (PPP and PNC) have rejected this insanity and have put out a more reasoned position on conditional distribution.I look forward to the reasoned positions on this debate.Regards,Sasenarine Singhlast_img read more

DNA results confirm body is indeed missing British teen’s

first_imgAll doubts have been laid to rest after DNA testing confirmed the body found at Nurney Village, Corentyne, Berbice is that of British teen Dominic Bernard.Murder accused, Aaron HingMurdered teen: Dominic BernardCrime Chief Wendell Blanhum late Thursday evening confirmed that the DNA results were collected and proved to be that of the young man who went missing on the night he arrived in Guyana.He stated that although Krystal Thomas, Sinfinee Henry and Jameel Sinclair have been granted bail by the High Court, the two main perpetrators Aaron Hing and Staymon George are on remand.Now that DNA testing has confirmed that the remains are that of the teenager, the Police will hand over them to the family to make funeral arrangements.The 18-year-old was collected upon his arrival at the Cheddi Jagan international Airport (CJIA) in October last by Hing, his Godbrother, of Kildonan village, Corentyne, Berbice, but he vanished after that night.The relatives of the teenager made a missing person’s report three months later. Two days after the report was made, the Godbrother disappeared, raising suspicions.Hing was arrested at a house in Timehri, East Bank Demerara and Staymon George, who also became a person of interest, was arrested in Georgetown. One day after the arrest, a body suspected to be that of the missing teenager was discovered in a shallow grave at Kildonan.Following the discovery, they both confessed to robbing and murdering the teenager who had close to £2000 and a quantity of camera equipment. They admitted collecting the teen from the Airport on October 14, 2015 and on their way to Berbice, they stopped along Sheriff Street where they ate and drank a few beers.The confession led to the arrest of three other persons, one of whom was Jameel Sinclair who took investigators aback the Nurney Village where he claimed he was instructed to hide several components of the teen’s camera.Murder accused, Staymon GeorgeShortly after, the Guyana Police Force charged Hing, 22; George, 23; Thomas, 20; Henry, 39, and Sinclair, 20, for the murder. They were remanded to prison on the indictable charge.However, on Tuesday, Thomas, Henry and Sinclair were granted bail by the High Court after an application was filed on their behalf.The petition was heard and granted by Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Demerara High Court in the sum of $300,000 each, and the trio was instructed to report to the Whim Police Station on a regular basis.last_img read more