300 Region 9 elders yet to receive pension books

first_imgSeveral Amerindian villages in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), particularly in Aishalton, are yet to receive their pension books, Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Alister Charlie has said.“After boasting the delivery of the 5Bs across Guyana to ensure Guyanese enjoy the good life, the Social Protection Minister had forgotten the pensioners of Region Nine,” the MP said.Region Nine Opposition MP, Alister CharlieCharlie told Guyana Times on Wednesday that the region has approximately 1600 registered pensioners and, to date, only 700 pension books were received from the Social Protection Ministry.The MP said he recently raised the issue with Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira who brought the matter to the attention of the Social Protection Minister, Amna Ally.While acknowledging the untimely distribution, Charlie said the Minister did admit that there was also a shortage that led to the current situation in Region Nine.“The Minister related that there was a problem at the printery and hence the remaining pension books will be made available by next week. The problem at the printery left me to wonder if there was a shortage of green and yellow ink, or a blatant negligence,” he added.According to the MP, the untimely distribution of pension books to pensioners in Region Nine has never happened. He said that a commitment was made by the Minister to have the pension books delivered next week. Charlie said that he is holding the Minister to her word and hope she delivers.Meanwhile, Toshao for Aishlaton, Douglas Casimero, told Guyana Times that not a single pension book was received for his village, although there are some 76 registered pensioners there.Although he was not briefed on the situation, Casimero feels that the problem lies in the distribution system. “I am not too sure if it’s transportation but I want to believe it’s the new staff,” he stated.The Toshao claimed that it is not something that was experienced previously. He also believes that the new staff placed in charge of distribution may have also contributed to the issue.He said, “Previously it would have been done in such a way that all the books would have been here before year-end. These people are coming to us and we don’t have answers for them.”The coalition Government announced an increase in old age pension by $500 moving it up 2.5 per cent from $19,000 to $19,500, with effect from January 1, 2018.The increase was announced by Finance Minister Winston Jordan, during the 2018 National Budget.In addition to the pension increase, elderly persons are exempted from paying travel tax, when travelling overseas on a Guyanese passport. They are also exempted from paying for a driver’s licence and passport fees.Similarly, effective January 1, 2018, public assistance will be increased to $8000, an approximately 36 per cent in the two and half years.last_img read more

Couple takes son’s circumcision to court

first_imgPORTLAND, Ore. – A divorced couple have gone to court to determine whether their son is to be circumcised following his father’s conversion to Judaism. The former Medford, Ore., man wants his 12-year-old son to undergo the minor surgical procedure, but the boy’s mother opposes it. So far, Oregon courts have sided with the father, who has custody. “The primary custodial parent is the one that makes the decisions about religion and education and about matters of child-rearing,” said Kathy Graham, associate dean for academic affairs at Willamette University College of Law. Other family law experts agree, but they say the courts should make sure the surgery is in the best interests of the child. 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

Sanchez to Inter Milan? Italian giants set sights on Arsenal contract rebel

first_img Alexis Sanchez in action for Arsenal Inter Milan have made Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez their top transfer target.The Chilean’s future at the Emirates is currently uncertain as he has one year to run on his contract and, as of yet, he has not signed an extension.That means Arsenal could be forced to cash in on the 28-year-old this summer or they risk losing him for free in 12 months.Bayern Munich and Manchester City have both subsequently been linked with moves for Sanchez and it is thought he could go for upwards of £50m.But Inter, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, are now on the forward’s tail too after making him their top transfer target.The Italian club are keen to make a marquee signing this summer and they believe Sanchez could be lured to Italy. 1last_img

If people can’t relate, movies won’t fill seats

first_imgAt a recent Writers Guild party to fete the spring and summer releases, the wine and chitchat were flowing merrily as writers and press kibitzed. But now and then, I caught a fleeting, vile “s”-word: slump. As Hollywood does its impression of the Titanic in a chilly box office season, the entire population of Tinseltown is waiting for that magic potion of irresistible pictures and rabid audiences to buoy the summer to a happy ending. At the same time, conservative critics of Hollywood are seizing on the slump to support a long-standing argument: that the industry doesn’t produce enough right-friendly flicks or family fare, and red states are rebelling by withholding their ticket cash. There is no question that many conservatives are angry at Hollywood. I hear it all the time, from all corners of the map. People are frustrated at the entertainment choices out there and are loath to spend their movie dollars on an A-list star last seen bashing Bush on cable news. The mere mention of Oliver Stone is enough to induce red-state nausea. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Yet films that have been championed by conservatives recently pro-family “Cinderella Man,” anti-cloning “The Island” and World War II heroism flick “The Great Raid” have disappointed at the box office. As many reasons for these poor performances have been offered as have been for the box office slump itself: bad marketing, lack of star power, stars throwing telephones at concierges. Are there films that appeal to Republicans and films that appeal to Democrats? Removing the few overtly political films such as “Fahrenheit 9/11” from the equation, movie-lovers’ tastes aren’t easily categorized by political affiliation. Ask a roomful of Republicans about their favorite filmmakers, and the answers range from Steven Spielberg to Paul Thomas Anderson. The “official” movie of my campus Republican club back in college was Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.” But alter the argument to that of social conservatives and one could say that the values portrayed in films alienate viewers. Just look at the proliferation of companies that are editing the naughty stuff out of films and redistributing them on DVD without the filmmakers’ permission or involvement, touching off a firestorm over intellectual property rights. Some recent Hollywood bits that have raised conservative ire include hailing Alfred Kinsey, Nicole Kidman sharing her bathtub with a boy in “Birth,” euthanasia glorified in “Million Dollar Baby” and “The Sea Inside.” Regardless of politics, many agree that the ick factor drives away moviegoers who are looking for something familiar and inspirational on screen. Yet there’s a counterpoint to the values-alienation argument: PG-13 “Titanic,” with a steamy Model T sex scene and naked art, tops the all-time domestic gross list. The highest G-rated movie on that chart comes in at No. 13, Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.” It’s about entertainment. It’s seeing an inspirational, upright hero in the vein of last summer’s megahit “Spider-Man 2”; it’s seeing people triumph over adversity and fall in love. Are people going to see “March of the Penguins” because they want to make a political statement for G-rated fare, or because it has cute, fuzzy, universally appealing animals? Nearly three-quarters of Americans would rather chill on the couch with a DVD than shell out for this summer’s theatrical fare, according to a recent AP-AOL Ipsos poll. Nearly one-half of respondents opined that movies are getting worse; one-third said films are getting better. So what’s the answer to getting filmgoers to cough up the cash? Finding that spark again. Making movies to which people can relate. And that’s not so much about red state or blue state, but simply good taste or bad taste. Bridget Johnson writes for the Daily News. E-mail her at bridget.johnson@dailynews.com. 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

In Pictures: The first late sunset of the year at Maghery

first_imgAs the clocks rolled forward last night, the first long evening of the year was a breath of fresh air.After a harsh, dark winter in the north west, the longer evenings and slightly warmer weather is certainly something we’ll be looking forward to as summer inches closer and closer.With great weather on our side as well today in Donegal, it wasn’t until 7pm that the blue sky began to transform into a magnificent golden spectacle before fading to a divine, dusty rose. Looking for inspiration for where you can catch a breathtaking sunset this spring? Check out our guide to Donegal’s top ten beaches as selected by our readers by clicking here.A spot of free advertising on Maghery strand.Crohy Tower at golden hour.Photography by Elaine Mc Callig.In Pictures: The first late sunset of the year at Maghery was last modified: March 25th, 2018 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:crohy towerdonegalMAGHERYsunsetlast_img read more

DD Fitness: Let’s talk about burpees!

first_imgAh, the humble Burpee.In all my years of training myself and training clients, I don’t think I have ever come across someone who truly loves doing Burpees.During a class when the instructor calls out that dreaded word, grown men seem to shrink and women cower at the mere sound of the word Burpee. Sure, we all know those guys or girls who seem to light up when it’s Burpee time.They throw themselves into the exercise like people possessed; dropping, flailing and springing up and down, only to land and shrug off the experience like it was a walk in the park.These same people can be found at the bottom of the shower around an hour later, rocking back and forth, praying that the warm flow of water will wash away their pain.They are left wondering why they can’t just admit that they too hate burpees and doubly hate their trainer. After all, every time they admit that the last session of Burpees were easy, the evil prick throws in 10 extra.Why would someone do that?They must be some sort of a sadist who revels in seeing people in pain?That must be it.Why else would they make you do the exercise that could only be created by the illegitimate spawn of Satan?? If only they made you do them at the start of the workout, at least then you would be ready for them, but no, they always, ALWAYS throw them in at the end, like some last minute punishment.Unnecessary, painful punishment.Did we not look tired enough?Was there not a big enough puddle of sweat below us? Were our faces not the right colour of puce red?Maybe it was that we were still able to stand, hmm, was that it???After all, what purpose does the Burpee have?Quite a few actually.Let me break it down for you:The Burpee consists of 3-4 moves depending on which variation you choose as your poison.The SquatThe SprawlThe Push up (some leave this out)The JumpThe Burpee is a full body movement and when you read the above description, can you identify a major muscle group that isn’t involved in the execution of a Burpee?No, they are a full-body exercise and no part of you is immune.Also, their explosive nature ups the intensity; not one, not two, but THREE jumps are required to complete a single Burpee. (1 standing and 2 on the ground)You are working your legs, core, chest, shoulders and triceps and your heart and lungs all in one simple (simple?) movement.As horrible as they may be, you cannot deny that they get the job done.They will also be useful in escaping the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse when it arrives.Having Burpees on your side means you are able to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge Zombies.Have you had good experiences with Burpees? Let me know.We also have to look at this from another angle.If there were no Burpees, that trainer we spoke about a few paragraphs back would probably think up something else to punish us with; Something that would bypass the I-can-taste-sick-in-my-mouth level of pain and go straight into full-blown “talking to Huey and Ralph”.Yes, I think we can all agree that love them (love?) or hate them, Burpees keep us safe from the devil himself showing up at a training session near you.#leanin2019For further information on how to get fit so you can avoid the Zombie Apocalypse, you can find out about our Lean in 2019 program through the link below. https://www.rushefitness.ie/class/lean-in-2019-gym-plan/* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe FitnessDD Fitness: Let’s talk about burpees! was last modified: May 24th, 2019 by Emmet RusheShare 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

Fortuna girl makes history in karate

first_imgCoral Ciarabellini did not know she was about to make history when she recently traveled to Missouri to test for her first degree black belt in karate.The Fortuna High junior has been competing in the sport since she was seven years old, steadily rising through the ranks at the Fortuna Cobra and Butterfly Karate School where she trains.In Missouri, however, she took her accomplishments to a whole new level, and earned the respect of the karate community in the process.“In the 30 years of the …last_img

Report: Raiders sign DT Johnathan Hankins to 2-year deal

first_imgThe Raiders made their fourth transaction in three days Sunday afternoon, signing veteran defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins to a two-year deal, according to ESPN.Hankins was set to hit unrestricted free agency on Wednesday when the new league year starts. The 26-year-old played the second-most defensive snaps among Raiders defensive linemen in 2018 after joining the team before its Week 2 game against the Broncos, and finished the year with two of the Raiders’ three fumble recoveries, four …last_img

Tigers in Africa?

first_imgLaohu Valley Reserve founder andchampion of tigers Li Quan with one of thecubs born to Madonna in August 2008. The two tiger cubs born on the LaohuValley Reserve during the Beijing Olympics.(Images: Save China’s Tigers)Janine ErasmusThe Laohu (“old tiger”) Valley Reserve in the Free State province is the site of a pioneering conservation project run by the non-profit organisation, Save China’s Tigers. On 18 August 2008, while the Beijing Olympic Games were in full swing, a South China tiger named Madonna gave birth to two cubs in completely natural conditions, 11 000km away from home.The two cubs – a male and a female – were left alone for the first 10 days, a critical time for their survival as during this time the chances of their mother abandoning them are higher if she is disturbed. They are reported to be thriving and are said to have hissed when finally approached by staff.The sire is a four-year-old male named Tiger Woods. Madonna gave birth to two cubs in April 2008, but only one survived.The Save China’s Tigers project was founded by UK-based Li Quan, nicknamed TigerLi for obvious reasons, who holds a BA degree from Beijing University and an MBA/MA from the Wharton Business School and the Lauder Institute of Pennsylvania University.Save China’s Tigers also has the support of a number of high-profile patrons, among them screen stars Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh, acclaimed pianist, Lang Lang, and conductor Christoph Eschenbach.Established with the aim of not only breeding the magnificent creatures but re-wilding previously zoo-bound tigers – essentially teaching them how to be tigers again – the project is regarded as one of the most ambitious conservation programmes in the world. While the critically endangered tigers learn to hunt, prey and survive in the South African wild, conservationists back home are working to establish new tiger reserves in Jiangxi and Hunan provinces, a process that could take years because farmland has to be restored to a forest environment.Li plans to return all the South African-born tigers to China within 15 years, but her medium-term goal is to send at least one animal to its new home by the end of the decade. The original tigers will return to zoos, having passed on their newly-acquired hunting and survival skills to their offspring, who will grow up as wild tigers.Laohu Valley Reserve was established near the small town of Phillipolis in the Free State by Li and her husband, fellow Wharton alumnus and investment banker Stuart Bray, who bought the land for her. It spans 33 000 hectares in both Free State and Northern Cape provinces, with the Orange River, South Africa’s largest, running through the property. The reserve is only open to staff, donors and volunteers.Illustrious conservation recordLi chose South Africa because of the country’s illustrious track record in conservation matters. “Wherever I went in southern Africa, I found South Africans involved in such projects,” she said. “I thought they must be the best. I eventually persuaded the Chinese government to work with them. I pointed out they had saved endangered species like rhinos and were not desktop scientists.”The project was initially meant to be a collaboration between China, South Africa and India, whose conservation experts are among the rare few who can claim field experience in managing tiger habitats. The Indian team opted out but reports indicate that China is still keen to get its Indian counterparts on board.In 2004, four carefully selected South China tiger cubs were sent from zoos to the reserve. Three of the animals – the male, Tiger Woods, and females, Madonna and Cathay – have done well but the second male, Hope, died from pneumonia and heart failure in 2005. A new male, named 327 after his registration number in the International Zoological Association’s studbook registry, was introduced to the two females in April 2006.In spite of criticism from many wildlife experts, the first stage of the project, that of teaching the captive tigers to hunt, has been declared a success. Experts say that conservation of China’s tigers would work best in that country, but that is not possible at this stage. In the meantime the South Africa programme is stepping into the gap, say its supporters.In September 2008 Li and Bray were invited to Namibia to attend a council meeting of the newly-established Leadership For Conservation in Africa, an endorsed flagship programme of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. This South African Parks Board initiative aims to involve business leaders across African countries in wildlife conservation. They are urged not only to contribute financially, but also to incorporate conservation in all their in business practices.Conservation representatives from 26 countries attended, as well as guests such as philanthropist Howard Buffet of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, while Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba of the former liberation movement Swapo gave a keynote speech.On the brink of extinctionSince the start of the programme, five South China tiger cubs have been born on the reserve – the oldest cub, born to Cathay in November 2007, was the first ever to be born outside China. However, the latest birth is the first to happen without human intervention or observation.This is crucial to the programme, according to Li, who says, “This is a major achievement in tiger conservation history. It is the first time ever that the cubs were born completely in natural conditions without any human involvement. We are delighted that they were born during the Olympics when the world has renewed interest in China. History has been made.”According to the World Wildlife Foundation, the South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) has not been seen in the wild for more than 25 years and a number of scientists believe it to be “functionally extinct”. This means that there may still be a few individuals alive but there is little hope for their survival because of critical factors such as inadequate habitat or prey, a few animals spread out over a vast distance, or lack of individuals in one or both sexes.The population of the South China subspecies of tiger was estimated at 4 000 in the 1950s but it has now been hunted to the brink of extinction. The animals were even declared extinct by the World Bank’s Tiger Conservation Initiative, which was launched in June 2008 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in Washington. This makes her fund-raising job a lot more difficult, says Li, as potential donors are not readily willing to help an animal that apparently doesn’t exist.Poaching is the biggest threat to the tigers’ survival, says the World Bank, and while punitive measures are available they are often not applied or are applied inefficiently.While poaching and habitat loss are major issues, the cats also face the problem of lack of genetic diversity. Inbreeding is common and can leave its mark on zoo animals in the form of crooked necks or short tails. This is not the first time a species has had to overcome this problem, however. Scientists believe all of today’s cheetahs are the descendants of a handful of animals that survived a similar bottleneck about 10 000 years ago.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus on janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesSouth Africa’s national parksUseful linksSave China’s TigersWorld Wildlife FoundationTigerLi’s blogWorld Bank: Tiger Conservation InitiativeCitesSouth China tigers on the IUCN red listLeadership for Conservation in AfricaNew Partnership for Africa’s Developmentlast_img read more

Jetstar eyes China expansion

first_imgJetstar boss Jayne Hrdlicka has the low-cost carrier group’s sights set on a good share of more than 1.8 billion travellers expected to enter the rapidly expanding Asia-Pacific travel market over the next 20 years.She wants to make Jetstar the region’s LCC of choice and sees China as a big opportunity.Jetstar moved quickly to establish links to Asia after it was founded 12 years ago and now has operations or partnerships in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Japan and Singapore. It faces aggressive competition from the likes of AirAsia and Singapore Airlines offshoots Scoot and Tiger Air.Hrdlicka told attendees at the CAPA Australia-Pacific Aviation Forum in Brisbane  that the Jetstar Group now had a fleet of 127 aircraft flying to 80 destinations and revenue of more than $4.5 billion, ranking it as one of the top five low-cost carriers around the world.“So we are doing well, but we are not satisfied with where we stand,’’ she said. “We are competing in the most dynamic aviation markets in the world, so that we know that standing still effectively means falling behind.’’In addition to its big presence in Australia and New Zealand, Hrdlicka said it had a strong and growing position in Japan and had just finished one of its best years yet in Singapore, where connections with 26 partners was seeing the brand go from “strength to strength”.“And there is Vietnam — the fastest growing economy and aviation market in the region,’’ she said. “Our dual brand relationship with Vietnam Airlines puts us in a  unique position, which we are very happy about.’’The group’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s completed the network by connecting Australia to South-East Asia and North Asia, Hrdlicka said.She acknowledged that smaller LCCs were forming new alliances in to replicate the scale and marketing clout of the bigger players but noted Jetstar had a 12-yrear head start when it came to forming partnerships and it was something it was good at doing.“We believe the future of the Asian LCC market is going to be owned by brands that people know and trust,’’ she said. “Brands that offer a seamless booking experience, a broad network and an to tailor what you get on board.“In other words, brands that provide the next generation of Asian travellers with the ability to realise their travel aspirations in the way that works best for them.’’Vowing to stay true to Jetstar’s low-cost fundamentals, Hrdlicka said the airline would also continue to think disruptively to  challenge aviation and low-cost carrier fundamentals.She said disruption was at the heart of the group’s culture and this had been demonstrated with strategies such as the decisions to expand the brand into Asia, the decision to take it long-haul and then to codeshare with full service carriers.It would also be guided by three core principles of focusing on customers, harnessing new technologies and leading with new business models. She rejected the idea that low fares meant shabby service and said a revamped approach to training would see 3500 staff go through a new course by the end of this financial year.New technology required capital expenditure but lowered costs in the long run and resulted in a better travel experience.Jetstar was the first LCC to introduce online chat services, was pioneering straight- to- gate check-in at Singapore’s Changi Airport and was fully automating its airports like it had with Terminal 4 in Melbourne.It had also overhauled its websites to make them cleaner, more responsive and enjoyable as part of an initiative called Smart Retailing.last_img read more