Politicising of the Judiciary

first_imgDear Editor,There is a massive politicising of the Judiciary ongoing in Guyana; and if not checked, Guyana would be the worse for it. Many of the legal luminaries, past and present, seem bent on making rulings that do not stand the judicial mustard test, but rather show political bias and philosophical partiality. For instance, we have had the ruling that the presidential two-term constitutional enactment is now unconstitutional, and should not stand. This means that the only President who was legally restricted by the initial constitutional adjustment is now the only President who can benefit from the now adjudged unconstitutional adjustment.And the Judge who made the ruling is believed to have been a supporter of the President (or the party of the President) who now stands to benefit from the said ruling.In an effort to mitigate the effects of judicial rulings that are beneficial to the PPP, the Coalition Leader and current President, using age as the barometer, proceeded to send the Judge on leave and into retirement. The quandary that this action created is that the President politically inserted himself into matters of the Judiciary so as to prevent the Judiciary from behaving politically.Neither of these should have happened. The preferred symbol of the justice system – at least the one used in the USA – is a blindfolded lady with a balanced scale in her hand. The imagery is blatant, and says in clear tones that justice should be both blind and evenly balanced.However, what we have long had in Guyana is a precipitous corrupting of the judicial system by those who wheeled political and financial clout.It was long believed that both the former acting Chief Justice and the former acting Chancellor were in the corner of the former Government. Many say that the only reason that they could not have been made substantive was because the leader of the then opposition (Mr. David Granger), would not have sanctioned their judicial and administrative elevations.And there seems to be some support for the claims of political biases, in light of the rulings made by both of these jurists in their parting days in office. In the final acts of both the Chief Justice and the Chancellor, two significant rulings were made, both of which favoured Mr Jagdeo, and by extension the PPP.First, Chief Justice Ian Chang ruled that there is no constitutionality to term limits, so he scrapped the two-term presidential term limit clause. This he did just as he was leaving office.Then recently − also as he was about to demit office − Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh, upheld Justice Ian Chang’s ruling on the negation of the presidential term limit. And further, Justice Singh threw out the race-baiting charge that was brought against Mr Bharrat Jagdeo.Since those judgments, some have argued that politics − or at least party preference − must have played a role in those rulings.The United Republican Party (URP) is therefore heartened by the latest significant ruling by the newly appointed acting Chief Justice, Madam Yonette Cummings-Edwards. In the matter of the Red House vs the Lands and Surveys (and the President), she has ruled that the local courts do have jurisdiction to hear a matter. So, for the first time since the 80s, a sitting President will be subject to the law courts in Guyana.This means that a Judge appointed by the current administration has looked at the law, interpreted it on its merit, and ruled against the very President who appointed her. This single act speaks volumes, as it pours cold water on the previous perceived political judgments. It also sets a healthy precedent for all her subordinate jurists to follow.Sincerely,PastorWendell Jeffreylast_img read more

Santa Susana’s legacy

first_imgIn all, 79 water-quality violations were cited. These violations did not occur in the decades under the careless command of the site’s former owners who, with the help of federal government officials, concealed numerous violations, including a nuclear reactor meltdown that could have threatened the lives of thousands of San Fernando Valley residents. No, these violations occurred on Boeing’s watch between October 2004 and January 2006. Of course, a half-million-dollar fine is unlikely to break the bank at Boeing or cause any executives to lose their lucrative stock options, or even feel any shame. Indeed, a far worse price has been paid by nearby residents and former field lab workers who have fought the company and the U.S. Department of Energy for years just to get basic information that might have linked their illnesses to what has gone on at Santa Susana. It shouldn’t have taken 18 years for the wheels of justice to start turning. But it has. Last week, a judge forced the halt of an incomplete cleanup of the site so that it could get a full environmental study. And California’s two U.S. senators are pushing legislation to get payouts for lab workers who were sickened from being exposed to toxins. We can’t allow another 18 years to go by before the full extent of contamination at the former Rocketdyne lab is disclosed and to get it cleaned up properly. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! IT should not have taken 18 years for government and corporate officials to begin to take seriously the environmental problems at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in the hills above Chatsworth. In 1989, the Daily News exposed that serious toxic contamination had occurred at the site during decades of nuclear and rocket research. But the secrecy and denials by corporate and government officials have continued over the years, hampering efforts by nearby residents and former workers to find out the extent of problems and possible dangers to their health. This week – as officials of Boeing Co., which inherited the site from Rocketdyne, were celebrating a spectacular quarterly profit of $1.1 billion and a record high in their stock price – a small measure of environmental justice occurred. The company was hit with a fine of $471,190 by the Los Angeles Water Quality Control Board for allowing excessive levels of lead, mercury and other toxins from the field lab site into the exclusive West Valley community of Bell Canyon and the Los Angeles River. last_img read more

SNAPPER’S STUNNING PICTURE OF BURT CHAPEL GOES GLOBAL!

first_imgBurt Chapel – By Declan McGuinness/TwitterIT’S a stunning picture which is being reTweeted around the globe.The picture of Burt Chapel was taken by Declan McGuinness. And when your brother is Sinn Fein vice-president Martin McGuinness (who decided to Tweet to his 23,466 followers around the world, then it gets a wee bit more attention.The politician’s followers thought he’d taken the snap.But he was quick to make sure the credit went to Declan.  SNAPPER’S STUNNING PICTURE OF BURT CHAPEL GOES GLOBAL! was last modified: January 2nd, 2014 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) Tags:Burt chapelDeclan McGuinnessmartin mcguinnesslast_img read more

Celtic warn West Ham £20m for Moussa Dembele is ‘well below his valuation’

first_imgA £20million offer for Moussa Dembele would be well below Celtic’s valuation, according to assistant manager Chris Davies.West Ham hinted they were prepared to pay a near club-record fee for the France Under-21 striker in an article on their official website on Thursday but Celtic have not received any official bid – and would not welcome one at the sum suggested by the Hammers.The 20-year-old has scored 19 goals since arriving from Fulham in the summer on a four-year contract and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has previously stated he would not be sold in January.When asked about West Ham’s interest, Davies said: “That was definitely well below his valuation, that’s for sure. The manager spoke pretty clearly on that situation previously.“There has been no formal bid or anything like that. It is at the moment speculation but it’s well below the valuation of the club.“The message has been pretty clear from the manager, he spoke about it last month. For us, we know this is the best place for Moussa to develop and improve. He is still 20 years old, he has development left in him.“He has had a fantastic first six months, he has absolutely loved it and there is so much more to come from us as a team and for Moussa Dembele at Celtic. That’s what we are concentrating on.“Obviously, when you are doing well and especially when you are a striker, then there is going to be big money and talk thrown about a lot, especially during transfer windows. But we can’t control that, we just have to concentrate on trying to develop him as a player.”Celtic’s record transfer income was a £13million deal for Virgil van Dijk but they have since seen his value soar inside 18 months amid speculation the Southampton defender could move for four times that amount.Davies said: “We don’t need to panic and sell players under their valuation.“Ultimately any player in the world has a valuation that clubs set. But the club operates very efficiently and will take everything into consideration based on all the facts. But it’s all hearsay for now. Moussa is happy and we are working hard.” Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring for Celtic 1last_img read more

Old Timers reunite for yearly barbecue

first_img“Mom and I try to come every year,” said Hamilton. “Cheryl comes as often as she can. Mom really enjoys seeing all her old friends and I get to see a lot of mine, too. It’s a lot of fun and we don’t like to miss it.” Frankie Richards, retired public information officer for Antelope Valley Hospital, who for many years wrote special articles about the Old Timers event, was just enjoying the crowd. “I kind of miss doing my stories about this,” she said. “But I don’t see too well anymore.” Don and Irene Ross were among the honored 90-year-olds. They were both born the same day, only hours apart, in the same town. Don Ross served many years on the Antelope Valley College Boad of Trustees and did not run for re-election after he reached his mid-80s. “It wouldn’t have been fair to the board or the community,” he said. “What is the likelihood that I could have served out another whole term?” The oldest person identified in attendance was Teresa Towner, who owned up to being 95. Neal Wolf, at 94, wasn’t far behind her for the title. A partial rundown of others in their 90s includes: Dorothy Bolt, 93, Reba Nash, 93, Josephine Kollar, 93. Poet and historian Grace Pickus, who admits being to 90, attended with her son, John. Quartz Hill 4-H’ers, in full uniform, served meals to the infirm at their tables so that they didn’t have to stand in line. The criterion for Old Timer membership is 25 years of residence in the Antelope Valley. Some of those who qualified brought their progeny, and those who didn’t brought pictures. “A lot of work goes into making this a memorable event,” said Old Timer Association President Craig Stevenson. “It takes a lot of time and effort from a lot of people. So right now we’ll begin planning for next year and, as always, we’ll work to make it the best one ever.” Menus for the week at the senior life nutrition sites in Lancaster and Palmdale have been announced. All meals include bread, margarine and coffee, tea or milk, for the suggested donation of $2. Monday: Beef stroganoff, peas and carrots, lettuce/tomato salad, pears in juice. Tuesday: Mandarin chicken salad, marinated beets, pea salad, ice cream. Wednesday: Salisbury steak, brown rice, Normandy vegetables, tossed salad, banana. Thursday: Riblet sandwich, macaroni salad, corn niblets, carrot/raisin salad, peaches in juice. Friday: Beef enchilada casserole, Spanish rice, green beans, coleslaw, cheesecake. Bettie Rencoret may be contacted at (661) 943-2998.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Frances Lane, with her cameraman, wandered the pavilion and interviewed the participants for her annual pictorial history of the occasion. Lane also awarded certificates to the special guests who had come the farthest, the nonagenarians, octogenarians and those who were born in the Antelope Valley. Among those who came from out of town were Marie Zaraviga Meline and her two daughters, Cheryl Meline Moses (Miss Antelope Valley 1961) and Susan Meline Hamilton. Meline and Hamilton came from Glendora. Meline and her daughters arrived the night before so that they could also attend Meline’s class of 1936 Antelope Valley Joint Union High School reunion. Classmates from 1936 all sat at one table where they could reminisce, aided by a file folder of old newspaper clippings and other memorabilia brought by Irene Swenson, longtime Valley resident and also a member of the class. LANCASTER – It was old home week when Antelope Valley Old Timers gathered for another reunion and barbecue, or “picnic,” as it once was called. Nostalgia flowed like mellow wine in the J.P. Eliopulos Pavilion at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds as many friends, who hadn’t seen each other for a year or more, happily greeted each other again. About 800 people attended, starting about 11 a.m. and lining up to get name tags and tickets for the deep pit barbecue beef that had been seasoned, wrapped and put down in the Lancaster Elks Lodge pit the night before. The 1,000 pounds of shredded beef was served with 80 gallons of the traditional beans, 50 pounds of potato salad and 35 gallons of salsa. Rolls, butter and coffee, milk or bottled water and ice cream for dessert rounded out the menu. last_img read more

Leeds back up to second with win against Preston while Bristol City beat West Brom

first_imgBristol City 3-2 West BromBristol City survived a West Brom fightback to win a 3-2 thriller at Ashton Gate and move up to fifth.The Robins raced into a 3-0 lead inside 20 minutes before Albion tried to mount a second-half recovery.Josh Brownhill cashed in on sloppy Baggies defending to score after 62 seconds and Andi Weimann added a second on 16 minutes. huge blow Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Jack Hunt scores for Bristol City LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS REVEALED 4 no dice Daniel James opened the scoring for Swansea REVEALED REPLY 4 4 BEST OF Two minutes later Jack Hunt scored his first goal for seven years but Dwight Gayle pulled a goal back for the Baggies just after the break.Jay Rodriguez made it 3-2 with 16 minutes left but Bristol City hung on to inflict successive defeats on Albion, who sit fourth.Preston North End 0-2 Leeds UnitedPatrick Bamford’s classy brace reignited Leeds’ automatic promotion charge in the Sky Bet Championship.Bamford opened the scoring at Deepdale after 62 minutes when his superb low drive found the bottom corner from 25 yards.By then Preston were already down to 10 men as Ben Pearson had been dismissed for a foul on the striker four minutes into the second half.Bamford’s header from 12 yards sealed the points for Leeds with 14 minutes remaining. ADVICE center_img Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ shining There were six games in the Championship on Tuesday evening with a number of teams chasing the play-off places in action.Leeds United took full advantage and moved back up to second thanks to a Patrick Bamford double. Here is how the teams got on:Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Derby CountyJoe Rothwell’s first Blackburn goal helped Rovers to a 2-0 win over Derby and dent the Rams’ promotion charge.Midfielder Rothwell struck in his 32nd appearance for Rovers before Bradley Dack added a late second as Derby dropped to eighth, three points adrift of the top six.Bolton Wanderers 0-2 MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough cashed in to leapfrog them in the table and stay in touch with the top six as Ashley Fletcher’s brace secured a 2-0 win at Bolton.Tony Pulis’ side are two points behind Aston Villa, playing a game more, while Bolton remain second bottom, eight points from safety with five games left. 4 Ashley Fletcher scored twice for Middlesbrough Patrick Bamford scored twice for Leeds Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Nottingham ForestSheffield Wednesday kept their slim play-off hopes alive with a second-half rout of Nottingham Forest.The Owls ran out 3-0 winners, with Marco Matias’ brace and George Boyd’s strike after the break further damaging Forest’s own top-six challenge.Swansea City 3-1 Stoke CityMid-table Swansea beat nine-man Stoke 3-1. Daniel James and Mike van der Hoorn put the Swans 2-0 up but James McClean pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time.Bruno Martins Indi and Tom Edwards were sent off early in the second half for fouls on James before Oli McBurnie added a third for Swansea late on.last_img read more

Province drops charges against environment ministry over wind turbines

first_imgOntario’s attorney general has withdrawn environmental charges against the provincial environment ministry, its minister and several wind companies, citing a lack of evidence and the uncertain likelihood of a conviction.The case, involving allegations of environmental offences at several wind turbine projects across Chatham-Kent, was in provincial offences court in Blenheim Wednesday, when a lawyer with the Ministry of the Attorney General said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to proceed.“There’s no prospect of conviction,” Brian Wilkie told the court.Wilkie declined to elaborate further on the withdrawal of charges outside court.Ontario’s environment minister, Jeff Yurek, along with the ministry itself and several wind turbine companies were named in the private prosecution charges, filed by Dover resident Christine Burke under Section 14 of the Environmental Protection Act.Yurek and the ministry were accused of failing to take reasonable care to prevent the installation and operation of the turbines at the East Lake St. Clair Wind Farm, run by Engie Canada, and at the North Kent 1 Wind Farm, run by Pattern Energy Group and Samsung Renewable Energy, from discharging, or causing or permitting the discharge of contaminants.The projects had been approved under the previous Liberal government.Pattern Energy declined to comment on the withdrawal of the charges.“We believe the ruling speaks for itself,” company spokesperson Matt Dallas said.Residents in the North Kent area have voiced concerns about their private water wells and the potential for turbine-caused contamination by black shale and hazardous metals.“All I’m going to say is that we’re moving forward with our lawyer to pursue other options,” a visibly upset Burke said after the charges were dropped.Her Toronto-based lawyer, Eric Gillespie, wasn’t in attendance Wednesday, as his office had already received notification about the decision. But he said the case is far from over.“The decision is very puzzling to our client,” Gillespie said in a phone interview.He said there was additional evidence available that he offered to provide, adding there was also the chance to obtain more from experts. He said he did not hear back from the government.Gillespie added the optics of having the government withdraw charges against another ministry and a minister raises concerns.“It’s kind of like leaving the fox in charge of the henhouse,” he said.In a statement Wednesday, Yurek said “this government and I will always take the public’s concerns about wind projects very seriously and will continue to stand with the families living in Chatham-Kent to make sure what happened under the previous Liberal government never happens again.”Yurek said an expert panel was formed by the minister of health to study the health toll. That panel has been meeting regularly since July and the final report is anticipated by the end of 2020, Yurek added.He called it unfortunate he had been named and associated with the legal matter since the previous government made the decision about the wind projects.Since the Progressive Conservative government took office, Yurek said it kept its promise by repealing the Green Energy Act, restoring municipal planning power, and cancelling and winding down more than 700 energy projects.But Gillespie said the sitting government should still take further action on the existing projects.“The reality is the turbines are still there,” he said. “The reality is in many people’s minds they are still causing harm. The reality is this government can, and in many people’s view, should be doing a lot more about the problem.”Gillespie said legal options for his client could include appealing the decision or filing new charges. He said this will be discussed in the coming days.“This certainly doesn’t appear to be the end of the matter,” he said.tterfloth@postmedia.com Twitter.com/DailyNewsTTlast_img read more

Spencer/Columbus’ Hunter Luepke earns spot on medal stand at state Individual Wrestling tournament

first_imgBy Paul LeckerSports Reporter MADISON – Spencer/Columbus Catholic sophomore Hunter Luepke dropped his quarterfinal match but came back with a win in the consolation bracket on Friday afternoon to guarantee a spot on the medal stand at the 2016 WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament at the Kohl Center.Luepke lost 3-2 to Tomahawk’s Kaleb Kaminski (44-1) in a Division 2 182-pound quarterfinal early Thursday afternoon.Luepke used an escape 19 seconds into the third period to pull to within a point but couldn’t get a takedown of the Tomahawk senior at the end.It was the third time this season Kaminski beat Luepke, all by a total of five points.Luepke (41-6) responded with a 7-1 win over Jon Litersky (36-8) of Ashland in a consolation bracket match to advance to the consolation semifinals. He will face the loser of tonight’s semifinal between Trent Smith (40-2) of St. Croix Central and Matt Blome (44-2) of Mount Horeb on Saturday morning. The winner of consolation semifinal wrestles for third place with the loser going into the fifth-place match later Saturday afternoon.The top six in each divisional weight class earns a state medal.Spencer/Columbus’ Austin Post was eliminated from the state tournament on Thursday with a preliminary round loss at 132 pounds.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)2016 WIAA State Individual Wrestling ChampionshipsFeb. 25-27, Kohl Center, MadisonFriday, Feb. 26 7 p.m. – Semifinals, all divisionsSaturday, Feb. 2711 a.m. – Consolation wrestlebacks, all divisions; followed by fifth-place and third-place matches in all divisions6 p.m. – Championship matches, all divisionsSpencer/Columbus matches (Saturday)182 pounds: Division 2 consolation semifinal, Hunter Luepke (41-6) vs. TBA, approximately 12:15 p.m.last_img read more

Author, 16, is SA’s youngest

first_img“I didn’t really sit down with the intentionto write a novel,” says Andy Petersen,South Africa’s youngest published author.“I thought it might be something but Ididn’t think it would become so big.”Wilma den HartighNot many 16-year-olds can say they have written a book, let alone had it published. But that’s exactly what Andy Petersen has done, but at the time he didn’t know he would become South Africa’s youngest published author.In fact, Andy was only 14 when he first started writing his debut novel, Daniel Fox and the Jester’s Legacy. He was studying for his November school exams and needed a distraction.“I didn’t really sit down with the intention to write a novel,” he says. “I thought it might be something but I didn’t think it would become so big.”The first script of the fantasy novel was completed over eight months, but the book currently on the shelves is very different to the first draft. When the manuscript was first submitted to publisher Penguin Books, it was rejected. But this didn’t discourage Andy: “It didn’t really bother me because I agreed with their decision. It wasn’t good enough.”So he started from scratch with new ideas. The second script maintained the plot, but with far more depth to the story. Existing characters were developed further and new ones added.  Halfway through the writing of the second draft, Penguin Books asked to meet Andy with a view to securing a contract.“I was so excited but also very surprised because the email came out of the blue,” he says.The revised manuscript was submitted to Penguin in April 2008, and accepted for publication. Although he wrote the novel with a young adult audience in mind, he thinks it would also appeal to readers of all ages who enjoy the fantasy genre.The novel setting is the afterlife and underworld. The story starts with Daniel Fox waking up on Monday morning in his house in New York. He expects an ordinary day, but it is in fact the day he will die. After witnessing the murder of an old man and being kidnapped from the Museum of Ancient History, Daniel Fox ends up in a waiting room. This leads to the capital of the underworld, the great city of Arison, where more adventure awaits.Andy says his life has become a lot more busy since the book was launched earlier this month. As an author he has a number of new commitments, such as attending book launches. He is also visiting schools across the country to promote not only his book, but also a culture of reading.It has been a fine balancing act to not neglect his schoolwork. He still wants to perform well academically and keep up his involvement with debating and drama at St John’s College.Then there is his busy social life – Andy certainly doesn’t fit the stereotype of the reclusive writer. He’s also a musician and plays keyboard in a band called Little Red House.“It is a fairly new band but we are all pretty serious musicians,” he says. On weekends when he’s not playing in the band or writing, he likes to watch music gigs with his friends.This won’t be Andy’s only novel; he hopes that it will be the first in a trilogy. In fact, he’s already got some ideas for the sequel.  Daniel Fox and the Jester’s Legacy has been well received and has been short-listed for the Exclusive Books One Club Prize. It will also be the face of the award this year.He is quick to point out that he isn’t a whizz-kid. “I don’t posses any extraordinary skill that enabled me to complete the book,” he says.He adds that his interest in literature and writing all began with his love of reading. “I’ve always loved reading and when I was a child my parents always read to me.” He particularly likes fantasy literature such as The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.“The book was published because I finished it, and because I kept at it when I started,” he says. Andy encourages other young writers not to give up writing. “You are never too young to start writing. Often young people are deterred because they only see writers who are much older. Maybe wisdom of age does help, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesCommonwealth nod to SA writerNew life for indigenous classics SA remembers Es’kia Mphahlele South African literatureUseful linksPenguin South AfricaExclusive Bookslast_img read more

Vilane shows the way to the top

first_imgAdvice from Sibusiso Vilane, “You’ve got to dream and then set out to achieve your dreams.” (Image: Sibusiso Vilane)Sibusiso Vilane is the first African, and one of only a handful of people, to accomplish the Explorers Grand Slam – the Goliath Challenge. He is a walking, talking advertisement for perseverance and resilience, spreading the message that “we Africans can reach great heights” around the world.Vilane has endured glacial temperatures and violent snow storms to become one of fewer than 150 people to climb the highest peak on all the continents. Once he had completed the Seven Summits, Sir Ranulph Fiennes goaded him into taking on a real challenge – the Goliath Challenge. Goliath, or the Three Poles Challenge, recognises adventurers who have climbed Everest and have walked unaided to the North and South poles. “There will be challenges but it’s about just being persistent and not giving up,” has been Vilane’s advice to children that he gives motivational talks to. (Image: Sibusiso Vilane)last_img read more