Selection intervention – Cameron, Nanthan never had board approval for Shiv’s inclusion in Australia series – report

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first_img UNHAPPY SELECTORS ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): A report into alleged interference in the selection process has determined that the two highest ranking officials of the West Indies Cricket Board, spoke without “approval” when they backed the retention of Shiv Chanderpaul for the Australia series. WICB president Dave Cameron and his vice-president, Emmanuel Nanthan, had supported Chanderpaul’s selection last May after the Clive Lloyd-led selection panel had decided to drop the veteran left-hander. In a media release on Saturday, the WICB said the findings of the report showed that both Cameron and Nanthan had spoken in personal capacities. “The findings stated that the actions of the president and vice-president to support the selection of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the home series in May last year, were personal statements and were done without approval of the Board of Directors,” the release said. Chanderpaul was controversially left out of the squad for Australia series following a run of low scores in previous series against South Africa and England. According to media reports at the time, Cameron attempted to have Chanderpaul included against the will of selectors. The report, conducted by human resource specialist Colin Barnett, was commissioned by the WICB after head coach Phil Simmons controversially claimed last September that there had been “outside interference” in the selection of the one-day squad to tour Sri Lanka. Two other selection cases came under scrutiny of the report, namely the Test squad to Australia last December and the cancelled one-day international series against Zimbabwe. According to the release, the report found no discrepancies in these cases. “The other findings reported support the roles of the director of cricket (Richard Pybus) and the selectors and that they were following the existing selection policies and guidelines.” The report also put forward a list of recommendations to improve the overall selection process, among these the refining of selection policies, updating the terms of reference for selectors and advising the public on selection criteria. Simmons stunned the cricket fraternity ahead of the Test tour of Sri Lanka last year when he told a media conference that the selection of the tour had suffered from “outside interference”. The Trinidadian, who had then been only recently appointed, said he and chairman Lloyd had agreed on the need for Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard to be recalled to the ODI squad only to be outvoted by the three other selectors Eldine Baptiste, Courtney Walsh and Courtney Browne. Simmons said those with influence had interfered to ensure the two players remained sidelined. He was subsequently suspended for the Sri Lanka tour, but reinstated for the Australia series following an inquiry.last_img read more

Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki share eventful history as honorary All-Stars

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first_imgLATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra For Nowitzki, it’s no secret why it fits better now than it did eight years ago.“We’re older,” Nowitzki said. “When you’re young, you compete, you’re stubborn. There was a few guys where I was just not that friendly with. We played against the Spurs every year in the playoffs, and I didn’t love them guys either.”Turns out it’s nothing personal.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ “We don’t lose that Finals in ’11, we’re still going, me and ’Bron still fighting it out to see who’s the best,” Wade said. “I took a step back at that point to kind of let him take over, an organization that I would call mine before that.”The Mavericks haven’t won a playoff series since taking the franchise’s only title and have ground to make up if they want to avoid missing the postseason for the third straight year.The Heat had one playoff series victory in the four years after going to the Finals in each of James’ four seasons. Miami has more realistic playoff hopes than Dallas this year, but only because the Eastern Conference is more forgiving.None of that will matter as the All-Stars celebrate two players with 27 appearances between them. This will be 14 for Nowitzki, the German who is the only foreign-born player among the NBA’s seven 30,000-point scorers, and 13 for Wade.“Dirk is one of the first guys to have ever done it from overseas,” said Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, the “Greek Freak” who is an All-Star captain alongside James. “Hopefully, all the other international guys and overseas guys can do the same thing for the next generation.”The most competitive part of Nowitzki’s weekend will come in the 3-point contest Saturday night — he’s the only 7-footer to win it (in 2006). And he’ll be one of the coaches in the Rising Stars game, leading 19-year-old Dallas rookie sensation Luka Doncic.As for the game, Nowitzki expects his role to be about like that of an extra in the movies — very, very minor.“It’s going to be fun to be part of and watch, maybe coach some, maybe get in for a minute or two,” the 2007 NBA MVP said. “But really I think that game is more about the guys that deserve to be there and got voted in.”The other guy who didn’t get voted in has similar feelings.“Me and him have had our fair share of All-Star games,” Wade said. “This is a lot different for what we’re looking to get out of it. I’m glad it is me and Dirk. I think it fits. I think it’s right and I’m appreciative of it.” ‘The Two Popes’ movie explores depth of faith, frailties of man PLAY LIST 01:28‘The Two Popes’ movie explores depth of faith, frailties of man00:50Trending Articles07:01In front of hometown crowd, Carlos Yulo captures SEA Games gold02:14Carpio 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 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California collegecenter_img Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil FILE – At left, in a June 25, 2012, file photo, Miami Heat basketball player Dwyane Wade hugs the NBA Championship trophy after a public celebration in Miami. At right, in a Dec. 13, 2011, file photo, Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki, of Germany, kisses the NBA championship basketball trophy during a photo shoot at the NBA basketball team’s media day in Dallas. Miami’s Dwyane Wade and Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki accepted honorary All-Star roles to help the NBA celebrate two long and decorated careers.It should also be a chance for the two-time Finals foes to go out on amicable terms after a shared history that Nowitzki acknowledged was “frosty” at times. (AP Photo/File)DALLAS — Of all the opposing jerseys Dwyane Wade has collected through swaps during his final NBA season, Dirk Nowitzki’s was among those the Miami star wanted the most and somehow seemed worried he wouldn’t get.Maybe it had something to do with the “frosty” phase of their relationship, as the Dallas icon described the strain following the Heat’s six-game win over the Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals. Maybe Wade thought such a display wouldn’t be possible on Dallas owner Mark Cuban’s court.ADVERTISEMENT After winning his first title on Dallas’ home court in 2006, Wade wasn’t thrilled with complaints that the Heat — and their star player in particular — got a huge assist from the officials. He eventually shot back that the Mavericks might have won with better leadership from Nowitzki.When Nowitzki was on his way to payback with a title five years later, Wade and LeBron James mocked Nowitzki by faking coughs in front of cameras after that year’s finals MVP made the decisive bucket in a critical Game 4 win while playing with a fever.Those days are long gone, replaced by mutual admiration for players in supporting roles on teams with little hope of winning titles after years as pressure-laden leading men for franchises that were among the elite.“I always say he pushed me to become the player in ’11 to ultimately win,” Nowitzki said. “There were some things said after the ’06 finals, and both sides didn’t love it. There were some times that we didn’t speak much. But I always watched from afar.”Wade won his second and third titles — both with James — the first two years after losing to the Mavericks. He essentially says the same thing about his experience of losing to Nowitzki.ADVERTISEMENT In reality, Wade didn’t need to worry about Nowitzki turning him down.The two-time Finals foes are elder statesmen in their league now, a co-existence better defined by sharing honorary All-Star status for the NBA’s biggest party than bitterness over a championship lost to a rival.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“You appreciate having someone like that that’s a part of your journey, that pushes you,” Wade said, a few hours before that jersey swap took place near midcourt following Miami’s 112-101 victory in Dallas on Wednesday. “We’re an important part of each other’s story.”NBA Commissioner Adam Silver added Wade and Nowitzki as All-Star extras for Sunday’s game in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the 37-year-old Wade already saying his 16th season will be his last and the 40-year-old Nowitzki’s record 21st season with the same franchise having the feel of an unofficial farewell tour. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Madrid’s Gareth Bale faces possible 12-match ban for celebration Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title View commentslast_img read more

UNDP Boosts Security and Health Sectors against Ebola Fight

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first_imgTo eradicate the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) from Liberia, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has turned over an ambulance and a consignment of assorted materials to the Ministry of Health Ebola Task Force and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN),  respectively.  At an official ceremony, UNDP Country Director Kamil Kamaluddeen said, the donation is part of UNDP’s continuous support to the Government of Liberia in the Ebola fight.  He said the vehicle is to serve Sinoe County, as UNDP steps up its support to counties’ response to combat EVD, while the consignment of assorted supplies to the BIN, is intended to strengthen its cross border security in the fight against the Ebola Virus. “UNDP remains committed to provide adequate support to the security sector in playing a vibrant and optimal role in the fight against Ebola, by enhancing its capacity,” said UNDP Country Director. The consignment of assorted materials to the BIN included 10 desktop computers, 10 printers, 30 cartons of A4 sheets, assorted radio communication equipment and accessories and 60 pieces of temperature testers. The package is valued at over US$59,000.00.  Responding, Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services and Chairman of the Ebola Incident Management System (IMS), Tolbert Nyenswah,  said UNDP has been supportive to the government’s recovery process through various initiatives and programs over the years.  He said the UN Agency has also been more instrumental in supporting community- based activities across Liberia in the fight against Ebola. The donation of the vehicle will help enhance government’s capacity to deal with the outbreak in the Southeastern part of the country, he said.   “We are serving all the counties.  Right now, we have thirteen ambulances in Montserrado County; we sent some to Grand Bassa, we’ve served the Southeastern Region and we need to move vigorously in that area and Sinoe has a much greater need,” Minister Nyenswah said.  Although there are fewer cases being reported in Sinoe County, it is important to ensure that those cases are contained.  For his part, the head of the Immigration Bureau, Counselor Lemuel Reeves,  described UNDP as a strong partner to the security sector reform in the country.  Cllr. Reeves spoke of the enormous challenges being experienced by the justice and the security sector, and the level of support provided by UNDP to help reduce the constraints.  “We take this time to say a big “Thank you” to UNDP and assure them that these supplies will be used in aiding the BIN to live up to its statutory mandate,” he added.     As part of the Government of Liberia’s response to fighting the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), UNDP provided support with an initial amount of US$148,080.00, mobilized through the Crisis Prevention window. The overall objective of the support was to improve the response capacity of the Government of Liberia to the epidemic through strengthening EVD coordination, contact tracing, sensitization and surveillance in the most affected counties mainly Lofa.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Are Political Parties Observing NEC’s Guidelines?

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first_imgThe word GUIDELINE is a detailed plan or explanation to guide people in setting standards or determining a course of action. Put in another way, it is a rule or principle for appropriate behavior.Being what it is by definition, guidelines could evolve as laws that are made in consonance with a superior body of laws to control behavior and actions of people in certain organizations, groups or associations. It is within this context that the National Elections Commission (NEC) came out with a set of guidelines in consonance with the Constitution and Elections Law to govern activities of political parties and independent candidates in the electoral process.One of the guidelines is one having to do with campaigning, one major activity, if not the most important, that allows political parties and individuals to sell their platforms to voters with the intent of winning the various positions, including the presidency, in the election.In order to ensure equality in this democratically competitive process, the National Elections Commission set a timeline for each activity to guide politicians and voters; the registration of political parties and independent candidates; voter registration; voters’ roll exhibition; final listing of voters; commencement and end of campaign; and election day, just to randomly name a few.For campaigns, the NEC set it from July 31 to October 8, 2017. But since we entered 2017 and the euphoria for election rose, political parties and candidates have been vigorously engaged in campaign-like activities across the country without regard for the guideline.As recent evidence can show, the political leader of the main opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), George Weah, on June 25 had nothing to tell his supporters in Montserrado District #2 but to castigate other politicians including Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party and other presidential hopefuls that they are immaterial for Liberia; maintaining himself as the only patriot who can lead the country to prosperity.This editorial is not meant to delve into the credibility and competence of Weah to lead Liberia, though he claims to be our savior. However, in his assertions in that district, Weah described Vice President Boakai as a failed person who has worked in government for 40 years with nothing to show as his impact on the larger society. He referred to Charles Walker Brumskine as part of the same corrupt group of people who have contributed nothing to the betterment of the country.Like Weah, Cllr. Brumskine has been touring the counties selling Liberty Party as the liberator of the country, branding himself and his running mate, Harrison Karnwea, as the best people with a vision for Liberia. Vice President Joseph Boakai has been quiet with all the comments made against him, but his Unity Party members and other supporters have also been selling him to the Liberian people ahead of the campaign period. The same has been the case of Dr. J. Mills Jones of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE). He, too, has been on the tour asking voters to prioritize him for the presidency because he is “The poverty doctor” who can save the country. Others including Alexander Cummings have been carrying out similar activities in contravention of the guideline for campaign as set by the National Elections Commission.It may be recalled that early this year the NEC mandated that since campaign has not begun, political parties and independent candidates should remove placards from the streets and avoid all pre-campaign activities; yet we continue to see campaign activities and hear campaign messages.There is no theoretical rationale given by NEC to substantiate its mandate for politicians not campaigning ahead of time except for the fact that it is a guideline; nevertheless, we believe in our right mind also that observing the guideline will create an equitable environment to allow all parties to start the competition at the same time and weigh one another’s strength to voters.It may be recalled that on June 25 some political parties were accredited to contest in the election. What becomes of these parties in terms of campaign that others have begun? How fair is it to them when every party must begin campaign together?When we take a cue from the US election, one will realize that during primaries for the Republicans and Democrats to elect their presidential candidates, criticisms and competition were rife among members of the same party. After primaries ended and campaign began, the two contenders then began the political battle against each other at the national level.Contrary to these sequential events associated with democracy, Liberian politicians are conducting primaries and at the same time campaigning.As people wishing to seize state power and expecting others to abide by the law, you should be the first to obey the law so that the ordinary people will imitate your good example. We believe that the pre-campaigning activities politicians are carrying out are in violation of the election guideline, and they must stop. We also want the NEC to be consistent to enforce its own rules irrespective of personality or the position of violators to show the Liberian people and partners that it is a serious body.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ECOWAS Court President Discourages Appeal Plan by Ja’neh’s Lawyers, Aggrieved Senators

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first_imgECOWAS Court of Community Justice President, Justice Edward Amoako Asante addresses a press conference in Monrovia. The president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court has publicly clarified that the court does not have jurisdiction to reverse any judgment (opinion) of the Supreme Court of any of its members states.Justice Edward Amoako Asante’s clarification came against the backdrop of persistent threats by some senators and lawyers representing Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, but are now aggrieved, wanting to challenge the result of Ja’neh’s impeachment trial at the ECOWAS Community Court.Justice Asante’s clarification comes following a recent visit to the country by his team of justices on a sensitization campaign on the work of the ECOWAS Court. His statement was in response to a question posed to him during a press conference as to whether his court has jurisdiction to review judgment of its members’ highest court. He replied in the negative.“Our court is not empowered to review the judgment (opinion) of the highest court of any of our member’s states,” Justice Asante stated. “We only have the jurisdiction to examine cases involving an alleged failure by a member state to comply with community law, a dispute relating to the interpretation and application of community acts; dispute between community institutions and their officials; community liability and human rights violations.”He revealed that up to now, 14 cases of human rights violations have been filed from Liberia to the court since its establishment in 2001.With this clarification by Justice Asante, it clearly puts some of the senators, who opposed the idea of the amended Senate Standing Rule 63 that they argued were intended for Ja’neh’s impeachment trial in a very difficult position, because they had earlier threatened to seek further redress at the ECOWAS Court over the procedure adopted by their majority colleagues to impeach Justice Ja’neh.Senators Armah Jallah, Daniel Naatehn, Conmany Wesseh, Oscar Cooper and Nyonblee Lawrence  had threatened to take the matter before the ECOWAS Court for final settlement, although the Supreme Court had denied their argument against “the Constitutionality Amendment of the Senate Rules to provide for impeachment.”The senators had contended that their majority colleagues’ adopted the procedure to enable them to conduct a hearing on the impeachment of Justice Ja’neh, because there was no such procedure at the Senate prior to the impeachment of Justice Ja’neh by the House of Representatives.The majority Senators recently approved the amended Rule 63 of the Senate’s Standing Rules that created a “usable set rule” and that set a stage for the ongoing impeachment of Justice Ja’neh, and  all other impeachment proceedings or trials of other persons, including the President, Vice President, Chief Justice and Judges.The committee’s report on the amendment of rule 63 of the Senate was as a result of a Bill of impeachment sent to that august body by the House of Representative calling for the impeachment of Associate Justice Ja’neh.According to the report, the amendment of rule 63 of the Senate rule was intended to be in conformity with Article 43 of the 1986 constitution of Liberia.“The plenary of the Senate has received a proposal from the Senate leadership to amend Senate Standing rule 63 to bring some elements in conformity with the provision of the 1986 constitution of Liberia,” the resolution to amend rule 63 of the senate own rules stated.In the case of Je’neh’s lawyers, they had contested almost all of the decisions of Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor, who is the presiding officer. The senators disagreed with Justice Korkpor’s handling of the impeachment trial, which outcome they could have challenged before the ECOWAS Court.Besides, some members of Ja’neh’s legal team had openly threatened to move the matter before the ECOWAS Court if the case happened to have gone against their client.Also, on the importance of the sensitization mission, Justice Asante said it was first held in neighboring Sierra Leone, and there was the need to extend it to Liberia.“Moreover, with the limited patronage of the court relative to its potential, there was a recognition that the court needed to deepen its dialogue with the citizens for the effectiveness in the discharge of its mandate,” said Asante.He noted that the integration of the outreach component to the court’s arsenal of visibility platforms was therefore intended to deepen engagement with stakeholders to reinforce citizens’ ownership.Ja’neh is currently facing the Senate in an impeachment trial for allegedly acquiring an illegal property from J. Nyumah Constance, Jr., son of Annie Constance, among other charges.Ja’neh has denied the charges, adding, “I have committed no wrong that warrants my impeachment from the Supreme Court’s Bench. The impeachment charges against me as found in the bill of impeachment cannot be the reason for my removal. This can be described as a sad time for our country’s democracy.”According to him, every action that was taken by him while serving as justice in chamber at the time was done in line with the Liberian constitution.In a bill of impeachment initially introduced by two members of the Coalition for Democratic Change, Montserrado’s fifth and eighth district representatives, Thomas Fallah and Acarous Gray, Ja’neh was accused of abusing his power to prevent a now deceased businessman, Austin Clarke, from collecting a US$1 million judgment in a case of defamation against EcoBank. The two lawmakers cited another case where they claimed Associate Justice Ja’neh used his influence “to become both a player and a referee in a land dispute in which no lawyer dared take on him, because he is an associate justice of the Supreme Court, and enjoys the luxurious trappings associated with such office, and is hiding behind his office and status to trample on the rights of innocent Liberians.”The bill was later amended to exclude the EcoBank case, before being sent to the Senate for the impeachment trial. The charges include corruption, abuse of power, and theft of property.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Teen remanded for stealing iPhone 7

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first_imgNineteen-year-old Rickford Marcus of Lot 497 South Sophia, Greater Georgetown found himself on Monday arraigned before City Magistrate Judy Latchman on a charge of snatching an iPhone 7.He denied that, on March 11, 2018 at South Road, Georgetown, he stole the phone, valued at $140,000.Police Prosecutor Arvin Moore told the court that the teen was seen by the virtual complainant in the Stabroek Market area after he had stolen the phone. Thus the Police were called, he was arrested, and the phone was found in his possession. Accordingly, he was charged with the offence.Moore based his objection to Marcus being placed on bail on the nature and seriousness of the offence, and Magistrate Latchman upheld his submissions and remanded the teen to prison until March 26, when the case will again be called.last_img read more

Husband, wife claim innocence

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first_imgBoxing night murder trial– to know fate in coming daysVishawantie Ragnauth and Nyron Thakurdyal, who are on trial for a relative’s Skull City, Patentia, West Bank Demerara murder, which took place on December 26, 2014, addressed the court via unsworn statements on Tuesday, telling Judge and jury that they are innocent of the charge before them. Giving an unsworn statement meant that they could not be cross-examined.Ragnauth, called “Shelly”, confirmed that her uncle was indeed cursing her and that their fight got physical. She also admitted that her reputed husband, Nyron Thakurdyal, went to defend her after the late Sunil Ramsundar grabbed her.She said she stopped a car because she was going to report the matter at the Wales Police Station and noted that she did not have a knife or a cellphone in her possession.Nyron Thakurdyal’s account of the event was similar as he claimed his reputed wife’s uncle fell to the ground after he restrained him from hitting Ragnauth. During his unsworn statement, which saw his accent change from Guyanese to American, the defendant expressed that after he saw Ramsundar holding his reputed wife, he went over and grabbed his hands.“I told him to let her go and when he let her go, he ended up falling towards the fence…we jump in the car and [Vishawantie] holler out to drive to the station,” he noted.“Next thing the Police told me go in the lockup… then a few days later, they brought this allegation of murder against me,” Thakurdyal, also called “One Eye” added.Government Pathologist, Dr Vivekanand Brijmohan in his testimony gave the cause of death as shock and hemorrhage, and stab wound to the neck. The Pathologist told the jury that there were injuries to the right forearm, right chest, left part of the neck and jaw; noting that a puncture to an artery caused excessive blood loss.The jury also heard that Ramsundar was also stabbed to the left palm, which the Pathologist said indicated that the injury was defensive in nature. Under cross-examination by Defence Attorney Nigel Hughes, the doctor however admitted that the possibility exists that the deceased could have fallen on a paling stave or a sharp object other than the kitchen knife that was said to be the murder weapon. However, under re-examination by Prosecutor Lisa Cave, the expert witness said it was more likely that it was the knife that caused Ramsundar’s fatal injuries.Police Constable Alex Solomon had tendered the brown handled kitchen knife that he said the accused woman had in her possession under her clothing. He claimed that Ragnauth took it out in his presence. Under cross-examination, he admitted that he did not find any cellphones on either of the accused persons at the Wales Police Station. It was only last week that off-duty Police Lance Corporal Benjamin Dufu, who was giving the duo a lift on the Wales public road, told the court that he drove into the Wales Police Station after he grew suspicious of them.According to Police reports in 2014, the incident occurred at about 22:00h where it was alleged that Sunil Ramsundar’s sister was reportedly being assaulted by her daughter, Vishawantie, and Vishawantie’s reputed husband, Thakurdyal. At that time, reports stated that the now deceased man enquired from his sister why she was crying, and upon learning that the couple had physically assaulted her, the man approached his niece for an explanation. However, this reportedly turned into a heated argument, during which Ramsundar was stabbed about his body. He collapsed on the spot and was pronounced dead on arrival to the West Demerara Regional Hospital.Both the prosecution and defence presented closing addresses before the jury and Justice Sandil Kissoon. The matter will be sent to deliberation in the coming days.last_img read more

COLLEGE FOOTBALL USC falls to No. 10 in AP poll

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first_imgLSU is one of just four teams that started the season ranked in the top 10 and remain there. The others are No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 8 West Virginia and No. 10 USC, which became the latest team to take a tumble after a startling loss to an unranked opponent. The Trojans fell to Stanford, 24-23, Saturday, then dropped eight spots in the rankings. California is the new No. 2, with its best showing in the AP Top 25 since 1951, when the Golden Bears were No. 1. Ohio State is No. 3 and No. 4 Boston College has its highest ranking since Doug Flutie had the Eagles fourth in 1984. South Florida, which entered the poll for the first time three weeks ago, is now No. 5. A week before the first Bowl Championship Series standings are released, LSU is a unanimous No. 1 in all the major polls. In the coaches’ poll, the rest of the top five is California, Ohio State, Boston College and Oklahoma and South Florida are tied for fifth. From news services No doubt about it, LSU is No. 1. As for the rest of the AP Top 25, five wild weeks of college football have taken quite a toll. The Tigers were a unanimous choice for the top spot in The Associated Press rankings released Sunday, receiving all 65 first-place from the media panel. The last unanimous No. 1 during the regular season was Ohio State in December. In the Harris poll, the top four are the same as the AP and coaches’ poll, but Oklahoma holds the No. 5 spot all to itself with USF sixth. The Harris and coaches’ polls are part of the formula to determine which teams will play in the BCS national title game Jan. 7 in New Orleans. On Saturday, a week after half the top 10 and nine ranked teams lost, another four top-10 teams and 11 ranked teams overall went down Saturday. As a result, there are 10 teams in the latest rankings, including four in the top 10 (BC, USF, No. 7 South Carolina and No. 9 Oregon), that were unranked to start the season. Coach Steve Spurrier has led South Carolina to its highest ranking since Dec. 12, 1984, when the Gamecocks were also seventh. An impromptu celebration Tavita Pritchard knew sleep would be difficult so he watched a replay of Stanford’s stunning 24-23 victory over then No. 2 USC. “I can see why my mom gets so nervous,” said the Cardinal redshirt freshman quarterback. “I keep telling her I’m just playing. But even I got clinched up watching that last drive and I knew how it was going to come out.” Pritchard, the nephew of former Washington State quarterback great Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson, made his first career start against the Trojans. The win sparked an impromptu celebration by Stanford students outside Maples Pavilion, who waited for the team to show up at about 12:30 a.m. The crowd, estimated at anywhere between 2,000-5,000 people, rocked the buses as they pulled up. “It was crazy,” said senior receiver Mark Bradford, who caught the game-winning TD with 49 seconds left to play. “I had no idea how much people cared about football here.” The spontaneous celebration itself was as improbable as the upset. “Not even the Final Four (basketball) team got that great of a reception,” said Mike Eubanks, Stanford’s director of football administration. “In terms of impromptu gatherings, that was by far the largest on campus. It was great to see this campus come to life and it shows what a win at this level can do.” Boise State wins rout Taylor Tharp threw a career-high four touchdown passes and Ian Johnson had 158 total yards and a touchdown to help Boise State roll to a 58-0 victory over New Mexico State in Boise, Idaho. All four of Tharp’s TDs came in the first half when the Broncos (4-1, 1-0 WAC) scored on five of their first six drives to take a 35-0 lead. New Mexico State (3-3, 0-1) came into the game with the nation’s seventh-ranked passing attack, averaging 340 yards, but crossed midfield just once through the first three quarters. Backup QB sparks Hawaii Backup quarterback Tyler Graunke replaced an injured Colt Brennan and provided Hawaii the spark it needed. Graunke threw for three touchdowns in the third quarter and ran for another score as No. 16 Hawaii defeated Utah State, 52-37, late Saturday night in Honolulu. The victory gave the Warriors (6-0, 3-0 WAC) a school-record 10 straight conference wins and their best start since the 1981 team opened 7-0. Brennan walked off the field on his own power after taking a hard hit with 52 seconds left in the first half with Hawaii leading, 24-14. The Heisman Trophy hopeful completed a short pass when he was drilled by linebacker Paul Igboeli. Brennan, ranked second in the nation in passing, was 19-of-25 for 219 yards and one touchdown. Graunke completed his first nine passes for 246 yards and finished the night 9-of-11. 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

Two gangsters get prison terms for killing teen protecting disabled friend

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first_imgFast-forward to Aug. 13, 2005. Sammy was walking down an alley with Juan Pedroza, who had a distinctive limp from a childhood car accident, according to court documents. Diaz, Vega and Betancourt were nearby at a party when they spotted the two. Diaz asked if Pedroza was the “fool who ratted on Clumsy.” It’s unclear if they thought he was Victor Pedroza and mistakenly targeted him. “Let’s (mess) him up,” Betancourt said before he charged toward Pedroza. Betancourt threw the first punch, then Vega jumped in. Pedroza, who had a metal plate in his head, had little use of one arm. Sammy jumped in, trying to fend them off. Moments later, Diaz pulled out a gun and shot him in the head. During Thursday’s hearing, a bald-headed Diaz shot glances at rows of red-eyed relatives and smiled a few times while Vega kept his eyes focused ahead. Diaz’s attorney, Robert Schwartz, said trial witnesses contradicted each other, and his client was not involved in the shooting. “For my client to be convicted under this evidence is a miscarriage,” he said after the sentencing. But when Vega’s attorney asked the judge to reconsider his stiffer sentence, she said, “It’s one arrest after another. If he isn’t a perfect example of recidivism, I don’t know what is.” The lead investigator on the case, Los Angeles police Detective Steve Castro, called the outcome “a great day for justice. Gangs like to intimidate; they don’t like people speaking against them, making crime reports,” said Castro, who attended the sentencing. “It weakens their gang.” Bravo, a housekeeper, sat in the back of the courtroom as the judge spoke. Her stomach knotted. Her heart felt as if someone stepped on it. “It has been hard on me,” she said. “Since that day, I am not the same person anymore.” Afraid of retribution, she and her 13-year-old daughter moved from their North Hollywood home with the help of law enforcement. She was even escorted to her car Thursday by sheriff’s deputies for protection. At home, she keeps a candle burning next to her son’s photograph in her living room. Every birthday, every holiday, the sorrow begins anew. On that August night two years ago, she knew something was wrong. She had just arrived in California the year before after escaping an abusive husband in Texas and had tried so hard to protect her son from violence. “I felt something in my heart,” she said, recalling how she went searching the neighborhood for Sammy that night. “When I went to go look for him, I saw a lot of ambulance and police. They already had him in the bed. I was running and crying and they didn’t let me close to him.” At the hospital, she watched as he clung to life. “I told him how much I love him and I didn’t want to miss him, and not to go,” she said. He died 10 minutes later. (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The day Leticia Bravo’s 15-year-old son was shot to death by gang members for trying to protect his disabled friend is the day her own slow death began. “They killed my son, but they killed me,” she said, tears welling in her eyes. “You don’t die immediately. The pain goes on and you die day by day.” Thursday, when a judge sentenced the two North Hollywood Boyz members to more than 40 years in prison each for killing Sammy Salas, Bravo said she had at least ended the most painful chapter of her life. “I hope some day they will be sorry,” she said. “I don’t know why they did it. It is nothing Sammy did to them.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp sentenced Enrique “Serio” Diaz, 32, to 40 years to life in prison for shooting Sammy in the head. Sammy had intervened when several other gangsters were beating up his disabled friend, Juan Pedroza, whom they considered a snitch for talking to police about another case. Luis “Wicked” Vega, 28, who participated in the killing, was sentenced to 55 years to life because he had a prior “strike” under the state’s “three strikes” law for using a cane to beat someone. Both maintain their innocence and will appeal, their attorneys said. Another defendant, Marcos “Shyster” Betancourt, who was 14 at the time and struck a deal with prosecutors to testify against Diaz and Vega, is awaiting sentencing. He likely will be sent to the California Youth Authority and be released when he is 25. Prosecutors called the case a classic example of gang intimidation and revenge that ended in the worst way. A few months before the killing, Pedroza’s brother Victor was harassed by Roberto “Clumsy” Fletes, a parolee and North Hollywood Boyz member. Fletes demanded Pedroza pay “taxes” because he believed he was selling drugs on the gang’s turf. But Victor Pedroza refused and went to the police to file a report against Fletes, eventually testifying against him at a parole hearing. last_img read more



first_imgThe Feel Good Fortnight mural at the pier in Buncrana. Pic by David Porter.The people of Inishowen are being invited to a very special evening at The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana on Tuesday night.Insight Inishowen is celebrating five years working with the people of the peninsula on building a caring and resilient community, promoting mental and emotional wellbeing, and preventing suicide. To mark the occasion the group will host a public meeting at The Exchange on Tuesday May 6th from 7.30pm.The evening will celebrate everything Insight Inishowen has achieved, in partnership with the community, over the past five years, and will give people an opportunity to take a closer look at the wide range of services and initiatives this award-winning group offers. Rachel Duffy with some of the ‘yarn bombing’ from last year’s Feel Good Fortnight.One such initiative is the development of the group’s counselling services, which will be officially launched on the night. There will also be the chance to hear details of other up-coming events and initiatives, such as the third annual Feel Good Fortnight promising “two weeks of sunshine across Inishowen, whatever the weather!”Ending with Insight Inishowen’s AGM, including committee elections, the evening will also give people the chance to get involved with this proactive and creative community group.Acting chairperson Ruth Garvey-Williams said: “It’s important that we celebrate what we have achieved as communities in Inishowen. Five years ago there was much sadness and concern about suicide rates. Following a public meeting, Buncrana Community Combating Suicide was founded. The group grew to serve the wider Inishowen peninsula, and was renamed Insight Inishowen in 2012.”Ruth added those considering volunteering could contribute as little or as much time as they could afford. “There are many areas where people can help out,” she explained.”People who volunteer will find they get just as much out of it as they put in. Giving back to your community gives you a great sense of wellbeing.” With a wide range of projects and initiatives, there is something for people of all ages and backgrounds to contribute. Whether you enjoy making cups of tea or knitting a square or two for Feel Good Fortnight’s “yarn bombing” art projects, helping to run events or offering administration, financial or legal skills, come along to The Exchange on May 6 to find out how you can get involved.ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONInsight Inishowen, formerly Buncrana Community Combating Suicide, was set up following a public meeting in 2009 at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel attended by around 400 members of the community.Working in partnership with the community, Insight Inishowen has developed a range of services including a counselling service, ASIST and mental health training courses, mindfulness workshops, workshops tackling exam stress among school students, awareness campaigns and much more.Feel Good Fortnight was established in 2012 and brings individuals, community groups and businesses from across Inishowen together for a wide range of events, projects and programmes that help promote emotional wellbeing in the community. Last year the group received recognition for the success of Feel Good Fortnight when they won the prestigious Judges’ Special Award at the 2013 all-Ireland Pride of Place Awards. For more information contact Ruth Garvey-Williams on 0877955401 or email GOOD REASONS TO CELEBRATE FEELING GOOD IN INISHOWEN! was last modified: May 4th, 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:buncranadonegalfeelgoodInishowenlast_img read more