Billups discusses front office ambitions, Pistons’ future

first_imgReport: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pacquiao still ‘hungry’ to fight Chauncey Billups of Killer 3’s speaks to the media during BIG3 – Week Four at Little Caesars Arena on July 13, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFPDETROIT — Chauncey Billups is still eyeing the chance to run an NBA team.The former Pistons standout was back in the Detroit area Friday night as part of the BIG3 — entertainer Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league of former NBA players, which made a stop at Little Caesars Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team World Peace, of course, was the most infamous participant in the brawl between the Pistons and his Pacers at The Palace in 2004. On Friday night, he punted the ball away early in the game and was tossed — although it was a bit of a shank.“I told him in the locker room, ‘If you was going to kick it, you should have put it in the top row or the top deck at least,’” Billups said. “It was a weak kick.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In one offseason, Casey has been fired by the Toronto Raptors, got hired by the Pistons and was named NBA Coach of the Year.Billups is still viewed fondly in Detroit after leading the Pistons to the NBA title in 2004. The team played at The Palace of Auburn Hills back then. The Pistons played their first season at downtown Little Caesars Arena in 2017-18.“It’s always good to be here. Everybody knows how much I love the city, love the fans. Obviously, I never had the opportunity to play in this building. I wish we would have. I wish we played in the city when we were here,” Billups said. “But The Palace was good to us. The city was good to us, the fans. So it’s always good to be back here. I’m such a big Pistons fan. … I’m excited for the team for next year. The East is wide open, and I’m excited for the team. New coach, new everything.”As for Friday’s BIG3 competition, Billups’ team — the Killer 3s — lost the night’s opening game. Metta World Peace of the Killer 3s was ejected. That was an unusual development in what Billups said should be a light-hearted league.“We’re doing this for fun,” Billups said. “It ain’t that serious. So that’s kind of my message. We’re out here to just have fun, compete, have a good time, enjoy the fans of Detroit, enjoy every single city that we go to, and go home to our family and chill and relax. That’s what this thing is all about to me.”ADVERTISEMENT Billups had talks with the Cavaliers last year but did not join their front office. When Detroit overhauled its organization this year, he seemed like a potential fit, but that didn’t happen either.“My desire is to one day run a team, be in a front office and try to build a champion,” Billups said. “I know that I will and I know I’m going to do a good job. When that opportunity presents itself, and it’s a good opportunity, I’ll be ready to go.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’The Pistons were run by Stan Van Gundy — their coach and president of basketball operations — for the past four seasons, but they moved in a different direction this offseason. Dwane Casey was hired as Detroit’s new coach, and Ed Stefanski came on board as a senior executive.“I thought Stan did a good job. Stan is a very good coach, but sometimes you just need a new voice,” Billups said. “Coach Casey obviously has been a very good coach the last few years, he’s really ascended to the top of the ranks in the league. Whatever happened in Toronto presented an opportunity for him to come here.” Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Tempered emotions

first_imgLATEST STORIES Volleybelles cast focus on SEA Games next year They will take on the TNT KaTropa on Friday before going through an 18-day vacation prior to the Fuel Masters’ Sept. 19 face-off with the Bolts.Eugene Phelps averaged 40 points the past two games for Phoenix, definitely a cause of great concern for the Alaska frontline led by Mike Harris.“Mike is doing a great job limiting the activity in the paint. He’s a defensive catalyst for us and I hope we continue doing the things that we did the two previous games,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton.The NLEX Road Warriors replaced the injured Olu Ashaolu and will unveil Aaron Fuller in their meeting with the Columbian Dyip in the curtain-raiser at 4:30 p.m.Battling through pain, Ashaolu just couldn’t stop the Road Warriors from sliding to their first defeat against the Magnolia Hotshots three games into the season-ending conference.Akeem Wright is again expected to lead the offensive chores for the Dyip.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Calvin Abueva will be all business when his Phoenix Fuel Masters tangle with the Alaska Aces for the solo leadership in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.With Abueva inserted into the Phoenix rotation, the Fuel Masters remain unbeaten in two games, having toppled the Columbian Dyip and NorthPort Batang Pier in convincing fashion.ADVERTISEMENT Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal But Alaska hasn’t been a slouch either this conference. With Simon Enciso finding his range and Chris Banchero providing steady leadership, the Aces have joined the Fuel Masters on top following a couple of runaway victories at the expense of title contenders TNT KaTropa and Meralco Bolts.“It’s going to be a good matchup. We will definitely enjoy it,” said Abueva, who helped the Aces capture the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup title during his rookie year, in Filipino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’The absence of fireworks in his statement seems to be in line with the team stance regarding the looming matchup.Coach Louie Alas, his face half in shadow as Phoenix wrapped up a practice session, said there was nothing special about the game against the Aces other than it is another match the Fuel Masters need to win. “We prepared the way we always do,” said Alas. Gesturing to reporters and TV crew that popped up during their practice, he added: “I understand you guys find it interesting and you see the drama. But as I told the players, we can’t get caught up in all of that. We have to play hard, we have to execute.”Most of Alas’ concern centered on one thing: “Since I came here, we’ve been crushed in the two games we played against Alaska. As early as the second quarter, we already lost the game. That has to change.”After six seasons with the Aces, Abueva was traded to the Fuel Masters prior to the conference in exchange for a first-round pick and Karl Dehesa.Abueva also said he won’t get caught up with the emotions of his first meeting with his first PBA ballclub. He and his teammates are focused on winning two more games before the league takes a breather to accommodate the Fiba World qualifiers.“We have been focusing on our first four games before the break. There’s no rest until the end of the month,” said Abueva.ADVERTISEMENT Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

Paul George, Russell Westbrook rally Thunder past Rockets

first_imgOklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, shoots as Houston Rockets guard James Harden defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Houston. Oklahoma City won 117-112. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)HOUSTON — Paul George said it took a fiery halftime discussion to help the Oklahoma City Thunder overcome the largest deficit they’ve seen all season.“We just knew we had to have a better second half,” George said. “Being down that much at the half, that’s not the team we are. We know this team very well and we knew that wasn’t us. So we had to come in here and talk and just light a fire under this team and we did that.”ADVERTISEMENT Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “He’ll help us defensively,” D’Antoni said. “I thought he may have gotten a little tired in the second half, but the first half, he was a dog out there. It was good. There are a lot of positive things.”TIP-INSThunder: Reserve SG Alex Abrines was released Saturday, with the Thunder citing personal reasons. Abrines appeared in just two games since Dec. 23, sitting out because of undisclosed personal reasons. In 31 games this season, Abrines averaged 5.3 points.Rockets: Houston was outrebounded 53-39. The Rockets fell to 8-5 without leading rebounder Clint Capela. He has a right thumb injury. … Kenneth Faried had 17 points and 12 rebounds.UP NEXTThunder: Host Portland on Monday night.Rockets: Host Dallas on Monday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next George scored 45 points, Russell Westbrook matched the NBA record with his ninth straight triple-double and Oklahoma City overcame a 26-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 117-112 on Saturday night.It was Oklahoma City’s largest comeback victory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“We just never got into any flow, but then I thought once we got some stops, we got out in transition,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “Obviously, Paul with what he did tonight was phenomenal, the way he played. And he was on (James) Harden a lot. He was unbelievable tonight on both ends of the floor.”Defensively, George fought through screens in the final minute to stay on Harden. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? “I look forward to playing against the best,” George said. “That’s how I was taught the game — just enjoy matchups and have fun with it.”Westbrook had 21 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds to match the record streak set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1968. Westbrook has 22 triple-doubles this season and 126 overall. He also had 10 turnovers and was 8 of 21 from the field.“It’s really incredible,” Donovan said. “It took whatever it was, 60 years, until somebody did it just to show you how hard it is to do and how unique of a player he is to be able to do it.”Harden led the Rockets with 42 points, reaching 30 points for the 29th straight game — two shy of Chamberlain for the second-longest streak in NBA history, but far behind Chamberlain’s record run of 65 games. Harden was 11 for 28 from the field, going 6 of 16 from 3-point range, and made 14 of 15 free throws.The 26-point deficit was Oklahoma City’s largest of the season.ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebracenter_img In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments MOST READ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Boxing faces breakaway threat ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics Westbrook gave the Thunder a one-point lead with a driving layup with 26.9 seconds remaining. On the following possession, Harden missed a 3-pointer, and George got the rebound and was fouled with 3.4 seconds left. He made both free throws put Oklahoma City up three. Houston turned it over on the following inbound play.George made 12 of 22 shots, hit 6 of 14 3-pointers and made 15 of 18 free throws to finish four points shy of his career-high 49 points set in 2013 with Indiana.The Thunder made seven of their first eight shots in the third quarter to quickly cut Houston’s lead in half. Oklahoma City outscored Houston 42-20 in the quarter to even the score at 90.“We knew to get back into the game, we had to defend at a high level,” Westbrook said. “We got stops and won a big game on the road.”Oklahoma City fell into a deep hole in the first half following a sizzling second quarter from the Rockets. After dominating Sacramento 44-17 in the second quarter of a 127-101 win in their previous game on Wednesday night, the Rockets outscored the Thunder 42-23 on Saturday night.“We have to be consistent for four quarters,” Harden said. “It’s pretty simple.”Houston had won seven of eight home games against Oklahoma City.“They’re a good team and they played well,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We had our chances. We just didn’t finish off. We came out flat the second half for whatever reason. Maybe being up 22 did it, I don’t know.”Dennis Schroder had 17 points off the bench for Oklahoma City.Iman Shumpert, acquired by Houston from Sacramento ahead of the trade deadline, made a 3-pointer from the corner on his second shot attempt and finished with three points in 24 minutes. Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship historylast_img read more

‘Despite Challenges, We Are Making Progress’

first_imgFinance Minister Amara Konneh has told lawmakers of the House of Representatives that he and his team are making progress in the collection of government revenue despite the challenges contrary to allusions by those he calls “critics”.Minister Konneh told the Plenary of the Lower House that when he appeared before that august body on January 21 this year, the total revenue collected as at January 17, 2014 was US$278.3 million.The Finance Minister indicated that given the work that functionaries of the government have done together since that time, the total revenue collected as at May 12, 2014 is US$425.8 million, adding that this is a US$147.5 million increase since his last meeting of January 17, 2014.He made the assertions on Tuesday, May 13, during a public hearing at the House of Representatives as regards shortfalls in the National Budget of fiscal year 2013/2014.“This information,” according to the Finance Minister, “shows only one thing, that we are making progress in the face of challenging times.”“Permit me to remind us that when we submitted the draft Budget on April 30, 2013, the total estimated revenue was US$553 million. By the time the Budget was approved, that amount had risen by US$29 million to US$582 million,” he told lawmakers.He further stated that before the budget was approved, every one of them, including lawmakers, knew, that US$1.5 million captured as social contribution from offshore oil companies was not likely to come through because those estimates were not supported by the production sharing contracts.“However, we agreed that we should announce the US$582 million and then during implementation we will adjust the revenue envelope accordingly,” Minister Konneh explained.The treasury boss also added that when the budget was submitted, the exchange rate was L$75 to US$1.However, according to the Minister, because of the present exchange rate, which stands at L$90 to US$1, if the Liberian government collected all the revenues projected in the budget, there would be a “shortfall” of roughly US$7 million.Minister Konneh further explained to the lawmakers that with a noticeable slowdown in economic activities in the region, including Liberia, the country’s economy is exposed. He, however, maintained that in spite of these challenges, “we have taken several measures to mitigate the overall impact on the economy, and I have brought a detailed spreadsheet for your review, which shows what we have done.”Before the Minister began his explanation about the state of the nation’s economy, with the approval of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, he presented to lawmakers a spreadsheet, which indicated, according to him, that only US$167 million remains to be collected for this budget year.“I have highlighted areas where I believe your assistance will be invaluable to meeting the targets we consider to be realistic. I classified the areas as either “Uncollectible, Delayed or Risky,” Minister Konneh pleaded.According to the Minister, the total amount was estimated at US$70 million.He stressed that “for an economy that has survived largely on demand fueled by UNMIL’s presence and International NGO activities, no one needs to tell us that the withdrawal or slowdown of these major actors will have adverse economic impact on us.”“In 2010, aid accounted for over 127 percent of our Gross National Income (GNI), peaking at $1.4 billion. In 2011 and 2012 respectively, aid as a share of our GNI fell to 53.8 percent amounting to 4764 million, and 36 percent totaling $570 million, respectively. Moreover, the Government of Liberia’s slowness to ensure the operationalization of major concessions is hindering the reversal of the decline in aggregate demand in our economy. We can cry the slow progress and debate all we want, but that does not help us move forward,” Minister Konneh said.Meanwhile the Finance Minister reluctantly accepted responsibility for the revenue crisis. He added, however, that his acceptance does not suggest that he is the lone guilty party or he is inefficient or incompetent.The Finance Minister also failed to extend apology to the Legislature for the Finance Ministry’s press statement to lawmakers’ call for his resignation. In the press statement, it is said by some lawmakers, including Representative Isaac Roland that the Ministry allegedly used profanities on as they performed their legislative duties.After hours of closed-door discussion on the way forward, the legislature emerged with a decision to have the Minister apologize in seven local dailies.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ellen Emphasizes Manufacturing above Exporting Raw Materials

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has stressed that Liberia no longer needs exportation of raw materials to other countries but must be a manufacturing country where finished goods will be sent out.Expressing the concern while receiving the Letters of Credence on April 30, 2014 from ambassadors, including Mr. Sentürk Uzun of Turkey, President Sirleaf recalled that the civil conflict in Liberia destroyed the infrastructure and fabric of the Liberian society, and as such exportation of raw materials will not do much help but producing goods that will enhance both domestic and foreign trades.Outlining some plans government has about the country, the President named the Vision 2030, which seeks to make Liberia self-sustainable and become a middle income country and the Agenda for Transformation that is a complementary program to Vision 2030 as key on her government’s development agenda on which foreign partners must act.“It is our resolve to shift from simply exporting raw materials to being a manufacturing nation,” she informed the new Turkish envoy.She added that government is quite aware that this ambition comes with huge challenges; reason for which she and her people are calling on all the partners, including Turkey, to direct their investments in the manufacturing and service industries.The President, acknowledging the level of peace Liberia has enjoyed, indicated that the environment now is better for such engagement, and therefore Turkey and others coming in should see it an opportunity to make the needed impact they can in Liberia’s post-war recovery process.The Liberian leader stressed, “Having enjoyed more than a decade of peace and stability, we can say with certainty that this is a favorable environment required for such engagement,” adding, “we therefore note with immense appreciation that your Government has emphasized its willingness and preparedness to explore with Liberia all existing opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation and to contribute to the development efforts of the people of Liberia.”She expressed appreciation to the Government of Turkey for the support given to peacekeeping initiatives in Liberia, especially to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in which 25 Turkish police currently serve.The Liberian leader also acknowledged and thanked the Turkish Government for its technical support to the Monrovia and Paynesville City Corporations, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation as well as the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. She welcomed with delight, Turkish pledge of continuous support to Liberia’s reconstruction process.Presenting his Letters of Credence earlier, Ambassador Sentürk Uzun extended warm greetings from his President, Abdullah Gül, and sincere wishes for the prosperity of the people of Liberia and her personal wellbeing.He said Turkey is keen to share its development experience with Liberia and other countries within his jurisdiction especially humanitarian diplomacy, a key pillar of Turkish foreign policy, adding, that believing that the 21st century will be Africa’s century, Turkey will continue to nurture the strategic partnership with Africa.Ambassador Uzun, who would be resident in Accra, Ghana, acknowledged that as Turkey highly relishes the friendship with Liberia, his government has instructed him to work for the strengthening of cordial relations as well as promote mutual beneficial cooperation between both countries. “During my tenure here, I will not fail to carry out this instruction to the best of my ability,” the new Turkish Ambassador to Liberia promised.He stressed that despite the distance that separates the two countries, the Turkish Government is willing to develop, wherever possible, economic, commercial and technical cooperation with Liberia to the mutual benefit of both countries and peoples.The new Turkish Ambassador disclosed that in recent years Turkey has improved her contacts and existing cooperation with Africa, and his government is willing and ready to explore with Liberia all existing opportunities for the mutual benefits of both countries as well as to contribute to the development efforts of the people of Liberia.Ambassador Uzun, who is accredited to Sierra Leone and Ghana also, said Turkey is committed to the goal of achieving peaceful relations among nations and pledged his country’s full support to effort aimed at improving international climate and the promotion of global peace and stability within the United Nations framework. “The principles of the Turkish foreign policy are strongly opposed to oppression,” he said.He said given the similarities of the two countries’ foreign policy objectives, he is confident that the coming years will witness frequent consultations between Turkey and Liberia. “Your Excellency, it will be an honor as well as a rewarding experience for me if I can make some contributions to the development of the relations of our two countries in the course of my accreditation here in Liberia,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ganta Receives New Stipendiary Magistrate

first_imgA new stipendiary magistrate has been assigned to steer the judicial affairs of the Ganta Magisterial Court, replacing outgoing Victoria GbalazayThe newly assigned Stipendiary Magistrate,  Attorney-at-Law Nyan Meator Ben, previously served as  stipendiary magistrate at the Paynesville Magisterial Court for several years.Magistrate Ben, who was inducted into office by Chief Justice of Liberia, Cllr. Francis Korkpor, on July 11, expressed the happiness at being assigned as to Ganta City because, according to him,  every government worker  should be able to take assignment everywhere.Attorney Ben vowed to bring transparency to the justice system in Ganta during his tenure as stipendiary magistrate.“By virtue of our education, we have been encouraged to do our best to bring fair judgment to the people of Ganta and Nimba at large,” he said.He urged the citizens to be law-abiding by taking their grievances to the law instead of taking it law into their own hands.“We have come to uphold your rights, whether in the capacity as the defendant or plaintiff,”  he said.There had been many complaints of judicial malpractices during the tenure of the outgoing magistrate,  including claims of allegedly  receiving bond fees and alleged instances of intimidation.  But she often denied such allegations.Outgoing Stipendiary Magistrate Victoria Gbalazay served the Ganta Magisterial Court for over ten years.But during the induction ceremony, Chief Justice Korkpor said her removal had nothing to with complaints; it was rather a normal judicial  routine to change judges whenever the need arises.Ganta is one of the most diverse municipalities, where the issue of mob violence appears to be commonplace;  but there had been complaints that the justice system,  beginning with the  police, was not fair and that it was very hard to get redress from the court unless you spent money.  But the new stipendiary magistrate has vowed to change this “if such were indeed happening.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Gongloe Recommends Media Commission to License Journalists

first_imgThe constitutional and human rights lawyer, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe, has recommended that if journalists should be licensed, the National Legislature must create an independent media commission to do so.Cllr. Gongloe’s comment comes in the wake of decision government has made to license journalists beginning  January next year before they can practice in Liberia.This is an entirely new development in Liberia.  Not even during the Tubman administration, on which was often hard on the press, did the Department of Information and Cultural Affairs (now Ministry) or any other government entity attempt to license journalists.The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) that is an advocacy umbrella for journalists has reacted to this decision and described it as an attempt to curtail freedom of speech and of the press.Counselor Gongloe admitted that with the idea of licensing journalists is not wrong.  He mentioned lawyers and medical doctors and nurses as among professionals who are licensed before they can practice.He said it existed as a law in Liberia that the Ministry of Information regulated the media, but a memorandum of understanding was reached during the interim administration of Dr. Amos Sawyer and that of convicted former Liberian President Charles Taylor, that the Press Union of Liberia polices its members.Cllr. Gongloe said the PUL had not fulfilled that role, neither had the Union come down hard on its members who behave in an unprofessional matter. So while agreeing that the policy needs to be maintained, that is not the role of government; rather it is the National Legislature who should create a independent  media commission to regulate the media.Taking into account the current Ebola crisis in the midst of which the President is seeking more powers, the move by the Information Ministry to license journalists  creates suspicion, the counselor averred.“The timing for this regulation is wrong,” he declared, adding, “Whether the government has a good intent for licensing journalists in order to promote excellence in Journalism, the intent will not be felt now considering the prevailing situation.”The closure of National Chronicle newspaper during the current state of emergency makes the licensing of journalists even more suspect, Cllr. Gonglore said.He said the government of President Ellen Johnson Sireleaf, since her ascendancy, has been encouraging press freedom, and has gone as far as signing the Table Mountain Declaration.The government needs not to reverse this policy now, but should wait and find an  appropriate time after the Ebola state of emergency to ask the Legislature to create a media commission, similar to the Independent National Human Rights Commission.Cllr. Gongloe noted that while freedom of press is good for an open society, it also has its bad side that makes it necessary for regulations to be in place.Making reference to Rwanda, he said prior to the 1994 genocide there was free press that propagated hate messages which caused millions of people of one group to be killed.“Licensing journalists is not a violation if there is a law that calls for that.  One needs to be licensed before practicing Journalism as Law is.  The only problem is the timing, and if government can do it without the existing MOU, the Legislature, after the state of emergency, must create a media commission that will carry on such regulations,” the counselor maintained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Utilising oil revenue

first_imgDear Editor,Having reviewed Tuesday’s presentation, Rystad’s analyst showed that, with an oil price of US$70 per barrel, annual revenues from offshore activity could reach US$20 billion shortly after 2030.Based on my interpretation of the breakdown of revenues, it looks like a vast majority of those numbers come from free cash flow and Government profit oil.These are very impressive figures, especially in the context of the current size of our economy, and this new fortune can be the catalyst for exponential growth and transformation at unprecedented levels.But the big question remains: How does Guyana utilise these earnings? How would these profits be best allocated to ensure maximised benefit on a sustained basis? Do we build new schools, hospitals, airports, roads and bridges? Do we seek to enhance existing service and production sectors? Do we focus on developing new non-traditional sectors?While opinions on this may vary, a common point of reference has always been the Dubai Model. Why? Dubai has successfully utilised the profits from its oil to fund a service-based economy to a level that has earned global respect.Admittedly, conditions between Guyana and that Arab country may not be identical; but irrespective of geographic, hemispheric, economic, or population- related differences, diversification remains the best tool to remain relevant in a constantly changing global economy.While emphasis needs to be placed on improving infrastructure and social services, the focus should be on identification of new sectors which can be fuelled (no pun intended) by revenues earned from oil and gas.Regards,Andrew Mc Beanlast_img read more

Govt has not demonstrated any seriousness about holding elections

first_imgDear Editor,I am responding to this view that is emanating from the President and those on his bandwagon that he remains President until the next President is sworn in. Is President Granger seeking to preach that he will be President for life? Because he and his Government have not demonstrated any seriousness as it relates to the holding of elections.Article 106 (6) and (7) says the following: a) the President and Cabinet shall resign upon the successful passage of a no-confidence vote. Their final day on the job is 90 days or three months after, in this case, March 21, 2019, since the no-confidence motion was passed on December 21, 2018. b) They remain in office purely for the purpose of holding an election. Article 106 (7) envisages an election in three months at which time the presidency shall be handed over to the newly-elected President. To be defeated by a no-confidence vote and not hold elections within the constitutionally mandated timeframe of three months and in bravado style declare to people of Guyana “I remain the President until the new President is sworn in” is pure nonsense. The President’s henchmen are perfectly correct when they say that the “President should remain in office until the next President is sworn in.” However, what they omit that subject to Article 106 (7) of the Constitution and in keeping with the ruling of the Chief Justice, elections had to be held before March 21, 2019, and a new President sworn in by that date or shortly thereafter. Their perverse logic seems to suggest that Granger can ignore the Constitution of Guyana, have or not have the election at his will and the people of Guyana must keep him as President. For example, the President can or not hold the election in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 and we must accept him as President. We reject this.Editor, this Guyanese will publicly declare for the President and his merry band that I will not sit idly by and allow this abuse of power and I encourage all decent, sane, right thinking and independent Guyanese to reject this nonsense and to see this action of the President as a misuse of the trust that was given to him by the people of Guyana in May 2015. President Granger and his Government lost their mandate on December 21, 2018. Their only reason for continuing in office was to facilitate the holding of elections and the maintenance of good order.Bill Number 14 of 2000 Explanatory MemorandumClause 5 alters Article 106 to provide for the resignation of the Cabinet and the President following the defeat of the Government in the National Assembly on the vote of confidence. Although defeated, the Government shall remain in office for the purpose of holding an election.They have done everything to frustrate the holding of elections. We don’t have a date and we are six days away from the constitutionally mandated deadline.The only business that this President and his Ministers should be engaged in, is ensuring elections are held, it’s not business as usual. Any attempt to stay in power beyond March 21 can be deemed a reckless and irresponsible action by this Government. This claim that the doctrine of necessity kicks in can be deemed an absurdity and to date the most visible act of desperation. The Constitution never contemplated a defeated Government remaining in office beyond ninety days without a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly. That is to say, the opposition defeated you facilitating an extension beyond ninety days, because of some reasonable and rational ground. No such grounds exist; it is clear for all to see the intention of the APNU/AFC coalition Government was not to have elections by March 21. So whether it was the National Assembly, the courts or GECOM, they sought a refugee. GECOM with its unilaterally appointed Chairman and the three Government-sponsored commissioners have provided that much-needed smoke screen. We are not allowing this asinine behaviour from GECOM. For the purpose of all Guyanese, the Constitution envisages a GECOM on any of the three eventualities: a) a no-confidence vote b) the President at any time during the five-year term proclaiming a dissolution of the National Assembly on calling a national election and c) the end of the five-year cycle of the National Assembly. On every occasion, elections are to be held within three months. Stop the charade, the “mamaguying” and the bravado behaviour, call elections now. On March 22 you are illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional; you will no longer be the President, Mr Granger.Editor, while at it may I express my utter disgust at the misuse of State resources that funds the DPI which has now become the propaganda and political attack arm of this coalition Government. Further erosion of governmental institutions and a harsh return to party paramountcy is evident.Yours truly,Bishop Juan A Edghilllast_img read more

Govt continues to be illegal

first_imgDear Editor,The extension of the life of the Government following the successful passage of NCM and failure to hold elections within the stipulated timeframe needs to be urgently addressed. Each day that passes with no legal redress the Government continues to be illegal. Guyana is in a constitutional quagmire.Sincerely,Shamshun Mohamedlast_img