71 entities interested in GuySuCo’s assets – Harmon

first_imgGuySuCo’s divestmentOver 71 Expressions of Interest (EoIs) have been received by the State for assets of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) as the Government forges ahead with plans to divest and minimise the sugar industry.Minister of State, Joseph HarmonSpeaking at the post-Cabinet press briefing on Friday, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, explained that Government would move forward with these EoIs only after completion of the valuation of GuySuCo’s assets, which is currently being carried out by the United Kingdom-based firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).“That valuation will actually give us a good sense of what prices you’re actually looking at for the equipment, for the land, and all of these assets that belong to GuySuCo. So it’s an important step in the process to have these valuations done. So while some companies have actually made applications [and] expressed interest, what we are saying is: ‘Let us get the proper valuation and know exactly what it is that we’re doing’, so it is not done in a (piecemeal) manner,” he stated.According to Harmon, Government wants to ensure that this divestment process is done is an orderly and transparent way, especially since this is going to be one of the largest local transfers of State lands to private ownership.“So you don’t want allegations of favouritism, price-gouging and all of these things. We want to ensure a very smooth process, which will ensure that everyone gets a clear understanding and equal opportunity to purchase,” the State Minister posited.Sugar workers in line to collect severance payGovernment last year announced plans to minimise the local sugar industry and divest the corporation’s assets. To this end, a Special Purposes Unit (SPU) — which falls under the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) — was set up to oversee the divestment plans by way of either selling off or restarting factories with minimal staff to attract investors, both domestic and foreign.Room for improvementNICIL’s Special Purposes Unit (SPU) Head, Colvin Heath-London, has recently confirmed that, over the next few months, special emphasis would be placed on transforming GuySuCo’s economic misfortune into a situation wherein a fully self-sufficient, viable and competitive enterprise operates.However, asked about the performance of the three remaining estates – Uitvlugt, Blairmont and Albion — Minister Harmon has said they continue to function, but he believes there is room for improvement with the performance of these estates.“There is, of course, the need for some of these estates to really push themselves a little bit more; and I think that is something which we should look at. You’re also aware that DDL (Demerara Distillers Limited) had to actually import molasses because of a shortfall in their production, and these are things that we need to get right… These are what you call ‘low hanging fruits’ that are there that we should take advantage of,” he opined.Guyana Times reported earlier this week that the Albion Estate on the Corentyne Coast in East Berbice has vacancies for some 600 workers of various categories, and as such, may not be able to meet its target for the second crop, which is expected to commence within a few weeks, if most of those vacancies are not filled by then.SeveranceGovernment’s plan to minimise the sugar industry has seen the closure of the Skeldon, Enmore and Rose Hall Estates, making more than 5,700 workers redundant and putting them on the breadline. Before this, the Wales Estate was also shut down in 2016, leaving in excess of 1000 workers jobless.While the Wales workers are yet to be paid their severance, some of the more than 5000 dismissed workers who were entitled to $500,000 or less were paid in full. Those who had accumulated more than that amount received only half of their severance, and were promised by Government to be paid the remaining 50 per cent in the second half of the year.The Minister of State has assured on Thursday that Government is still committed to fulfilling this promise.“The Government had committed to paying the sugar workers the [remaining] severance, and I had said the time which was stipulated by the Government – in the second half of the year. Somehow, persons took that to mean immediately or shortly… but I wanted to clarify that I said ‘in the second half of the year’, and we are going to do that,” Harmon posited.As part of efforts to sustain the minimised GuySuCo and bring it into a state of profitability and financial stability, the SPU has secured $30 billion in the form of a syndicated bond to support the industry.Since this announcement, concerns have been raised about Government’s vision for the industry and the genuineness of its actions thus far, since that very $30 billion could have gone into restructuring the industry while keeping all of the estates open and GuySuCo’s workforce employed and engaged.Meanwhile, the Private Placement Memorandum for GuySuCo’s $30 billion bond has received much criticism from Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo. He recently said he was shocked by the contents of the agreement, which now leaves more questions than answers.last_img read more

18-year-old Prithvi Shaw trains with Team India after maiden Test call-up

first_imgPrithvi Shaw has joined the Indian cricket team ahead of the fourth Test against England at Southampton starting Thursday.Shaw trained with Team India at nets session at The Ageas Bowl on Monday as the visitors started their preparations for another gruelling outing in Southampton.India bounced back in style to win the third Test comprehensively at Trent Bridge after losing the first two at Edgbaston and Lord’s.The victory helped India narrow England’s lead to 2-1 with the fourth Test starting from August 30. India must win or draw to stay alive in the series.Young @PrithviShaw gearing up for the nets session here at The Ageas Bowl.#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/p5DdaReDrJBCCI (@BCCI) August 27, 2018Shaw earned his maiden Test call up for the final two matches in England, replacing out-of-form Murali Vijay in the 18-member Indian squad.Murali Vijay dropped, Prithvi Shaw in India squad for final 2 Tests vs EnglandThe 18-year-old Shaw, who had captained India U-19 to World Cup triumph earlier this year, was rewarded for his consistent performance in the first-class cricket.Snapshots from #TeamIndia’s training session at The Ageas Bowl today.#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/ngCDwgmcJhBCCI (@BCCI) August 27, 2018Shaw has scored 1418 runs in 14 first-class matches with an average of 56.72 and seven centuries. He was one of the star performers along with Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal during India A’s recent tour of the UK.READ- Hanuma Vihari, Prithvi Shaw: Who are the latest entrants to India’s Test squad?Along with Shaw, all-rounder Hanuma Vihari also earned his maiden Test call-up.advertisementVihari, a member of the 2012 U-19 World Cup team, has been a consistent scorer in Ranji Trophy and has also done well for India A in recent times.ALSO READ – What Sachin Tendulkar once told a young Prithvi ShawVihari enjoys a phenomenal average of nearly 60 in 63 first-class games with 5142 runs and 15 hundreds to his credit. During the tour of UK, he scored 147 in a List A game against West Indies A. He also had a half-century in a four-day ‘Test’ against the same opponents.Recently, he also scored 54 and 148 in the two ‘Tests’ against South Africa A side at home.Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari thrilled as dream comes trueVihari has the best first-class average in contemporary cricket. His average of 59.45 is more than Steve Smith, who is the second best Test batsman in the world. The former Australia captain is also second in terms of best average at first-class cricket around the world with 57.27. Kohli, who has played 100 first-class matches, averages 53.97.last_img read more

Mata plans move into management

first_imgManchester United Man Utd star Mata plans move into management, but not for another 11 years Chris Burton 00:49 2/11/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Juan Mata Manchester United Leicester City Catherine Ivill Manchester United Premier League The Spain international is eager to pass his experience on to the next generation, but not until prolonging his playing career past the age of 40 Juan Mata is planning a move into management, but the Manchester United star still has plenty of football left in him yet.As a World Cup winner and proven performer at the very highest level, the Spain international has a wealth of knowledge to pass on to the next generation.He hopes to be in a position to do that at some stage, with coaching holding plenty of appeal to him. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Mata is, however, not planning to hang up his boots any time soon, with the 29-year-old looking to emulate the likes of Ryan Giggs by prolonging his career for another 11 years.He told Panenka magazine on his future plans: “I would like to play until I’m 40 if my body allows me to.“I will carry on with Common Goal. And management tempts me but it is an unforgiving role.“A coach depends on whether I take a corner well or finish a chance in front of goal and really, what influence does he have over this when it happens?“I understand that people take decisions under pressure but the process is not valued, only results.“I also want to work with youngsters, warn them of the perils and remind them of their responsibilities because it is sometimes easy to fall off the right track needed to get to the top level.“Psychology also attracts me and in football, the mental aspect is very important, because if the mind is not settled, the feet do not work either.”Mata appears to already be adopting a managerial mindset, with his approach to football taking him well beyond merely training and playing.He has also been fortunate enough to have worked with some of the finest coaches around during an illustrious playing career, with current boss Jose Mourinho among the best in the business.For now, though, his focus remains locked on events at Old Trafford and United’s ongoing efforts in 2017-18.He is in a position to put all other distractions to one side, with the issue of his immediate future having already been resolved with the triggering of a one-year extension to his contract.last_img read more

Not in the national interest

first_imgThe passage of the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill in the Lok Sabha on July 29, 2019, will always be a black day in India’s healthcare history. No doubt the Medical Council of India (MCI) had lost its credibility, more so after the exposure of corrupt practices by its then-president Dr Ketan Desai. There were several reports of the connivance of some higher-ups in the medical council with the private medical colleges. This had caused disenchantment among the concerned persons in the medical fraternity and civil society, who had demanded to revamp the body. They had also submitted suggestions to the government on this point. There was a need to take effective measures to correct the wrongdoings in the medical council. But the NMC tabled in Parliament and passed in a hush-hush manner is fraught with several negative implications in the coming period. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe MCI was essentially a democratic body with representatives from medical fraternity through elections as well as representation from various state bodies. The National Medical Commission, on the other hand, has 80 per cent appointed members with no space for democracy. They are likely to be puppets of the government in future. Any decision of the NMC could be thwarted by the government. This is killing the autonomy of such a prestigious constitutional institution as has been done with several other organisations in the recent past. The NMC is totally bureaucratised and centralised body with powers to forcefully implement regulations in the states without considering the interests of the state. This will kill the concept of federalism of the country. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe whole exercise is to give free hand to the private sector in medical education because the government will have fee regulation of only 50 per cent seats. Rest would be left to whims of the management of the private medical institutions. The central government will reserve the right to grant permission to the medical colleges without minimum requirements not considering the opinion of the NMC. Another totally unwanted clause is the introduction of the National Exit Test (NEXT) for the MBBS graduates form medical colleges in India. This will put those students who have cleared the MBBS exam to unnecessary burden before getting a license to practice. Graduates who have already cleared the exam are denied to sit for the second attempt to get PG seat. Moreover, no second chance to improve marks to get a better PG seat for those who are yet to take the final year exam will be allowed. Marks of one time will be criteria for PG admission lifelong. Since the NEXT will be clubbed with Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE), chances of Indian graduates getting PG seat will be reduced manifold. The clause of compulsory meetings with councils of AYUSH to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum is nothing short of moving towards bridge course. The parallel entry to practice modern medicine via a new cadre of community health workers will bring down the standard of healthcare and lead to undesirable practices. Foreign citizens will be allowed to practice in India without any conditions, regulations or license. This, in the long run, will put our population at risk through the involvement of various multinational pharmaceutical companies. There were many expectations as the health minister is a doctor himself. Passage of such a bill under his nose raises finger as to the ideology working behind. This bill has to be opposed tooth and nail with an appeal to the parliamentarians in the Rajya Sabha not to toe the party line but to keep eyes open in the wider interest of the countrymen. (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

No dissatisfaction at judges rules Association

first_imgKamal Hossain, Mainul Hosein, Hassan AriffBangladesh Judicial Service Association (BJSA), a platform of lower court judges, accused six renowned lawyers of making ‘an evil attempt’ to politicise the Masdar Hossain case, reports UNB.The case is related to the issue of independence of the judiciary.BJSA leaders, in a statement made the allegation about the senior lawyers on Wednesday, after the Supreme Court accepted the rules concerning the discipline of the lower court judges issued by the government under a gazette notification.On 1 January, the six lawyers including Kamal Hossain, Mainul Hosein and AF Hasan Ariff, issued a statement, expressing grave concern over the disciplinary rules for the lower court judges.In their statement, BJSA president SM Quddus Zaman, also Dhaka district and session’s judge, and acting secretary general Bikash Kumar Saha, a joint secretary at the law ministry, criticised the lawyers.The association decided to revoke the power given to Kamal Hossain and also Amir Ul Islam to conduct the Masdar Hossain case, according to the statement.The association categorically said it has no dissatisfaction over the disciplinary rules for the lower court judges.The BSJA leaders further urged the six lawyers not to make any negative comments over the rules.“As the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court accepted the rules and as the lower court judges have no dissatisfaction over those, the lawyers who gave a statement are urged not to make any negative comments over the matter,” the statement read.The statement said although Dr Kamal Hossain, Barrister Mainul Hosein and AF Hasan Ariff served as law minister and law advisers, they did not take any step to formulate the disciplinary rules for the trial court judges.last_img read more

ORourke And Cruz Wont Debate This Week

first_imgLaura Skelding: O’Rourke/Douglas Young: Cruz (For The Texas Tribune)U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso (left), and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (right).Congressman Beto O’Rourke said Monday he and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, will not debate this Friday, August 31.Earlier this summer, the Cruz campaign proposed five debates – all on Fridays – with the first to take place in Dallas on August 31.Congressman O’Rourke (D-TX), who is running against Cruz in the Senate race, spoke at a forum in Austin.“One of the challenges we’ve had is that Senator Cruz not only attempted to dictate the date, the place the time, um, also the moderators, the subjects that we could and could not talk about. The furniture on the stage…,” the Democratic Representative from El Paso commented.Still, O’Rourke said he’s confident Cruz and him will come to an agreement and added he would be happy to debate on Saturday or Sunday to accommodate Cruz’s Senate schedule. Sharelast_img read more

Schools Increasingly Check Students for Obesity

first_imgCHULA VISTA, Calif. (AP) — The Chula Vista school district not only measures the academic progress of Marina Beltran’s second-grader, it also measures her son’s body fat.Every two years, Antonio Beltran, like his classmates, steps on a scale. Trained district personnel also measure his height and then use the two figures to calculate his body mass index, an indicator of body fat.The calculation isn’t reported to Beltran or her son, who cannot see the readout on the scale that has a remote display. Instead it’s used by the district to collect local data on children’s weight.Beltran supports her son’s school in measuring students because the data has brought in help to address obesity, which can lead to diabetes and other illnesses tied to a lifetime of poor habits.But the practice hasn’t been embraced everywhere.Other school districts have angered parents and eating disorder groups by conducting screenings to identify overweight children and send home what critics call obesity report cards or “fat letters.”Amid the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic, schools in nearly a quarter of all states record body mass index scores, measuring hundreds of thousands of students.Some, like the Chula Vista Elementary School District, do what is known as surveillance, in which students are measured to identify how many are at risk for weight-related health problems but they remain anonymous. Other districts do screenings to track the weight of individual students and notify parents whose children are classified at an unhealthy weight.Chula Vista is being touted for its methods that have resulted in motivating the community to take action. When nearly 25,000 students were measured in 2010, it discovered about 40 percent of its children were obese or overweight.Officials used the data to make a color-coded obesity map of the district and showed the community. Instead of creating a stir, the information acted as a distress call, bringing in help. Schools boosted partnerships with doctors. They planted gardens, banned cupcakes at school birthdays, and tracked kids’ activity levels.”I’ve seen a dramatic change,” Beltran said of her son, who now eats carrots and looks forward to running club.Chula Vista’s program — which measures students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade — differs from California’s state-mandated program for fifth, seventh and ninth graders that screens students and notifies parents of the scores.Vicki Greenleaf said she received what she called a “fat letter” in the mail last summer from the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her daughter does Brazilian martial arts four times a week and is built like Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, but was classified as overweight by the state-mandated body mass index screening program, she said.Critics say body mass index can be misleading for muscular body types.Greenleaf, a spokeswoman for the National Eating Disorders Association, said her daughter knew about the screening’s limitations but other children’s self-esteem could be seriously harmed by such notifications.”I think those letters make kids feel bad about themselves,” she said. “For a kid that is predisposed to an eating disorder, those are the kind of triggers that can set it off.”Massachusetts in October stopped requiring schools notify parents when a child scores high after receiving reports that the data was not safeguarded enough, “leading to alarm, confusion or embarrassment,” according to the state’s public health department. Parents can request the results.”The current policies to protect student data are pretty inconsistent and at times woefully inadequate,” said James Steyer, CEO of the San Francisco-based nonprofit Common Sense Media, which reviews technology and children’s privacy.Little is known about the outcomes of school-based measurement programs, including effects on attitudes, and behaviors of youth and their families. As a result, no consensus exists on their utility for young people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Schools, over medical clinics, have the advantage of having access to the largest number of children. The local data is valuable to researchers who have had a dearth of childhood obesity information, and it can be used to pinpoint places that need help, said Dr. Matt Longjohn, an assistant adjunct professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.”If parents knew the facts — that obesity solutions may be being applied to their communities inequitably or inadequately without this data — they would support this,” Longjohn said.Statewide childhood obesity rates in Arkansas have remained relatively stable since it became the first state in 2003 to mandate school-based screenings.Arkansas has become a model for how to do it, as well as Chula Vista’s school district, along with San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency, which also now records children’s body mass index scores, Longjohn said.A kit by Chula Vista for other schools recommends a professional digital scale with a remote display so only trained staff sees the number, and not listing children’s names in any report. Mirroring CDC’s guidance for schools, staff explains to parents how the information will be used and they can opt out.The district found that schools with the most overweight students were in the poorest areas and had the smallest number of parks and the highest concentration of fast-food restaurants.Beltran said the map motivated parents, but they would have been uncomfortable if officials had issued body fat report cards.”Nobody wants to feel attacked or put on the offensive by being singled out,” she said. “So it helped that we were told we’re all in this together.”The cafeteria at Lilian J. Rice Elementary, Antonio Beltran’s school, now offers fruit and vegetables from local farms and eliminated chocolate milk. Parent Teacher Association fundraisers sell bracelets and magazines instead of nachos and candy.In 2012, the district measured again and found obesity rates dropped by 3 percent and the number of students in the normal weight range increased by 3 percent — meaning about 750 students had moved down a level.”We’re not yet where we want to be, but we’re close,” Principal Ernesto Villanueva said. “Considering 80 percent of our most common disease could be prevented by changing what we eat, that’s pretty powerful stuff.”Students will be measured again this fall.last_img read more

Get your hair skin ready for monsoon

first_imgHeat, humidity and rain come together to create havoc for hair, skin and make-up during the monsoon. It can get difficult to keep up with a beauty regimen, but taking care of a few basic things like never leaving the skin wet for long or keeping it moist can be helpful, say experts.TIGI Educator Audrey D’ Souza, Sushma Khan, National Creative Director – Makeup, Lakmé Salon and Disha Meher, National Expert – Skin and Nails, Lakmé Salon, share tips on how you can keep hair frizz, make-up mess and skin breakouts at bay, especially when the monsoon gets going! Also Read – Add new books to your shelf* Skin tips by Disha Meher:Rainy rituals:* During the day, cleansing, toning, moisturising and applying sunscreen should be your facial ritual. Remember to reapply moisturiser and sunscreen if the skin is exposed to rain.* During the night, stick to cleansing, toning and applying a good night cream.No-nos for the monsoon:* Never leave the skin wet for a long time. Fungal infections are very common. Always keep your feet and toes dry to avoid infections. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive* Do not wear synthetic clothes and allow your skin to breathe.* Avoid cold water for bathing. Lukewarm water is best for the skin during monsoon.* Just dab and dry the face and avoid rubbing it with a towel.Absolute monsoon musts:* Keep the skin moist by using soap-free cleansers and scrubs. Go for clean-ups which help in unclogging pores and reducing dead skin and dryness.* Use an alcohol-free toner to prevent dryness of the skin.* Moisturising is key. Make sure to select a moisturiser as per your skin type. * Sunscreen lotion must be used even if the sun is not visible.* Go for regular manicures and pedicures to keep your feet clean.* Keep your skin smooth and clean by opting for waxing services regularly. Chocolate and Fruit waxes are good options for sensitive skin.-*-Monsoon make-up hacks by Sushma Khan* To build a smear-proof base skip the foundation and start with a concealer. Choose a waterproof, matte product followed by a compact powder. When you apply the combination of setting powder and primer on your skin, it dissolves giving you light and flawless coverage. * The best bet for your lips are matte tints. Instead of choosing gloss, head straight to ultra-matte and dry-finish lip liquids.* When it comes to liners, ensure to hydrate your lids before application. For a flawless matte finish, use a felt-pen liner because it dries quickly and stays put throughout the day. Experiment and use coloured liners like olives, pinks and blues to add a ‘pop’ to your look. Opt for a waterproof and volumising mascara for your lashes.* Contrary to using creamy formulations for the lips, eyes or the face — using it for your cheeks is perfect. Cream-based cheek tints glide on the skin, giving your cheeks a natural flush.* Seal your look with a make-up setting spray. It features a patented Temperature Control Technology that lowers the temperature of the make-up, keeping it in place.-*-TIGI Educator Audrey D’ Souza’s monsoon mane hacks:* Don’t wash your hair too often: You might feel the need to shampoo often to rid yourself of the dirt and rainwater, but that also means stripping your hair of its natural oils (sebum), leaving it dry and limp.* Mask it: Deep conditioning helps smoothen out your hair and provides heavy nourishment. Be sure to leave on your mask for at least ten minutes. Intense formulaes in masks help coat the strands with strong conditioning and shine.* Stay away from heat: Stick with air drying, finger drying or use a blow dryer on low or medium heat on damp hair to control the frizz for better finish.* Dodge friction: Your hair is prone to damage in the rains, so be as gentle as possible. No vigorous towel drying and squeezing harsh brushing.last_img read more

Mamata accuses some parties of spreading disinformation

first_imgKolkata: Amid partial disruption in health services in West Bengal due to continuing agitation by junior doctors protesting attacks on their colleagues and demanding adequate security, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday accused “some political parties” of spreading disinformation on social media. In an open letter to doctors and medical fraternity, she appealed to all help in restoring normal healthcare services without any delay. “Our government is cooperating fully and taking all necessary action…some misinformation/disinformation being spread on social media by some political parties is completely untrue,” Banerjee said in the letter. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata She expressed her gratitude to senior doctors and professors who are offering full services to the people. “My humble regards to them for their cooperation,” the letter said. “Health service is always dedicated to the patients. I, therefore, appeal to all to restore normal health services to the patients without any further delay,” Banerjee said. She said the state government has taken “all necessary action whatever required – our Additional Chief Secretary, Health, visited the injured doctor and met a section of the agitating junior doctors and appealed to them to resume services”. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state Protesting against the brutal attack on two junior doctors by the family members of a dead patient in the NRS Medical College and Hospital on Monday night, doctors across the state have stopped work at the outpatient departments in most government hospitals in the state since Wednesday. Banerjee said five persons have been arrested and their bail prayers were rejected by the court and an enquiry has been started to look into issues from all sides. “Our government has taken full care of the injured doctor. We pray that he recovers quickly. As per information received, he is stable and improving,” she said. “An unfortunate incident took place in NRS Hospital 4 days ago. I sent my colleague, Chandrima Bhattacharjee, Minister-of-State, Health and Family Welfare, to visit the injured doctor and talk to a section of the junior doctors who are agitating and request them to withdraw the agitation as people are not getting treatment… I sent Commissioner of Police, Kolkata to talk to the junior doctors,” the letter said. Cancer and kidney patients, accident victims, even children coming from distant places are suffering for not getting treatment, Banerjee said.last_img read more