Prison reform needed

first_imgLast week, a series of photographs and videos which depicted prisoners who were sentenced or were on remand for serious criminal offences enjoying their ‘time’ behind bars at what would appear to be a Mother’s Day “lime”.The prisoners appear to be in a celebratory mood as they took shots of at least two high-priced alcoholic beverages, namely Ciroc Vodka and Hennessy. A portion of the video footage which later emerged showed the men watching cricket on television and bonding while another portion showed at least one prisoner counting a set of $5000 bills and placing them on a plate filled with marijuana and other illegal items.While Guyanese were not taken aback by the fact that the prisoners had access to cellular devices and social media, they were shocked at the photographic and video evidence of what takes place behind the bars of prisons in Guyana. Many were concerned by the fact that criminals and persons on remand had access to alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs and items within the prison walls.Also, the fact that prisoners felt that they could upload the video footage and photographs on social media without fear of being reprimanded or discovered is also appalling. The media’s reportage of the photographs and videos which went viral in Guyana has made headlines across the Region and within the Guyanese Diaspora abroad.The entire episode had made a mockery of Guyana’s penal system and has emboldened the minds of those would-be criminals because they now see it is possible to have a “sweet life” behind bars. Also, it has exposed the fact that there are very serious security breaches taking place within our prison system almost daily, many of which remain unreported and underreported.The incident has also left more questions than answers in the minds of all those who were puzzled by the Mother’s Day “lime”. Is this the norm when there are other holidays such as Christmas, Mashramani and Easter? Where were the prison wardens at the time the fiesta was taking place? Who was the senior officer on duty at the time? How did the prisoners manage to access cigarettes, marijuana, and money while in jail? Who was the mastermind behind the lucrative trade? How are the prisoners managing to conceal cellular phones with Internet access when the prison authorities claim that they conduct regular routine and unscheduled searches of the prison quarters? Do the prisons have wifi?That aside, the Government’s response to such a serious security breach could be described as indifferent and cavalier. Apart from President David Granger expressing concern in passing over the issue and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan ordering a probe, the Government has not expressed outrage or demanded the resignation of the Prisons Director or the senior officers who were on duty. There has been no release of information from the prison itself which suggest that any official has been sent on leave or sanctioned as the internal probe gets underway.While it is understandable that people are innocent until proven guilty, a situation of this nature demanded more assertive action and a constant release of information about what is being done to the public. Surely, these prisoners having access to social media, the outside world and other forms of illicit substances and improvised weapons could result in more harm being done to the public good and the country’s overall security sector.More must be done on the part of the Government to pilot and implement prison reforms that would modernise this country’s holding facilities and penitentiaries. Surely, no right-thinking Guyanese would support recreational facilities for prisoners without first having enough programmes aimed at creating behavioural change and a paradigm shift in the psyches of the prisoners themselves.Given all the unfortunate incidents that have taken place and the fatal events associated with the prisons, the Government should have demanded the resignation of those responsible from a policy and managerial level to send a strong signal that there is nothing to celebrate about being incarcerated or imprisoned for petty and serious offences.When one is placed behind bars, one is there to be punished for a crime against humanity or the State. One should use that time as a period of introspection, for expressing remorse and regret, and as a means of changing one’s offensive behaviour.last_img read more

Guyanese are being conned in a big way

first_imgDear Editor,The absurd and outrageous nature of the Exxon contract which has been highlighted by a number of persons in the public domain triggers the impulse to shout ‘incompetence!’ and similar expressions to describe the grossly imbecilic nature of this agreement. But, if we consider for just a minute, the people in the coalition cannot, by any remote standard, be considered stupid. The President was a former Brigadier-General schooled in military strategy abroad, and a career historian and lecturer, I was made to understand. The Minister of Foreign Affairs was a former Minister of Finance right here, the Minister of State is a very bright gentleman who was a lawyer by profession, and the Minister of Natural Resources was also a career lawyer who also served as Speaker of our House.It is virtually impossible for any of these four gentlemen not to have been privy to the agreement before it was signed. With at least two of them being former practising lawyers, it would have been impossible for them to ignore what I can only refer to as the gross asininity of the Exxon contract. Here we have four of probably the most senior men in the coalition Administration perusing this contract, familiar with its contents, being aware of their own limitations in respect to their capacity to professionally evaluate it, yet still being able to recognise the ridiculous nature of the contract, and still agreeing to give the go-ahead for the Minister of Natural Resources to sign an agreement.Something is wrong here. No one has yet come up with an acceptable explanation for what we are seeing unfolding with respect with this contract. But I submit that something is definitely wrong. It is very easy to consider corruption in all its modern complexities at work here, but is it more than this? What has the coalition Administration agreed to that is not written in the contract? The gross financial imbalance and loss for Guyana as a sovereign state indicates that something more than meets the eye is amiss.In light of the litany of flaws in the contract, which even includes the Minister of Natural Resources acting on behalf of Exxon in at least one instance – a clear conflict of interest and impossibility in such contracts, it seems very understandable that the Minister of Foreign Affairs owned up (a likely story) to advising the coalition that the agreement should remain secret.In respect to the Minister of Natural Resources signing an agreement which clearly puts him in opposition to the interests of Guyana, by what stretch of the imagination and outlandish notion could these four senior men of the coalition agree to the Exxon contract being signed and enforced? How could the President himself agree to this? And why is the coalition insisting that the contract remains in force?I submit that Guyana is being conned in a very big way, and the coalition Administration, by agreeing to this contract – in addition to its hard-headed stance on VAT and other policies which make it so much harder for Guyanese, including neglecting to address our unemployment and joblessness among our youths in a major way, its violation of the basic human rights of the recently-retrenched sugar workers, and its wilful breach of our laws in relation of honouring contractual severance arrangements with employees, notably the retrenched sugar workers – has declared itself unfit to govern.All Guyanese, particularly those owning and controlling resources and in decision-making positions have to seriously take stock of what is unfolding and make preparations. Because running a country is a long game which requires a plan. And if anything, else, we have to get ourselves organised right now.In respect to the contract itself being in force, Ramon Gaskin recently pointed out that Exxon discovered oil in its allotted blocks long after its exploratory rights apparently expired. Competent individuals could investigate whether this is not a basis on which to void the entire contract.Yours faithfully,Craig Sylvesterlast_img read more

Datebook 2/5

first_imgTODAY California Retired Teachers, Glendale-Foothill Division, luncheon meeting, 11:30 a.m., Elks Lodge, 120 E. Colorado St., Glendale. Reserve a place at 818-841-1460. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Championship round-up: McLaren’s Derby leapfrog Bournemouth and Middlesbrough

first_img The Rams go two points clear at the top of the Championship following their victory over Wednesday 1 A topsy-turvy clash at the iPro stadium saw Derby County claim top spot in the Championship following an exciting 3-2 victory over 12th placed Sheffield Wednesday.The Owls took the lead on 20 minutes with an excellent free kick from Lewis McGugan, and it wasn’t until after the break that the Rams equalised, with Jake Buxton heading in from a corner.The visitors took the lead again on 55 minutes through Manchester United loanee Will Keane, before Buxton responded again on 68 minutes, nodding home another corner.But game turned on its head on 76 minutes when Kieren Westwood brought down Tom Ince in the area, which saw a straight red for the Wednesday goalkeeper. His replacement Chris Kirkland was unable to keep out Darren Bent’s penalty, and Derby held on to leapfrog Bournemouth and Middlesbrough into first place.Elsewhere, Bournemouth failed to capitalise on Middlesbrough’s defeat to Leeds, with a 3-1 away loss at Brentford.Mark Warburton’s side are pushing for a playoff spot and went 1-0 up with an early goal from Jonathan Douglas.Marc Pugh equalised for Eddie Howe’s side from close range with half an hour gone, but an Alex Pritchard free-kick restored the home side’s lead just before the break.Bournemouth pushed for a leveller throughout the second half to no avail, and were punished right at the death when Alex Pritchard played through Chris Long, who made no mistake from close range.The result sees the Cherries drop to third place, while Brentford have closed the gap to the play-off places to a single point.At Vicarage road, a 3-0 away win for Norwich City saw them jump above Watford into 5th place.Following a fairly uneventful first half, Lewis Grabban put the Canaries ahead on 64 minutes with a penalty, after Wes Hoolahan was brought down by Miguel Layún.From then on the Hornets struggled to impose themselves, and five minutes later Cameron Jerome put Norwich 2-0 up with a powerful strike from outside the penalty area.Grabban then confirmed his side’s three point haul with his second goal of the game, leaving Norwich on 56 points, ahead of Watford on goal difference.Wolverhampton Wanderers moved to within five points of a play-off spot, with a resounding 5-0 victory over Rotherham at Molineux.Benik Afobe opened for the hosts following an inch perfect pass from Kevin McDonald, and they went in 2-0 up at half-time after Nouha Dicko doubled their lead.Afobe continued to impress throughout the second half. After the break the former Arsenal man claimed his second goal of the game and fifth goal for the midlands side since joining last month.Soon after, Dave Edwards headed in a corner to make it 4-0, and Bakary Sako compounded the visitors’ misery with a fifth goal on 80 minutes.The result sees Rotherham drop to 21st, only three points ahead of a relegation spot.Brighton and Hove Albion overtook the Millers and moved up to 20th place with a hard-fought 4-3 home win over Birmingham, who moved down one place to 15th.João Teixeira and  Íñigo Calderón netted twice apiece for the home side, with Clayton Donaldson, Wes Thomas and Lee Novak registering for the visitors.Nottingham Forest have moved ahead of Blackburn into 9th place with a resounding 4-1 home victory over Bolton.Chris Burke & Michail Antonio put Forest 2-0 up within 17 minutes, while Adam le Fondre converted a penalty just before half time to make it 2-1. Forest were soon back in the ascendancy, however, after Matt Mills was sent off for a second booking with Henri Lansbury converting a penalty soon after and Burke confirmed the three points for Tricky Trees with his second of the game on 68 minutes.Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool played out a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park with an early goal from Jordan Rhodes for the hosts cancelled out just before half time by a strike from Dom Telford. The result sees the home side fall below Forest into 10th place while the visitors remain bottom on 22 points. At the John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City dropped to 16th and 17th respectively following a 0-0 draw while Milwall and Fulham also held each other to a stalemate at the Den and remain in 19th and 22nd.Ipswich were unable to respond to an early Jamie Mackie goal as they hosted Reading at Portman Road, and while the 1-0 defeat sees the home side remain in 4th place, they failed to capitalise on losses for Middlesbrough and Bournemouth. Reading, meanwhile, climb five places to 13th.last_img read more

Benfica boss desperate to tie down £26m Man United-linked star

first_imgEnds… 1 Nicolas Gaitan center_img Benfica head coach Rui Vitoria is hoping the club can persuade Nicolas Gaitan to sign a new contract and end interest from Manchester United.Gaitan has been linked with a move to Old Trafford on numerous occasions and Louis van Gaal is still keeping track of the midfielder’s progress.The Argentine international has £26m buyout clause but Vitoria wants the club’s directors offer him a new deal.“Gaitan’s renewal is something beyond my duties,” he told A Bola.“He is firmly rooted in this club, part of our family and it’s good to have a player like him. He’s essential to Benfica.”last_img

‘He got injured while being injured!’ Arsenal fans lambast medical team

first_imgHere, Arsenal fans have had their say on the news… News that Santi Cazorla may miss the rest of the season has unsurprisingly not gone down well with Gooners.The Arsenal midfielder has been out of action since November with a knee injury, but a setback in the 31-year-old’s recovery may see his comeback delayed, manager Arsene Wenger revealed.“He has some Achilles problems that hold him back,” he said. “His knee is doing well but his Achilles has inflamed a little bit and we have to put him off impact.”However, it is not as bad as first feared, with the player tweeting this: 2 2 Santi Cazorla has injured his Achilles last_img

Men accused in setting Corral fire to be arraigned

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VAN NUYS – The final two suspects in the Corral Canyon caves arson case are scheduled to be arraigned today in connection with the wildfire that chewed through an estimated $100 million worth of Malibu real estate. Eric Matthew Ullman, 18, and Dean Allen Lavorante, 19, both of Culver City, are among a group of five men charged with the Nov. 24 fire that destroyed 53 houses in four hours. Brian Allen Anderson, 22, William Thomas Coppock, 23, and Brian David Franks, 27, have already been jailed and made an appearance in Superior Court in Van Nuys late last week, but their arraignment on three felony counts each was postponed until next Friday. Lawyers for Anderson and Coppock say the men thought their illegal campfire had been extinguished before they left a party at the now-famous cave above Corral Canyon Road. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champArson investigators combing through the cave found food wrappers and firewood that matched checkout stand tapes from the Ralphs’ supermarket in Malibu. Baca said deputies issue a search warrant for the bank card used to buy the party supplies, which led them to the suspects. In the midst of their investigation, a young woman called deputies and gave them extensive information about the party, Baca said. Deputies went as far away as Shasta County pursuing those tips, which led them to the three Los Angeles men. The men’s relatives complained last week that authorities were turning the accused into scapegoats.last_img read more

VIDEO: Hart’s howler as Man City loanee concedes on Torino debut

first_img1 Unfortunately for Hart, he went on to concede another as Torino lost 2-1, Franck Kessie scoring a late penalty.It was not all bad for Hart though, who made an impressive double save in the first half… Joe Hart did not have the best start for new club Torino.England’s number one goalkeeper, who made headlines when his name appeared as John Hart on the Serie A team sheet (his actual name is Charles Joseph John Hart), conceded a poor goal in the second half.The 29-year-old failed to punch a corner clear and Andrea Masiello did not need a second invitation, putting Atalanta back on level terms.READ MORE: Footballers’ real names including Dele Alli, Joe Hart and Ruud van NistelrooySee the failed clearance below… 🎥 Joe Hart comes up big on debut for #Torino in the first half to help keep a 0-0 score line. #AtalantaTorino— SerieAchannel (@SerieAchannel) September 11, 2016center_img Joe Hart: The England goalkeeper made his first Serie A start away to Atalanta Oh oh!— SerieAchannel (@SerieAchannel) September 11, 2016last_img read more

Around Whittier

first_img13620 Whittier Blvd., will host a veterans dinner dance at 6 p.m. today. DJ Cissy Mooney will provide music. The cost is $13 per person. For more information, call (562) 696-7117. Free flu shots for seniors Saturday LA HABRA – Flu shots for seniors 60 and older will be available at a free health fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Community Center, 101 W. La Habra Blvd. For more information, call (562) 905-9746. Thanksgiving meal to benefit veterans LA MIRADA – The ladies auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9148, 13932 Valley View Ave., will hold a fundraising Thanksgiving dinner beginning at 6 p.m. today. A $6 donation is suggested. All proceeds benefit veterans. For more information, call (562) 941-4097. Genealogical group to meet Saturday WHITTIER – The Whittier Area Genealogical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Whittier Masonic Lodge, 7604 Greenleaf Ave. Visitors are welcomed. For more information, call (562) 941-3184. Church holding free holiday meal WHITTIER – First Family Church, 8434 S. Greenleaf Ave., will hold a free Thanksgiving meal beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday. Officials expect to feed more than 5,000 people. Everyone is welcome, regardless of need. For more information, call (562) 698-6737. Breakfast proceeds go to veterans SANTA FE SPRINGS – VFW Post No. 3752, 11912 Rivera Road, will hold a breakfast fundraiser from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday. The suggested donation is $4. All proceeds benefit veterans. For more information, call (562) 698-9059. Get painted by professional artist LA HABRA – The La Habra Art Association is offering a chance to get your portrait painted by artist Alice Leggett at 2 p.m. Sunday in the association’s art gallery, 215 N. Orange St. A $5 donation will let you be the model. For more information, call (562) 691-9739. Law firm to speak on disabilities WHITTIER – The Bet Tzedek Law firm will give a free presentation on in-home support services available for the elderly and disabled adults and children at 1 p.m. Nov. 27 at Parnell Park, 15390 Lambert Road. For more information, call (562) 464-3350. – From staff reports 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 621 W. Lambert Road, must make an appointment, city officials said. To schedule an appointment, call (714) 558-7761 immediately as space is limited. The event is for La Habra residents only. For more information, call (562) 905-9792. Veterans dance planned for today WHITTIER – Whittier Elks Lodge No. 1258, WHITTIER – Amigo County Park, 5700 Juarez Ave., invites everyone to a free Thanksgiving meal of turkey, ham, potato salad, macaroni salad and more, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. today. For more information, call (562) 908-4702. Reserve your spot for recycling event LA HABRA – Residents who wish to participate in the city’s household hazardous waste collection event from last_img read more

Arsenal fan group announce plans to create better atmosphere at Emirates

first_img talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up this week… New job BIG PRESENTS UP TOP 2 An Arsenal fan group are attempting to create a ‘hostile’ atmosphere at the Emirates ahead of their first home match of the season.The Gunners have long been criticised for their lack of noise at their own stadium since they moved from Highbury in 2006. Arsenal play Burnley in their first home match of the season on Saturday LATEST The Arsenal fan group are trying to create a better atmosphere at the Emirates Getty Images – Getty Official statement for Ashburton Army on plans for Burnley at home.Please retweet.#AshburtonArmy— ArsenalChants (@ChantsFc) August 14, 2019“Following a few of our talks, we have also been provided the drum on a trial basis for the first four fixtures of the home season. The first game it is being trialled is in fact Saturday. The drum will be used correctly and not used for white noise, we ensure the balance of drumming and chanting will be perfect.“When you hear the drum to a chant, please get involved, don’t shy down from the prospect of it. We want to make it work and ensure it is a weekly thing to create a hostility atmosphere for not only the bigger games but also the lesser teams. LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Getty Images – Getty deals latest Huddersfield Town vs Fulham (Friday, 7.45pm) – talkSPORT 2Arsenal vs Burnley (Saturday, 12.30pm) – talkSPORTSunderland vs Portsmouth (Saturday, 12.30pm) – talkSPORT 2Norwich City vs Newcastle United (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday, 5.30pm) – talkSPORTReading vs Cardiff City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2 Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update center_img Matic one of two players for sale with ‘two Premier League clubs’ interested Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January on target Former Crystal Palace and West Brom manager Pardew takes over at Dutch strugglers The Ashburton Army have been in discussions with the club about plans to create more noise at the ground on matchdays.They encouraged Arsenal fans to ‘not be shy’ and get involved and they will also bring a drum to the games.The supporter group said it will be trialled for four home games, starting with the Premier League match against Burnley on Saturday, which is live on talkSPORT. Redknapp calls Son ‘petulant’, but Holloway says red card for Rudiger kick was ‘soft’ LIVE on talkSPORT The statement read: “Saturday is a huge game for Arsenal, the first home game of the season vs Burnley meaning it is vital we kick off our home fixtures with a win. Due to this, we encourage all fans to bring your voices and make the noise.“After going back and forth with Arsenal discussing our ideas and our plans, the Ashburton Army have been provided with a booking form to ensure we’re all seated together in the ground, we will be located at the back of block 26.“This will act as a guideline of the type of noise we expect to generate for fans to follow. When we make noise, help us out to make it louder. FAREWELL What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas “Being twelfth man is a necessity in football, without supporters, football is nothing so please help us out in turning the Emirates in to a place teams do not want to go to.“The Ashburton Army have been working hard to ensure we are ready for the upcoming season, this includes chants and how to use the drum correctly. Please allow us to introduce what we have planned.“As most of you are aware, the concourses pre-game are incredible and was a stepping stone in the long term project of what we wanted to achieve. We noticed that people would come to the concourse but not keep the same intensity during the game.” Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever. 2 OFF Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman last_img read more