first_imgDear Editor,Paloma Mohamed is now highly successful and recognised. But she was once a local dramatist and poet who had not yet achieved any international accolades when she won her first Guyana Prize for the play Duenne. She progressed from there to win more Guyana Prizes for Best Book of Drama, including for Anansi’s Way (2006).A local unknown, unpublished writer, with his first collection of short stories, became the youngest winner of the Guyana Prize to date. Ruel Johnson emerged as a significant talent, recognised by the judges as outstanding for his Ariadne and Other Stories, in 2002. He won the Best First Book of Fiction, having entered an unpublished manuscript to defeat two published shortlisted books. His other first-time manuscript was a collection of poems: The Enormous Night, which was shortlisted for the First Book of Poetry.It was against foreign competition that the second youngest writer to win the Guyana Prize emerged from the local writing community. Subraj Singh also won the Guyana Prize for the Best First Book of Fiction in 2014, for Rebell and Other Stories. Once again, a first time local writer was identified by the Guyana Prize judges as a major talent when there were on the shortlist established intellectuals with published books living overseas. So-called hallowed and chosen overseas based writers must have been once more overlooked by the clique of judges, who must have bypassed their friends to award the prize to an unknown, disadvantaged local.Increasing belief in themselves must have been among the gains for local Guyanese writers when yet another one of them beat the overseas competition in 2012. Dramatist Mosa Telford, a local writer with no previous publication or international achievement, won the Guyana Prize for Drama with Sauda. This time among the vanquished was a successful three-time Prize winner named Bascom, who was by then resident overseas.Neither must it be forgotten that Cassia Alphonso, an entirely new poet writing verse in Creolese, also won as a first-timer living in Guyana. Very significantly, she shared the Poetry Prize with the very established writer Ian McDonald, who, as a local resident, became a multiple winner of the Prize for Poetry.Another distinguished local resident won the Best First Book of Poetry with an unpublished manuscript when Dennis Craig was awarded for On The Seashore. Although a veteran writer, it was his first collection.Among that significant list of Guyana Prize winners are works which were entered as unpublished manuscripts. They had to compete against published books entered by publishers from abroad. It has been a consistent policy of the juries that these manuscripts had to be of publishable quality to be awarded a Prize.It ought to be obvious by now that the Guyana Prize created opportunities for local writers who were previously unknown to gain recognition and to emerge.Surely, the Prize has helped to create an environment in which a number of local developing writers are motivated to write and to improve. The list of examples provided above is evidence that many of them have achieved; some have gone on to become more successful, more accomplished, and to join the corps of established writers.Those examples prove the accusations against the Prize to be false, ultra vires, and without merit.Yours faithfully,Al CreightonSecretary, GuyanaPrizelast_img read more

first_imgFor the first time in Guyana, a pericardiectomy heart surgery was conducted at the Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital, saving the life of a 27-year-old male, who was reportedly told he only had 48 hours to live.According to Medical Director and Gynaecologist of the hospital, Dr Madhu Singh, the surgery on Fazil Ghanny, was performed by Dr Jerge Machin.Dr Singh highlighted that Ghanny was suffering from Constrictive Pericarditis and was being treated at another local hospital. However, when he was informed that he only had 48 hours to live, he contacted the Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital for a second opinion.From left: Interventional Cardiologist, Dr Javier Almeida Gomes; Cardiac surgeon, Dr Jerge Machin; and Medical Director and Gynaecologist, Dr Madhu SinghAccording to information provided by the hospital, pericardium is a membranous double layer of tissue which encloses the heart. There is an outer fibrous layer, and an inner serous layer, the visceral pericardium. The visceral pericardium is the layer that adheres directly onto the heart.Constrictive pericarditis is caused when the pericardium becomes thick and fibrous, preventing the heart from functioning properly. The thick shell, which would be surrounding the heart in this case, prevents it from expanding when blood enters the right chamber. For very severe cases of constrictive pericarditis, it is essential to undergo a pericardiectomy operation.Ghanny was initially told that the surgery for his ailment was not possible in Guyana or anywhere in the Caribbean, by the same medical officials who told him his life’s countdown had began.Fortunately for Ghanny, this was not true as the Cardiac surgeon, Dr Jerge Machin; Interventional Cardiologist, Dr Javier Almeida Gomes and Cardiac Anaesthetist Gabriel Avalos were able to conduct the surgery on the 27-year-old man.The surgery which was conducted on June 3, 2016, lasted some seven hours, and the patient remained in the hospital for nine days before he was discharged. Ghanny related his story electronically to the reporters who were present at a press conference hosted by the hospital on Friday.“He stayed in the hospital a total of 18 days. Some of that time was spent when we had to stabilise him, we had to take him off of some of the medication that was harming him, we had to put him on some medication that he needed. Once he was relatively stable, that’s when Dr Machin proceeded to do the interview with him,” Dr Madhu Singh highlighted.last_img read more

first_imgClose to one year after the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) completed an investigation into the sale of lands, the Unit on Thursday instituted legal proceedings against two former senior Government officials.These included former Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassington.The duo will now face charges for “misconduct in public office: contrary to commonFormer Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singhlaw.” These charges were instituted based on the sale of three plots of State land.The three charges advanced by SOCU were not read by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan when the case was called on Thursday since the men were not in the jurisdiction. Representing Dr Singh was Attorney Anil Nandlall, while Attorney Stanley Moore appeared on behalf of Brassington.The case was adjourned to May 7, to allow the defence lawyers to contact their clients concerning the charges.In the three charges advanced by SOCU and seen by Guyana Times, it was outlined that Singh being the Chairman of NICIL and Brassington being the CEO in December of 2008, by way of Agreement of Sale and Purchase, sold to Scady Business Corporation a track of State land (4.7 acres) being a portion of Plantation Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, for the sum of $150,000,000 “knowing that the said property was valued at $340,000,000 by Rodrigues Architects Associate, a competent valuation officer.”Similarly, the other charge outlined that Singh and Brassington sold to Multicinemas Guyana Inc a plot of State land (10 acres) at Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, for the sum of $185,037, 000 “without first having procured a valuation of the said property from a competent valuation officer.”Moreover, it was outlined that Singh and Brassington in 2009, by way of an Agreement of Sale and Purchase sold to the National Hardware Guyana Limited aFormer NICIL CEO Winston Brassigntontrack of Sate land (103 acres), being a portion of Plantation Liliendaal and Turkeyen for the sum of $598,659,398 (VAT exclusive) without first having procured a valuation of the said property from a competent valuation officer.However, during an interview with Guyana Times on Thursday, Attorney for Singh and Opposition parliamentarian Nandlall blasted SOCU on the fact that they had not, at any point, made contact with the individuals who were being investigated prior to the disclosure that charges will be laid.“Last year, on behalf of Ashni Singh, I wrote to SOCU informing them that I am the lawyer for Dr Singh and that should they require him to assist in any investigations, that I am prepared to make contact with him and that he stands willing and able to assist and participate in any investigation…I received no response to that letter… They called me late yesterday evening to indicate to me that Dr Singh will be charged,” he explained.Further, Nandlall asserted “since I sent that letter and during the (course) of whatever investigation they were conducting, no one attempted to make contact with Dr Singh.”UK High Commissioner Greg Quinn; Special advisor to SOCU, Sam Sittlington; along with two UK fraud experts who will be conducting the trainingNandlall, who also held the post of former Attorney General, also questioned why a criminal investigation of this type would be conducted and no attempt would be made to seek input from the person or persons who are the subject of the investigation.“You don’t investigate people behind their backs in a cloak and dagger fashion. That is not fair investigation. That is not how a democratic society works,” he said.Nandlall explained that under their posts at NICIL, the duo (Singh and Brassington) never acted on their own accord in any decisions regarding the sale of properties.“NICIL is a corporation in law, it is run by a Board. Ashni Singh, as Minister of Finance was ex-officio chair of that Board. Brassington was the CEO. That Board is a Government corporation. That Board does not act without the Government’s approval…Over the years, NICIL has sold dozens of properties and a particular methodology was always used. Brassington nor Ashni Singh ever acted on their own. They always acted upon the approval or direction of the Board that governed NICIL. That Board always received the support and approval of the Cabinet, which is the Government of Guyana,” he said.According to Nandlall, “all the procedures were complied with and three plots of land were sold… This is not a criminal offence. Where is the crime?”Moreover, he posited that this action by SOCU is nothing short of a “witch-hunt”, highlighting that he is positive that he will win this case, and as such, he hopes that the State is aware that civil suits will be filed for defamation of character.“This is another spate of witch-hunting that is taking place where the criminal justice system is being used as a political weapon by those in Government to persecute… and damage the reputation of two young Guyanese professionals.”“I hope the State will understand that they will have to pay millions of dollars at some point in time in compensation because civil suits are going to be filed when these charges are dismissed because destruction has been done to people’s characters and reputations and people are suffering anguish and stress as a result of these charges [that] are being instituted,” he asserted.last_img read more

first_imgAnd for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whose future has been the subject of much speculation amid reports that Mourinho will listen to offers for the Armenian  when the January transfer window opens, his 20-minute substitute cameo against the Championship side was hardly encouraging.Of the potential returning players for the visit to Leicester, right-back Antonio Valencia has a hamstring problem but is expected to recover in time.To worsen Mourinho’s mood, and his team’s preparation for the Leicester game, they did not return to Manchester until 0500 GMT on Thursday after fog forced the cancellation of their private flight.Leicester host Mourinho’s side on the back of their own League Cup defeat on Wednesday to United’s cross-city rivals Manchester City.But having taken Pep Guardiola’s side to penalties, Foxes defender Christian Fuchs said the former Premier League champions, revitalised under new manager Claude Puel, will enter the weekend with confidence.“It gives us a good feeling with the way we played,” he said. “We didn’t win but we kept possession, it felt good and it gives us confidence back.“We’re happy with the performance. The feeling of disappointment we have now, we can be proud and go into the United game with a good feeling.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) More relevant to the futures of some of his fringe players, the performance means they will not be considered when Mourinho focuses on the more urgent matter of trying to cut into Manchester City’s 11-point lead at the top of the table.“The reality is that the ones that were on the pitch were the ones that were not in the last (league) match and are the ones that not going to be in the next match,” he said.“I think they lost a good opportunity also to play semi-finals and also to have two more matches to play.”To add to the manager’s damning appraisal of the defeat, Mourinho also said some of his players did not even want to “come to the office” as Bristol pulled off one of the season’s major cup surprises.Paul Pogba, who returned at Bristol following a three-match suspension, is presumably exempt from such criticism.And Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who started his first game of the season in the upset, is likely also to be involved at Leicester although, with doubts persisting over his match fitness, he may only be on the bench.But, with the possible additional exceptions of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, it appears unlikely that any of the starters from Ashton Gate will retain their starting positions on Saturday.For players such as Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian, who have struggled to convince Mourinho that they are worthy of regular first team football, the Bristol defeat could prove especially damaging.–Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan (L), pictured in October 2017, is expected to start against Brighton on Saturday after being consigned to the bench by his disappointed coachmove? – 0Shares0000Manager Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United lost to Bristol City in the quarter-final of the 2017 League CupMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 22- Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has warned players who were humbled at Bristol City they will not be in contention when his side returns to Premier League duty at Leicester on Saturday. The surprise 2-1 League Cup quarter-final defeat at the hands of a Championship club means United will not retain the trophy that Mourinho won last season, his first as manager at Old Trafford.last_img read more

first_imgPSG, who face Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Wednesday, are top of their domestic league with maximum points but lost to Liverpool in their opening European fixture.As City prepare to face Hoffenheim, after losing their opener to Lyon, manager Guardiola has dismissed reports in the press of a move for the 19-year-old, involving the sale of Raheem Sterling to help finance a deal.Speaking at his press conference, the former Barcelona and Bayern boss said: “That is not going to happen. Sometimes I don’t understand where the news comes from.“Manchester City don’t have, and are not going to spend, the money that maybe Mbappe deserves, or PSG deserves.“PSG is not going to sell this kind of player to any other club in the world for the next years, I guess. So that is not going to happen.“Mbappe is not going to come here and we are not going to swap Raheem [Sterling] or another top player that we have.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Kylian MbappeLONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 2 – Pep Guardiola says a move for Kylian Mbappe is not a likely scenario for Manchester City.The France and Paris Saint-Germain star has been shining in Ligue 1 again for his club this season.last_img read more

first_imgPromising Ipswich goalkeeper Michael Crowe has joined Woking on loan until the end of the season.The 19-year-old is yet to make his senior debut for Ipswich but was named among the substitutes at the weekend when they beat Watford.But with Paddy Kenny and Dean Gerken both now approaching full fitness, the Wales Under-19 star will find his first-team opportunities further limited at Portman Road.So Ipswich have decided to let Crowe join Conference side Woking until the summer so he can gain much-needed experience. Ipswich Town 1last_img read more

first_imgA fitting gesture has been made to the late, great former Derry City player Mark Farren have the FAI announced that a cup is to be named after the late striker who was from the fishing village of Greencastle. Farren sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer in February of this year. Farren passed away aged 33 in February after a battle with cancer.The talented striker – the Candystripes all-time leading scorer – had travelled to a specialist clinic in Tijuana, northern Mexico last summer for treatment on a grade four brain tumourHowever he tragically lost his battle with the disease, and the league has now recognised his contribution to the game by naming the U17 Mark Farren Memorial Cup in his honour.The Donegal-born striker had an illustrious career in the game with Derry, Finn Harps, Glenavon and Monaghan United. He was also an apprentice at Huddersfield Town and Tranmere Rovers.A great gesture for a truly great and inspiring person.FITTING GESTURE FOR MARK FARREN AS FAI ANNOUNCE CUP WILL BE NAMED IN HIS HONOUR was last modified: June 3rd, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FAIGestureMark FarrennewsSporttributelast_img read more

first_imgDONEGAL Rose Catherine McCarron is heading for Tralee!Catherine is heading to the Roe of Tralee finalThe stunning 26-year old Raphoe native won through at the regional festival held at The Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise this weekend.Catherine joins fellow Donegal woman Caroline Callaghan from Murrin in Fanad who was chosen some weeks back as the Dubai Rose. Catherine’s party piece which impressed the judges was a rendition of Destination Donegal.A series of events were held for prospective Roses – and Donegal girl Catherine shone!A daughter of John and Margaret McCarron, she is a former pupil of St Eunan’s NS and Deele college in her native Raphoe and is now based in Ranelagh in Dublin.She won through the Donegal heats in March and will now be on stage in The Dome in Tralee in August with Daithi O Se. Catherine said she was delighted but genuinely surprised to be chosen for the final.The Rose of Tralee International Festival has been extended by two days to celebrate the Rose Gathering 2013. Anyone who has ever been to the Festival since 1959 – Roses, Escorts, entertainers and festival-goers – are invited back to join in the celebrations in August.Now Donegal’s Catherine will be there – and Donegal will be rooting for her in Tralee!DONEGAL WOMAN CATHERINE MAKES ROSE OF TRALEE FINAL was last modified: June 3rd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Catherine McCarronRose of Traleelast_img read more

first_imgYou could say that Sean has his hands full after 154 foster dogs!Sean and Kate Standing’s home life has literally gone to the dogs.The Churchill couple took in their first rescue dog just 18 months ago.But since then the big-hearted dog-lovers have fostered a staggering 154 displaced dogs. Putting the dogs to sleep is simply not an option for Sean and Kate.Sean gets plenty of affection from his dogs.They have even been forced to build kennels at their home to cope with the growing numbers.Sean, who works closely with Donegal Pet Rescue, said they have always loved dogs.“We just love dogs of all kinds and we’re just happy to be able to help. “We obviously didn’t think we would foster so many dogs but the need is obviously there,” said Sean.The couple operate a strict adoption policy which includes a home visit by Donegal Pet Rescue to see if a family suits the needs of the dog.The dogs will also be micro-chipped and have their vaccinations before being handed over to their new owners.Sean and Kate have built kennels to look after their foster dogs.Despite the huge number of dogs passing through their hands, the Standings have only adopted one dog.Finn, a Scottish Deerhound, has become part of the family. He even has his own Facebook pages which documents his trials and tribulations everyday.“He was in such a poor state when we got him and he came on so much that we simply couldn’t part with him,” said Sean.Ryan McCauley of Donegal Pet Rescue says they would simply not be able to operate without the help of people like Sean and Kate.“We have a number of people who foster but Sean and Kate are very special. “They have saved so many dogs and they really go out of their way to help the dogs and to look after them.“We would be lost without them,” he said.COUPLE ENJOYING THEIR ‘DOGS LIFE’ AFTER FOSTERING 154 PETS! was last modified: January 27th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ChuchillDonegal Pet Rescuefoster dogsSean Standinglast_img read more

first_imgA Los Angeles County’s sheriff’s union has filed suit to allow disabled employees to cash out vacation time to boost their pensions, although a state Court of Appeal rejected a similar lawsuit. Currently, sheriff’s employees cannot use the first 320 hours of vacation cash-out pay to calculate their pensions. But under an ordinance the Board of Supervisors approved in 1993, sheriff’s employees can use vacation cash-outs in excess of 320 hours to increase the income their pensions are based on. However, the vacation cash-out pay can be used to increase pensions only if it’s taken before the employee retires, not at retirement or afterward. “If you get it one minute before you retire, it’s pensionable,” Santa Monica attorney Stephen Silver said Monday. “But if you get it one minute later, it’s not.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Silver is representing the Professional Peace Officers Association, whose members include sergeants and higher-ranking employees. The lawsuit, which names 15 sheriff’s employees as plaintiffs but represents a much larger number of employees who retired with excess vacation pay that was not used to boost their pensions, was filed against the county. David Muir, chief counsel for the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, said the county plans to argue that only vacation time cashed out prior to retirement is pensionable. “If someone is on disability leave and never came back to work, then they have to get the the cash while already retired, and any cash received while retired is not pensionable,” Muir said. The lawsuit comes amid growing concern about how cities and counties will pay for already lavish public retirees’ pensions and benefits. Government agencies are expected to have to set aside at least $110 billion and perhaps as much as $185 billion to pay for these benefits, a result of numerous public-employee pension boosts in recent years, many of which were retroactive. Earlier this year, a report by county Risk Manager Rocky Armfield found that the county’s liberal injured-worker policies encourage employees to file workers’ compensation claims shortly before retiring to boost their retirement packages with hefty disability pensions. An average of 79 percent of firefighters and 56 percent of sworn sheriff’s employees received disability pensions in the past decade, a rate among the highest in the state. In the previous lawsuit, the state Court of Appeal rejected the association’s claims that sheriff’s employees who were out on workers’ compensation were discriminated against because state law protects the pay and benefits of peace officers. The court ruled that sheriff’s employees who missed work because of their disability would have had no excess vacation to cash out at the end of the year because of an unwritten policy forcing individuals to take off excess vacation hours to avoid the year-end cash-out, Silver wrote. In the new lawsuit, Silver alleged that the sheriff’s employees were serving in assignments where there was an established practice of not forcing individuals in certain jobs to take vacations at unwanted times. “(The judges’) answer wouldn’t be applicable to these people because they were working in assignments where people were not forced to take excess vacation time off,” Silver said. Troy Anderson, (213) 974-8985 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more