myptdtqd

myptdtqd

Gross negligence by Govt (Part 2)

first_imgDear Editor,Citizens should not be surprised if one morning or evening they were to be confronted in their yard or in their place of residence by one or two or all three of the escapees.The threat to life, limb and property is real and must not be taken for granted nor underestimated. The much-touted National Security Strategy continues to be held hostage by the Granger Administration. The President has a habit of trotting out deceptive and misleading assurances to the public. As recent as September this year, he promised that the Combe Report on Security Sector Reform will be released; “I have instructed that he (Jagdeo) be sent a copy of the Report by Colonel Combe and during the month of October, after the, recess it will be made available to the National Assembly.”In August, President Granger declared that the report would be “made public once it is presented to the National Assembly.”Apparently, the security reform plan is still being “studied” by the sub-set of seat warming security experts ensconced at Cabinet. In the meantime, the crime situation is in a mess and the prisons system continues to rock from crisis to crisis.The citizenry has lost all respect for the Public Security Minister and the Government in which he serves, despite assurances.Calls for Ramjattan’s dismissal have been made time and again; however, President Granger is shackled by the Cummingsburg Accord. No AFC Cabinet Minister can be removed from office, lest the coalition Administration falls apart. Guyanese must be like Banwarie and ‘bear their chafe.’ 2020 is the only way out.In the meanwhile, more and more drugs, improvised weapons and other illegal items are pouring into the prisons. Bribable and corruptible prison officers are complicit.Granger in an interview in September this year was quoted as saying; “… at the heart of the problem are of course the quality of manpower; and I believe the Minister of Public Security is working on… and recruiting suitable type persons that would not be susceptible to bribery and corruption.”This statement is a clear indication that Granger is sailing while Ramjattan is sleeping. They are both oblivious to the fact that the security situation in the country is becoming more and more unmanageable.In the wider society, despite assurances when in Opposition, that they would snuff out criminal networks engaging in human trafficking, gun running and drug smuggling, on a daily basis massive amounts of cocaine are found in lumber, vegetables and in the bowels of human mules.But even more disturbing was the ‘breaking news’ that Ecstasy is in great demand in our schools while heroin and crystal methamphetamine are penetrating the borders of our country only to endanger the lives of our young people. Constant bellyaching by Government claiming there is no money to implement the 2016 Commission of Inquiry recommendations aimed at addressing the deplorable conditions at the Lusignan and other prison locations is hypocritical to say the least, especially when huge amounts are being spent on wasteful, non-essential projects.The loud-mouthed commitments made over the years that Government will find the resources to finance the security sector rings hollow.With approximately 558 inmates belonging to the Camp Street Prison being held in hellish holding bays at the Lusignan Prison and another 300 belonging to the Lusignan Prison itself, it is not surprising that the escape of prisoners and protests actions at Lusignan took place.The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Administration must cease its pretense at being a fountain of knowledge on security matters. It must be more inclusive and transparent in its management and administration of the prisons system.To constantly harp on the claim that it was worse under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and to ask the perennial question, ‘why didn’t you, meaning the PPP/C do these things when you were there, is not good enough. The APNU/AFC campaigned on the platform of time for change. An APNU/AFC coalition is in Government now, they must make the changes they promised the nation or resign. 2020 beckons!Yours sincerely,Clement J Roheelast_img read more

Read More

myptdtqd

Elected local representatives of Linden have a unique and privileged position

first_imgDear Editor,The Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration along with its members would like to congratulate all the Councillors elected to serve on the 4th Linden Municipality Council.We wish to thank the candidates who participated in the process, the backers and others who made their nominations possible. We also wish to thank everyone else who made this success a reality.Our hope is that this Council’s focus will be on planning, implementing and facilitating educational enlightening and exceptional development programs, including activities and events which will help to accomplish the mission, vision and goals of the Council as well as enhance the linden Mayor & Town Council’s values in Linden.However, being a Councillor is hard work. Every day you will be expected to balance the needs of your communities, your residents and voters, community groups, local businesses, your political party ( if you belong to one ) and the Council. All will make legitimate demands of your time – on top of your personal commitments to family, friends and the workplace.As Councillors you will have many different roles to balance. Being the local elected representative, you will engage with residents and groups on a wide range of different issues and take on an important community leadership role.At the Council you will contribute to the development of policies and strategies, including budget setting, and you may be involved in scrutinising Council decisions or making decisions on planning. Councillors, your primary role is to represent your constituencies and the people who live in it. Councillors, you provide a bridge between the communities and the Council. As well as being an advocate for your local residents and directing them to the right people at the Council, you will need to keep them informed about the issues that affect them.In order to understand and represent local views and priorities, you need to build strong relationships and encourage local people to make their views known and engage with you and the Council. Good communication and engagement is central to being effective Councillors.As local Councillors, your residents will expect you to:• respond to their queries and investigate their concerns• communicate Council decisions that affect them• know your patch and be aware of any problems• know and work with representatives of local organisations, interest groups, youth groups and businesses• represent their views at Council meetings• lead local campaigns on their behalf.It is our belief that the diversity of this Council will foster greater unity and co-operation since residents of linden will have full representation which will strengthen the democratic process, thereby allowing a greater say in the governance of the respective communities. It will also help to build trust among various ethnic groups where everyone will feel respected as they would become an integral part of the decision making process of the Council.Councillors, you must promote greater accountability, as elected representatives you are answerable directly to the people in your immediate communities. Linden has so many talented and educated citizens, please involve them in building our local communities and take advantage of the talent that resides in various organisations, youth groups and political parties in order to promote progress in Linden.Given the history of Linden and its political landscape, let’s prepare and develop visionary leadership skills among the hundreds of residents who will be involved in the consultation and leadership processes of their local communitiesNote that the traits of good leaders are common across disciplines, professions and geographical regions. Community leadership is unique in its approach and goals. Remember, as Councillors your leadership is not about managing or even coordinating and it is certainly not about dictating or imposing your ideas onto others. Your leadership must be part education, part inspiration, and part mobilisation.Maximise your strengths Councillors and ensure that everyone on the team is making a meaningful contribution in representing their communities. Some individuals may have a strong need for control. Others may have a deep need to be appreciated for their time and service. As Councillors your job is to balance everyone’s needs and keep your sights focused on jobs/works that need to be done to keep Linden and her communities progressing toward the 21st Century.There is the myth that leaders lead and doers do, but as Linden municipality Councillors lead by example and consult with residents, it has proven to be best to get residents to buy in to any project. Above everything else Councillors, it is about the people who live with you and near you. The people who form the communities are the beneficiaries, but also those who, you as Councillors are accountable to.It is not just about policies, processes or procedures. More than anything, it is about the people of Linden. The PPP/C, during the 2018 LGE outreaches called for the practice of stewardship in the new Council, getting residents to take responsibility for their physical spaces and surroundings. This includes natural areas, structures and spaces.Stewardship is working together to protect, preserve and take care of your communities. This involves renewing, repairing, rebuilding and constantly reviewing your physical communities to ensure that it is healthy, strong and well-maintained. Let us all think forward, there is a saying in some communities about thinking five generations ahead, let’s not think for today only, or even tomorrow , but being able to make wise decisions that will still benefit the residents long after this current Council has dissolvedResidents your future, our future, young and old depends on the effectiveness of this Council to get the job done , let’s give them our support and work together as a team for development as our Councillors address and correct the issues that are affecting our daily lives . We must ensure that consultation is always a transparent process with our Councillors.Let’s enrich the lives of LindenersYour sincerely,David Adamslast_img read more

Read More

myptdtqd

Govt believes billions injected into GuySuCo is money wasted

first_img…as education delivery gets lion’s share of 2017 BudgetDespite announcing a $9B bailout for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Government believes the stark reality of the situation is that money injected into sugar, in its current state, is money wasted and it would make no impact on the operating losses and cash deficit status of the industry.Finance Minister Winston JordanThis was the damning report given to the National Assembly by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, when he on Monday presented the $250B Budget for 2017—the third budget to be presented by the coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Government in just over a year and a half in office.The Minister reported to the House that sugar has in fact recorded a dismal performance this year and it is projected to decline further in the coming year.According to Minister Jordan, the status quo of the sugar industry can neither be sustained nor maintained.He said as currently structured, the industry would require Government’s support to the tune of $18.6B and $21.4B for 2017 and 2018, respectively.“This is an untenable position, one that would seriously jeopardise the fiscal stance of the Government, while compromising resource allocation to other critical and important areas.”Lamenting the situation, Minister Jordan said the radical reorganising of the sugar industry is required as a matter of urgency, since the continued postponement of the hard decisions on GuySuCo’s future would result in the corporation incurring even more debts (estimated currently at $80B) and an escalation of the demands on the Treasury.He has since announced that “recognising this grave situation, a Cabinet Subcommittee has been established, tasked with making definitive recommendations for implementation by the end of 2016.”According to Jordan, “this Committee has been examining all options and will make a full report to the Cabinet of Ministers shortly.”Jordan announced nonetheless that for 2017, the Government has made an allocation of $9B to support the financing of GuySuCo’s operations.This he said “brings to $32B, the amount of resources that would have been provided to the Corporation since August 2015.”Education Minister, Rupert RoopnaraineLion’s shareSpeaking of allocations in the 2017 Budget, Minister Jordan recalled the appalling mathematics and English results fielded at this year’s national Grade Six Assessment and the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate.To this end, the minster announced that education delivery will be receiving the lion’s share of the 2017 Budget, to the tune of just over $43B, representing just over 17 per cent of the $250B National estimates for the coming year.According to Jordan, “the priority which we have given to the education sector and the increased emphasis that we will be placing on the delivery of quality education across all levels is reflected in the budgetary allocation of $43.1 billion, or 17.2 per cent of the 2017 Budget.”He said it is expected to have a more definitive role in changing our development trajectory.Included in this allocation, according to Jordan is a sum of $1.9B for the school feeding programme and $578 million to purchase textbooks.“Together with the President’s 5 B’s Programme, these measures are expected to result in improved attendance, attentiveness, and productivity.”He said too that over $3.5B has been allocated to construct, extend, rehabilitate and maintain schools, teachers’ quarters and other buildings. Within this, several new schools are slated for completion, including Yurong Paru Nursery and Hiowa Nursery in Region 9, Bamia Nursery and Primary in Region 10, and Baramita Nursery in Region One.“We cannot afford to fail our children, who are our leaders of tomorrow, for to do so would be tantamount to undermining every sector of our economy and, ultimately, condemning our nation and future generations to a life of pessimism and poverty…We, therefore, have to ensure that we properly diagnose the problems and apply solutions that seek to structurally change the mode, scale, and regional appropriateness of interventions…Our Government will not fail our children,” said Minster Jordan.Public Security Minister Khemraj RamjattanPublic SecurityAnother sector to receive a substantial chunk of the Budget is the security sector which has been allocated in 2017 $29.1B “to restore public confidence in our security sector.”Among some of the initiatives targeted by the Ministry with responsibility for Public Security is increasing the recruitment of Police, by approximately 20 per cent, to boost Police presence as a deterrent to crime.Jordan said too that the monies will also be used to equip the Police with vehicles and specialised equipment aimed at improving mobility and response times to reported crimes.He said too that the allocations will go towards expanding patrols in key areas to deter criminal activity, for which over $740M has been budgeted, complemented by expansion of the mounted branch in key hinterland locations.He spoke too of re-establishing and operationalizing the 911 service to restore public confidence in the response capability of the security services.According to Minister Jordan, in order to offset the overcrowding of the Georgetown Prison, the complex at the Mazaruni Prisons will be expanded at a cost of $2.2B, of which $369M is budgeted, in 2017, and will see the expansion of offices, inmate living facilities, staff and family living facilities, training facilities, as well as the construction of a school, daycare centre and places of worship.He announced too that for the first time, a port Georgetown fireboat will be added to the fleet of fire vehicles, at a cost $250 million, to service port Georgetown.“In addition, expanded fire protection services have resulted in $49.4M being allocated for two water tenders in Leguan and Wakenaam as well as two ambulances to augment the integrated 912 and 913 emergency services to improve response time.”He announced too that three new fire stations, costing about $77.5M, will be constructed at Mahdia, Mabaruma, and Melanie Damishana.Education Minister, Rupert RoopnarainePublic HealthAs it relates to the delivery of healthcare services across the country, the Minister announced too that this sector will also benefit from a hefty chunk of the Budget.According to Minster Jordan, “this Government continues to prioritise the health and wellbeing of the people as a pillar for ensuring economic development, happiness, productivity, and prosperity.”He reminded that in 2016, “we expect to expend over $27 billion, or 12 per cent of the National Budget, in the health sector,” while in 2017, this will increase to $31.2 billion, or 12.5 per cent.According to Jordan, the Public Health Ministry will in 2017 pay greater attention to equipping and upgrading district hospitals to deliver the full suite of mandated services, “as this would lead to greater equity between the hinterland and coastland.”He said too that additional specialists, in areas such as paediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, dental, and general surgery, will be deployed in Regions One, Eight, and Nine.Government, he said, has also allocated $2B for the improvement and maintenance of health infrastructure countrywide.“Particular emphasis will be placed on upgrading health facilities for district level hospitals and comfortable living quarters to attract the necessary medical personnel in the hinterland, in areas such as Baramita, Bartica, Kamarang, Mahdia, Port Kaituma, and Annai.”According to Minister Jordan, over $6.5B has been allocated in this Budget to procure drugs and medical supplies for our citizens who access public health facilities.“Although we have been budgeting adequate sums of money, our population continues to experience frequent non-availability of drugs and medical supplies at almost every public health facility, suggesting a number of problems in the procurement, storage, and distribution systems.”This problem, he said, will be arrested by ensuring that the process is informed by data driven health information systems in order to ensure more consistent supplies and avoidance of waste.He used the occasion to also provide highlights on investments to be made in areas of youth, families, the elderly and vulnerable, culture and arts in addition to gender equality, and hinterland development, among other sectors. (Gary Eleazar)last_img read more

Read More

myptdtqd

WPA activist’s house gutted by fire

first_imgA fire has destroyed a house belonging to Working People’s Alliance (WPA) activist Jocelyn Dow and several businesses located at Charlotte Street, Bourda, Georgetown early Tuesday morning.The blaze occurred about 05:20h. Dow, who occupied the top flat of the three-storey building, told Guyana Times that she was awakened by the fire alarm thatBusinesswoman and political activist, Jocelyn Dowwent off sometime after 05:00h.The political activist said when she heard the alarm, she went to the second floor of the building which housed her business, Hardwood Veneers (Guyana) Limited, and saw smoke coming from the flooring.“I ran back to see if I can get my pets and I had my nephew and his son sleeping with me. It was full of smoke,” she recalled, stating that she was mainly concerned about getting everyone out. “I didn’t attempt to save anything.”Dow said one of her cats perished in the fire and she could only account for two dogs. Two more were missing.She expressed sadness over the fact that most of her work, mainly unique Guyanese furniture, paintings and artwork, was destroyed in the inferno. “I had great Guyanese art; the rest of things are replaceable, but those are not,” sheA section of the upper flat of the building that was destroyed by firestated.Asked what may have led to the fire, the businesswoman told this publication that it most definitely had to start from the ground floor.“It may be electrical in origin, maybe. I have no idea. Normally, we plug out the things in the bottom, but I looked for the main fuse, but I couldn’t find it because of the smoke,” she explained.The bottom flat of the building housed four businesses: Trans Caribbean International Shipping, Anetha’s African Boutique, Target Services Pest Control, and the Westmas Acupuncture Clinic. And according to her, they all had different electricity sources.Fire Chief Marlon Gentle told the media that although nearby residents fled their homes, firefighters managed to contain the blaze and prevent its spread to nearby buildings. Although electricity was disconnected from the building, fire officials complained about receiving electrical shocks. Gentle said an investigation wouldbe launched to determine what caused the fire.Dow commended the Guyana Fire Service for its quick response. While she couldMost items were destroyed on the second floor of the buildingnot immediately estimate her losses, she said it could be to the tune of millions of dollars.Meanwhile, the other business owners who arrived at the scene of the fire a few minutes later could not immediately say the extent to which the blaze affected their businesses, but told media operatives that many items were destroyed not only by the blaze, but by water.The owner of Trans Caribbean Cargo International, Larry London described the incident as “terrible” and told the press that he would have to pick up the pieces and reconstruct his business. London said no one planned for the sudden fire, but they would all have to start planning to get their businesses back on track.Another of Dow’s stores, Liana Cane Furniture Factory, at Victoria Road, Plaisance, East Coast Demerara was also destroyed by fire in January 2016. Dow said although she now has no fixed place of abode, she would be staying temporarily at a city hotel.last_img read more

Read More

myptdtqd

Arsenal defender Mertesacker praises young guns

first_img Arsenal star Per Mertesacker 1 Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has praised the young guns who helped the club finish the season firing on all cylinders.Hector Bellerin was virtually unknown outside the club’s youth-team set-up before the start of the campaign while Francis Coquelin was out on loan at Championship side Charlton up until December.But both academy graduates played huge parts in helping Arsene Wenger’s side win the FA Cup and qualify, once again, for next season’s Champions League.Looking back on the 2014/15 season, Mertesacker told Arsenal Player: “When you get some young players in and they get time to play, that is unusual for normal seasons but they hit the ground running from the start and you saw the potential.“Not only potential, they executed it and that is something you want to see.”last_img read more

Read More

myptdtqd

Bruins, Trojans are still in flux

first_imgNeither team has a bona fide star who can step right in for Quinn or Murphy, but both seem to have improved depth. UCLA stocked up with the No. 4 recruiting class in the country, while USC reloaded with players coming back from injuries. Junior point guard Camille LeNoir (Narbonne High) is back from a hip injury that caused her to miss all of last season with USC and says she’s about 75 percent right now. Shooting guard Brynn Cameron, the team’s best outside shooter, is back after taking last year off to give birth to her first child. “It’s kind of like we got a whole new recruiting class in,” Trakh joked. “We’re really excited to have Camille LeNoir coming back. I think she’s one of the top point guards in the country and we missed her last year.” LeNoir will be brought along slowly in the beginning of the year but she hopes to be full strength by the time Pac-10 play begins. “After practice, my hip hurts a little bit,” said LeNoir, who averaged 12.7 points and 4.1 assists as a sophomore. “But after I ice it a little bit and stretch it and rehab it, my hip feels better the next day. It’s about time management and seeing how far I can go.” UCLA plans to rely heavily on Pluimer, who has started 92 straight games. For the first time, though, she’ll be able to move to her natural position on the perimeter as a small forward because 6-foot-6 sophomore center Moniquee Alexander and prized freshman posts Regina Rogers (whom Olivier calls “Baby Shaq”) and Christina Nzekwe have developed quickly. “Will we be a better team without Noelle (the No. 4 overall pick in last spring’s WNBA Draft)? I’d never say that because of all the contributions she made to this program,” Olivier said. “But I think this team is deeper and there are more people who can play.” Olivier said all six of her freshmen will play. Darxia Morris and Doreena Campbell will battle for the starting point guard position. Small forward Nina Earl also has been impressive. And once junior center Chinyere Ibekwe (Carson High) returns from a four-game suspension for a violation of team policy, UCLA could be 10 to 12 players deep. USC was picked to finish fourth in the Pacific-10 Conference behind Stanford, California and Arizona State in the preseason coaches poll. UCLA was picked fifth. ramona.shelburne@dailynews.com160Want 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 MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.In most years, UCLA women’s basketball coach Kathy Olivier would have had an answer. But after the departure of first-round WNBA draft pick Noelle Quinn (Bishop Montgomery High) and two other starters, Olivier is still trying to figure that out. “I can tell you, (three-year starter) Lindsay Pluimer will be in there,” Olivier said. After that, everything else gets a little more complicated. USC coach Mark Trakh can relate. Not only did the Trojans graduate a star guard (Eshaya Murphy) to the WNBA, they lost point guard Jacki Gemelos to a knee injury for the second consecutive year, and their top recruit, Stefanie Gilbreath, to a knee injury before she even set foot on campus. BASKETBALL: Both teams have to replace stars, with injuries already a big factor. By Ramona Shelburne Staff Writer Hmm … A starting lineup? It was a day before the exhibition opener, so the question was more than fair. last_img read more

Read More

myptdtqd

Finn Harps Academy Girls Make History in Antrim

first_imgIn the prestigious Antrim Rovers Summer Football Festival, Finn Harps Girls emerged as Plate winners in a hugely competitive tournament.This is the first time ever that any female time representing Finn Harps has won an inter-club tournament. Congratulations to all the girls at the Academy – they have entered the history books of the club! The tournament took place in the excellent facilities of Allen Park, Antrim. A well organised two-day tournament saw over 100 teams participate with the girls taking centre stage on Sunday.Harps Girls began their day with a cagy 0-0 draw against Larne FC who compete in the Belfast League. Captain Lexi Campbell ably commanded the Harps defence and Kerry McCready made a few great saves to keep the score level. Grace Masterson and Alisha Ferry performed admirably as well.In the next game against another Belfast League club, St. Mary’s FC., Harps, although dominant were defeated with a last-minute goal. This game saw fine performances from Aoife Slevin, Clara McGuinness, Elizabeth McGee and Lauren Ferry.The third and final group game saw Harps face a physically strong Carrick Rangers team. This game saw the excellent Ella McHugh become the first scorer ever for a Harps female team when she found the net midway through the game. Great performances in this game also from Marie Sweeney, Tess McFadden and Ava Boyle. The semi-finals saw Harps face St. Mary’s FC., who had earlier defeated them. However, on this occasion the more determined Finn siders dominated the game with outstanding team performance, culminating in a beautiful team goal finished by the super-sharp Ella McHugh.The final pitted Harps against North Belfast FC. Both teams had chances in the early exchanges with Harps hitting a post and Belfast just shooting over. Harps grew in confidence as the game wore on and after a few great blocks by the Belfast defence speedy Sara Thomas broke through and finished superbly to put Harps a goal up.This was how the game finished much to the delight of those present who had witnessed some great skilful football from the Finn Harps.Captain Lexi Campbell, who was a power of strength throughout the competition and is a great on-the-pitch organiser, was presented with the prize much to the delight of the girls and Coaches Aisling Barron and Micheál Doherty.Finn Harps Academy Girls train on Sundays in the Academy grounds, Crossroads, Killygordon and new members are always welcome. It’s a great way to improve your football skills and to make friends. Contact the club office for further details.Finn Harps Academy Girls Make History in Antrim was last modified: June 19th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

Read More

myptdtqd

Photos: Warriors, Raptors fans arrive at Oracle for NBA Finals Game 6

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or videos on a mobile deviceGolden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors fans gathered outside before Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, June 13, 2019. It’s the Warriors last game at the arena before their move to the new Chase Center in San Francisco. Fans at Oracle will receive a rally towel with a special message:Down 3-2 in the series after Monday’s gut-wrenching Game 5 victory in Toronto, the …last_img read more

Read More

myptdtqd

South African historical novel commemorates SS Mendi centenary

first_imgSouth African writer Fred Khumalo uses the historical context of the sinking of the SS Mendi as background for his latest novel, Dancing the Death Drill. The cover of Fred Khumalo’s Dancing the Death Drill, a historical novel set against the background of the 1917 sinking of the SS Mendi. (Image: Penguin Random House)CD AndersonOn 21 February 2017, South Africa commemorates the centenary of the 1917 sinking of the SS Mendi – a passenger steamship that sank off the Isle of Wight, killing 616 South Africans. The majority were black labour force troops on their way to the World War I frontline in France.One of South Africa’s highest honours, The Order of Mendi, is awarded annually to South African citizens who have performed an extraordinary act of bravery.Oral history from survivors of the tragedy records that the men met their fate with great dignity. On board the ship as it sunk, South African poet and clergyman, Reverend Isaac Wauchope, was famously said to have comforted the panicked South African troops with the words:“Be quiet and calm, my countrymen. What is happening now is what you came to do…you are going to die, but that is what you came to do. Brothers, we are drilling the death drill…so let us die like brothers. We are the sons of Africa. Raise your war-cries, brothers, for though they made us leave our assegais in the kraal, our voices are left with our bodies.”Watch a scene from Let Us Die Like Brothers, the documentary about the sinking of the SS Mendi. These words inspired the latest book by renowned writer and journalist Fred Khumalo, a historical fiction novel titled Dancing the Death Drill, published to coincide with the centenary.The story opens in Paris, 1958, where head waiter Jean-Jacques Henri at the world famous restaurant, La Tour d’Argent, is arrested for the murder of two customers. The man’s long-time friend, jazz musician Jerry Moloto, tries to uncover the motive behind the crime to defend his friend. It leads him to uncover the story of Pitso Motaung, a mixed race army volunteer on board the doomed SS Mendi.As Motaung’s story unfolds, it reveals the mystery, intrigue and racial politics of his turbulent life set across two continents over several decades, from Boer War battlefields to post-war France.Read an extract from Dancing the Death Drill here.The cover of Fred Khumalo’s Dancing the Death Drill, a historical novel set against the background of the 1917 sinking of the SS Mendi. (Image: Penguin Random House)According to a review in Business Day, the novel details a clearer picture of a largely overlooked moment in South African history, with Khumalo “blending pathos and humour and honouring both those who perished in the disaster and those who survived.”Watch an interview with Fred Khumalo talking about his new novel. Meanwhile, follow the centenary celebrations on Twitter using the hastag #SSMendi100 for photos, videos and insights about this important date in South African history.#SSMendi100 Tweets Source: Business Day, Penguin Random House Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Read More

myptdtqd

Cattle Price Discovery Focus

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jerry HagstromDTN Political CorrespondentWASHINGTON (DTN) — At a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the meat industry Wednesday, a representative of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association said that price discovery for cattle needs to be improved, while other meat interests said the most important goal for Congress should be approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade.Shane Eaton, a rancher and feedlot operator from Montana who serves on the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Marketing and Competition Committee, said extreme volatility and prices have marked daily cattle and live cattle futures following an August fire at the Finney County Beef Plant in Holcomb, Kansas, owned by Tyson Foods. The situation should show that Congress “needs to address the current inadequacies in the marketplace,” he said.Eaton noted in his testimony that “USCA submitted four recommendations to the CME Group that would improve the way the Live and Feeder Cattle Futures Contracts operate.”Eaton also said that members of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association are divided over whether to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade. On Monday, USCA President Kenny Graner wrote President Donald Trump a letter urging him to include country-of-origin labeling for beef in the agreement even though it is not included in the agreement to which U.S., Canadian and Mexican negotiators have agreed.Graner wrote, “The rural America that overwhelmingly supported you in the 2016 election due to your ‘America first’ agenda now has one simple ask, Mr. President. On behalf of our nationwide membership, we respectfully request the inclusion of a country-of-origin labeling program for U.S. beef products within the context of USMCA.”But National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston disagreed with USCA.“NCBA strongly supports passage of the USMCA because it allows U.S. beef producers to continue being the dominant source of beef in North America by having duty-free, unrestricted access to a strong consumer base in Canada and Mexico,” Houston said. “Additionally, it ensures continued protection from failed policies like Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (MCOOL).”There was some emphasis in the hearing on what had happened to cattle prices right after the fire at the Holcomb plant. Last week, Kansas State University released a report showing that Kansas feedyards in August lost $184.99 per head while “packer margins spiked significantly to nearly four times their annual average, or approximately $549.” KSU predicted in that same report that cattle feeders will not see a positive net return on steers or heifers until May 2020.Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., highlighted the price spread between live cattle prices and boxed beef after the Tyson Foods fire last month. Fed and feeder cattle prices are down, boxed beef is up and the packer margin is high. A reduction in packing capacity has reduced livestock prices. Once that capacity comes on line, Fischer wanted to know if live cattle prices would rise again.“If those prices do not come up, I think we can begin to explore some of the other factors that may be at play in this arena,” Fischer said.Fischer said to Houston, “Packers are doing alright. They are doing OK.” Fischer then pointed to the lower prices for feeder cattle.“Certainly, we are hearing from our members,” Houston said. “At this point, probably the feeders are being hurt the most.”Houston added that a lot of packing capacity was taken up by higher Saturday processing. Houston also noted there were times when other parts of the cattle business were making money, but not the packers.“So we hope things will stabilize pretty soon,” Houston said. “Certainly, the optics to our members are bad.”Eaton noted that when the fire happened, cattle futures fell for two and a half days. Eaton said there “is severe frustration” that packers have captured wide margins of profits. Packers have maintained margins and kept it, he said.“Our members are very worried about the way things turned out,” Eaton said.Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also highlighted the poultry plant raids in Mississippi last month in which 680 people were arrested for allegedly being undocumented. Durbin noted a lot of immigrant workers at packing plants, “Many of them are undocumented.”“Immigrant labor, migrant labor, is critical for agriculture in America,” Durbin said. He added, “We’ve got to have a more honest conversation about this, and I’m asking all of you to step up your game a little bit.”Durbin said immigration policy cannot simply focus on bringing engineers or others with doctorate degrees into the country.“We need folks to do hard, tough work and immigrants historically have done it,” Durbin said.Other witnesses testifying at the hearing said that approval of USMCA is a top priority.Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said in an opening statement that she understands “the urgency among many agricultural stakeholders to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement because they believe it will restore stability to those markets.”But Stabenow added, “Two things are important to remember as we work on getting the best agreement possible, with strong, meaningful enforcement provisions. First, NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement] is in place now, and producers need to know that the administration will keep NAFTA in place until there is a new agreement — holding the devastating threat of withdrawal over the heads of farmers and other businesses is irresponsible and it only adds to the instability.“Second, even with the USMCA in place, President Trump can still use tariffs as his enforcement tool of choice, meaning that instability, unfortunately, will still exist.”Stabenow also said that the Trump administration’s “chaotic and unpredictable trade agenda has overshadowed the progress we’ve made. Farmers are seeing very real impacts on their bottom lines. I am concerned that American farmers will endure long-term loss in market share in some of our biggest markets.”DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton contributed to this report.Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at jhagstrom@njdc.comFollow him on Twitter @hagstromreport(CC/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Read More