Category: ilrvyjhn

Spurs, Arsenal, Man City all lose

first_imgLIVERPOOL, England (AP):Leicester strengthened their place atop the Premier League without even playing yesterday after their three main title rivals all lost to cap another unpredictable round in England’s top division.Tottenham could have climbed above Leicester into first place with a win at West Ham, but lost 1-0 through Michail Antonio’s early goal.Third-place Arsenal couldn’t take advantage, losing 2-1 at home to Swansea despite taking the lead against the relegation contenders.Manchester City completed a miserable evening for the title hopefuls by getting beaten 3-0 at Liverpool, where City have now only won once in 35 years. Liverpool avenged their defeat on a penalty shoot-out to City in the League Cup final on Sunday.It left Leicester still with a three-point lead over Tottenham, with Arsenal a further two points back. City are 10 points off the lead and now looking over their shoulder at teams fighting to make it into the top four and qualify for the Champions League.Manchester United are tied on points with City after beating Watford 1-0 at Old Trafford, thanks to Juan Mata’s free kick in the 83rd minute.West Ham are a point behind the Manchester clubs and even Stoke, which beat Newcastle 1-0 in yesterday’s other game, isn’t out of the top-four race in seventh place.Leicester drew 2-2 at home to West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, which now looks a decent result given the troubles of their title rivals.last_img read more

Baptiste confident of Windies win

first_img VERY GOOD CHANCE “What we know is that we are still in with a very good chance of winning this Test match and we plan to dig deep and give all we got to get over the line once we get in play tomorrow. It would require patience and application and we are up for it. “This is a young team and it would be great to come here to Sri Lanka and win a Test match. What would be special is it would be the West Indies’ first win over here.” West Indies are set to resume the final day on 20 for one in pursuit of 244 for victory, with Shai Hope unbeaten on 17. They lost Kraigg Brathwaite cheaply for three on the stroke of tea on the third day, which also saw no play in the final session also because of rain. The game has been a low-scoring one, with Sri Lanka managing 200 in their first innings and 206 in their second, and West Indies mustering only 163 in their first innings. Baptiste praised West Indies’ effort in the game and said a successful run chase would be complete a strong overall performance. “All in all, bowling wise and fielding wise, we’ve been very good in this Test match so all we need to do is cap it off with a good batting performance,” Baptiste stressed. West Indies trail 0-1 in the series after crashing to an innings defeat inside four days in the opening Test in Galle. -CMC West Indies remained upbeat about winning the second and final Test even though the penultimate day at the P. Sara Oval was washed out by persistent rain yesterday. Overnight rain and then steady showers throughout the day ensured that the covers remained on, and match officials were forced to call off play around 3 p.m., with parts of the outfield under water. However, interim coach Eldine Baptiste said despite the setback, West Indies were still confident of putting on a strong batting display during today’s final day to win the contest. “There is nothing we can do about the rain. We have no control over the weather,” he said.last_img read more

Quinto, Nambatac honor late juniors coach with impressive showing

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ DAY6 is for everybody LATEST STORIES Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Chooks-to-Go cruises past UAE side, arranges 5th place date vs Thais Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award How to help the Taal evacuees In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide Photo by Tristan Tamayo/“Never ever give up.”Those were the words former Letran Squires coach Bob Lotuaco always told Rey Nambatac and Bong Quinto whenever he got a chance to chat with his old juniors players.ADVERTISEMENT “He always tells us NEGU — Never Ever Give Up. He was the type of coach who was positive all the way. He was never negative. He was a  cancer survivor and he told us that he fought that and was able to recover from that.”Quinto added: “Every time we saw each other, he always motivated us. He was like a father figure to us.”Commemorating their late coach, Nambatac, Quinto, and fellow former Squires Jerrick Balanza and Tommy Gedaria wore white t-shirts with the words “Never Ever Give Up” printed on it for Letran’s game against EAC on Friday.Those emotions also translated on the hard court, with the senior Knights anchoring the team to the 84-78 victory over the Generals.Quinto tallied a career-best 27 points, seven rebounds, and two assists, while Nambatac added 19 markers, nine boards, and three dimes in the win.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up With the two now seen as the undoubted leaders of the Knights, Lotuaco’s words continue to resonate with Nambatac and Quinto as they try to make a name for themselves in the seniors division.Unfortunately, they would never hear their mentor utter those words again as the former Squires assistant coach lost his battle to throat cancer last Wednesday. He was 51.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogNambatac and Quinto couldn’t help but wax poetic on the contributions Lotuaco had in their careers.“He was very close to us and he was very supportive. He was our mentor. Even when he was no longer coaching us, he was always there watching us,” said Nambatac. Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ “This game is really for him,” said Nambatac.Despite the gloom surrounding his passing, Nambatac shared that he proud of the legacy Lotuaco left for them and every one who had been touched by the inspirational coach.“It feels good that he left us with a great message, which is never ever give up,” he said. “He fought cancer twice, and was able to get himself back up. So he’s really a great example of those words.” It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson View commentslast_img read more

LET Gives US$30,000 to 267 Disadvantaged Females

first_imgThe Liberian Education Trust (LET), an education-related organization, has presented a check for US$30,000 to 267 disadvantaged females as a way of contributing to the educational system of the country. Liberian Education Trust (LET) was established to support the restoration of basic education in Liberia.Making the presentation yesterday, LET Program Manager, Mr. Jerome Digler, said the  Government of Liberia through the Ministry of State provided a grant of $30.000.00 USD, which is being directed to providing scholarships for six LET implementing partners that would be used to pay tuition and fees for them.According to him, LET currently has fifteen partners, nine of these partners had already received US$48,000.00.He said the remaining of the disbursed checks of the totaling USD $28,500.00 where given to six partners with the intention of providing scholarships for the 267 disadvantaged girls in four counties.Mr. Digler added these amounts will cover the first and second semester tuition/fees of the school year.He noted that the six partners received US$5,000.00 each for their disadvantaged beneficiaries.Those six partners who received the US$ 5,000.00 include: COHDA from Bong County with 64 beneficiaries; BUCCOBAC from Grand Bassa with 30; AWANGA from Nimba County with 65; and Maummar Gadhafi from Montserrado County with 48.Others are Measuagoon of Montserrado with 30 beneficiaries while the Christian Foundation Mission, also in Montserrado, has 30.He further detailed that his organization intends to use the amount of US$1,500.00 for 20 partners for monitoring and supervision totaling USD $30,000.At the same time, LET and IBI international awarded three laptops to deserving female students from their respective institutions of higher learning through a scholarships grant.Those awarded are Louise Tarnue and Seiena Tarnue from the University of Liberia and Watta Browne from Cuttington University College. They are currently reading Accounting, Management and Economics respectrively.He said the award was a promise made to the studentsIt can be recalled that in 2013, LET disbursed a total of $2,335 USD to the three students as two full semesters’ tuition and other fees.“The three laptops are in fulfillment of the earlier grant agreement signed between the LET and IBI International,” said Mr. Digler.Mr. Digler disclosed that since the inception of the program the three students have maintained the B average that was set as the standard requirement for honoring the scholarship.“We do appreciate them and hope that they will prove themselves up to the end of the program,” he added.For his part, IBI International Representative, Mohammed Jawara, promised that his institution would do all it could to promote the education of women in Liberia.He, however, urged recipients to use the laptops wisely stating that it would help them maintain their grades.The students thanked LET and IBI International for their support and promised that they would maintain their three-point-plus grade averages.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“Give us better governance, not new flags!” – PPP/C tells Govt

first_imgBy Devina SamarooThe move by Government to assign separate flags for each administrative region has been met with strong objections from the parliamentary Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), which believes more time, energy and resources ought to be spent on better governance. In a statement released on Wednesday, the Party declared that the Golden Arrowhead is the constitutional flag of Guyana, adding that any other flag imposed will be contrary to the country’s Constitution.The decision to give each region its own flag was announced last year by Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan, who noted that the initiative was all part and parcel of a wider effort to promote the decentralisation of each of the 10 administrative regions and encourage each district to embrace its uniqueness.Recently, the Minister disclosed that consultations are still ongoing with the various regional representatives before rolling out this project.However, the PPP/C believes that there will be an overwhelming rejection from the regions, mostly by residents who would prefer jobs, enhanced public security, money in their pockets, better roads, improved potable water supply and efficient garbage collection over flags.“Rather than seeking to change things that obtaiCommunities Minister Ronald Bulkanned under the PPP/C and to make things look different under the [A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change] APNU/AFC, the Granger coalition Administration should change their racial and political discriminatory and witchhunting practices, as well as their wasteful spending and focus on improving the economic and social well-being of all Guyanese,” the Party stated.During a previous interview with Guyana Times, several regional heads expressed concerns over the regional flag initiative.Region One Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley had indicated that his region will not be supporting the idea.Region Two Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt also objected to this move. “I don’t know if a flag can bring any degree of independence for a region. I think what needs to be done to bring independence would require a lot of strategic thinking so this can be streamlined properly… we are speaking about certain ministries which may need to be decentralised and certain key operations need to be decentralised. It is much more complex and it would require great consultations,” Ramdatt asserted, noting that flags will not help the Government achieve its goal.Region Five Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal and Region Nine Regional Chairman Brian Allicock also shared the same view.The only Regional Chairman contacted who was in support of this venture was Region Seven Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford. But even so, he indicated that some persons in the district have not welcomed the idea.Former President and Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo already pointed out that this move could be dangerous for Guyana as it could put the country’s sovereignty at risk and reinforce Venezuela’s attempts to win over the Essequibo, through encouraging secessionist tendencies.DraftsNonetheless, Government already has drafts proposed for the design of each of the regional flags.Region One’s (Barima-Waini) emblem is a turtle against a green and gold background. The turtle represents the leatherback turtle found on Shell Beach and the colours represent the two main economic activities in the region: forestry and mining.Region Two’s (Pomeroon-Supenaam) emblem is a rice stalk against a white and green background. The rice stalk represents the main economic produce of the region while the colours represent the many waterways and the farming activities respectively.Region Three’s (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) emblem is a ferry against a white, black and green background. The ferry represents the Ferry MV Sabanto and the colours represent the water resources, endurance of the people and the rich agricultural activities.Region Four’s (Demerara-Mahaica) emblem is the Stabroek Market against a red and black background. The Stabroek Market is a representation of the region’s economic activity and the colours represent the zeal, strength and endurance of the people.Region Five’s (Mahaica-Berbice) emblem is a rice farmer planting rice. The colours are black and green which represents strength and agriculture.Region Six’s (East Berbice-Corentyne) emblem is a rice stalk. The colours are red and green and it represents the zeal of the people and the rich agricultural heritage.Region Seven’s (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) emblem is a porkknocker and the colours are yellow, white and green. They represent the mineral wealth, the water resources and the vast forest.Region Eight’s (Potaro-Siparuni) emblem is the Majestic Kaieteur Fall. The background colours are green, black and gold and they represent the abundant forest, the resilience of the people and the mineral resources.Region Nine’s (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo) emblem is the harpy eagle and the background colours are red, green and white. They represent the zeal of the people, the forests and the waters.Region 10’s (Upper Demerara-Berbice) emblem is bauxite against a gold and black background. This represents the regions mining activities. The gold represents mining while the black represents strength and the ability to overcome challenges.last_img read more

Man, 19, Charged with Murder

first_imgPolice in Monrovia have charged with murder a 19-year-old man for allegedly stabbing to death, 22-year-old Fickee Suah.Shortly after the police charged Bill George, commonly known as “Bill Clinton,” he was forwarded to the Monrovia City Court to stand trial.At yesterday’s hearing, it was learnt that suspect Clinton was transferred to prison because the crime of murder disqualifies him for a bail.Clinton is said to be a part of “Crack City Crew,” a notorious group that allegedly stabbed to death victim Suah on December 24, 2016 in the 13th Street Community in Sinkor.Court documents allege that on the fateful December 24, Suah and one of his friends, identified as Calvin Langama went to 9th Street to witness a musical concert that was hosted on a basketball court by a community group.At the concert, the document claims that a member of the so-called “Crack City Crew” snatched Langana’s cell phone which prompted a fist fight between the two.During the brawl, four other suspected members of the crew began to flog Langama which annoyed Suah and prompted him to join the fight to defend his friend who was under attack.In the melee, the record added that members of the crew stabbed Suah on his left shoulder close to his neck and immediately fled the scene.Suah was rushed to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center (JFKMC) where doctors pronounced him dead upon arrival.Shortly after the incident occurred, LNP officers with support from community residents raided the 9th Street vicinity in search of suspected members of the ‘Crack City Crew’ that were believed to be involved in Suah’s death.According to the document, following a few days of intensive search, the four suspects including Clinton were arrested.At the investigation, Clinton explained that while he was watching the concert, he reportedly heard screaming coming from around a light pole opposite to where he was standing.“Later, I went there and saw some of my friends standing a few feet from the group of people who had also gone to the scene of the noise,” suspect Clinton said.The document further alleges that Clinton said he heard some of his friends arguing among themselves as to how “Alpha was telling Daddy you stabbed the man bad way. Daddy you killed the man.”At that time, Clinton also quoted another friend, identified as Zamkalanka, telling Alpha and Daddy to go to hell, “because Clinton should have cut the man’s whole head off for acting rude on Daddy.”The court records allege that Clinton denied any involvement, but said, “He was arrested while attempting to escape from Monrovia to Nimba County.”According to the document, Clinton alleged that because he was afraid after hearing that some of his friends were reportedly caught and beaten by an angry crowd, he felt that Monrovia was not safe for him, “so I decided to escape, but I was arrested in Paynesville by the police.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Insurance inspectors target homes in high-risk zones

first_imgThe requirements can range from clearing brush to cutting down trees or even installing a fireproof roof. Insurers and industry groups counter that making people take responsibility for living in the highest-risk fire areas makes good business sense. “Insurers are in the business of measuring and attempting to put a price on risk,” said Candysse Miller, executive director of the nonprofit Insurance Information Network of California. “We are encroaching further and further into hillsides and areas where we should not build, and insurers have to take a look at that.” Catastrophic fires, including wildfires, caused $6.4 billion in insured losses between 1986 and 2005, with more than $2 billion of that stemming from massive firestorms in 2003 in Southern California, said Loretta Worters, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute. In California alone, more than 6 million homes are in wildfire “red zones,” and the number of homes built in remote “wildland communities” is expected to increase 20 percent during the next decade. Yet a survey last year by Allstate Corp. in California’s most high-risk communities found that more than three-quarters of homeowners thought it was somewhat or very unlikely their homes would burn. Denise Taylor, a San Diego high school teacher, lost her home to the Cedar Fire in 2003. The wildfire east of San Diego killed 15 people, scorched 427 square miles and destroyed nearly 3,000 buildings, including about 300 homes. Taylor was stunned when her insurer, USAA Insurance Cos., doubled the annual premium for her rebuilt residence, which was 300 square feet larger, to nearly $3,000. She said the company insisted on insuring the home for $1 million even though she only paid $600,000 to rebuild with fire-safe stucco siding, a fire-resistant deck and roof, a brush-free yard, no eaves and a stucco wall separating her property from a regional park. “When you look at the profit margins of insurance companies, it’s not like they’re starving. Sometimes they’re going to have to pay a lot of money and that’s life,” Taylor said. USAA spokesman Roger Wildermuth said his company does brush inspections on homes in high-risk areas but has not hiked premiums because of the Cedar Fire. State Farm, Allstate and USAA all said they give homeowners an opportunity to fix problems – but they added that in the most severe cases, customers could be denied coverage if they don’t comply. “What do you do if that property’s not yours? If they’re demanding a 200-foot clearance, what if you own only 150 feet beyond your house?” said Karen Reimus, a San Diego attorney whose home burned in 2003. With claims from Hurricane Katrina largely resolved, State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. saw profits climb 65 percent last year to $5.3 billion, while Allstate raked in profits of $5 billion. The companies are the nation’s first- and second-largest property-casualty insurers, respectively. An industry analyst said the inspections fit into a larger shift by insurers away from catastrophe-prone areas after the devastating 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. “The hurricane seasons were huge, huge wake-up calls in terms of insurers realizing that they did not understand the risks that they had put on their books,” said Donald Light, a senior analyst with Boston-based Celent. “Many insurers have been doing a lot of things to readjust that balance, and wildfires are a part of that picture.” A number of companies including Allstate and State Farm have canceled or limited homeowners’ policies or raised rates along the southeastern coast after the 2004 and 2005 storm seasons. Allstate recently announced it would no longer underwrite new homeowner policies in California, citing risks from wildfires and earthquakes. The company is also seeking a 12 percent rate hike for its 900,000 existing customers. In the past few months, Allstate has started inspecting homes in high-risk fire areas in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska before issuing new policies. The company also has been checking new applicants in danger zones in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah since last year and homes in Arizona since 2004. Next year, the company will begin inspecting Colorado homes due for policy renewals, company spokeswoman Megan Brunet said. State Farm has inspected thousands of homes up for new and renewed policies in high-risk areas in those same states, as well as in Wyoming and Montana, spokesman Jeff McCollum said. SANTA ANA – Spooked by devastating wildfire seasons, the nation’s top insurers are inspecting homes in high-risk areas throughout the West and threatening to cancel coverage if owners don’t clear brush or take other precautions. The inspections have angered homeowners and watchdog groups that accuse the companies of trying to cut risk at the expense of customers, even while industry profits soar. The complaints echo concerns raised after Hurricane Katrina, when many insurance companies increased rates or dropped policies along the Gulf Coast. “It certainly isn’t fair for these insurers to be dumping these last-minute requirements on homeowners,” said Carmen Balber of The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights. “It does make sense to require homeowners to take reasonable precautions, but some of the excessive demands that we’ve heard from homeowners are over the top.” last_img read more

Real deal Ronaldo set for fifth Ballon d’Or

first_img0Shares0000Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to claim a fifth Ballon d’Or as recognition for leading Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double last season © AFP/File / GABRIEL BOUYSPARIS, France, Dec 6 – Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to match his great rival Lionel Messi on Thursday by claiming a fifth Ballon d’Or as recognition for leading Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double last season.Barcelona’s 30-year-old Argentinian superstar won the coveted award from 2009 to 2012 and in 2015. Portugal’s Ronaldo, who is 32, took the honours in 2008, 2013, 2014 and last year. The man who came to maturity under the watchful eye of ex-Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson clinched his fourth Ballon d’Or after an unforgettable season, first spearheading Real to the Champions League title before also leading his homeland to Euro 2016 glory in Paris.The France Football magazine award is decided upon by a journalists ballot (with 173 voting in 2016) with each naming a top five from a list of 30.British bookmakers have stopped taking bets on Ronaldo, who is a cramped 10-1 on favourite to win, with Messi, trophyless last season, at 6-1.Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar is among the bookies’ favourites to win a Ballon d’Or © AFP/File / Christof STACHEBehind this pair the bookies round out their own top five with Paris Saint-Germain’s gifted Brazilian forward Neymar, the veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and the prolific England centre-forward Harry Kane all at 33-1.The 2016-2017 season was in a way just as glorious for Ronaldo, who started the season slowly before Real shaded Barcelona to the domestic title and then became the first side in the modern era to defend their European crown.After seeing off Napoli, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the knock-out rounds Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-1 win over Juventus in the final, taking his tally to 12 goals in the competition that season.“Last season was exceptional. We won the league and the Champions League, where I was again the top scorer,” Ronaldo told French daily L’Equipe.– ‘I want seven’ –Real have a staggering seven players on the shortlist of 30 with Karim Benzema, Marcelo, Isco, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos and Toni Kroos all nominated alongside their talisman Ronaldo.Bookies are giving 33-1 odds on Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane winning a Ballon d’Or © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFThe only other Barca player other than Messi, is the Uruguayan centre-forward Luis Suarez.On the prospect of equalling Messi’s five wins Ronaldo quipped: “I want seven. Five is good but seven is my lucky number so seven would be great.”“I want seven children and seven Ballons d’Or.”Despite his position as outsider Messi can take heart from the award’s history of upsets with Messi himself clinching the title against the odds in 2010.That season purists pointed to the achievements of Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, winner of the Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup and indeed a World Cup finalist with the Netherlands.Also, in the run up to the vote Ronaldo has only scored twice in La Liga so far this season — although he has netted eight goals in five games in the Champions League — and Real are already eight points behind Messi’s Barcelona.Messi in contrast tops the Liga scoring charts with 13 goals and also secured a brilliant hat-trick for Argentina against Ecuador to clinch a last-gasp World Cup place in October, earning wide praise.“Leo is like Maradona for those of our generation,” said Messi’s compatriot, Juventus striker Paulo Dybala, himself tipped as a future winner.“He dragged us to the World Cup with the hat-trick in Ecuador. He is a born leader.”Aside from Messi and Ronaldo the Ballon d’Or, originally conceived to honour only European players before going fully global in 2007, has three triple winners — Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten.This year’s winner is being announced live on the L’Equipe television channel, the French sports daily being owned by the same company as France Football.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

2008 will be make-or-break year for California prisons

first_imgSACRAMENTO – The crisis-fueled momentum that produced a nearly $8 billion prison-spending plan earlier this year has lost some of its steam, leaving the state vulnerable to federal judges ordering an early release of inmates. California has fallen behind in its race to relieve the overcrowded conditions in its state prisons by adding thousands of cells, and time is running out to produce results. A special panel of federal judges will decide in 2008 whether the state should be forced to address its overcrowding by releasing some prisoners early. “This is a chain of broken promises,” state Sen. Mike Machado, D-Vacaville, said of the state’s construction and parole delays. “I think the court is going to look at it and say, `There’s no commitment here to do anything.”‘ Spitzer also opposes a plan by Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary James Tilton to free nonviolent, well-behaved ex-convicts from parole after six months instead of the usual three years. Ending supervision early means fewer ex-convicts would be sent back to state prison for parole violations. It’s the first in a series of parole changes that national experts say is critical to reducing California’s prison population. “You don’t change your policy to appease ultraliberal judges when we’re going to take this to the (more conservative) Supreme Court,” Spitzer said, predicting an extended legal fight if the three judges decide to release inmates early. The state’s network of 33 prisons has capacity for 100,000 inmates but is now overflowing with more than 172,000. Machado, who leads the state Senate’s prison oversight efforts, is critical of corrections officials for moving too slowly to adopt parole reforms and other provisions in a $7.8 billion prison- and jail-building program. It was approved by the Legislature in April and subsequently signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The corrections department originally projected it could have the first new cellblocks built by early 2009, but now projects construction will take an extra year. One reason is that lawmakers did not give the department the fast-track authority it requested, said Deborah Hysen, the department’s chief deputy secretary for facility planning and construction management. In addition, the original cellblock designs had to be redrawn to include more space for rehabilitation programs, and the department is adding more high-security cells. Building at some prisons will require extensive infrastructure upgrades, such as extending water and sewer lines, projects that take extra time and money. The department also is reconsidering its plan to add the cells within each prison’s secure perimeter because it appears quicker and cheaper to build most of the lower-security housing outside the main prison walls, Hysen said. “Glitches, hiccups, delays – I wouldn’t characterize it in that fashion,” she said. “They are just dates that were unrealistic in some cases.” The law provides money to build cellblocks at existing prisons to hold an additional 16,000 inmates, and new mini-prisons called “re-entry centers” for another 16,000 inmates who are nearing release. Tilton, the corrections secretary, said his department is moving aggressively to add space. The department won a brief reprieve when the three-judge panel delayed its scheduled February trial until later in the year. “The more time we get from the courts, the better we expect the results will be,” department spokesman Seth Unger said. “We’re making steady progress in implementing these reforms.” The department faces a funding cut because of the state’s projected $10 billion to $14 billion budget gap, but Unger said construction will not be effected because it relies on bond money. The three-judge panel is likely to be most concerned about conditions for current inmates and whether overcrowding is preventing them from getting the services they deserve, said Elizabeth Alexander, director of the National Prison Project for the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s understandable to me that the state says it’s going to take time,” Alexander said. “But if I’m a federal judge, I’m going to ask, `How many people do I let die in the meantime?”‘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 MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonA three-judge panel was created in July by federal courts in Sacramento and San Francisco, and is charged with solving a problem that has eluded lawmakers and state prison officials for years. The judges plan an initial trial to decide if crowding is delaying efforts to improve inmate medical services and mental health care. If they find that to be the case, they would conduct a second trial to decide how to release inmates to relieve the crowding. They also could cap the prison population, perhaps keeping thousands of convicts at county jails that, in many cases, have their own space crunch. Conservative state lawmakers who support the building program say they plan to fight any decision to let prisoners out on the street before they have served their full sentences. “These three justices want to release prisoners early. I don’t see any doubt about it,” said state Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, who chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Prison Construction and Operations. last_img

Sustainability of resilient South African nation brand depends on socially cohesive communities

first_imgJohannesburg, Thursday 18 August 2016 – In preparation of the inaugural Nation Brand Forum on Wednesday 24 August 2016, Brand South Africa hosted a research reference group yesterday that looked into the issue of social cohesion. The reference group looked at whether South Africa is asking the right questions when it comes to the analysis and measurement of social cohesion in South Africa.The reference group comes within the context of Brand South Africa’s mandate to promote social cohesion and nation building. International best practice indicates that a resilient nation brand is anchored on a socially cohesive citizenry.Social cohesion is, amongst others, premised on active citizenship, where community members and citizens work together for the attainment of shared goals, designed and agreed upon to improve the living conditions for all.Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock said: “Unfortunately challenges of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and historical divisions around race, class and gender make it difficult to arrive at a socially cohesive and united society as fast as we would want to. Through such reference groups, we aim to map out ways on how to recreate these challenges in moving us towards an ideal socially cohesive society.”Dr de Kock made reference to the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP), and indicated how these articulate in one way or another ways for the nation to deal with the question of Social Cohesion.He added: “Transformation of the South African society, economy, identity, education, and interactions with our immediate region and the world, are all in one way or another aimed at human development, and greater social cohesion – and this is outlined in the NDP.“The process of building nation brands, including brand South Africa, requires a consistent and coordinated efforts, which is heavily reliant on nation building. Nation-building in the context of South Africa, calls for a rethinking, on what social cohesion, linked to nation building, should be. It is premised on these reasons that we are interrogating the concept of social cohesion. Inputs, suggestions and actions recommended by participants at today’s research reference group will inform planning for the Nation Brand Forum scheduled for 24 August 2016.Dr de Kock concluded: “The reputation of a country, nation, or nation brand is shaped by a multitude of factors. Importantly, a reputation is not a fixed once off outcome of an action, or set of actions. It is a continuous process that needs to be refined based on the challenges and opportunities presented for the nation.”Media are invited to participate in the inaugural Nation Brand Forum as follows:Date: Wednesday 24 August 2016Time: 08h30 – 15h00Venue: The Maslow Hotel46 Rivonia Rd, Sandton, 2146RSVPS/Enquiries: Tsabeng NthiteEmail tsabengn@brandsouthafrica.comMobile number 076 371 6810Brand South Africa will also be able to facilitate any requests for interviews.Follow the conversation on #SANationBrandlast_img read more