first_imgDear Editor,Guyana’s oil discoveries have set insider trading alarm bells ringing at all the major stock exchanges in the past week. On September 8, a report by online magazine Petroleum Economist attributed new discoveries to Government of Guyana official, Owen Verwey. “There have been some big discoveries and by next Friday, we will be announcing another one… We are one of the hottest destinations for the oil and gas industry right now and that is set to continue,” this statement was made during an address at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition in Aberdeen, Scotland.The price of Tullow Oil and ExxonMobil stock rose significantly after the statement. On September 14, Verwey hosted a press conference where he tried to distance himself from his words by saying, “when comments are made, only the Department of Energy information is relevant when it comes to the oil and gas industry”. Thirty-six hours later ExxonMobil and Tullow announced major new discoveries.It is clear Mr Verwey had inside information, not in itself illegal; however, Verwey is not an ‘insider’— who is defined as someone with either access to valuable non-public information about a corporation or ownership of stock equalling more than 10% of a firm’s equity. The questions that will be asked by the Securities and Exchange Commission are: Who told Verwey? When was he told? Why was he informed? Who else is in this information loop? Which Government officials hold stock in the oil companies? When did they buy?The information of new oil discoveries must come from the oil companies, in this case, ExxonMobil and/or Tullow; the big question is the amount of lead time between informing Government of Guyana officials and making of public announcements. A week is an eternity on a stock market, where fortunes are made and lost in hours. Insider information can be used to enrich a person via insider trading very easily; in fact, it can easily be a way to ensure the pliancy of officials instead of actual bribes. Have we unearthed a new type of kickback scheme?Earlier this year I posited that “Dr Jan Mangal ascribes knowledge of oil reserves to former President Donald Ramotar and Minister of Natural Resources at a time (April 2015) that would land ExxonMobil in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failure to report an event that would have major impact on the price of the company’s publicly traded stock (XOM) on the New York Stock Exchange”. The same applies in this instance, and we do have Mr Verwey’s statement at an oil conference as evidence of pre-announcement knowledge.Editor, Officials of the Government of Guyana continue to act as if they are running a ‘cake shop’ and Guyanese are suffering from gross incompetence or deliberate mismanagement. The Local Content Policy deficiencies are costing Guyanese the opportunity to compete on a levelled playing field in their own country.Mr Carl Greenidge recently suggested that our country should make sovereign wealth investments in ExxonMobil stock; it would be a travesty if officials of the Granger administration, their friends and/or family were already so invested and are now working inimical to Guyana’s interest in favour of their own. Nothing less than a full investigation into the ‘Verwey’ pronouncement is acceptable.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more

first_imgWhat ever happened to deductibles? The word has almost disappeared from the debate as a special session of the Legislature devoted to supposed reform of California’s health insurance system proceeds. Read any official or semi-official summary of Assembly Bill 8, the Democratic health plan nixed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and you see things like requirements imposed on individuals and employers, and treatment of the self-employed and small businesses – but no mention of deductibles, the sums people must pay before their insurance benefits kick in. These can amount to thousands of dollars even for the majority of Californians who are currently insured. But under some of the proposals the Legislature considered this year, they could go as high as $10,000 per year. No one is now talking about this in specific terms. Yet, that’s where the rub for the entire reform effort could lie: Make the deductibles too low and health care might be overused by people who don’t really need it. Make deductibles too high and the working poor might as well be uninsured, since relatively few people have annual medical expenses that approach the $10,000 mark. For most families who immunize their children, get flu shots every autumn and don’t head for the emergency room whenever Junior sprains an ankle, it takes a catastrophe for expenses to reach $10,000. Which means that assessing the working poor up to 5 percent of their yearly wages for health insurance premiums, a figure often bandied about during the health insurance debate, would create a new burden for them while giving them little or no new benefit. So why not talk about deductibles and ways to lower them? For one thing, Schwarzenegger’s proposed plan would allow insurance companies to keep 15 percent of all premiums for administrative expenses and profits. Cutting that corporate benefit is about the only way to keep deductibles low for families buying the minimum coverage to be offered under any new plan. But Schwarzenegger and many state legislators get large campaign donations from the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies that could be most affected by low deductibles. As of late summer, the governor and his various committees had received just under $5 million from such firms, making them the fourth largest donor category among special interests financing his political career. This makes the politicians at least in part the creatures of the existing health-care and insurance industry. It also may be why Schwarzenegger has repeatedly killed bills to start a single-payer government-run insurance plan. In a single-payer plan run by the government, there’s no need for profit. But administrative costs could mount. All this explains at least in part the several polls that show heavy public distrust of the ongoing health-care policy negotiations. More than two-thirds of voters in a poll taken for the California Nurses Association labor union said they are skeptical anything good will come from that bargaining. The same poll said 70 percent of voters favor a plan that has no co-pays or deductibles, guarantees choice of hospital and doctors, and is not attached to anyone’s job. That’s essentially a description of single-payer health insurance in its ideal form, and it enjoyed majority support in that survey all across the political spectrum. Because all plans now under consideration would involve some kind of new tax on either employers or individuals, whatever plan emerges from Sacramento will have to go before the voters as a proposition. And for any health insurance reform to succeed there, it will have to assure the same quality of care and choice of doctors enjoyed by most people who are now insured, while holding down or eliminating deductibles and co-payments for those who now lack coverage. Supporters will also have to prove to many skeptics that whatever makes the ballot is not merely a scheme to provide coverage for illegal immigrants, who make up a healthy portion of the uninsured population. Cutting down deductibles is probably the best place for negotiators to start reshaping the plans that were considered earlier this year. If they don’t do that, they’ll have a hard time proving any new plan would really benefit most of the uninsured. And whatever emerges, the harsh reality is that its eventual passage will be no easy matter, as almost all ballot propositions involving new taxes of any kind have failed for the last 20 years and more. Tom Elias is author of The Burzynski Breakthrough: The Most Promising Cancer Treatment and the Government’s Campaign to Squelch It, now available in an updated third edition. His e-mail address is 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

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.In the Pioneer League … El Segundo’s Hazuki Onaga and North Torrance’s Bea Palileo advanced to the league singles final at the Jack Kramer Club today. Onaga defeated South Torrance’s Jessica Ly, 6-3, 6-3. Palileo beat South’s Esther Kim, 1-6, 6-2, 10-6, in the semifinals. Boys water polo Santa Monica completed a season sweep of El Segundo with an 8-5 Ocean League win, dropping El Segundo into third place in league. Jake Mark scored twice for El Segundo (13-9, 6-4). Also in the Ocean League … Torrance 10, Milken 6: Phillip Collins had four goals as host Torrance (10-16, 1-8) won its first league game. Troy Okasaka and Brian Kata had two goals each for Torrance. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From staff reports Redondo’s Della Taylor advanced to the final of the Bay League singles tournament at Ernie Howlett Park on Wednesday, rebounding from her first loss of the season two days before. After an 8-0 first-round win, Taylor defeated Mira Costa’s Krystal Langley, 6-1, 6-2, in the quarterfinals. Taylor reached the final when her semifinals opponent, Palos Verdes’ Brooke Schweyer, had to forfeit because of leg cramps. Taylor lost to Mira Costa’s Nicole Gibbs, 6-0, on Monday. Taylor will face Palos Verdes’ Kathryn Webb in the final today at 1 p.m. at Ernie Howlett Park. Webb beat Redondo’s Elle Taylor, 6-0, 6-3, in the quarterfinals, and Peninsula’s Cze-Ja Tam, 6-1, 6-0, in the semifinals. last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“These guys obviously knew what they were after because they took the high-value stuff,” Avila said. “These people knew what they were doing.” Elmastian agreed. He said the brands of paintball guns stolen included WDP Angel guns, Planet Eclipse Ego and Airsoft. “The items they took, you could tell they’ve been in the store,” Elmastian said. “It was in the dark. They knew which guns to take off the wall.” The store opened March 26. IRWINDALE – Police are looking for two men who broke into a paintball store and made off with $12,200 worth of merchandise. On Wednesday investigators released surveillance photos of the suspects in the May 25 burglary at Arrow Paintball. The store owner, Tony Elmastian, is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the burglars. It was in the early morning hours when two men pried open the back door of the business at 15710 Arrow Highway. They entered the store and grabbed 15 to 20 paintball guns, a duffel bag, a couple tool kits and a pair of goggles, said Detective Robert Avila. The items were valued at $12,221. In addition to offering the reward, Elmastian said he’s keeping an eye on eBay and online stores to see if the stolen items turn up. The first suspect was described as a heavy-set white man, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, wearing a blue motorcycle helmet, white polo shirt and black pants. The other suspect is an older white man with white hair, 5feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10inches tall, medium build and wearing blue jeans, a red-and-white jacket and carrying a red gym bag. Anyone with information is asked to call Avila at (626)430-2244. (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2718160Want 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

first_imgShanghai Shenhua boss Gus Poyet has told talkSPORT that the trend of big-name players moving to the Chinese Super League may be stopped by the radical 100 per cent tax rule.The Chinese FA have announced new regulations which have been formed to limited club spending and the arrival of foreign players seeking million-pound contracts.It means that any ‘loss-making’ clubs signing non-Chinese players will have to pay both the transfer fee and the same amount into a fund to help the development of young home-grown players.It effectively doubles the price of any top stars who are seeking the riches of the Far East. The biggest deals in China so far have seen Shanghai SIPG pay Chelsea £60m for Oscar and the same club spend £46.1m on Brazilian striker Hulk.The likes of Wayne Rooney and Diego Costa have been linked with moves to China in recent months, but Poyet believes big-money signings will now be a thing of the past.“It’s completely changed,” the former Tottenham and Chelsea star told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“I personally don’t think we’ll see too many players coming now.“The transfer window is open now but I can’t see many players coming with the new rule.“Without that rule, maybe four or five big names were coming for sure, but now it would be a big surprise if a club was going to spend 200 per cent on one player – because its 100 per cent tax on what they’ve already paid!“And when you’re talking about expensive players coming to the league, it’s just going to be too much.”last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Much of the left draws a bright line between faith and politics. But the right’s growing advantage among people of faith has more on the left embracing religious belief as a path to liberal views. Here, the line seems never to have existed. “Faith in action is called politics,” Bacon intoned from the pulpit last Sunday. “We are boldly political without being partisan.” There are rules about this, and the clergy here know them well. The church may preach on issues great and small, but it may not endorse political parties or candidates. Doing so would jeopardize the church’s tax-exempt status. As Bacon announced from the pulpit two weeks ago, the Internal Revenue Service has launched an inquiry into whether Regas violated those rules last fall with a pre-election sermon titled “If Jesus Debated Senator Kerry and President Bush.” While Regas said up front that he wasn’t endorsing either candidate, it was hard to mistake how he felt. In Regas’ telling, Jesus rapped Kerry for a few things, but saved the heavy artillery for Bush. PASADENA – All Saints Episcopal Church is a place where “Sunday best” still means dresses and suits, pearls and brooches, coiffed hair and formal shoes. Some dress casually, but not for informality’s sake. They are sending a political message. A popular T-shirt asks “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” Around here, Jesus is a peacemaker. The Rev. George Regas was outspoken in his calls for an end to the Vietnam War, and the church has opposed every war, skirmish, raid, missile strike, bombing campaign and covert intervention since. Regas left the church in 1995, but the new rector, the Rev. Ed Bacon, has not slackened. He and Regas were arrested together during an protest of the war in Iraq in 2003. If the intent of the IRS inquiry was to silence the church, as many parishioners believe, it has not worked. Instead, the church has embraced the probe as an opportunity to boost membership, which has been flat for many years. The media spotlight is a chance to share the church’s message with a national audience. “We didn’t go looking for this conversation,” said the Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints. “But this is an excellent opportunity for us to tell the good news of Christian values that look nothing like Jerry Falwell.” Bacon’s sermon last Sunday reaffirmed the church’s opposition to the war, torture and tax cuts – some of the same positions that got it in trouble in the first place. The congregation responded with a standing ovation and a showing of generosity. The collection plates, which usually bring about $2,000 a week, took in $3,000. “We don’t think it’s going to hurt us,” said Christina Honchell, who oversees All Saints’ finances. “We had a lot of people at church on Sunday.” The bill for the tax attorneys is expected to exceed $10,000, something the church can afford, given its operating budget of $5 million. Losing tax-exempt status, on the other hand, would be “uncharted territory,” Honchell said. “None of us expect it to come to that,” she said. “I think we’re going to prevail in our case. I think our case is strong, and we’re right.” All Saints has also been the beneficiary of national press attention. Crews from the three networks have been out to do interviews. The issue has been debated on CNN, Fox News and NPR. Next week, Bacon is scheduled to go on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” “This is our 15 minutes of fame,” Bacon said. “We’ve never had this kind of attention.” Liberal blogs have overflowed with affirmative comments (“Boy oh boy, did the right wingers just make a BIG, HUGE and BIGGER mistake.”); conservative churches have rallied to All Saints’ side; and editorial writers have found it hard not to favor the church over the universally loathed IRS. “It’s going to backfire on the government,” said Jan McFarlane, an All Saints parishioner who has been involved in an anti-war vigil in South Pasadena. “My personal opinion is that All Saints was targeted because we’re opposed to the war in Iraq, and by silencing us it silences opposition to the war, and allows George Bush to continue this illegal and immoral war of occupation.” Church leaders also have their eyes on potential new members. “The whole IRS issue has been wonderful,” said Anne Peterson, the staff member in charge of expanding the congregation. “It’s an issue where 98.375 percent of the people are on our side. And it’s an issue that draws people to the church.” Though All Saints grew dramatically under Regas, attendance has been stagnant for the past decade and more. At about 3,500 members – accurate numbers are hard to come by – it remains the largest Episcopal church in California. But it was once the largest west of the Mississippi River. “Though the church is a hotbed of activism, it may be a bit less active now than it was in its heyday, when George was rector,” said Fred Register, a local Democratic consultant. As part of the effort to bring in new members, the church has reached out to the growing Latino community. Today will be the first bilingual service, a new offering Sundays at 1 p.m. Some members have been driven away by the political emphasis. One family left when the church opposed the war in Afghanistan. Another, the Kreisels, left after a bitter political dispute within the God, Mommy and Me group. Amy Kreisel objected when a group member suggested setting up an “arrest co-op” for anti-war demonstrations. Raymond Kreisel explained the family’s decision to leave in a letter to Bacon. “By introducing anti-war rhetoric to the sermons at church, All Saints gets mired in the shady world of secular politics,” he wrote. “Politics is best left to politicians.” The Kreisels now attend an Episcopal church in Arcadia. “So many people left and they just lost their money,” Raymond Kreisel said. “The church really morphed into something people did not recognize.” Bacon said wars tend to lead to some turnover. “We have lost members and we have gained more members,” he said. “That’s been the history of All Saints. If there are things in the DNA of All Saints, that’s one of them.” Some in the broader community are also troubled by the church’s confrontational approach. “It’s disappointing to me to see a Christian church that takes a stance that’s so divisive,” said Wayne Lusvardi, who runs a conservative blog called Pasadena Pundit. “I think it’s up to the Christian churches to try to heal those divisions, and I’m not sure they’re doing that.” Peterson acknowledged that the church’s strident political views can turn some people off. “We have some people who are fiscally conservative but socially liberal, who are Republicans,” she said. “But you have to have a little bit of a social liberal conscience to be totally happy here.” The church was also outspoken on gay rights long before it became an explosive issue within the Episcopal Church. All Saints has been blessing gay unions for more than a decade. “They’re 20 years ahead of the church,” said Frank Clark, executive director of the Ecumenical Council of Pasadena Area Churches. “It’s really seen as a beacon for the progressive church. People look to All Saints as an example, and as proof that peace and justice aren’t dead.” The church has been more reluctant to throw its weight around on local issues. “It’s a very influential church,” Register said. “But in terms of local partisan matters, I don’t think it has any direct influence.” All Saints has been the incubator for several local charitable organizations: the Union Station homeless shelter; the AIDS Service Center; Young & Healthy, a program that provides free health care to poor children; Day One, which deals with alcohol and drug issues; and CORAL, an after-school program. All but CORAL have become independent of All Saints, though members still give their time and money to each. But the church has largely stayed away from addressing policy matters at the City Council and the Pasadena Unified School District. Its involvement in two key local issues – affordable housing and the quality of public education – has amounted in recent years to setting up facilitated dialogues on multi-culturalism and structural racism. One recent workshop ended with the suggestion that groups be organized to see the movie “Crash.” The church’s most recent effort to sway local policy was a failed attempt to get the City Council to adopt an anti-war resolution in March 2003. Lately, the church has been stalking bigger quarry. Regas and Bacon attended Congressional hearings in September on developing an exit strategy for the war. While there, Bacon said they were approached by a Congressman who asked where the religious left had been. “We have the right wing breathing down our necks,” the congressman said. “You need to make your voice louder.” Bacon said he came back from the trip with a vow to do a better job of communications. He was encouraged by recent news of growing Congressional skepticism toward war. “It’s a moral and military disaster,” he said. “The pillars of this war are crumbling every day.” Staff Writer Gary Scott contributed to this story. (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4444160Want 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

first_imgGardai have confirmed they are investigating an incident in which a man and his dog were attacked by two unmuzzled dogs while out walking.The man was out walking at Mongorry Forest in Raphoe on Sunday morning last.The man’s dog was suddenly set upon by the two large dogs with his dog receiving a number of puncture wounds. The man tried to fend off the two attacking dogs and received a number of injuries to his hand and arm.The man said the dogs were in the case of their owner, but that the man was too far away from the incident to prevent the attack.The man contacted both the dog warden and Carrigans Garda station as a result of the attack.A Garda spokesman confirmed to Donegal Daily that they are investigating the incident. Man receives injuries to arms after being attacked by dogs during forest walk was last modified: March 24th, 2018 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:attackDOGdog wardenmuzzleRaphoelast_img read more

first_imgThe Cleveland Cavaliers plan to waive the ex-Warriors guard less than a week after agreeing to a two-year, $6 million deal. The Cavaliers had until Monday before deciding whether to retain McCaw on a … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device* * *Subscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table bookNearly six months later, Patrick McCaw might receive what he wanted after all.last_img

first_img What A’s winter ball performances can tell us about the second base race … Former Oakland A’s lefty Brett Anderson finds new home with Brewers center_img HOUSTON — The Astros set a Major League record, hitting six home runs in the first two innings (and another in the seventh) in the Astros’ 15-0 win over the A’s on Monday night.Mike Fiers lasted one inning and couldn’t record an out in the second. He gave up five home runs.Related Articleslast_img

first_imgAn important record of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the Media Club South Africa image library contains hundreds of specially commissioned high-resolution photographs of the stadiums, fans, teams – and vuvuzelas – that caught the attention of the world.{loadposition fifa}last_img