Security Sector Reform Action PlanOne year after it was announced that the United Kingdom (UK) will revive the multimillion-dollar Security Sector Reform Action Plan (SSRAP) here, works to have the project rolled out are processing, as such, Guyana will be welcoming a security advisor from Great Britain to assist in its implementation.British High Commissioner Greg QuinnBritish High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn, told Guyana Times on Friday that the process is currently ongoing to recruit the advisor who will be in Guyana for a one-year programme.“The programme will be guided by the President and what the President wants to do; but it will be focusing on the broader needs and security sector reforms,” the UK Diplomat explained.The High Commissioner could not say exactly when the security advisor is expected here; however, a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency on Friday evening revealed that the expert would arrive in Guyana in November.“As the Government continues to address the incidence of crime in Guyana, the country will be welcoming a security advisor from the United Kingdom (UK) next month, who will be working closely with the Administration on the implementation of the Security Sector Reform Action Plan (SSRAP),” the release outlined.Moreover, High Commissioner Quinn explained to this newspaper on Friday that over the past year, a lot of ground has been covered as it relates to restoring the Security Sector Reform Action Plan.“There is a variety of other people who have been out working on various bits on the broader security sector reform. There is a team that has been looking at immigration, on Police… so there is a selection of different groups and different sort of people, who are working on specific areas of the security sector reform,” the top UK envoy stated. Since assuming office in May 2015, President David Granger had indicated that his Administration is intent on having the SSRAP reintroduced and has since met with former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and High Commissioner Quinn on the matter. He believes every facet of the local security sector will be strengthened under the UK-funded action plan.“I would say (that) in the last 16 months we have covered a lot of ground to restore the Security Sector (Reform) Action Plan as fast as we could; and within weeks it is going to be happening,” the President said in a previous interview.The Security Sector Reform Programme (SSRP) was launched in 2007 but was scrapped two years later, after major disagreements between the then Bharrat Jagdeo Administration and the UK Government over some of the conditions of the plan. Guyana virtually walked away from the programme, saying that aspects of the project threatened to encroach on this country’s sovereignty. However, the British had contended then that the Guyana Government proposed a “fundamentally different” programme, focused on Police modernisation rather than the holistic reform originally requested.The UK’s proposed project had aimed to build a sustainable foundation for improving national security and reducing serious crime in Guyana by 2011.However, after it was agreed last year that the programme will be revived, it was noted that before the process can kick into effect, a new assessment will have to be done on the security sector in Guyana as its dynamics would have changed significantly since the last assessment was done.That assessment has been completed and the analysis handed over to Government back in May.The analysis focuses on the current state of the local security sector and contains an action plan going forward, as well as how the UK government can assist in executing the plan.However, the British High Commissioner had pointed out that even though his Government took responsibility of the assessment, the final say as to the next step lies in the hands of the Guyanese Government. He noted that once Government would have considered the contents of the assessment, then they would say what they want the UK to help them with.
On Thursday, September 24, 2015, the House of Representatives passed the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia, following passage of the same bill by the Liberian Senate exactly the week before. The good news is that a law has been passed essentially opening the Liberian electricity market to private investors, breaking a 40 plus year monopoly enjoyed by the state-owned electricity company, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), and providing an avenue to solve Liberia’s two decades chronic electricity shortage.That is the good news. Brescelco, an NGO founded by me in December 2014, has achieved in 9 months of robust public advocacy what the Sirleaf Administration has failed to accomplish in 9 years, with all the might of state and donor resources behind it. Our achievement was possible because of strong public support from the Liberian people and equally strong support from the US government, which laid down a game-changing ultimatum to the Liberian government in the waning days of this marathon campaign. It essentially told GOL that it would not disburse a US$250 million grant that was to come its way upon signature in October of the country’s first Millenium Challenge Compact unless electricity reform legislation was passed. This is no rumour. Speaker Alex Tyler himself told me this in a meeting about a month ago. I of course knew about Uncle Sam’s conditionality but I acted like it was all news to me. Speaker Tyler went on to tell me that if it meant extending their session (the Legislature was supposed to have gone on recess on September 1st), they would in order to pass the necessary legislation so as not to lose the US$250 million. Thank you, Uncle Sam!The bad news is that the law passed suffers from several defects, which the Legislature was told about in a 2-page Brescelco petition addressed to Speaker Tyler following a citizens’ march on the Capitol on September 22nd. The most serious defect is that the powers of the independent regulator are placed in the hands of the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy. Apologists for this piece of tomfoolery justify it as a temporary measure, a two-year transition during which time capacity building and other good things will be put in place while the regulator is being “incubated” in the ministry. The problem with that logic is that the ministry does not have single person with expertise or experience in electricity regulation. Senator Albert Chie, chairman of the Senate energy committee, made that observation during the August 26th hearing on the Brescelco bill (submitted to the Senate in May) and the Administration’s bill (submitted in July) before he somersaulted just before passage of the Administration’s version on September 17th.Moreover, the ministry has no money in its budget to support the independent regulator. The funding is reportedly coming from a US$30 million grant that the European Union and Norwegian government will be making available to support the regulator over 5 years. So, the expertise for capacity building will be coming from the donors and the money for the regulator will be coming from the donors. So, exactly what value does the ministry bring to the table? The answer is “none”.President Sirleaf and her gang just want to get their hands on that donor money. If the regulator is on its own, with its own offices, staff and own identity from Day 1, as it should be, the donor money will flow directly to the regulator, with little chance for chopping. If, however, the regulator is “warehoused” in the ministry, then the donor money will necessarily flow through the ministry, and who knows what shenanigans the Administration will be able to get up to. The two-year transitional period they have asked for has a suspicious coincidence to the 2017 election calendar. The second reason why it is a bad idea for the ministry to serve as regulator, even for an interim period, is that the Liberian Government, through its ownership of LEC, will be placed in the enviable position of being referee and player at the same time. The regulator (the referee), at all times, is supposed to be independent of the government and of the electricity companies.The next 12 months will tell whether this interim arrangement will work. It is entirely possible that some private sector investors will decide that they do not want to play in a game in which the referee is also a player. I hope we skeptics will be proven wrong and investors will come. Otherwise, this whole exercise will have been a waste of time.If investors come forward and apply for licenses to produce and sell electricity and are awarded licences, then all is well and good. But if the ministry denies them, then this matter may have to be settled in court. Under our system of government, the Legislature may pass all the laws it wants. But it is left to our Judiciary to decide whether or not those laws pass constitutional muster. The Legislature has no say in that matter. Thank God for separation of powers!The writer is a certified public accountant and a businessman. He can be reached at (email@example.com).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
As US oil giant ExxonMobil continues to discover more oil offshore Guyana, it has added another drillship to its existing fleet of three to increase its capacity.The new drillship, Noble Don Taylor is presently working for Talos Energy in the Gulf of Mexico. Already, the Noble Bob Douglas and the Noble Tom Madden are in Guyana, along with the Stena Carron.Only this week, Exxon announced its 13th discovery offshore Guyana at the Yellowtail-1 well.The announcement came a mere two months after the US supermajor made double oil discoveries at the Tilapia-1 and Haimara-1 wells in the south-west section of the Stabroek Block.Yellowtail-1, located some six miles north-west of the Tilapia discovery, encountered approximately 292 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.According to a press release from ExxonMobil, it was drilled to a depth of 18,445 feet (5622 metres) in 6046 feet (1843 metres) of water.The Noble Tom Madden began drilling the Yellowtail well on March 27 and it will next drill the Hammerhead-2 well.This latest discovery adds to the previously announced estimated recoverable resource of approximately 5.5 billion oil-equivalent barrels on the Stabroek Block. Yellowtail-1 is the fifth discovery in the Turbot area, which ExxonMobil expects to become a major development hub.The Stena Carron is currently completing a well test at the Longtail-1 discovery and upon completion will next drill the Hammerhead-3 well. Later in 2019, the Stena Carron will drill a second well at the Ranger discovery.The Noble Bob Douglas drillship is currently completing development drilling operations for the Liza Phase 1 development.ExxonMobil has previously said that there is potential for at least five floating productions, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels on the Stabroek Block producing more than 750,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025.Start-up of the Liza Phase 1 development is on track to begin by the first quarter of 2020 and will produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day, utilising the Liza Destiny FPSO, which is expected to arrive in the country in the third quarter.Liza Phase 2 is expected to start up by mid-2022. A final investment decision is expected soon, subject to Government and regulatory approvals. Upon approval, the project plans to use the Liza Unity FPSO to produce up to 220,000 barrels per day. Sanctioning of a third development, Payara, is also expected in 2019, with start-up projected for 2023.The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, is operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Ladies Golf Fore The Cure raised over $10,000.Tournament organizers, Samantha Warren says there were a total of 54 golfers that participated and the winner of the tournament was Kelly Smeeth.The two day event started with a martini social, registration night and auctioning off a pink golf cart (a decorated pink golf cart). The next day saw the tournament take place.- Advertisement –
Telus crews are currently working to restore service to over 200 customers in Charlie Lake. Some customers there have been without telephone and internet services since yesterday afternoon, when road crews working near the Old Hope Road to widen Highway 97 accidentally severed two underground cables. Telus hopes to have all its customers reconnected by this evening.- Advertisement –
A team of American researchers has found a way to easily identify stem cells in the testicles of adult mice that can be coaxed to turn into brain cells, muscle cells, heart cells, blood cells and even blood vessels. One day, they say, male patients may be able to turn to their own testicles as a source of stem cells to repair hearts or kidneys or to fix the brain damage caused by Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. The procedure would involve removing a small piece of testicle – about the same amount used for a biopsy. “We don’t need a lot of material,” says Dr. Marco Seandel, the lead author of a paper published Thursday in the journal Nature and a stem-cell researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland. His team’s work – and that of a German team also experimenting with stem cells extracted from testicles – is part of a growing international effort to look beyond the embryo for cells that can give rise to all human body parts and systems. Adults have small numbers of stem cells, too – in bone marrow, muscle and other tissues and organs. But these don’t seem to have the same superhero-like powers as embryonic cells. Stem cells in muscle give rise only to new muscle cells. Seandel and his colleagues didn’t reprogram the testicular stem cells with new genes. They put them in a special growth medium, and the cells returned to a state in which they could turn into many different cell types — not just the precursors to sperm cells. In live mice, the stem cells became part of a functioning blood vessel. In the lab, the scientists transformed them into brain cells, cardiac cells and muscle cells. There was a somewhat gruesome sign that testicular stem cells might turn into other types of cells quite easily. Testicular tumors, Seandel says, are sometimes found with hair, teeth or other tissue in them. The same is true for ovarian tumors, he says. But women don’t have the equivalent of sperm-producing stem cells. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! RESEARCH: The testicles of mice have tissue that can become heart or brain cells. By Anne McIlroy TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL Men have a source of potentially life-saving stem cells.
Acting Garda Chief Superintendent Jim Sheridan has promised to review the overall policing along border areas in Co Donegal.It follows a meeting today between Gardai and members of Fianna Fail including councillors Paul Canning, Ciaran Brogan, Dessie Larkin and Deputy Charlie McConalogue.Cllr Canning, who has been highlighting the lack of Garda manpower in and around the Inishowen area said he is still not completely satisfied with today’s meeting. “He (AC Supt Sheridan) accepted that there is a serious crime rate but did not accept there is a serious lack of manpower.“I still feel discontented but I will give him the benefit of the doubt,” he said.Acting Chief Supt Sheridan added that he will also getting more ungraded neighbourhood watch schemes.The meeting comes following a robbery on the post office at St Johnston yesterday which was the latest crime in the area in recent weeks. DONEGAL GARDA CHIEF PROMISES TO REVIEW POLICING ALONG BORDER was last modified: July 13th, 2012 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)
SAM MEETS EIMEAR IN 1992IT’S a wonderful picture from 1992.A little girl, aged just six months, is lifted inside Sam Maguire as the trophy came to Co Donegal for the first time.The ‘little girl’ has of course grown up now – and Eimear McCann is hoping to meet Sam again in Donegal in the not too distant future. “Of course I don’t remember it because I was far too young,” says the now 20-year-old who works at Kia Motors.“I’d love to get my picture taken with Sam again – that would be a real All-Ireland double.“I’ve a wee boy myself now – Odhran – so I want to get his picture taken with the trophy. We just hope that 2012 can be another winning year for Donegal.”Eimear is from famous GAA stock herself. She is the grand-daughter of St Eunan’s legend and Hall of Fame Footballer, Seamus “Iron Man” McCann, who passed away earlier this year.Affectionately known as “The Chap”, Seamus won two Senior County Championship medals with St. Eunan’s (1956 & 1960).He also won several underage titles and captained the St. Eunan’s Juvenile team to their first ever 3-in-a-row of Co. Championships in 1952 – a year in which he also won a Senior Co. League medal at just 16 years of age.EIMEAR AND ODHRAN STAND BY YOUR SAM! EIMEAR HOPING FOR ALL-IRELAND DOUBLE was last modified: August 30th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:STAND BY YOUR SAM! EIMEAR HOPING FOR ALL-IRELAND DOUBLE
Missing Michael was seen in Letterkenny on Thursday night.A missing Wexford man may be in Co Donegal, Gardai believe.Michael Kingston has been missing for almost a week.But one of the last sightings of the 30 year old from Curracloe was in Letterkenny. A confirmed sighting of Michael was made in the town on the evening of March 12th – last Thursday at around 7.30pm.He has been missing since 7.30am on 9 March from South Central Apartments, Rockbrook, Sandyford, Dublin 18.Michael is described as 5ft 11″ in height with short black hair, blue eyes, a pale complexion and of medium build.There are no details available of clothes he may have been wearing. He is believed to be driving a silver Audi A4 (registration plate 11 WX 3554). He was also observed at a petrol station in Galway on the evening of 11 March.Anyone with information is asked to contact Dundrum garda station on 01-6665600, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or any garda station. GARDAI SEARCH FOR MISSING MAN SEEN IN DONEGAL THIS WEEK was last modified: March 15th, 2015 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:donegalGardailetterkennyMISSING MAN
Councillor Gary Doherty with residents of Emmett Park in Castlefin today.Residents on a Donegal using estate are up in arms after Donegal County Council fitted new PVC windows and doors on vacant houses – while they have to use old doors and windows.Homeowners in Emmett Park in Castlefin have now launched an urgent petition seeking upgrades to their homes immediately.They have been backed in their petition by Stranorlar Municipal District, Gary Doherty, who called on the Government to immediately fund the retro-fitiing of PVC windows and doors to all council housing stock. He said there must be equality in how repairs are carried out.Cllr Doherty said “Here in Emmet Park today we have workmen fitting PVC windows and doors to seven empty properties in the estate. This is of course to be welcomed, but it is a cause of anger to tenants who have been in Council estates for decades but have never had this work carried out on their homes.”He continued, “Many of these people have been Council tenants since the estates were built, and have never missed a rent payment. They then have to watch as boarded-up houses next door are having PVC windows and doors fitted while they have never benefitted from any such scheme or from insulating improvements. There is a disparity in how this funding is being granted, and I am happy to take a stand for these Council tenants.”The residents of Emmett Park have today taken the first step in what they hope will be a County-wide campaign by starting a petition calling for this disparity to be recognised and funding to be granted for retro-fitting on ALL Council housing stock. The petition will be going around the council owned estates throughout Donegal in the coming weeks.Cllr Doherty said “I hope this iniative will raise awareness of the needs of existing Council housing tenants. I would ask residents in other estates who have yet to receive PVC installation to gather signatures which can be collated and presented to Donegal County Council and representatives of the Government.”RESIDENTS’ ANGER AS COUNCIL REPLACE WINDOWS AND DOORS OF VACANT HOUSES was last modified: June 23rd, 2015 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:CastlfinCLLR GARY DOHERTYdonegaldoorsEmmett Parkwindows