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Shortfall in applications for election observers – Lowenfield

first_img…PSC, GPSU, diplomatic missions among applicantsThe Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Monday confirmed receipt of applications from entities for election observer status. However, the number of applications is cause for concern.At a press conference on Monday, Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield was asked for an update on local and international observers, and whether they have been approved.While not clear on whether the commission has approved the observers, Lowenfield did explain that entities such as the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) and the Private Sector Commission (PSC) are among the local applicants.“As far as the observers go, you may be aware that we had made a public advertisement for groups who are desirous of participating in the observation of the process. We have received very few of those.”“The Private Sector, the Public Service Union, I think some of the embassies, I think the US and Canadian (missions) would have made submissions to the Commission for approval. So they’re the only ones who’ve responded to us in terms of participating in the observation subset,” Lowenfield said.He explained that the applications received were deliberated on at the level of the Commission. Asked if any applicants were turned down by GECOM, Lowenfield noted that he had no knowledge of this.The last time Local government elections were held, in 2016, the US Embassy and the British and Canadian High Commissions had fielded observer teams. With elections expected to be held on November 12, the deadline for application for local observer status was October 11.Lists of candidates in Municipalities and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils have already been approved. The disciplined services are expected to go to the polls on November 2, with the general populace being scheduled to vote on November 12.The People’s Progressive Party had previously indicated that over 3000 candidates have been put forward by that party to contest local elections in all 80 Local Authority Areas (LAAs). The other parties will be contesting on a smaller scale.A Partnership for National Unity will be contesting elections in 76 of the 80 LAAs. Meanwhile, the Alliance For Change (AFC) on Wednesday announced plans to contest only 38 LAAs at the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE), scheduled for November 12.This announcement follows previous statements made by that party to the effect that it had planned to contest the elections in more than 50 LAAs.last_img read more

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McGregor captures fifth Berg title

first_img14 July 2008Hank McGregor won a spirited end-sprint to clinch his fifth Isuzu Berg River Canoe Marathon title on a river swollen by the heavy rainfall that had flooded the region for the past fortnight.The crowd at the finish at Velddrif saw McGregor outsprint Graeme Solomon to the line before hoisting a five-finger salute to celebrate becoming only the second paddler in history to win the overall race title five times.Paarl’s Donnie Malherbe wrapped up third place and the veteran’s honours, Matie student Heinrich Schloms was fourth, and Gavin White wrapped up a solid final stage by sprinting with the leaders to secure fifth place.Missed shortcutA disconsolate Lance King had to settle for sixth after being dropped from the front bunch on the final stage. It was a tough race for him as he slipped from third at the halfway point after a brave solo breakaway on the third stage imploded when he missed a key shortcut, squandering four-and-a-half minutes.King’s sixth place also dramatically affected the outcome of the inaugural pro team competition, which was snatched on the final day by the Team Value Added Life, anchored by Solomon, Malherbe and Schloms, who filled positions two to four.McGregor’s Team USN had to settle for second – despite the fact that McGregor won every single bridge prize hot spot and each day’s two-minute discount off his team’s overall time – after King finished sixth and Pieter-Willem Basson in eleventh place overall.Race recordDespite the very full and fast flowing river, McGregor’s winning time was still shy of the race record, set by Graeme Solomon in 2001, over a slightly shortened course.Abbey Miedema wrapped up her fourth title in the tough four-stage ultra-marathon, and her third in succession, when she completed a lightning fast final stage in 26th place overall.Her eventual time was around 111% of Hank McGregor’s winning time, earning her a substantial bonus, but it fell just short of earning her the equal prize money that had been offered for a 110% race time.The 28-year-old went into the race cautiously, after openly stating that she preferred tough low Bergs to the many gambles and risks associated with racing on a flooded river.Final stageThe final stage saw most of the field paddling over marshes that shortened the 56-kilometre stage by as much as 40%.“Jeepers it was fast!” chuckled Miedema. “According to my GPS, we paddled just 35 kilometres today.“We were paddling over fences, past silos and miles away from the main river,” she added. “A lot of time we didn’t really know where we were going, but it was so wide and open that it was easy to see the bunches ahead of you and follow the good lines.”She admitted that she and the others around her had survived a scare when it looked like they were heading into a dead-end channel. “Suddenly we were right in the thick of some trees, but we managed to find our way back to the main river without losing too much time.A ‘cheat’“It was such a different Berg,” Miedema said. “In some ways it feels like a bit of a ‘cheat’ Berg because it was so fast and the days were so short on the full river, compared to the last eight Bergs.”Miedema paddled much of the day with university student Abie Adie as she preserved her massive half-hour lead. Third place went to Jemma Hofmeyer following the withdrawal of Lindi-May Harmsen on the third stage.Harmsen injured her shoulder on the second day, and after battling through the early part of the third stage, opted out of the race to ensure that her challenge for the World Marathon Championships in the Czech Republic would not be adversely affected by the risk of aggravating the injury.Age group winnersThe junior title went to under-16 Milnerton scholar Ivan Kruger, who dominated the boys’ race. Joseph Williams and Hannes Pienaar finished second and third respectively.Mynhardt Marais was the first sub-master across the line, with Gauteng’s Brian Longley taking the grand master’s honours head of the first master home, Paul Lange.Cally Henderson paddled her way into the history books by becoming the first female master paddler to complete the race when she reached the finish at Velddrif Bridge.RESULTSMEN Hank McGregor 13:20.09Graeme Solomon 13:20.43Donnie Malherbe 13:29.39Heinrich Schloms 13:33.20Gavin White 13:34.53Lance King 13:36.48Pierre-Andre Rabie 13:41.03Ernest van Riet 13:43:27Angus McIntosh 13:46.41Ian Trautmann 13:49.39 WOMEN Abbey Miedema 14:55.06 (26th overall)Abie Adie 15:18.29Jemma Hofmeyer 16:16.21Lisa Scott 16:43.13Janet Vorster 17:46.11 Source: Isuzu Berg River Canoe Marathonlast_img read more

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Bovine tuberculosis diagnosed in Indiana white-tailed deer

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Last week the Indiana Board of Animal Health announced the  diagnoses of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in a wild white-tailed deer in Franklin County, Indiana.Bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been diagnosed in a white-tailed deer in Franklin County, Ind. This marks the first time the disease (more formally known as Mycobacterium bovis) has been found in a wild animal in Indiana. This finding means significant changes in disease monitoring requirements for cattle owners and deer hunters in the area.The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has been working with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to test wildlife on a Franklin County cattle farm where TB was diagnosed in April. The 2-year-old doe that tested positive for TB was culled as part of the surveillance effort on the cattle farm.Under federal requirements, finding TB in a free-ranging wild animal means testing of all cattle must expand from 3 miles to 10 miles and surveillance in hunter-harvested deer will intensify.For cattle owners in Franklin County and portions of some adjoining counties, BOAH staff will be reaching out to determine if cattle in the 10-mile circle are test-eligible and, if so, schedule herd testing. BOAH’s premises registration program has approximately 400 farms registered in the 10-mile testing zone.For deer hunters in the region, that means whitetails harvested in a specific zone must be sampled for laboratory testing. DNR will be providing more information to hunters in the coming weeks.“This is an enormous undertaking that cannot be completed overnight,” said Bret D. Marsh, Indiana State Veterinarian. “Farmers and hunters in this area have been extremely cooperative and supportive of our efforts over the years. We need their help now more than ever as we widen our surveillance efforts. If this disease is out there — either on farms or in the wild — we need to find it. Our status as a TB-free state is critical to our growing and thriving cattle and dairy industries in this state.”Indiana has officially held a bovine tuberculosis-free status since 1984 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Under federal guidelines, that status remains. BOAH has found four individual cases of TB in three cattle herds and a cervid farm in this region between 2008 and 2016.Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic bacterial disease that affects primarily cattle, but can be transmitted to any warm-blooded animal. TB is difficult to diagnose through clinical signs alone. In the early stages of the disease, clinical signs are not visible. Later, signs may include: emaciation, lethargy, weakness, anorexia, low-grade fever and pneumonia with a chronic, moist cough. Lymph node enlargement may also be present. Cattle owners who notice these signs in their livestock should contact their private veterinarian.Hunters should take precautions to protect themselves, including wearing gloves when field dressing animals and fully cooking all meat. Deer can be infected without noticeable signs of disease, like the positive 2-year-old doe. Hunters who notice signs of TB in wildlife should contact the DNR at 812-334-3795. Hunters who see signs of bovine TB while processing wildlife should contact BOAH at: 317-544-2405.More information about the disease and the investigation, as it develops, will be available on the BOAH website at: www.in.gov/boah/2396.htm. Site visitors may subscribe to email updates about the current TB situation by visiting the webpage.​last_img read more

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Baramati downs shutters; protests by NCP youth wing in Pune, Mumbai, Nashik

first_imgA day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) initiated a money-laundering probe against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and others in the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) loan irregularities, Baramati — the bastion of the Pawar clan — observed a total shutdown in support of the NCP supremo.Educational institutions, business establishments and shops downed shutters in Baramati and neighbouring Indapur tehsil, while protests organised by the NCP youth wing were staged in Pune, Mumbai, Nashik and other parts of the State including the Marathwada region, especially Beed and Aurangabad districts.Large crowds, including schoolgoing children, were seen throughout Baramati raising slogans in Mr. Pawar’s support, while angry demonstrations by NCP activists were witnessed accompanied by burning of effigies of the ED.Speaking in Mumbai, former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said no irregularities of even a single paisa had occurred at MSCB.“After an FIR was lodged against me and others on the direction of the Bombay High Court and the economic offences wing (EOW) of the police was probing the case, a certain individual filed a PIL claiming a scam of ₹ 25,000 crore had taken place…moreover, Sharad Pawar has no relation whatsoever with this case and neither was he ever a director of this bank. To the best of my knowledge, the total deposits of the bank were ₹13,000 crore. So, how could irregularities of ₹25,000 crore have transpired?” he asked.He said that MSCB directors were from a number of political parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena and the Congress, and not just the NCP. “Had there been irregularities of this magnitude [₹25,000 crore], the bank would not have been showing a profit of ₹300 crore today,” Mr. Ajit Pawar said.Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar’s grand nephew, Rohit Pawar, hit out at the BJP saying the allegations were clearly politically motivated. “The ED’s probe only illustrates that the BJP has no real issue to talk about. Since it has failed to deliver on its tall promises, it is now attempting to divert public attention by indulging in such undignified moves and misusing probe agencies,” said Mr. Rohit Pawar.Sandhya Sonawane, head of NCP’s youth wing in Ahmednagar, said the response generated by Mr. Pawar’s pre-poll tours across the State had rattled the BJP.“As a result, the ruling government is resorting to such base tactics by unleashing the ED on Pawar saaheb. However, the public will give the BJP a fitting reply in the forthcoming elections,” she said.last_img read more

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BJP on mission Rajya Sabha now

first_imgThe BJP, which has a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha with 282 MPs, is eyeing the support of parties like the AIADMK and BJD to shore up its numbers in the Rajya Sabha, where it is in a minority. Amid speculation that the BJP is trying to lure the AIADMK into the NDA fold, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik met Modi on Monday and demanded special category status for his state and other central aid but remained evasive on allying with NDA.Number gameBJP needs the AIADMK’s support to push through around 60 bills pending in the Upper House of Parliament. According to data compiled by PRS Legislative Research, 18 of these bills were introduced before 2009.The BJP has only 42 members in the Rajya Sabha, which has a total strength of 245 and this figure falls short of the halfway mark of 123. While the AIADMK has 10 members in the Upper House, the BJD has four. Both can help the NDA, political observers said.The Congress, which is in the opposition in the Lok Sabha, has 67 members in the Rajya Sabha and may prove to be tough on the government’s efforts to get key bills passed.Patnaik said Modi responded quite positively to his demands and hoped that the NDA government would treat Odisha better than the previous UPA regime. When asked if his party would join the NDA and the BJD’s stance in the Rajya Sabha, Patnaik said his party would play a constructive role.advertisementJayalalithaa is expected to bargain for a better deal from the centre in return for possible backing to the NDA. She is likely to raise the issues of allocation of additional power to Tamil Nadu, which is facing an energy shortage, and of fishermen facing trouble from Sri Lankan authorities.Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad and Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman are likely to meet Jayalalithaa when she arrives in Delhi, sources said.Of the bills pending in parliament, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare tops the list with 11 bills. These include The Mental Health Care Bill of 2013, The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill of 2013, The Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Bill of 2013, The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention And Control) Bill of 2014. With eight bills pending, the Ministry of Law and Justice is next. These include the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill of 2013 and the Readjustment of Representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies (3rd) Bill of 2013.The Ministry of Labour and Employment has seven bills pending. Some of them are the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act of 2012, the Building and Other Construction Workers Related Laws (Amendment) Bill of 2013 and the Mines (Amendment) Bill of 2011.last_img read more