Vunipola out of Lions tour

first_imgVunipola had been nursing the injury throughout the Aviva Premiership while playing for Saracens.England backrower James Haskell will replace Vunipola and will join the camp following the Premiership final this weekend.Vunipola, who was born in Australia, has played 34 tests for England and was expected to be the starting number eight for the Lions in their three-test series against the All Blacks.Lions coach Warren Gatland said he was disappointed for Vunipola, who had been looking forward to joining the squad”He has been carrying an injury and feels he wouldn’t be able to contribute fully to the Tour and needs further medical treatment. We really appreciate his honesty in making this decision and wish him luck with his recovery.”We have called up James to the squad, we wish him all the best next weekend and look forward to welcoming him into camp before we depart.”last_img read more

Wakenaam rice farmers still owed for Mexico shipment

first_imgAlmost four months later Rice farmers who live and operate on Wakenaam Island in the Essequibo River are still to be paid, almost four months after they had sold paddy in March to a miller who converted their product into rice. This comes against complaints that they continue to face difficulties in trying to repay loans taken to acquire fertiliser, fuel, and equipment.According to information recently disclosed, those farmers, along with others on the Essequibo Coast, are still owed millions in total, after millers had bought their produce in March. Withholding such payments to farmers for more than 42 days, as <> has been reporting, violates the Rice Factories (Amendment) Act of 2009, which says that farmers should not wait longer than the mandatory 42 days before being paid for their paddy. According to the Act, the manufacturer (miller) is required to pay the paddy producer (the farmer) half the amount upfront, and the rest within two weeks of receiving that farmer’s paddy.On Saturday, <> was told that a popular Essequibo miller who owes several of the Wakenaam farmers promised to pay off the money owed on Friday last, since a Mexico-bound ship laden with rice recently departed Guyana’s shores. However, according to farmers, the miller pushed back the date again to next Friday. Efforts by this newspaper to contact that miller were unsuccessful, as calls were forwarded to voicemail.Millers are holding out that the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), a Government entity, owes them over $2 billion in outstanding payments from the Panama deal dating back to 2017. However, Head of the GRDB, Nizam Hassan, has since claimed that the GRDB is not responsible for payment delays from buyers in Panama.In fact, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder said recently that “millers should desist from using the farmers as a bank.”However, while denouncing responsibility for the shipment, it was Minister Holder and Hassan who met the Panamanian Institute of Agricultural Marketing on March 18, 2016, when a commitment was announced for the increased quota of rice from Guyana.“Our Government is extremely pleased that you (Panama) are happy with the services we (GRDB) have been supplying since the commencement of our relationship… I would like to assure you that the GRDB will continue to provide the same excellent and professional service to your Government,” Minister Holder had said following that meeting.The Guyana Rice Millers Association (GRMA) has always maintained the position that millers are signing agreements with the GRDB, which has a Government-to-Government arrangement with Panama; and, as such, GRDB has an obligation to pay millers. GRMA Head, Leekha Rambrich, observed last month that GRDB was violating laws that govern the sector, with particular focus on its delayed payments to millers under the Panama deal.He posited that with the signing of the Panama contract, the GRDB “is committing itself to a six-month payment plan”, whereby rice would be obtained and payments would come six months after. The official contended that this would be tantamount to withholding payments from farmers.“Where will millers get money to pay the farmers from? Why is it (that) the minister doesn’t let the GRDB pay the millers, so they could pay the farmers? GRDB is the exporter, and they are buying the rice from millers, and they are setting precedent and breaking the law. You cannot sign agreements to pay millers after six months; the minister is contradicting himself,” Rambrich told <> in June.Millers have outlined that they have been operating in overdraft. Information disclosed is that banks requested a payment schedule in which millers outlined how they would repay funds they had borrowed. Reports are that the GRDB had promised to pay millers since September last year, but revised the payment deadline to April 30, 2018.An industry insider told this newspaper that the GRDB had been in discussions with Minister Holder for him to release funds to pay the millers, as the GRDB reportedly has reserves in its coffers; and it was disclosed that the GRDB has been disbursing small percentages of the payments in the weeks after reports had surfaced in the media.last_img read more

Pensioner robbed at gunpoint after buying bread

first_imgA pensioner was assaulted and relieved of his personal items by two armed men on Wednesday evening in the vicinity of Ketley Street, Charlestown, Georgetown.Based on reports received, 66-year-old Aubrey (only name given) of Lot 31 Ketley Street, Charlestown went to Humphrey’s Bakery to purchase bread, and as he exited the business place, he was confronted by the two suspects, one of whom was armed with a handgun.Held at gunpoint, the elderly man was dealt several blows to his body by the gunman’s accomplice, who confiscated his two mobile phones and car alarm before the suspects made good their escape on foot into Albouystown.The elderly man was picked up and taken to the hospital, where he was examined and treated before being sent away.The Police were contacted, and a search has been launched for the two perpetrators.last_img read more

Transfer rumours and paper review – Wednesday, August 5

first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Wednesday’s newspapers…Wolfsburg ARE ready to sell Manchester City target Kevin De Bruyne — but only for £50million. City are increasingly confident they will land the forward after fresh signals from his German club. (Daily Mirror)Edin Dzeko’s Manchester City career looks to be over with the striker on the verge of a move to Roma. The Blues have agreed a £14m fee with the Serie A giants for the Bosnian. (Manchester Evening News)Sunderland are in talks with Manchester United over a loan move for forward Adnan Januzaj. The Black Cats are on the verge of sealing deals for midfield pair Leroy Fer and Yann M’Vila, and it is understood that they are also hoping to secure a third loan by pulling off a transfer coup for Januzaj. (Sunderland Echo)Furious Louis van Gaal forced Paris Saint-Germain to pay an extra £3million for Angel di Maria after the player posted a picture of himself with the French club’s owner in Qatar. The French club originally believed a deal had been done at £43m but Van Gaal demanded £46m after Di Maria flew to Qatar without permission. (Daily Mirror)Manchester United are on the verge of completing a £20million deal for Barcelona forward. (The Sun)Louis van Gaal offered Pedro a role alongside Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay in a new-look front three at Manchester United in order to convince the Barcelona forward to complete a move to Old Trafford. (Daily Telegraph)Baba Rahman has agreed personal terms on a switch to Chelsea, his agent has indicated. Jose Mourinho is looking to add Ghana international left-back Rahman to his squad following the sale of Filipe Luis but Stamford Bridge chiefs need to settle on a fee with German side Augsburg. (Daily Star)Chelsea and Juventus have both held talks with Cagliari over the signing of Ghanaian midfielder Godfred Donsah. (Daily Express)Bolton want to re-sign their former midfielder Kevin Nolan. Veteran West Ham midfielder Nolan, 33, is in the final year of his contract at Upton Park and wants to be playing regularly. (Daily Mirror)And here’s the latest headlines…Anders Lindegaard told he can leave Manchester United on free transferMan United blow? Porto leading race to sign £8m full backWest Brom launch ambitious bid to beat Arsenal to £11m-rated Belgian starletParis Saint-Germain plot £10.5m deal for Arsenal-linked defenderArsenal plotting swoop for Real Madrid starlet tracked by LiverpoolChelsea and Manchester United face losing out on £15m Brazilian starlet GersonReports – ‘Cambiasso replacement’ Napoli midfielder snubs Leicester City switchSouthampton eye Schalke midfielder as Schneiderlin replacementlast_img read more

The Chelsea transfer rumour that refuses to die down

first_imgWhile Chelsea would indeed be keen to maximise Griezmann’s goalscoring ability, it’s his versatility across the attack that would be a huge boost for the club in their bid to return to the Premier League’s summit.While Diego Costa has been strongly linked with a return to the Calderon Stadium, it’s looking increasingly likely the striker will spearhead the Chelsea attack in the next campaign, with Griezmann capable of providing stronger competition for a starting spot than Loic Remy and Falcao. Football statistics analysts take a look at a long-rumoured Chelsea transfer target. For more Chelsea stats, check out, and read all about what they have to say on the subject of Antoine Griezmann’s rumoured move to Stamford Bridge…While the winter transfer window may have slammed shut last week, gossip columns are still dedicating inches to possible moves.One rumour in particular that refuses to die down is that of Antoine Griezmann and a move to Chelsea.The Frenchman added fuel to the fire this week by admitting he is keen to ply his trade in the Premier League, with the defending champions long-term admirers of the Atletico Madrid attacker. 1 However, a potential stumbling block in any deal could be Atletico’s upcoming transfer embargo, pending an appeal.Diego Simeone’s side would be unable to bring in a replacement for the 24-year-old if they do opt to sell in the summer if their appeal is rejected, which indeed throws a spanner in the works for any potential deal.Nevertheless, if Chelsea can convince Atletico to sell their prized asset, they’ll have at their disposal one of the most promising attacking talents in Europe.Only four players have scored more goals in La Liga since the start of last season than Griezmann (34), accentuating his statistically calculated strength of ‘finishing’.Meanwhile, of the 41 players to score 20 or more goals since the start of last season, only three have a better conversion rate than the France international (25.4%), so one can understand Atletico’s reluctance to cash in on the striker. Antoine Griezmann The Blues and their Spanish counterparts have regularly done business in the past and, if reports are to be believed, the two parties could once more enter negotiations at the end of the season for Griezmann, whose rating (7.48) ranks among the top 10 players in La Liga this season. Of course, it’s possible that Griezmann could start on the right flank, thus allowing Willian to move to a more central position in a destructive attacking three, providing Eden Hazard remains at Stamford Bridge amid rumours linking him with a switch to PSG.The Atletico star has developed a statistically calculated style of play indicating that he ‘likes to cut inside’, with the Frenchman carrying an impressive goalscoring threat from wide.Of the 34 league goals Griezmann has scored during his time for Atletico, 25 have been with his left foot. Only Lionel Messi (37) has scored more left footed goals over the same period. Indeed, the attacker is one who would significantly improve Chelsea’s attack, though is unlikely to arrive cheaply should they convince Atletico to sell.Nevertheless, while Griezmann would cost a hefty amount to snare from Atletico, Chelsea would be foolish to pass up the chance to secure his services should the opportunity present itself.He would significantly improve Chelsea’s misfiring attack and the new man at the Stamford Bridge helm next season would indeed welcome a player of his quality in the final third, with the Frenchman’s current boss among those thought to be in the frame.For more stats on Antoine Griezmann, click here to view his player pagelast_img read more

Tony Blair could be running the Premier League soon

first_img 1 Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Tony Blair and Kevin Keegan play head tennis in 1995 Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade smart causal Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions MONEY silverware Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of Britain, is a name believed to be in the running for the Premier League‘s new chairman.According to the Mail, other names under consideration are former BT chief Gavin Patterson and Sky Sports boss Barney Francis, though these are understood to be unlikely because the nominations panel, led by Chelsea’s Bruce Buck, would not want to risk alienating other rights holders. REVEALED BEST OF Most popular football news Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move REVEALED RANKED impact ADVICE possible standings Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Blair, 65, has always claimed he is a Newcastle fan and in 1995, as he was gunning for Downing Street, took part in a stage managed game of head tennis with Magpies boss Kevin Keegan.He left office in 2007, having spent 10 years as Prime Minister. Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies wonlast_img read more

Antonio backs school measure

first_imgMayor Antonio Villaraigosa – who has made improving Los Angeles schools a key goal of his first term – joined district Superintendent Roy Romer on Wednesday to endorse a $3.985 billion school bond measure on the November special-election ballot. The fourth in a series of construction and modernization bonds, Measure Y would bring the Los Angeles Unified School District’s massive school-construction fund to more than $20 billion, including state matching money. “I want to use my political capital to help get this passed,” Villaraigosa said during an afternoon news conference at the 61st Street Elementary School. “We can’t say we honor our children and then put them in schools that look like prisons.” Earlier in the day, Romer told Daily News editors and reporters that the bond would be the last in the construction program, although he acknowledged several billion dollars’ worth of repairs and maintenance at hundreds of schools would remain unfinished. The proposed bond includes $1.6 billion for construction and $1.5 billion to modernize existing schools, such as improving fire safety and air conditioning and making basic repairs. The LAUSD is anticipating about $1 billion from the state, roughly divided between construction and modernization. The heart of the proposed construction bond is 20,000 additional elementary school seats on 25 new campuses, including five in the San Fernando Valley. With those additional seats, 19 other Valley schools could switch from a year-round schedule to a traditional calendar. The bond work is scheduled to be completed by 2012. The new bond would cost the owner of a $315,000 home about $190 per year. But Kris Vosburgh, executive director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which wrote the ballot argument opposing the bond, estimated that the owner of a $315,000 home would pay about $540 in 2009 for the LAUSD bond program – about 20 percent of that owner’s total tax bill. He said indications of declining enrollment should caution the district into rushing into additional debt. “We could find ourselves committing to greater debt to schools sitting idle in a decade,” Vosburgh said. Romer defended the expense of building new schools, saying that LAUSD test scores – while still lagging California’s as a whole – have climbed faster than the state’s scores since 1999. He said “small learning communities” being developed at the schools are reforming local education, while the schools themselves contribute to the quality of life – including recreational facilities and green space – for many neighborhoods. “In terms of the homeowner and business owners who have to pay for this thing over a period of time, there is a return on investment here in terms of if the quality of schools is raised,” Romer said. “I’m doing it because it actually affects the quality of teaching.” Added Villaraigosa, “It is past time to give our kids the schools they deserve. We need to build these schools now. Our kids have waited long enough.” Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 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

Buying flowers with your cellphone

first_img29 September 2008First National Bank (FNB) has partnered with leading online floral company NetFlorist to allow its customers to buy flowers for special and sentimental occasions online, and pay for them on their cellphone using their Cell Pay Point service.Registered cellphone banking customers with FNB just need to select Cell Pay Point as their choice of payment when checking out and simply follow the instructions.“As FNB we partnered with NetFlorist because they are the biggest online florist in SA and a well-known and well-respected brand. It is a win-win situation as it offers a safe and convenient way to pay for purchases,” said FNB Mobile and Transact Solutions CEO Len Pienaar in a company statement earlier this month.“The functionality is not limited to credit card holders, but can also be used by debit card customers provided they have an FNB account and are registered for Cellphone Banking from FNB.”Pienaar said that there was still reluctance on the part of some South Africans to use their credit card over the internet, and FNB’s Cell Pay Point facility provided them with an ideal alternative as it was safe and quick.In addition, he said that the venture afforded the bank the opportunity to market their services to the non-credit card market, who would rather prefer using cellphone banking services.“We are delighted to be working with FNB on this project and look forward to delivering many beautiful floral arrangements, gourmet hampers and other gorgeous gifts on behalf of their customers,” said NetFlorist MD Ryan Bacher.“From a merchant perspective, the new solution is ideal as it reduces the likelihood of fraud with no personal payment information entered online or on the handset.”Since its launch last year, Cell Pay Point has proven to be popular with FNB customers, the main attraction being its ease of use.NetFlorist, established in 1999, has become SA’s largest flower and gifting service making over 150 000 deliveries per year throughout South Africa, with 90 000 existing customers.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Youth urged to ‘take up today’s freedom challenges’

first_img3 June 2014While the youth of 1976 fought against apartheid, young South Africans of today should take up the fight against apathy, unemployment and HIV/Aids, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said at the launch of Youth Month at the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto on Monday.Youth Day 2014 will mark 38 years since the 16 June 1976 Soweto uprising, when the apartheid government killed hundreds of school children who were protesting against the imposition of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in their schools.With the advent of democracy 20 years ago, 16 June was proclaimed Youth Day in order to perpetuate the history and memory of the young South Africans who died for their country’s freedom.It also has since become a platform for encouraging South Africans to make their own sacrifices and play their part in growing their communities and the country as a whole.This year, the main Youth Day event will take place at Galeshewe stadium in Kimberly in the Northern Cape.Mthethwa said the aim of Youth Month was to educate young South Africans about their history and heritage and the role played by young people in the country’s liberation struggle.“During this month, we also encourage debates, discussions and conversations about the challenges that confront the youth of today and how they can take forward the baton of leadership. We will also use it to highlight government programmes and opportunities for youth development and how youth can access them.The minister said the government also encouraged oral reminiscences by 1976 veterans “as part of sharing the experiences of 1976 and identifying and celebrating untold stories and unsung heroes and heroines in every community and every workplace while mobilising society in the implementation of Vision 2030”.Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela said: “Collectively as young people we have to fight the scourge of HIV/Aids. We have to confront the challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality.“We have to be at the centre of changing our own lives. There is not going to be anyone, anywhere in the world who would do anything for us if we are not in the forefront of making a contribution to changing our own lives,” Manamela said.“From the lessons of Hector Pieterson, Tsietsi Mashinini and many others who died 38 years ago, they did not sit back, wait, they didn’t say that someone will free us, they were in the forefront of defeating the apartheid regime.“We are responsible for changing our own lives today as the current generation.”Source: read more

Maintain grain quality with proper storage

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As producers across the Eastern Corn Belt get into their fields this fall, care should be taken to ensure proper handling and storage of grain. Proper storage and grain handling is necessary in maintaining the quality of the harvested crop.It is critical to start with both a clean bin and handling equipment. Any moldy grain or grain infested by insects from the previous year can contaminate grain harvested this season. Storage facilities and aeration equipment should be clean and in proper working condition.Harvesting equipment that is adjusted and operated correctly will also preserve the condition of the crop. Combines should be set to clean grain thoroughly to eliminate foreign material/fines and handling equipment should be operated in order to minimize damage to grain. It is also important to use a spreader or distributor as grain enters the bin to evenly spread any fine materials remaining in the grain. Without a spreading device the fines will collect in the center of the bin and create aeration problems as well as a place for moisture to accumulate. Properly cleaned grain will minimize insect activity and allow for efficient air movement through the stored grain.Grain should be stored at proper moisture content in order to maintain quality. Corn should be stored at 15% for up to 6 months and 13% for storage longer than 6 months. Soybeans should be stored at 13% for up to 6 months and 11% for storage longer than 6 months. Grain should be cooled through aeration in the fall to provide the most favorable storage environment. The stored grain should be cooled gradually and evenly to 35 to 40 degrees F. This process will help maintain the condition of the grain and deter insect activity within the stored grain. Finally, it is important to monitor grain stored in bins at regular intervals to make sure that proper storage conditions are maintained, as well as grain quality.last_img read more