Pressure mounting on President to sanction Norton

first_imgPharmagate… “This entre thing is a mess” – Dr Jeffrey Pressure is mounting on President David Granger to sanction and even to fire, embattled Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton, who lied to the National Assembly over a comedy of errors involving the sole-sourcing of a pharmaceutical storage bond under construction, under the pretext that there was an urgent need for a storage facility.Public Health Minister, Dr George NortonPPP General Secretary Clement RoheeEconomist Ramon GaskinDr Norton was caught misleading the National Assembly last Monday during his bid to defend a $25 million advance from Contingency Fund to pay Linden Holdings Inc for the storage of pharmaceuticals as a result of an “emergency”.Speaking on the fiasco, former Government Minister and political commentator, Dr Henry Jeffrey declared “this entre thing is a mess,” adding that it is now for President David Granger to take appropriate actions, which can certainly define his presidency.“There is no question this whole thing appears to be quite underhand. Mr Granger has to deal with it, how he will deal with it will define what his presidency would be like. He has an option to reshuffle his Cabinet, he can sack the Minister; he has to do something about this,” Dr Jeffrey stated.He said the issue is a grave one since the Minister seems to have misled both the National Assembly and Cabinet. Jeffrey made it clear the Minister must take responsibility for the fiasco, but added that a proper investigation could reveal if the Minister placed himself in this embarrassing situation or if he was led there by those under his charge who may have provided him with misleading information.Jeffrey said while instances of emergency allow for sole-sourcing, this was not the case, but rather a situation where the Minister manufactured an emergency.“It was definitely not an emergency… it is quite clear the situation was not an emergency and not the kind of situation that called for sole souring. It they could have left it in Bobby Ramroop’s Bond (NEW GPC INC) until they find something… He created an emergency by not wanting to pay Bobby Ramroop a lesser price than he is going to pay this other man for a facility of lesser standards,” Dr Jeffrey stated.Meanwhile, Economist Ramon Gaskin called for the entire contract to be quashed and for there to be an open and public tendering process.“The deal as badly done. It was not advertised or tendered or so on and it has to be retendered. They cannot go ahead because the deal is not properly done,” Gaskin said in a brief comment.Former Vice President of Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram, declared from the onset that the Procurement Act must be followed and clearly this was not the case.With regards to the Minister misleading the National Assembly, Ram said that it always improper and very dangerous for anyone to mislead the august body.Ram said if the Minister Norton committed a breach, then he must be sanctioned. “I am generally not in favour of reshuffling, because all you do is transferring the problem, if there is one, somewhere else. If the Minister knows he has broken the law or if he breached the rules, then there should be sanctions,” Ram said.But People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee was stern on his call for the Public Health Minister to be fired, describing the entire episode as “disgraceful”.“I think he should be sent packing. This thing is so disgraceful. I sat in the Parliament and listened to a number of lies told to the Parliament,” Rohee said, adding that he was shocked at the “mirth and the laughter” on the Government benches when the Minister was asked about the location of the bond.“Mr Norton, as we have said publicly, must face the full brunt of the Privileges Committee when Parliament is reconvened. This slap on the wrist of a public apology is unacceptable,” Rohee declared.Meanwhile, asked about calls for his sacking during a news conference on Wednesday, Dr Norton said he was unmoved, but singled out Rohee’s calls for his removal, declaring, “Fortunately, I wasn’t hired by the PPP.”The Government in 2015 terminated the prequalification system for procurement of pharmaceuticals for the Public Health Ministry (MoH) and the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC). NEW GPC had provided free storage at its PAHO/WHO approved warehouse for the drugs it supplied on the bids it won. The MoH then requested the NEW GPC to quote for its warehouse of 70,000 square feet. The NEW GPC quoted at the equivalent of $237 per square foot, yet the MoH forked over the $25 million deposit to Linden Holding Inc – a company whose majority shareholder is listed as Larry Singh – for rental of the building in Sussex Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, to be used as a storage bond for drugs and medical supplies for the Public Health Ministry and the Georgetown Public Hospital at a rate that works out to $1250 per square foot.Dr Norton, in defence of the course of action taken by Government, has suggested that the rental fee asked by NEW GPC was exorbitant and that the new facility was required on an emergency basis.He said too that the facility now rented by the Public Health Ministry and the Georgetown Public Hospital is in fact certified as meeting PAHO/WHO standards by relevant Ministry departments, including the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Administration Department.But, investigations by <<>>, however, indicate that Minister Norton was being more than disingenuous in his pronouncements on the matter regarding public funds.Dr Norton was also found to be misleading when he told the National Assembly that NEW GPC was asking an exorbitant fee.It was later revealed that the NEW GPC has never received any rent from the Government of Guyana for use of its state-of-the-art storage facility for over a decade.last_img read more

Injured Klay Thompson gets trolled by Drake after Raptors win Game 3

first_imgThe Warriors’ back-and-forth with rapper and Raptors superfan Drake continued after Toronto’s 123-109 Game 3 win.Drake wasn’t at Oracle Arena for the Raptors’ first-ever road NBA Finals game and he was mysteriously quiet on social media. That is, until the final whistle blew.Canada’s only star bigger than the Raptors posted a photo of an apparently intoxicated Klay Thompson with three young women.Drake’s Instagram story after the Raptors’ Game 3 win… pic.twitter.com/Suah7mp4SM — …last_img

2010 and the craft of the possible

first_img17 October 2008Spare a thought for the thousands of South Africans – and Africans – who are creating (and stockpiling) World Cup-themed products.Young KwaZulu-Natal artist Sicelo Ziqubu is creating 2010-themed papier-mache decorated thrones which are being snapped up.The Witness: Paper throneTomas Majebe from Cameroon is making a “small fortune” selling his oil-on-canvas 2010 stadium paintings at flea markets. In Garangkuwa, north of Pretoria, Peter Malherbe has spent thousands of hours building model 2010 stadiums out of – wait for it – matchsticks.In Nelspruit, Zimbabwean Wallace Marino uses beads and wire to craft his stadiums. Pretoria jeweller Ceciwe Khonje has launched a range of (Fifa-approved) 2010 white gold cufflinks.A Port Elizabeth-based ostrich hide exporter has sealed a deal with a Mexican to have soccer boots made out of ostrich leather.In Cape Town, Michael Souter heads a team of workers from an informal settlement who make 2010-themed makarabas, the hard hats worn by construction workers and – with colourful variations – South African soccer fans.And let’s not forget the vuvuzelas which have been given the green light by Fifa and will be heard around the world come June 2010.Fifa has repeatedly advised South Africans to “think outside the box” when trying to capitalise on the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.“European and English fans won’t want to buy 2010 memorabilia, they will want to buy something African to remind them of the good time they had here,” says Fifa media officer Delia Fischer. “SA must decide what it wants to show the world.”And 2010 Local Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan says the 2010 World Cup must showcase African flair – both on and off the field.Not everyone is going to cash in on this sporting spectacle, but with South Africa’s unofficial unemployment rate hovering at around 30%, the informal sector is likely to play an important role in ensuring that the World Cup will be remembered for years to come.Urquhart is a former Fifa World Cup media officer and the current editor of Project 2010last_img read more

New agriculture practices being standardized

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s been a year since a harmful algal bloom in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) was brought to national attention when the City of Toledo’s water supply was shut down due to toxins entering its water intake. Record-setting rainfall leading up to the hottest days of summer this year has renewed concerns regarding the quality of Ohio’s rivers, lakes and streams, with forecasts for the bloom to surge in the Great Lake.A variety of potential contributors have been cited for the blooms, including sewage overflow and malfunctioning septic systems, among others. But nutrient runoff from farm fields has drawn the most attention. Phosphorus-based fertilizer is an elemental nutrient needed to help crops grow, but in recent years has made its way into nearby waters after heavy rains.“Though less phosphorus is being applied with increasing efficiency, farmers and agribusinesses in the Western Lake Erie Basin recognize their responsibility to go further to find a solution,” said Chris Henney, president and CEO of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA). “For the better part of the past two years, swift action has been taken to support education, research and outreach aimed at curbing runoff.”OABA, whose membership includes manufacturers, suppliers and applicators of phosphorus-based fertilizers and other crop nutrients, is one entity partnering with a variety of agriculture and environmental groups, researchers and experts to champion farming practices that improve water quality across the state for the long haul. The association is also a strong supporter of recent Ohio legislation that prohibits application of fertilizers when conditions are most conducive to runoff, and which calls for nutrient applicators across the state to be certified.As administrator of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program, OABA, along with key partners such as The Nature Conservancy, The Fertilizer Institute and more, coordinates the education, training, implementation and third-­party auditing for the application of nutrients using the 4R principles of nutrient stewardship.The 4R principles help farmers and agribusinesses take a unified approach to nutrient stewardship by using the right fertilizer source at the right rate, the right time and in the right place.Launched in March 2014, the program has exceeded early goals and expectations. As of late July, the completely voluntary program has recognized 16 certified facilities that service more than 3,000 farm clients and 1.1 million acres of farmland, with commitments from 50 more facilities to become certified.What’s more promising, according to 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program Executive Director Andrew Allman, is that the efforts aren’t just limited to the WLEB. More than 477,000 acres of farmland outside of the WLEB are serviced by retailers and applicators certified through the program.“This shows a serious level of commitment and dedication the industry is taking across the state to help clean up all of its waters, not just Lake Erie,” Allman said.Nationally, The Fertilizer Institute’s 4R Research Fund provides needed resource support with a focus on measuring and documenting the economic, social and environmental impacts of 4R nutrient stewardship.The fund has awarded projects across the country, including $1.2 million last July toward a project that will evaluate the 4R nutrient stewardship concepts in the WLEB by monitoring, modeling and measuring their impacts at the field, watershed and lake scales.“We all live, work, play and drink from Ohio’s water sources, and we all play a role in keeping them clean and safe,” Henney said. “We’re proud of the work we’re doing and the commitment we have to improving our resources for future generations.”Click here to download the 4R infographic.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, January 23, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Rain moves across Ohio through the day today. A cold front is pushing this through, and the cold air behind the front likely does catch up to the moisture later this afternoon and evening, allowing the rains to end as snow. We are keeping our projection of 1-3 inches of snow in central and eastern ares before all is said and done tonight, while western and NW areas see a coating to an inch. That will be after rain totals for the event of half to 1.4″ over 90% of Ohio. This will be soggy day. Temps will be well above normal into this afternoon, but when that front finally arrives, we see those temps crash hard. The maps below show storm total liquid equivalent precipitation (which includes what fell late yesterday) and also the snow as this thing ends. These maps are through tomorrow early morning.We turn much colder air for the rest of the week. We can’t rule out some lake effect snow in northern and especially northeast Ohio areas tomorrow, but the threat looks smaller than our previous forecast. Friday, we keep strong north winds around, but only minor chances for morning lake snows. The rest of the state will see at least partly sunny skies both days. Two quick hit “clipper” systems move through the state and the eastern corn belt this weekend. The first comes after midnight Friday night and goes into Saturday afternoon. That front will have the potential for a coating to an inch over about 60% of the state, skewed more to the north. A second wave on Sunday brings similar totals to the northern half to third of the state. There can be a bit of wind, but we really don’t think either event is anything to get too excited over. Our next front is still on the way for early next week, although it may come in just a bit sooner, late Monday into Tuesday. This front still has the potential to bring at least 1”-3” snow potential to 70% of the state. Then another round of bitter cold air takes the state for Wednesday and Thursday as we finish out January, and that likely squeezes out a few flurries in that period, even with no good moisture source. We are leaving the rest of the forecast unchanged through early February For the extended period, we have a chance of rain or snow for the 2nd and 3rd. Available liquid with the system still looks impressive, but perhaps not quite to yesterday’s levels, with half to 1.5” possible. Still, with that much liquid available, we better pray for rain…because if all snow, it would pack quite a punch. Another round of Canadian air rushes in for the 4th, bringing lake effect snow back to the region, and then another front can produce snow, potentially significant, for the night of the 5th through the 6th.last_img read more

You Have a Choice to Make

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Producing better results requires that you make a fundamental choice. You have to decide whether you want to change your beliefs and the actions that you are taking, or whether you want to continue to produce the results you are producing now.It is actually quite simple: You can’t have both. You can’t keep your limiting beliefs and the accompanying actions and have the better results you want. If you decide to keep your limiting beliefs and actions, then you have to change your desired outcome, which means you must accept your current state.This is a recipe for mediocrity, an unfulfilled life, and a life that is less than exceptional.If you would like to be thin and fit, you have to change your beliefs around nutrition and exercise. Refusing to change your beliefs and your current actions is a commitment to your present state.You might want to double your sales. To do so you are going to have to change what you believe about client acquisition, and you’re going to have to take the actions necessary to produce double the results you are producing now. Not changing means accepting the results you are producing now. It means settling.You can have anything you want, provided you are willing to pay in advance for that result. The bigger your desired outcome, the more factors you will have to change in order to achieve those results.It is within your power to decide whether you would rather change your beliefs and your actions or whether you will settle for the status quo. But you cannot have your desired outcome and maintain your current beliefs and behaviors. If that was possible you would already be producing the better results you want. You have a choice to make; change your behaviors and beliefs and get where you say you want to go, or accept where you are by continuing to believe and do the things you’ve always done.Choose.last_img read more

Diabetics Warned to Reduce Risk of Eye Disease

first_img Dr. Mowatt, who is President of the Ophthalmological Society of Jamaica (OSJ), also shared some of the findings from research done to determine the burden of DR and to reduce the stress on hospitals. Story Highlights Persons who have diabetes are being warned to control their blood sugar to reduce the risk of getting diabetic retinopathy (DR). DR is an eye condition that affects blood vessels in the retina, which is the structure that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults. Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday (January 30), Consultant Ophthalmologist and Senior Lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr. Lizette Mowatt, explained that failure to control blood pressure and blood sugar causes a higher risk of progression of the disease. Persons who have diabetes are being warned to control their blood sugar to reduce the risk of getting diabetic retinopathy (DR). DR is an eye condition that affects blood vessels in the retina, which is the structure that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults.Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday (January 30), Consultant Ophthalmologist and Senior Lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr. Lizette Mowatt, explained that failure to control blood pressure and blood sugar causes a higher risk of progression of the disease.“If diabetics can control their blood sugar and their blood pressure, there’s a good chance that their eyes or their vision will not worsen. You are more likely to get eye disease if your blood sugar is out of control,” she pointed out.Dr. Mowatt, who is President of the Ophthalmological Society of Jamaica (OSJ), also shared some of the findings from research done to determine the burden of DR and to reduce the stress on hospitals.The study looked at the incidence of DR; the knowledge, beliefs and practices of diabetic patients; and the severity of visual problems among diabetics.One recommendation from the local study is for an annual dilated eye examination for all diabetic patients. Dr. Mowatt said that this should be standard practice, although that has not been the case in Jamaica. She noted that there is a significant presence of DR cases in the country.One key finding from the study, she said, was that male patients were more likely to have poor blood sugar and blood pressure control, resulting in more severe visual loss.Dr. Mowatt stressed that it is important for diabetics to be screened for DR as soon as they are diagnosed, so that medical care providers can pick up any disease process and start treatment early.She cited a major study in the United Kingdom that looked at over 500 Type Two diabetic patients and found that 39 per cent of them had eye disease at the time of diagnosis. “This means that when many people are diagnosed with diabetes they already had eye disease,” she noted.“DR is one of the leading causes of blindness in the young population, and it is not a disease of the elderly. It is a disease of the working-class people in their thirties, forties and fifties, and it is preventable,” she reiterated.Dr. Mowatt said that diabetics also need to be more vigilant about comorbidity, which is the presence of other chronic diseases.“We looked at blood sugar control (of diabetics) and it was significant that almost 87 per cent of the patients had uncontrolled hypertension where the blood pressure was greater than 130/80, which is the ideal blood pressure for a diabetic,” she pointed out. The research findings were presented at the seventh staging National Health Research Conference in 2016.last_img read more