FBI Probe Into Alleged NCAA Recruiting Violations Leave Black

North Carolina State NCAA college basketball player Dennis Smith, Jr. answers a question during the Atlantic Coast Conference media day in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)The latest details of payments to players in the federal investigation that has been lurking in the shadows since first rocking college basketball last fall threatens the sport’s’ basic foundation with the breadth of alleged corruption.Bank records and other expense reports that are part of the investigation list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.The depth of the violations raises questions about the structure of college athletics.NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement Friday the allegations “if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America.”Yahoo said Friday that the documents obtained in discovery during the investigation link current players including Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Duke’s Wendell Carter and Alabama’s Collin Sexton to potential benefits that would be violations of NCAA rules. According to the report, players over the past several years and family members allegedly received cash, entertainment and travel expenses from former NBA agent Andy Miller and his agency ASM Sports.Don Jackson, an Alabama-based attorney who has worked on numerous college eligibility cases, said the root of the problem for the NCAA is that the amateurism model does not work.“This problem can be solved if players are compensated. This whole issue can be mitigated if players are compensated,” Jackson said. “This model of amateurism does not work. The NCAA is not capable of adequately policing tens of thousands of athletes around the country to determine whether or not they have violated the NCAA’s model of amateurism.“We’re talking about in some instances kids receiving $30 meals from agents.”A balance sheet from December 2015 lists several payments under “Loan to Players,” including $43,500 to Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith, who played one season at North Carolina State in 2016-17. Another document says Smith received a total of $73,500 in loans and indicated options to recoup the money after Smith didn’t sign with ASM.N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow said the school disassociated itself from Miller in 2012, saying the agent’s close work with a youth coach created a vulnerability for the school “that we cannot tolerate.” Yow said the school will fully cooperate with any investigations.Isaiah Whitehead, a guard for the Brooklyn Nets, received $26,136 while a freshman at Seton Hall, according to the documents. He received $37,657 and was setting up a payment plan, according to another document. Whitehead signed with ASM but later left the agency.A balance sheet also said Tim Quarterman, now playing for the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBA G League, received at least $16,000 while a junior at LSU.The story says several families of players or handlers received more than $1,000 in payments from ASM Sports before turning professional.Apple Jones, the mother of former Kansas player Josh Jackson, received $2,700, and current Southern California player Bennie Boatwright or his father Bennie Sr., received at least $2,000, according to documents.The story says the mother of Bridges is among those receiving hundreds of dollars in advances. Current Kentucky player Kevin Knox, Carter and Sexton are listed among players or families meeting or having meals with former ASM Sports associate Christian Dawkins.Kentucky coach John Calipari said neither he nor his staff used Miller or any other agent to provide financial benefits to student athletes. He said the school will conduct an internal review and cooperate with authorities.Jackson said the NCAA or the schools would need to conduct their own investigations as opposed to making any rulings based on the documents from the FBI probe.“They can’t just automatically accept the credibility of this document,” the Alabama-based attorney said.Emmert said the NCAA Board of Governors and recently formed independent Commission on College Basketball are committed to “making transformational changes” and will cooperate with the federal prosecutors to “identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.” read more

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The NFL Is No League For Old Men

Carolina6 Teams that had the most players age 30 or older who started at least eight games last season Excludes kickers and puntersSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com Could there be a market inefficiency in older players today, similar to the one that Allen exploited nearly 50 years ago? It seems like Jon Gruden is determined to find out. Last year, the Raiders had eight 30-something starters, tied with Arizona for the league high. A total of six — safety Reggie Nelson, tackle Donald Penn, running back Marshawn Lynch, tight ends Jared Cook and Lee Smith, and defensive end Bruce Irvin — remain. And the team has added linebacker Derrick Johnson (36 this year), safety Marcus Gilchrist (30) and wideout Jordy Nelson (33) as projected starters. Plus, the team signed 32-year-old Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie last week to fortify an injury-depleted defensive backfield. Gruden was surprised that he was even available.“Somebody that has a history in this league,” the Raiders coach said to The Fresno Bee. “He’s got a lot of clout, and a lot of people know who he is. We’re hoping we can rejuvenate him and get him acclimated to our defense and potentially utilize his skills he’s proven for a long time.”So it seems like the Raiders are set to put a lot more gray into the Silver and Black. For that, in today’s NFL, they don’t have much competition. Buffalo6 Oakland8 Roster construction appears to be a big factor. Last year, the eight division winners spent an average of 52.1 percent of their total salary cap on their top 10 players.2The Saints spent the lowest share on their best players at 42.4 percent, but that was due largely to one of the most productive rookie classes in history. And players on rookie contracts, which span up to five years when including option years for first-rounders, are huge bargains relative to their level of on-field production. That left only about half the available money for 80 percent of those teams’ rosters. This would mean that a lot of minimum contracts are being used to fill in the gaps — and because minimum salaries increase according to service time, only the elite 30-somethings may be surviving.This isn’t necessarily the wrong strategy. Once they hit 30, average players are either in the midst of or rapidly approaching the downside of their careers. Data shows that players at all positions generally see performance declines by age 30, with players’ peak ages ranging from 24 for running backs to 28 for most offensive linemen and quarterbacks. The subsequent declines are gradual from year to year, but the result is pronounced for all positions. So teams seem to be prioritizing younger players who are hitting their peak or ascending at the expense of veterans.There are certainly high-profile examples of older players still at the top of their game. But even the New England Patriots, who have been witness to the age-defying brilliance of 41-year-old Tom Brady, haven’t stockpiled older players. Brady was joined by only three other Pats players 30 or older who started at least eight games last year: Danny Amendola, Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty. And the Patriots let Amendola leave via free agency to the Dolphins.Teams in the past have bucked this trend, though. The George Allen-coached Washington teams in the 1970s were nicknamed “The Over-The-Hill Gang” after they systematically traded draft picks for veterans. In 1971, the average age of Allen’s starters was 29.4, and the team had 11 starters over the age of 30. But Washington won nine games that season and 11 the following year, in which they regularly started nine 30-somethings en route to the NFC championship. Baltimore7 Arizona8 You could hardly find a group of people less likely to share an ethos with the counterculture movement of the 1960s than NFL decision makers. But increasingly, they don’t seem to trust anyone over the age of 30, either.In 2007, there were 201 players — not including kickers and punters — over 30 who started at least eight games, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.1Pro-Football-Reference.com gives a player’s age for the season as the age he was on Dec. 31 of that season. That number was down to 133 last season, equating to roughly four per team. That’s a drop of 33.8 percent. Miami6 Cincinnati7 TeamNo. Players Age 30+ read more

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Ohio State womens soccer advances to 2nd round in doubleovertime victory over

OSU sophomore forward Sammy Edwards (19) during a game against Minnesota on Sept. 17 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 2-1. Credit: Sam Harris / For The LanternOhio State women’s soccer forward Sammy Edwards had been searching for her chance all night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The sophomore came out firing on Saturday night against the Butler Bulldogs, but her game-high three first-half shot attempts all came up short.Frustration was building up, but Edwards would finally get her shot at redemption, even if it came after nearly 107 minutes of playing time. In the second overtime, Edwards pushed the frustration to the back of her mind and the net, sending her team to the second round with a goal in the 107th minute for the 2-1 victory.“As (the players’) frustration was going up, they had to get their communication higher and just continue to press and believe that the more opportunities we create, one of them has got to fall,” OSU coach Lori Walker said.OSU (12-6-3) immediately went on the offensive as soon as the game commenced, eager for a postseason victory. Buckeye junior forward Lindsey Agnew attempted the team’s first shot in the 13th minute off of a Nichelle Prince corner kick. Agnew’s shot was blocked, but Edwards countered with an attempt from 12 yards which sailed just over the top of the goalpost.“To have that kind of possession and to have the opportunities we did in the first half and then not feel like we converted, it’s very easy to fall into a level of frustration,” Walker said.The Buckeyes contained the game to Butler’s (16-7-1) side of the field for a majority of the first half. Prince continued to create shots on goal with her heads-up crosses to her forward counterparts. Edwards also had another early opportunity at breaking the deadlock, but she missed over the top on a volley from eight yards out.It was the relentless three-headed attack consisting of Prince, Agnew and Edwards that continually pushed the Buckeyes downfield. The selfish style of play by Prince, who led the Buckeyes with 77 shot attempts entering the tournament, kept the home team on track despite the threat of frustration building up.Both the Buckeyes and the Bulldogs had opportunities to enter halftime with a lead. Strikes on goal by OSU senior midfielder Michela Paradiso at the 35th minute and Butler sophomore defender Maria Collica at the 37th minute nearly changed the course of the game. The Buckeyes took an 8-5 shot lead into the half, although Butler held a slight 2-1 edge with shots on goal.“I was just beating myself up over the misses in the first half, but I didn’t let it get to my head too much,” Edwards said.Although OSU seemed in control throughout the first 45 minutes of play, Butler opened the half with the same aggression that the Buckeyes began the contest with. The OSU women did not fold, answering with a few subsequent trips downfield that nearly resulted in scores.Prince decided to get in on the assertive Buckeye action after playing the distributor role in the first half, attempting shots from six and eight yards out at the 52nd and 62nd minute marks, respectively. However, OSU continued to be inches away from moving the scoreboard.It was not until redshirt junior defender Morgan Wolcott, who had entered Saturday’s game having taken just two shots on goal for the season, recorded possibly the most important goal of her career. Wolcott broke the nil-nil game in the 86th minute with a tap that pushed the ball just inside the right post.“To get a goal that helps us advance further in the NCAAs is big time,” Wolcott said.Minutes later, the energy was almost completely taken out of the Buckeye women. Seconds away from moving on to the second round, Butler senior midfielder Sophia Maccagnone squeezed a free kick just past OSU redshirt junior goalie Jillian McVicker inside the right post.“It’s just similar to our entire season,” Maccagnone said. “We don’t want to stop fighting.”Thinking that they were about to capture the most important victory of the season, the Buckeyes would need to come together on the field and in their minds to prevent Butler from stealing a win.“We kind of all just took a deep breath and reengaged in what we had to do,” Edwards said. “We have been through so much adversity, so just throwing that at us is just another thing we can handle.”That opportunity came in the second overtime when Edwards followed up a miss at the 103rd minute with the game-winner with less than four minutes to go in the final extra period.“I’m very proud of my team and the energy they found in overtime to find a way to win,” Walker said. “We’ve certainly been in overtime many times this year, and I think that gave us a little confidence to get the job done.”The Buckeyes are next scheduled to play the fourth-seeded Virginia Tech Hokies (15-3-2) in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday at 3 p.m. in State College, Pennsylvania. read more

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5 things to watch for between Ohio State and Western Michigan

OSU junior running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) falls to the ground after a carry in a game against Northern Illinois on Sept. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 20-13. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorComing off another rather unconvincing win against Northern Illinois, Ohio State will have a chance to redeem itself on Saturday against Western Michigan. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.Here are five things that The Lantern’s sports editors Ryan Cooper and Kevin Stankiewicz will be on the lookout for during the game. Check back after the game to see how these points played out.The discombobulated offense’s turnover problemsThrough three games, OSU has turned the ball over a total of eight times. In all of college football, there are only eight teams that have more turnovers than the Buckeyes.Coach Urban Meyer expressed his concern with that statistic during the week, calling the rate at which his team has turned it over “alarming.”Against Virginia Tech, OSU had three of them — two fumbles and an interception by redshirt junior Cardale Jones. The Hokies scored on each of the ensuing possessions, totaling 17 points.The Buckeyes didn’t cough it up against Hawaii in Week 2, but against NIU the turnover problems reappeared as OSU had five.But unlike against VT, points off turnovers were less of an issue as the Huskies only managed 10 points because twice OSU’s defense forced an NIU to turn the ball over on the ensuing possession.Meyer said the coaching staff will focus during the week on fixing the issue of turnovers.It will be interesting to see if the Buckeyes were able to address the problem enough during practice, as a team on a quest to repeat as national champions cannot afford to be giving opponent’s extra possessions, especially with Big Ten play on the horizon.Will Elliott’s explosiveness reappear?Junior running back Ezekiel Elliott has rushed for over 100 yards in all three contests in 2015 but the preseason Heisman Trophy hopeful has yet to look like the same player who carried OSU on his back during last year’s postseason games by running for over 200 yards thrice.The only hint of that player came on his first run of the season by way of an 80-yard touchdown. But other than that one play, Elliott’s explosiveness has been kept in check.Sans the 80-yarder, the St. Louis native’s season long rush is only 13 yards.With Elliott, it is more of question of when — not if — he regains his form from 2014. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, this weekend might be a good chance for him as Western Michigan’s run defense has been dreadful.WMU ranks 109th in the nation in run defense. Opponents have been torching the Broncos on the ground. Michigan State had 196 yards in Week 1, but that pales in comparison to the 413 Georgia Southern racked up the following game.So, as for when Elliott’s explosiveness will resurface, Saturday could be the day. Who will Jones be able to throw the ball to?Three.That’s the number of receptions the players on OSU’s roster listed as wide receivers and not named Michael Thomas have this season.While the redshirt junior Thomas has done his part despite getting the defense’s top assignment with 10 catches for 158 yards and two scores, the Buckeyes have had an extremely tough time finding any other options.Redshirt senior Corey Smith has two catches for 15 yards and redshirt freshman Johnnie Dixon has a 29-yarder.Beyond that, receivers such as redshirt freshmen Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin have given Meyer nothing in terms of catching the ball. Campbell, who had two drops in the opening game, is also expected to miss at least a week with a leg injury suffered early against Northern Illinois.When sophomore Noah Brown went down with a broken leg before the season, many speculated about how thin OSU’s receiving corps might be.This has to be considered worse than imagined, however, and is a big reason for the offensive struggles thus far.While players like sophomore H-back Curtis Samuel and redshirt senior tight end Nick Vannett have kept the offense clinging to life, a true wideout not named Thomas stepping up could be the only true remedy.Can Braxton find his early effectiveness?After an electrifying start to the season for H-back Braxton Miller, the redshirt senior has seen his usefulness dwindle each week.Against VT, Miller caught two passes for 78 yards and a score and ran six times for 62 yards and another touchdown. He was undoubtedly the offensive star of that contest, and his spin move around a defender on his rushing touchdown was the highlight of the week.The following week against Hawaii, Miller actually had more touches, but with much less effectiveness. Meyer had his rushes come out of direct snap runs, and his catches came mostly on shovel passes across the middle. In all, he finished with two catches for 16 yards and eight runs for 57 yards, but did not find the end zone.Then last week against NIU, Miller had just seven yards on four carries. He was targeted once by Jones, but a miscommunicated route led to the interception that caused Meyer to pull Jones out of the game.As discussed above, the OSU offense is struggling to stay afloat from a major lack of playmakers. Miller could be the answer to Meyer’s prayers, but whether it’s because of the learning curve of a new position or just not being used correctly, he has not been a big help in OSU’s two home games. Before beginning Big Ten play next week, the Buckeyes will need the former quarterback to rediscover his playmaking abilities.Who wants the sack lead?OSU’s defensive line is arguably the best in the nation, with nine different players already being involved in at least one sack. But with only so many hits on the quarterback to go around, no one is off to a huge individual start.Three players — redshirt sophomore linebacker Darron Lee, redshirt freshman defensive end Sam Hubbard and redshirt sophomore defensive end Tyquan Lewis — have 2.5 sacks each to tie for the team lead.Lewis paced the way early with 1.5 sacks against VT, Lee pulled in the season-high of two sacks against Hawaii and Hubbard was credited with 1.5 against NIU.Lurking in the wings as well is junior Joey Bosa. The defensive end was suspended for the opener, had his first sack of the year called back due to penalty against Hawaii and combined with Hubbard for a sack last week.While Bosa commands double teams on every play — and quite often triple teams — it is hard to rule out a guy who had 13.5 sacks last year for putting his name in the sack-lead hat. At the very least, Bosa’s presence makes it easier for other players to get through the offensive line, something Hubbard said Bosa does not let him forget. read more

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Mens Hockey No 15 Ohio State uses strong defense to secure OT

Ohio State junior forward handles a faceoff during Ohio State’s 2-1 overtime win against Minnesota Friday, Dec. 8. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternRedshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo had arguably his worst series of the season last week against Penn State, giving up nine goals in two games while not looking like the net-minder who places among the leaders at his position in nearly every statistic this year.Tonight, he showed why he’s been the backbone of this defensive-minded Buckeyes team.No. 15 Ohio State (9-4-4, 4-4-1-0 in Big Ten) needed all 33 saves from Romeo in a tight 2-1 overtime victory at the Schottenstein Center Friday against No. 7 Minnesota.“When someone comes down and you’re not scared that [Romeo] going to let one in it’s always nice,” senior forward Christian Lampasso said. “We did a great job blocking shots today … so it’s not just [Romeo] playing good defensively it’s our whole team, but it’s definitely good having someone so solid in the net.”Lampasso scored the winner in the extra frame for Ohio State after he found the puck on his stick in front of the net from teammate junior forward Dakota Joshua to give the Buckeyes three key points in the Big Ten standings.“Playing against Minnesota, they’re always hard to play against,” Lampasso said. “Any time you can beat a top 10 team it’s always a big W.”Ohio State maintained a 1-0 lead until late in the third period, where sophomore forward Rem Pitlick scored on an odd-man rush to break Romeo’s shutout and force overtime.The Buckeyes had yet to score in the extra period this season, with all four previous efforts eventually moving to a shootout, but Lampasso broke that streak, and gave his team a much-needed boost.“It’s nice to get a couple of bounces there at the end, but you have to work for those, and I just liked our mentality,” head coach Steve Rohlik said. “We kind of gave up the lead late there, but our team could have folded and we went the other way, overtime we had a couple good looks, and it was nice to finish it off.”The Buckeyes opened the scoring in the first period on a power play goal by sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski that beat junior goalie Eric Schierhorn in the top corner. The goal was set up by a series of passes that led to Laczynski being all alone, and he buried his opportunity. Junior forward Mason Jobst and senior forward Matthew Weis earned assists on the play.The assist gave Jobst 100 career points for Ohio State in only 91 games.“It means a lot for sure,” Jobst said. “It’s a milestone I wasn’t sure I was going to get when I got here, but I’ve been surrounded by a lot of great players, last year, this year freshmen year, and the coaching staff has put me in a good spot to be successful.”The second period ended scoreless, but there were strong chances on both sides of the ice. Redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo made some big saves while on the penalty kill, keeping Ohio State ahead despite being outshot by the Golden Gophers 16-11 in the period.Minnesota controlled most of the third period, and it was up to Romeo to maintain the thin margin, which he did until the Pitlick goal late.Ohio State went a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, which Rohlik said was a major factor in tonight’s game.“We scored a big power play goal, and at the end of the day it’s a difference,” Rohlik said. “I mean our kill was a bend but don’t break, I don’t think they had a power play goal and we had one, so when you look at it at the end of the game special teams is a key.”The Buckeyes move just a point behind Minnesota after the win, and the victory marks only the second win for Ohio State at home this season.“When you have a good team that believes in themselves, you’re going to have some good finishes and we did that tonight,” Rohlik said.Game 2 puck drop for Ohio State and Minnesota is Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

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Mens Basketball Ohio State moves up to No 13 in AP Top

Ohio State senior forward Jae’Sean Tate (1) drives the lane in the second half of the game against Maryland on Jan. 11 in the Schottenstein Center. Dakich made three of four three point attempts in the first half aiding Ohio State to a 91-69 win. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State continued to ascend up the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, moving from No. 22 to No. 13 Monday. The Buckeyes have not been ranked this high in the AP poll since Dec. 15, 2014, when they were the No. 12 team in the nation.Ohio State is one of four Big Ten teams ranked, joining No. 3 Purdue, No. 6 Michigan State and No. 25 Michigan.Head coach Chris Holtmann extended his unbeaten streak to start conference play to eight games, leading his team to wins versus Northwestern and Minnesota, the former on the road and the latter at a neutral site. Ohio State’s win against Minnesota was the team’s 17th victory this season, matching the total from all of last season. Overall, the Buckeyes are 17-4.With the 8-0 record in the conference, Holtmann has the longest undefeated start in a Big Ten coach’s first season since Sam Barry began his Iowa coaching career with an 11-0 start in 1923. The record is Wisconsin’s Walter Meanwell, who went 12-0 to begin Big Ten play in 1912.The Buckeyes will hope to begin Holtmann’s tenure 9-0 when they host Nebraska at 8 p.m. Monday at the Schottenstein Center. read more

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Leap second When is it added and why do we need an

first_imgThe first leap second was added in 1972, so it will be the 27th time it has been added to clocks in history, meaning that everyone has gained 27 seconds over the past 44 years.Dr Leon Lobo, of NPL’s time and frequency group, said: “Most people won’t even notice, although everyone will probably be celebrating New Year a second too early this year.“People might also notice problems with mobile phone networks as they work on atomic time and, with the increased traffic on New Year’s Eve, there could be potential issues.“Inserting a leap second is necessary because the Earth is wobbling and slowing down and over time that divergence could cause problems.” While it would take hundreds of years for the difference to become obvious to most people, modern satellite communication and navigation systems rely on time being consistent with the conventional positions of the sun, moon and stars to within a fraction of a second.If the two standards were allowed to further out of synch, they would differ by about 25 minutes in just 500 years.Peter Whibberley, senior research scientist with NPL’s time and frequency group, who is known as ‘the time lord’, said: “Atomic clocks are more than a million times better at keeping time than the rotation of the Earth, which fluctuates unpredictably.”Leap seconds are needed to prevent civil time drifting away from Earth time. Although the drift is small – taking around 1,000 years to accumulate a one-hour difference – if not corrected it would eventually result in clocks showing midday before sunrise.”It is the task of scientists and officials at the International Earth Rotation Service, based in Paris, to monitor the planet’s rotation and inform countries when leap seconds must be added six months in advance. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Inserting a leap second is necessary because the Earth is wobbling and slowing downDr Leon Lobo Atomic clocks, on which the modern world now runs, keep time by measuring the movements of electrons in cesium atoms.Consequently, atomic time is constant, but the Earth’s rotation slows by about two thousandths of a second per day. At the time of the dinosaurs, Earth completed one rotation in about 23 hours.   So leap seconds are, therefore, essential to ensuring atomic time does not move away from time based on the Earth’s spin. If it isn’t corrected, such a drift would eventually result in clocks showing the middle of the day occurring at night. A leap second will be added to the world’s clocks at midnight  It might feel like there is never enough time, but Earth has gained 27 seconds since the 1970s – an astronomical quirk which is causing a headache for timekeepers.On New Year’s Eve, experts at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington, London, will add a leap second to UK time to account for the fact that the Earth is now spinning more slowly.Immediately before midnight, dials will read 11:59:60 as clocks around the world pause for a second to allow the Earth’s rotation to catch up with atomic time. A leap second will be added to the world's clocks at midnight  Although the drift is small, if not corrected it would eventually result in clocks showing midday before sunrisePeter Whibberley Time needs to shift to allow the Earth's rotation to catch up with atomic time  Google has even developed a special technique to deal with what it refers to as a “leap smear” and has been gradually adding milliseconds to its system clocks prior to the official arrival of the leap second.The US wants to get rid of leap seconds, claiming they are too disruptive to precision systems used for navigation and communication. But Britain opposes the change, saying that it would forever break the link between our concept of time and the rising and setting of the sun.Experts fear that, once this link is broken, it could never be restored because, although the Earth’s timekeeping systems are built to accommodate the occasional leap second, adding a leap minute or hour to global time would be virtually impossible.The World Radiocommunication Conference was due to decide on the fate of the leap second at last year’s meeting, but has deferred the decision until 2023. Time needs to shift to allow the Earth’s rotation to catch up with atomic time  Typically, leap seconds are added every two or three years, although the last one was inserted just 18 months ago in June 2015.  Some years, the Earth runs bang on time and no adjustment is needed. It is also possible for a second to be removed from the UTC (Universal Co-ordinated Time) timescale, although this has never happened.BT’s speaking clock will add a second’s pause before its third pip and Radio 4 will also add an extra pip to its 1am bulletin.But there can be consequences of tinkering with time. When a leap second was added in 2012, Mozilla, Reddit, Foursquare, Yelp, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon all reported crashes and there were problems with the Linux operating system and programmes written in Java.Because leap seconds are only introduced sporadically, it is difficult to implement them in computers and mistakes can cause systems to fail temporarily.Many computing systems use the Network Time Protocol, or NTP, to keep themselves in sync with the world’s atomic clocks. But most are not programmed to deal with an unexpected extra second.last_img read more

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RoomForManchester Kind strangers open up their homes to those affected by Manchester

first_imgIf anyone in manchester is stranded, needs help getting home, give me a shout!— Jaiden Micheal (@jaidenofficial) 22 May 2017 If you are stranded in the area you can also follow #RoomForManchester where hotels and local people of our great city are offering refuge https://t.co/yaRwKMGwzV— Mayor Andy Burnham (@MayorofGM) May 23, 2017 Anyone in Manchester who needs to wait for their parents or needs somewhere stay or to make phone calls, etc, just DM me. We have tea!— Simon Clancy (@SiClancy) 22 May 2017 Facebook also activated its safety check feature, so people could let their friends know they were safe.The Family Guy UK headquarters tweeted to say they had given over 30 people a place to stay.Manchester City Council also started an online condolence book for those affected. If anyone needs shelter we are right on the outskirts of central Manchester in Salford, anything I can do to help DM me!! #ManchesterArena— Karolina Staniecka (@karolinaviolet) 22 May 2017 #Manchester. DM me if you need somewhere to go, to use a landline, to have a tea and sit down. Anything. Northern Quarter-Oldham street— louise benson (@Lbenson88) 22 May 2017 10 minutes from the #ManchesterArena if anyone needs help/lifts/drinks etc REPLY OR DM me #Manchester #MEN— The Salford Fox (@tomharveymedia) 22 May 2017 Taxis in Manchester are offering FREE rides home for anyone stuck in the Manchester Arena area. Let your friends/family know.— azy (@azymanzur) 22 May 2017 The acts of humanity. Taxi drivers taking the injured to hospital & visitors to safety in the city after terrorist attack #ManchesterArena pic.twitter.com/5M5IMqILuB— Elaine Willcox (@ElaineWITV) May 23, 2017 Many of those caught up in the chaos were young fans of US singer Ariana Grande, who had performed at the venue.Police advised the public to avoid the area around the Manchester Arena, and the train station near the arena, Victoria Station, was evacuated and all trains cancelled.There were reports that a Holiday Inn hotel near Manchester Arena had taken in “50+ children” who were unaccompanied at the gig. #DWTManchester anyone stuck down the east side of manchester dm me. i can’t guarantee a tour guide but ill try my best to help— ellie (@starlordhs) 22 May 2017 Looks like two places open to donate blood in Manchester today if you’re near and can help @GiveBloodNHS https://t.co/kwEfMmuRuk pic.twitter.com/vc5SnK5F5v— Rachel Miller (@AllthingsIC) May 23, 2017 #RoomforManchester if anybody needs somewhere to stay – we have plenty of spare beds & blankets + an unlimited supply of tea. Please DM.— Rosie Connor (@RosieConnor1) 22 May 2017 Local people have opened up their homes and given help to concert-goers affected by a suspected terror attack at Manchester Arena.They have been using the hashtag #RoomForManchester to offer help to distraught people after their night of music ended in tragedy.There are also reports that a hotel near the venue has taken in dozens of children following an explosion that killed 19 people and injured around 50 others.Taxi drivers have also been offering people free taxi rides, and people are already arranging to give blood at donor banks later today to help those injured.The city’s mayor, former Labour MP Andy Burnham, tweeted: “If you are stranded in the area you can… follow #RoomForManchester where hotels and local people of our great city are offering refuge.” Witnesses described hearing a huge bang shortly after 10.30pm at the entrance to the Arena as thousands of people made their way out of a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande.Theresa May, the Prime Minister, suspended her General Election campaign in the wake of the apparent terror attack and there will be an emergency Cobra meeting at 9am this morning. Anyone needing a lift/place to stay from the Manchester Arena, tweet #roomformanchester Retweet and get this trending to help.— Cal (@Panayisalad) 22 May 2017 22 people died in the attack on Monday night, and 50 were injured. The Holiday Inn nearest to Manchester Arena have taken dozens of kids who have been separated from their parents tonight.— Samuel Carvalho (@SamCarvalho) 22 May 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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British mother smothered to death in front of son during robbery at

first_imgA British woman has been murdered in a robbery at her home in Mauritius while her young son was in the house.It is thought Janice Farman, 47, may have been smothered by the thieves, who stole jewellery and money and escaped in her car.Police were called to the property at Albion on the Indian Ocean island at about 1am on Friday and discovered Ms Farman’s body in bed.Officers also found her 10-year-old autistic son in the property and have passed him into the care of the child development unit. Police have launched an investigation and are hunting three suspects. The car has been found and will be examined by specialists.A police spokesman in Mauritius said: “At about 1am on Friday, police received a report that there had been a case of murder in Albion.”Police went to the property and found the woman lying in bed. The suspects drove away in the victim’s car. The car has been found. It will be examined and we hope we will get evidence from the vehicle.”Ms Farman, thought to originally be from Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, was managing director of PECS Data Services in Mauritius.Stephen Littlechild, group MD of PECS Data Services, said: “Last night our MD in Mauritius Janice Farman was brutally murdered in her own home. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. She is the most kind-hearted lady I have met in my lifecolleague of Janice Farman “In view of these tragic events, we have decided to close our Mauritius office today, so we can make sure all our team have access to counsellors and as a mark of respect to a wonderful lady.”Our thoughts are with Janice’s family, friends and colleagues.”A colleague, who did not want to be named, said: “She is the most kind-hearted lady I have met in my life. She would never hesitate to offer her help as and when needed.”As a friend – she would help me every time I would be in distress.”She always knew when something was wrong with me, so she would do her utmost possible, so we could go out on lunch or something so we can discuss everything and try to sort things out.”last_img read more

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Heston Blumenthals mother lived in fear of drunken sister who smashed her

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. She faced two charges of assault by beating in connection with the alleged incidents, which were claimed to have taken place on October 7 in East Street, Thame, and on September 9 at Aston Park in Watlington, Oxon. Chef Heston BlumenthalCredit:Andrew Crowley The case was adjourned until 11 January. Bail conditions mean Blumenthal cannot contact her mother or call at her house unless accompanied by a police officer with the purpose to collect her own belongings from the property. The prosecution lawyer said the victim had just driven her daughter home and parked outside her house on East Street in Thame when the younger woman “grabbed Mrs Blumenthal’s head before slamming it into the car frame three or four times.”She added that the witness had heard the defendant screaming “you f—— bitch, I’m going to kill you” before going out onto the street and calling the police, at which point the altercation stopped and the younger woman left the scene.Defence lawyer Angela Porter said: “Mrs Blumenthal has reflected on all that has been going on and is aware that her mother has attended court to give evidence.She said that on the night of the first offence, the defendant had been drinking but had been certain in her own mind that she had not done what her mother said she had done.However, after learning that her mother was going to give evidence against her, Mrs Blumenthal had decided to change her plea to guilty, explaining that “if her mother said so that’s what she must have done.”Ms Porter added: “Her mother rented a flat for her which she moved into in September.”Her mother is no longer paying the rent for her and Mrs Blumenthal is having difficulties paying for it herself.” Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s mother lived in fear of being attacked by his drunken sister who smashed her head into a car, a court heard.The pensioner had to have a lock put on her bedroom door in fear daughter Alexis Blumenthal would kill her with a knife.The chef’s sister yesterday admitted two charges of assaulting her own mother, Celia.The 48-year-old, who arrived at court wearing dark sunglasses despite the dismal weather, told magistrates she wanted to change her earlier “not guilty” pleas to admit the two offences, the first of which took place in her 76-year-old mother’s home and the second on the street in front of her own home.The defendant was said to have been drunk when she went upstairs to her mother’s bedroom, punched her in the face a number of times and then tried to push her down the stairs.In the second attack, the pair had been arguing outside the older woman’s car when the defendant grabbed her head and slammed it into the side of the vehicle.Blumenthal, of ​Thame, Oxon., was arrested in October when she failed to appear in court and released on bail provided she attended on Monday afternoon. Prosecution lawyer Katie Jeanes said: “The first of the offences took place in September this year. The defendant and Celia Blumenthal, who is her mother, had been to the Shepherds Crook public house.”Mrs Blumenthal’s daughter had been drinking before they returned to her mother’s address at about 5pm or 6pm in the evening.”She said it had been a few hours later when Celia had gone to bed and her daughter took her medication upstairs, that the first altercation took place.The prosecutor explained: “The defendant grabbed hold of Mrs Blumenthal’s hair and punched her several times and the last punch caught her on the left cheek causing bruising and pain.”The defendant pushed her in the back with open hands. Mrs Blumenthal had to hold onto the stair banister to prevent herself from going down the stairs.”In total Mrs Blumenthal thinks the defendant must have hit her six or seven times and she described her daughter as ‘being in a frenzy’.”On October 7 this year the police were contacted by a member of the public, referred to as Mrs Lambert, after she saw an incident in the town centre of Thame, involving the defendant and Mrs Blumenthal again.” Chef Heston Blumenthal In a victim impact statement which was read out in court, Mrs Blumenthal senior said her daughter had gone to live at her address after returning from South Africa, where she had lived for a considerable part of her life.She said that after a few months, maids had begun to find bottles of alcohol hidden around the house and that she had hidden them fearing for her daughter’s wellbeing. This, she said, was when the “verbal and violent abuse” began.”It was as if she had the strength of 10 men,” elderly Celia said.”There would be times when I would wake up to her standing beside my bed. I do believe that the rages were so bad that if she had access to a knife she would have used it against me.”By August her behaviour had become too much and I did not want to live in fear anymore. I kept thinking: ‘Is she standing outside my house? Has she let herself in and is she going to attack me again?”last_img read more

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Hospital trust under fire for describing use of milk formula as artificial

first_imgSo when did it start to be ‘artificial feeding’? I really can’t believe this wasn’t proofread before going out. @DrRanj @keirshiels @WorcsAcuteNHS pic.twitter.com/ICzKEiJYVC— Kathryn Booth (@privateuni) March 28, 2018 “We recognise that some new mums may not want to breastfeed and that some new babies may need to have their feeds supplemented, which we fully support,” she said.”We take the views of our mums and families very seriously, and will consider carefully all of the feedback on the wording of our information.”Research has found that breastfed babies have fewer health problems, such as chest infections, and are less likely to develop health problems such as diabetes, or become obese as they get older.  The information sheet was shared on Twitter by Kathryn Booth, who said the description made her feel “sad, angry, guilty”.”Artificial can mean fake /not genuine and bad. I just think it’s the wrong choice of words,” she wrote. Another mother, Alis Roberts, replied saying the wording had made her “sick to the stomach”. “My baby couldn’t breastfeed – I know that formula is ‘artificial’ but these things need to be more carefully worded when the whole baby feeding issue is so emotionally charged. Can’t imagine how I’d felt if I’d read this in hospital.” A hospital trust has caused outrage after it described using formula milk as “artificially” feeding babies.Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust used the term as it announced it would no longer provide formula milk in its maternity wards to mothers who had chosen not to breastfeed.One of the headings in a Q&A fact sheet read: “What do I need to bring with me if I wish to artificially feed my baby?”. It said that from May 1, mothers who had decided not to breastfeed should bring a first milk starter pack to hospital for when they gave birth.If there was a medical reason for giving formula milk, “this will be discussed with you and given if necessary”. “No matter how many HCA helped, cajoled, held, intervened, we just couldn’t get my son to latch. I felt I’d failed him on his first hurdle and took a while to get over. I was devastated.”However, one mother defended the use of the word, saying “essentially it is!”.”I’ve fed four children, two artificially and two breast fed, so I’m not one of the ‘breast is best’ police, but you can’t change the facts formula is not nature’s way.”A spokeswoman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust told the BBC its decision not to routinely provide formula milk to mothers who chose not to breastfeed was part of its commitment to promote breastfeeding. Britain has one of the worst breastfeeding rates in Europe and currently only one third of children are breastfed at six months, and just one per cent only receive breast-milk by this stage.  Hi Kathryn, thanks for getting in touch. We take the views of our mums and families very seriously, and will consider carefully all of the feedback on the wording of our information.— Worcestershire Acute (@WorcsAcuteNHS) March 28, 2018 Vicky Melville tweeted that the note “would have pushed me over the edge”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Pupils increasingly sceptical of importance of university poll finds

Figures published by Ucas in July showed that young people in England are more likely to apply to go to university than ever.More than a third (38.1%) of 18-year-olds across the country have applied this year, up 0.2 percentage points on last year. More than three in four (77%) of those surveyed this year said they were likely to go into higher education.Poorer pupils – those eligible for free school meals – are less likely to say they are planning to go to university than their richer classmates (67% compared with 79%), the Sutton Trust said.Girls are more likely to say they expect to study for a degree than boys (81% compared with 73%), the poll found. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Of the young people who said they they are unlikely to go into higher education, the most common reason was that they do not like the idea or do not enjoy learning and studying (58%), followed by finance (44%).More than a third (35%) said they feel they are not clever enough, while the same proportion said it was not needed for their job plans.Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “It’s no surprise that there has been a fall in the proportion of young people who think it’s important to go into higher education.”Young people face a dilemma. If they go on to university they incur debts of over £50,000 and will be paying back their loans well into middle age. And in a number of cases they end up with degrees that don’t get them into graduate jobs.”On the other hand, degree-level apprenticeships are almost non-existent with less than 10,000 available each year compared with over 300,000 university places. There is effectively no viable alternative to university.” Young people are increasingly less likely to believe that getting a degree is important, according to a poll.It indicates that the proportion of secondary school pupils who think they need to go to university to do well in life has fallen steadily in the last six years.Despite this, the vast majority say they are likely to go into higher education when they are old enough.The findings, published by the Sutton Trust, come as sixth-formers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive their A-level results and learn if they have gained a university place.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––The poll, which questioned around 2,300 children aged 11-16 in England and Wales, found that three-quarters (75%) think it is important to go to university, down from 78% last year and a high of 86% in 2013. The Ipsos Mori poll questioned 2,381 schoolchildren aged 11-16 in schools in England and Wales between February 5 and May 25.A Department for Education spokesman said “university isn’t for everyone” and the Government does not want one route to a career “to be considered better than any other”.”That is why we are transforming technical education in this country to put it on a par with our amazing academic system,” he said. read more

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Teenager who killed shopkeeper while on bail after being refused Rizla was

A teenager described by a judge as a “time bomb” was on bail when he killed a shopkeeper who refused to sell him Rizla papers.The 16-year-old boy “launched” himself at Vijaykumar Patel, 49, causing a “catastrophic” head injury in an unprovoked attack outside the minimarket in Mill Hill, north London.The youth, from Brent, had claimed self defence but was found guilty of manslaughter following an Old Bailey trial and has been jailed today for four years.The court heard the boy, who has ADHD and low intelligence, had previous convictions for weapons offences and kicking and punching a teacher at his school.And at the time of the killing, he had been on bail and was in breach of a curfew. Philippa McAtasney, QC, argued in mitigation that the boy was “not beyond hope and help”.She said he had been affected by the stabbing of a youth worker friend who had confronted a drug dealer.The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had used his “best handwriting” to express his remorse in a letter to the judge. However, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said: “He is a time bomb. The record, the facts of this case, the contents of the PSR (pre-sentence report) with the analysis of very high risk of causing significant harm. I do not find the PSR surprising at all.” The Old Bailey He is a time bombMr Justice Stewart The Old BaileyCredit:Clara Molden/PA He sentenced the boy to an extended sentence of four years’ detention and a further three years on licence.The court heard the teenager had five alcoholic drinks at a party earlier on the evening of January 6.He went into the shop with two friends and tried to buy cigarette papers, but they were sent away for being under 18.The jury was told he became aggressive and shouted abuse before hurling himself at Mr Patel outside the shop.The attack was captured on CCTV and the court was shown the moment Mr Patel was hit. Mr Justice Stuart-Smith told the defendant: “The CCTV shows he was simply standing with his hands in his pockets doing nothing.”What happened next was that you deliberately moved to the left and launched yourself at Mr Patel taking him off his feet and to the ground. He was completely defenceless and did not move – you struck him.”Another shop worker then chased the boys away with a billboard sign and a broom. The boys were seen laughing, joking and happy as they fled the scene, the court heard.Mr Patel was found by police unconscious and bleeding in the street on January 6. He was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in central London and died the next day from an injury to the back of his head. The court heard no victim impact statement had been prepared as the Patel family was in India. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Who is Sir Philip Green The billionaire Topshop owner known for his

At least that is the way he likes to tell it. Sir Philip had in fact been educated at a private prep school before attending Carmel College in Oxfordshire, known as the “Jewish Eton”, and left aged 15 without achieving any qualifications. But the 66-year-old always seemingly preferred the idea of himself as the outsider barging his way into the Establishment, racking up the millions and celebrity hangers-on along the way. When in 2016 MPs called… Rags to riches has always been the mantra of Sir Philip Green. He was the boot boy who started his career in 1973 in an East End shoe wholesaler and pulled himself by his laces to fulfil his destiny as a self-made billionaire and a knight of the realm. read more

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Facebook and Instagram could be hit by new laws if they do

Earlier this month the head of the NHS said “fake news” by anti-vaxers on social media had fuelled a tripling in measles cases and was risking lives.Simon Stevens said the promotion of misguided messages on Instagram and YouTube was one of the factors behind an alarming dip in vaccine coverage.Official figures show 913 cases of measles in England between January and October last year – compared with 259 in the whole of the previous year.Mr Stevens said parents who failed to get their children vaccinated were as irresponsible as if they failed to teach their children to look left and right before crossing the road. Mr Hancock later told the BBC’s Today programme: “We are looking at legislating for the duty of care that social media companies in particular have towards the people on their sites – this is an important part of that duty of care alongside all the other things that social media companies need to do, like tackling material that promotes suicide and self-harm and, of course, terrorism.” The chief executive of NHS England said parents were being given false information.“We are not being helped on this front by the fact that although nine in ten parents say they support vaccination half of them say that they have seen fake messages around vaccination on social media,” he said.Mr Stevens warned that uptake of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is now at 87.5 percent against the 95 per cent that the World Health Organisation target, despite “unimpeachable” evidence that it saves lives.In a statement Facebook, which owns Instagram, said: “We are working to tackle vaccine misinformation…by reducing its distribution and providing people with authoritative information on the topic.” Earlier this week, crowdfunding platform GoFundMe announced it would ban anti-vaxxers from using its platform to raise money, in a bid to stop the spread of misinformation about vaccines online. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Social media firms could be hit with new laws to stop them allowing the spread of anti-vaxxers’ myths online, the Health Secretary has said.Matt Hancock said social networking sites must do more to police the spread of anti-vaccination propaganda.Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the cabinet minister suggested spreading lies about vaccines online could become illegal.Earlier this month Facebook said it would ban adverts with anti-vaccination content.And Instagram announced it would block anti-vaxxer hashtags like #vaccinesarepoison to try to stop the spread of the opinions.”This is exactly the sort of thing we should be spending our time on and talking about and, if necessary, legislating for,” Mr Hancock said.“As a country we can make decisions on these sorts of things. I want to see social media companies doing far, far more to take down this material which is so damaging.” read more

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OpEd Pattersons unilateral appointment cannot be allowed to stand

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAFC’s leaked emails show Executives dissent with President’s GECOM appointmentNovember 23, 2017In “latest news”PPP/C launches ‘non-cooperation’ campaignOctober 20, 2017In “latest news”GECOM Chair: Jagdeo says AFC cannot deny its role in the unilateral selection of PattersonNovember 14, 2017In “latest news” (Following is an opinion piece written by PPP  Member of Parliament and former Attorney General Mohabir Anil Nandlall)I am convinced that the PNC has not changed, from, historically, a party that is innately and inherently authoritarian and undemocratic and if allowed, will rig every election in this country as it has done from 1968-1985. The unilateral appointment of Retired Justice James Patterson vindicates absolutely what I have said, repeatedly, over the last two and a half years, that is, we are on a road to political dictatorship and authoritarianism.The President did not see it fit to even consult with his coalition partners in Government on this fundamental appointment. Both the AFC and the WPA have so confirmed in public statements. It is difficult to conceive of a clearer exhibition of dictatorship than this. At least the WPA’s reaction was critical. The response of the AFC will have to be the subject of an entire article.I said from the inception that President Granger would eventually choose a person for his own liking, irrespective of the provisions of the Constitution. A year thereafter, that is exactly what he has done. In the process, he has led this nation along a deceptive and agonizing path of public debates on constitutional interpretations, public consultations that produced 18 outstanding Guyanese, all of whom were eventually rejected, and a ruling from the constitutional court – all of which made no difference in the end. Instead of using the Ruling as a guide, the President craftily uses selective parts of it to justify his perverse appointment.The President, from the inception, misinterpreted Article 161 (2) of the Constitution by contending that it only qualifies a judge, a former judge or a person qualified to be a judge, for the position of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). When this interpretation was met with public condemnation, only then the President conceded that that provision of the Constitution also caters for “any other fit and proper person”. Even when he recognized that the Constitution spoke to the latter category, the President and his Attorney General injected another nonsensical slant to their interpretation by arguing that the Constitution expresses a preference for the judicial category.proviso has no applicabilityThese infantile interpretations to the clear language of the Constitution were all put to rest by the Chief Justice’s Ruling. Now the President has misinterpreted the other part of Article 161 (2), that is, the proviso. When one examines the intention of the framers of the Constitution, which was to create a bi-partisan mechanism to produce a chairman of GECOM, no rational mind would be unclear when the proviso can be activated.It can only be activated when no list has been submitted by the Leader of the Opposition. Once a list has been submitted, this proviso has no applicability. Any other interpretation would make a mockery of the letter but moreover, the spirit of the Constitution because every President would then be free to reject a list submitted to him by the Leader of the Opposition and appoints a person of his own choice, rendering the very constitutional provision otiose, superfluous and nugatory. President Carter and those who coined the Carter Formula were not that naïve.Great moment is being made by those who wish to defend the travesty committed by the President by arguing that the words “a list as is provided for”, in the proviso means a list submitted by the Leader of the Opposition which finds the acceptability of the President. I reject this argument as misconceived. The article when read literally cannot mean that; but more importantly, the literal words of the article cannot be read in isolation from the spirit and intention of those who crafted it.Let us examine what responsibility the Article imposes on the Leader of the Opposition and the President, respectively. I submit that a duty is placed on the Leader of the Opposition to submit a list of six names to the President, which in the opinion of the Leader of the Opposition is not unacceptable to the President, from which the President is empowered to choose one. Since the Leader of the Opposition is not endowed with clairvoyant powers or an ability to read the President’s mind, the framers of the Constitution could not have expected and do not expect him to know which names the President would find not unacceptable. Therefore, the responsibility is on the Leader of the Opposition to select six names that in his opinion, the President would find not unacceptable. The Leader of the Opposition submitted not 6 but 18 such names to the President. To his credit, the Leader of the Opposition did not confine the 18 names submitted to his subjective judgement. He engaged several major organisations in this country in a consultative process which produced those names.the golden ruleSimultaneously, when the Constitution vests with the President, a power or a discretion to determine whether the names are not unacceptable, the framers of the Constitution expect and the law mandates that power and discretion to be exercised rationally and reasonably and not capriciously and whimsically but in a manner that a responsible President would do in the circumstances. To enable him space to exercise that power, the Constitution was fair enough to give him six choices. In this particular instance, he had 18 choices.If any doubt or ambiguity arises in interpreting the literal language of the constitutional provision, then the established cannons of construction mandate that the golden rule be employed in the interpretative process. This golden rule requires the interpreter to decipher the intention of the framers of the Article.This takes us straight back to the Carter Price/Formula, where the intention was to dispense with the unilateral appointment of a chairman of the Elections Commission and to establish an election’s commission whose membership evenly reflects both the Opposition and the Government with a Chairman produced by a process involving both the Leader of the Opposition and the President.Out of this intention, came GECOM, comprising of 6 Commissioners, three representing the Government and three representing the Opposition and a Chairman who is empowered with the authority of a casting vote to break gridlock and who is to be appointed from a list of six names emanating from the Leader of the Opposition from which the President is obliged to select one. Therefore, the President was never intended to have a unilateral power of appointment. His power of appointment is circumscribed to that list of six names submitted to him by the Leader of the Opposition. It is only in the rare and exceptional circumstance where there is no list submitted then the President can make a unilateral appointment.I must emphasize that it was never expected that the President must find the names acceptable. After all, the names are coming from his political opponent. That is why the framers of the constitution, rather than use the word acceptable they used the double negative, not unacceptable. Therefore, the names submitted are not necessarily to be acceptable to the President. They must be not unacceptable. The term not unacceptable does not mean acceptable. I say all of this to illustrate the length at which the framers of the constitution travelled to ensure that there is a Chairman produced through a bilateral process and to eschew a unilateral appointment, except in that rare and exceptional circumstance where there is no list provided. Therefore, a unilateral appointment will lead to the destruction of that vital balance at GECOM, which the framers of Article 161 intended to create.the three Is’The perversity of the decision to act unilaterally is compounded by the fact that the President has not given a single reason for rejecting 18 accomplished, professionally qualified and respected Guyanese. Legal arguments aside, the President led this country to believe by several public statements, including a joint statement with the Opposition, that he will not act unilaterally but will pursue a collaborative course on this issue to the very end. So on that note, the President has simply deceived to the nation. If anyone was in doubt about the President’s bonafides in this matter, those doubts would have immediately dissipated by the choice the President made in the form of Retired Justice Patterson.I had the privilege of attending almost every meeting between the Leader of the Opposition and the President on this matter. At one point in time, the Leader of the Opposition had asked the President for some guidance on the criteria he would find acceptable after the first six names were rejected. I remember the President saying that the person must possess the three ‘Is’ that is, they must be “independent”, must have “integrity” and must be “impartial”. I say with the greatest of respect that Justice Patterson does not satisfy these requirements.In his resume, Justice Patterson states that he was the Chief Justice of Grenada in 1987. I have spoken to several retired judges and lawyers from Grenada and in the Eastern Caribbean jurisdictions but no one can confirm that Justice Patterson was appointed Chief Justice of Grenada. I have consulted a book, which chronicles all the important post holders of Grenada annually and the Chief Justice of Grenada in 1987 is listed as Sir Samuel Horatio Graham. I have received information that a Guyanese who worked for over 25 years in Grenada in a very high public office has advised the President that Justice Patterson was never appointed Chief Justice in Grenada, yet the President cites Justice Patterson’s alleged appointment as Chief Justice of Grenada as the basis of appointing.Rally Around The People’s National CongressIn a list of criteria submitted by the President to the Leader of the Opposition, the President indicated that the candidate who he is looking for must not be a religious activist or leader. As a result, the Leader of the Opposition deliberately omitted to include any religious leader in the names, which he submitted to the President.In his CV, Justice Patterson described himself as a reverend and an entire page in that CV is dedicated to listing the several theological qualifications which he possesses and religious posts which he held. In that list of criteria, the President stated that the candidate should not have “any political affiliation or should not belong to any political party in any form, apparent or hidden” and that the person should have a general character of honesty and integrityJustice Patterson can, by no objective standards, be adjudged as impartial or independent or, not connected to the People’s National Congress. Indeed, the evidence available link him intricately to this Government and to the PNC.He has been appointed as an Adviser to the Attorney General, a post for which he is being remunerated; so he is an employee of the Government. He has been appointed by the President to head a Commission of Inquiry into the Georgetown Prison break in July 2016. He has been appointed by the President to the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy; so he is an Adviser to the President. He has been appointed by the President to a committee to review applications for the position of Chief Justice and Chancellor of the Judiciary.Even more damaging, he was a pallbearer at former President Desmond Hoyte’s funeral. This was not the State funeral but a private event for Party leaders and supporters held at Merriman’s Funeral Parlour. The other pallbearers at that event were all PNC leaders, members and supporters. This information can be found on the PNC website, I have photographs in the event that they now wish to remove them. Justice Patterson is also a member of the Facebook page calling itself ‘Rally around the People’s National Congress’, established just before the 2015 General Elections.How can the Guyanese electorate have any confidence in this person’s independence, impartiality and integrity? One cannot discount the fact also, that the Government has asked Justice Cecil Kennard to resign as Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority and Prem Persaud to resign from the Public Utility Commission and the Judicial Service Commission. Their ages are 80 and 76 respectively. The President is reported in the press as saying that they were requested to resign because of their age. Mr. Patterson is 84 years old. Yet, the President appoints him.The appointment simply cannot be allowed to stand. read more

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Sex workers accused of robbing Presidential guards remanded for robbing another

With charges of armed robbery against two Presidential guards still pending, two commercial sex workers appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court once again on Monday, to answer to another robbery charge. Kevin Forester, 21, of Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara (ECD) and Godfrey Cox, 19, of High Street, Kingston denied the charge which alleged that on October 24, 2017, they allegedly robbed Virtual Complainant (VC) Victor Bess, at Croal Street, Georgetown of a quantity of cash totaling  GYD$158,000.Standing before Magistrate Judy Latchman, the duo accused law enforcement officials of mistreating them following their arrest. They complained that the police failed to disclose to them [accused] what they were being arrested for and also denied them telephone calls to their family – in breach of their fundamental rights.Police Prosecutor, Shawn Gonsalves objected to bail being granted citing the seriousness and prevalence of the offence and the penalty attached to same. Moreover, he reminded the court that the transgender duo were out on bail pending the outcome of an aforementioned robbery trial of two presidential guards. According to the prosecutor, the probability of the defendants committing further offences, or non-appearance in court during trial in the event that they are released on bail, are quite high in the circumstances.Bail was denied and duo were remanded to prison, scheduled to return on November 20, 2017.Prior to this charge, they had appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore in July of this year jointly charged with two counts of armed robbery against the aforementioned Presidential guards.Particulars of that charge alleged that on July 19, 2017 at Main Street, Georgetown, the duo while armed with a chopper, robbed Nicolai Reddie of a Samsung cell phone valued $54,000 and $800 cash. Moreover, on the same day and location, they robbed Akeem Haroon of a Samsung cell phone valued $60,000 and $400 cash.They were granted $25,000 bail on each of the charges. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMan remanded for robbing male sex workersDecember 15, 2017In “Court”Vendor remanded to prison following robbery chargeApril 22, 2014In “Crime”Miner remanded for allegedly stealing gold chainsApril 30, 2015In “Crime” read more

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Measures critical to overall growth of manufacturing sector still outstanding GMSA

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedContinued efforts from Private Sector led to Guyana’s economic growth- GMSA PresidentNovember 10, 2018In “Business”Government measures impacting negatively on Manufacturing sector- NoktaJune 30, 2017In “Business”GMSA wants Gov’t to address slump in manufacturing sectorSeptember 11, 2018In “Business” GMSA President Shyam NoktaThe Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) on Wednesday held its Annual General Meeting where concerns were raised over measures implemented for the growth of the manufacturing sector and for appropriate legislation to be put in place to prevent the dumping of inferior and harmful products.Addressing stakeholders was GMSA President Shyam Nokta, who noted that despite several measures implemented in the 2018 Budget, most of the proposed measures critical to the manufacturing process and the overall growth of the sector were still outstanding.He added that at the end of June 2017, light manufacturing had marginally grown from 1.3 per cent to 1.9 per cent with a 2.4 per cent projected growth for 2018.“We are still waiting for full-year statistics from the Bank of Guyana for 2017,” Nokta noted.He added that key barriers to the manufacturing sector continued to prevail, but explained that they were being addressed through the Ministerial Roundtable engagement with Finance Minister Winston Jordan.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon delivers the feature address at the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) Limited Annual General Meeting. Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin; President of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association Limited (GMSA), Shyam Nokta; Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Edward Boyer and GMSA Executive Board Member, Ramesh Dookhoo are also pictured at the head tableAdditionally, Nokta explained that the GMSA advocated for the removal of Valued Added Tax (VAT) on electricity as well as for locally manufactured items to be given a greater share in public procurement.In addition to the removal of VAT on electricity, Nokta called for reduced tariffs for manufacturing entities based on performance thresholds and incentives for renewable energy technologies.He also called for the Government to include the GMSA in the booming oil and gas sector, adding that a local content framework was integral to ensuring that local businesses benefit from the opportunities offered by the sector.Nokta also revealed that in addition to raising the profile of the GMSA, they have been able to spark renewed interest among existing members as well as encourage new members.He said  that at the end of February 2018, the GMSA would have seen its membership growing by 14 per cent.Giving the feature address at the meeting, State Minister Joseph Harmon said, among other things, that through a collaborative effort, the Government of Guyana and members of the Manufacturing Sector can make economic diversification a reality.He also urged the members of the body to continue to support the development and implementation of the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS). read more

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