Dear Editor,The disaster caused by the tropical storms in Texas and Louisiana — seen on TV — should be a wake-up call for the Government of Guyana to immediately begin planning and preparing for annual flooding, which affects our country.We should learn from the Texas disaster as indeed from the many disasters that struck Guyana in the recent past. Guyana has been devastated by intense rainfall at various times during the year and over the last couple of decades. May we be reminded of the recent intense flooding that hit parts of the interior over the last month, displacing people and causing billions in damage to property and infrastructure. Action is needed now; enough with the talk.The many storms that hit Guyana and the US and other parts of the world show climate change is real, and that one can expect more severe storms and flooding at any time of the year. Thus planning should be ongoing, to protect life and property.Several Guyanese and other Caribbean people live in the flood-affected areas of Texas and Louisiana, and one hopes that all is well with them. Indeed, one wishes well for all the victims of the storm, irrespective of national origin; Guyanese and other Caribbean people like myself are contributing to relief efforts to assist the victims. The flooding that hit the south of the US is not new or strange; it is an annual phenomenon caused by tropical storms, although this particular storm has perhaps been the worst to have hit Texas.Guyana (and even neighbouring Trinidad) has been prone to similar flooding. True, Guyana and Trinidad do not face the same ferocity of (hurricane) storms, (being south of the hurricane belt) that annually hits coastal California, Texas, Louisiana or the eastern shore of the US. But Guyana and Trinidad do face annual heavy rainfall. And while the US states do make preparations to brace for the annual hurricanes or major storms, limited measures are taken in Guyana (and Trinidad) to mitigate the effects of similar flooding.Guyana, like Trinidad, needs a massive works programme to clean drains and build mega reservoirs (conservancies) to collect water. It is the only way to deal with frequent destructive weather patterns that we have been experiencing over the last decade. A tropical storm deluge is no longer an uncommon occurrence; it happens several times in a year, and is no longer predicted. It can happen at any time, as we have experienced in Guyana over the last several years. Instead of waiting for floods and then scramble for money for relief efforts and rehabilitation, or to pump water, we can plan to prevent flooding by managing water flow.During colonial times, proper action was taken to prevent flooding. There is no reason why it can’t be done now. It is dismaying that not much has been done to protect against flooding, especially when we know flooding is expected during the rainy season. We must learn from our flood experiences as well as from the current one in Texas and Louisiana.In regard to those affected by flooding in the interior, the people need immediate relief. The Government should alleviate financial losses for a return to normal life similar to what was announced by the US Government – short term housing, food, safe water, health care, social support; and physical protection, especially to the vulnerable (children, women, elderly).It is indisputable that flooding in various parts of Guyana at various times suggests we need better infrastructure and planning. And since funds are a problem, we should consult with major donor countries for assistance.Yours faithfully,Vishnu Bisram
The six-times world champion’s success extended his points-scoring run to a record-equalling 33 races, levelling with his own record, and brought him his 50th victory from pole position.His fifth win at the Yas Marina circuit also drew level with Ayrton Senna in claiming a 19th start-to-finish triumph.Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who had started from the back of the grid after taking a new engine, came home fourth ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari and Alex Albon in the second Red Bull.It was a welcome morale boost for the competitive Finn, three days after announcing the end of his three-year marriage to Emilia.Sergio Perez took seventh for Racing Point on the final lap, Lando Norris was eighth for McLaren, Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso ninth and Carlos Sainz, in the second McLaren, took 10th.“That was an absolute master-class,” Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington told him on team radio. “You didn’t even break into a sweat!”The winner, who secured title number six with two races to go in Texas last month replied: “I can assure you, I am definitely sweating.”Hamilton scored a classic ‘grand slam’ with pole position, fastest lap and race victory.0Shares0000(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Hamilton out on his own in Abu Dhabi © AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVICABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Dec 1 – Lewis Hamilton delivered sumptuous confirmation of his title-winning supremacy on Sunday when he claimed his 84th career victory and 11th in 21 races this year by dominating the season-ending ‘twilight’ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.Starting from a record 88th pole position, the 34-year-old Briton was unchallenged from lights to flag as he cruised to an untroubled triumph 16 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, who faced a post-race investigation for fuel irregularities.
Injuries have been part of the problem. Chris Albright, Abel Xavier and Ante Jazic – all of whom are starters in the back – sat in a suite wearing coat and ties. But for someone who built a career in England as a hard-nosed, gritty fullback, Sunday’s performance was a tipping point. “Our confidence level is poor – especially in the back,” Yallop said. “Any time someone attacks us, it seems like we’re ourselves. Nervous. Indecisive. All the things you’re not supposed to be as a defender, we are.” It was the fifth time in the last seven MLS games the Galaxy have allowed at least three goals. And, as could be said in many of them, it might have been worse if not for a couple standing-on-his-head saves by Joe Cannon. “We’ve just been making different mistakes,” Cannon said. “I don’t want to blame just the backline. The whole team defense, there hasn’t been enough fight. “Let’s be honest. We haven’t been as organized as we’d like. That’s frustrating. As a goalie, you look across the field and the other goalie, it’s like, Aaaaah.” If Cannon looked across the field and was wistful, Yallop may have been as well. Eight members of the Dynamo played with him in San Jose before the franchise relocated to Houston. Yallop won two MLS titles there and his lieutenant, Dominic Kinnear won another in Houston last season. firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SOCCER: L.A. coach wants his players take “take responsibility.” By Billy Witz STAFF WRITER If the Galaxy wasn’t going to play much defense in its 3-1 loss to Houston on Sunday night, then neither was Coach Frank Yallop. For example, the Galaxy’s Mike Randolph grabbed a fistful of Dewayne De Rosario’s shorts less than 30 seconds into the second half, leading to De Rosario’s tiebreaking penalty kick. Later, Ty Harden and Peter Vagenas made a mistake with the ball in the box – politely leaving it for Houston’s Ricardo Clark to poke into the net. Yallop has supported his players publicly all season – especially a revolving door backline that on Sunday consisted of rookies Randolph and Harden, converted midfielder Chris Klein and Troy Roberts, who was making his 24th career start. Yallop wasn’t about to cover for them this time. “We are so naive with our fight and our will to do better,” said Yallop, who looked more disappointed than angry as he sat at a post-game press conference. “We just accept that another goal has come in. Players just don’t take responsibility. “A lot of times, for me, you have to make sure you feel that something is your fault. And some of our guys don’t. They don’t take responsibility. That’s difficult.”
A collective ‘thank you’ was presumably shouted from the away end at Vicarage Road when the team news was read out. That’s because young striker Marcus Rashford is starting against Watford.The 18-year-old has scored one goal already this season and with Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial also in the starting line up, he could get another one.Watford: Gomes, Cathcart, Prodl, Britos, Janmaat, Behrami, Capoue, Holebas, Pereyra, Deeney, Ighalo.Subs: Amrabat, Success, Kenedy, Guedioura, Zuniga, Watson, Pantilimon.Man Utd: de Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw, Fellaini, Pogba, Rashford, Rooney, Martial, Ibrahimovic.Subs: Depay, Mata, Carrick, Blind, Young, Romero, Ander Herrera. 1 Rooney, Rashford and Ibrahimovic all start against Watford
Geoffrey Kondogbia Marseille are lining up a January approach for Liverpool target Geoffrey Kondogbia.The Frenchman has fallen out of favour at Inter Milan, who he joined from Monaco in June 2015.Liverpool were among the clubs hoping to land the dynamic midfielder back then but missed out to Inter.Now, however, they are back on his trail as he appears set to leave the Serie A club when the transfer window opens in January.But the Corriere dello Sport has suggested that Liverpool will once again face competition for his signature with Marseille keen on signing him up.The Ligue 1 club’s new manager Rudi Garcia is desperately seeking New Year reinforcements and is hoping to lure former Lens and Monaco man Kondogbia back to his homeland. 1
The deal was struck the same day that a national study found that the dropout rate was even worse than the 50 percent that the district was constantly trying to deny. According to the study, only 44 percent of students graduate from LAUSD schools. Clearly, the educational crisis was worse than even the most cynical suspected. These numbers show, if nothing else does, that the status quo is not working. Far more dramatic strides are needed or another generation will be lost. The district’s successes have been limited because Romer and the school board have failed to deal with the bloated bureaucracy that consumes tax dollars and undermines reform and innovation at every turn. Real reform means finally throwing off the burden of the hack-ocracy and creating palaces of academic excellence. It can happen if teachers and parents and students and communities seize the opportunity together. But will that kind of partnership actually evolve? In the past, efforts at school-based management all too often wound up being taken over by the teachers union, which squelched parents and dissenters. In this case, we have a deal that was cut by the mayor in a backroom with the California Teachers Association and United Teachers Los Angeles, powerful interest groups that have long been a big part of what’s wrong with our schools. The governor and both the leader of the state Senate and the Assembly are all aboard this deal, which raises yet another concern. What’s needed is an open and lively public conversation about our schools and what’s best for the kids – not behind-the-scenes political manipulation. Villaraigosa has a nice feather in his cap as he celebrates his first anniversary in office but the hard work remains to be done – and done in public.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! IT’S not quite the victory that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sought when he declared he wanted to take control of the massive Los Angeles Unified School District. But the political compromise that the mayor worked out in Sacramento after marathon negotiations is a step in the right direction. However, there are still many critical questions left unanswered. First and foremost: Where’s the accountability? Under the proposal, the school board – long a largely dysfunctional group serving the unions better than the public – would be stripped of much of its authority. Instead of meddling ineffectively in everything, it would be more like a corporate board of directors, removed from day-to-day involvement. Villaraigosa, along with the mayors of small cities that are within the LAUSD, would have veto power over choosing the selection of a new superintendent to succeed the retiring Roy Romer. The council of mayors (with the L.A. mayor having most of the power) also would have a major say in budgeting and running the district’s worst schools. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The superintendent would have greatly expanded authority even to awarding all contracts without public scrutiny or debate. And schools – principals, teachers and parents – would have direct responsibility for running individual campuses, as charter schools now do. In Villaraigosa’s mind, the deal is about 80 percent of what he originally wanted when he first made mayoral takeover the flagship of his candidacy. The devil is in the details that the Legislature finally works out and in how this plan – if it passes both houses – is ultimately implemented. There remain a lot of concerns. The first goal was supposed to be accountability, but the proposed structure is cumbersome and has multiple lines of authority. Then there is the question of clearly defining the authority of the superintendent so that individual schools don’t run amok and the quality of education improves dramatically. Still, the outline of the plan represents the first significant step toward real reform. And it comes not a moment too soon.
4 August 2014Team South Africa finished the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Sunday with a total haul of 40 medals, made up of 13 golds, 10 silvers and 17 bronze medals.While it was an improvement over the 33 medals won in Delhi in 2010, the team failed to replicate its fifth-place finish in the medal standings, instead finishing in seventh place this time around.The final weekend began in golden fashion for South Africa, and it was the lawn bowlers that continued to deliver the goods as Colleen Piketh and Tracy-Lee Botha combined for a tense victory over England in the women’s pairs.It came down to an extra end after the teams were tied at 17-17 after 18 ends, but Piketh and Botha then showed their mettle to claim three more shots and the title.‘The best feeling ever’“Just the fact that you do all the hard work, and all the preparation, and the fact that you can actually compete on the world stage and come out on top is the best feeling ever,” Piketh said in a post-final interview.Botha, who won two gold medals, said it was all about teamwork. “They both came in team disciplines and it is because of the team that I am sitting with two golds around my neck.“I couldn’t be more honoured and more proud of the lawn bowls in South Africa as well,” she added.With a Commonwealth Games record of five gold medals and two bronze medals, South Africa convincingly topped the lawn bowls’ medal table and contributed nearly half of the country’s title wins.Triple jump goldOn Saturday at Hampden Park, rain did not stop Khotso Mokoena producing an outstanding triple jump of 17.20 metres to capture the gold medal. That distance, a season’s best, was only five centimetres short of his career best, which is also the South African record, set way back in April 2005.Mokoena won a silver medal in the triple jump at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, but then chose to concentrate on long jump the following year. This year, he returned to the triple jump.“I think I’m much stronger now,” he reflected after his win in Glasgow. “I didn’t have a full season as I only started training three weeks before Nationals. To be frank, I’m not in shape at all, but Emmarie Fouche, his coach was able to sharpen me to get me to this level, which is awesome.“I’ve had a long career. I was down and tired and at the end of last year I wanted to quit, but Emmarie said I still have a chance. I looked at Dwight Phillips, who was still able to jump 8.6 metres at the age of 32 and 33. Now I’m back and hungry again.”Expressing his surprise at his superb showing, Mokoena concluded: “I didn’t expect to jump 17 metres this year. She put me through that. I felt I could have jumped 17.40 for a national record today, but I think I was just too excited.”Pipped on the finishing lineJohan Cronje ran a good race in a tactical, slow 1 500 metres final, but was pipped on the finishing line by New Zealand’s Nick Willis for the bronze medal.Kenya’s James Magut took the win a 3:39.31, with his team-mate Ronald Kwemoi in second place in 3:39.53 and Willis, who finished at an astonishing pace, third in 3:39.60. Cronje, who won bronze at the IAAF World Championships last year, was a mere five-hundredths of a second behind the Kiwi.The South African men’s 4 x 100m relay team ran a national record 38.35 seconds in the final of the event, but had to settle for fourth place. Jamaica, predictably, took the win in 37.58, with England in second and Trinidad and Tobago third.”I have the medal potential’After finishing 15th in the time trial, cyclist Ashleigh Moolman Pasio had told reporters: “I really hadn’t focused on this event. It’s the road race where I have the medal potential.”Those words proved prophetic as she claimed the bronze medal in a dramatic dice for the line with Australia’s Tiffany Cromwell. A photo was needed to determine who had crossed the line first and it showed that it was the South African by the tiniest of margins.England’s Lizzie Armitstead took the gold, with her team-mate Emma Pooley claiming the silver after the pair had worked very effectively together once a breakaway of seven riders had taken place.“I was concerned at the finish, and I really did not think that I had finished third, and I felt a bit down, and when I saw the photo-finish photo, I just couldn’t believe it,” Moolman Pasio said afterwards.“When we crossed the finish line, I just lunged and threw my bike and that’s what made all the difference.”Boxing bronzeTulani Mbenge claimed a bronze medal in the welterweight division of the boxing competition. He scored wins over Samoa’s Henry Tyrell, Kenya’s Rayton Okwiri and Guyana’s Eon Bancroft before going down to England’s Scott Fitzgerald in the semi- finals.Mbenge started confidently against the Englishman, moving well and finding his range early. Fitzgerald, however, appeared to rattle the South Africa’s rhythm by crowding him and moving forward. Nonetheless, it was a first boxing medal for South Africa since the 2006 Melbourne Games.Hockey playoffsThe South African women’s hockey team missed out on a medal when they fell 2-5 to New Zealand in a playoff for the bronze medal.The men’s team finished in fifth place. Down 2-3 to Canada in their final match, they turned on the style in the later stages of the contest to run out convincing 7-3 winners.Swimming medalsWhile bowls proved to be South Africa’s best source of gold medals in Glasgow, swimming produced 12 medals in total, including three gold, three silver and six bronze medals, which was good for fourth on the medal table, and good for the third most medals won.What is a little concerning, however, is that Chad le Clos was part of seven of the medals won, and some questions about the depth of South African swimming have been raised.Athletics improvementOn a positive note, track and field athletes delivered a much improved performance on their results of 2010 in India, finishing sixth on the table, after claiming three gold, four silver and two bronze medals, a total of nine in all.In Delhi, the team won two gold, two silver and one bronze medal and finished eighth.Sustained excellenceJavelin thrower Sunette Viljoen, although not a title winner, deserves special mention. After winning gold medals in Melbourne in 2006 and Delhi in 2010, she added a silver medal to her outstanding Commonwealth Games medal collection, underlining her sustained excellence over a long period of time.SAinfo reporter
KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA—Astronomers have long predicted that the oldest stars in our Milky Way galaxy are in the center, while its outer environs are full of younger objects. Now, they have mapped out their prediction in exquisite detail, thanks to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), a 2.5-meter telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico. A team of astronomers used SDSS to determine the masses of red giant stars, bright stars nearing the end of their lives, scattered throughout the Milky Way. The older a red giant, generally speaking, the lower its mass. But SDSS cannot measure mass directly. As the team described to the American Astronomical Society meeting here today, they combined the spectra of light from the red giants with data from NASA’s Kepler observatory, designed to find exoplanets, to calculate the masses of 70,000 red giants across a large swathe of the Milky Way, out to a distance of 50,000 light years. In the map, shown above, the focus with lines coming out of it is the location of Earth. To its right are older stars (red) around the galactic center and to its left are younger (blue) stars in the outer parts of the disk. As the team says, the Milky Way grew out as it grew up. *Correction, 12 January, 3:47 p.m.: This item was updated to reflected that the stars studied were red giants, not red dwarfs. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)
KejriwalNew Delhi, Dec 23 (PTI) Continuing his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said had he been in his place, he would have sacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley immediately.”If I were in place of Shri Narendra Modi ji, I would have immediately sacked Jaitley ji,” Kejriwal tweeted, mounting a fresh offensive over the alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association.The Prime Minister as well the BJP have rallied behind Jaitley. In a strong show of support for Jaitley yesterday, Modi said the Finance Minister will come through “with flying colours” against charges of corruption levelled against him by the opposition in the same way party veteran L K Advani did in the Hawala case.The Delhi Chief Minister also said the sports bodies should be free from politicians and be handled by professionals.”There should be no politician in any sports body. Let sports be handled by professionals,” Kejriwal tweeted. PTI PR SK