Monday’s acquittal of Wesley Carlos Payne, called “Piggy,” who had been on trial for the rape of a nurse in a ward at the Wismar Hospital in 2008, points to a seeming, continuous and alarming lack of quality investigation and prosecution.

Rare company

On Sunday, at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, the eighth round of the Regional Professional Cricket League (PCL) four-day match between the hosts and Guyana was interrupted for the Twenty20  International game between the visiting Pakistanis and the West Indies .

Food safety: On a hiding to nowhere

Last week, the Government Analyst Food & Drugs Department (GA/FDD) dispatched a letter to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to prohibit a named US-based company from facilitating transactions pertaining to the importation of consignments of foods into Guyana on the grounds that the said company had been involved in arrangements allowing for imports that do not meet the requirements of the country’s Food and Drugs Act.

Bizarre happenings

Affairs at City Hall are becoming increasingly bizarre. Who would have thought that following the local government elections last year, when the citizenry was looking forward to a new era of transparency, accountability and rationality in the management of their capital, it would become a byword for exactly the opposite?

What Walcott knew

“Biographies of poets are hard to believe,” warned Derek Walcott in an essay on Robert Lowell, for “[t]he moment they are published they become fiction, subject to the same symmetry of plot, incident, dialogue as the novel.” For close readers, however, there is always a more intimate account in the work itself; there we can watch the artist’s lonely toil in what TS Eliot called the “intolerable wrestle with words and meanings.” In Lowell’s case, for instance, Walcott noticed a persistent interest in the sheer labour of creation, the “pain of making poems.” Brilliantly, he observes that Lowell “doesn’t sweep the fragments off the floor of his study, or studio, and show you only the finished sculpture.” Recognised early for the prodigy that he was, Walcott proceeded quite differently to Lowell.

Done deal and then what?

Finally, after months of what appeared to be indecision, the government has suspended the parking meter project for three months. This is according to an order made by Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan yesterday, the second such in a matter of a week.

Get a good lawyer

On June 19, 2016, the Sunday Stabroek editorialised as follows on the deal to establish paid parking here. “Given the lack of public consultation on the proposed meters; the absence of debate on the pros and cons; the failure to lay all matters connected with the project before the city council; the apparent lack of research on options regarding who should be contracted to implement the project; the seeming insubstantiality of the company which was selected; and the clandestine nature of the contract with that company, the only sensible thing at this stage is for the whole parking meter programme to be suspended, if not aborted altogether.” This was followed by an August 8, 2016 Stabroek News editorial which said as follows: “So much has been found to be wrong with the secret contract signed between the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) and Smart City Solutions (SCS) for parking meters over a 49-year period that it is amazing that it hasn’t been cancelled as yet.

Indentureship abolition

The month of March marks the centenary of the end of Indian indentureship. It was temporarily suspended first on March 12, 1917, although around two weeks later on March 27, this interim decision was confirmed.

Defunding dissent

President Trump’s “skinny” budget is effectively a declaration of war on what chief White House strategist Steve Bannon calls the “administrative state.” The $1.5 trillion budget proposal seeks a ten per cent increase for military spending offset by the elimination of 19 federal agencies in order to save $10.5 trillion of government spending over the next decade.

Interesting times?

There is an ancient Chinese curse that reads, “May you live in interesting times.” Those words do not immediately summon any thoughts of foreboding, but when we consider the events that have occurred since the beginning of 2017, and we are scarcely three months in, it becomes obvious even to the casual observer that very “interesting times” are indeed upon us here in Guyana.

Righting the wrongs

One of the most inexplicable things in this country is that regardless of how often or how long power outages are, there is never a commensurate reduction in one’s electricity bill.

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