Editorial

A new Cold War?

As the NATO powers and Russia continue to engage over the future of Ukraine, observers might well begin to wonder whether we are seeing the first stages of a new Cold War, over twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact which encompassed the countries of what was then called Eastern Europe .

The reading challenge

It is easy to understand why Education Minister Priya Manickchand would not want the media to dwell on the fact that a survey conducted by her ministry indicates that just 32 per cent of our children between Grades One and Six are reading at their respective grade levels .

Gov’t gone haywire

When objectively evaluated, the only conclusion that can be drawn from the unceremonious bust up between the Guyana Government and the Indian company Surendra is that the Ramotar administration doesn’t understand the importance of good business .

Literacy

On International Literacy Day on Monday, yet another literacy action plan was rolled out .

Fighting corruption

Although it took place around the time that Apple launched new products and the US government outlined its plans to attack Islamic State (IS) forces with a “coalition of the willing,” the Democratic primary recently won by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo deserved more attention than it received .

The Scottish referendum

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland faces a new D-Day in six days’ time which, although expected to be peaceful, could potentially bring about far-reaching and largely unpredictable change .

Silly season

An election date has not yet been hinted at, but the silly season has begun .

Small island developing states meet again

With the participation, as full members, of Guyana, Suriname and Belize from Caricom, the small island developing states of the globe concluded their third full meeting since 1994 under the auspices of the United Nations last week .

Revisiting the free textbooks policy

There exists a well-intentioned but onerous and far from efficient arrangement that allows for children attending state schools to benefit from textbooks loaned from the Ministry of Education .

Water versus gold at Port Kaituma

Two weeks ago, residents of Port Kaituma and nearby areas began to complain bitterly about the pollution of their water supplies by miners working upstream .

Workshops and suicide

Guyana has earned itself another dubious world record .

Suicide prevention should be a national priority

Every 40 seconds, someone takes their own life .

The WICB’s brave, new world

West Indies Cricket Board CEO Michael Muirhead has defended the Board’s decision not to sanction the two cricketers who made themselves unavailable for the Test series against Bangladesh, beginning today .

Scandalous

To say that tact appears not to be the strong point of this administration is one way to very mildly explain the constant “eh?” moments one has while listening to its members .

Struggle over Ukraine continues

We feel almost forced to return to the struggle between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) powers and Russia over Ukraine, so soon after our last editorial on this issue .

Another school year gets underway

Pity indeed that our education system is not afforded the luxury of leaving the previous year’s difficulties behind at the start of a new academic year .

Elections arrangements

After months of contradictory statements, the PPP/C government is still to make a cogent and believable case as to why long-awaited local government elections have not been called .

New developments

While normally during the parliamentary recess in August and September there is a kind of political intermission, that is not quite the case this year .

Panicking over Ebola

Newsweek magazine’s recent cover story about Ebola is suggestive of larger failings in the way the spread of the disease has been covered by the international media .

Cricket and regional pride

Last Friday’s editorial on the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) came close to being a purist’s lament for the lost virtues of Test cricket in the region and a hankering for the halcyon days of West Indies cricket .

Driving drunk

In an exclusive report in last Sunday’s Toronto Sun newspaper, an Emergency Room (ER) doctor revealed his angst at being forced to respect patient confidentiality while tending to a visibly drunk driver .

Scotland’s proposed secession from Britain

With a proposed date for a vote on secession from Great Britain of September 18 now almost within reach, the governing Scottish National Party (SNP) finds itself facing stiff competition from the forces opposed to the establishment of an independent Scotland .

Cleaning up the country

The government has allowed a discomfiting hiatus to develop between the announcement by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh in his budget speech last March that government was allocating one billion Guyana dollars to a coastal cleanup exercise and the actualization of the exercise .

Forestry contracts

What is clear from the eruptions over the activities of Bai Shan Lin, Vaitarna and similar logging and extractive companies, is that the PPP/C government has been engaged in drawing up agreements which either do not reflect the best interests of the nation or are not being properly enforced .

Population and politics

It was the late Deryck Bernard, a population geographer by profession, who a long time ago drew attention to the changing demographics of Guyana and the possible attendant political consequences .

Iraq’s complex crisis

“No one starts a war – or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so,” wrote the great Prussian theorist Carl von Clausewitz – “without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it .

The 2014 Limacol CPL and the purists

It was a pity that this year’s Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) had to come to such an unsatisfactory conclusion last Sunday .

Improving teacher effectiveness

A new World Bank study has revealed that across Latin America and the Caribbean, public school students are deprived of at least one full day of class a week and that this is a result of low teacher effectiveness .

Trinidad’s constitutional gyrations

Fresh from presiding over the resignation of her Minister of Sport at the end of last month as a furore built up around a financial scandal in his ministry, this being the twentieth dismissal or resignation of a minister since the UNC-COP coalition came into office in May of 2010, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has succeeded in swiftly changing the political discussion agenda in Trinidad & Tobago .

National security and the Waini submersible

It would be an error of epic proportions if the Government of Guyana were to allow the recent discovery of what a section of the media has described as a “rudimentary submarine” in the Waini region to pass without the fullest possible disclosure, including an enlightening public discourse on the implications of the discovery for our national security .

Logging syndrome

Recent reports about the forestry industry present a significant problem for this already weakened and increasingly rudderless government .

The police and the submersible

Who would have thought Guyana had developed so far so fast? It is true we built ships in the old days to ply our rivers – but transoceanic submarines – or in this case, a submersible, constructed, it must be said, in fairly primitive conditions in the Waini forest? This was the last thing even the ever optimistic Minister of Finance could have anticipated in one of his more uninhibited flights of imagination .

Guyana’s scholars

The Guyanese who earned first-class results in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) exams are living proof, if any were needed, that despite our periodic jeremiads about the brain drain to Everywhere Else, there is no shortage of intelligent people in this country .

More controversy in T&T

The latest political controversy in Trinidad and Tobago surrounds the passage early on Tuesday morning of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014, in the lower house of Parliament .

The self-sufficiency myth

If it seems that you’ve heard it all before when it comes to food self-sufficiency, don’t doubt yourself; you most likely have .

Ukraine and the powers

The issue of the future relationship between the European Union, on the one hand, and Russia on the other, continues to remain prominent in current international relations .

On a hiding to nowhere

It may well be that as a nation we have grown comfortable with what has become a propensity for debating the issues that face us ‘to death,’ taking them in turn, turning them inside out, then, without making even as much as the slightest effort to apply a solution, moving on to the next issue or set of issues, ventilating them as if they were no more than pretexts for a casual intellectual exercise rather than real and pressing issues, requiring urgent attention .



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