Drug wars and crises

Announcing the end of Mexico’s 13-year drug war, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters yesterday that “The main purpose of the government is to guarantee public safety … What we want is security, to reduce the daily number of homicides.” That modest goal sounds much less so if you consider that the Mexican drug war has claimed more than 200,000 lives, including 33,000 last year alone.

Impartial inquiry needed into deaths of three children

The death of three young children, being cancer patients at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) has once more starkly thrust that hospital into the limelight of public scrutiny, creating serious public interest in the outcome of a promised investigation into the three deaths which occurred over a matter of mere hours and days.

Trade rows and old clothes

A few days ago, rumblings were being heard again in Kenya about ending the importation of second-hand clothing.

Hold your horses

The casual cricket follower who resides somewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere must have been quite confused when he initially tuned in to his favourite cricket channel to view the First Test between England and the West Indies last Saturday morning (in the Caribbean, evening on the Sub-continent).    

The dismissal of Mr. Royston King

It would be a good thing if the removal of Mr. Royston King from the office of Town Clerk redounds to the improved effectiveness of the Georgetown municipality even though the benefit of experience does not afford us the luxury of unbridled optimism.

Recognition

Recognition is customarily accorded to a country’s government on the basis that it is a de facto government.

Every One, Every Day

A few days ago, as H.bomberguy livestreamed a session of Donkey Kong 64 on the gaming platform Switch, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District, entered the conversation as an “[Unidentified Caller].” The event, which was a fundraiser for transgender teens, had already received a call from the whistleblower turned politician Chelsea Manning, but when Ocasio-Cortez (AOC as she is better known online) identified herself the gamers were visibly starstruck.

A planetary diet

Would you change the way you eat to save the world? Would you do it to safeguard your health so that you can live longer?

First Test

When the West Indies take the field this morning at the start of the First Test versus Joe Root’s England team fans throughout the Caribbean will be taking surreptitious glances throughout the day at the nearest television set, hoping that this is the long awaited new beginning.  

Contemplating the Cooperative Movement

The 2017 Report by the “Ministerial Task Force on the Revitalization of The Cooperative Movement in Guyana”, information from which was published in last Friday’s issue of the Stabroek Business was by far the most candid official assessment of the performance of cooperatives in Guyana to have been seen in several years.

Political developments

Saturday’s election of Mr Irfaan Ali as the PPP/C presidential candidate for the general elections to be held in three months from December 21st is unsurprising.

Dual citizenship

Nothing could have done more to persuade the electorate that our politicians are utterly cynical than the pantomime which has been playing out over MPs having dual citizenship in contravention of the Constitution.

Learning from Whitehall and Washington

A New York Times Op-Ed by Pankaj Mishra calls the comedy of errors which Brexit has become a ‘moment of moral dereliction by the county’s rulers.’ He compares the present debacle to the imperial endgame in India, a period in which Britain’s myths of its enlightened leadership collided with harsh facts about “the malign incompetence” of its actual ruling class.

Tackling the Sindicatos

At a time when the entire world seems to be experiencing unprecedented change in some way or the other, it is important that the institutions of the state function with a clear focus and systematic efficiency, to avoid becoming swept up in, or swept away by this unrelenting stream of change.

Medicine and money

Anyone who views shows originating in the United States, whether on a television channel, YouTube or other online platforms funded by commercials would be familiar with the rampant advertising employed by global pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Welcome England

Last Friday, the wives and girlfriends of the members of that long suffering group, the West Indies Test Cricket Fan Club, had to endure an annual ritual which coincided with the arrival of the sixteenth English Test team in Barbados.

Natural Resource Fund Bill

On January 3rd  –  just hours after the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland had declined to revisit the December 21, 2018  motion of no-confidence that resulted in the defeat of the APNU+AFC government, the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) Bill 2018 was passed after being presented for second and third reading by the Minister of Finance Winston Jordan.

Cultural institutions

The problem with Guyana – and this applies to many developing countries – is that the things which really matter in terms of the definition of a country and its identity over an extended timeframe, have to compete for limited funding with what are deemed to be urgent needs.

The art of the possible

In 1801, writing to John Dickinson, a fellow founding father, Thomas Jefferson advised his colleague that “if we do not learn to sacrifice small differences of opinion, we can never act together.

Improving coastal management

Guyana’s unique geographical location on the North Atlantic coast of the South American continent has many benefits including being accessible to water transportation such as cargo, luxury and other vessels.

Unsustainable city

November 26, last year was the last time the major garbage removal contracting companies withdrew their services from Georgetown, citing non-payment of huge outstanding sums of money and following a nauseating pattern that has unfolded for more than a decade.

The future of Artificial Intelligence

While the rest of the world is still busy adjusting to the commencement of the New Year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s largest technology convention kicked off last Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada, with most of the world’s leading electronic giants holding press conferences to announce their latest innovations.

A Code of Conduct for Minibus operators

So it seems that we may be on the verge of a Code of Conduct for the minibus industry which, if it can be suitably crafted and effectively implemented (and those are big if’s) can go a far way in raising standards of public order and significantly improving customer service in one of the most important enterprises in the service sector.

Respect the Constitution

After dispensing with the savings clauses and symbols of statehood, the Constitution of the Co-Operative Republic of Guyana gets down to the nub of its primacy.

A new excuse

Last week everyone’s attention was riveted on the consequences of the no-confidence vote and the scheduling of Parliament at a time when the government was expected to have resigned.

Breaking new ground

Fifty years ago, when Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended Harvard, the dean of the law school would meet with female students once a year.

A modernized GPOC

In an age of growing e-commerce and increased internet-based communications, the local postal service, the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC), remains a vital institution serving communities across the country, no matter how small or remote.

The culture of right now

It may be that the final figures will be tweaked a bit, but it is estimated that for Christmas 2018, shoppers in the United States spent roughly US$1 trillion, while those in the United Kingdom spent over £2 billion.

Venezuela’s December 22 act of aggression and the national response

Venezuela, over the years, would have been monitoring closely both the exploratory work by ExxonMobil in its search for what, as it turns out, is Guyana’s huge reservoir of oil reserves, the various oil finds that have been realised since around May 2015 and now the unfolding plans for the start of the oil recovery exercises which are imminent and which can transform Guyana’s economic fortunes in the period ahead.

Enough of this charade

As the year comes to a tumultuous end, it is now up to President Granger to show leadership and to demonstrate that the country and constitutional governance will be put above all else – particularly the insular interests of APNU+AFC.

Majority vote

The course of changing government in Guyana never did run smooth, and true to form we now find ourselves in the middle of another political transition muddle, this time of a possible legal variety.

Beyond partisanship

As this year draws to a close, America’s volatile stock market seems a fitting image for our likely future.

Bipartisanship even more important now

With the fractured political climate that exists in Guyana, it becomes extremely important that common ground is actively pursued, concretised and expressed in the form of policies through the National Assembly.

No-confidence vote

Friday’s vote in the National Assembly by APNU+AFC MP, Charrandas Persaud  has triggered the fall of the government.

Chaotic Democracy

The sudden resignation of US defence secretary James Mattis is another depressing milestone in President Trump’s chaotic misrule.

Enabling environment for land development

The announcement one year ago by the Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), Mr Trevor Benn, of the preparation of a National Land Policy was a welcome one.

Health literacy

About a week ago, a story went viral online about a woman who drank a litre of soy sauce in an hour, a purported attempt to cleanse her colon and ended up brain dead.

Parenting decisions

The Letters to the Editor column in this newspaper since its inception thirty odd years ago has been an outlet for readers to vent their feelings and thoughts on all manner of subjects ranging from blackouts to road construction to minibus drivers to the salaries of teachers, to mention but a few.  

Mr. Jagdeo’s way

There is no mistaking the uniqueness of Bharrat Jagdeo as a Guyanese politician and public figure.

Guyana and Huawei

It has been a particularly testing last couple of weeks for leading Chinese telecoms equipment provider, Huawei, underlined by the dramatic arrest in Canada of its Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, pending hearings for extradition to the United States over Iran-linked transactions with multi-national banks.

Supersonic bombers

It was reported by Reuters on Tuesday that two Russian TU-160 supersonic bombers, also known as ‘White Swans’, had landed in Venezuela the day before.

Guardians of Democracy

For its 2018 Person of the Year award, Time magazine has chosen a group of Journalists which it designates as “The Guardians.” Among them are Jamal Khashoggi, two Reuters reporters imprisoned in Myanmar, an arrested Philippine journalist and the staff of a Maryland newspaper – The Capital Gazette –in whose offices five people were fatally shot in June.

Oil and national cohesiveness

There has been much talk over the years about the importance of achieving social cohesion in Guyana, particularly since the current administration put in place a Ministry of Social Cohesion intended to advance social cohesion among the various racial and cultural groups in Guyana.

Corruption

On November 18, this year, six people were killed in Haiti during an anti-corruption demonstration, which saw thousands of protesters marching in the capital Port-au-Prince and other parts of the country.

Killing the chicken

Two Saturdays ago, on 1st December, Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver, Canada.