Apple’s trillion dollar valuation

Earlier this week Apple became a trillion dollar company, an estimate close to the combined value of America’s ‘big four’ banks, and the single highest valuation for a company in history.

Threats to press freedom

“Press freedom is facing new threats in major democracies as well as in repressive states, where authorities are focusing their efforts on social media and other online platforms after reducing the independence of major print and broadcast outlets.” This is how the April 2018 Press Freedom report labelled “Attacks on the Record: The State of Global Press Freedom, 2017-2018” prepared by independent watchdog, Freedom House located in Washington and New York, USA.

Demeaning and destructive

On Monday last, the BBC reported on a shocking incident of assault, the video of which had already gone viral.

A voice in the wilderness

One of the lesser known Japanese products of recent times is the Shouting Vase, a pottery –inspired plastic jug mouth muffler which is designed to fit the contours of your mouth. 

The New York Times’ cheap shot

It is not in the nature of newspapers like the New York Times, on those occasions when they must pay a measure of editorial attention to countries like Guyana, long arbitrarily grouped as ‘banana republics,’ to fail to litter their offerings with ill-informed and open ridicule, sparing no feelings.

Continuing problems in the police force

More than three years after APNU+AFC entered office, the public has grown increasingly impatient with the poor performance and corruption in the security sector particularly considering that President Granger had had deep engagement with law and order matters before taking office and was one of the members of the 2003 Disciplined Forces Commission (DFC) which enquired into the deficiencies and challenges facing each of the services.

Emancipation

On Wednesday we will celebrate Emancipation Day. And it is worth celebrating, not just by the descendants of those from whom the shackles of slavery were removed on August 1, 1838, but by everyone.

Bad news and Facebook

When Facebook’s stock plummeted earlier this week, wiping out US$120 billion dollars of market capitalisation in a single day, Wall Street’s analysts – most of whom had rated the stock as a strong buy just the day before –  couldn’t agree on the exact cause.

Krauss’s article and insights

When writing an article, a writer wants his first few words and sentences to grab the attention of the reader and to set the tone for the rest of the article.

Plastic: not so fantastic

Video footage taken last week and shared online more than a million times since, to expressions of disgust and outrage from many, shows sluggish waves of waste, mostly plastics, hitting the shoreline at Montesinos Beach in the Dominican Republic capital following a storm.

Mission Impossible

The Mission: Impossible franchise started out in 1966 as an American television series and ran for seven seasons.

The mistreatment of police vehicles

One might have thought that in a discipline-driven  organization like the Guyana Police Force (GPF) it would be unnecessary for the subject Minister to have to ‘reach in,’ so to speak and to publicly declare that policemen (and women) responsible for damage to the Force’s vehicles in circumstances that can reasonably be deemed to be the result of their own recklessness/carelessness would have to go into their pockets to pay for the damage.

A welcome initiative by President Carter

Former US President Carter’s recent conversations with President Granger and Opposition Leader Jagdeo in an initiative to get high-level dialogue between the two leaders going is most welcome.

Warraus

It should come as no surprise to anyone that there are increasing numbers of Venezuelans taking refuge in this country.

Age of extremes

A recent study by America’s Economic Policy Institute shows that US income inequality  is now approaching levels not seen since the eve of the Wall Street crash.

Disaster Preparedness

Over the years the response of the Guyana Civil Defence Commission (CDC) to various local emergencies, mostly to do with flooding in riverain areas, has not always been sufficiently sophisticated, nor always timely and effective.

Different lives

For the year so far, at least seven men have been convicted of child rape, one pleaded guilty, at least one was acquitted and more than three have been charged.

World Cup observations

When the Air France jet carrying the triumphant French team, the 2018 FIFA World Cup champions, touched down at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris on Monday it was greeted with a water cannon salute and hundreds of adoring fans. 

The Ministry of Public Health and the tender process

The manner in which drugs and other materiel associated with the delivery of services at the state-run health care institutions in Guyana are acquired has long been the subject of animated public chatter that often alights upon the subject of the circumvention of tender regulations and excursions into what are believed to be optional corrupt practices.

Mercury and the Kaituma River

Last Monday, the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) made the startling revelation that the mercury content of the Kaituma River was tested and found to be too high for consumption by the residents of the Region One community.

Europe’s World Cup Final

When France play Croatia in the  World Cup final tomorrow, the teams will quite literally embody two competing visions of European nationhood. 

Georgetown Prison and insecurity

Since the incredibly high-profile prison break in 2002, the Georgetown Prison has been under intense public scrutiny regarding its ability to safely house detainees without undue public and internal risk.

Stop smoking: it’s common sense

During the 1990s just when the rumblings about the effects of smoking on health were finally being heard in developing countries, a world tobacco conglomerate sponsored a forum for journalists.

Priceless

Whilst the world has been enthralled over the last few weeks as thirty-two countries battled for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, a much heated debate has been growing here in the letter columns of the local broadsheets.  

Minister Lawrence’s corruption tirade

What we make of the recent press statement by the MOPH warning “senior employees to look out for police detectives and Finance Ministry internal auditors”, who will soon begin investigations into the “misappropriation of funds and the blatant attempts to steal public funds” depends on the perspective from which we interpret it, there being a seeming absence of context to the document itself.  

Presidential press conferences

On May 10 this year, the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) called on the Jamaican Government to urgently resume traditional post-Cabinet press briefings.

PNCR Chairman, PPP candidate

Following the passing of the first rank of post-Independence leaders of our two major parties, it has not always been a foregone conclusion as to who should succeed them.

Nobody’s Nation

In February 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services changed its mission statement.

Prison suicides

In Guyana there is neither much thought nor action given towards the idea of the human rights of prisoners – even those on remand who have not yet been given due process through the judicial system.

Kicking apathy to the curb

Twenty-eight-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s win at the Democratic Primary of the US midterm elections, which held shock value for many Americans, more so New Yorkers, who had never even heard her name before that date, is possibly part of a change occurring in world politics.

Fados and penalties

Over the last three weeks a significant majority of the earth’s population have been focusing their energies and attention on the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

What to do about our prison security system

Given President David Granger’s own forthright expressions of concern over issues of public security he is unlikely to give the prevailing prison security regime anything above a dismal report card.

Questionable spending 

Questions posed by Members of Parliament to Ministers of the Government continue to elicit interesting answers and this mechanism should be utilised to the fullest in the public’s interest.

Indigenous Peoples’ party

On June 18 through a post on Facebook, the former Toshao of Pakuri, Mr Lenox Shuman, announced the likely formation of a new political party.

A Red Letter occasion

Last Tuesday, the first tremors of a political earthquake passed through New York City.

Dysfunction and ignorance

The murder of 28-year-old Tovonie Alexce Simmons of Limlair Village, Corentyne, Berbice last Wednesday would have brought the toll of women killed in or as a result of domestic violence situations to approximately two a month for the year so far.

Future of Test cricket

The first ever day/night Test match in the West Indies began last Saturday at 3:00 pm, East Caribbean Time, at the Kensington Oval, Barbados, and finished yesterday afternoon just before 4:00 pm, with Sri Lanka beating the West Indies by four wickets in a tense low-scoring affair.

Guns and hinterland security

If, on the one hand, the reported imminent return to citizens in the Cuyuni/Mazaruni area of guns ‘called in’ by the authorities during a 2015 post-election amnesty tied to the surrendering of unlicensed firearms should be comforting to those residents who have been without their weapons for some time, there are considerations associated with this development that are deserving of more studied discourse.

A coordinating committee after 5,000 jobs lost?

In the aftermath of the loss of nearly 5,000 jobs in the industry, Friday’s announcement by the Guyana Sugar Corporation that it has created a coordinating committee for its ‘Sustainable and Resilient Communities Programme’ and ‘Alternative Livelihoods Initiative’ can only be seen as another sign of the gross failure of the APNU+AFC administration to come to grips with its responsibilities.

Venezuela’s refusal to participate at the ICJ

The Foreign Ministry could hardly have been surprised when on Monday, June 18, Venezuela made it known that it did not intend to participate in proceedings brought by Guyana in the International Court of Justice with regard to Caracas’s claim that the 1899 settlement of the border between the two countries was null and void.

The politics of displacement

Last week, on World Refugee Day, the Guardian printed the names of 34,361 migrants who have died since the early 1990s, while trying to enter Europe.

Deaths due to medical error

It is perhaps an inescapable fact, applicable to countries around the world, that the public has a notoriously short memory.

The links are still missing

Unemployment and poor infrastructure are two of the recurring themes in our Sunday feature, the World Beyond Georgetown.

VAR controversy

The 2018 World Cup kicked off last Thursday with the usual pomp and ceremony, and the fans of the game are filled with hope that their country will be lifting the World Cup trophy come Sunday, 15th July.

Town Clerk’s food safety licence lament

It appears that one of Town Clerk Royston King’s difficulties as Head of the Georgetown Municipality’s administration is his lack of understanding of how much the image of his administration depends on the goodwill of the citizenry, a circumstance that is decidedly surprising given the fact that  he had served as the City’s Public Relations Officer immediately prior to being elevated to Town Clerk and would therefore have come to his current job with some understanding of the virtues of image-management.

Figures on Cubans, Haitians

One of the innovations of constitutional reform, the sectoral committees of Parliament can undoubtedly help to richen the engagement between the people and the legislature.

Decriminalisation of homosexuality

The Gay Pride March which was held earlier this month in Georgetown was less significant in terms of what it represented in and of itself, than for the fact that it generated yet again the fundamental debate on the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

America’s zero-tolerance immigration

Two weeks ago, a New York Times op-ed by Anne Richard, a former assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration asked “Is the United States Losing Its Humanity?” As evidence Richard cited the nomination of a “virulently anti-immigrant” candidate for her previous post, a sharp reduction of refugee aid to the UN, and, in response to criticism of the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, an 80 percent cut to the funding of a UN agency “that runs schools and provides health care to Palestinian refugees”.