Mega match-ups as CAF Champions League groups kick off

first_imgJohannesburg, South Africa | AFP | The 2018 CAF Champions League group phase kicks off this weekend with mega matches in Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa among the eight fixtures.North African giants Al Ahly of Egypt and Esperance of Tunisia clash this Friday followed by TP Mazembe of DR Congo against Entente Setif of Algeria the following day.Another Saturday showdown, between Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and title-holders Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, is also set to draw a large crowd and global TV audience.AFP Sport takes a group-by-group look at the matchday 1 fixtures in the premier African club competition with group winners and runners-up advancing to the quarter-finals.Group AThe Ahly-Esperance fixture has been moved from Cairo to Alexandria for security reasons as the Tunisians seek revenge for a 2017 quarter-final loss when the clubs last met.Record eight-time champions Ahly will miss injured Moroccan striker Walid Azaro and his Nigerian partner Junior Ajayi is doubtful for a match the Egyptian club should win.Township Rollers of Botswana host Kampala Capital City Authority of Uganda in Gaborone and it is hard to imagine either side challenging Ahly or Esperance for the top two places.Group BWhile the outcome of Group A appears clearcut, the same cannot be said of Group B, which is likely to be the toughest of the four mini-leagues to qualify from. Mazembe have won the competition five times and Setif twice and home advantage should give the Congolese the edge in the intimidating cauldron of Lubumbashi.But Mouloudia Alger of Algeria and Difaa el Jadida of Morocco, who meet in Algiers, are not without hope having scored 29 goals between them in eight qualifiers.Group CSundowns won the 2016 Champions League and were eliminated by highly organised Wydad in the quarter-finals last year after a penalty shootout.Another tight tussle is on the cards near Pretoria with the South Africans needing maximum points if they hope to finish first and face a theoretically weaker side in the quarter-finals.A couple of group debutants, Port of Togo and Horoya of Guinea, play in Lome, but neither west African club are realistic candidates for a top-two finish.Group DPicking the likely Group D winners is easy with former champions Etoile Sahel of Tunisia the standout side when it comes to strength and experience.But selecting the other quarter-finalists from Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland, Primeiro Agosto of Angola and Zesco United of Zambia is considerably trickier.Primeiro are back in the group stage after a 21-year absence and host Etoile in Luanda, while Swallows will be hunting a second Zambian scalp this season when away to Zesco in Ndola.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Laws, Policies on Forest Governance Launched

first_imgStakeholders want the program decentralized to include community leaders who are custodians of the forests.A day-long dialogue on laws and policies on Forest  Governance in the country was launched yesterday in Monrovia with a call to decentralize the program.Panelists analyzed Community Forestry Management Agreement (CFMA), which was signed in most communities of High Conservation Value Forest in the country. The CFMA seeks to promote community inclusion in forest protection and ensure meeting of national and international requirements on forests.The dialogue enhanced knowledge on forest laws and policies, and created a momentum for change in the forest sector.The launch of the dialogue marks this year’s International Day of Forests Celebrations, which is observed worldwide in March each year.The 2018 theme, Forests and Sustainable Cities, was formulated by the United Nations (UN) as a global celebration of forest that provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and to celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us.The local theme for this year’s events is “Save Liberia’s Tropical Forest, Save Liberia’s Future.” It was organized by NGO Coalition of Liberia in collaboration with Forest Development Authority (FDA), VOSIEDA (Volunteers to Support International Efforts in Developing Africa), a legally constituted Liberian development nongovernmental organization founded in 2001 and registered in 2003 in Monrovia, and Tropenbos International with funding from the European Union.The dialogue, according to VOSIEDA’s program coordinator, Abraham Billy, seeks to address several key challenges in the forest sector.“So it is important for the participants to know that Liberia has approximately 4.5 million hectares of lowland tropical forest that comprises 43 percent of the remaining Upper Guinean forests,” Mr. Billy said.These forests, Billy said, provide an important source of wealth to Liberia and its people. These include a wealth of non-timber forest products for daily consumption and medical cures, as well as employment and trade.Billy outlined how approximately 60 percent of original Liberian forests has been allotted to timber and agriculture concessions, while the remaining ones constitute national forest reserves under FDA and/or are owned and managed by local communities.Disappointment What is disheartening, according to Billy, is that over the last 15 years (between 2000 and 2018), it is estimated that roughly 25 percent of the country’s forest has been deforested and/or degraded.He said in 2005, Liberia lost about 6,000 hectares of its 4.5 million lowland forests, but this figure has grown exponentially; in 2010, this almost doubled to 11,000 hectares and in 2015, forest loss reached some 90,000 hectares in one year or almost 2 percent of its dense forests.This, he said, has harmed the country’s rich biodiversity, thus contributing to climate change and increasing poverty through low farm outputs, noting: “It is estimated that the yield levels of crops produced in the country have dropped.”Sam Kwenneh, NGO Coalition-Liberia Management Team leader, said the forest sector has the potential to generate substantial environmental, social and economic benefits. To achieve these, he said efficient monitoring of logging operations to reduce widespread corruption and violation of forestry regulations is critical. Thus dialoguing on these laws, policies and/or agreements to improve governance and equitable management of the country’s forests is important.The event brought together stakeholders and panelists from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-state Actors of NGOs, FDA newly-appointed Deputy Managing Director for Operations, Joseph J. Tally, EU representatives and others from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Bus conductor charged for narco trafficking

first_imgA minibus conductor found himself on the wrong side of the law on Friday when he appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged for possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.Warren Broomes of Guyhoc Park, Georgetown, denied the charged when it was read to him by Magistrate Leron Daly. It is alleged that on September 5, 2018, in Georgetown, he had in his possession 50 grams of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking.Police Prosecutor Sanj Singh made no objections to bail. Broomes was released on $50,000 bail.The 31-year-old man will make his next court appearance on October 19.last_img

Accused battery thief on $40,000 bail

first_imgA 31-year-old labourer of Lot 56 Norton Street, Georgetown on Friday found himself before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly after being accused of committing simple larceny.Kevin McLean appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts and denied the charge, which stated that on November 13, 2018 at Camp Street, South Cummingsburg, Georgetown, he stole two canter batteries valued $60,000, property of Clifton Douglas.Police Prosecutor Deniro Jones made no objection to bail being granted to the defendant.Magistrate Daly placed McLean on $40,000 bail. The case will continue on December 14.last_img

Minister Sharpe-Patterson drops bombshell on Guyanese

first_img…says “going to private hospitals means you have money, so pay VAT”…taxing condoms is taxing safe sex – Dr AnthonyGovernment has roundly rejected the avalanche of criticism against the proposed 2017 Budget measure to impose the Value Added Tax (VAT) on health services and medicines, saying that persons that opt to use private facilities and outlets have money to pay.Minister within the Communities Ministry, Valerie Sharpe-PattersonMinister within the Communities Ministry, Valerie Sharpe-Patterson dropped that bombshell as she delivered her contribution to the debate over the 2017 expenditures.She was at the time responding to People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament, Dr Frank Anthony, whose shadow remit in the National Assembly involved the Public Health Ministry.Dr Anthony had minutes earlier in his presentation lamented the Government’s move to apply VAT to basic medicines and services, and bemoaned the acute shortages of drugs that would plague the public health systems, forcing persons to seek treatment privately.Minister Sharpe-Patterson, in rebutting Dr Anthony, sought to point out that free medical services were provided by the Administration.PPP/C MP Dr Frank AnthonyIt was at this point in time the Minister told the House that if anybody wished to go to a private facility, it meant they had money and, as such, must pay VAT.Dr Anthony had been unrelenting in his criticism of the Administration’s signalled intention to apply VAT to drugs, medical supplies and medical services.The coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government is literally taxing the sick, and Dr Anthony appealed to Government to repeal the careless taxation measures or withdraw the Budget in its entirety.He told the House, “I am totally at a loss to describe this level of callousness that is being exhibited by this Government…Where is the compassion?”Lamenting the state of affairs, Dr Anthony reminded the House that the World Health Organisation (WHO), in addition to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), has been advocating the world over to ensure that medicines and health-related services and supply did not attract taxes.He told the House that for many years the Guyana Government has been compliant with this regime, and the APNU/AFC Administration was looking to reverse what obtains.In an appeal to the conscience of the members of the Government, Dr Anthony questioned where was the compassion for the sick, elderly, poor and disabled.According to Dr Anthony, the measures to impose taxes on the sick demonstrate the nature of the APNU/AFC Government.He drew the attention of the House that Budget 2017 has brought with it 57 new tax measures, including the imposition of VAT on health services and medical services, and questioned whether Government had, in fact, undertaken an assessment of the impact of its decision.Dr Anthony called on Government to provide its assessment of the number of jobs that would be lost at pharmacies, maternal and elderly care facilities and other related institutions.The MP was adamant that the APNU/AFC policy of taxing medicines and health services would have a negative effect on the public health gains made over the years.According to the former Government Minister, the prevention of HIV/AIDS in Guyana will suffer since the antiretrovirals will now be attracting VAT.Dr Anthony even told the House that condoms would now attract VAT, which effectively meant that Government had placed a 14 per cent tax on safe sex.“I urge this Government to urgently repeal these exploitive tax measures,” he said.Bemoaning the state of affairs proposed by Finance Minister Winston Jordan, Dr Anthony noted that a visit to a medical practitioner would attract VAT.He said Government has been speaking laudably about the need for neonatal care and reducing infant mortality, but the very medicines and services required to ensure that there was a favourable outcome would be attracting 14 per cent VAT.“If you go to a nursing home to recuperate its 14 per cent VAT,” Dr Anthony bellowed as he cited many of the other numerous services that would now attract the tax.He was adamant that very often the public health facilities had inoperable equipment or with drug shortages, leaving persons with no choice but to resort to private pharmacies and services.“If you are hospitalised, the meals that you eat will now attract 14 per cent VAT,” Dr Anthony said.He too also used the occasion to remind that VAT was now being imposed on accessories required for differently abled persons, such as hearing aids and wheelchairs.The former Minister lamented too that Government was even seeking to tax the partially blind since VAT was now applicable to spectacles.“If you get diarrhoea”, according to Dr Anthony, the treatment for this too will attract VAT even as he sought to emphasise that this also obtained for the treatment of high blood pressure and headaches.In withholding his support for the 2017 Budget, Dr Anthony described the proposal as visionless, ruthless and careless. (Gary Eleazar)last_img read more

Runners reaching new heights at Emperor’s Challenge

first_imgFollowing a race where participants are sure to build an appetite, organizers of the event are providing complimentary hot dogs, burgers, vegetarian food and all sorts of other edible goodies to feed their hunger.For more information on the event, visit its official website. The summit of the intense 20 km marathon will be at 11 km, with a total elevation gain of 2,050 feet.The elevation of the race start is over 4,000 ft, with the summit at over 6,100 feet, so racers are being asked to dress accordingly for mountain weather.The event will also feature a kids’ distance of 2 and 4 km, with slight elevation gains of 80 or 340 feet respectively.- Advertisement -As per usual, racers will be timed on a chip system, which will attach to their bibs for an accurate reading of their time.The maximum allotted time for the 20 km event is five hours and racers must reach the 8.5 km watering station by 11:30 a.m.The race will begin at Tumbler Ridge’s Core Lodge site, which is a 45 minute drive from the city.Advertisementlast_img read more

Toyota moves forward after weekend

first_imgSome drivers were blaming the use of unleaded fuel for the engine failures. Blaney and Ken Schrader also blew engines during the race and did not finish. No engine manufacturer escaped the race without losing an engine at some point. While Earnhardt Jr., with his Chevrolet-powered cars, was quick to blame the unleaded fuel for his team’s motor woes, the Toyota and Ford camps were not. “Evidently, we had a bearing problem in the engine,” said Bill Davis, owner of Blaney’s No. 22 Toyota. “Really a shame, I guess. We sure have had a lot of engine problems so far, but we’ll get it fixed.” Doug Yates, whose team builds the engines for Schrader’s team, said learning how to prepare the cars to run on unleaded fuel is difficult, but he doesn’t think it led to the engine failures. “I don’t know if it was fuel-related, but this is a hard race, and you just have to do your homework,” Yates said. “It was a lot of engines, and when it happened early, if you’re an engine builder, you’re sitting there saying, `Whoa,’ because we don’t want anybody to have trouble.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I think this finish means a lot for Toyota,” said Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Toyota for Team Red Bull. “Everybody knows we have work to do. We didn’t win the race (Sunday), but we did have a good solid run.” Vickers said his car had the potential to finish in the top three, but his last pit stop wasn’t great and it knocked him back in the field. “If we would have hit our adjustments just right, maybe,” Vickers said. “To get from a top-10 car to a winning car, I think a top five would have been reasonable if we would have hit everything right.” All that gas Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne all blew engines during the California Speedway race and made early exits. All in all, Toyota had a pretty good weekend at California Speedway. Mike Skinner won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in a Toyota on Friday night. center_img Dave Blaney won the pole for the NASCAR Busch Series race in a Toyota on Saturday night. Brian Vickers gave Toyota its first top-10 finish in a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race Sunday. last_img

Japan’s interrupted night before World Cup opener

first_imgHowever, disturbing news of an earthquake in Osaka, which killed three people and injured more than 300, and a fire alarm at 5:00 am on Monday at the team hotel meant the players struggled to get much sleep.“An alarm went off by mistake and that was about the same time news of the earthquake came in,” said Japan coach Akira Nishino.“The alarm continued for a while, there are some nervous players, so a few looked a bit tired this morning at training.”Midfielder Hotaru Yamaguchi and goalkeeper Masaaki Higashiguchi, who play for Osaka-based clubs, are among those with family or friends in the affected zone.“Some of the players are emotionally impacted,” admitted Japan captain Makoto Hasebe. “As a team we want to extend their support to them and I want to help them as captain.“I want to express my heartfelt condolences to all those affected back home.”The Japanese will need to put the off-field disruptions behind them to face Colombia, whose star forward James is battling a calf injury.“There are some players from Colombia who have matured in the last four years, so I think they are now a tougher opponent,” said Hasebe.“We had to take some risks (in 2014), because that was our last pool game, but this is an opener, so it’s different. Of course we’d like revenge but we’d also like to stick to our game plan and execute it well.”If James is fit, the Japanese will need to find a way to contain the Bayern Munich forward, who scored six goals in qualifiers on the road to Russia.“He is almost like a symbol for the team, he’s their points getter and a mood setter,” said Nishino. “We will have to try to close him down as a team. We can’t give him time or room.”Nishino has not had long to prepare his side since taking over when Vahid Halilhodzic was sacked in April.“I have had about a month, so if you consider it that way I won’t be able to win,” quipped the 63-year-old.“I have been preparing the team as much as possible, we’re in good condition and confident enough. We don’t want to react, we want to be proactive and take the initiative.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Not enough shut eye: Japan’s footballers had a disturbed night © AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTESARANSK, Russian Federation, Jun 18 – Japan suffered an interrupted night ahead of their World Cup opener against Colombia, interrupted by news of a deadly earthquake at home and an early morning fire alarm.The Japanese are hunting World Cup revenge at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on Tuesday after being hammered 4-1 by a James Rodriguez-inspired Colombia in the group stages of Brazil 2014.last_img read more

French ref who kicked player banned

first_img0Shares0000Tony Chapron, who kicked Diego Carlos and then showed the player a red card, faced his own punishment on Thursday © AFP/File / LOIC VENANCEPARIS, France, Feb 2 – The French referee who kicked out at a player during a Ligue 1 game was Thursday handed a three-month ban by disciplinary chiefs with a further three months suspended.Tony Chapron, 45, kicked Diego Carlos of Nantes towards the end of the match against Paris Saint-Germain on January 14 after being knocked over when the pair collided. Chapron sent the player off before apologising the next day, saying Carlos had bumped into him but that his own reaction had been “clumsy” and “inappropriate”.The French Football Federation (FFF) suspended Chapron “until further notice” and the league’s disciplinary commission met Thursday in Paris with Chapron attending the two-hour proceedings with his lawyer.“The meeting took place in a calm atmosphere which was in contrast to the media lynching (around the affair),” said Samuel Chevret, the referee’s lawyer.At the time of the affair, the FFF said in a statement that Chapron had reviewed video footage of the incident and “noted that his fall had been caused accidentally”.Chapron apologised, saying in a statement to AFP: “The Nantes player, Diego Carlos, crashed into me.“At the time of the collision, I felt a sharp pain where I had recently suffered an injury. My unfortunate reaction was to stick my leg out towards the player.”Several weeks before the incident, Chapron had announced that he planned to retire from refereeing at the end of the season.He has been refereeing in France’s top flight since 2004 and has taken charge of more than 400 matches, including the French Cup final in 2014. In October, he refereed a game in the Chinese Super League.Before Thursday’s hearing FFF president Noel Le Graet said: “He’s someone who has done a beautiful job. He has made a small mistake, that he clearly recognises. Killing him at this point achieves nothing. He’s someone who deserves respect.”Tony Chapron attended a disciplinary heading in Paris on Thursday © AFP / Lionel BONAVENTUREThere are almost no precedents for Chapron’s offence in France. In 2015, Philippe Kalt lost his chance of refereeing the League Cup final for elbowing away Adamo Coulibaly while showing a card to another Lens player. But he was back refereeing in Ligue 1 before the end of the season.Footage of Chapron’s kick went viral across the world.Nantes president Waldemar Kita, who was seen laughing incredulously after the red card was shown, said he spoke to Chapron at the end of the game.“He told me that he had never wanted to kick the player and that he had felt himself pushed in the back,” he told French television.“It’s a joke. I got 20 text messages from across the world telling me this referee is a joke.”Nantes midfielder Valentin Rongier had a good view of the incident and called for the referee to be given a long ban.“He says he slipped, but I know he kicked him,” Rongier told Canal+.“I know it’s very difficult to referee but you have to question them from time to time… We do that, we get a 10-match ban.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Liverpool dominate, Arsenal beaten and more League Cup trivia – quiz time

first_img1 Liverpool v Man City is live on talkSPORT at 4.30pm (GMT) on Sunday 28 February – listen live hereThe Reds’ appearance at Wembley on Sunday will be their twelfth in the League Cup final, while it is City’s fourth.Both sides have had success in the competition in recent years, with Liverpool beating Cardiff in 2012 and Man City triumphing in 2014.How much do you know about the League Cup final, though? Have a go at these 10 questionsAbout | Privacy | Termslast_img