Sometime in February, we heard of two major developments in the area of computing. First, International Business Machines (IBM) announced that its supercomputer the WATSON, which has a vast brainpower, will be utilized in Africa to attempt to solve some of the continent’s most pressing problems. Days later, we heard of the QUANTUM COMPUTER from D-Wave Systems, a 13-year old company located in British Columbia. Each of these supercomputers is expected to bring radical changes to our way of living. But can these computers eradicate corruption which is Africa’s biggest problem? In today’s article, I discuss these two supercomputers based on a Time Magazine and BBC report. I begin with IBM’s Watson!The WATSON is being brought to Africa by IBM in a bid to fuel development and spur business opportunities across the world’s fastest growing continent.IBM Watson is expected to improve and transform the agriculture, education, transportation and health sectors in Africa. It uses artificial intelligence to analyze huge amounts of data and can also understand human language. The WATSON’S cognitive capabilities hold enormous potential in Africa. It will help the continent to achieve in the next two decades what today’s developed markets have achieved over two centuries, according to a BBC report.The WATSON/Africa project dubbed, Lucy, after the earliest known human ancestor fossil which was found in east Africa, will cost $100m (£61m) and take 10 years to complete. Its ability to bring transformation to Africa has been compared to how mobile money has transformed banking and finance on the continent; even though this is yet to pick up in Liberia. But how is this transformation going to happen?In the area of agriculture, the WATSON is expected to help by analyzing weather patterns using vast amounts of data and its computational powers. In the education sector, schools with poor or non-existent computer resources could link into the cloud-based system via smartphones or portable devices with internet connectivity to benefit from resources made available by the WATSON. In the health sector, doctors, nurses and field workers could use the system to help diagnose illnesses and identify the best treatment for each patient. The WATSON could also help answer why sub-Saharan Africa currently accounts for 22% of all cervical cancers and suggest new ways to treat and prevent the disease.In the transportation sector, the WATSON will be able to analyze the state of Africa’s roads and its ability to offer routes to avoid potholes could save headaches. And analytics on the state of country roads and congestion levels in cities could prove useful for logistics firms that currently have to negotiate pothole-filled roads and traffic chaos. In other words, if a company like DHL or if the Ministry of Post has a delivery system and uses the WATSON, it will be able to improve on delivery times and schedules.The supercomputer is said to have the ability to help Africa leapfrog other economies. Clever data mining has already proved its worth in Morocco where it has been used to improve how crops are grown by predicting weather, demand and disease outbreaks.The QUANTUM COMPUTER: The QUANTUM COMPUTER has the potential to solve problems that would take conventional computers centuries, with revolutionary consequences for fields ranging from cryptography to nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals to artificial intelligence, according to the Time Magazine.Developed by D-Wave, a small Canadian company backed by Jeff Bezos, NASA, and the CIA among others, the quantum computer currently cost around $10 million a piece. The vast increase in power could revolutionize fields as disparate as medicine, space exploration, and artificial intelligence. But what is the quantum computer?A QUANTUM COMPUTER is a computation device that makes direct use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. QUANTUM COMPUTERS are different from digital computers based on transistors. They use Qu-bits or quantum bit which is the counterpart in quantum computing to the binary digit or bit of classical computing.The difference between a normal computer and a QUANTUM COMPUTER is that a normal computer has bits and each bit [is either] zero or one. A QUANTUM COMPUTER has quantum bits. These are made out of quantum particles that can be zero, one, or some kind of state in between. In a normal computer, a particular calculation might go through all the different possibilities of zeros and ones for a particular calculation. Because a QUANTUM COMPUTER can be in all the states at the same time, you just do one calculation. So it can be much quicker.Time magazine lists 9 Ways in which Quantum Computing could herald radical changes for several areas including but not limited to the ones that follow:Make air planes Safer by improving on software that is currently too complex for classical computers. Using quantum computing to analyze the vast amount of data collected by telescopes and seek out Earth-like planets or discover new planets. Win elections—Campaigners will comb through reams of marketing information to best exploit individual voter preferences. Boost GDP—Hyper-personalized advertising, based on quantum computation, will stimulate consumer spending. Detect cancer earlier—Computational models will help determine how diseases develop. Help automobiles drive themselves—Google is using a quantum computer to design software that can distinguish cars from landmarks. Reduce weather-related deaths—precision forecasting will give people more time to take cover. Cut back on travel time—sophisticated analysis of traffic patterns in the air and on the ground will forestall bottlenecks and snarls. Develop more effective drugs—by mapping amino acids, for example, or analyzing DNA-sequencing data, doctors will discover and design superior drug-based treatments.The current QUANTUM COMPUTER, the D-Wave Two, of which there are five in existence, is a black box 10 ft. high. Inside is a cylindrical cooling apparatus containing a niobium computer chip that’s been chilled to –459.6°F, almost 2° colder than the Boomerang Nebula, previously considered the coldest place in the universe?Will QUANTUM COMPUTERS look like desktops and laptops any time soon? Think about earlier computers like the ENIACs and others which filled rooms and were very bulky. It took years before we saw the computer as a desktop and laptop. This is the same with the QUANTUM COMPUTER. The very first QUANTUM COMPUTERS will probably fill a room. It’s going to take us a while to get to desktops. What’s going to happen is that we are going to see hybrid computing devices that have a quantum chip and a classAll that has been said about both computers, especially the WATSON which is expected to help Africa will face several challenges if it cannot find ways to eradicate Africa’s most UBIQUITOUS problem; CORRUPTION. Corruption has impacted all of the areas the WATSON intends to address: education, transportation, health, agriculture, politics, etc. It has retarded every level of advancement that Africa should have experienced and it is often perpetrated by leaders, those in authority and even the “ ordinary citizen.” Until the WATSON or any other computer finds a way to eradicate corruption all efforts to bring development to Africa will be just that; another EFFORT!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Six (6) persons accused of terrorizing and raping women in the Paynesville Community, outside Monrovia, have been forwarded to the Monrovia City Court for prosecution on commission of the crimes armed robbery and rape.They were said to have jointly carried out the acts in several communities including 72nd, Soul Clinic, and Cow Field among others.The defendants were on Wednesday, March 5, arraigned before Magistrate Nelson Chineh, but were immediately sent to the Monrovia Central Prison to await the trial as the crimes are non-bailable offences.Defendants Prince Massaquoi a.k.a. “Master Kuku”, Christopher George a.k.a. “Christofiso”, Mark Agynah a.k.a. “little man”, Lewis Kennedy, Kessely Mulbah and Andrew Redhead were arrested by police at separate locations, following tip-offs from their victims.The crimes are said to have occurred between November 2013 and January 2014. The victims complained to police, alleging they were separately attacked at their various residences by a group of armed of men in the Paynesville Community.They further alleged the rapists threatened to kill anyone who refused to surrender their valuable property and cash to them.Quoting one of the victims, identified as Julater Flomo, police explained that on a night in January 2014, while on her way from school she made a stop at her friend’s, named Kebbeh Kollie, house.After an hour of discussion, Kebbeh decided to follow Ms. Flomo to her house.On their way to her house they were stopped by some unknown men. Ms. Flomo identified that man as the defendant Prince Massaquoi. According to her, defendant Massaquoi is the leader of the group.She said Prince and the others defendants held them at gun point and followed them to her house.When they arrived at her house, the attackers forcibly took away her belongings including her money, phone and others valuables and sodomized her.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Montserrado County Senator, Amb. George M. Weah is investigating the kickoff of the 2015 National County Meet, amidst the stoppage of the usual US$350,000 from the government.Senate Plenary mandated the Montserrado County Lawmaker, who is former world class player, in its Tuesday’s Session to lead a specialized committee to probe the unsupported 2015 National County Meet, and advice the Senate in a week.The choice of Senator Weah’s Committee was owing to a communication from Rivercess County Francis S. Paye, indulging his colleagues not to allow the County Meet to kick-off in March because there is no government’s budgetary support.Senator Payne urged his colleagues to postpone the County Meet to October, considering sufficient time and government’s support.He said enough time should be given for preparation for the 15 counties and there must be adequate financial support from government as in the past.It may be recalled that Youth and Sports Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs has set the Annual National County Meet in March.The 2015 County Meet would officially begin in March and run through the Easter week in April to last for about three weeks.The official kick-off will be held in Sanniqullie, Nimba County; and all the 15 counties have been placed in four regional groups for the first rounds to be played at venues in Nimba, Bong, Grand Gedeh and Margibi Counties.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, who arrived in Liberia yesterday for high level talks about the Ebola pandemic, has said that positive results are beginning to emerge as the response efforts from the United States and other international community partners against the Ebola virus begin to take root.Ambassador Power said these tangible results are also coming forth as a result of the robust mechanisms and strategies employed by the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and citizens are now aware of the situation around them and are responding positively.Speaking at a joint press conference held along with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after a closed door meeting, Ambassador Power said that President Barack Obama had asked her to come to the worst hit countries to show solidarity and assure the people that they are not alone.Ambassador Power arrived in Monrovia on Tuesday, as part of a tour of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, to demonstrate U.S. support for their efforts to combat the spread of the disease and to draw attention to the need for increased support from the international community.She held talks with President Sirleaf and other high ranking Liberian government officials. Ambassador Power also discussed international efforts to combat Ebola with the USAID-led Disaster Assistance Response Team, which is overseeing the U.S. overall response to the health emergency and with representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).At the press conference, she indicated that the US has put its military and experts from the Center for Disease Control on the ground in Liberia and are now assembling their response efforts which will soon go full swing.The US diplomat said with all of the processes now in place, the three countries are now on track to eradicate the virus from the region, indicating that the coordination of the response process is now being efficient unlike from the onset.Giving an example of the robust coordination that is presently in place, the US Ambassador said that while it would take more than five days to get the result of tests of blood samples in places like Gbarnga, Bong County, it now take less than five hours.This is, however, being made easier by the presence of mobile labs in and around the country. She further noted that the 17 Ebola Treatment Units that the US is constructing will be located in all parts of the country; some of which will be as large as 100 beds as well as smaller ones that will be community-centered.These logistical and technical gaps could be contributing factors to the wide and further spread of the virus from the onset, as international response was very slow in coming. She said that the US is mobilizing more technical, human and financial resources in addition to what it has given already, when and where the need arises.The US government, early last month, ramped up its assistance with the announcement of a 3,000-strong U.S. military team to West Africa “to combat and contain” what was then being referred to as an “extraordinarily serious epidemic with over US$400,000, 000.00.The assistance is now seeing the supply of medical and logistical support to already overwhelmed local health care systems and increase the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the Ebola crisis.President Sirleaf welcomed and lauded Ambassador Power, who she said has been very instrumental in rallying for help for the response exercises in Liberia.She thanked the US for its leadership role in the fight, something she said should continue till the virus is kicked out of the country also urging the US diplomat to continue to advocate for three affected countries.Meanwhile, Ambassador Power’s comments about progress in the fight is worth welcoming though much is yet to be reported of what may be considered as the gradual decline of Ebola virus infection in Liberia by the international media known for its robust reportage from the onset of the crisis.As the virus raged about Liberia few weeks back, the international media, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, Cable News Network and other were vigilant on reporting the damages on the ground, but much is yet to be seen from them as news of drastic decline in infection cases emerge.The ETUs are visually empty according to reports, but reports are also emerging that there is actually no reduction in cases but people are now afraid to take their loved ones to the ETUs for fear of being cremated.Her comments also come amidst numerous reports that there will be over 90,000 will die in the coming months, while others have said that they expect to see ten thousand new infection cases in coming weeks.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Young Life, a Christian US-based humanitarian organization that reaches out to young people, has opened a weekend camp for Ebola survivors aimed at helping them to relax and find consolation following their ordeal with the deadly virus.The camp brought together more than 100 young people from three counties, Montserrado, Bong and Margibi, all of whom have survived the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and also experienced the loss of loved ones to the virus. Baptist Youth Camp along the Roberts International Airport highway was the venue for the camp where 52 female and 50 male convened.Young Life regional director, James S. Davis, II, said last Friday at the opening session that the camp is intended to support survivors who have had horrible experiences by giving them teachings of hope that would reduce the stress accumulated from contracting the deadly Ebola disease. He said the organization’s intentions are also to build the capacities of these survivors and help them to know Jesus. Mr. Davis said he hoped that after each weekend camp survivors would be able to regain confidence and courage to withstand the stigma associated with contracting the disease. Another objective, said Mr. Davis, is to empower survivors to reestablish relationships within their families and communities and to fight Ebola where they live.“We need to give them the courage and hope that they can go out there and contribute to society. As survivors, they can help us immensely in the fight of the epidemic,” he said.He emphasized that Young Life was also focusing on helping the survivors to leave the camp knowing Jesus Christ, living and sharing His wonderful work of saving them from the EVD.The Young Life Regional Director said that his organization has been working with the young people from the time they were declared Ebola-free, believing that with the messages of hope and courage, including other educational lessons, they will be able to help fight the disease and the stigma associated with it.“These people are coming from places that were badly hit by the virus and had bitters experiences. We believed that having fun, laughter, and being together like this will help greatly in fighting the stigma with which they are confronted in their various communities,” said Mr. Davis.“Young Life will also identify with survivors by giving them special packages of assorted foods and other items,” he disclosed.He used the occasion to admonish those involved in stigmatizing and rejecting EVD survivors, to stop doing so and accept them as normal people.Said Mr. Davis: “they did not buy, pray or request for the disease and they are human beings like ourselves.”He hoped that his organization would be able to extend its youth camp to other counties.Survivors who spoke with this newspaper expressed their gratitude to Young Life for the initiative which they said has given them hope.Most of them said they lost at least one or more family members to the disease.They all stated that their losses of brothers, sisters, children and parents to the virus have put them in an emotional state and the initiative of Young Life was helpful.They called on the government and partners to help survivors with financial and other support, without which some of them would find making a living for themselves extremely difficult.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A 100 carat diamond, which is at the center of a lawsuit involving one Jefferson Sanoe, currently in detention at the Monrovia Central Prison, is reported to have been smuggled out of the country by a local diamond company, West Africa Diamond Limited, and sold in Dubai for US$1.5 million.Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case with the media, a senior staff at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), told the Daily Observer that the diamonds were allegedly smuggled out of the country by some of his fellow staff members. The information, however, could not be independently verified.The MLME is tasked with the responsibility of assessing and packaging diamonds for shipment out of the country by a diamond company approved by the Ministry, our source said.“The company was investigated by the National Security Agency (NSA). The only thing that happened was that executives of the company and some senior staffs of the Ministry met and somehow handled the matter among themselves. They were even planning to negotiate the release of defendant Sanoe from detention and also to drop the charges against him,” this source disclosed.Defendant Sanoe was arrested on October 21 in Gbarpolu County by state security for allegedly “stealing a diamond,” believed to have been owned by a MLME senior official.The creek in which the diamond allegedly went missing is owned by the minister’s sister, identified as Marthaline Weah, who brought the allegation against Sanoe, who is currently in prison because of his legal team’s inability to secure a US$3-million bond. Under Liberian law the crime — Theft of Property — is a bailable offense.The Minister for Land, Mines and Energy, Patrick Sandolo, when contacted by the Daily Observer via mobile phone, declined to comment, saying that he was attending a senior staff meeting. He however recommended his Inspector General, Mr. Fahneseht Mulbah, to speak on the issue. Mulbah denied that any of the staffs were involved into the alleged selling of the diamond. “I don’t have any knowledge about what you are saying,” Mulbah said. “The only thing that I know about is that a man named Jefferson Sanoe was arrested in Gbarpolu County for stealing diamond and is presently in jail, charged with a US$1.5-million theft.”“Though we are responsible to appraise diamonds before they leave the country for sale, we did not see this particular diamond that you are talking about. How would people accuse the ministry of helping West Africa Diamond to smuggle diamond that we didn’t see or know about?” he said.He further stated that they are going to investigate the matter, in order to establish whether or not some of the Ministry’s staff were involved.Further refuting the claims, Mulbah added, “We couldn’t hear the matter because it was criminal. Based on its criminal nature, it was the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the legal arm of the government that handled it. So how could we say, we are going to withdraw the matter from court to settle it? Is it our responsibility to do so?” he asked rhetorically, saying, “This issue is a complete lie.”When the owner of the West Africa Diamond limited, only identified as Tunkura, who is also the president of the Liberia Diamond Association, was contacted, he told our reporter to meet him at his Broad Street office. Unfortunately, when our correspondent appeared Tunkura was absent. A man, who identified himself only as Cummings, told our correspondent that he was appointed to speak on behalf of Tunkura.Asked about his company’s involvement into the alleged smuggling of the 100 carats diamond out of the country, Cummings said, “We don’t know what you people are saying. You can visit the Ministry to know if whether we have exported diamond in the last four months. Look, we have not exported diamonds for a long time. The record is there and you can check it for yourself,” he added.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,Well it seems as though we are in for another sidesplitting, waste of time circus, better known as a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in Guyana.Our beloved country over the last few years has become renowned for spending large sums of money, and enormous amounts of time to conduct a plethora of Commissions of Inquiry from Lindo Creek to the Guyana Sugar Corporation and from the public education system to circumstances surrounding the death in an explosion of the late Dr Walter Rodney and then having them all left on some shelf in a back room gathering dust.Now reports have surfaced that the Chairman of the Local Government Commission (LGC) has illegally and indecorously kicked one of the Commissioners out from committee meetings being held to discuss the findings of the CoI which the LGC requested and commissioned into the goings on at the Georgetown Municipality.This course of action apart from being unlawful, puts on full display another horrendous example of the clear disregard for women by some men in Guyana, and the level of the impactful political ‘bully culture’ that is raising its ugly head once again in our country. Why is the other former municipal employee and union leader not being forced to recuse himself from the proceedings as well? What’s good for the goose must be good for the gander.Each and every one in Guyana, or as they say here Tom, Dick and Harrylall, are well aware that the Georgetown Municipality is the most tainted, rotten and morally debased institution in the country and possibly the region. Corruption, embezzlement, cronyism and nepotism are regular pastimes at City Hall and everybody and their grandmother know that.It was therefore the expectation of all decent minded Guyanese that the entire top layer of the administration of the Council and some of the political directorate would have been removed years ago, with some of them being handed over to the various law enforcement agencies, that there would have been forensic audits into the finances of that institution held over the decades which were not, and that the bloated payroll would have been halved a long time ago getting rid of all of the friends and family who were illicitly recruited.Finally, however, a CoI was held, and the citizens were given hope of some redemption in the city when they saw the recommendations of its Chairman. Alas! Instead of quickly implementing those recommendations and possibly going even further, the folks at the LGC seem to be pussyfooting, playing politics and seeming to want to give their duplicitous comrades at City Hall, golden parachutes that would allow them to parascend honourably into retirement with their saddlebags full of the ill-gotten loot they snatched brutishly from the citizenry.Regrettably, there seems to be no hope for City Hall, as it has been business as usual at the Council with the offenders who were identified by the CoI in criminal enterprise being allowed to carry out their routine tasks at their desks as though nothing irregular has happened, with Councillors who were complicit with the wrongdoings over the years have been given key positions in significant committees in the new Council, and now with a major effort underway to exonerate the culprits who have been found guilty of major wrongdoings.Sincerely,Shanta Singh
Dear Editor,The “fertilisation of suffocating poisonous weeds” is perhaps the mildest description that should be rationally associated with the behaviour and performance of the failed David Granger-led APNU/AFC Government. Central to their devious approach has been the challenging creation of a deliberate political and biased imbalance of Commissioners at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). This quartet has been deceptive rather than impartial in nature, promoting deliberate unconstitutional breaches, which they hope, will aid in providing them with a back door access to power at the imminent elections.Their actions have influenced a disappointing fraudulent silence from key administrative actors at the secretariat level of the Commission. The trade-off is that on the Government’s side, it benefits because the GECOM quartet has been covertly extending the time for their fraudulent endeavours. On the other side, the Government rewards its agents in GECOM by being conveniently accommodative and muffed while encouraging certain main players to have a bubble in the manipulated framework, to which they have consistently taken advantage.Towards the foregoing, the consistent following of PNC/R politically guided decisions by President Granger’s unilaterally appointed Chairman proves his political bias. He now leads the masqueraders at GECOM into spending millions of unauthorised dollars to prepare for the obviously unnecessary house-to-house registration as a mechanism of updating the Official List of Electors that runs contrary to the legally specified Continuous Registration Process.Chairman Patterson ought to be aware that the matter is before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for a decision since GECOM is a party to the case. It is clear and, therefore, gives no rational position for the spending of the millions of taxpayers’ dollars at their ‘whims and fancies’ in the absence of the decision and the clearly unnecessary procedure. The persons responsible for these spendings should have to answer since the situation brings into question the obvious abuse of the autonomy granted and the created disrepute of the Institution by the biased Commissioners advancing and directing a self-defeating constitutional mandate.Further, it must now go viral in Guyana that the GECOM Secretariat was not audited following the last two elections. The masqueraders are getting away with murder as the 2014-2015 accounts remain in limbo, given the hundreds of millions of dollars unaccounted for in the outrageous corruption at GECOM Secretariat. Inside sources at the organisation have informed that GECOM stores is a commercial outlet. A wide variety of items including pliers, Inks, all types of stationary, hardware items such as “black tanks” and other building materials are going cheap. The question for the principals of GECOM to answer is when was the last time the Secretariat closed the bonds and stores for thorough stocktaking and balance checks.It is clear that the GECOM Secretariat has no authority to hire staff since the task of selecting and approving the hiring of any staff at GECOM is solely the responsibility of the Commission. Yet, information received indicates that the GECOM payrolls for the years 2016, 2017, and 2018 were riddled with “phantom” names who received fat cat salaries. Our citizens demand that the spending spree and squandermania at GECOM be halted forthwith.This column was appropriately notified that during the training activities carried out under the auspices of the GECOM Secretariat in preparation for the illegal ‘house to house’ registration, millions of hard-earned taxpayer monies were lavishly spent. Areas of expenditure include travelling and the purchasing of special meals for GECOM and as a contribution to some highly questionable “wine dine” sport. It was a revelation to know that the special trainers went around the country with their spouses and touring team and they all enjoyed the luxury of hotel rooms, meals, and travelling.Reliable information received by this column indicates that the GECOM Secretariat has embarked on yet another spending spree. GECOM is proposing to spend a further 75 million dollars to upgrade and distribute ID cards. This is indeed a farcical exercise since GECOM, for several years now, has had a day-to-day system with well-established offices all over the country to replace lost or damaged ID cards. An inside source informed this writer that the 75 million dollars is for the boys at GECOM to get before the Regional and National Elections to do their dirty work.Oh! “God help us,” was the response from a technical person in respect to the $25 million allocated for the purchasing of fingerprinting kits. It is significant to note that a fingerprinting kit is 2.5 by 5 inches in size and is reusable. The highest quotes of costs for one of these kits is no more than one thousand dollars. This is a blatant rip-off and has been going on over the past few years and must be halted. The allocations for spending must and will be carefully looked at, and be exposed in the future.Guyanese must rally against this massive fraud by demanding forensic audits of the transactions undertaken by the GECOM Secretariat, which also advances the clandestine ulterior motive of the APNU/AFC cabal.Respectfully,Neil Kumar
– cart off cash, jewellery Four armed gunmen on Saturday morning invaded the home of a Corentyne family, carting off in excess ofThe home the gunmen invaded$500,000 in cash and an undisclosed amount of jewellery.Reports are at about 03:45h, the men entered the house at Hog Style Village Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) after climbing onto a veranda at the back of the house. At the time, Abid Ally and his parents were in the house and preparing for their Ramadan fast.Ally told Guyana Times that as his father opened the veranda door, two men who were waiting immediately pounced on him. The older Ally was gun butted and later had to seek medical attention.According to the son, the men broke a fence in the back yard to gain access and then climbed onto the veranda. He said of the four, one remained under the house as a lookout.The elder Ally is the supervisor at a petrol service station in the village while his 21-year-old son is a student. It is believed that the intruders were after money which it is believed Ally keeps for the gas station.According to the son, after the men entered the house, they ordered his father to lie on the floor and then went into his parents’ bedroom and ransacked it. It was there that they found cash and jewellery along with an iPod.The ordeal lasted between three to five minutes. Ally related that the men all had handkerchiefs on their faces and were unrecognisable.Divisional Commander Ina Amsterdam who visited the scene said the perpetrators were familiar with the area and Ally’s timing. He said two persons are in custody as Police continue to investigate the incident.
The goal of creating biodiversity protected areas for each administrative region is achievable within the next three years, President David Granger said.President David GrangerHe made this assertion on his weekly televised programme the “Public Interest”, stating that given Guyana’s geographical and biological diverse position, each region should have protected areas.President Granger indicated that government has identified that there are endangered species in all ten regions, and so finds it imperative to protect them.The Head of State added that Guyana has some of the most attractive wildlife in the world and because of this ecotourism will become one of the economic booms of the country’s future.Thus, he posited that the goal should be achievable within the next three years.Recently, Guyana was charged with the responsibility to press Brazil for the Amazon Fund to be expended for Guiana Shield biodiversity scientific research when President David Granger declared the Fourth International Congress on Biodiversity of Guiana Shield open.The IV International Congress on Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield is a forum organised by several local partners that sees the participation of scientists, policy makers, Private Sector entities and other stakeholders from across the Region and beyond.President Granger had suggested that since the world was under threat from human activities that decimate the environment and cause global warming, the Shield’s existence was important. He stated that it was the organisation’s duty to protect and preserve the ecosystem. Currently, the Guiana Shield comprises six nations which have dedicated their forests to conservation.Granger proposed that it was crucial for the Shield to receive funding to carry out its mandate. He also suggested the establishment of a permanent institution aimed at protecting, conserving and sustaining the Guiana Shield biodiversity.He said such an institution should be a functioning scientific research institute and be a secretariat to coordinate efforts and combine the works of the Shield. He also touted that there should be a comprehensive biodiversity policy developed to assist with information sharing.Speaking on the Public Interest, Granger stated that there are many parts of Guyana’s environment that has been damaged because of logging and mining and so it is necessary to understand the importance of the protection of the environment.He said further that the loggers and miners should become more prudent about the effects that their trade has on the environment, calling on them to conduct their works in a more responsible manner.United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative Khadija Musa had stated that there is no doubt that the Guiana Shield is worth protecting, and added that it was critical for the respective governments to tap into the resources that the Fund possess.The main purpose of the Amazon Fund is to provide support for projects to stop, observe and combat deforestation, as well as for the conservation and sustainable use of forests in the Amazon.