Madison Westby wins Pac-12 Player of the Week

first_imgMadison Westby, a freshman on the No. 2-ranked Women of Troy tennis team, took home Pac-12 Player of the Week honors for the second time this season after a strong, match-clinching performance this past Thursday.Facing the No. 5-ranked,  cross-town rival UCLA Bruins, Westby battled both a worthy opponent in No. 28 ranked Kyle McPhillips and a nagging injury sustained during a second-set tiebreaker to seal the win for the Women of Troy. Ranked at No. 78, Westby was deemed a considerable underdog heading into the match, but her grit and determination willed her to a 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-4 win as USC took home the 4-3 victory over the Bruins and completed an undefeated season in the Pac-12 conference. The win avenged a March 4 loss to UCLA in Westwood, 4-3 and marked the second time in the past three seasons that the Women of Troy have finished with an undefeated record in the Pac-12 conference.With her heroic performance Thursday, Westby now finds herself riding a six-game winning streak in singles play, where she sports a 22-7 overall record. She has also had a productive season in doubles, boasting a 14-5 record while pairing with fellow freshmen Gabby Smith and Meredith Xepoleas throughout the season.This was the second Player of the Week award for Westby this season in what has been a remarkable campaign for the freshman from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She took home her first career award for her performance in USC’s Feb. 14 upset home victory over then-No.11 Vanderbilt at Marks Stadium.In strikingly similar fashion to her Pac-12 title clinching victory Thursday, Westby led a             come-from-behind effort to seal a 4-3 win against the Commodores for the then-No. 12 Women of Troy. After falling behind to then-No. 68 senior Marie Casares 4-6 in her first set, Westby rallied to win her next two sets 6-3, 6-3 and earn the victory for USC. Westby was also part of a winning doubles effort earlier in the day, as she and Smith turned in an 8-6 victory that won the decisive doubles point for the Women of Troy after the team split their first two doubles matches with the Commodores.USC women’s tennis is currently enjoying what has been a phenomenal season. After defeating UCLA Thursday, the team finished their regular season with a 21-2 overall record and a perfect 10-0 mark in Pac-12 conference play. The Women of Troy have enjoyed a No. 1 national ranking at times throughout this season, but currently sit at No. 2 entering the Pac-12 Championships that begin April 23 in Ojai, California and run through April 26.Following that tournament, Westbty and her team will turn their sights toward the NCAA DI Championships at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco, Texas. The tourney will run from May 14 through May 25, with the team championships playing out first before the individual championships round out the back end of the competitions. The team championship match is currently slated for May 19, while the individual championship is slated for May 25.USC will be looking to build upon a strong tournament performance last year at the NCAA championships, where the No. 16-ranked Women of Troy advanced to the Sweet 16 after an opening-round 4-0 victory over Idaho and a 4-2 win over Michigan before dropping a heartbreaking 4-2 loss to No. 1 Georgia.Undoubtedly, the team has its eyes set on a deeper postseason run this year, and Westby will be one vital factor in determining their success.last_img read more

Wales slips off top of Euro Group

first_imgBelgium claimed a 1-0 win over in Israel, which was enough to see them move above Wales at the top of the Group B standings, with both sides tied on 11 points apiece.Meanwhile, England came from behind to rescue a 1-1 draw with Italy in Turin. Tottenham’s Andros Townsend scored a second-half equaliser for Roy Hodgson’s side after Southampton striker Graziano Pelle  had headed Italy into the lead.last_img

Rugby Fixtures

first_imgIn the Guinness Pro 14, Munster are in overseas action today as they play Ospreys at 3.15Before that Leinster take Southern Kings on the Southern kings in Port Elizabeth at 1.15 Irish timeThe other games in the league see Cheetahs play Zebre at half 6 and Cardiff take on Glasgow at 25 to 8. In local actionNenagh Ormond will play their 1st Ulster bank League match v MaloneRFC on Sat at 2.30 pm in New Ormond Park.Meanwhile Cashel s AIL campaign starts this Saturday they are at home in Spafield to Galwegians at 2.30pm…last_img read more

GiG appoints Anna-Lena Åström as Corporate Communications lead

first_img Related Articles StumbleUpon Submit Share Anna-Lena ÅströmOslo-listed Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has confirmed the appointment of Anna-Lena Åström as its new Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications.Åström joins GiG’s executive team from Stockholm-listed online betting platform/software supplier Kambi Group Plc, where she served as chief communications lead for a four-year tenure.A veteran in corporate finance and enterprise stakeholder management, Åström will be tasked with leading GiG’s investor relationships, governance updates and corporate communications.Åström will report directly to the GiG Group Chief Executive Robin Reed.Anna-Lena Åström, Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at GiG:“I am extremely excited to join GiG at this point of fast pace and high growth. Group CEO Robin Reed is visionary and inspirational and supported by strong leaders teamed with a dynamic and inclusive company culture. GiG has great potential and I look forward to assisting the market in developing its understanding of its business and unique iGaming ecosystem. I strongly support its vision of ‘Opening up iGaming, to make if fair and fun for all’.” GiG ups code security oversight with Checkmarx July 10, 2020 GiG launches WSN Podcast hosted by Bill Krackomberger  June 18, 2020 Share GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020last_img read more

Bethard links up with responsible gaming expert Magnus Rydeving

first_img Bet on Alfa demonstrates integrity commitment with IBIA membership October 1, 2019 Related Articles StumbleUpon Share Share Submit Eight operators fall foul of Spelinspektionen July 1, 2019 Bethard.com has announced Magnus Rydeving, one of Sweden’s most influential experts in gaming and gaming responsibilities, as its latest acquisition. Rydeving is currently running Spelnykter.se, where he lectures and educates about issues related to gambling addiction, as well as coaching people with gambling problems alongside their relatives. Through his role as external expert, it is hoped he will help Bethard become a leading firm in the realm of gaming responsibility.“I am incredibly happy and proud that we will be working with Magnus, as he has enormous knowledge within what we consider to be a very important area,” explained Erik Skarp, founder and CEO of Bethard Group. “It was far from obvious that one of the gaming industry’s loudest critics would show such an open mind and agree to cooperate with us about the issue. However, now everything is in place and I look forward to, along with Magnus, making our vision to make Bethard one of the safest gaming alternatives on the market a reality.”“Those who know me have hardly been able to avoid the fact that I am highly critical about how the majority of gaming companies handle gaming issues and gaming responsibilities. I have to admit that at first I was very hesitant to help Bethard when they reached out to me,” Rydeving added. “But I quite quickly realised that the company was serious about becoming better and taking greater responsibility. I see this as a great opportunity to change the system from the inside – and to be a part of working towards responsible gaming in a regulated gaming market.”Rydeving will have full transparency with the company’s systems and relevant processes. He will continue to work with Spelnykter in addition to his work with Bethard.Bethard.com is based in Malta and is also licensed in Denmark and the UK. A Swedish licence has also been applied for. Bethard Group becomes the latest to join IBIA September 17, 2019last_img read more

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Son sued after allegedly stabbing neighbour

first_img Source: TMZ Kareem Adbul-Jabbar’s son is being sued over an alleged physical altercation in June. Abdul-Jabar’s son, Adam, is being sued after an alleged stabbing of a neighbor.According to a report from TMZ, Adam was arrested on June 9th in San Clemente, California after it was reported he attacked his neighbor. Adam, 28, allegedly attacked his neighbor Raymond Winsor, 60.Within the new lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Windsor claims Adam Abdul-Jabbar stabbed him several times during the altercation.Winsor reportedly asked Adam Abdul-Jabbar to help the latter’s elderly grandmother with chores in which then Winsor claims Adam Abdul-Jabbar became very angry and confrontational and eventually stabbed him seven times in the head, neck, back and side. Windsor says it led to a skull fracture and a three-day hospital stay.With the lawsuit, Winsor wants Adam Abdul-Jabbar to pay for the medical expenses plus additional damages. Sources told TMZ that the tension between the two men was building for a while but it is unclear over what specifically. Additionally, TMZ reports Adam Abdul-Jabbar was the one who called 9-1-1 after the incident and was cooperative with police.Speaking with the New York Post back in June, Winsor explained what he was asking of Adam Abdul-Jabbar prior to the incident.“I sort of got on him because the lady who takes care of him is an 83-year-old,” Winsor told the TV station. “(And) he doesn’t do anything for her and it just bums me out. She’s in a walker taking her trash cans down.”After Adam Abdul-Jabbar threatened Windsor, he returned with a knife, much to Winsor’s surprise.“I turned and he was on me. I thought he was punching me but he actually had a knife,” Winsor said to the New York Post. “After the fourth punch, I felt a very sharp pain and noticed blood coming out of me and then I had one to the top of my head and I was trying to get back to my house and he was in front of me.”Adam Abdul-Jabbar posted $25,000 bail last month. His father or other members of his family have yet to comment.His father, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is an NBA Hall of Famer and the NBA’s all time leading scorer. He played 20 seasons from 1969-1989 for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. He is a six-time NBA champion.last_img read more

Messi magic in Barcelona romp

first_imgLionel Messi moved into joint third place in the all-time Primera Division scoring charts with a brace as Barcelona warmed up for its UEFA Champions League showdown against Manchester City with a comprehensive 6-0 demolition of Rayo Vallecano.Messi struck in the 36th and 68th minutes of a completely one-sided match at Camp Nou to move above Alfredo Di Stefano (227) in the record books and level with another Real Madrid legend, Raul, on 228 La Liga goals.At just 26 years old it now seems only a matter of time before the prolific Messi claims the outright record, which is the 251 goals scored by former Athletic Bilbao star Telmo Zarra.Hugo Sanchez is second on the list and next in Messi’s sights with 234 goals for Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Rayo.Rayo must be wishing it could still call on the Mexico ace as it battles to avoid relegation from the top flight this season, but even he would have been powerless to prevent the Madrid outfit from being swept aside by brilliant Barca.Adriano opened the floodgates in just the second minute and Alexis Sanchez (53), Pedro Rodriguez (56) and a fantastic Neymar goal (89) added to Messi’s double as Barca reclaimed top spot in La Liga from Atletico Madrid, which won earlier in the day. The performance also fired out an ominous warning to European opponent City, which plays host to Gerardo Martino’s men on Wednesday morning (AEDT) in the first leg of its last-16 tie.Barca came into the match in buoyant mood after reaching the Copa del Rey final in midweek and it never looked like slipping up against second-bottom Rayo after Adriano had drilled in that early opener from the edge of the box.Messi and Pedro both hit the post while the Argentina ace was also denied by a superb save from Ruben Martinez as Barca cut through Rayo’s defence almost at will in the opening half-hour.The second goal was coming and it was only a surprise that Barca had to wait so long for it to arrive, with Messi finally doubling the lead with a superb chip after Cesc Fabregas had intercepted an Anaitz Arbilla pass.Messi then turned provider to set up Alexis for Barca’s third goal soon after half-time and it was 4-0 two minutes later when Pedro slotted home after a clinical move involving two of his Spain team-mates, Andres Iniesta and Fabregas. In between those two goals Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes produced a fine finger-tip save to keep out Joaquin Larrivey’s curling shot but that was a rare foray forward for embattled Rayo.Messi and Dani Alves both missed chances to net before the former got his name on the scoresheet for a second time with another pinpoint finish – leaving the Argentina with 228 goals from only 263 league games. Raul, in contrast, took 550 matches to notch the same amount.Messi, who has now scored 337 goals in all competitions for Barca, made way soon after for Cristian Tello as Martino opted to give his superstar a break ahead of the trip to Manchester, but for Rayo the misery did not end there.Neymar, who came on in the second half having recovered from injury, added gloss to the win with the goal of the game late on, the Brazil superstar racing from halfway before smashing home an unstoppable 25-yard strike.Atletico Madrid reaffirmed its title aspirations with a commanding 3-0 win at home to Real Valladolid, ending a three-game losing streak. Two goals in the opening four minutes from Raul Garcia and Diego Costa got Atletico off to a flying start and Diego Godin added a third in the second half to seal a morale-boosting victory for Diego Simeone’s men.Atletico’s confidence had been rocked by a 5-0 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-finals and a shock 2-0 reverse at Almeria last weekend, which knocked it off the top of the Primera Division standings.A home fixture with struggling Valladolid was just the tonic Atletico needed, and it took it just three minutes to go ahead.Gabi stood over a free-kick but instead of whipping the ball into the box, squared to Garcia, and the midfielder sent his first-time shot past Diego Marino.Valladolid sought a quick response but was caught on the counter, Garcia playing a long ball over the top to Costa, who lifted his shot over Marino to make it 2-0. The two early goals settled the host’s nerves and it was more than content to sit on its lead for the remainder of the first half.But Valladolid was unable to break its opponent down, which in turn meant Atletico had fewer opportunities to counter.The best opportunities for the visitor fell to Javi Guerra early in the second period, and Manucho in injury-time, but neither player was able to hit the target.Mario Suarez came close to grabbing a third for Atletico, his header striking the crossbar, before the host did add another goal when, in the 74th minute, Godin appeared at the back post to head in a corner from Diego Ribas, adding an extra shine to a much-needed win that turns the heat up on title rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid.At the other end of the standings, Valladolid remains 18th and could be further away from safety by the end of the weekend. There were ugly scenes at El Madrigal where Celta Vigo’s unlikely 2-0 win over Villarreal was marred by a serious incident which almost saw the match abandoned.Fabian Orellana had just headed Celta into the lead late in the second half when what appeared to be a smoke bomb was thrown on to the pitch, forcing the referee to take the players from the field and leading to most of the supporters leaving the stadium.It led to a lengthy stoppage – and considerable confusion as at one stage it seemed the match would not continue – but eventually the players re-emerged and the four remaining minutes were played, enough time for Nolito to add a barely deserved second goal for the visitor.A wonderful strike by David Barral was all Levante needed to see off Almeria and move up to seventh.The striker hit a sensational volley after 61 minutes, finally converting one of the numerous chances that had fallen at his feet during the game, although once again Joaquin Caparros’s side was grateful to its goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who produced an outstanding save to prevent a late equaliser from Oscar Diaz. Levante has now gone six games without defeat. Almeria is much closer to the danger zone than its victor, 14th in the tablle, but is safe in the knowledge that it will still have a four-point margin over 18th placed Valladolid come next weekend.last_img read more

Kenta Maeda’s strengths on display early for LA Dodgers

first_imgEarlier this week, manager Dave Roberts asked Maeda to perform his arm-waving “maeken” dance during a morning clubhouse meeting. The pitcher obliged. “I was a little embarrassed doing it in front of everybody,” Maeda said, “but I’m glad that teammates started copying that and making fun of it.”When your teammates are making fun of you, it helps to have a sense of humor, and Roberts said that Maeda has a good one. It also helps to pitch well.Thursday, a scout at Hohokam Stadium clocked Maeda’s fastball in the 89-90 mph range. His slow curve was indeed slow (71), while his changeup (80) and slider (81) were almost indistinguishable on the radar gun. That four-pitch repertoire isn’t entirely unlike Zack Greinke, who left a big right-handed hole in the rotation when he bolted Los Angeles in free agency. Coincidentally, both Greinke and Maeda began their baseball careers as shortstops, and Maeda demonstrated his athleticism while fielding his position. Roberts also praised Maeda’s competitiveness, another Greinke strength.The Japanese-language media who journal Maeda’s every move have praised him as friendly and accommodating. In Los Angeles, he’ll be compared to the Japanese pitchers who have preceded him: Hideo Nomo, Kazuhisa Ishii, Takashi Saito and Hiroki Kuroda.“He’s going to fit in nicely,” Roberts said. “All we want is him to be himself. He can’t be Hideo or Kuroda or Kazuhisa.”Angels on TVFox Sports West announced it will televise 150 of the Angels’ 162 regular-season games. Play-by-play man Victor Rojas and color commentator Mark Gubicza return in their roles.The lineup for pre- and postgame shows also remains the same: Patrick O’Neal and Kent French will rotate as hosts of the live pre- and postgame shows, along with reporters Jose Mota, Tim Salmon and Alex Curry.AlsoAngels pitcher Jered Weaver was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam on his neck, one day after the veteran right-hander allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Dodgers. The team planned to make the results available Friday. … The Angels re-assigned shortstop Roberto Baldoquin, second baseman Alex Yarbrough, and center fielder Chad Hinshaw to their minor league camp. … Dodgers infielders Howie Kendrick (groin) and Alex Guerrero (knee) are both able to field and hit in practice, but haven’t been cleared to play in a game. Roberts said he expects to Guerrero to return first. … Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (knee) could get a start at designated hitter next week, Roberts said. … Ryu (shoulder) threw from flat ground for the fourth straight day. … Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez will play for the Team Mexico entry in the World Baseball Classic qualifying round March 17-20.thursday’s gamesDodgers 8, Oakland 3A.J. Ellis went 2 for 3 with three RBIs and Trayce Thompson hit a two-run home run, his first with the Dodgers (5-1-2). Chase Utley hit a double and stole a base. Yimi Garcia, Chris Anderson and Matt West threw scoreless innings out of the bullpen.Arizona 5, Angels 3The Diamondbacks (6-3) scored two runs in the eighth inning against Angels pitcher Rob Rasmussen to break a 3-3 tie. Andrew Heaney, Huston Street, Cam Bedrosian and Fernando Salas didn’t allow a run for the Angels (3-6-1). Daniel Nava drew a walk and hit a double, raising his spring average to .600. MESA, Ariz. >> If we’ve learned anything about Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda in his first two Cactus League appearances, it’s that sheer dominance is not his thing. His most memorable moment in three innings Thursday against the Oakland A’s came early, and if you blinked you might have missed it.The A’s first batter, Coco Crisp, hit a line drive back to the mound. The baseball appeared to hit off Maeda’s left leg and ricochet toward first base, where the pitcher flipped it underhand for the out. Actually, Maeda reacted quickly enough that the ball never touched his body. It bounced off the pocket of his glove. Maeda struck out the next batter, Chris Coghlan, on an 80-mph changeup that from a distance resembled his slider. Already, a theme had emerged. The radar gun wasn’t lighting up, but Maeda had shown a special combination of deception and athleticism. That helps explain how Maeda has, in fact, dominated his first five spring innings. He’s allowed three hits and walked two batters. Only one runner got past first base, and Maeda picked him off second.“Yes, a little bit,” he said through an interpreter when asked if his confidence is building. “But I’m aware it’s still spring training and not the regular season. I know in the regular season there are going to be a few bumps along the way. I’m not too concerned with the results right now.”Considering the number and the nature of the questions facing Maeda in his first season, optimism ought to come in increments.There was relatively little demand for the 27-year-old right-hander coming across the Pacific from Japan’s top league, which allowed the Dodgers to sign him to an incentive-laden, eight-year contract worth only $25 million guaranteed. A common belief around baseball is that the self-described “irregularities” in his physical (Maeda hasn’t clarified what ails him) drove down his price tag. In the wake of Brett Anderson’s back surgery, and Hyun-Jin Ryu’s slow progress in shoulder rehab, Maeda is the Dodgers’ de facto No. 3 starter. He’s being treated like any other member of the gang, in everything from his between-starts routine to the good-natured ribbing that comes with playing professional sports.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Favorites no more: Sportsbook has LeBron James, Lakers a toss-up to make NBA playoffs

first_img“Although 59 percent of bettors thought James’ Lakers would miss the playoffs, over 83 percent of the money was on the yes. This was heavily influenced by one bettor who wagered $50,000 on yes at -500 odds, for a potential profit of $10,000. The Lakers closed as overwhelming -600 favorites at Westgate to make the postseason.”Action on the latest prop bet ends when the NBA season resumes Thursday, according to ESPN.The Lakers resume their season Thursday night at home against the Rockets. LeBron James not worried about playoffs after Lakers loss Lakers’ Magic Johnson on Anthony Davis trade talks: Pelicans didn’t have good faith negotiations James’ teams have made the NBA playoffs the past 13 seasons. The only times James missed the playoffs were his first two seasons in the league. On top of that, the last time a James-led team did not make the NBA Finals was the 2009-10 season. Eight straight seasons — the first four with the Heat, the past four with the Cavaliers — James has played for a championship, winning it all three times.But now he plays for a weaker team that will emerge from the All-Star break 10th in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. The Lakers (28-29) are three games behind the Clippers (32-27), who are sitting eighth and in the final playoff spot. Related Newscenter_img In the wake of the Lakers not landing Anthony Davis at the NBA trade deadline, Westgate Las Vegas reopened a proposition bet during the All-Star break on whether the Lakers will make the playoffs, ESPN reports.The odds are equal (-110), which is quite a change from the odds and enthusiasm before LeBron played his first regular-season game as a Laker in mid-October. Preseason, the odds were -450 the Lakers would make the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-2013 season (a $450 bet would pay $550) and +350 they wouldn’t.With the current prop bet, the payoff would be $10 on $100 bet regardless of whether or not the Lakers make the playoffs.”With the trade deadline having passed and the length of the break over the next week due to the All-Star Game, this prop is polarizing,” Jeff Sherman, vice president of risk at The SuperBook told ESPN. “It’s at the forefront of interest considering the Lakers’ record at this point of the season.”ESPN’s Ben Fawkes broke down the preseason action on the Lakers like this: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. According to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, it’s now a 50-50 proposition that the Lakers and LeBron James will (or won’t) make the NBA playoffs.The “mighty,” by the way, referred to LeBron, not the Lakers.last_img read more

The re-toppling of Guyana’s democracy: The choice ahead

first_imgDear Editor,The split decision by the Court of Appeal overturning two previous rulings affirming the December 21, 2018, No-confidence Motion is a grotesque upending of justice, dressed up in pig-lipstick.All the pseudointellectual talk of Simple v Absolute in this straightforward majority situation in which every Member of Parliament was present, is just that: pretentious gobbledegook. It is: I stick my finger in the eye of the common people and dare them to say the emperor has no clothes – because only smart people can see the fine robes that his lordship has spun and their ladyships have blessed. In Guyanese style, humour one of our man-on-the-street countrymen asked tongue in cheek, “If 33:32 was not majority passage in Parliament, can you tell me if the 2:1 court ruling on this highly important matter is really a majority ruling?”You can put lipstick on a pig; but it’s still a pig. Nothing can cover that up. Some may split hairs on how much direct architect or object of tribute Granger was in this one. However, the end result is the same; it is egregious and portends badly.The court challenge was one in a string of Granger Administration’s manoeuvres designed to keep delaying elections and buy time. Time which, in the manner of his military stratagem training, has been used in the past to stealthily deploy an increasing preponderance of physical and material advantage at key decisive points such as the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Local Government, the Judiciary and security forces – all of which have influential roles and are potential levers to lean on.Keeping his party in power, regardless of whether they have the support and confidence of a majority of Guyanese, has been his solitary goal in Government – all be it that his years in power have been a disaster for the management of the country as a whole; he has no cohesive plan for the well-being of everyday-people and has vacated himself from these duties. He has, however, been silently executing on his singular goal, while the clatter and noise occur above.By design on his part and omission on our part, the clatter and noise is what has caught most of the attention of critical review. His party’s many blunders, their scandals, their economic incompetence, and their ridiculous half-person argument, have crowded out the nefarious manoeuvres occurring below. We have failed to paint the complete big picture of these consequential moves to undermine democracy that have been engineered into place at almost subsurface level; the various pieces of which individually are worrisome and combined reveal a war gaming strategy focused on a foreboding ultimate goal.The result was that if the exact 2016 vote was replicated in 2018, the PPP/C would lose 29 seats while APNU/AFC would remain unchangedFor example, concurrent with their offensive campaign of compromising and infiltrating primary targets, his Administration has continuously deployed other military inspired stratagems to keep the Opposition off balance and consume its resources in attending to fires (SOCU); diversions; feints (duplicitous acceptance of NCM then reversal) and psychological and economic warfare.In some cases, multiple objectives are achieved at the same time. The attack on the Opposition’s morale, economic warfare, and consumption of Opposition resources and attention were simultaneously achieved by the raising of taxes on agricultural equipment. This was then repeated with even greater effect with the closure of the sugar estates. These stratagems could all have been directly lifted out of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.Similarly, his delaying tactics and duplicity throughout the three-month ordeal following the passage of the NCM is a prime demonstration of Sun Tzu’s maxim: all warfare is based on deception.Verifiable evidence of the Administration’s efforts to subvert democracy is in plain sight in their altering of the geography of the Opposition’s support and on the ground representation in fourteen Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 2018. It was a consequential foray but lightly reported on.To put it simply, they gerrymandered the LGAs using Crack and Pack and Hatch-a-Seat operations. Large People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) constituencies were combined thereby reducing the number of area seats, while small A Partnership for National Unity constituencies were split creating more area seats. The adjacent charts give a quick visual of this.The result was that if the exact 2016 vote were replicated in 2018 the PPP/C would lose 29 seats while APNU/Alliance For Change would remain unchanged.As is known, the PPP/C won sweeping victories in the 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE) because of dissatisfaction with the Administration. But in those fourteen LGAs the number of PPP/C affiliated Councillors declined by 14 per cent.Their actions combined show an administration intent on holding office whether or not they achieve that through free and fair elections. The gerrymandering of LGE, though significant in its own rights, may have been just a dry run for bigger operations.Also, the presence in the country of Cambridge Analytica still remains an open question. All parties deny working with them. The company provided psych ops strategy to governments and military organisations worldwide. It was forced to discontinue operations in 2018 when its involvement in the Facebook data breach scandal was uncovered and its dirty tricks in other countries began to be revealed.This is not the first time that Guyana has started down this road. The last time it did so the main party in the APNU coalition also formed Government; to the misfortune of the country. The hallmarks of that administration have resurfaced in the Granger Administration: the subversion of democracy and bad economic management. These sent the country into a tail-spin that ended up with Guyana being the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It also became one of the most indebted nations in the world under Finance Minister Carl Greenidge now Foreign Affairs Minister. There was a mass exodus of Guyanese to other countries, which now almost like in a dark comedy, manifests itself politically as the dual-citizenship issue.Before the downward spiral, Guyana was seen as having all it takes, and on the cusp of becoming a prosperous nation. There was sunshine, abundant land and water, gold, bauxite, sugar, rice, diamonds and timber. The people were capable and spoke English.Now that promise has again come to the fore with newly discovered off-shore oil. We all hope it is fulfilled. The danger is that this Administration’s history indicates not only a bent towards autocracy and mismanagement, but that any benefit would accrue to just a small elite, while the majority outside the chain are relegated to abject poverty. Case in point Nigeria, with rich oil reserves and other parallels with Guyana. To take a quote from a description of the situation in the book A Swamp Full of Dollars: The more widely better communications, the possibility of travel and ostentatious consumer goods have become available in the Niger Delta, …the more the villagers who live above the oilfields have noticed the difference between their circumstances and those of the people who exploit their natural riches.Nigeria is ranked as having the 11th largest proven oil reserves in the world. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world. A top world producer of groundnuts, palm oil and other agricultural products before the discovery of oil, the country was lured away from the long-term agriculture by the promise of instant oil rewards. Closer to home, another example of the misfortune that can befall even oil-rich countries is Venezuela. They have the largest proven oil reserves in the world, yet Venezuelan citizens are seeking refuge on Guyana’s muddy shores.The management of any economy is a complex business. Throw in the vagaries of the oil industry and you have exponential challenges. This Administration has shown that that they are neither equipped nor willing to deal with those challenges. In addition, the country is again at risk of being railroaded down an undemocratic path.We have seen what the Granger Administration has done with the time they’ve had. Further delay of the election and the benefit of incumbency provides more opportunity for less free and fair elections. Hopefully the international attention that their actions have attracted will contain the situation to some extent.People will have to choose and they will have to make their voices heard.Sincerely,Ron Cheonglast_img read more