Over $264M paid for Sussex Street bond

first_imgSince 2016– company linked to coalition financierThe responses to questions on notice from the Parliamentary Opposition to Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence on the controversial Sussex Street drug bond reveal that since 2016, the state has paid out over $200 million in rental fees.This is one of several questions put on notice by Opposition Parliamentarian Anil Nandlall. He had sought information on the total sums paid in rent for the property.He had also asked “what action has been taken to implement the recommendations for the contract to be renegotiated to obtain a lower rate of rental; and if not possible, the lease agreement be terminated?”In the response tabled in the National Assembly during Monday’s sitting, Lawrence stated that from July 2016 to March 2018, the sum of $264.5 million was paid to Linden Holdings Incorporated.This company is linked to local businessman Larry Singh, an old People’s National Congress (PNC) financier.When it comes to action being taken to end the arrangement, Lawrence revealed that a Notice of Quit dated October 31, 2016, was sent by the then Permanent Secretary of the Public Health Ministry, Trevor Thomas.Further, current Permanent Secretary Colette Adams had sent a reminder dated October 3, 2017. There is no mention of the company’s response to these notices. As of March, it is understood that the bond was still being rented.The transaction first came to light in 2016 during consideration of Financial Papers, when it was discovered that Government had in fact entered a contract to pay a VAT-excluded $12.5 million monthly rental to Linden Holdings Inc for the storage of drugs and medical supplies.It was also discovered that $25 million was already spent as a security deposit, in addition to $12.5 million, representing monthly rentals from August to December 2016. The sums were paid to the Linden Holdings Inc.The criticism that erupted led President David Granger to set up a Cabinet sub-committee to investigate the matter and make recommendations. That committee comprised Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman as the Chairman, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Minister of State Joseph Harmon.That committee had concluded that the contract should be terminated or re-negotiated, since a similar facility could have been found at a cheaper rate. During the debate on the 2017 Budget in December 2016, a parliamentary delegation accompanied by the media visited the Bond and found condoms, lubricants and some unused refrigerators, but no pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.The parliamentary opposition has since formally requested that the Public Procurement Commission investigate the transaction.The formal request was made by former Minister within the Finance Ministry, Juan Edghill, who wrote to PPC Chairperson Carol Corbin indicating that the political Opposition was demanding “a definitive pronouncement specifically addressing if this award was done in a fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective manner according to our procurement laws.”The former Government Minister had wanted the Procurement Commission to investigate specifically how a contract for a bond for the storage of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies was sole-sourced from an entity that did not own and/or operate such a facility; and further, “how was the company’s primary director, Larry Singh, made aware that a drug bond was needed”.Given the argument presented by the Public Health Ministry in defence of the contract, Edghill was also looking to ascertain “who made the decision to sole source, and under what circumstances; what was the emergency referred to by the Minister”, and how Linden Holdings Inc was engaged to ink a contract.Among the other concerns listed in the request for an investigation, the Member of Parliament is questioning why the contract stipulated rental of “office space”, and not rental of a pharmaceutical bond; and whether the price was fair in terms of market value for similar facilities.The Member of Parliament, in his list of queries to the PPC Chairperson, also questioned whether taxpayers were in fact receiving value for money on the monthly arrangement.last_img read more

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Athletics’ big hit knack disappears in first loss to New York Yankees

first_imgNEW YORK — That big hit the A’s couldn’t avoid on Friday night was elusive Saturday. The A’s went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving 15 runners on base. Yet, the Yankees took 11 innings to beat the A’s, 4-3, on DJ LeMahieu’s first-pitch walk-off home run off Lou Trivino.“They ran some pretty good pitchers out there,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We left 15 on, that comes back to bite you at some point in time.”Despite the anemic RISP average, the A’s had a chance to pull out a …last_img read more

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Warriors’ top draft pick will provide options in rebuild

first_imgCHICAGO — Despite having the worst record in the NBA, the 4-19 Warriors know, a year from now, their outlook will be very different.With a healthy Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson expected to join Draymond Green, D’Angelo Russell and surprise building block Eric Paschall, the Warriors will have two tools with which to supplement a championship-level core.The Warriors, having won only two of their last 16 games, are on track to land a top pick in June’s draft, when they’ll be in position to …last_img read more

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Neotel launches uncapped WiMax

first_imgSAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material “As the company provides the network and the service, you are assured of a hassle-free solution and peace of mind with Neotel as your single point of contact for broadband requirements.” Telecoms operator Neotel has launched NeoBroadband WiMax, an uncapped internet access solution delivered over the company’s wireless infrastructure in South Africa’s four main metropolitan areas. NeoBroadband WiMax is available in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban. According to online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, WiMAX (worldwide interoperability for microwave access) is a telecommunications protocol that provides fixed and fully mobile internet access. Flexible solution NeoBrand WiMax, according to Neotel, is a flexible solution that can be upgraded or downgraded depending on the customer’s requirements, allowing businesses to purchase bandwidth in 1Mbps, 2Mbps, 5Mbps or 8Mbps speeds. “The service gives your business cost-effective, convenient and fast internet connection,” Neotel said in a statement this week. In addition, says Neotel, should customers need to relocate, their connection can be moved in a short time, depending on network coverage in the area. “The company’s rapid five-day turnaround time for installation means you can be up and running quickly as there are no fixed lines,” Neotel added. 14 July 2010last_img read more

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Ohio Signature Food Contest winners announced

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio is rich with signature products developed locally, and some even enjoy being recognized regionally and nationally. The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) sponsored the Ohio Signature Food Contest, which showcases many new products ready to take that next step — actual product development.CIFT vice president and director of agricultural programs, Rebecca Singer, and Pat Petzel, vice president, communications; Ohio Farm Bureau, announced the two winners selected in recognition of their product concepts:• Hot Mama’s Pepper Jam by Cheryl Holsapfel (Garrettsville) — A delicious, hot pepper jam made with Ohio-grown jalapenos and green peppers. With a blend of sweet and heat, it can be used as a marinade, salad dressing, and even added to a dish for a little added spice.• Raspberry Habanero Jam by Victoria Miller (Convoy) — This savory jam is an amazing blend of fresh raspberries, pure cane sugar, and blended habaneros. Cooked slow, and on low heat to ensure the perfect consistency, it pairs well with cheddar cheese, cream cheese and crackers.Following a review of written applications and presentations by food entrepreneurs and chefs to a panel of judges, the highest scoring concepts were selected based on the viability of the product, commercialization potential, business strategy, and overall appeal to the marketplace.As a result of the award, technical assistance from CIFT will be provided to the start up businesses ranging from business planning, product/process development, shelf stability testing, labeling review, regulatory assistance, and batch product preparations for sampling. Later, production will take place at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK) in Bowling Green, Ohio. The NOCK is a commercially-licensed kitchen that educate and provide technical assistance to new and growing food businesses.last_img read more

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On this island, it’s the dew of the jackal

first_imgFolklore has it that jackals are opportunistic survivors. Now scientists have discovered that, true to stereotype, jackals living on a remote island with no freshwater have managed an extreme adaptation to survive in the marine ecosystem: they meet their body’s metabolic requirement for water by licking dew off leaves first thing every morning.Pirotan is the eastern most island in the Marine National Park in Gujarat’s Jamnagar district. Located 12 km from the coast in the Gulf of Kutch, Pirotan covers an area of around 3 sq km and is partly submerged during high tide. According to a paper published recently in the Journal of Threatened Taxa, the island is home to about 45 jackals.A team of scientists had landed on the island to study coral transplantation. While researching corals, they got a chance to observe the behaviour of jackals. “We were surprised to see jackals licking dew in the morning. In the night, too, we could hear some sounds which we later established as jackals munching crabs. The jackals are the only large mammals on this isolated island amidst marine fish, crabs and corals,” said Rethnaraj Chandran, a researcher from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and one of the five co-authors of the paper.A scat analysis of the animals revealed that crabs made up 89.5% of the jackals’ diet. This was another crucial adaptation, as it served as a supplementary water source. “Although the island has no natural water source, the jackals have adapted to manage their water needs from the crab meat. It was also observed that jackals lick dew on the leaves in the morning just after sun rise,” the paper states.C. Satyanarayana, a coral taxonomist and a co-author of the paper, said that it would have been impossible for jackals to survive on the island had they not adapted to manage their water needs from the resources available. Kamraj Ramkumaran and Kailash Chandra from the ZSI, and Tikardar Shyamal, a forest officer from Gujarat co-authored the research.last_img read more

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India will win the World Cup: Ricky Ponting

first_imgHanded a comprehensive defeat by India, Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has predicted that there is no stopping Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men now and they will beat Pakistan before lifting the World Cup after a gap of 28 years.”India played well as a team and deserved victory. We were not good enough (to win). Going forward they will be pretty hard to beat. They will beat Pakistan in the semifinal and go on to win the World Cup now,” Ponting said at the post-match press conference after Australia were knocked out of the World Cup by India here last night.”India have a very good batting line up. We played very competitive cricket tonight but I’m disappointed with the two successive losses (against Pakistan in their last league game and today against India),” he said after his side’s five-wicket loss in a high-octane World Cup quarterfinal.Devastated to finish on the losing side in what was probably his last World Cup game but defiant nonetheless, Ponting insisted that the loss should not be construed as the end of an era in his country’s cricket.”It’s a bit premature to say it was the end of an era for Australian cricket, it was a pretty good game tonight. I do not think we were far away from winning the game against a very good Indian team on their home soil. I think it’s a bit too early to say it’s the end of an era,” said Ponting.He said he would not be playing in the next World Cup but ruled out quitting one-day cricket.advertisement”I am not quitting one-day cricket but this is probably my last World Cup game. I will be happy to look back after retirement that I made a century in my last innings in the World Cup,” Ponting said.Ponting said his side had chances to win the game and they were devastated by the loss.”We had great expectations from the game. We were a well organized group. We are devastated. We found it difficult to get momentum. Not performing at critical moments cost us the game. We did not grab our opportunities,” he said.”We were 15 to 20 runs short with the bat. 250-260 was a good total but we lost wickets at bad time and never got the momentum going. We did not execute the plans properly,” said the 36-year-old Tasmanian who scored a superb 104 after having struggled in the earlier part of the tournament.The Australian captain felt the schedule of the tournament could have been spread out better but said that that cannot be an excuse for his side’s crashing out in the quarterfinals.”The schedule did not help us. But that cannot be put as an excuse for the loss. Over the last ten days my team has played four games. It would have been nice to have them (games) evenly spread out,” he said.He sympathised with his key fast bowler Brett Lee who had made a great effort to get back into the team after a 14-month injury lay-off.”Brett has given a lot for Australian cricket during his entire career and at times coming back after big injuries. He will be shattered as he has worked very hard to get here,” he said.-With PTI inputslast_img read more

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