Another CoI to be launched

first_imgPrison fire/jailbreakGovernment will be launching a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the fire that razed the Camp Street Prison on Sunday last; a little over a year after another one was conducted into a deadly blaze at that very facility.This was made known in the wake of a meeting held between a Government team composed of Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud and members of the political Opposition.Government has been briefing stakeholders and members of civil society on it efforts to relocate prisoners, secure existing infrastructure and recapture the prisoners who used Sunday’s blaze to escape under the cover of confusion.During Friday’s meeting with the Opposition team comprising of former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee and parliamentarians Juan Edghill, Harry Gill and Bheri Ramsarran, Minister Ramjattan announced that a CoI would be launched into the tragedy.Last year March, a fire raged through the Camp Street Prison, claiming the lives of 17 prisoners. Afterwards, a Commission of Inquiry which cost the Treasury some $13 million was ordered by President David Granger, despite criticisms at the time that it would just regurgitate facts already known about Guyana’s prison and judicial system.According to the report compiled by the Commissioners, the combination of overcrowding, uncomfortable and unhygienic confinement are all ideal conditions for epidemics, for gangs to prosper and to propagate discontent.Moreover, the CoI found that reducing numbers in prison to manageable levels is the single most important priority for establishing safe, humane and purposeful prisons.It was further noted that repeat offenders have increased by over 100 per cent, “indicating not only a waste of taxpayer dollars but also the need for a more comprehensive and structured partnership within the wider justice system.”In order to effect a reduction in the prison population, the report had been specific in explaining what needed to be done. For one, it had recommended that Government move to abolish mandatory minimum sentences and decriminalise possession of minimum amounts of marijuana for personal use.In addition, there were recommendations for establishing and expanding alternatives to incarceration for those charged with low-level drug offences; as well as ensuring proportionality in sentencing.The report had noted the importance of distinguishing between drug trafficking and other types of crime, low-, medium- and high-level drug offences, rank or position of the accused in drug-trafficking networks, and violent and non-violent offences.In addition, there were recommendations for avoiding remand in the case of low-level, non-violent offenders; for the judiciary to employ non-custodial sentences in all cases of possession – such as treatment, educational opportunities or community service – that are available to those involved in other types of offences.The CoI report also recommended that law enforcement efforts be re-oriented to target high-level drug-trafficking networks instead of low-level drug traffickers such as consumers, small-scale farmers, low-level dealers and mules.There had also been recommendations for the Government to undertake periodically comprehensive prison censuses to upgrade and expand criminal justice data systems and ensure timely access to criminal justice information for policymakers and the public.Action takenBut despite the emphasis in the CoI report on reducing numbers, Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels himself confirmed that at the time of the fire on Sunday last, over 1000 prisoners were being housed at the prison, with a contingent out on labour duty. The Camp Street Prison was originally built to house nearly half that number.When asked at a press conference about the progress made in implementing the recommendations from last year, the Director has said that money just was not there to implement the major recommendations. According to Samuels at a press conference, some were a “work in progress.”“As it relates to some of the recommendations made, we have gone on a recruitment drive where our entry level is filled in terms of recruiting persons to assist in manning the prison,” Samuels said. “There are some 40-odd recommendations that came out of the last CoI and a lot of the major recommendations that came out require capital investment which we are currently working on.”Government has also faced accusations that it ignored recommendations made in other CoIs, such as the CoI into the state of the Guyana Sugar Corporation. While one of the recommendations from that CoI was that no estates be closed, Government has already stated it will forge ahead with closing all estates except Blairmont, Uitvlugt and Albion.It has also launched a plethora of CoIs into several aspects of Government, including education, public service, the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit and abandoned planes found in the interior. Most recently, Government has announced a CoI into an alleged assassination plot against the President.last_img read more

Donegal brothers scoop €530M contract for new London hotel

first_imgA construction firm operated by two Donegal brothers has won a contract to convert an older building into a modern five-star hotel.The Byrne brothers, Cormac and Patrick, who are originally from Killybegs, front the Ardmore Construction company.The company has just been given the prestigious job to convert the historic Old War Office building in Whitehall into a luxury Raffles hotel and super-prime flats. The building conversion, understood to be in the region of €530M, is thought to be the biggest single-stage, fixed-price building contract to be let in the country.The vast Edwardian building, where Winston Churchill once worked and whose 1,100 rooms are linked by more than two miles of corridors, is being redeveloped by the Hinduja Group and Spanish firm OHLD.Ardmore has already worked on a string major London hotel conversions and new build projects in recent years.The firm has now raised hoardings around the site where it will create the 125-room five-star hotel and 85 luxury apartments. Advertisement The complex project will double the number of floors from seven to 14. This will include adding three extra floors to the top as well as extending the existing two-floor basement down with four extra basement levels.A new 25m swimming pool and ballroom will be built in the new basement below the existing central quadrangle. Donegal brothers scoop €530M contract for new London hotel was last modified: October 26th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ArdmorecontracthotelLondonlast_img read more

Neanderthal-Heidelberg Distinction Blurs

first_img“Heidelberg Man” has been a modern name imposed on certain fossil humans that have been unable to speak for themselves.  Now, their bones appear to overlap with Neanderthals.  But don’t modern humans have Neanderthal DNA?  Do the distinctions make any sense?Constructive scientific debate?  According to PhysOrg, anthropologist Chris Stringer is now claiming that the largest cache of Heidelberg Man fossils were really Neanderthals.  The article reveals various forms of data manipulation to reformat the story of human evolution, such as recalculating the date of Sima fossils from Atapuerca, Spain (previously labeled Heidelberg) from 600,000 years old to 350,000 years old, so that they fit within the Neanderthal category.  That’s because the Sima fossils show some Neanderthal characteristics both from anatomical and genetic data.  Stringer put a positive spin on the reclassification, stating, “These new views on the dating and classification of the Sima material have led to a constructive scientific debate with the Atapuerca team, which will help to progress our understanding of the place of these important fossils in human evolution.”Constructive artistic debate?  Cave paintings in from Spain have been re-dated as 40,800 years old, too old to be made by “modern” humans, and possibly made by Neanderthals.  Live Science reported one anthropologist claiming “It would not be surprising if the Neanderthals were indeed Europe’s first cave artists.”  That would have been very surprising not long ago.  “Neanderthals have been portrayed as brutish, animalistic cavemen,” reporter Stephanie Pappas wrote, “but the archaeological evidence suggests they weren’t dummies. They buried their dead, made complex tools, and used decorative pigments.”  So why not make art on the walls of their caves?  Another anthropologist is convinced it is Neanderthal art.Putting these two articles together, it appears the distinctions between Heidelberg Man, Neanderthal Man and Modern Man are flexible, being subject to the whims of certain living Homo sapiens who like to describe their disagreements and frequent changes of opinion as “a constructive scientific debate.”Constructive for whom?The real tragedy of these reversals is the momentum of falsified stories.  There is a long time lag from the time old ideas are discarded to the time textbooks, museum displays and TV documentaries are replaced.  Students are not told there is a “constructive scientific debate.”  They are not told there is any debate! Under the flawed direction of evolutionary anthropologists, artists (working in the present) create imaginative dioramas of fake histories that are presented as fact to impressionable minds.  Students graduate and go on to their own careers with these false impressions; how many of them ever hear the evolutionists say they were wrong?  Do you think the makers of BBC specials that hire naked actors and CGI (computer generated imagination) animators to portray alleged “human evolution” are going to go back and fix the many mistakes in documentaries made years ago, that continue to be shown on TV and continue to make money for them?  The debate is destructive, not constructive.  The new view does not “progress our understanding” (speak for yourself, Chris); it is a regression, if not a blind drunken sailor’s walk.We must keep in mind that the labels and stories are all recent and artificial.  Heidelberg Man didn’t exist in the past with that name; neither did Neanderthal Man.  Various populations of humans with certain trivial differences in anatomy lived in various places — that’s all.  The categories and interpretations are all made up in the present.  The bones are just props for an evolutionary story that was predetermined by Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man, and his disciples have been descending deeper into folly ever since.*  The bone pile, growing higher since 1871 but not substantially so, only serves to illustrate the folly of believing that humans had ape ancestors, which had shrew ancestors, which had fish ancestors, which had bacteria ancestors, all built on the folly-acious assumption that Stuff Happens because of random mutations.  Why?  Because the story keeps changing, and the bones never fit into a stable story that shows progress in understanding.  Humankind’s only verifiable, documented, intelligently designed family tree is found here and here.*Example: To illustrate once again the folly of the evolutionary tale of “human evolution,” it requires accepting the notion that “Heidelberg Man” emerged some 800,000 imaginary years ago, and “Neanderthal Man” emerged some 400,000 imaginary years ago.  Both of these groups were virtually identical, physically and anatomically, with us – save for trivial differences such as bone thickness, some facial features, pelvic width, etc.  There are more differences between living humans than those artificially-categorized ancestors (compare Watusi and pygmy, Inuit and European).  But they walked upright and had comparable skull capacities with us – for Neanderthals, larger on average than ours.  Moreover, they used fire, hunted mammoths (can you do that?), were skilled spearmen and tool-makers, used language and created art (at least for Neanderthals, although not finding Heidelberg art doesn’t mean it didn’t exist).  With that in mind, evolutionists expect us to believe that these people walked this earth for 100 times the length of all recorded history (during which humans went from living in villages to walking on the moon and launching NuStar) without ever figuring out how to plant a farm or ride a horse or discover America.  Let the folly of that Darwinian tall tale simmer between your ears. 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