Williams overpowers Sharapova to win Australian Open title

first_imgBy Greg StutchburyTop seed Serena Williams fought off a barking cough to clinch her 19th grand slam singles title with a 6-3 7-6(5) victory over Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open final on Saturday.Williams’ sixth title at Melbourne Park moved her into a tie with fellow American Helen Wills Moody in third on the all-time list after she joined Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert on 18 at last year’s US Open.Only Australia’s Margaret Court (24) and Germany’s Steffi Graf (22), who holds the record for the Open era, have more grand slam singles titles than the 33-year-old American.“Growing up, I wasn’t the richest, but I had a rich family in spirit and support,” Williams said at the trophy presentation. “Standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen.“I went on the courts with a ball and racquet and hope and that’s all I had.“I’m so honoured to be here tonight and to hold this 19th trophy.”Williams had not lost to Sharapova since the 2004 WTA Finals, a run of 15 successive victories and was not about to let the Russian end that streak on Saturday.The tone of the match was set in the first game when Williams broke the Russian’s serve.Even though rain forced them off court for 12 minutes as officials closed the roof in the sixth game, the American was not bothered by the disruption as she reeled off the next six points to establish a 5-2 lead after they returned.Williams sealed the first set when she broke Sharapova for the third time and then continued her momentum in the second with a powerful service game while she put pressure on the Russian’s serve.Sharapova battled to stay in the match and did have chances to break, but Williams simply reached back and smashed down a succession of massive serves to get out of trouble.She sealed victory in the tiebreak on her third match point when she powered down her 18th ace and then celebrated at the net after shaking hands with the Russian.“I’ve got to congratulate Serena on creating history and on playing some of her best tennis,” Sharapova said.“I haven’t beaten her in a really long time, but I love every time that I step on the court to play against her because she’s been the best and, as a tennis player, you want to play against the best.“So congratulations on an incredible achievement.”last_img read more

Hunters’ first home game tickets selling fast

first_imgThe game between the PNG SP Hunters and the Tweed Heads Seagulls will be staged at the National Football Stadium, formerly known as the Lloyd Robson Oval.Tickets for the games started selling late Tuesday afternoon at K25 for the outer stand and K50 for the grand stand at all Stop N Shop outlets in the city: North Waigani, Central Waigani, Rainbow, Badili, Boroko, Town, Airways SNS Express and Deloitte Tower SNS Express.An SNS shop assistant at Boroko told Loop PNG that since late Tuesday afternoon when the tickets arrived, they sold over 300 tickets in a matter of minutes.“There are about a total of 15,000 tickets that are on sale throughout the outlets and they are selling out fast,” she said.“Since this morning, people have lined up to buy more and so far, more than a hundred people have bought the outer stand tickets,” she added.Hopefully by tomorrow, all tickets will be sold out as outer stand tickets are selling like hot cakes while grand stand tickets are going at a slower pace, the assistant said.The gates will open at 3.30pm and close at 6.45pm before the game kicks off at 7pm.last_img read more

Mental health unhealthiness

first_imgDear Editor,He posted a heart wrenching appeal, sometime after midnight, a few days on the Face book page of The Caribbean Voice (www.caribvoice.org), asking for help because he was having familiar feelings of the kind that had driven him to attempt suicide once before.Immediately, some members of the group sprang into action. As we engaged him in chat, someone from the Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health joined in and quickly phone-messaged a counsellor. It took a while, but eventually the doctor called and set up an appointment for him at the Georgetown Public Hospital, at eight 08:00h. We continued to engage him until he went to bed sometime after two that same morning, promising that he would do nothing foolish, but instead would keep the appointment the following day.As daylight chased away darkness, he informed us that he was keeping his appointment, thankful that he was getting professional help. But his arrival at the hospital created confusion and frustration as no one could direct him to the doctor he was seeking. Frustration was turning to resignation as he texted that he was leaving and going to the seawall to end it all. As one member of The Caribbean Voice kept him engaged, the same personnel from the Mental Health Unit, who had put him in connection with the doctor, hurried to the hospital, some two hours plus after the 19-year-old had arrived. Yet it took that person almost another hour before she could connect him with the help he needed.The young man was given attention but refused to stay over for observation, as he was under the popular misconception that only ‘mad’ people are held back at the psych ward and he most definitely was not mad. And while he initially agreed to keep the subsequent appointment some three days later, he later changed his mind. So, The Caribbean Voice continues to engage him, as we usually do with regards to all our cases, hoping that we can still persuade him to take the additional counselling.This experience begs the following questions:1.Why was it impossible for hospital staff to direct the young man to psych ward? Surely this information should be available at reception desks and known by all staff?2.Why was there no mental health professional to meet with the young man until close to 11:00h even though he had an 08:00h appointment? Surely the staff at the mental health unit knows that delays and consequent frustration can concretise the final act of suicide?In any case the young man is in an upbeat mood, since he found a temporary job, as his lack of employment was a trigger for his suicidal mindset, especially since it clearly created tension between him and his parents with whom he lives, and for whom he feels responsible. And, having once before attempted suicide, suicide ideation came very easy to him.Frighteningly, however, is that youth unemployment is 40 per cent according to the Caribbean Development Bank, a state of affairs that is fertile ground for youth suicide ideation and actual suicides, and may well already be impacting both, given that so many suicides go unreported. Thus our concern that government seems to be going back on its election campaign promise to provide jobs for the youth.While we applaud the efforts being undertaken thus far, especially by the Police and the First Lady, we strongly urge that these be extended nationwide, be as inclusive as possible and be followed by job placements, perhaps in collaboration with the various business associations.We suggest too that all high schools implement summer, work study internships for students moving into fifth forms and perhaps extend this to weekends/evenings where possible during the fifth form years. A job placement programme is also needed for all tertiary level educational institutions.Alarmingly too, the myth that dealing with counselling and the psych ward or the psychiatric institution means someone is ‘mad’, holds tremendous sway in Guyana and that may be why transparent and obvious warning signs are ignored by caregivers and loved ones.Far too often, after a suicide, we hear or read that so and so had talked about wanting to take his or her life but those around him/her thought he/she was joking and/or did not take that person seriously. Thus TCV strongly urges the Ministry of Health to embark on a sustained education campaign to combat this myth.As well, we urge the Ministry of Health to make sure that mental health professionals are available 24/7 at public hospitals, especially where there are psych wards and that mechanisms, including signage providing directions, be put in place to make access to such wards easy and quick for anyone seeking help, given that delays and consequential frustration/anger can lead to loss of lives.This particular case also brings to the fore the suicide hotline. Empirical and anecdotal evidence indicates that Guyanese are hardly utilising the hotline and we do recall that an appeal last year for figures to be released was met with deafening silence in spite of claims of its success.The Caribbean Voice has been publicising the hotline via our self-esteem pledge which has been distributed to schools and communities in many parts of Guyana. However, it is critical that the Ministries of Public Security and Health embark on an ongoing, national campaign to make the suicide hotline a household item and to encourage citizens to make use of it with the promise of absolute confidentiality every time. As well as statistical and related evidence proving its extensive use and success ought to be made public, as this will bolster widespread confidence in its effectiveness. After all, it would have been quicker for the young man to call the hotline and get help than to reach out to TCV via Face book.On the issue of confidentiality, TCV has also found that too many Guyanese are still sceptical of counsellors and counselling because of claims that confidentiality is not often kept. In fact, the grapevine revealed that a suicide prevention activist, who committed suicide last year, might have done so partly because the confidentiality she was promised was breached.That is why the promise of confidentiality with regards to the suicide hotline is so absolutely critical. And perhaps that is why, far too often, those seeking help emphatically refuse counselling in Guyana and/or by Guyanese, when we place that on the table for them.Also, this case and many others that TCV has handled over the last two years, make it clear that mental healthcare has to be national in scope and easy of access. Thus TCV reiterates its call for mental healthcare to be integrated into the physical health care system, per the recommendation of the World Health Organisation, for nations like Guyana. And we urge that a look be taken at the Shri Lankan Model in this respect, as that nation has very successfully implemented this integration. For the record our interventions are pro bono and while we do have our own complement of counsellors we also do sometimes refer cases to various counsellors in Guyana with whom we have developed relationships, and who also offer their services free of charge to our referrals. Incidentally, not all of our cases are related to suicide. In fact we have handled domestic violence, sex abuse and rape, child abuse and alcoholism cases as well, and while most of our cases are from Guyana we have dealt with cases in a number of other countries as well, since people seek us out through our Internet and social media presence.Sincerely,The Caribbean Voicelast_img read more

Brexit, Britain and Caricom

first_imgThe Caricom Heads of Government will be meeting in Guyana this week, July 4 to 6. From the comments made by several country leaders and the Secretary General of the regional body, it is clear there was no plan drafted to deal with the possibility of Britain exiting the EU. Whether the said leaders believed the “stay” votes would carry the day over the “leave” votes, there is no excuse for a contingency plan – or even a position paper – not to have been drafted on the possibility.And this perpetual lack of anticipation of threats and opportunities facing the region by the body is one of the primary reasons that most citizens of these 15-member states who bother to think about the issue, conclude that Caricom has long passed its expiration date. But the sloth in reaction is not confined to anticipation: it extends to reaction and even implementation of plans agreed to.Take the financial crisis in 2008 that engulfed the developed economies, primarily the US and the EU. While even those countries were caught flat footed, Caricom subsequently made several attempts to craft a coherent response for the region, none of which ever came to fruition. Consequently, our response has been ad hoc and “reactionary” in all senses of the word, and has left most of the territories with their economies still on the ropes.On plans left to die on the vine, the “Jagdeo Initiative” which was launched since 2002, comes to mind. After complaining since its formation 43 years ago about Caricom’s “huge food importation bill” and watching it grow annually, the eponymously named plan proposed by the then President of Guyana identified eight constraints to making the region self-sufficient in food, and even transforming it into an food exporting area.Guyana offered the region use of its vast agricultural land at nominal costs as its contribution but the plan died stillborn. The region’s food bill has now ballooned to over US$4 billion and more handwringing will be witnessed this week.From our standpoint, with sugar being our major agricultural crop, the Caricom Regional Negotiating Machinery failed us miserably when they dawdled after 2003 to initiate negotiations to have our Demerara Brown Sugar receive the Geographical Indications (GI) certification. Like, say, Burgundy it would have been tied to the region from which it was produced and other countries such as Mauritius would have been prevented from using the name “Demerara Brown Sugar” for their substandard products.Notwithstanding their protestations, Brexit will be the ignored elephant in the room rather than being on the formal agenda for this HoG meeting. Guyana cannot afford to also bury its head in the sand on this issue.As was pointed in an earlier editorial, “Brexit and Sugar”, now that Britain will have to renegotiate all of its trade linkages presently handled by the EU, Guyana has an opportunity to secure a potentially lucrative market in a Free Trade Agreement with that country.The focus of the EU in all the sugar regimes it crafted has been to protect its beet sugar industry by providing it with huge subsidies. In the meantime our sugar which had been shipped to Britain to Tate & Lyle Sugar (TLS) on the Thames for refining was incorporated into the EU regime in 1973 and modified accordingly in the following years.Cane Sugar has been treated as the stepchild and TLS has seen its refineries gradually decreased from six to one. And even that single refinery is only operating at 59% of its 1.1 million tonnes capacity.Because beet farming in Britain has never been on a scale as say France and Germany, and British farmers never received subsidies on the scale of their European counterparts, the British government will not be faced with the same level of pressure when they negotiate new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in cane sugar.Guyana must seize this opportunity and not wait for Caricom to bury it.last_img read more

Making a substantive difference at the LGE 2018

first_imgDear Editor,We recently had an experience with our Neighborhood Democratic Council – Better Hope, East Coast Demerara, as it relates to garbage collection. On Tuesday, October 9, 2018, we contacted our NDC for their scheduled disposal days and was elated when we were informed that Wednesday is the weekly scheduled pickup day for our community. We were advised that since pickups are not timed, it would be best to leave the secured garbage bags on the parapet for removal. On Wednesday, no garbage was picked up. After numerous calls and a visit, the garbage was finally collected on Friday, October 12, 2018.Sadly, and in most communities, it is a norm that if the scheduled garbage disposal day passes, it is expected for residents to wait for the next scheduled pick up day the following week. This is unacceptable. This is a regular garbage disposal issue with many NDCs. Too often, the excuses are not practical.With Local Government Elections (LGE) scheduled for November 12, 2018, I plead with our local representatives to address this issue as it is one of many critical subjects and the only acceptable solution lies in electing policymakers who are responsible and share the view of serving and protecting the public’s interest. Further, making tough public policy decisions and holding the Council responsible for their mandate.This poses a serious health concern and it affects all of us. Let’s all act affirmatively and make the necessary choices that will lead to a timely resolution of this problem.Yours sincerely,D Jodhanlast_img read more

‘No secret’ to Leicester’s rise, says Thai boss Top

first_img0Shares0000Leicester have taken this season by storm with their high-energy, attack-minded approach. PHOTO/AFP.BANGKOK, April 25 – Leicester City’s Thai vice-chairman insisted there was no secret to their miraculous rise after they inched closer to a previously unthinkable English Premier League title.Hundreds of blue-shirted Thai fans watched Leicester’s 4-0 win over Swansea City live on big screens late into the night at an outdoor venue in Bangkok as the Foxes opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the table. Afterwards Aiyawatt ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha, who is also chief executive of Thailand’s King Power duty-free empire, said Leicester’s rise is “very good for football and for people who love sport”.“I play sport as well and I understand that inspiration from (striker Jamie) Vardy, inspiration from Leicester has inspired everyone in the world,” he said, in rare comments to media.“We don’t have a secret… the players… are trying so hard, and the spirit in the team is so good.”Top’s publicity-shy father Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha owns the British club, but Top is hands on in running it as well as being the King Power CEO.Leicester only narrowly survived relegation last year but Claudio Ranieri’s side have taken this season by storm with their high-energy, attack-minded approach.Leicester’s Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez became the first African to be named England’s Professional Footballer’s Association player of the year on Sunday, while the prolific Vardy has netted 22 times.The Foxes, or ‘Siamese Foxes’, are now beginning to attract fans in Thailand, where English Premier League giants Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea traditionally command a strong following.“We have 600 people come to celebrate and enjoy to watch Leicester, the team that maybe seven years ago no one knew,” said Top.“We try to tell Thais that you have your team and you have your second team as Leicester, so every time Leicester play please support.”– Beer and karma –Free beer helped draw the crowd but there was no mistaking the enthusiasm as two goals from Leonardo Ulloa, and one each from Mahrez and Marc Albrighton pushed Leicester closer to the trophy.“We’ll be champions no problem,” enthused Auawut Job, 42, who like many Thais professed to being a new convert to Leicester mania.“I was a Liverpool fan until three years ago, but Liverpool have gone down… all Thais will support Leicester if they win the league,” he added.The Srivaddhanaprabha family have been widely praised for their judicious spending and appointments, which have taken Leicester to the top of the Premier League.Top was a key voice in Ranieri’s hiring and that of former boss Nigel Pearson, who left in the close-season despite a remarkable run of games to survive relegation.The departure came shortly after a sex tape scandal involving three young fringe players including Pearson’s son during a summer tour of Bangkok.The mystery of Leicester’s rise is whether it has been case of luck or canny judgement or both on the part of the owners.Thai Buddhist monks certainly think good karma helps after they were drafted in to bless the King Power Stadium pitch and hand out lucky talismans to players.Top said of his father: “He’s a successful businessman and he tried to challenge himself to get something done.“This is one thing that in his dreams he wanted to own the club, and he said I think two or three years before that he want the team to be a success in the Premier League, and now we are.”He added: “As a son, I try to make the father and boss happy.” 0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Robbers target Internet cafes

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventSo far, San Francisco appears to the only major Bay Area city to experience computer-related robberies. San Jose has had laptop thefts, but no robberies so far, said San Jose Police Sgt. Nick Muyo. Some San Francisco cafes have responded by installing security leashes for laptops and posting employees at the doors. SAN FRANCISCO – Cafes offering wireless Internet access have become fertile grounds for robbers boldly making off with pricey laptop computers, San Francisco police said. In one such attack, a 40-year-old man was stabbed in the chest at a cafe last month by a pair of muggers who stole his Apple PowerBook. San Francisco Police Inspector Robert Lynch, who investigated the robbery, said people working in crowded cafes are easy targets. “Where else do you have a thousand-dollar item sitting on a table in a coffee shop?” Lynch said, adding that stolen computers are then sold on the street for a fraction of their face value. San Francisco police statistics show a steady increase in laptop robberies involving confrontations between robbers and their victims. Last year, there were 48 reported, compared to 18 in 2004. As of the end of March, 18 had been reported this year. last_img read more

Aerospace ceremony to include giveaway of ceremonial coins

first_imgLANCASTER – Commemorative coins will be given away at the 17th annual Aerospace Walk of Honor ceremony Saturday. The coins will bear the names of the 2006 honorees: Jacqueline Cochran, the Walk of Honor’s first female inductee; Air Force Col. Mervin Leroy Evenson; John Hardy Griffith; Fred Davy Knox Jr.; and Air Force Col. Emil “Ted” Sturmthal. Ceremonies will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, 750 W. Lancaster Blvd. Tickets are $5 each and are available through the Performing Arts Center box office at (661) 723-5950. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleCochran was a pioneer in women’s aviation. She held more distance and speed records during her lifetime than any other pilot, living or dead. In 1971, she was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the first living female aviator to receive such an honor. Evenson was the first military test pilot to fly the F-4C Phantom. He tested the famed SR-71 Blackbird and, after retiring from the U.S. Air Force, was on the first flight of the B-1B bomber. He was the chief test pilot of the B-1B program and the first pilot to fly more than 1,000 hours in that aircraft. Griffith flew many early experimental airplanes. He piloted nine flights in the X-1, three flights in X-4, 16 flights in the D-558-1 and eight in the D-558-2. He was the senior experimental pilot on the F7U Cutlass in 1951. Knox has led the flight-test effort to develop several new aircraft, serving as lead pilot for the X-31 aircraft, the Ranger 2000 jet trainer, the Boeing X-32 joint strike fighter and the F-22. He flew 120 flights in the X-31 and the first flight of the X-32. Sturmthal was B-1 Test Force Project director and piloted the first flight of the B-1A on Dec. 23, 1974. He went on to fly the B-1 on its initial six flights, taking it to supersonic speeds for the first time and conducting numerous other tests vital to the development of the aircraft. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Dave Rennie happy at Warriors despite Australia link

first_img“I know from working with Dave every day that he’s fully focused on the job in hand and I’ve probably never seen him work harder than he has in the last couple of weeks, looking at making sure Glasgow are prepared well for the coming weeks because we still have a lot of players missing over the next two, three weeks. “I think he’s fully embraced this area. He really enjoys Glasgow and Scotland. I think he could be here for a long time yet.” “I just know we’re pretty focused on the job Dave has done here at Glasgow Warriors and we know that he’s fully committed here until the end of the season at least and possibly beyond. “It’s credit to Dave and his coaching history that he’d be linked to these jobs. “He’s a very, very highly respected coach all around the world and you can see the effect he’s had on Glasgow and we all hope that’ll continue. “There is a lot of speculation and I think that’s all it is at the moment. Glasgow Warriors assistant coach John Dalziel believes Dave Rennie is happy at the club and won’t be affected by speculation about a move Down Under.Rennie has been tipped as a possible Australia coach after Michael Cheika left the Wallabies when they were knocked out of the World Cup by England on Saturday.Former New Zealand Under-20s and Chiefs coach Rennie reaches the end of his current Warriors contract next summer but Dalziel insists he has seen no sign the coach wants to leave.He said: “There is a lot of speculation about a lot of coaches all over. last_img read more

Rape and Child Molestation Charges Filed Against Jasper Man

first_img– Child Molesting (x4), Level 3 FelonyOn October 25, 2017, the Indiana Department of Child Services and the Indiana State Police began an investigation into a complaint of inappropriate contact with a minor between 2011 and 2015.The complaint alleged that Neukam  had sexually forced himself upon a minor female routinely during that time frame.After a lengthy investigation by ISP and DCS, an arrest warrant was issued and Neukam was arrested this morning by State Police and Dubois County Sheriff’s Deputies. Neukam is being held in the Dubois County Security Center.Investigating Officer:  Senior Trooper Detective Brock Werne A Jasper resident was arrested this morning on rape and child molestation charges after an investigation by State Police detectives.Anthony Neukam, 20,  Jasper was arrested and charged with:– Rape, Level 3 Felonylast_img read more