Review: Why subscribe to Office when so much is free?

first_imgNEW YORK | Just as I was warming up to choosing a Microsoft Office 365 subscription over making a one-time software purchase, Microsoft started giving away a lot of subscription benefits for free. The company now offers Word, Excel and others at no cost on most mobile devices.It’s a smart move by Microsoft, but it makes me wonder whether you really need a subscription, which starts at $70 a year. This screen shot provided by Microsoft shows the Android version of the company’s Word app. Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription will appeal to people who use the Office programs, such as Word for text documents and Excel for spreadsheets, on a variety of traditional Windows or Mac computers or Windows tablets. But those who primarily use mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android devices can probably stick with the free offerings, even though a subscription unlocks additional features. (AP Photo/Microsoft) This screen shot provided by Microsoft shows the Android version of the company’s Powerpoint app. Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription will appeal to people who use the Office programs, such as Word for text documents and Excel for spreadsheets, on a variety of traditional Windows or Mac computers or Windows tablets. But those who primarily use mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android devices can probably stick with the free offerings, even though a subscription unlocks additional features. (AP Photo/Microsoft)center_img The subscription will appeal to people who use Office apps on traditional Windows or Mac computers or Windows tablets, such as the Surface Pro 3. Those who primarily use iOS and Android mobile devices can probably stick with free apps. What’s right for you comes down to whether you need a PC or can get things done with just your smartphone or tablet. Here’s what to consider.THE FREEBIESMicrosoft’s newly released Office apps for iPhones, iPads and Android tablets are quite good. Microsoft offers Word for text documents, Excel for spreadsheets, PowerPoint for presentations, Outlook for email and OneNote for organization — all for free. (Access for databases and Publisher for desktop publishing aren’t available yet.)I’m writing this review on Word using an iPad and Android tablets from Samsung and Google — the latter with a wireless keyboard. I’ve edited documents on an iPhone and am pleased it has the same features that are available on the iPad, though with some menu changes to account for the smaller screen.I’m still not totally used to the mobile apps, especially for cutting and pasting text in Word and inserting cells in Excel spreadsheets. There are also missing features, such as green underlines of potential grammatical mistakes. But the apps include most of what I use on PCs. You do have to sign in with a Microsoft account, but you can create one for free.On Apple devices, a subscription would unlock about two dozen features, such as inserting section breaks and tracking changes between drafts. (Some power users might need these, but I don’t.) There are fewer features available for Android phones and tablets, whether free or for pay. Microsoft says the Android apps will catch up, as well as the version for Windows phones.Note: If you have a Windows tablet, you must pay for Office unless you’re running a lightweight operating system called RT.PAY ONCE, NEVER AGAINCan’t live with just a smartphone or tablet? You can buy Office for personal computers and Windows tablets the traditional way, by paying for the software just once. For $140, you get Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Comparatively, an Office 365 subscription costs $70 a year for one user, so by year three the subscription is costing you more. You’re guaranteed the latest version of Office, which comes out every three years, but the one-time fee is still cheaper.SO WHY PAY AGAIN AND AGAIN?— For iOS and Android mobile devices, you get extra features you can’t get any other way.— Most Windows tablets, including the Surface Pro, require a one-time purchase or subscription, even for basic features. The subscription also gives you three apps you don’t get with the $140 one-time purchase: Outlook, Access and Publisher. (You can buy all seven Office apps for a one-time fee of $400, but the subscription is cheaper.)— For PCs, a $70 one-user annual subscription lets you use all seven Office apps on multiple PCs and tablets by signing in and out. The $140 one-time purchase limits you to one device and four of the seven apps.— The subscription is a great deal for multiple users or multiple PCs. For $100 a year, rather than $70, you can install the software suite on up to five Mac or Windows PCs, so you don’t have to keep signing in and out. That can be five PCs you have, or five individuals in a household. You can switch up the PCs as often as you like. (A subscription also allots you an additional five tablets and five phones, but Microsoft doesn’t really enforce that limit.)— If you have a lot of files to store, a subscription gives you 1 terabyte of online storage through OneDrive, compared with just the 15 gigabytes you get with a free account. You also get 60 minutes a month of Skype calls to anyone. Typically, free Skype calls are limited to other Skype users.THE VALUEThe days of keeping your digital life on a single machine are long gone, and the subscription makes it easy to manage multiple PCs. But people tend to have multiple mobile devices, not PCs. Microsoft’s giveaway of iOS and Android apps eliminates a major need for a subscription.Then again, Microsoft has little choice when it’s competing with cheap and free apps that recognize the Office file format. The company would rather people stick with Office, even for free, in hopes they will buy premium features later. There are signs that’s working: Excluding business customers, Office subscribers grew 30 percent to 9.2 million in the last three months of 2014 — the same period Microsoft released its latest iPhone and iPad apps and made core features free.last_img read more

Interior Department veterans question need for overhaul

first_imgThe problem, some said, is that over the past few years, an increasing number of decisions that should have been made locally were ultimately decided in Washington because of political pressure, under both Democratic and Republican administrations.And since 91.5 percent of the department’s workforce of about 70,000 is already based outside the Washington area, most of the former interior employees said they doubted pushing more employees out of Washington would improve things.Zinke has made the overhaul of the Interior Department — which manages 780,000 square miles (2 million square kilometers) of public lands, mostly in the West — a signature mission since taking over the agency a year ago. He says it would streamline bureaucracy and lead to better decisions made closer to the field.Parts of his realignment proposal have run into resistance from some politicians from both parties, particularly in the West, who fear it will disrupt relationships between state and federal officials. That criticism echoes a 2015 letter sent to leaders of the Bureau of Land Management, objecting to a far more modest proposal to combine the bureau offices in New Mexico and Arizona.The letter from 13 members of Congress — including Zinke, then a Republican congressman representing his home state of Montana — also expressed fear the proposal was part of a larger plan to create more multistate offices in the bureau.“We believe this is a poor model and should be abandoned,” the lawmakers wrote.The Interior Department eventually dropped the idea in the face of opposition from both Democrats and Republicans.Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Smith said Zinke’s reorganization proposal, which includes appointing 13 new regional directors, is different than the attempted merger of the two offices in 2015.State-federal relationships would be strengthened under his proposal because governors and other officials could contact regional officials, she said.“More decisions and authority will be at the regional level, with fewer decisions kicked up to Washington, so the ability of governors to reach key decision makers will be enhanced by the secretary’s proposal,” she said.The 11 former Interior Department officials who spoke with the AP came mostly from the Bureau of Land Management but also the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Their job experiences ranged from park ranger to director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. Each spoke on the record.Their opinions on Zinke’s proposal ranged from skepticism to strong opposition, and all said they knew of no former Interior Department employees who supported it. But one of the 11 — Dan Ashe, the former Fish and Wildlife Service director — said reorganizations are almost always unpopular.Some worried moving more career employees with field experience out of Washington would make things worse.“By having those people there, they at least have some influence on the decisions that are being made in Washington,” said Mike Ferguson, a wildlife biologist who became the Bureau of Land Management’s top financial officer before he retired.“If you move them west, you break that link, but the decisions are still going to be made in Washington,” he said.Some said the problem with the department’s current structure is that a growing number of local decisions are being made in Washington by political appointees for political reasons. The trend has continued under both Republican and Democratic administrations, they said.Washington officials once dictated to Interior Department workers in Idaho what kind of vegetation they could plant after a wildfire on federal land, said Steve Ellis, who retired in 2016 as deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management.“That is a field-level decision,” he said. “But it became very political,” probably because the livestock industry wanted a specific kind of grass for cattle.Swift said the former employees have the same concerns as Zinke about decisions being made in Washington, not locally.But restructuring the agency and moving employees aren’t the solution, Ferguson said.“It’s not a matter of changing the organization. It’s a matter of allowing the employees in the organization to do the job that they were hired to do,” he said.Follow Dan Elliott at https://twitter.com/DanElliottAP. His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/dan%20elliott. DENVER | U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s plan for a major realignment to put more of his department’s decision-makers in the field has a fundamental flaw, in the eyes of some who spent their careers making those decisions: They’re already out there.Eleven former Interior Department officials with decades of experience in both Washington and in local offices told The Associated Press the agency already has a well-established system for decentralized decision-making.“Ninety percent-plus of the decisions that get made get made at the local level,” said Scott Florence, who retired after 38 years with the Bureau of Land Management, the Interior Department’s second-largest branch. FILE – In this Sept. 29, 2017 file photo Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks on the Trump Administration’s energy policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. Zinke wants to move more Interior Department employees out of Washington and into the field, closer to the public lands and resources they manage, saying that will lead to improved, decentralized decision-making. More than 90 percent of the department’s employees already work outside the Washington area, and some retired department employees say the agency already has a well-established decentralized decision-making process. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik,File)last_img read more

Sumptuous stuff from Sumner

first_imgThe Pattaya Golf Society (IPGC) at rabbi’s Elephant BarThe Pattaya Golf Society travelled to Plutaluang on Monday, 30th January, to play a stableford competition on the West and North nines, which were in fine condition.  This combination is a little long at 6,700 yards and certainly testing and a twenty minute timeout for rain after six holes certainly added to the challenge. The field was divided into two flights at fifteen and under and in the second flight Gary Bolger entered a score of 31 points for third place, whilst Henry Mah and Vic Barton shared the win with scores of 32 points. In the top flight Steve Jones used this, his final round this trip, to show he has not lost it after a dismal run of scores and he produced an excellent card of 36 points for third place.  In second was Rick Schramm with 39 points to show everyone that his recovery from bronchitis is well on track.  The flight winner was Pete Sumner with an excellent gross 76 giving him 40 points in a round he will savour for a while yet with eleven pars and three birdies making a mockery of the course and the damp conditions.There were birdie ‘2’s on the Lighthouse hole for Steve Jones, Dave Moriarty, Gary Bolger and Kevin McConnell whilst Rick Schramm birdied the two par threes on the front nine to complete the pot.The Booby Bevy went to Mike and Yvonne Earley for dashing away on Friday before it could be awarded, leaving Mr Len, bronchitic and weary, to finish both bottles of a beer he dislikes.  Bah!!  What goes around, comes around at the PGS obviously.  The day had been well marshalled by Tony Thorne and the plaudits were all for Pete Sumner after a sumptuous round of golf.Late burst gives Earley winOn Friday, 3rd February, the Pattaya Golf Society visited Mountain Shadow to play a stableford competition on the testing course which demands accuracy rather than length off the blue tees.  The course was in splendid condition with good running fairways and the huge greens receptive and true.Visits and visa runs had reduced the field to one flight for the day and in third place was Rick Schramm finishing his excellent week with 34 points.  In second was Dave Moriarty with 36 points but the “Giants” fan could be excused if his mind was elsewhere this weekend.  The winner was Mike Earley whose round was steady, if not spectacular, until the final four holes when he finished with ten points to shoulder his way into top place.There were birdie ‘2’s for Will Bean, Dave Moriarty, Joe Niisato, Larry Slattery and Martin Hennessy (two) and the Booby Bevy went to Rob Alexander on his first visit to Pattaya and its golf.  Harsh lessons lie ahead but his first lesson was that a change of clothes is essential after golf!last_img read more

Eric, 100 not out

first_imgBy Aneeka Simonis FROM five years of age, Eric McCraw was milking cows on his family’s farm in Catani. Now,…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Spokane spoils party, dumps Leafs 6-2 in Peewee Rep Final

first_imgBy The Nelson Daily SportsJared Gaylord scored twice to lead Spokane to a 6-2 victory over the host Leafs in the final of the Nelson Minor Hockey Peewee Rep Tournament Sunday at the NDCC Arena.Spokane scored twice two minutes into the contest — Gaylord and Connor McIntosh doing the damage — and never looked back holding period leads of 2-1 and 4-1. Bryce Twible scored both goals for the Leafs.Nelson was missing a few players to injury, including Jaden Bennett and Kaleb Comishin.The Leafs, finishing the round robin with a 3-1 record, advanced to the final by stopping Creston 2-1. The East Kootenay squad defeated Nelson in the final round robin contest Saturday. Spokane got past Elk Valley in the other semi final.The Leafs opened the tournament by stopping Elk Valley 7-6. Ben Woodward paved the way for Nelson, scoring three times for the victors. Twible added a pair while Jayden Maida and Taylor Cooper added singles.Curt Doyle earned the win in goal for Nelson.Five different players scored for the Leafs in a 5-1 decision over Cranbrook. Joey Timmermans registered the win in goal for Nelson.The Reps kept the winning streak alive by doubling rival Trail 6-3 Saturday morning. Cooper scored twice to lead Nelson.In the final round robin contest Creston scored three second period goals to dump Nelson 6-3. Everett Hicks scored twice to lead Nelson offensively.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Irving, Love return as James, Cavs beat Nets 116-108

first_img“Every shooter that comes here we tell them LeBron’s statement: If a guy’s not in your numbers, then you’re open,” Irving said. “So I know he’ll pretty much enjoy that.”Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points for the Nets, who have lost five straight.“We just tried to compete the whole game. We dug ourselves a hole,” rookie Caris LeVert said after scoring a season-high 19 points.Love missed a loss to Chicago on Wednesday and was limited in the previous game after suffering from food poisoning on New Year’s Day. Irving had sat out the last three with right hamstring tightness.Irving started 1 for 8 and Love was 1 for 7 as the Nets, who trailed by 46 during their loss at Cleveland on Dec. 23, led with under five minutes remaining in the second quarter. But James had 10 points in the final 3:09 as Cleveland took a 50-39 lead.ADVERTISEMENT James scored 36 points, carrying Cleveland while Irving and Love had slow starts in their return to the lineup in a 116-108 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.Irving added 32 points and Love had 17 points and 13 rebounds, but both shot poorly early as the Nets kept it competitive for 1 1/2 quarters. James helped the Cavs open a comfortable lead by halftime they enjoyed most of the rest of the way in the opener of a six-game trip.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliSPORTSWe are young“Ky was a little rusty coming off a couple of games out and obviously Kev as well,” James said, “so I was just trying to see if I could push the tempo, get us into a good flow, get some early buckets in the second quarter and I was able to push the lead to a double-digit lead by halftime. So it worked well for us.”The Cavs were still working to finalize a trade with Atlanta to acquire Korver, which will add a premier perimeter shooter to their second unit. Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Love then had 10 points in the Cavs’ 36-point third quarter and Irving heated up late as Cleveland broke it open again after the Nets trimmed a 24-point deficit to six in the fourth quarter.“I thought they were rusty but we did a good job of working them back in and they were able to finish the game,” Lue said.Irving finished 10 for 26 from the field with three 3-pointers. Love was 5 for 16.Tristan Thompson was 0 for 9 from the free throw line in the first half before finally making a pair with 4:27 left in the third quarter after the Nets fouled him intentionally. He finished 4 for 13.Though the trade with Atlanta wasn’t done yet, the Cavaliers did complete one with Portland. The Cavs re-acquired the 2018 first-round pick they had sent the Trail Blazers along with Anderson Varejao last February, in exchange for their 2017 first-rounder.Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, who was an assistant in Atlanta, said the Cavaliers are making a great move to get Korver.“I think we all make a mistake if we just think Kyle’s a shooter,” Atkinson said. “I think he’s a better all-around player than people think. I think he’s a better defender than people think. Better passer. He’s just really great IQ and he’s going to help them in so many ways.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter EDITORS’ PICK Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town We are young Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award PLAY LIST 01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award05:05SEA Games 2019: Rubilen Amit finally beats Chezka Centeno for 9-ball gold (HIGHLIGHTS)02:44Gatchalian wants arrest for residents returning to Taal danger zones01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PHcenter_img Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine I could play on until I am 40, says Djokovic Brooklyn Nets’ Sean Kilpatrick (6) defends against Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in New York. APNEW YORK, New York—Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were rusty and Kyle Korver is still not a Cavalier, so LeBron James needed to play a heavy role Friday.As usual, he was up to the task.ADVERTISEMENT Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Senators to proceed with review of VFA PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Budget 2019: Short on substance

first_imgThe analyses of Budget 2019 are ongoing and soon the $300 billion odd package will be debated in Parliament. Unfortunately, if the past were to be a guide, there will be little or no room for any meaningful change that may be proposed by the Opposition due to the Government’s majority in the National Assembly.The Opposition has already branded the budget ‘visionless and disappointing’, while the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), having noted that some money will be coming back into the hands of consumers, has expressed disappointment over the non-reduction of the Excise Tax on fuel.From the Government standpoint, the budget is another major step towards fulfilling its promise to provide a good life for all Guyanese and sees as vital that new taxes were not announced. It is confident that will ensure no additional financial burden be imposed on taxpayers and, along with the other measures announced, providing that ‘good life’ seems on track. In announcing increases in the Income Tax threshold, old-age pension and public assistance, the Government is seemingly brimming with confidence to deliver its elusive promise.Expectations of the ordinary citizens are always rife at budget time. For them, the bottom line is always basic bread and butter issues; will they be earning more? A cursory look through the relevant sections does offer some encouragement that workers’ income will in effect be increased resulting from the upward movement of the tax threshold. Similarly for pensioners and those who depend on public assistance. However, the reality may be vastly different when the magnitude of those increases and the actual value in terms of spending power are taken into consideration.Come 2019, the Income Tax threshold will go upwards by $5000 and those who earn above $65,000, the necessary tax regime kicks in. In reality, for that group, the increase is less than $5000. Pensioners will benefit from an increase of $1000 per month which is equivalent to just one modest fast-food meal or three loaves of bread for the 30-day period. Those increases must have sounded good during the presentation but the harsh reality would be the lack of effectiveness on people’s spending ability.Fuel prices, which generally determine the cost of commodities, have quietly crept up. Transportation and manufacturing costs would be unmoved and with constantly rising food prices, the announced increases will be of little value. While it is something despite the miniscule amount, it is not as exciting as it was made out to be.Of course the Government will boast of implementing necessary measures to increase workers’ income and no new taxes for 2019. The preference will be to highlight the increases in terms of percentage as against the actual sum given the assumed public relations and political value for higher figures relating to benefits seem to bode well with the mind. It will therefore make interesting reading when the various analyses, especially from the labour unions, are made known.With regard to the no new taxes, a plethora was already unleashed on the working class since the 2015 to 2018 budgets by the current Government. That broke the backs of many and precipitated a vast reduction in disposable income which redounded to lesser spending and sloth in the economy.Aside from the closure of sugar estates and the devastated effect it continues to have on the lives of thousands of workers and their families, hundreds of other jobs continue to be lost as businesses close due to the lack of the necessary enabling financial environment.This budget, and the Government’s previous four, have done little to address or reverse those worrying trends and to create jobs. As a matter of fact, its projected growth rates were not met and in some cases readjusted downwards. That in itself speaks volumes over the lack of holistic effectiveness of Government’s budgetary measures.One can argue that it probably became cognisant of the hardships it imposed on the populace since 2015 with that point effectively brought home by the results of the recently held Local Government Elections. On the heels of the Government’s dismal showing, salary increases were announced with tax-free retroactive pay and the sudden announcement of social projects including a proposed hospital for the Sophia area.That was not a subtle reaction to make its promise appear as not just a promise. With its own support base utterly disappointed over the lack in delivering the promised good life, the Government would have been hard-pressed to announce any new tax measure. It could also be that there is little or nothing left to tax.In the context of the realities on the ground, Budget 2019, given its size it terms of its sum, pages and the probably the longest presentation in the nation’s history, may either be an exercise in verbose prowess for maximum screen time to realistically and ironically say little; an endeavor to create a façade to mask the lack of substance; unbridled hope and high expectations for oil revenue down the road. Some may conclude it’s a combination of all three.last_img read more

Guyanese lawmakers must act now

first_imgDear Editor,It is with a heavy heart and a desperate appeal to basic human dignity and respect for life that I write this letter on behalf of the Guyanese people. When we cast our ballots on election’s day every five years, it was not only for selecting the next President; it was a public communication of trust onto those who hold public offices will honour and uphold the social contract between the People of Guyana and the Constitution.Public safety and security is not a privilege, but a constitutional right of every Guyanese. And it is the constitutional responsibility of the State to protect citizens from all forms of danger and threats to their life and property. When Guyanese pay taxes, they have honoured their side of the social contract. When the State fails to provide safety and security to its citizens it has effectively abandoned its constitutional duty.It is a national disrespect to tell the people of Guyana that there is a 21 per cent decrease in crime when almost every single day someone is losing their life. As a Social Scientist, I understand and respect the role of science in policy, but common sense must also guide our decisions. Even if we disagree with the statistics, we should all be outraged if one child, father or mother is taken from their families to senseless killing or one family is traumatised from banditry. Likewise, we must all be outraged if one business is robbed, vandalised or forced to close its doors because it cannot afford to pay for its own security.I commend the Guyana Chambers of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) for its initiative to step out of the norm and denounce such disrespect for human life and call on lawmakers to take immediate action to return communities to a place where people can pursue their happiness and live peacefully with their families. However, its proposed initiative to remove taxes for security equipment is colossally misguided. Requesting tax exemptions for security equipment might afford businesses to invest in better security systems to protect commercial properties. But focusing on businesses instead of your consumers – who are ordinary families – is like “protecting the DJ instead of the people at the party when someone screams fire.” Before long there is not a party. If we continue along this path, there will be no purpose of opening businesses.GCCI should also recognise that calling for tax exemptions on security equipment does nothing to give investors hope and confidence that Guyana is still an economy worthy of their investment. The Chamber should use the opportunity to mobilise support and call on the Government to employ full force of the police and the military if necessary to restore peace and security in the country, even if this means declaring a “State of National Emergency.”If families cannot feel safe in their homes, children cannot sleep and go to school without fearing for their lives and businesses cannot open doors without worrying about where bandits and robbers might come from. We are not honouring our responsibility as a sovereign nation and democracy to protect the People of Guyana.Brutalising and terrorising families, senseless killing, breaking and entering businesses and instilling fear in communities are not Afro-Guyanese, Indo-Guyanese, Amerindians, Chinese or Portuguese problems; they are Guyanese problems, and we all must play our part in fixing it now.We have always been a nation of strong, hard-working and peaceful people who would endure any hardship to succeed in the pursuit of our happiness and prosperity. We have as a nation answered the calls of history and fought for our freedom and the right to live our lives peacefully and with respect for each other and the law. Expecting us to sit quietly and accept such gross disrespect for human life and personal property is asking for too much.Lawmakers must act now, or history will remind us of those chilling words “too late.” On behalf of the Guyanese people.Sincerely,Dhanraj SinghEconomistlast_img read more

Guyana seeking membership in extractive industries’ global body

first_imgThe Government, through the Natural Resources Ministry is aiming to submit its application for membershipNatural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and World Bank Consultant on EITI Ana Maria Rodriguezto the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in November.Ana Maria Rodriguez, a consultant from the World Bank, is in Guyana assisting the ministry to establish a Multi-stakeholder Group (MSG). Rodriguez will be providing technical support on the process for creating the MSG and advancing the preparation, once the MSG is established, to draft a work plan.In an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Rodriguez said that she will be assisting stakeholders to, “Understand the process in order to accommodate that process to the context of the country so that they can actually prepare for the candidacy for EITI and come up with a good work plan that is going to be helpful for the country”.Rodriguez explained that EITI is a good tool to generate public dialogue and trust within the sectors: “I think EITI is a great start to set up the table, create dialogue between the three sectors that most of the time they are not sitting down at the same table and being informed and asking questions about the transparency.”The EITI is a global organisation of 51 countries that have subscribed to establishing, upholding and promoting the standards and tenets of good governance, transparency and accountability in the management of extractive industries.At its core the EITI promotes the belief that natural resources belong to the people and are to be extracted and managed on behalf of the people; both for current and future generations.The MSG consists of a tripartite of government, civil society and industrie stakeholders. Establishing a MSG is an important requirement of EITI.Last month, a senior mining specialist and extractive industries specialist visited Guyana on behalf of the World Bank to discuss how it can support Guyana in its candidacy. Rodriguez’ visit is a result of that meeting and is part of a first mission by the World Bank in its support to Guyana for two weeks.Meanwhile, the ministry will be hosting a National Symposium on Wednesday to engage stakeholders in the process of creating the MSG. Rodriguez is expected to guide the process of selecting representatives of the MSG.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said the symposium is a, “good start” towards reinvigorating interest in EITI: “We wouldn’t be expecting that everything would be completed at the symposium on Wednesday, it’s the process of taking us toward membership and then, having attained membership your job is now starting in a sense because, you then have to ensure that you submit declarations.”Minister Trotman noted that he would like to see the standard in place before Guyana begins oil production: “It would be good for us to put this standard in place by having our membership sorted out and accredited so when we start to benefit from the revenue from oil we would (have) already been subscribing to that standard and being transparent and open.”Guyana had reaffirmed its commitment to join EITI at the world summit in Peru last February.last_img read more

Battle of divisions intensifies ahead of Wundanyi Rally

first_imgAdditional Reporting by Attex Motorsports..0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000aption: Farhaaz Khan and Keith Henrie in action during the 64th Safari Rally in Elementaita. PHOTO courtesy.NAIROBI, Kenya, July 18 – Rally drivers and navigators are all set for the tussle of positions in various divisions of the 2016 Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) when the KCB Wundanyi Rally gets under way in Taita Taveta county this weekend.The rally starts at KCB Wundanyi branch on Saturday at 0700 HRS and ends at Rukinga airstrip, with a super special at Mwatunge Primary School. KNRC Divisions were introduced by the Rallies Commission of KMSF a few years back to whip-up the enthusiasm of crews at various levels of competition.Apart from the main KNRC category which has always attracted considerable interest amongst spectators, it will be interesting to see how the Divisions’ battles unfold from behind the scenes.Shamba Boyz team of Mahesh Halai and Ketan Halai will be out to maintain their Division Two lead.Mahesh and Ketan lead the KNRC Division two log with 53 points ahead of Eric Bengi and Mombasa based Adil Mirza.“We will test today (Tuesday) to see what needs to be fine tuned ahead of the rally. Basically its a performance test and the strategy for Wundanyi Rally is to keep a consistent pace and since the stages are quite rough, we will have to avoid any damage to the car,” said Mahesh.The battle for Two Wheel Drive class will pit champion and series leader Leonardo Varese against Alex Lairang’i, Sammy Nyorri and Eric Bengi.Bengi who is the fastest driver in 2WD currently suffered a DNF (non finish) on Safari which dipped him from the summit to third on the log.Varese, who has candidly admitted that Bengi’s pace is out of this world, is looking to uphold his 100percent finish record despite having not won a single event thus far this season.Lairang’i who is placed second after winning his category on the Safari hopes to maintain a good pace.Farhaaz Khan of Oilibya Racing team will be going for the jugular in his bid to kill two birds with one stone.Farhaaz who is teaming up with Keith Henrie in an ex Jassi Chatthe Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 hopes to improve on his third position in Group N behind Ian Duncan and Baldev Chager. Chager has since upgraded from Group N to R4 which works out really well for Farhaaz on championship points.Khan is places a distant second to Onkar Rai in Division one though.“The essence is bringing back the car back in one piece to ensure that we score as many points as possible,” said Farhaaz.Safari 2016 is an event Keith and Farhaaz will not forget in along time.“We managed seventh overall, second in Division 1 and third in group N. We were happy with our strategy of driving consistently which paid off.Having not finished the last round in Kisumu due to a broken gearbox the result comes at a right time and puts us back in the championship fight,” said Farhaaz who hopes we can continue the positive momentum in Wundanyi.Meanwhile, the battle for the Classic Car Cup points should also give the Mombasa Motor Club organised Wundanyi tour some zest with Jonathan Somen eager to maintain his lead against Ramesh Vishram. Both Somen and Vishram will be driving Ford Escort Mk2. Wundayi Rally counts towards the fourth round of the 2016 KNRC. Wundanyi marks the halfway stage of the eight leg series.The event has attracted drivers from across the county and should draw thousands of fans considering its proximity from Mombasa and Voi.KNRC STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 32WDLeonardo Varese 68Alex Lairang’i 59Eric Bengi 50ClassicJonathan Somen 25Ramesh Vishram 21Dinesh Sachania 18Division OneOnkar Rai 84Farhaaz Khan 47Izhar Mirza 36Division twoMahesh Halai 53Eric Bengi 48Adil Mirza 45Division ThreeNatasha Tundo 71Chandrakant Devji 66Edward Maina 50Group NIan Duncan 63Baldev Chager 48Farhaaz Khan 37S ClassChandrakan Devji 78Edward Maina 74Jasmeet Chana 25SPVAdil Mirza 57Asad Khan 38Geoff Mayes 27last_img read more