Facing an escalating backlash, Mastercard scrapped a charity initiative to donate 10,000 meals to hungry children for every goal scored by Argentina forward Lionel Messi and Brazil counterpart Neymar Jr. The campaign was criticised online as a stunt ahead of the World Cup, where rival credit card company Visa is the official FIFA sponsor. Even Brazil coach Tite, whose team is sponsored by Mastercard, expressed frustration with the campaign that only rewarded the United Nations World Food Programme if Neymar scored. Having spent the weekend defending its ‘goals change lives’ advertising on social media, Mastercard said yesterday that it “heard the comments about our campaign in Latin America” and was withdrawing it. “We don’t want fans, players or anyone to lose focus on the critical issue of hunger and our efforts to raise support for this cause,” Mastercard told The Associated Press. “Based on the feedback, we are adjusting this campaign to replace the 10,000 meals donation per goal by Messi and Neymar Jr with a contribution of one million meals in 2018. This is in addition to 400K meals we have already donated as part of the campaign.” Among the tweets to Mastercard, Andrew Stroehlein of Human Rights Watch called the campaign “a PR own goal. Priceless” alluding to the company’s slogan. “We want to reinforce that Mastercard’s global commitment of delivering 100 million meals by the end of this year goes beyond any one campaign,” the company said. “We are grateful to our brand ambassadors who will continue to play a critical role in helping us raise awareness of the cause. Mastercard will continue to be one of the many players engaged in reversing the cycle of poverty globally.” AP
Dear Editor,Please permit me space in your newspaper to vent my frustration with the current situation in Guyana as it relates to the award of contracts.The company I work for and also a co-owner, over the past few months, has been under tremendous strain because of the way these matters have been handled by the Tender Board and the various Ministries of Government. My company has won a few contracts in the national competitive bidding process, but was not awarded.We primary do most of the work in the electrical department; work is being handed down to a particular company even though they were not the lowest evaluated bid. We have written to the Government on this issue and were told it was a Tender Board matter. We contacted the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board through written communication and never received a reply.Editor, this situation is becoming more frustrating. We have a workforce of 32 employees and were recently forced to lay off five. The other electrical company enjoys the good grace of this current Administration and all the various Ministries, electrical works are being done by this company without tenders. How can we encourage foreign investors when gross irregularities such as contract awards like this happen every day? This only affects the nation as a whole since only a select few are favoured but the Administration.Sincerely,Micheal Persaud
You can view the whole report at: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57d9d99615d5db41c387e54b/t/58c0495a15d5db7d6b995925/1488996717849/MLA+Pat+Pimm+Stakeholders+and+Advisory+Committee+Report+%28Web+Quality%29.pdf. – Advertisement -He says no explanation was given as to why he couldn’t thank the people he wanted to thank and share details of the report.“They didn’t say why at all. The Speaker is the person that recognizes people in the legislature and allows them to speak or not and I stood up three times after she told me that we weren’t going to have any discussion about the report and she wouldn’t recognize me anymore. I thought it was a little undemocratic. It seemed to me that a couple of minutes to recognize my constituents and the hard work they did wouldn’t be out of line, especially when the rest of the members (of the house) didn’t have objection to that so I was a little taken back by that.”The report that Pimm is referring to is a report that identifies parcels of land that have been set aside by Government that could possibly be involved in future Government discussions with First Nations.There are 9 Ridings in the Province, including the two Peace Country ridings that make up 80 percent of the 1.5 million acres of land currently under NOI in the Province. These 9 Ridings are: Peace River North and Peace River South (over 20 percent of the total with nearly 400,000 acres of land currently in First Nations discussions), Stikine, Skeena, Caribou – North, Caribou-Chilcotin, Fraser-Nicola, Chilliwack-Hope and Vancouver – Sea to Sky.Advertisement FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Current Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm is having trouble understanding why the Speaker of the House wouldn’t let him thank his non-partisan Peace Country constituents after he tabled a report.“I introduced the report to the House. You have to get ‘Leave of the House’ to introduce a report because it is not a document done by ‘control of government’ per se. Most committees are put together by government and then they go out and do a report. This wasn’t a committee of government, this was a committee of my Peace Country constituents.”Pimm says the group had actual ‘terms of reference’ but it wasn’t a government committee. The committee was put together back in May of 2016. He says they have been meeting regularly since then.“We found a lot of things. So what I did, the committee wanted me to try to release the report to the legislature, which I got Leave and you have to get Leave from the house. That means that if anybody has objection to the report being put on the floor, they say ‘nay’ and your report can’t move forward.”Pimm received approval to put the report on the floor but then he ran into the issue which he calls ‘undemocratic’.“I wanted to spend a couple of minutes and thank my committee for all the hard work they have done and for the information that they gathered and kind of identify a few things that were in the report, just to give the members of the House the opportunity to see what was in the report but the Speaker didn’t allow me to do that, even though the House gave me, basically gave me approval, the Speaker deemed that was out of line and wouldn’t let it go forward.”Advertisement
– Advertisement -Whalen said that completion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion is but one key imperative to restoring investor confidence in Canada. Equally important, he said, is the need for Canada to communicate its energy brand internationally, one that proudly speaks to resource development that’s responsible, safe, ethical and to the highest environmental standards in the world.“The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently projected that global demand for energy will increase 31 per cent by 2040. This increase includes a 49 per cent increase in demand for natural gas and a 12 per cent increase in demand for oil. Canada must be an active contributor in providing affordable, reliable natural resources to energy constrained developing nations to help lift them out of energy poverty so they too can enjoy the standard of living and quality of life that we Canadians enjoy.” CALGARY, A.B. — The Petroleum Services Association of Canada released its midyear update to its 2018 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, and lowered the forecast for the number of wells drilled across Canada for 2018 by six percent.PSAC is forecasting that 7,400 wells will be drilled in Canada this year, 500 less than its original forecast of 7,900 made last October. PSAC has based its updated forecast on an average natural gas price of $1.75 CDN/million cubic feet (AECO), a crude oil price of US$61.45/barrel, and a Canada-US exchange rate averaging $0.79.“While our oilfield services sector is marginally busier than it was last year at this time, this hasn’t necessarily translated into financial bottom lines that signal business sustainability,” said PSAC President and CEO Tom Whalen. “In fact, we still have a number of services companies making staff reduction adjustments of 5-15 percent. This pales in comparison to the 40-60 percent staff reductions we saw mid-2015 to the end of 2016, but still a very telling sign that our services sector is far from healthy.”“The improved WTI price shift into the mid to high $60’s is certainly a welcome sign for our industry. However, the disconnect and volatility of the differential between WTI and WCS pricing means that exploration and production (E&P) companies and Canadians are not benefiting to the same level as our ‘energy independent’ focused southern neighbour. It’s shameful that we continue to sell our oil to the U.S. at a steep discount to WTI, short-changing Canadians over $15 billion per year. The sooner we expand our customer base, the better off Canadians and quite frankly, the rest of the world will be.”On a provincial basis for 2018, PSAC forecasts that approximately 32 percent fewer wells will be drilled in B.C., with PSAC’s revised forecast now at 500 wells, down from 730 in the original forecast. PSAC now estimates 3,800 wells to be drilled in Alberta, down from 4,000 wells in the original forecast. The revised forecast for Saskatchewan now sits at 2,840 wells compared to 2,930 wells in the original forecast, and Manitoba is forecasted to see 255 wells or a jump of 25 in well count for 2018.“On reflection of our adjusted Forecast for 2018, we can’t help but note there is a continued shift by the E&P’s from gas to oil well drilling. That shift to oil is easily supported by the ‘lower for longer’ price outlook for Canadian natural gas. We’re also seeing a geographic shift, forecasting 110 less wells to be drilled in B.C than in 2017. While this doesn’t seem like a large number, one needs to keep in mind that these are some of the most complex and ‘service intensive’ wells being drilled in North America today. We estimate these 110 wells represent over $850 million in capital that won’t be spent in B.C. this year. On the winning side of the equation is Saskatchewan which we estimate will see just over 300 additional wells drilled than 2017. We estimate the capital cost to drill those wells is approximately $400 million. When you add those two scenarios together, we’re conservatively looking at approximately $450 million less capital being deployed in Canada than our earlier forecasted numbers suggested.”Advertisement
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Christmas is approaching and the group, Peace Seniors Connect & Care needs your help by providing donations that will go directly to the seniors in our community.PSCC is a group of caring people that came together three years ago to touch the lives of seniors in our community. The first year the group helped 86 seniors and this year’s numbers look to be helping 200 seniors as there is a need for this type of campaign.Group Administrator, Vanessa Siemens-Ford says “Seeing the looks on these seniors faces is more then one can handle at some points when on realize that these interactions through the parties we hold may be the only ones they get all year long.”- Advertisement -PSCC has asked businesses around FSJ to set out collection bins and now needs the community’s help to fill them by donating items. These donations will become gifts which will be handed out to seniors this Christmas at Abbeyfield, Peace Villa and Seniors Housing.“I am a very lucky individual. I have 3 of my grandparents still living. 88, 89 and 99 years old! The little things and time spent with them is so important for their health. This is a wonderful way of getting involved.” said Annamari Miles of Harvest Wine OutfittersA list of suggested items you can donate;– small bags of nuts or candy (diabetic candy too)– socks– hand cream– gift cards for Cool Beans (cafe downstairs at the hospital), Wal-Mart, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, Shoppers, Grocery stores, etc– hats, toques, mitts– puzzles– playing cards– pajamas, slippers, housecoats– magazines– crossword or word search books– nail polish– scratch or lotto tickets– brain teaser puzzles– Handy Dart passes– lip balm– chocolates, licorice– hair brushes & combs– adult colouring books, crayons, pencil crayons & markers– art supplies– fidget toys– nail clippers and files– change purses– toothbrushes– toothpaste– throw blankets– coffee mugs or teacups– watches– ladies necklaces– calendarsAdvertisement Other items needed for the preparation of gift giving:– gift wrap– tape– gift bags– gift tags– donations of food items for each seniors party, including Abbeyfield, Peace Villa and Seniors HousingPlaces to drop off Donation;Fort Motors: 11104 Alaska Road NorthNEAT: 10003 – 95 AvenueMLA offices: 10104 – 100 StreetHarvest Wine Outfitters: 8221 – 100 AvenueIG Wealth Management (beside Unforgettable Memories )Anna’s Laundry Service: (Taylor 10264 – 100 Street)12-6pm Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri9-2 SaturdaysVanessa Siemens-Ford’s House: 9103 – 87 Avenue
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThe shooting, which appeared to have been gang-related, was under investigation, Tippet said. For more news and observations about crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here. Two men were wounded in a drive-by shooting in front of a Los Angeles residence, authorities said today. The shooting occurred at West 99th and South Main streets around 9:30 p.m. yesterday, said Sgt. Jon Tippet of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southeast Station. Two men were standing on the sidewalk in front of a residence when a dark compact car rolled up and someone inside opened fire, Tippet said. One man was struck in the pelvic area and the other man was hit in the arm, he said, adding that they were both hospitalized and in stable condition. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
NEW YORK – A warning to procrastinators: better shop early if you want the must-have holiday gifts. Already, toy sellers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Toys “R” Us Inc. and KB Toys Inc., are scrambling to get their hands on more hot toys, particularly T.M.X. Elmo from Mattel Inc.’s Fisher-Price, whose better-than-expected sales are making it increasingly likely to be the must-have toy for the season. In yet another encouraging sign of consumers’ willingness to spend, Scott McCall, chief toy officer at Wal-Mart, noted that high-priced toys like $249 red Mustangs under Mattel’s Powerwheels brand are selling fast early in the season, something that he hasn’t seen in five years. And Michael Gould, chairman and CEO of Federated Department Store Inc.’s Bloomingdale’s, reported strong sales of fall merchandise in September, which could only bode well for holiday apparel. And other big challenges still remain. One big worry is the deteriorating housing market. In the last few years, a booming housing market and record-low interest rates spurred spending as consumers tapped into their rising home equity. Still, the recent pause in interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve should offer some relief to shoppers. Meanwhile, the New York-based Conference Board reported last week a rebound in consumer confidence in September, but the survey showed consumers’ lingering concerns about the job market. Employment showed modest gains in August, with wages barely up, according to the latest job report. Consumers have remained resilient throughout the year, despite rising gasoline prices. Still, there have been some signs of consumer strain in recent store sales reports.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 MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips“There is no question that business is better. It has been a strong September,” Gould said. “Apparel business has been good, the shoe business has been outstanding. There is a better feel out there.” Such encouraging signs are helping to lift the spirits of many retailers, who only this summer planned for modest gains in holiday inventory as they worried about how soaring gasoline prices and rising interest rates would curtail gift-buying. In recent weeks, falling gasoline prices, receding mortgage rates and a rebounding stock market have helped to perk up consumer demand and ease merchants’ worries about the holiday season. Stores are expected to report a strong same-store sales gain of about 4 percent for September on Thursday, according to Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at The International Council of Shopping Centers. That’s higher than Niemira’s original 3 percent forecast. Same-store sales are sales at stores opened at least a year. One exception will be Wal-Mart, which estimated on Saturday that same-store sales were up a disappointing 1.8 percent in September from the year-ago period, when it benefited from a spending spree tied to preparing for and recovering from the hurricanes. Still, merchants are being cautious as they adjust some holiday orders, so consumers won’t see the same level of generous deals as they did a year ago and procrastinators won’t find the goods they want. “Yes, (stores) may be adjusting to possible gains,” said Dan Butler, vice president of retail operations at the National Retail Federation. “But they are not going overboard. Gas prices could always go back up.”
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraq’s highest court rejected Saddam Hussein’s appeal Tuesday and said the former dictator must be hanged within 30 days for ordering the killing of scores of Shiite Muslims in 1982. The sentence has already stoked Iraq’s sectarian rage, with the Shiite majority demanding Saddam’s death and his fellow Sunni Arabs calling the trial tainted. “From tomorrow, any day could be the day” Saddam is sent to the gallows, the chief judge said. Saddam was condemned to death for his role in the execution of 148 Shiite Muslims from the small northern town of Dujail, after a 1982 assassination attempt. The decision came on a particularly bloody day in Baghdad, where at least 54 Iraqis died in bombings and police discovered 49 apparent victims of sectarian reprisal killings. Separately, the U.S. military announced the deaths of seven American soldiers. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d seeIn upholding the sentence, imposed Nov. 5, the Supreme Court of Appeals also affirmed death sentences for two of his co-defendants, including his half brother. And it said life imprisonment for a third was too lenient and demanded he be given the death penalty, too. Saddam’s hanging “must be implemented within 30 days,” said Aref Shahin, chief judge of the appeals court. “From tomorrow, any day could be the day of implementation.” The White House called the ruling a milestone in Iraq’s efforts “to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law.” “Saddam Hussein has received due process and legal rights that he denied the Iraqi people for so long. So this is an important day for the Iraqi people,” said deputy White House press secretary Scott Stanzel, who was aboard Air Force One flying from Washington to Waco, Texas. Some international legal observers, however, called Saddam’s trial unfair because of alleged interference by the Shiite-dominated government. The ruling raised doubts about whether other victims of Saddam’s ruthless regime – including families of Kurds gassed in the late 1980s – will ever testify in court about their suffering. But the announcement delighted Shiites, who endured persecution under Saddam and are eager to remove a symbol of the old regime. Some Shiites are concerned that insurgents, many of them Sunni Arabs, will try to disrupt or prevent the execution. “We were looking forward to this day so as to achieve justice, though it comes late,” said Ali al-Adeeb, a Shiite lawmaker. “The government should speed up implementing the verdict in order not to give any chance to the terrorists.” Under Iraqi law, the appeals court decision must be ratified by President Jalal Talabani and Iraq’s two vice presidents. One of the two deputies is, like Saddam, a Sunni Arab. Talabani, a Kurd, has said he is opposed to the death penalty. But he previously deputized Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite Muslim, to sign execution orders on his behalf. Abdul-Mahdi has said he would sign a death warrant for Saddam. The Sunni vice president, Tariq Al-Hashimi, has also pledged to support Saddam’s execution as part of a deal that gave him the job last April 22, witnesses at the meeting told The Associated Press in October. Raed Juhi, a spokesman for the High Tribunal court that convicted Saddam, said the judicial system would ensure Saddam is executed even if the presidency does not ratify the decision. “We’ll implement the verdict by the power of the law,” Juhi said. He did not elaborate on the statement, which implied that Saddam’s case might divide the government. Saddam is being held at Camp Cropper, an American military prison close to Baghdad’s airport. The U.S. military has had Saddam in its custody, on behalf of the Iraqis, since his capture. Military officials, however, were not able to say Tuesday whether the former dictator is being turned over to the Iraqis now, in anticipation of his execution. It’s not clear where the hanging will take place. It might occur at Camp Cropper or, perhaps, at a Baghdad prison where the new Iraqi government has carried out other executions. It’s also uncertain if the public or press will be allowed to witness the hanging, or if the execution will be announced only afterward. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Maradona played for Newell’s from 1993-1994 and signed the throne – decked in Newell’s colours – after the game Getty Images – Getty 4 Maradona then took a seat on the sidelines on what appeared to be a throne, while the rest of his staff and players sat in the dugout.Those who were not able to attend the match were able to watch their hero through a special camera named ‘Diego Cam’ on TNT Sports.Maradona seems to be loving life in management, with footage recently emerging of him dancing following Gimnasia’s first victory under his management.The former Napoli forward also managed Argentina from 2008-2010, overseeing their World Cup finals campaign in South Africa where they were defeated 4-0 in the quarter-finals by Germany. Getty Images – Getty Maradona is treated like a king in Argentina Argentina legend Diego Maradona was given a hero’s welcome on his return to Newell’s Old Boys on Tuesday.The football icon is considered a king by many in Argentina and he was treated as such after being given a pitch-side throne to sit on and watch his side, Gimnasia, in action. Maradona, who won the World Cup in 1986 as a player, took over as manager of La Plata-based Gimnasia in September.The club had won just once in nine games coming into the difficult trip to Newell’s on Tuesday.But it ended up being an easy win for birthday boy Maradona’s team as three quickfire second-half goals sealed a 4-0 win for the visitors in a stadium named after another combustible Argentine, Marcelo Bielsa.In truth, however, the match was more about the 59-year-old, who starred for Newell’s from 1993-1994.He made a speech to supporters before kick-off, who then warmly applauded him and sang his name. Getty Images – Getty Chelsea vs Man United (Wednesday, 8.05pm) – talkSPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal (Wednesday, 7.30pm) – talkSPORT 2Barnsley v Bristol City (Friday, 7.45pm) – talkSPORT 2 Getty Images – Getty Live on talkSPORT Maradona was given a hero’s welcome on his return to Newell’s The Estadio Marcelo Bielsa was rocking and everyone was there to sing Diego Maradona’s name 4 It’s a bumper week of action in the Carabao Cup and EFL 4 4
“I will be speaking to Ovie and Liverpool today (Friday). “We will discuss Ovie Ejaria and decide what’s best next for the player.”Asked when he became aware of the player’s unhappiness, he said: “It’s quite recent, I’ve been made aware of it very recently and so have Liverpool.“I’m yet to have a decent conversation with Ovie on it, I only had a quick chat with him a few days ago. “He didn’t seem in the right frame of mind to travel to Austria so I made that decision for the benefit of the group.“I’ll see where he is when I chat with him.“He’s a quiet kid, he doesn’t give you much so we’ll try to get inside his head then go from there.”While Ejaria may depart, Gerrard is expected to add to his current Rangers squad in January.The Light Blues have suffered a disappointing week both domestically and in Europe but the former Liverpool captain said he’s not planning another significant recruitment drive.On January, he said: “Recruitment here always continues whether the window is open or not.“If there is an opportunity to bring in a player or a couple of players that will improve us, we’ll always try to make that happen.“We won’t be making wholesale changes, we don’t need to.“It’s quite clear, moving forward in the big picture, if we have plans to compete at European level and push to challenge Celtic, it’s important we try to identify quality players that can move us on to the next level.“Every window is important, every single player we try to add is vital.“The market we are in, it’s important we try and get the right people here.” Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is to hold talks with Liverpool on Friday over Ovie Ejaria’s future at Ibrox.Ejaria didn’t travel to Austria for the Light Blues’ Europa League decider, with Gerrard stating the Anfield loanee is currently “unsettled” before the 1-0 loss to Rapid.The 21-year-old impressed at the offset of his loan spell but his stint in Scotland could now be cut short.On talks with Ejaria, Gerrard said: “I haven’t had the chance just yet.