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Cooney and Ward star as NUI Galway win again

first_imgThe NUI Galway Team who beat Queens University Belfast Last Night Aoife Donohue of NUI Galway, Referee Richard McNicholas and Adrienne Gorman of Queens University Belfastprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email NUI Galway 8 – 14 Queens Belfast 3 – 5 By Michael O’ConnorA five star turn by Sarsfields duo Maria Cooney and Laura Ward propelled NUI Galway to their second win in the Purcell cup over Queens University Belfast in Loughgeorge on Wednesday evening.The Belfast College made the long trip the Galway GAA centre and the tie was played at 14 a side with unlimited substitution allowed in the game. NUI Galway were lining out with a full strength selection but for most of the first half the visitors were the better side and were most unlucky not to have more scores on the board at the end of the first half.Mullagh’s Aoife Donohue opened the scoring with a third minute goal after Queens were most unlucky not to have scored a goal at the other end. Maria Cooney and Donohue added points before Queens had their first score of the game in the 7th minute.Clarinbridge’s Carrie Dolan was on target with another score before Cooney burst through for the first of two goals before Dolan and Donohue surged NUI Galway clear at the end of the opening quarter. To the credit of Queens they defended brilliantly for most of the second quarter as NUI Galway was unable to add to their goal tally in this timespan and managed to get in for the first of the three goals in the 20th minute. NUI Galway finished the half with a flurry of scores from Donohue, Molly Mannion, Rachel Hanniffy and Chloe Broderick to hold a confident 2-11 to 1-1 half time lead.A far more determined NUI Galway side emerged for the second half and added greatly to the scoring average with six second half goals. A stunning goal from Carrie Dolan after great work from Maria Cooney and Aoife Donohue started the second half scoring exploits from the Galway College. Aoife Donohue hit a hat trick of second half goals before Maria Cooney rounded off the scoring as Chloe Broderick added a well taken point. Best for the winners included Laura Ward who dominated at full back against a variety of opponents, Ciara Donohue, Emma Helebert who was commanding at the centre of the defence. Upfield Aoife Donohue, Maria Cooney, Sarah Spellman, Carrie Dolan, Chloe Broderick and Niamh Horan were to the fore.NUI Galway play championship favourites DIT away in round 3 and round off the league series of the championship with an away trip to DCU St Pats.NUI GALWAY: Rebecca Nolan (Kilkenny), Hannah Scott (Kilkenny), Laura Ward (Sarsfields), Niamh Black (Oranmore), Ciara Donohue (Mullagh), Emma Helebert (Ballinderreen), Niamh Horan (Killimor), Rachel Fitzmaurice (Roscommon), Molly Mannion (Mountbellew/Moylough) (0-1), Maria Cooney (Sarsfields) (2-3), Carrie Dolan (Clarinbridge) (2-2), Rachel Hanniffy (Oranmore) (0-1), Aoife Donohue (Mullagh) (4-5), Orlaith Murray (Tipperary). Subs: Sarah Spellman (Sarsfields), Lauren Gilligan (Craughwell), Ciana Reidy (Craughwell), Aine Cleary (Tipperary), Alisha Lenihan (Roscommon), Ailish Carr (Oranmore), Chloe Broderick (Castlegar) (0-2), Eabha O’Rourke (Oranmore), Muireann O Reilly (Castlegar), Niamh Treacy (Meelick Eyrecourt), Roisin Cassidy (Mayo).Referee: Richard McNicholascenter_img Purcell Cup Round 2 The NUI Galway Team who beat Queens University Belfast Last Nightlast_img read more

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Montreal offers Hamilton an antidote for Monaco

first_imgBy Alan BaldwinLewis Hamilton has the perfect opportunity to get back on the winning track in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix after going astonishingly awry in Monaco.Montreal is a favourite race for the double Formula One world champion, a fast track where he celebrated his first pole position and victory in his stellar 2007 debut season with McLaren.Since then, the Mercedes driver has won twice more in Canada.“I think everything that needs to be said about Monaco has already been said. Obviously, it was a huge disappointment for me and also for the team,” the Briton said before heading to Montreal.“But we’ll learn from it and move forwards together like we always do. I just want to get back out there and bounce back – and I could hardly ask for a better place to do that than Montreal. This is always one of my favourite weekends.”Hamilton has suffered disappointments too at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with its 300kph blasts and the ‘Wall of Champions’ at the treacherous final corner, and has yet to win there for Mercedes.But when he has finished, it has been on the podium and his track record eclipses that of team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg.Three-nil on wins, 4-1 on podium appearances, 3-1 on poles and 6-1 on front row starts, the statistics all point to Hamilton.“The racing is fantastic, the city is a lot of fun and the crowds are really enthusiastic…and it’s given me some great memories, including my first win,” said the Briton.“I know I’ve got the car underneath me and the team behind me to do it again, so I’m aiming for nothing less.”Rosberg, who became only the fourth driver to win Monaco three times in a row after Mercedes blew a surefire victory for Hamilton by calling him in for a needless pitstop while leading, is not to be under-estimated however.The German, now only 10 points adrift of his championship-leading team-mate after six races, qualified on pole in Montreal last year and is aiming for a hat-trick of wins for the season.Both Mercedes drivers have new power units, having completed six race weekends on the previous ones, while rivals Ferrari may have upgrades to theirs.Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, a first time winner in Montreal last year, can only dream of such reliability but the race – traditionally hard on brakes and engines – can throw up surprises.The Australian is on his fourth and final penalty-free engine already, with the team leaving Monaco mulling whether to take a hit and use a fifth in Canada.Ferrari, who have not won since 2004 at a circuit named after their late local hero, will be hoping four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel can at least finish on the podium for the sixth time in seven races.Williams are confident too of a much better showing after failing to score in Monaco while McLaren’s Fernando Alonso aims to open his account for the season two weeks after Jenson Button did the same.last_img read more

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‘Best game of all time!’: cricket stars react to England win

first_imgFormer England spinner Graeme Swann led the congratulations to cricket’s new world champions saying he felt like crying, singing and screaming all at once.England claimed their first ever men’s Cricket World Cup title at Lord’s in the most dramatic fashion, claiming victory by virtue of having struck more boundaries on the day when the match finished tied and a super over still could not separate the teams.And Swann tweeted: “That’s the best game I’ve ever seen and the last hour was the worst and most nervous I’ve ever felt. WHAT A WIN!!!!! @englandcricket officially World Cup champions, I feel like crying/singing/dancing/hugging/screaming all at once!!!!”Swann was joined in congratulating the winners by England’s key Test match bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.Broad said it was the “best white ball game of all time” while Anderson tweeted: “Wow!! What a game! What a team!!”Broad’s sentiment was echoed by a number of former England players, including Ravi Bopara, who described it as “probably the best game of cricket in history”, and Luke Wright who tweeted: “Huge congratulations @englandcricket. So special. Best match I’ve ever watched. Feel for @BLACKCAPS but let’s hope that this match has inspired so many young kids to get into cricket!”Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen simply tweeted a trophy emoji, while Alec Stewart wrote: “CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD. How good does that sound? Congratulations @englandcricket.“Every one of the playing and backroom staff are heroes. Celebrate like never before”There was huge disappointment from New Zealand with former Black Caps skipper Stephen Fleming describing the game as “cruel” and Neil Wagner tweeting: “Heartbreaking!!!!!”Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris said the match was a “stunning effort from two champion teams”, but was among a number of former players criticising the rule which saw England win thanks to having hit more boundaries than their opponents.Styris described the ICC as “a joke”, while former India batsman Gautam Gambhir wrote: “Don’t understand how the game of such proportions, the #CWC19Final, is finally decided on who scored the most boundaries. A ridiculous rule @ICC.”Dean Jones said the rules “need to be looked at” and fellow Australian Brett Lee added: “I’ve got to say that it’s a horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change.”Elsewhere congratulations for both teams came in from around the world.Former India batsman VVS Laxman said “cricket has been the winner” and Harbhajan Singh added: “Never seen a match like this and it will never be again.”Former West Indies bowler Ian Bishop said: “Best finish imaginable to a World Cup final.”And on a day when the Wimbledon men’s singles final went into a final-set tie-break, former South Africa bowler Shaun Pollock summed up the situation saying: “Sport.. the best form of theatre/entertainment.. their are no scripts involved here…!!!”last_img read more

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NBA Playoffs: Warriors beat Trailblazers; Wizards, Bulls win

first_imgSpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee (1) and guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrate after a score during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, April 16, 2017. APThe Golden State Warriors clamped down in the fourth quarter to pull away to a 121-109 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday in game one of their NBA playoff series.Golden State, aiming to get back to the NBA finals for a third straight year and regain the crown they surrendered last season to the Cleveland Cavaliers, had 32 points from Kevin Durant in his first playoff game as a Warrior.ADVERTISEMENT Bolts trip Elite Dozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government On the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite MOST READ Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town LATEST STORIES Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig outcenter_img More Taal volcanic quakes recorded despite weaker eruptions Backup point guard Ian Clark contributed seven points in the flurry, but it was increased defensive pressure that really turned the tide.“We let them get to their spots in the first half,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “they still made some tough shots, which they’re going to do. I thought we did a better job in the second half of being a little more physical.”The Trail Blazers pulled within 105-99 with 5:16 to play. But Green tipped in a Curry miss and Durant produced three straight baskets to stretch Golden State’s lead to 113-99 with 3:36 remaining.Durant, acquired as a free agent after the Warriors’ loss to the Cavs in last year’s finals, connected on 12 of his 20 shots and also pulled down 10 rebounds.Game two of the series, a rematch of a Western Conference semi-final last season, is on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Stephen Curry added 29. Draymond Green was everywhere, finishing with 19 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, five blocked shots and three steals for the Warriors.Golden State withstood 75 combined points from the Trail Blazers duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to triumph in a game that saw 22 lead changes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThey were tied at halftime and knotted at 88-88 after three quarters.But the Warriors opened the fourth frame with a 15-2 scoring run to seize control. It’s not clear if the Blazers could have centre Jusuf Nurkic back by then from a broken leg that saw him miss the last seven games of the regular season as well as Sunday’s game.“Hopefully he’ll be back at some point during the series,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.Elsewhere in the West, the Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder tipped off in a series featuring the top contenders in the Most Valuable Player race — Thunder star Russell Westbrook and the Rockets’ James Harden.Sunday’s Eastern Conference action got underway in Washington, where John Wall scored 15 of his 32 points in a dominant third quarter to lead the Wizards to a 114-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in their series opener.Wall also handed out 14 assists while teammate Bradley Beal scored 22 points and Markieff Morris added 21.German guard Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 25 points and Paul Millsap had 19. Atlanta made 32 of 39 free throws, but connected on just 43.6 percent of their shots from the floor and turned the ball over 21 times.In a back and forth battle, the Hawks led 48-45 at halftime. But the Wizards, seeded fourth in the East after missing the playoffs last year, out-scored Atlanta 38-28 in the third and led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter.In Boston, Celtics scoring dynamo Isaiah took to the court for game one against the Chicago Bulls despite the death of his 22-year-old sister Chyna Thomas in a road accident in their home state of Washington on Saturday. The Bulls beat the Celtics, 106-102.“He’s really hurt,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Thomas. “It’s a tough situation.”Thomas received a heart-warming standing ovation from the crowd and wore a pair of shoes with his sister’s name pencilled on them.  Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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Copyright protection needs to be enforced

first_imgDear Editor,For some time now I have been visiting lots of bookstores, also in the markets, buying books and published material for my children and myself.I note with a great deal of interest that most books today selling in our markets and bookstores are photocopied books; that’s a violation of copyright laws both nationally and internationally.I observed that books such as: Junior English, First Aid in English, CXC text books in every subject area, books by Caribbean writers like VS Naipaul, Derek Walcott, Ian McDonald, Martin Carter, Wilson Harris and the long list goes on and on when it comes to ‘book piracy’ and our past and present government have Sdone nothing about it.I am scared to bring my books that were published abroad and launch them here because my first book published here was pirated by many schools and storeowners and it’s hard to track down everyone and if you take them to court you can lose your case because the copyright laws are not enforced here.What is really happening to the laws of our country? On every corner we can see laws are broken every day by corrupt people in our society. What is copyright? Does it apply to our country?“Copyright is a type of protection provided by law to authors of original works of authorship, inclusive of literary, drama, musical, artistic and some other intellectual works.’’Guyana is a signatory to the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention. In addition, other copyright legal provisions are enacted in the Copyright Act 1956 of the United Kingdom to which Guyana acceded in 1966.The problem, however, is that these copyright provisions are not enforced in Guyana. Guyana is among 121 countries that were party to the Berne Convention on March 2, 1997. Since Guyana is a signatory of the Berne Convention, why is it not being enforced?Why is Guyana a signatory of a convention she has no intention to implement? It’s about time our law makers try to have an understanding of copyright laws to protect our authors, singers, etc.This law must be passed in Parliament and all pirated photocopy books, exam papers, DVDs, CDs must be removed from the shelves in every store and market stall in Guyana.Our writers here suffer a lot, like myself, because we only have four newspapers, which makes it hard to employ our writers to get jobs. Even many agencies hardly have job positions for writers and editors. I say this from my personal experience and most papers pay columnists very cheap or don’t want to pay them because many politicians write columns here for free, making it very difficult for our Guyanese writers like myself.Why are copyright laws not enforced after fifty years of Independence? We have copyright laws in Guyana but they are not enforced. If they were enforced, then the owners of these stores selling photocopy books would have been picked up by the police, they would have been sent to prison or pay some heavy court fines like in Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados and many big nations.I also see the piracy of CDs and DVDs has now become a normal business in this country from the very big store owners to sellers in the streets.Many young children are dropping out of schools just to earn a living by selling pirated DVDs and CDs.It’s very sad to know that writers’ text books or any other books of poetry, fiction, etc are being pirated and sold in the streets and in the stores and the writer cannot do anything about it. It’s sad to know because the writer will take years to write a book and will invest a huge sum of money to get his/her book published.It’s very sad to know that many of our Guyanese singers will take years to compose their songs on a CD, travel out of Guyana to get their songs recorded then suddenly their CD is being sold in the streets and CD shops for 0 and seven for 0.Since we are a member of Caricom then we must follow and adhere to the principles of other Caricom States. It looks bad when a Caribbean writer visit our country to see his/her book being sold as a photocopy book.What we need in Guyana is a publishing house or a good printing press at the Ministry of Education to re-publish books written by Caribbean author’s that will be easily available to students at a reduced price. In an interview some time ago with Hansib Publisher Arif Ali and Petamber Persaud about copyright, Ali said that he can publish text books cheaper for Guyana if our government can work with him. Even singer Dave Martins said that copyright laws must be enforced in Guyana, because it will put more revenue into the government’s treasury.What we need in Guyana is a writers/authors union where writers are represented, meaning they can take a storeowner to court for selling their books and that storeowner will have to compensate the writer financially if found guilty. The same should apply for artistes.This looks like a long hard road for us to travel, but it can be done if we work together to enforce the copyright laws in our country.Yours faithfully,Rev Gideon Cecillast_img read more

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Transport Minister Clarifies USD10M RIA Expenditure

first_imgTransport Minister, Madam Angela Cassel Bush told the Senate Committee on Public Accounts that the US$10 million allocated for the renovation of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in the 2012/13 fiscal budget of the airport.Appearing before the Committee Monday, Min. Bush clarified that although her Ministry lacks management oversight of the RIA and is therefore not responsible for how the agency applies its funding, but records from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has provided a clear breakdown of the usage of the funds.She explained to the lawmakers that over US$5 million of the US$10 million, was used to service RIA’s debt which included, staff salary arrears, baggage claim screening machine and supervision costs.A little over 4 million dollars was expended on the procurement of navigational aid equipment and support for the rehabilitation of the runway.This expenditure, according to the Minister, was necessary to ensure compliance with International Aviation Standards at a time when the airport was at risk of flouting International regulations.The Minister and authorities of the RIA were cited by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts and Audit to give reasons for the Chief Executive’s request to ratify a US$60 million for renovation of RIA when US$10 million had earlier been allocated for that purpose.Minister Bush further informed the Committee that although the Ministry of Transport only provides policy guidelines to RIA and is not directly involved in the day-to-day running or management of the airport, the request for ratification of the loan was necessary to bring the airport to acceptable international standards, consistent with the country’s Aviation Master Plan.The Chair of the Senate Committee, Senator Henry Yallah, who presided over the hearing thanked the Minister for providing clarity on the disbursement of the US$10 million and urged her administration to present the Aviation Master Plan to the Senate for review.The Deputy General Manager and the Comptroller of RIA, who were also part of the hearings, told the Committee that disbursement of the funding was executed by the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) and not the management of the RIA.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Government commended for response to Region 3 disaster

first_imgDear editor,The recent inundation at Anna Catherina, Cornelia Ida, Leonora, Stewartville and Uitvlugt in Region3, (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara) has left many citizens discomfited and slowly bringing themselves back to normalcy; but the response mechanism that was activated during this ordeal is worth recognition. The Civil Defence Commission headed by Lt. Col. Craig, along with Major Welcome and Lt. Persaud, joined officials of the Regional Administration on that sad Friday morning to visit all the affected areas, coordinated emergency responses, advised residents of necessary precautions, and opened emergency shelters for affected and displaced residents. Later that very morning, the Guyana Fire Service (Leonora Branch) came out in their numbers and assisted the staff at Leonora Comprehensive Diagnostic and Treatment Center (Cottage Hospital) with the clean-up exercise. The Guyana Police Force ‘D’ Division under the stewardship of Commander Rishie Dass also came out in their numbers to lend support. The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA – Engineer Lall) stood with us throughout, and GUYSUCO (Mr. Mana) quickly responded in the affirmative when approval was needed to use the Community Center as a shelter and their staff prepared the meals (3 times a day) for the occupants of the shelter.The Ministry of Public Infrastructure CORE (Charlene and team) and Sea Defence Department was also with us throughout the ordeal. I believe the CORE groups that came from West Berbice, East Bank Demerara, Essequibo Coast and Leguan deserve special thanks, and I therefore offer it here unconditionally.Editor, seven Ministers of Government visited (Minister Karen Cummings, Minister Annette Ferguson, Minister Ronald Bulkan, Minister Carl Greenidge (who was acting Prime Minister at the time), Minister Raphael Trotman, Minister Joseph Harmon and Minister David Patterson) the affected communities, and every time one showed up, decisions were taken on the spot to complement the already existed system, thus making the citizens more comfortable. Close to five hundred homes were attended to by the team that responded to this unfortunate natural disaster, and the Regional Administration is very thankful to all who played a role. Editor, the response was tremendous, and it proves beyond all shadow of doubt that the Regional Administration has a powerful, effective, efficient and well-coordinated response mechanism in place.The Government of Guyana, through the Regional Administration headed by Regional Executive Officer Denis Jaikaran, along with all the other players, did well, and even though the NDCs of the areas limited their participation, we are still thankful for their intermittent presence.Ganesh MahipaulRegional InformationOfficer.last_img read more

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Brave Kenya topple Namibia

first_img0Shares0000ANTANANARIVO, June 28 – Kenya upset Namibia and Zimbabwe walloped hosts Madagascar on Saturday as the struggle to represent Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup began.A try by Andrew Amonde midway through the second half earned Kenya a come-from-behind 29-22 victory over Namibia, who represented the continent at the past four editions of the quadrennial tournament. Loose forward Jacques Leitao snatched four tries as Zimbabwe turned a seven-point half-time advantage into a 57-22 triumph over Madagascar before a 35,000 crowd at Stade Mahamasina.Each country plays its three opponents once with the mini-league winners joining title-holders New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia in Pool C.The runners-up visit Siberia for a repechage semi-final against Russia and the victors tackle Uruguay or Hong Kong for a Pool A slot beside England, Australia, Wales and Fiji.Pre-tournament favourites Namibia started impressively with two Heinrich Smit tries inside 12 minutes and Kenya did not score until the final minute of the half when Humphrey Kayange touched down.But further tries from Michael Okombe and Edwin Achayo lifted the Kenyan Lions into a 19-12 lead six minutes into the second half.Theuns Kotze converted a Chrysander Botha try and kicked a penalty to give Namibia the advantage again only for Kenya to score twice within five minutes.Lavin Asego potted a penalty and converted the Amonde try to raise hopes of a first Kenyan appearance at the World Cup.A much heavier Zimbabwe pack helped build an early 22-point lead before Madagascar scored two tries and narrowed the deficit to 22-15 at the break.But the second half belonged to the visitors, who crossed the try-line five times and boosted their chances of returning to the rugby union showpiece after a 24-year absence.Namibia play Zimbabwe and Madagascar meet Kenya on Wednesday in the second series of matches.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Costa Rica warned of cost of rejecting CAFTA

first_img“The United States has never renegotiated a free trade agreement that has been approved by the Congress.” “Voters in Costa Rica should be aware that many of those assuring Costa Rica of continued access to the U.S. market have consistently opposed measures that would open the U.S. market to goods from Costa Rica and other countries, whether through trade agreements or through trade preference programs,” Perino said. Similar remarks from U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab elicited a complaint from Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. In a letter to President George W. Bush sent Friday, they urged him “to make it clear that the United States is not threatening retaliation against the people of Costa Rica for exercising their right to vote.” “Barriers to access of Costa Rican goods will not change if Costa Rican voters reject CAFTA,” they wrote. “Costa Rica is the oldest democracy in Latin America and the United States has had a very strong and friendly relationship with this country throughout history. That relationship will continue regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s vote.” The senators said the elimination of preferential tariffs, as suggested by the administration, requires an act of Congress that would not be supported by either Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – The White House said Saturday that if Costa Ricans vote against joining a U.S.-Central American free trade agreement, the Bush administration will not renegotiate the deal. The Costa Rican government scheduled a referendum today on the accord. A newspaper poll published Thursday showed that voters were poised to reject it. Much of the opposition stems from requirements under the pact that Costa Rica open its telecommunications, services and agricultural sectors to greater competition. The White House also suggested it may not extend trade preferences now afforded to Costa Rican products and set to expire next September. “The United States has never before confronted the question of extending unilateral trade preferences to a country that has rejected a reciprocal trade agreement,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement. Costa Rica is the only one of the six Latin American signatories to the trade deal, known as CAFTA, that has yet to ratify it. The deal is in effect in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. A minimum of 40 percent of Costa Rica’s 2.6 million voters must participate for today’s vote to be valid. The White House urged Costa Ricans to recognize the benefits of the agreement. It would “expand Costa Rica’s access to the U.S. market, safeguard that access under international law, attract U.S. and other investment and link Costa Rica to some of the most dynamic economies of our hemisphere,” according to the statement. But Perino also warned about the implications of turning down the pact. “If the free trade agreement is rejected, the United States will not renegotiate the agreement signed by the government of Costa Rica as it is part of an agreement with a broad group of Central American countries,” she said. last_img read more

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Arsene Wenger plays down chances of Arsenal making big signings this summer

first_imgArsene Wenger has reiterated his view that signing players is not a quick fix, insisting that buying players is the ‘wrong calculation’ for Arsenal.The Gunners boss has been coming under increasing pressure for their poor season, with many criticisms aimed at Wenger for refusing to sign an outfield player last summer.Only Petr Cech was brought in, and although Mohamed Elneny was added in January, it is clear there are some real improvements needed if the North London side are to challenge for the Premier League next season.However, the Frenchman is not convinced signing players is the answer, claiming: “All this calming people down by buying names, for me that is wrong calculation.“We want to be a better team and do not look too much at the names. I know it is more flashy, all that, but what is important is the quality of the games.“We want to win everything. That is the target of every season when you start the season. Next season you have to face the same competition again, don’t worry, and you have all the best managers coming into the league, everyone investing more money, and the competition will be fierce again.“Do not question our quality, but the margin is very small. The difference at some stage, the turning point at some stage in the season was very small. We were nearly there and as well we played in many competitions. Suddenly you lose one game that is unexpected and our team was very quickly under pressure.“Our fans have been frustrated and disappointed because they thought we would win the league this season and we didn’t. So are we as well. But that doesn’t mean we have to throw everything away.”Due to the increasing frustration with Wenger, fan groups Black Scarf Movement, RedAction and the Arsenal Supporters Trust want those present during Saturday’s home fixture with Norwich to raise placards reading: “Time for change. Arsenal is stale, fresh approach needed.”This is more pressure than he has ever had to deal with at Arsenal, but Wenger has reminded the supporters he remained loyal in difficult circumstances when his reputation was at its strongest, insisting it was his commitment to the club that helped secure the bank loans required to fund their impressive £390million stadium.“When we built the stadium the banks demanded that I signed for five years,” said the 66-year-old. “I did it. Do you want me to tell you how many clubs I turned down during that period?“The banks wanted the technical consistency to guarantee that we have a chance to pay (them) back. I did commit and I stayed and under very difficult circumstances. So for me to come back and on top of that (critics) reproach me for not having won the championship during that period it is a bit overboard.“I accept criticism (but) I think that it is a bit too far.” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger 1last_img read more

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