Francisco “Isco” Alarcon scored twice and Karim Benzema and Casemiro added a goal each at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.Madrid is six points ahead of second-placed Barcelona, which plays fourth-placed Villarreal on Sunday.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 returnRonaldo, who was rested in Madrid’s first-leg 3-0 win against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, scored with a close-range header off a cross by Marcelo in the 27th minute.“It was important to begin the year like this,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “We have to keep this pace the rest of the year.” MOST READ Thai takes lead, Saso still on top ‘Old school work ethic’ pays off for immaculate Federer Madrid’s last setback was a 2-0 loss at Wolfsburg in the quarterfinal first leg of the Champions League in April. Since then, it has won 30 games and drawn nine under Zidane, a run that included three titles.Zidane, who has lost only two games since taking over Madrid a year ago, had already matched the club record of 34 games without a defeat set in 1989 under coach Leo Beenhakker.The Spanish record set by Luis Enrique’s Barcelona last season ended with a loss to Madrid at Camp Nou in April.“It gives us great satisfaction to equal this record,” Zidane said. “We have no limits and we will do everything possible to keep this going.”Madrid, which has won eight of its last nine league games, will have a chance to take the record outright in the second leg at Sevilla on Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely LATEST STORIES Rodgers again falls short of another Super Bowl stint Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, centre, celebrates with teammates Marcelo, right, and Francisco Roman “Isco” after scoring his team’s third goal against Granada during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. (Photo by FRANCISCO SECO/AP)Updated: 12:03 a.m., Jan. 8, 2017MADRID — Cristiano Ronaldo began his year by scoring in the 5-0 demolition of Granada on Saturday in La Liga as Real Madrid tied Barcelona’s Spanish record of 39 games unbeaten in all competitions.ADVERTISEMENT Isco opened the scoring with a low shot from inside the area in the 12th after a mistake by the Granada defense while trying to move the ball forward, and Benzema — in an offside position — added to the lead in the 20th off the rebound of a shot by Luka Modric.Benzema, who also was rested against Sevilla, has scored in seven consecutive games against Granada. He has a total of 10 goals in 11 matches against the team from southern Spain.Ronaldo increased the lead after Marcelo cleared a defender in the left side before making a perfect cross into the area, and Isco netted again from close range after a low cross by Modric from the right flank for 4-0 in the 31st.Casemiro scored the final goal in the 58th after a free kick by James Rodriguez, who entered in the second half after impressing against Sevilla midweek.Madrid was still without injured defenders Sergio Ramos and Pepe, as well as forward Gareth Bale.Granada remained second-to-last in the 20-team standings.Third-placed Sevilla plays at fifth-placed Real Sociedad later Saturday, while sixth-placed Atletico faces Eibar. –Tales AzzoniSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 15-year-old Gauff stuns Venus anew in first round Senators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’ Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Super Bowl a tossup at legal sports books Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Senators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’ 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 Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member View comments
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJules Samonte is just in her first year with Ateneo, yet she proved that she can roll with the big girls.With Ateneo resting outside hitter Jhoana Maraguinot in its match against De La Salle at the culmination of the elimination round of the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament, Samonte was immediately entrusted with the role of being one of the Lady Eagles’ primary scoring options.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Morado also said she was happy Samonte was finally given the chance on such a big of an occasion.“We’re really proud of her because we’ve been waiting for her to get a chance to play,” said Morado as her team topped the eliminations with a 12-2 record Saturday. “We know that she’ll always be ready to deliver every time. We see how hard she works in practices and it translated to the game today and that makes us very proud.”Mich Morente, who had 14 points in the game against De La Salle, was amazed with how Samonte was able to carry herself especially in a rivalry game.“I was speechless,” said Morente. “She stepped up, and can you imagine that she’s only a rookie and she was the one who stepped up for us. I’ll admit I was a little bit shaky during the game but watching Jules score those points made me feel confident about myself.”“That’s a rookie who displayed such bravery and she inspired me in my performance.”ADVERTISEMENT For middle blocker Bea De Leon, who herself is not afraid to show emotions on and off the court, the performance of Samonte in their 12th win was nothing short of magical.“If you’re going to compare her performance to mine, it’s a lot harder for her because I at least have the experience but Jules was the lucky pick for the biggest game that we played,” said De Leon who also finished with 14 points. “And Jules delivered. She’s a natural, she’s been doing really well in training, and we’ve always waited for her to get this break and we’re very happy about it.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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 And Samonte delivered.Samonte finished with 10 points in the four-set win, 12-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19, in a match where she earned the appreciation of the Ateneo veterans, including Maraguinot.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 return“I’m really proud of Jules, and the funny thing was before the game started I was giving her instructions and she was hugging me saying ‘Ate Jho, Ate Jho,’” said Maraguinot. “I told her to just relax and that she can do it. And she delivered, I’m so proud of her.”Skipper Jia Morado said the absence of Ateneo’s primary point-getter wasn’t much of an issue. MOST READ SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig out Dozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government TNT outlasts Mahindra for fourth straight win Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely LATEST STORIES Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ On the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town
Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 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 LATEST STORIES China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak Olympic 100-meter swim champion to have heart surgery Swing Out Sister back to PH this April Nick Abanto and Mark Maloles got seven markers each in the loss.The Scorers:PERPETUAL 72 – Dagangon 14, Hao 14, Mangalino 12, Pido 9, Coronel 7, Ylagan 6, Lucente 5, Yuhico 3, Sadiwa 2, Singontiko 0, Tamayo 0.UE 68 – Pasaol 19, Abanto 7, Maloles 7, Olayon 6, Derige 6, Cullar 5, Cruz 5, Bartolome 4, Green 3, Armenion 2, Gagate 2, Magbuhos 2, Manalang 0, Conner 0.Quarters: 17-20, 37-33, 57-48, 72-68.ADVERTISEMENT Gab Dagangon paced Perpetual (2-2) with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Jack Hao also added 14 markers, six boards, and three steals.Mangalino chimed in 12 points and four rebounds for the Altas.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new ground“It’s really hard facing a team like UE, but we have to take what they give to us,” said coach Nosa Omorogbe. “I just told my boys to keep on playing. The game of basketball is all about momentum and I reminded them to take what’s being given to us and play smart in the end.”Alvin Pasaol went 8-of-25 from the field, including a 2-of-11 clip shooting from threes, and finished with 19 points and eight rebounds for UE (2-3). Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPerpetual dodged a bullet with a 72-68 victory over University of the East to notch its second win in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Altas kept the door open for the Red Warriors to mount a comeback from a 67-61 lead in the final four minutes, but Alvin Pasaol and Mark Olayon muffed five three-pointers in that stretch before Rommel Mangalino sealed the deal with a split from the free throw line in the last 9.6 seconds.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in View comments Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’
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 Austria admitted to being lucky in a way for coming up with the win after Paul Lee missed a running jumper in the waning seconds which could have turned the game around and buried the Beermen in a 0-2 hole.“I hope that we have momentum going into the next game,” he said. “We have to work really hard because Starknows our weaknesses.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundGame 3 is set this Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.San Miguel survived a mammoth 25-point, 35-rebound night by Star import Ricardo Ratliffe, but insists that it is offense that will take them to yet another title series appearance and that shot to keep their Grand Slam dream alive. Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ “We are the No. 1 offensive team in the league,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s their (Hotshots’) defense or our offense just didn’t get going.”To their credit, the Beermen didn’t yield much, either.After scoring 109 points in winning Game 1, Star was starved to 33 points less as the San Miguel defense held Allein Maliksi, who shot 26 points in the series opener, to just five.Ratliffe’s 35 rebounds now stand as the second most all-time in a playoff series, next only to the 45 Michael Hackett had for Ginebra San Miguel in the 1985 battle for third place in the Reinforced Conference.Meanwhile, TNT KaTropa coach Nash Racela expects Barangay Ginebra counterpart Tim Cone to stage a comeback in Game 2 of their series Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak Azkals out to regroup vs Tajiks after China rout MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “He’s a master tactician,” Racela said as he braces for Cone in their 7 p.m. duel, also at MoA Arena.Racela said the two-time Grand Slam coach would surely make the necessary adjustments.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer PBA IMAGESSan Miguel Beer showed the other facet of its game and knotted its best-of-five Final Four series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup against Star on Monday night, and coach Leo Austria has just one wish for the coming games.“I hope we can unveil our (offensive) arsenal,” Austria said after his Beermen escaped with a 77-76 decision of the Hotshots at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay in a highly defensive Game 2. “This is not yet our game.”ADVERTISEMENT Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working Swing Out Sister back to PH this April For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ LATEST STORIES Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in View comments
Swirling wind LONDON, England: After booking a spot in his second IAAF World Championships final and his second at a major international championships after last year’s 12th place Olympic finish in Rio de Janeiro, long jumper Damar Forbes is looking to bring the energy and take another step. Forbes jumped 7.93m on his last attempt to qualify to today’s medal round and even though he is not satisfied with yesterday’s effort, he is confident he stands a good chance to get on the medal podium and is looking to change his approach at today’s 8:05 p.m. (2:05 p.m. Jamaica time) finale. “I feel like I could have gone better today, but the objective was to qualify, survive and advance, and I did that today. I had some jumps where I had some technical issues and dropped my arms back, so I feel I could have gone over eight metres a couple of times, but that’s what happens in competition like this, you have to bounce back and respond,” Forbes told The Gleaner. Forbes, who registered marks of 7.82m and 7.86m in the previous two rounds, added that spending time preparing in Birmingham certainly helped him deal with the testing conditions inside the London Stadium. “I think it helped, we practised in Birmingham and it was rainy and cold and I feel that if your mindset is to go through it no matter what then nothing can hurt you. The wind was kind of swirling, but I concentrated on executing and getting into the final and putting everything into the last jump and coming off the board as best as I could. I know I have to work on the little technical issues but it will be good,” he said. “It was certainly cold, and because there are so many persons jumping, it’s kind of hard to stay warm. A lot of persons kept declining as the event wore on, but because I knew how it would feel, I was able to deal with it better,” he added. Forbes underlined that he is focused on applying more energy to his series tomorrow as he looks to emulate James Beckford as Jamaican long jump medal winners at this level. “Energy, that’s what I need to improve on. Tomorrow (today), I will have to bring more energy and I will be all right,” said Forbes.
LONDON, England: ‘BoltFest’ continues today, while throwers Fedrick Dacres and Traves Smikle created Jamaican history at the World Championships on yesterday’s first day of competition inside a rocking London Stadium. Damar Forbes qualified for his second-straight long jump final at a major championships after last year’s Olympic effort, while a couple of other big-name Jamaicans are in line to make their first appearances today, with Elaine Thompson and O’Dayne Richards, who won shot put bronze at the Beijing 2015 instalment, highlighting a day where 16 Jamaicans are expected to go into action. Bolt recovered from a so-so start to clock 10.05 seconds in winning his 100m heat, with Yohan Blake (10.13) and Julian Forte, who led all qualifiers with a personal best-matching 9.99 clocking, also securing safe passage to today’s 7:05 p.m (1:05 p.m. Jamaica time) semi-final. The final is set for 9:45 p.m. (3:45 p.m). Dacres became Jamaica’s first discus finalist at the World Championships, when he defied the odds in 2015 to book a spot in the medal round. No one was surprised this time around, as the impressive Jamaican overcame a poor series, to log a best effort of 64.82m. Smikle had two foul throws but secured the last qualifying spot with a 63.23m throw ensuring that for the first time in history, two Jamaicans will be throwing for discus medals at the World Championships with the final set for 7:20 p.m. (1:20 p.m). LOOKING TO CONTINUE DOMINANCE Thompson will look to continue her dominance in the women’s 100m when she faces the starter at 11:45 a.m. (5:45 a.m Jamaica time) in the first round, where she will be joined by Jura Levy, Simone Facey and Natasha Morrison. Jamaica has the luxury of fielding four women in the field, as opposed to the usual three, due to Thompson’s Diamond Race triumph in the event. The double Olympic champion leads the world with a 10.71-second clocking and should comfortably book her spot here. Nathon Allen, Demish Gaye and Steven Gayle are in line for the men’s 400m heats at 10:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m.) with Kimberly Williams and Shanieka Ricketts competing in women’s triple jump qualifying at 11 a.m. (5 a.m.) Ramone Bailey failed to advance in yesterday’s long jump action, with a 7.76m effort in qualifying, while Senoj-Jay Givans, 10.30 ran seventh in his 100m heat. [email protected]
“I’m really confident,” Hummingbirds coach Nevers said. “As a coach I’m confident and always say I’m going to win. You don’t have to win, but I’m always confident. I would really want to take this final for the first time coaching a professional league team.” His team is balanced, but strongest in attack with a national front-court of centre Paula Thompson, Hasana Williams, Shanice Beckford and high-scoring goal shooter Sabrina Spence, who still topped the league in scoring despite missing their last two preliminary matches, due to injury. Spurs assistant coach Patricia Jackson says that the team is happy to be back in the final. “We’re just going out there to play,” she said. “We have nothing to lose, we’re just going out there trying to execute and be the champions this year. “We 100 per cent really need to get this title because we’ve a talented set of ladies, so we’re very hungry for a final right now. We have equal chances. All our shooters have to do now is come up because our defensive area has been doing well for the past matches.” Game Two is set for Wednesday, January and Game Three, if necessary, on Saturday, January 26, also at NISC. Defending champions Kingston Hummingbirds and Manchester Spurs will renew their rivalry for Netball Jamaica’s Berger Elite League title, when both meet in the Game One of the best-of-three finals showdown at the National Indoor Sports Centre (NISC) tonight at 7:30 p.m. At 6:00 p.m. there will also be a third-place play-off between St Ann Orchids and Clarendon Gaters, who both lost semi-final fixtures at NISC on Saturday. The final promises to be a high-class encounter, based on the vast spread of national players on either team, their impressive form throughout the season and the tight battles between both in the preliminaries. Besides title honours, the teams are motivated by a number of factors, with Spurs hunting their third consecutive hold on the title and a first for head coach Winston Nevers, who is having his first stint. Manchester Spurs need no greater motivation than the fact that they have never won the league. Confident
The mining town of Linden welcomed the Living with Intention motivational tour with great enthusiasm.The four-time bestselling author/Impresario, Sonia Noel was right in her element doing what she does best, which is to inspire.On Sunday last, she was asked by Pastor Selwyn Sills to give brief remarks at his church Praise Tabernacle AOG. Later in the afternoon, Francine Major hosted a book signing ceremony for Living with Intention at Major’s banquet hall. Mayor of Linden, Waneka Arrindell and former Mayor Carwyn Holland were present at the event.In addition, Holland read an excerpt from the book while sharing how much he has been personally inspired over the years by the work of the Guyanese fashion icon.The highlight of the tour were visits to schools in the mining town. Noel visited the St Aiden’s, Christianburg and Amelia’s Ward Primary schools.While there, she encouraged the children to be intentional about their next move and even if they do not get into one of the top schools, they all possess greatness.She was also thrilled to meet Stephon Campbell, a young child who has an icicle business and shows a strong sense of entrepreneurship. While meeting the young man, she reminisced that as a young girl, she sold plantain chips, sugar cake and pastries to assist her mother due to financial constraints.During the visits at the schools, the children were very interactive and receptive. In addition, Noel met with the students of six secondary schools who assembled at the Lichas Hall.Vanessa Kissoon, a former parliamentarian, introduced Noel and also read an excerpt from the book in the chapter titled Conviction. It was a very animated session with lots of humour.There, Noel urged the students to give the world the best version of themselves, as she shared her personal triumphs and failures. She further encouraged the secondary school students to use their 24-hour day wisely because the decisions they make today will affect their future tomorrow.The students won themselves complimentary copies of the book. The book is available on Amazon; at Makin Style Boutique in Robb Street, Georgetown; and at Francine Major in Linden.Noel is expected to be back in Linden on Saturday for a march to stamp out violence against women.
Last Thursday, July 27, 2017, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry launched its 2017 Business Magazine at the Marriott Hotel. Speaking at that function, ExxonMobil’s Operations Manager in Guyana announced that the Government of Guyana will receive revenue from day one of production. This column, however, noted with interest the inherent ambiguity of his statement, which led to only one plausible inference: that is to say, the only revenue the GoG will receive from day one is the 2 percent royalty.Computing 2 percent royalty at the current price, which is about US at a production level of 100,000 barrels per day, it works out to roughly US.5M annually; not an exciting figure.Turning to the essence of today’s piece: The global oil market has been at the centre of economic news over much of the past years. When one examines the degree of vast developments and richness with which oil rich countries in the Middle East, such as Dubai among others, have attained, this has certainly validated the notion of the magnitude of economic prosperity, wealth and development this resource can bring to a country and its people.Notwithstanding, the global oil market has undergone significant changes over the last 10 or 15 years. Underscoring this evolution, two changes in particular have had profound impact on the economics of the oil market. The more significant stems from the United States (U.S) shale oil revolution — the rapid growth of onshore oil production in the US, typically using hydraulic fracturing techniques to extract oil from shale and other types of so-called tight rocks. The second major change has to do with increasing global concerns about carbon emissions and climate change. The momentum for increased actions is growing – with specific reference to the Paris Accord, or the recently concluded meeting with major global leaders, which saw the US withdrawing support for the Paris deal. Ironically, as the US withdrew their support, without much delay, many other countries, including China, strengthened their support in this regard. If this sense of urgency translates into policies, this could have significant implications for the long run demand for fossil fuels.It is worthwhile to mention that while perusing and synthesising the current body of literature that sought to address the future outlook and projections of oil prices, it was found that those analysis that were conducted by oil companies themselves projected that global oil price will increase at a rate of 1.25 percent annually, in line with a shift in demand from West to East — India and China — and will largely be driven by the global transportation sector.Conversely, the inherent flaw with these analyses is that they ignored the impacts climate change policies will have on oil consumption, and also technology is another key factor that will be a major threat to sustainable oil prices in the future. Already, there are developments in the creation of electric cars, for example, and these developments will be accelerated and have real implications in respect to the oil prices.The first basic principle of oil is that it is an exhaustible resource. Total stock of recoverable oil resources is assumed to be known, and the main focus is on the optimal pace at which these resources should be exhausted. But empirical evidence has shown that, in practice, estimates of recoverable oil are increasing all the time, as new discoveries are made and technology and understanding improves. Moreover, they are increasing at a more rapid pace than existing reserves are consumed. Over the past 35 years, in very rough terms, the world has consumed over 1 trillion barrels of oil. Over that same period, proven reserves of oil have increased by more than 1 trillion barrels. Put differently, for every barrel of oil consumed, another two have been added.With reasonable certainty, total proven barrels of oil which can be economically recovered from known reservoirs are almost two and one half times greater today than what they were in 1980. But what is of critical importance at this point in time are the growing recognition and concerns about carbon emissions and climate change, which means it is increasingly unlikely that the world’s reserves of oil will ever be exhausted.To conclude for today, putting today’s discussion into perspective in respect to what all of this means, it is that these trends and developments will have a bearing on the world market price for oil, and it is likely not going to be an upward trajectory.
…on MarriottThe Marriott Hotel, built by the PPP government, was a red flag to APNU/AFC while in Opposition. They dubbed it a “wasteful and extravagant” whim of then President Bharat Jagdeo, and vowed to dump it if they were ever to get into power. Well, they’ve been in power for over two and a half years, and it seems the Marriott’s now their crown jewel! Pick a day – any day – amble over to the Marriott and you’re sure to see Government Ministers or other functionaries enjoying the “good life”!Just this week, the State Chronic ran an extensive interview with Hewley Nelson, Chairman of the Board of AHI, which runs the Hotel. It’ll be best to let the fellow speak for himself from the Chronic’s report – lest you readers think your Eyewitness is partial. “Whether you like it or not, Guyana needs a Marriott,” Nelson noted, adding that if the evolving oil industry is taken into account, the Marriott receives the bulk of its business from large companies, such as Exxon Mobil.Eduardo Reple, general manager of the hotel, said that “the expectations of those companies are to stay at an internationally-branded hotel with such standards and qualities of accommodation.“Today, Marriott is the biggest hotel chain in the world,” Reple said, adding that whoever made the decision to bring Marriott to Guyana did so with a purpose of finding reliable partners to support the venture. “As the country develops, it will need additional hotels”, Reple added, noting that the oil sector will bring a lot of business to the country’s hotel industry.Now isn’t this exactly what President Ramotar said when the Marriott was completed during his term – truncated by the vindictiveness of the APNU/AFC? But the APNU/AFC’s earlier bitterly negative stance is indicative of their fundamental disconnect with the world of business. They insist Guyana needs foreign business investments, but those are just words they mouth from some briefing paper some flunkey handed to them.Business investments are made by business executives, and these are people used to a certain level of comfort in the new, globalised world. When they’re asked to fly into a fly-speck country like Guyana – which they probably never heard about before the Exxon oil find – they’d like to know they wouldn’t have to be sleeping in some thatched hut, drinking water from some nearby river.When they hear about a Marriott…they not only know what amenities to expect there, but assume that the country itself is developed enough to deal with them with a modicum of sophistication.But they’ll never admit to the strategic vision of Jagdeo…it just sticks in their throat!…on cancer sticksBy now you loyal readers know your Eyewitness is down on cigarettes…really down. He has absolutely no sympathy for tobacco addicts. It is a well-known fact that even fundamental rights – such as free speech — aren’t absolute. They extend only to where they can affect the rights of others. The famous example is your right to swing your arms ends at the nose of the fellow next to you!!Well, there are no barriers to cigarette ENTERING, much less stopping at your nose, even though Pressie has just signed into law the Act prohibiting smoking in public spaces. So this should be just the beginning…la luta continua – on banning cigarettes: period. Think about it…why is cocaine banned? Because it is addictive and eviscerates its users, making them into burdens on society.Well…SO ARE CIGARETTES!!! Governments allow cigarette smoking because of the power of the multinational cigarette manufacturers and distributors.The latter have just replaced the British Govt, introduced international drug pushing to China. Stop them!…on objecting to smokingYour Eyewitness just read about a ganja smoker shooting a bystander who objected to the smoke wafting into his lungs.The reaction of the cigarette smoking lobby to the public ban suggests similar reactions. Bun dem!