Ander Herreraâ€™s winner saturday sent Manchester United into a record-equalling 20th FA Cup final and condemned Tottenham to their eighth successive defeat at this stage of the competition.Spurs started at a ferocious pace at Wembley and fully deserved the early lead they took after only 11 minutes when Dele Alli slid home a finish from Christian Eriksenâ€™s cross after Davinson Sanchezâ€™s long pass opened up Manchester Unitedâ€™s defence.Jose Mourinhoâ€™s side survived the siege and levelled on 24 minutes, Wembley specialist Alexis Sanchez rising to direct an athletic header across Spurs keeper Michel Vorm from Paul Pogbaâ€™s perfect cross for his eighth goal in eight appearances at the stadium. Eric Dierâ€™s deflected shot hit the post on the stroke of half-time but Spurs had lost vital momentum and Herreraâ€™s crisp low finish just after the hour set up an FA Cup final date for United with Chelsea or Southampton on May 19.It left Spurs suffering more FA Cup semi-final pain and with a losing sequence stretching back to their win in the last four against Arsenal here in 1991 – and Pochettino still without a trophy after four seasons at the club.Manchester Unitedâ€™s style has been criticised on a number of levels this season – but the character and resilience in Jose Mourinhoâ€™s side is beyond question.In recent weeks alone, they have come from behind to beat Chelsea at Old Trafford then recovered from 2-0 deficits to win at Crystal Palace and, most notably, at Premier League champions Manchester City. And they needed to call on all those reserves in the face of an opening salvo from Spurs that was fierce in its intensity and pressing, as well as bringing that opening goal from Dele Alli.United held on, with moments of good fortune, and grasped the lifeline that came with a cheap concession of possession from Spurs, a perfect cross from Paul Pogba and an athletic header from Sanchez to beat Michel Vorm in the 24th minute.Spurs were still left cursing their luck when Eric Dierâ€™s shot deflected off Chris Smalling to hit the foot of the post – and when ruthlessness and a clinical edge was required it was United who provided it. It came courtesy of Ander Herreraâ€™s low finish and gave United an advantage they never seriously looked like relinquishing.Mourinho, now on course for another trophy after lifting the League Cup and Europa League in his first season at Manchester United last term, prides himself on his ability to inject the strengths winners require into his players. And his Manchester United players showed that at Wembley.Tottenham must wonder when they will ever win another FA Cup semi-final – or indeed be rewarded with a trophy for all the obvious fine work manager Mauricio Pochettino has done. This was their eighth successive FA Cup semi-final defeat, the longest sequence of losses in the history of the competition and stretching back to the victory over Arsenal at the old Wembley in 1991.And as expectations rise and Pochettinoâ€™s side progresses, so those losses get more painful and this will feel as bad as any others coming after the way they also lost here to Chelsea 12 months ago.The usual â€œSpursyâ€ argument will be made – the team that somehow never gets across the line – and there will come a point when this undoubtedly talented side must back up the bouquets it gets with actual trophies, the true currency of success.Pochettinoâ€™s side flew out of the blocks but simply could not put United away and there was an air of desperation and frustration about their work once Herrera put Mourinhoâ€™s side in front and time started to ebb away.Questions must also be asked of Pochettinoâ€™s decision to persist with Michel Vorm in goal and keep first-choice Hugo Lloris on the bench. It is harsh to place defeat solely at Vormâ€™s door but he certainly could have done better with Herreraâ€™s winner.Harry Kane could not find his usual sure touch and Son Heung-min, superb this season, had one of those days when nothing went right. The wait goes on without a trophy for both Spurs and Pochettino, who has now had four full seasons at the club.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Korea Republic came from a goal down to start their FIFA U-20 World Cup in perfect fashion, beating debutants Cuba 2-1 in Kayseri.Maykel Reyes had got the islanders a lead after just seven minutes, but a penalty from Kwon Changhoon levelled the match, before Ryo Seungwoo gave the experienced U-20 nation a deserved win to open Turkey 2013.It was an early corner that saw Cuba get off to the perfect start. Reyes rose at the back post to head home after goalkeeper Lee Changguen raced off his line in vain, though Sim Sangmin came achingly close to clearing the effort off the line.It took Korea Republic until the half hour-mark to find their feet, but from then on they had Cuba rattled. They maybe should have drawn level when Cho Sukjae, Ryu Seungwoo and Kang Sangwoo all spurned good opportunities in quick succession to leave the East Asians trailing at the break.The trend continued as Sukjae had another effort two minutes into the second period, firing wide after a bursting run. However, they did not have to wait long to equalise, as Reyes cancelled out his fine work earlier on by bringing down Sangmin in the penalty area, allowing Kwon Changhoon to score from 12 yards.The game was then wrapped up when a delightful one-two between Sangwoo and Seungwoo saw the latter smash the ball home from eight yards. Abel Martinez almost earned a last-gasp point for the debutants with an audacious long-range effort in stoppage time, but a thankful Changguen watched it sail narrowly over the bar.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Even laid-back Lou Williams, the smooth rapper-hooper who last season was teased by teammates for the “weakest” of celebrations after hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, even he found himself exerting extra emotion on the court Wednesday.Without fans in the bubble infusing an arena with life, cultivating that energy will fall to the players – and they felt it Wednesday, Williams said after helping lead the Clippers to a win in their first scrimmage with 22 points off the bench.“It was definitely an interesting environment,” said Williams, a slight rasp in his voice, after the Clippers’ 99-90 victory over the Orlando Magic at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. “We had some fun with creating energy for ourselves on the bench and being able to talk things out on the floor.“It forces you as a team to be involved through and through, from the coaching staff to the guys on the floor to the players on the bench. It will force everybody to create energy for themselves to be all on the same page and just create some momentum for yourselves. … “This is the most vocal I’ve been forced to be during a game,” Williams added. “Usually when fans are communicating or yelling and screaming things and celebrating, this is an opportunity for me to get back in the game. I wasn’t allowed to do that. That’s different and that’s interesting.” Clippers’ Paul George: ‘If I make shots, this series could be a little different’ Game 4 photos: Luka Doncic, Mavs shock Clippers in overtime Having Noah on board ought to help in that regard; the high-energy, high-IQ veteran big man stepped in at starting center and contributed right away Wednesday, with four points, five rebounds and three assists and some positive mojo in his first 15 minutes as a Clipper.Adding Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell’s typical top-flight intensity figures to pay off too, whenever those players return to the court after stepping away from the bubble to attend to personal matters.But it’ll take more than three vocal characters to propel a team toward a championship inside the relatively sparse confines of the bubble – despite the league’s attempt to replicate some of the usual elements with music and some piped-in crowd sound.Rivers observed some of that togetherness taking hold Wednesday, he said.“Early on, all the players sat in their seats (spaced out on the bench), and as the game went on, everyone was together,” he said. “That’s the only thing that we’re probably going to have to change a little bit is the bench seating; it’s not like we are next to each other every day in practice or practicing against each other every day. So it’s just a natural thing that the players are going to start being around each other, and I thought that was great.“Overall, I thought our spirit was great, in the game, and one of the things that is new is you can hear your teammates cheering for you and talking on the floor.“I thought that was OK.”SIXTH MAN CONSIDERATIONIt’s arguably a three-man race for Sixth Man of the Year – and Williams argues it shouldn’t be.“I was looking at the predictions that everybody was tagging me in (on Twitter) and I was a little disappointed because Trezz, he made history,” Williams said. “Over the years, we’ve made history, and we’re on the No. 2 team in the West. We’ve sacrificed and we’ve still been able to be successful. And as for conversation, (for) whatever reason, we are not one of the top guys in that conversation. I thought that was a little weird, but I feel like we both deserve it.”Williams (18.7 points per game) and Harrell (18.6) are on track to become the first duo in NBA history to average 17-plus points per game off the bench. Their contributions give the Clippers the highest-scoring bench in the league again this season – with an average of 51.5 points per game, after the team’s reserves accounted for 53.2 points per game a season ago.Related Articles What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Surmised new Clipper Joakim Noah: “A lot of teams say that slogan, ‘We all we got.’ But, in this environment, it’s gonna be key to really be there for each other.” For his part, the 26-year-old Harrell is having a career year, including becoming the first Clipper with 20-plus points and 15-plus rebounds off the bench in a win over Washington on Dec. 1.But Oklahoma City’s Dennis Schröder has made a case too, averaging 19 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game off the bench in his second year with the team.Williams, though, believes the Sixth Man crown he’s worn for two consecutive seasons should remain in L.A.: “I really would love to share that award with Trezz, and if not share it, I say give it to him outright.”
But Thornton, 18, (Fulford) took the title on the first extra hole to follow in the footsteps of such previous winners as Sandy Lyle, Luke Donald and Andy Sullivan. 10 Apr 2017 Thornton moves up with Berkhamsted Trophy win They tied on seven–under par after 72 holes on the Hertfordshire course, with Hutchinson (Howley Hall) forcing the play-off with an up and down at the last. Thornton, who won the 2016 England Golf Boys’ Order of Merit, triumphed in a sudden death play-off for the trophy against fellow Yorkshireman Ben Hutchinson. Teenager Charlie Thornton signed off from boys’ golf on a high and now he’s made a winning start to his men’s career with victory in the Berkhamsted Trophy For the first time this year the event attracted World Amateur Golf Ranking points. Caption: Charlie Thornton with the Berkhamsted Trophy (image courtesy Ian Hall). Click here for more information Caption: Charlie Thornton with the Berkhamsted Trophy (image courtesy Ian Hall). Thornton, who won the 2016 England Golf Boys’ Order of Merit, triumphed in a sudden death play-off for the Berkhamsted Trophy against fellow Yorkshireman Ben Hutchinson. Teenager Charlie Thornton signed off from boys’ golf on a high and has immediately followed up with a winning start to his men’s career. Thornton moves up with Berkhamsted Trophy win They tied on seven–under par after 72 holes on the Hertfordshire course, with Hutchinson (Howley Hall) forcing the play-off with an up and down at the last. The field included 14-year-old Berkhamsted member Ben Pierleoni, who immediately after event, travelled to North Wales to represent England U16s in this week’s quadrangular match against Ireland, Wales and Holland. The field included 14-year-old Berkhamsted member Ben Pierleoni, who immediately after event, travelled to North Wales to represent England U16s in this week’s quadrangular match against Ireland, Wales and Holland. But Thornton, 18, (Fulford) took the title on the first extra hole to follow in the footsteps of such previous winners as Sandy Lyle, Luke Donald and Andy Sullivan. For the first time this year the event attracted World Amateur Golf Ranking points.
“There are always speculations but honestly my idea is very clear, the only option that interests me is to continue in Barcelona, I am very safe and calm. I feel very good here and I also thank the club and the coaching staff for their trust. That is another reason more to be totally clear that my only desire is to continue.The supposed interest of big clubs is always a compliment to anyone and a positive sign, but my mind is only on playing here for many years. During the past few weeks, Arthur Melo has been the subject of many rumors of a possible transfer. However, the Brazilian soccer player’s idea of Barcelona is to stay in the Catalan club for as long as possible, and that is why He has issued a statement explaining that although he is flattered to arouse the interest of other teams, he does not think of leaving Barcelona. Barça is where I have always wanted to be and I want to be a Catalan player for a long time, above all other questions. Every day I feel more comfortable and well here, in the team, in the club and in the city. I also love both the people and the culture here and I have a lot of support from the fans.I am 100% focused on working and that we return to play when possible because I really want to continue growing here and fight for more blaugrana titles. “ During the last weeks there has been speculation about the possibility that he will leave to play in Serie A and although Inter Milan’s option was not long ruled out, there was still talk of Juventus’ interest. However, the Italian club does not now have enough liquidity to undertake such an operation, at least not without parting with one of its figures as a currency. The only way that seems possible is the exchange with the Serbian midfielder Miralem Pjanic, Although considering that Arthur’s will is to succeed in Barcelona, it does not seem possible that Barcelona and Juventus are going to close the deal. 8
THERE were brilliant performances on and off the track at Saturday’s historical Wint/McKenley Classic at Calabar High School.It was a great job by the organising committee as the entire meet was first class. Entering the environs of the Red Hills Road institution brought memories of the Penn Relays. The large crowd was in a carnival mood.The performances by home team Calabar High boys as well as Hydel High girls, brought great satisfaction for the large number of fans who turned out to be a part of history.Home boy Aykeem Francis became the first Calabar athlete to be crowned champion on the new synthetic track.Francis was a cut above his peers in the Open 400 metres hurdles, as he raced to a season and personal best 53.10 seconds to win.Andre Pickersgill of Cameron Blazers Track Club was second in 54.55 seconds, with Francis’ teammate, Damion Dixon, third in 55.94.Francis returned to close a double by taking the Class One 400 metres in 49.12.St Jago High’s Lerone Clarke was second overall in 49.34 seconds, with Calabar’s Avraldo Hoggart third with 59.60.World Youth 400m champion Christopher Taylor teased his many home supporters in the Class Two 400m.He shut it down in the last 100m, but was still able to clock 46.99 seconds, which was good enough for top spot.Brandon Heath clocked 49.65 seconds for second overall. Vere’s Romane Lindo was third best with 50.36.It was truly a Calabar show as Dejour Russell, Orville Dixon, Tyrone Bryan and Warren Barrett Jr had good wins.Russell, who won the Class Two boys’ 110m hurdles at Champs a year ago, started his season campaign in fine style, taking the event in 13.78.It was a clean sweep for the home team. Orlando Bennett (14.28) and Michael Stephens (14.39) seconds finished second and third, respectively.Dixon captured the Class One boys’ 1500m in 4:05.20, ahead of St Jago’s Thaleeito Green in 4:06.31.Brown won the Class One 110m hurdles in 14.44 seconds.EXCELLENT FORMBarrett continued his excellent form this season with double victory in the throws. He took the Class One discus throw with 51.14m and the shot put with a heave of 18.89m.Despite their coach playing down their chances of finishing in the top three at Champs this year, Hydel totally dominated the female section.In the girl’s 400m Class One, it was joint first place for Semoy Hemmings and Taquece Duggan, who both clocked 55.18 seconds.The Ferry-based team swept all 400m events. In Class Two, Abigail Brooks won in 58.64 seconds, while in Class Three, it was Jada Martin in 57.25 seconds.Hydel girls also had good results in the hurdles.Class Four athlete, Gabrielle Matthews, became the fastest girl in the age group so far this season in the 70m hurdles, winning in 10.99 seconds.In the Class Three 80m hurdles, it was Donna Ray Lee in 12.09 seconds, while in the Class One 100 hurdles, Trishauna Hemmings won in 14.68 seconds. Jada Campbell was best in Class Two, with 14.84 seconds.
Creamline just received a massive blow to its campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference after star setter Jia Morado suffered an injury Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES “She didn’t say anything to us and Jia’s the type of player that when she’s not crying she knows that she can play through the pain but once she does we all know that she can’t take it anymore,” said Valdez in Filipino.“We understand her situation because the pain was already there in our last game and she was able to go through it but I think the pain was too much today,” said Valdez who had 19 points in the game.Morado was at the second spot of the Best Setters list with an average of 7.90 excellent sets per period prior to Creamline’s game against the Lady Oragons.ADVERTISEMENT Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Morado aggravated a lingering injury in her right shoulder during the second set of their match against Iriga-Navy, a game the Cool Smashers eventually won 25-21, 26-24, 25-23.Team officials said Morado would be out indefinitely as the 23-year-old playmaker will have to rest the injured shoulder.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownMorado, though, has found a silver lining as the Cool Smashers received an automatic bye to the semifinals and are not scheduled to play for almost a month.Creamline captain Alyssa Valdez said Morado doesn’t easily give up, but the pain on her right shoulder may have just reached its peak in this game. Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial MOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Walker dunk lifts Blackwater over Magnolia for 1st win Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio 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 respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding View comments
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf yesterday received the United Nations Systems Coordinator for Ebola virus disease, Dr. David Nabarro, at her Foreign Ministry office. He was accompanied by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to Liberia, Karen Landgren and the Representative of World Health Organization to Liberia, Peter Graff.The United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon in August appointed Dr. Nabarro as Senior UN Systems Coordinator for Ebola, prompting his first visit to the most affected countries of the outbreak. He is currently concluding visits to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to assess the Ebola response, receive updates and brief the leaders of the three worse affected countries.According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf briefed Dr. Nabarro on the current state of Liberia’s fight against the further spread of the disease and expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far. She also attributed the progress to the combined efforts of the government, the people of Liberia and the country’s many partners including the United Nations.“Our main concern is to transition from treatment to prevention, strengthen contact tracing, enhance community involvement, promote education and awareness about the disease and begin the process of strengthening the regular healthcare system to stop the spread of the virus. The existence of treatment centers must be integrated with more prevention initiatives,” President Sirleaf stressed.She informed the UN Ebola Coordinator that Liberia has set for itself an ambitious goal of “Zero New Cases” by Christmas and stressed the need for a common reporting and information sharing system among the three worst affected countries.Dr. Nabarro said he was pleased with the great news about Ebola decline in Liberia and pointed out that this was a great relief. He warned that despite the progress, Liberia must avoid complacency, control the anxiety and take note of the risk factors.Dr. Nabarro briefed President Sirleaf about the Ebola state of affairs in Guinea and Sierra Leone and suggested that regional coordination is required now more than ever before in the war against Ebola and committed the UN System to supporting Liberia’s recovery plan as Ebola is being defeated.“My mandate from the Secretary General was clear. Stop the spread of the virus; help attend to the wellbeing of the Liberian people and help the government address the economic consequences of the outbreak,” he disclosed adding, “From all indications in Liberia, this is being achieved through the strong leadership of President Sirleaf and her government.”Dr. Nabarro informed President Sirleaf that African Union is currently providing additional training for healthcare workers mainly from Nigeria and Ethiopia to be deployed to the affected countries to strengthen current interventions to eradicate the virus.He emphasized that key policy issues such benefits for victims and survivors of the Ebola disease must be regionalized to enhance and promote coordination among the countries.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
AnalysisThe Gambia, ruled for the last 20 years by an eratic and brutal tyrant, is one of the worst places on earth to work as a journalist. One prominent journalist who lived under the Yahya Jammeh regime has placed on record his own harrowing experiences and those of others – plus insights into media history and operations in the tiny West African nation.”Six armed men wearing masks came to the printing works at 2:00 a.m., fired shots into the air, and ordered the employees to lie on the ground. One of them then set fire to the new press… completely destroying it.” The police didn’t investigate the crime much less arrest the suspects, to one’s surprise.The incident above sums up Alagi Yorro Jallow’s ‘Delayed Democracy: How Press Freedom Collapsed in The Gambia’. The author is a winner of prestigious awards for excellence in journalism, and earned the unenviable distinction of being arrested over a dozen times for his hard-nosed reporting. He was in the main a co-proprietor and the managing editor of the ‘Independent’ newspaper, and fought with Deyda Hydara against draconian media laws in the country. Forced by death threats into exile in the United States, he studied at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, became a research fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, and is currently a Fulbright scholar teaching at a Bangkok university in Thailand.Jallow’s book addresses freedom of expression as the cardinal of all freedoms for both journalism and the nation, and gives a comprehensive account of Yahya Jammeh’s despotic response to the idea as well as its application. It also provides a historical overview of media in The Gambia dating back to pre-colonial times, and a running commentary on the troubled story of press freedom in Africa. The colonial laws about the press, Jallow points out, were decidedly repressive. The British Crown didn’t want the legitimacy of its rule challenged, and so handed down harsh libel, sedition and other restrictive laws from London to deny their subjects the freedoms and rights to write and speak against colonialism in favor of self-rule. Independence was supposed to change all that, except that it didn’t. Jawara and his ministers, like governments everywhere, weren’t receptive to the media casting them in a bad light. So they left the oppressive laws in the books and added some of their own.Jallow’s verdict on Jawara’s 30 years in power is magisterial and unforgiving. The most crucial aspects of democracy, he underscores, were instituted over time and not faithfully. Corruption, impunity and abuse of the national interest and assets couldn’t be checked, because the system had become too entrenched to dismantle, and it disenfranchised those who should have been empowered to reign it in. The crony state became “too massive, too intimidating, and too powerful,” and therefore rendered the Constitution, the first and final word on the rule of law, dormant. The Parliament had been too enchanted with power to discharge its responsibilities. The fledgeling private media, the only institution outside the direct control of the corrupt and corrupting system, had been shoved aside. A system where the ruling party controlled all the levers of power for self-perpetuation rather than carrying out the nation’s business was bound to produce undesirable elements like Yahya Jammeh as its inheritor.The coup that brought Jammeh to power in 1994 coincided with the establishment of several private media outlets. The country’s first daily, the ‘Daily Observer’, had hit the newsstands about only two years earlier. The ‘Point’, a biweekly at the time, was just about three years old. And more papers would come out since, including the ‘New Citizen’ and the ‘Independent’. The lack of journalistic scrutiny Jawara had largely enjoyed wouldn’t be true for the man who seized power on the claim to eradicate “rampant corruption” and institutionalize “accountability, transparency and probity.” He would perceive in the media nothing but mortal enemies. His very first decree suspended the 1970 Constitution, and invalidated every other law that stood contrary to any of his decrees, even the ones that were yet to be conceived and written, leaving the rights and freedoms of every Gambian at the mercy of his diktats. So much for a self-imposed liberator!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Paddy bug infestationThe Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) is urging farmers affected by paddy bugs to destroy the adult bugs, despite the age of their crops.So far, dozens of farmers across three different administrative regions have confirmed that their farms are infested with the dreaded pest, which has already resulted in millions of dollars in losses. The Rice Board said that dams and meres must be free of grass weeds at all times as this provides a good source of food and shelter for the paddy bugs, while issuing tips for farmers to better manage their rice fields.More importantly, GRDB explained, “Spraying is necessary if the number of bugs is one per metre square or one bug for every two sweeps…farmers are advised to use two motor blowers per acre at a distance of 22 feet or 11 footsteps apart when spraying”.It also encouraged farmers to monitor their fields daily while the crop is in its flowering stage, especially early in the morning before 08:00h or late in the afternoon after 16:00h until the grains mature fully.Additionally, the Rice Board noted that egg masses should be destroyed but if they are already hatched, spot spraying can be done with a contact insecticide.Last week, former Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy called out the Government and the GRDB for not responding to the paddy bug infestation which has already resulted in millions of losses for rice farmers.Ramsammy argued that the Government and GRDB’s move to dismiss the challenges and problems rice farmers face while insisting rice is a Private Sector activity is “dangerous” and “repulsive” as rice farmers and millers invest more than $50 billion annually into the economy.The former Minister said he knows for a fact that the paddy bug infestation has led to the loss of almost 20 per cent of the rice crop in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and even worse losses in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam). Over in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), the problem is equally devastating to farmers, he added.For Regions Two and Six alone, some 500,000 bags of paddy were lost, which means $1.4 billion in revenue for each region.Meanwhile, in Region Five, farmers reportedly lost more than 600,000 bags of paddy as a result of the paddy bugs and red rice.Ramsammy was keen to note that the paddy bug is not the only issue affecting farmers as he made mention specifically of floods and dry conditions, accompanied by clogged canals and dysfunctional pumps among others.These issues, according to him, are not being addressed by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) nor the Agriculture Ministry.He predicted that overall, Guyanese rice farmers will lose about $9 billion this year, having already lost more than $8 billion in 2018.