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Hubert Lawrence | Standing together in the face of pain

first_img BUSY SCHEDULE When Cavahn McKenzie died at the end of a 2014 cross-country race in Trinidad and Tobago, it was awful for St Jago High School. His teammates got the news as they contested the Gibson-McCook Relays and it crushed them. Their schoolmate, teammate and friend had left them for international duty and, tragically, never returned home. Unfortunately, the same kind of tragedy has visited St George’s College with the equally sad passing of their Manning Cup football captain, Dominic James. This time, there was a cruel twist as he died during a Manning Cup game, with spectators there to witness his last moments. Truly, for all present, it must have been a terrible moment. These gruesome things scarcely happen in sport which is entertainment for many. Yet, the grief felt by everyone has to jump-start new provisions to safeguard the health of athletes at every level. In this regard, the early announcement about heart-screening high-school student athletes becoming mandatory is most welcome. After McKenzie’s untimely passing in Trinidad and Tobago, Team Jamaica Bickle, that wonderful group of Penn Relay benefactors, has assisted with screening athletes and by donating machines – known as defibrillators – which are designed to restart hearts. This may have to become standard for high school, club and national sport. As a precaution, it may also be wise to extend the schoolboy football season into January. The present season squashes the Manning and daCosta Cup, the Walker Cup and Ben Francis KO and the FLOW Super Cup into a rapid-fire schedule that has teams playing three times in seven days, with complications if rainy weather intervenes. The schedule gets busy for the top teams, when the later stages of the Corporate Area Manning Cup and the rural area daCosta Cup commingles with the Super Cup and the Corporate Area Walker Cup and the rural area Ben Francis knockout competitions. The congestion is no one’s fault. There are far more eligible schools than in bygone days. Luckily, the solution is simple. The schedule could be relaxed by moving the Super Cup into January, the first month of the Easter term. That is a matter for another day. Right now, the Light Blues need our love and support. As with the St Jago case, James’ family and his teammates at St George’s College need counselling and the steadfast embrace of every Jamaican. At times like these, the only choice is to stand together. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980.last_img read more


Keystone Pipeline appears unlikely to proceed under current US administration

first_imgNow his final Presidential term he no longer needs to weigh any decision against re-election, and general president Terry O’Sullivan of the Laborers’ International Union called the Obama veto in February, “disgustingly predictable.”For his part, Prime Minister Harper—believes the project will eventually go forward, but concedes Canada may have to wait for Mr. Obama to leave office.“I think there’s very peculiar politics of this particular administration,” Harper said. “I believe that whether this project goes ahead or not on this administration it will ultimately go ahead under a subsequent administration.”Meantime, TransCanada is also warning about the rising cost of the currently proposed, $12 billion cross Canada, Alberta to New Brunswick, Energy East pipeline, because of beluga whale location concerns.Advertisement The White House is not saying when US President Barack Obama will make his decision on the Keystone X-L pipeline, or what it will be, only that it will happen before he leaves office in January of 2017.It has shrugged off recent claims by Republican Senator John Hoeven that Mr. Obama will announce his rejection of the Alberta to Texas pipeline link later this month, although he’s already mandated this month, steeper cuts on power plant emissions, citing the same alleged reason as his pipeline concerns, greenhouse gas emissions.The President has already vetoed a bill from the Republican controlled Congress, which passed 270 to 152 in the House, and 62 to 36 in the Senate, and those margins are well short of the two-thirds majorities required, to override a Presidential veto.- Advertisement -Mr. Obama could still approve the project on his own authority, but neither side in the debate sees that as likely, since he’s already said, that in his view the environmental impacts outweigh any economic benefits.TransCanada first applied for permits to build the pipeline in 2008, and under an executive order signed by former President Bush, the State Department is still, allegedly reviewing the proposal, to determine whether it’s in the national interest.However, Mr. Obama can also override its recommendations, and ignore the fact his position has essentially divided his hitherto key Democratic constituencies, with solid keystone project support from big labour.Advertisementlast_img read more