Three nights of thrilling action expected in Bartica this weekend

first_imgTHE Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Championship will invade the community of Bartica tomorrow when the 3rd edition of the Street Football competition commences at the Bartica Community Centre.The zone will feature 16 teams battling for the coveted title and a place in the grand finale on June 16. The opening night features elimination matches, with the respective winners advancing to the group stage pegged for June 15.The top two finishers from the two groups will progress to the semi-final round. The subsequent winners will then progress to the final, with the losers facing off in the third-place playoff.Similarly, the four teams that fail to make the semi-final stage will battle in the Guinness Plate Championship. This will be played on the final night.The eight teams who have earned berths to the opening night are defending champions Disconnection Crew, Goal Raiders, Almanac Kings, former champions Rivers View, Jones Avenue, Falmouth, Potaro Strikers and Mighty Ruler.According to coordinator Alden Marslowe, “All systems are in place for a wonderful tournament. The teams have really caught on with the street football and everyone has really gotten into it. This is the third year and we have seen tremendous growth. We have had three privately-run street football tournaments earlier and the teams are definitely catching onto the format.”He further disclosed that the tournament has witnessed a record number of entries which supports the belief that the tournament is growing in popularity and overall interest.“We have had more teams enter than in previous editions especially from the outlying communities – which is great for the event. The anticipation is there from the public, Bartica is a football community and I expect another great tournament with quality action”, he added.Similarly, Lee Baptiste, Guinness Brand Executive stated that everything is geared and ready for another great edition to the phenomenon that is the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Championship.He anticipates three nights of exciting action, as teams battle for bragging rights and the chance to represent their zone at the coveted National Championship.The winner of the championship will pocket $400 000 and the winners’ trophy. They will also earn the right to represent the Zone at the National Championship.On the other hand, the runners-up will collect $150 000 and a trophy. Meanwhile, the third- and fourth-place finishers will walk away with $100 000 and $75 000 respectively and the corresponding accolade. Winners of the Guinness Plate Championship will receive $60 000.Up to press time, several play-off round matches were underway. The other major sponsor of the event is Colours Boutique.Play-off round fixtures:Makouria vs ItaballiAgatash vs Prison OfficersCourtney Benn Boys vs Potaro UnitedWalking Boys vs Bad CompanyBeacons vs Banks BoysBallers vs KarrauPolice vs Skill KingsLotto Blast vs Man Unitedlast_img read more

US increase number of medics at Guantanamo over hunger strike

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – Extra medical staff have been sent to the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay to help address a hunger strike that has spread to nearly two-thirds of the detainees, authorities said Monday.With the strike now entering its 12th week, U.S. President Barack Obama has faced fresh calls to honor his promise to close the prison at the U.S. base in Cuba, which holds 166 individuals captured as part of the “War on Terror.”Some 40 U.S. Navy medical personnel, including nurses and specialists, arrived over the weekend, said Lt. Col. Samuel House, a military spokesman at Guantanamo.“The influx of personnel was planned several weeks ago as increasing numbers of detainees chose to protest their detention,” he said.House said 100 of the 166 inmates are striking, a number that hasn’t changed since Saturday. Of those, 21 are receiving feeding through nasal tubes, the spokesman said, one more than on Saturday.Five are hospitalized, he added in the statement, without specifying whether any were in life-threatening condition.However, he told AFP that none were close to dying, officially denying allegations by British Guantanamo expert Andy Worthington, who wrote on his blog that four prisoners were “close to death” as a result of the strike, citing a “credible source inside Guantanamo.”One of the at-risk detainees, Worthington said, was Khiali Gul, one of 86 prisoners cleared for release yet jailed indefinitely.“Every day I expect to hear the worst. I am appalled that President Obama has done nothing, and continues to do nothing,” Worthington told AFP.Lawyers for the detainees have said around 130 inmates are observing the hunger strike, more than officially acknowledged.The rapidly growing protest movement began on Feb. 6, when inmates claimed prison officials searched Korans in a way they considered blasphemous, according to their lawyers.Officials have denied any mishandling of Islam’s holy book.But the strike has now turned into a larger protest by prisoners against their indefinite incarceration without charge or trial over the past 11 years.House said recently that while detainees have a right to protest, “it is our mission to provide a safe, secure and humane environment, and we will not allow our detainees to starve themselves to death.”On Friday, the White House said it continues to closely monitor the hunger strikers and that Obama remained “committed to closing” Guantanamo.“A fundamental obstacle to closing this detention facility … remains in Congress,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.More and more critics have called for the immediate closure of the facility.Among them is former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo, Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who warned that “unless President Obama acts soon, I believe it is likely one or more of the detainees will die.”Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel and advocate at Human Rights Watch, said “there has never been such a critical moment in the history of Guantanamo.”“It’s an incredible crisis in the American government, both in terms of health and welfare of these men, but there are also very serious national security concerns should someone die in Guantanamo,” she told AFP.“I think it will be perceived outside of the U.S. as the U.S. government’s responsibility.”Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, wrote a letter to Obama asking the administration to “renew its efforts” to transfer out the 86 detainees who were cleared for such a move by U.S. military authorities.She also called for the reassessment of the “security situation on the ground in Yemen, because is my understanding that 56 of the 86 detainees cleared for transfer are Yemeni.”Obama imposed a moratorium on repatriating Yemenis held at Guantanamo in 2009 after a plot to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day was traced back to Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni franchise. Facebook Comments Related posts:Doctors complicit in torture at CIA, military prisons: study Obama will try again to shut Guantanamo prison U.S. Activists Protest Guantanamo Prison Camp in Cuba Uruguay agrees to take Guantanamo detaineeslast_img read more