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Meeting with Haitians was an innocent humanitarian one

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Dear Editor,

I refer to a letter captioned, `Questions for Mr Heath-Retemyer’ that was published in the Sunday Stabroek on September 08, 2019 and authored by one Mr Eddy Layne, the Editor-in-Chief of MTV News Update. In his letter Mr. Layne sought to imply improper conduct on the part of Mr. Aubrey Heath-Retemyer, the Deputy Director of SARA, as a result of Heath-Retemyer’s participation in a meeting on August 29, 2019, at Critchlow Labour College, with the Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix and a number of persons of the extended CARICOM family who are Africans of Haitian origin.

In his letter, Layne gleefully raised a number of questions which he demanded that Heath-Retemyer and Winston Felix respond to. It is my contention that MTV and its Editor-in-Chief are willing participants in the Jagdeo/PPP’s campaign that the government is engaged in plans to rig elections when they are held.

On Sunday evening (September 8, 2019) on the WPA Walter Rodney Groundings TV show on CH9, I addressed this erroneous and racist accusation that the meeting at Critchlow was part of an ongoing scheme by the APNU+AFC administration to use Haitians as voters in the upcoming elections to facilitate rigging.  I argued that this accusation was the work of Jagdeo. I will now add that the hype around an innocent humanitarian meeting is part of the PPP/C’s “dirty tricks committee’s” concerted political propaganda plan to enhance that party’s post-election claims that the elections were rigged and resulted in their defeat at the polls.

On the programme, I also defended Brother Retemyer’s right as an African Cultural Activist and a Pan Africanist to extend solidarity to fellow Africans, Haitians or from the Mother Land, without having to justify his actions.  These solidarity activities fall in the area of citizens’ personal rights. And equally important are in keeping with the United Nations’ Declared Decade for Africans.

I knew Retemyer years before he and I became employees at SARA. We met initially at the home of a mutual friend who is an African activist. She introduced him to me as a brother who lives in the USA and is actively engaged in working in the African Community in America, doing social and cultural work and heads an African organization.

Given this history and the fact that since his return to Guyana he continues these activities unabated, his ongoing interest in the plight of Africans compelled him to come to the aid of his Haitian brothers and sisters. It is nothing but political wickedness on the part of PPP/C, Layne and Heath-Retemyer’s other detractors to suggest, without an iota of evidence, that the meeting with Haitians was anything other than what he explained.

In closing, I pose the following question to the PPP/C, Layne and others: Why should Africans be called on to explain solidarity activities when persons of other ethnicities are allowed to do so uninhibited by the need to explain their actions to others?

Yours faithfully,

Tacuma Ogunseye

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Extra cricket benefitted me, says Alyssa Healy

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Dubai [UAE], September 17 (ANI): Amid a busy schedule, Australia women batter Alyssa Healy said that ‘extra cricket’ has benefitted her game.

“I think it’s becoming more and more important for us [to manage our downtime]. We’re learning on our feet how to be professional cricketers and playing around the world quite frequently, but the girls are getting a lot better at managing their downtime,” ICC quoted Healy as saying.

“I’m [feeling] good, it helps when you can laze around on the beach all day and drink some mocktails. I’m enjoying my time here, it’s been a busy couple of months but I made that decision to play the extra cricket and I think it’s benefited me,” she added.

Currently, Healy is featuring for her team on their Caribbean tour which follows an all-format Ashes series which took place in July. Before the Ashes series, she played with Yorkshire Diamonds in the Women’s Cricket Super League.

Australia women registered a massive nine-wicket victory over West Indies women on Tuesday. Healy, while chasing a target of 98 runs, scored unbeaten 58 runs.

Healy expressed her dissatisfaction with her innings but said that victory is all that matters.

“It was one of the more ugly innings that I’ll have, but to get a win, that’s what really matters and hopefully we get a nice true wicket in a couple of days’ time and we can make a big total if need be,” Healy said.

Australia have won first two T20I against West Indies and the third T20I match will be played on September 19. (ANI)

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From the US to Ghana, a Taste of Home in the Homeland

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ACCRA, GHANA – African Americans are being encouraged to visit Ghana to mark 400 years since the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade. In the capital, Accra, one returnee chef is awaiting U.S. visitors to give them a taste of home in the homeland.

At her roadside cafe in Accra, Chef Sage cooks up food influenced by her time in the United States, the Caribbean and Ghana. Spices from her lentil burgers waft into the air, as members of her loyal customer base take their seats at the outdoor tables.

“I had that Southern influence, my grandmother with cornbread and macaroni cheese – the whole soul food works, and then also being in the Caribbean, having that Caribbean influence as well. I don’t know if a lot of people residing in Africa know that the foods in the Caribbean are so similar, you have direct descendants coming from Africa to the Caribbean,” Sage said.

Chef Sage — she prefers not to use her real name — says she’s seeing more African American customers who are in Ghana for “Year of Return” activities, visiting to mark 400 years since the start of the transatlantic slave trade.

They sit alongside regular customers as Chef Sage and her family serve up plant-based fusion meals. Chef Sage was born in Brooklyn, New York, moved to Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a child and in 2005 relocated to Ghana.

“I think when African Americans relocate to Ghana, we do consider this our homeland and we are happy to be here but that food, you are still looking for what you are accustomed too. So I think I attract African Americans because I still have those flavors infused in the food,” Sage said.

Chef Sage does private catering in Accra, as well as her weekly roadside cafe. The menu changes weekly but can include anything from sweet potato pie to tacos to fusion salads – all made with local ingredients.

Customers like Grisel Industrioso say the food is about good taste and community.

“You have people from Jamaica, different Caribbean islands, from you have people from North America, America itself but from different places, you have people from California and from the East like myself but there is something that brings us together as one people. We can all relate to this food,” Industrioso said.

The links between food in Ghana and the United States are something Essie Bartels, a Ghanaian food entrepreneur, also explores. Her spice mixes and sauces aim to show the similarities in food cultures around the world, especially those with African heritage.

“Being able to see where all these hotspots of flavors are and bringing them together, that is what I am trying to do with Essie Spice and that is what I hope the Year of Return will do to inspire people to see how connected even food is around the world,” Bartels said.

Bartels and Chef Sage say the Year of Return is a good time to reflect on shared history and heritage.

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Bermuda Battens Down for Category 3 Hurricane Humberto

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MIAMI, FLORIDA – Bermuda’s government called up troops and urged people on the British Atlantic island to make final preparations for an expected close brush Wednesday with Hurricane Humberto, a powerful Category 3 storm. Authorities ordered early closings of schools, transportation and government offices.

Gov. John Rankin called up 120 members of the Royal Bermuda Regiment to prepare for possible storm recovery efforts and National Security Minister Wayne Caines said schools, government offices and ferries on the island would close at noon and bus service would halt at 4 p.m.

Officials expected tropical storm-force winds to begin whipping at Bermuda in the morning and warned that hurricane-force gusts would probably last until early Thursday. Humberto was predicted to pass just north of the territory of some 70,000 people, though a small shift in its path could bring the storm over the island itself.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Humberto’s maximum sustained winds strengthened to 120 mph (195 kph) and it would probably remain a Category 3 hurricane through Thursday, though there could be some fluctuations in its winds. The storm was centered about 195 miles (310 kilometers) west of Bermuda early Wednesday, moving east-northeast at 16 mph (26 kph).

In Texas, the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda threatened to drench parts of Southwest Texas and southwestern Louisiana with up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of rain over the next few days. It was the first named storm to hit the Houston area since Hurricane Harvey’s much heavier rains flooded more than 150,000 homes around the city and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage in Texas.

Tropical Storm Jerry also formed Wednesday morning, forecast to become a hurricane as it nears the outermost Caribbean islands Thursday night or Friday.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lorena was moving off Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and forecasters now expect it to become a hurricane Friday as it approaches shore. They warned of heavy rains and flooding to resorts from Zihuatanejo to Cabo Corrientes. Lorena had top winds of 65 mph (100 kph) early Wednesday and was centered about 120 miles (195 kilometers) south-southeast of Manzanillo, moving northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).

Further off Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Tropical Storm Mario also was expected to be a hurricane by Friday as it approaches the southern tip of Baja California and become nearly stationary through Friday night.

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