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CARICOM Secretariat and IICA move to strengthen co-operation

first_imgSecretary-general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin LaRocque GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Secretary-general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin LaRocque welcomed the director general of the Inter-American Institute of for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) Dr Victor Villalobos as his first visitor from an institution since assuming office on 15 August. “I believe that it is not insignificant that the first visit to me as secretary-general is from the head of an agricultural institution, given the importance of agriculture in the context of rural development and food security for the region,” LaRocque said at the conclusion of the visit on Thursday at CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters, Turkeyen, Guyana. LaRocque, who previously served as CARICOM assistant secretary-general trade and economic integration, stressed that while in that position, Villalobos and himself had an excellent working relationship. “That relationship between the director-general and myself and between the Secretariat and IICA can only be strengthened for a more positive impact for the Caribbean,” the secretary-general said. Villalobos said one of the main reasons for his visit was to express IICA’s interest to continue working with the Secretariat as he was convinced that nothing could be achieved in the development of the agriculture sector without the willingness of all parties to work together. “No single institution can develop agriculture on its own. There must be complementarity going forward,” the director general said. He assured the secretary-general that he could count on IICA as they discussed projects and proposals some of which were already underway in the Community, including women and youth in agriculture. He also expressed appreciation in the confidence placed in IICA for the implementation of two projects funded by the European Union (EU) under the 10th EDF totalling 20 million euros and which were due to start early in 2012. These are an Intra-ACP Agriculture Policy Programme amounting to 8.5 mn euros) and a Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) Programme (11.6 mn euros) Villalobos said that IICA would work with the Secretariat to implement the projects and find solutions at the ground level to the constraints in the sector in the Region. He said that IICA was already involved in assisting with the Jagdeo Initiative, which has identified key binding constraints to the development of agriculture in CARICOM. He referred to a workshop which IICA had co-ordinated with the Ministry of Agriculture in Antigua and Barbuda to look at risk insurance for the sector, one of the nine constraints identified under the Jagdeo Initiative. LaRocque said the IICA had so far provided technical assistance in the form of a consultant to strengthen the Agriculture Development Unit of the Secretariat with respect to the coordination of the Jagdeo Initiative and the development of Agriculture Sector in the Community. The director general took the opportunity to invite the secretary-general to attend the annual meeting of the ministers of agriculture of IICA member states which is to be held in Costa Rica next month under the theme “Innovation for competitive, sustainable and inclusive agriculture”. It will be the first ministerial meeting under the stewardship of Villalobos.Caribbean News Now Share Sharing is caring! Share Tweetcenter_img NewsRegional CARICOM Secretariat and IICA move to strengthen co-operation by: – September 10, 2011 Share 8 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Mr. O’Neill, ‘the floor is yours’

first_imgBig job, bigger questions · No one, including O’Neill, is denying the fact that the USC job is going to a huge challenge given recent allegations and the prospect of santions looming. | Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information It started off with a bang.USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett introduced new men’s basketball coach Kevin O’Neill at a Varsity Lounge press conference Monday, saying, “Kevin, the floor is yours.”O’Neill’s first public comments as the coach of a program under intense scrutiny from the NCAA?He pointed over to his wife, 32-year-old Roberta. “There won’t be any questions about recruiting, I trust,” O’Neill said. “I can recruit, obviously.”All joking aside, O’Neill, 52, made a favorable impression in his first step on a long road back for both him and the USC basketball program.Former coach Tim Floyd had made inroads in raising the national profile of what had long been a largely irrelevant program, but, facing a looming NCAA investigation this offseason, he decided to resign. The one-paragraph resignation e-mail sent to Garrett came June 9, less than a month after Floyd was accused of delivering an envelope of cash to the handler of former USC basketball player O.J. Mayo.Since then, the inquiries grew louder and louder, leading Garrett and Senior Vice President of Administration Todd Dickey to deliver unprecedented video statements posted on USC’s official website.Many wondered where USC would find its next coach, considering both the likelihood of NCAA sanctions that could limit postseason play and/or scholarships and the sheer lack of talent left on the roster, as only nine scholarship players remain after a mass exodus of both current players and incoming recruits.Well, Garrett and USC found him, toiling as an assistant coach and special assistant to the general manager for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, just one year removed from spending the 2007-2008 season as the interim head coach at Pac-10 rival Arizona.“We’ve been through a lot, and, in looking at different potential candidates all over the country … I came to the conclusion that I really felt elated about the fact that this is the kind of person who was available,” Garrett said.Reports say that Garrett first offered the job to Pittsburgh head man Jamie Dixon, the former protégé of UCLA coach Ben Howland. After Dixon said no, both NBA Finals analyst (and former NBA head coach) Jeff Van Gundy and current UNLV coach Lon Kruger reportedly rebuffed offers from USC as well.Nevertheless, Garrett — who has caught much flak for his coaching hires over the years, including the notion that Pete Carroll was his fourth choice to become the football head coach in 2000 — insisted that O’Neill was indeed his first choice for the job.“Everyone I talked to was not shying away from USC,” Garrett said. “It was not a selling job, it was more of a find the right fit.“I think Kevin was my first choice because when I started talking to him, he’s the one that I wanted to have. He’s the guy that fit what I needed. It was a natural fit,” Garrett said.But O’Neill himself doesn’t come without controversy.He’s known as a Bob Knight-lite, a fierce competitor who sometimes lets his emotions get the best of him. Many of his former players have expressed distaste with his methods. He’s never been a player’s coach; rather, he’s been labeled as more of a defensive-minded, let-the-offense-flow kind of guy.The still-fiery O’Neill attacked those conceptions Monday.“I’m a different coach than I was the first time I was in college. I really don’t apologize for how I coach at all. I coach hard, I’m aggressive … but it’s like anything else. Over 20 years, you do change a little bit.“I’m not for every player, and that’s all there is to it. Every coach isn’t for every player,” O’Neill said. “But, I’ve been in a multitude of players’ weddings, and pro and college guys don’t invite you to be in their weddings unless they like you a little bit.”O’Neill further defended his coaching style. “I’m a great defensive coach. But what people think is that if you’re a defensive coach, you don’t coach offense, or if you’re an offensive coach you don’t value defense. I value the whole game.”USC returns only one player who averaged more than 18 minutes per game last season: senior guard Dwight Lewis. Junior guard/forward Marcus Simmons and sophomore forwards Nikola Vucevic and Leonard Washington will be the only other returners who contributed last season.Despite that, O’Neill said he expects to compete immediately. “I think we’ve got a good core group of guys,” O’Neill said. “It would be my expectation that, when we hit the practice court, that we’re thinking about nothing short of being in the NCAA Tournament.“This is a competitive group, and I think these guys will play good basketball every single day, I think they’ll work hard, and I think they’ll surprise some people.”As for the ongoing NCAA investigation, it didn’t seem to bother O’Neill much.“I really didn’t care what had happened, and we didn’t get into detail because that’s not my place,” O’Neill said. “I was taking the job no matter what. I wanted the job from the beginning because it’s USC. The fact that there’s an investigation going on never changed my view of the university at all.”Reports have said the earliest any NCAA sanction could come would be October. Until then, the program is left to hope they won’t be too short-handed this season.“We’re in limbo, we don’t know,” Garrett said. “They’re in the process, so are we, and we’re working to get to the point where we can finally come to a resolution.”Garrett stressed, though, that O’Neill — with 12 years of experience as a head coach at the college or pro levels, including stints with Marquette and the Toronto Raptors — was the right man to lead the program out of the shadow of investigation and into a new image.“He’d be a great coach for us any season, let alone what we’re going through now,” Garrett said. “I know he’ll guide us the way we should be guided.”last_img read more

Lakers might need to delay Anthony Davis trade if Kawhi Leonard remains undecided

first_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs LAS VEGAS — In the closing minutes of the New Orleans-New York game on Friday night, the earth shook underneath Thomas and Mack Arena, making the scoreboard and speakers above the court gently sway.The NBA delayed the game for the 6.9-magnitude earthquake, which caused a temporary stir during the start of Las Vegas Summer League. But in the NBA’s larger picture, the day wasn’t about the landscape shifting, but about stagnancy.After the early flurry of commitments, the NBA had two near-silent days of free agency, as teams prepare to officially sign, trade and otherwise execute a host of moves on Saturday, when the moratorium ends.There’s only one problem: Kawhi Leonard. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The earliest the trade can be completed is Saturday at 9 a.m. PDT. Without Leonard’s commitment, the Lakers would likely delay the trade until he decides, according to an ESPN report. If he goes elsewhere, the Lakers would still be expected to spend their remaining cap space prior to the Davis trade, mining other parts of the market to fill out what is still a bare-bones roster.ESPN reported that the Pelicans, Hawks and Wizards are expected to cooperate with the Lakers if Leonard is still undecided Saturday morning. The trade date was agreed upon initially in the Lakers and Pelicans’ deal sending Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks for Davis. The deal was based on the Lakers using the $32 million in cap space created on a max free agent, such as Leonard or on other players available.Jared Dudley and Troy Daniels are the only committed minimum contract players so far. Others still uncommitted include Boston forward Marcus Morris, Toronto wing Danny Green, Golden State big man DeMarcus Cousins and several Lakers from last season, including Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee. Notably, a reported Memphis trade with Washington is expected to add two more free agents to the market: guard Avery Bradley and center Dwight Howard. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe top remaining free agent’s decision has the power to delay the NBA’s business. The Lakers specifically are counting on signing Leonard into their $32 million max salary space, then executing their trade with New Orleans that will net them All-Star big man Anthony Davis. But until Leonard decides, the Lakers aren’t expected to complete the trade, meaning all the assets in the deal are left in limbo for the time being, affecting at least four teams. The Clippers and Raptors are also maintaining cap space for Leonard in hopes that he will sign.So far, that means a host of top draft picks haven’t been able to join their teams in Summer League: No. 4 overall pick De’Andre Hunter (going from the Lakers to the Atlanta Hawks), No. 10 Jaxson Hayes (Hawks to the Pelicans) and No. 17 Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Hawks to Pelicans) chief among them. The Lakers are also sending Moe Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones from last year’s class to the Washington Wizards, and once they’re on the Wizards’ roster, they might participate in Summer League.Related Articles Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions last_img read more