Bar Association Conference controversy…more concerned about constitutional challenge caseFollowing his threats of salary cuts and warnings, Attorney General (AG) and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams was dismissive when questioned about his staff being disallowed from attending a two-day Oil and Gas Law Conference, organised by the Guyana Bar Association (GBA).It was late last week that judges, magistrates and lawyers from across the country gathered for discussions aimed at exploring the legal framework of the oil and gas sector.However, legal practitioners attached to the AG’s Chambers and Legal Affairs Ministry were warned not to attend the event.Guyana Times contacted the Minister to garner the reasoning behind his decision to implement such a policy, especially when he was overseas, but the AG, in the brief interview, avoided the questions, having observed that he was more focused on preparations for the constitutional challenge case at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).“I wasn’t in the country…right now I’m preparing for the CCJ, so I can’t get distracted. Right now, you can’t ask me that, I am looking after CCJ and the third term,” Williams told this newspaper. After this brief disclosure, he discontinued the conversation.The conference was the brainchild of acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards. However, in a memorandum dated March 8, 2018 that was placed in the office, staffers were barred from attending the Conference without the permission of the AG and Legal Affairs Minister.The notice, which was seen by this newspaper, stated, “Please be informed that ‘no staff’ is permitted to attend the Guyana Oil and Gas Law Training Development Conference event hosted by the Guyana Bar Association on Friday 9th March, 2018 without the permission of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister.” The memo, which was in the name of acting Permanent Secretary Tamika Barkoye, had further warned staffers that their salaries would be cut if they did not adhere to the order.“Please note that absence from work will result in salary deduction,” the memo added.Guyana Times had made efforts to contact the Legal Affairs Ministry’s PS for a comment and further clarification on the matter, but she was “unavailable”.This publication reported that the Minister’s move might have been because the organisers of the Conference did not facilitate his schedule when hosting the event. The GBA is headed by Attorney-at-Law Kamal Ramkarran.Several of Minister Williams’ Cabinet colleagues, who are also legal practitioners, attended the opening of the Conference: Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman; acting Prime Minister and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.Minister Trotman had delivered a detailed presentation on the oil and gas sector, touching on the ExxonMobil contract, oil discoveries and the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy.
No. 6 West Virginia 31, No. 25 Rutgers 3: West Virginia kept its BCS hopes alive with yet another win over Rutgers in New Jersey. Steve Slaton ran for three touchdowns and quarterback Pat White rushed for 156 yards and a score as the Mountaineers dominated the Scarlet Knights for their 13th straight victory in the series. Slaton went from sideline to sideline on a spectacular 38-yard run that gave West Virginia (7-1, 2-1 Big East) the early lead, and he scored on second-half runs of 1 and 6 yards to bury Rutgers (5-3, 2-2). White also threw for 144 yards, highlighted by a 51-yard screen pass to Slaton to set up a TD. Connecticut 22, No. 11 South Florida 15: Andre Dixon ran for a career-high 167 yards and Connecticut used a late goal-line stand to upset South Florida at UConn. It was the program’s first win over a ranked opponent.The victory keeps UConn (7-1, 3-0 Big East) in sole possession of first place in the Big East, and all but assures the Huskies of the first Top-25 ranking in school history. South Florida (6-2, 1-2) was ranked No. 2 just two weeks ago, but has lost two straight. Dixon ran for 115 yards in a rainy first half, helping UConn build a 16-0 lead. The Bulls came back in the second half and cut the lead to 19-15 in the fourth quarter, before a 20-yard Tony Ciaravino field goal with 5:19 left make it 22-15. The Bulls reached the UConn 2 late, but Greg Robinson tackled quarterback Matt Grothe for a 10-yard loss and then Grothe’s fourth-down pass sailed out of the end zone. No. 12 Kansas 19, Texas A&M 12: Brandon McAnderson rushed for a career-high 183 yards and two touchdowns as the visiting Jayhawks improved to 8-0 for the first time since 1909. Todd Reesing went 21-for-33 for 180 yards and the Jayhawks’ fifth-ranked defense did the rest, holding the Aggies to 127 yards and six first downs through three quarters. A&M gained 191 yards in the fourth quarter, after the Jayhawks built a 19-0 lead. Kansas improved to 4-0 in the Big 12 for the first time, snapped a seven-game losing streak to A&M and won in Texas for the first time since 2001. The Jayhawks have reached eight victories for just the 12th time in school history. The Jayhawks held the Aggies’ fifth-ranked rushing offense to 56 yards through three quarters. No. 13 Missouri 42, Iowa State 28: Lorenzo Williams recovered a fumble in the end zone at the start of the second half, giving Missouri breathing room and momentum in a Big 12 victory at home over stubborn Iowa State. The Tigers (7-1, 3-1 Big 12) were four-touchdown favorites against the downtrodden Cyclones (1-8, 0-5), but gained a season-low 366 yards. Backup Alexander Robinson had 149 yards on 21 carries with a 37-yard scoring run for Iowa State.Devin McDoell had a 25-yard interception return. Mississippi St 31, No. 14 Kentucky 14: Wesley Carroll threw for two touchdowns and Mississippi State forced a season-high six turnovers in the second half to upset Kentucky in Lexington. Kentucky (6-3, 2-3 SEC) has lost two straight since knocking off then-No. 1 LSU in triple overtime. The Homecoming loss to the Bulldogs (5-4, 2-3) likely knocks Kentucky out of the SEC title race. Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson was sacked three times and threw three interceptions. Tennessee 27, No. 15 S. Carolina 24: After all the complaints about Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, the Vols are in position to play for a conference title again. Daniel Lincoln kicked a game-tying 48-yard field goal with 5 second left, then provided the only points in overtime, and Tennessee recovered after blowing a big lead to upset visiting South Carolina. The victory, coupled with No. 20 Georgia’s victory over ninth-ranked Florida earlier Saturday, puts the Volunteers (5-3, 3-2) atop the SEC’s Eastern Division. Coach Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks fell to 6-3, 3-3. No. 17 Texas 28, Nebraska 25: Jamaal Charles ran for fourth-quarter touchdowns of 25, 86 and 40 yards and finished with 290 rushing yards to carry Texas to a win at home, sending the Cornhuskers to their fourth straight loss.Nebraska has lost four in a row for the first time since 1961, another black mark for beleaguered Coach Bill Callahan, whose future with the Huskers beyond this season is in the hands of former Huskers coach and interim athletic director Tom Osborne. For Texas coach Mack Brown, the win was a milestone – No. 100 with the Longhorns. Nebraska (4-5, 1-4) led, 17-9, to start the fourth quarter behind two touchdown passes from Sam Keller to Nate Swift. Then Texas discovered it had a running game and Charles gained 216 rushing yards in the fourth quarter. No. 19 Michigan 34, Minnesota 10: Mario Manningham had five receptions for a career-high 162 yards and a victory-sealing touchdown early in the fourth quarter, helping Michigan pull away at home. The Wolverines (7-2, 5-0 Big Ten) have won seven straight since opening the season being stunned by second-tier Appalachian State and getting routed by Oregon. The Golden Gophers (1-8, 0-5) have lost eight of their first nine games for the first time in 15 years. N.C. State 29, No. 21 Virginia 24: Daniel Evans threw for a career-high 347 yards and three touchdowns, two to Donald Bowens, to lead North Carolina State past visiting Virginia, which was going for a school-record eighth straight win. Bowens finished with 11 catches for 202 yards for the Wolfpack (3-5, 1-3 ACC), who snapped a nine-game conference losing streak. Jamelle Eugene ran for 112 yards and Jameel Sewell threw for 260 yards and two scores for the Cavaliers (7-2, 4-1) before leaving the game with a leg injury with about seven minutes left. No. 23 Auburn 17, Mississippi 3: Brandon Cox threw a 34-yard scoring pass to Rod Smith in the final minutes and Brad Lester rushed for a career-high 96 yards, helping Auburn hold on at home and avoid another down-to-the-wire finish. Patrick Lee set up the drive with an interception in the end zone for the Tigers (6-3, 4-2 SEC), who were coming off a last-second loss at No. 3 LSU. The Rebels fell to 2-7, 0-6.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“We couldn’t stop them,” Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. “That was a good football team and they played really well.” Several Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0, Big Ten) earlier this week complained they weren’t getting enough respect despite their No. 1 ranking in the polls and Bowl Championship Series standings. Penn State (6-3, 3-3) was only the second ranked team Ohio State has faced. A crowd of 110,134, the second-largest in Beaver Stadium history, was quieted quickly and the Buckeyes went on to their seventh double-digit victory. Ohio State has won 19 straight Big Ten games, tying the mark set by Michigan in 1990-92. ETC.: Penn State safety Tony Davis had his appendix removed Friday. From news services Maybe now No. 1 Ohio State will get the respect it’s looking for. Todd Boeckman threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns and Chris Wells ran for 133 yards, leading the visiting Buckeyes to another easy victory, 37-17, over No. 24 Penn State Saturday night. The Buckeyes’ vaunted defense didn’t play up to its typical stingy standards, but it didn’t need to be at its best with Boeckman on a roll and Ohio State’s massive offensive line dominating.