After recording a decline in the previous financial year, the Guyana and Trinidad Mutual Fire Insurance Company Limited (GTM) in 2017 saw its profit after-tax skyrocketing to a whopping $235 million. This represents an increase of $169 million or 255 per cent from 2016’s $66 million after-tax profit.A section of the shareholders at the AGMSpeaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting on Friday, Chairman Ram L Singh explained this surplus is largely due to the savings recorded for reinsurance premiums and a reduction in claims expense.“Your company continues to enhance its underwriting procedures thus ensuring careful screening of each risk it insures. As a result of our efforts to strength underwriting procedures, your company has not only seen a significant improvement in its claims ratio from 31 per cent at the end of 2016 to 26.5 per cent at the end of 2017, but has also benefited from lower reinsurance payments of $123 million when compared to 2016,” he told shareholders.However, the Chairman posited that the company continues to face many challenges within Guyana and the Eastern Caribbean territories.“Marginal economic growth and fierce competition resulting in the steady decline of rates has impacted on its ability to attract new and retain existing business. These factors, among others, have led to a decline in insurance premiums for the year 2017 by $60 million when compared to 2016. However, after payment of reinsurance, the company’s growth in net premiums was $63 million in 2017 over 2016,” he detailed.Furthermore, Singh related that of the $2.5 billion in gross insurance premiums written, Guyana accounts for $1.6 billion or 65 per cent; followed by Grenada with $445 million; St Lucia with $341 million; and St Vincent with $87 million.He said that despite the challenges face in the Guyanese market, the company still managed to maintain the largest market share for property insurance. However, this did not obtain in the other Caribbean markets where growth, he said, has been difficult as there are many more companies competing in far smaller markets.To this end, Singh assures that GTM is working to ensure its viability despite strong competition.“You company continues to focus on ensuring that the business remains viable and therefore will not adopt the less than prudent strategies including rate-selling used by its competitors to secure more market shares at the expense of long-term viability. Therefore, the Board of Directors working in conjunction with management remain committed to proactively managing expenditures to contain costs while seeking new opportunities to enhance existing products and the development of new packages,” he asserted.The Chairman went on to outline that during 2017, GTM wrote new business amounting to $33 billion, with annualised premiums of $155 million. He added that at the end of the year, the total business in force amounted to $373 billion in sums insured with annualised premium income of $1.8 billion.Singh further revealed the motor insurance premiums last year amounted to $1.014 billion when compared to $1.096 billion in 2016 – a reduction of $82 million or eight per cent.“This decline is largely as a result of lower premium rates, lapses and the conversion of comprehensive to third party policies. Notwithstanding the decline in premium income, the motor portfolio has recorded a significant reduction in claims expenses net of reinsurance recoveries from $551.96 million at the end of 2016 to $396 million at the end of 2017. This has improved our overall net claims to premium ratio from 53 per cent to 41 per cent,” he said.The Chairman outlined that in Guyana, the majority of the claim payments are for damages to the clients’ vehicles and to those of other parties. He added too that GTM has met its claim obligations to clients with claims amounting to some $666 million at the end of last year when compared to $812 million in 2016, a reduction of $147 million or 18 per cent. Singh credited this to the company’s improved underwriting guidelines, particularly as it relates to property insurances.At the end of December 2017, the company’s asset base stood at $7.8 billion, an increase of 16 per cent over the previous year. Additionally, GTM will be making a declaration of a cash profit return of 50 per cent of premiums on profit policies.In his report, Singh noted that while GTM is implementing requirements under the new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act, which some clients are facing challenges to comply with, the company is being face with yet another International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). He explained that IFRS 17 was issued in 2017 and takes effect in 2021. However, he noted that this new standard will have a significant and far-reaching impact on how insurance companies account for their revenues, insurance contract liabilities and profit recognition.Moreover, at Friday’s AGM, a number of staff members were recognised for their contributions and achievements while GTM also distributed bursary awards to 12 students who excelled at this year’s National Grade Six Assessment exams.
1 Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly The agent of Kalidou Koulibaly has urged Napoli to offer his client a new contract amid talk of renewed interest from Norwich and Southampton.The Premier League pair both held talks with the defender in the summer but he eventually elected to stay in Italy.Now, though, Norwich and Southampton are expected to return in January with a fresh approach for the Senegal international.And as a result the 24-year-old’s agent, Bruno Satin, has urged Napoli to offer his client a new contract to keep hold of him.“Koulibaly is still young,” Satin told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.“In the summer there was the possibility of leaving, but the lad chose to stay because he wanted to prove himself at Napoli, which he’s doing.“The future? There could be offers, but the Neapolitans are capable of giving him an important contract to tie the player down.”
An Fhál Charrach SInn Fein meetingSinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty has said his party’s Rural Ireland campaign in the county was a success.“I was delighted to welcome my colleagues Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural Affairs Martin Ferris TD and Galway Senator Trevor O Clochartaigh into Donegal as part of our ongoing Rural Ireland Campaign. The visit was very successful and culminated in a packed Public Meeting in Falcarragh,” said Deputy Doherty.“Our Love Rural Ireland campaign is all about listening to and engaging with communities across all 26 counties. At this year’s Ard Fheis in Castlebar, on the 12th and 13th of April, Sinn Féin will launch a Rural Ireland policy document which will reflect the views and suggestions of the broad spectrum of interest groups and individuals, which make up rural communities. “Today we have travelled to Killybegs, Glenties, Dungloe and Falcarragh and have met with community groups, farmer’s representatives, fishermen, youth workers and businessmen. Trevor and Martin relished the scenery of beautiful west Donegal, which tragically, is an area that is suffering from growing deprivation, high unemployment and high emigration.“Something which came up time and time again was the view that Department officials lacked a common sense approach and understanding when approached by the relevant sector or community group with a reasonable proposal to improve the lot of their communities. Numerous examples were given where red tape and bureaucracy won out over potential job creation and economic stimulus every time. This has to change.“With youth unemployment now at 49% and Donegal being recognised as the most deprived area in the state, the imminent deadline for the registration of septic tanks, growing emigration and the uncertainty around CAP and CFP negotiations, it is clear that there are genuine concerns felt by people on the ground and many of these emerged throughout the day’s events.“Other issues raised at the public meeting were the need for the development of an appropriate policy around the use of our natural resources, so abundant in and off the coast of this county and the strengthening of accountability of Bórd Údaras na Gaeltachta.” Senator Trevor O’Clochartaigh from Conamara said: “This is not a negative campaign. We have a lot to be proud of in rural Ireland with our strong heritage, culture and community spirit. Time and time again, I am struck by the resilience and positivity of people in the face of adversity.“This campaign is about allowing ordinary people, who know their own areas, communities and sectors intimately, to contribute to and shape the decisions which affect their future.” OUR ‘LOVE RURAL IRELAND’ CAMPAIGN WAS DONEGAL SUCCESS, SAYS TD DOHERTY was last modified: January 15th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:OUR ‘LOVE RURAL IRELAND’ CAMPAIGN WAS DONEGAL SUCCESSSAYS TD DOHERTY
DONEGAL defender Eamon McGee answers some quick-fire questions on his team mates ahead of this weekend’s Croke Park clash with Kildare. You will be surprised by some of his answers.But not all of them!Click Play to Watch DDTV: DONEGAL’S EAMON McGEE ON TEAM’S LAZIEST, SLOWEST, FITTEST AND PRETTIEST! was last modified: January 31st, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DDTV: DONEGAL’S EAMON McGEE ON TEAM’S LAZIESTFITTEST AND PRETTIEST!SLOWEST
A leading Garda who helped search for missing Mary Boyle believes she was murdered just hours after disappearing and remains on a lonely hillside outside Ballyshannon.Retired Garda Sergeant Martin Collins spent years trying to solve the mystery disappearance of the little seven year old who vanished in 1977.Martin says his opinion on Mary’s case hasn’t changed since he first became convinced that she was murdered just hours after being last seen. “Mary was dead within an hour of going missing and never left the Cashelard hillside alive.“That was my view very shortly into the investigation and, 36 years later that view has not changed,” said Martin.Martin said the initial investigation was carried out quickly and a lot of people joined the search.But he said there were flaws including allowing a number of members of the public into meetings aimed at finding Mary. Martin revealed how 800 people combed lands in a line around where Mary disappeared and nothing was left uncovered.“During the search we found men’s pipes, discarded cigarettes, the remains of an apple, a couple of ladies neck chains, some boxes of matches but no child. There wasn’t a hope in the world that there was a thing left behind,” he said.Gardai will now search an area they believe could hold a shallow grave in the coning weeks.They have been in touch with Mary’s mother Ann and confirmed they will be digging up a new area of ground on the hillside.“It’s very tough dealing with all this, alone,” admitted Ann whose husband Charlie died in a boating accident in recent years. RETIRED GARDA SAYS MARY WAS KILLED WITHIN AN HOUR OF DISAPPEARING was last modified: April 1st, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BallyshannonMARY BOYLEretired Garda Martin Collins
Drumkeen Parish Sale of WorkA sale of work will take place this Fri 08th Nov in Drumkeen Hall commencing at 8 pm. Loads of bargains to be got on the night, Items include oil, coal, sticks, household goods, toys and even a few sheep, etc. etc. Anyone wishing to donate items please contact the chairman of the parish committee John Haughey on 074 9134272 / 086 2107334 or any committee member. All proceeds in aid of the parish hall. Drumkeen Youth ClubNo youth club this Fri 08th Nov. We will resume on Fri 15th at 7:30 pm. Our new committee for the coming year is Chairperson: John Kelly, Secretary: Arlene Bonner, Treasurer: Patrick Kelly, Joint P.R.O. Aine Gallagher and Ryan Peoples. Foroige training for our new committee will take place on Sat 09th from 10:00-3:00 pm in St. Patrick’s hall Drumkeen.Irish Conversational Classes Classes begin on Tues 05th Nov in St. Patrick’s N.S. from 7-9 pm. and is part funded by Donegal ETB (formerly VEC). The course is now fully booked.Charlie Daly & H-Block Martyrs Sinn Féin Cumann DrumkeenLotto Results 31st Oct 04, 14, 15, 18. No jackpot winner. 2 winners €50 each. Brian Kerrigan, Mountcharles. Ben c/o Paddy Mc Cafferty. Next weeks jackpot €600. Go raibh maith agat.Jiving LessonsJiving lessons continues in St. Patrick’s hall every Mon night at 9 pm, everyone welcome.Parish HallAnyone wishing to book the hall should contact Charlie Quinn on 91/34010 or 087 7728608 Drumkeen NotesAnyone wishing to have material included for next weekPlease Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or text 086 4083625 (Deadline Fri @ 8pm) Please note the new deadline.DD LOCAL – IRISH CONVERSATIONAL CLASSES FOR DRUMKEEN was last modified: November 3rd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Drumkeen notes
WASHINGTON – Lawmakers in the U.S. House overwhelmingly denounced the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday for tossing out a lawsuit by Palmdale parents furious that their children were surveyed at school about sex. In a 320-91 vote, legislators passed a resolution demanding the court rehear the case and charging that it “declared parenting unconstitutional” when it rejected last month the Mesquite Elementary School parents’ claim that they have the exclusive right to tell their children about sex. The measure carries no enforcement or legal weight but is the latest in a string of congressional attacks on the 9th Circuit Court as the House nears a vote on a budget bill that may include a provision that would split the court. The Senate is expected to oppose that move. “The 9th Circuit Court decided to overstep the boundaries of what a court should be doing,” said Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., who sponsored the Palmdale resolution. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “When it comes to what schools are asking very young children about sex, the 9th Circuit decided parents not only don’t have the right to say no, they don’t even have the right to know what is being asked,” Murphy said. “The court should rehear the case and reverse the decision.” The case stems from a 2002 survey administered to 13 third- and fifth-graders by a mental health therapist working on her doctoral degree. When parents complained, Palmdale School District officials halted the survey after they learned what questions it contained. Parents signed permission forms for the survey, but the forms made no mention of sexually oriented questions. Among its questions, the survey asked youngsters to rate how often they “can’t stop thinking about sex” and “not trusting people because they might want sex.” A group of parents sued, alleging their right to control their children’s upbringing had been violated. But a three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled that “there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to children.” Rep. Howard “Buck,” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, who co-sponsored the resolution, said in a statement the case is “another example of the courts acting out of the mainstream.” “It should primarily be the parents’ right and responsibility to discuss matters of this nature with their children,” he said, noting that he has six children and 27 grandchildren. “At the very least, parents should be able to know what their children are being exposed to at school, and be given the opportunity to opt out of any discussions or surveys relating to sexual education,” he said. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., noted that the 9th Circuit Court sided with the school board, and said Republicans who bemoan “judicial activism” are intellectually dishonest. “What the majority says is, when we don’t like a decision we’ll criticize the courts. That’s fine. But why disguise what you’re saying?” Frank said. “Stop pretending you’re upset about activism when what you’re really upset about is judicial passivity.” Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, also defended the 9th Circuit and said there are other avenues for fighting a school district. “We can’t solve all of society’s problems by virtue of constitutional law,” he said. The resolution drew support from 94 Democrats, including Rep. Joe Baca, D-San Bernardino, and Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena. The entire Southern California Republican delegation supported it, while all other Democrats in the region opposed it. Lisa Friedman, (202) 662-8731 email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
EDMONTON, Alberta — Whenever Joe Thornton is asked about the latest-hockey legend that he’s passed in the NHL record books, he blushes and expresses humility.It’s a scene that played out when he eclipsed Mario Lemieux in November, Gordie Howe in February and Stan Mikita in March. While every name on the ladder provides its own dose of modesty, Thornton couldn’t deny that moving into a tie with Steve Yzerman for eighth place on the NHL’s all-time assists list (1,063) on Tuesday was uniquely …
The newly discovered species of toadbelonging to the genus Nectophrynoides(Image: Penelope Whitehorn, Frontier) The tranquil South Nguru mountains, oneof Africa’s biological treasure troves.(Image: Eastern Arc)Janine ErasmusOver a dozen previously unknown new reptile and amphibian species have been discovered in the rainforests of eastern Tanzania, a region known for its rich biodiversity. This is according to a report recently published in the Italian scientific journal Acta Herpetologica, titled “The Nguru Mountains of Tanzania, an outstanding hotspot of herpetofaunal diversity”.The authors are herpetologist Michele Menegon of the Tridentine Museum of Natural Science in Trento, Italy; conservationist Nike Doggart, an advisor to the Tanzania Forestry Conservation Group; and biologist Nisha Owen of the Frontier Tanzania Forest Research Programme in Dar es Salaam.The scientists carried out their explorations between 2004 and 2006 in the forests of the South Nguru Mountains, part of the Eastern Arc mountains of Kenya and Tanzania. This area is the origin of one of the world’s most popular indoor flowering plants, the African violet (Saintpaulia spp.)Tanzania enjoys a reputation as one of Africa’s most biodiverse countries, yet some of its regions are so remote that in biological terms they are poorly known. The South Nguru region, explained the authors in their report, was virtually unexplored – especially from a herpetological point of view (herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians).A biological hotspotThe study was conducted in order to compile a comprehensive list of the amphibian and reptile species in the area. In total 92 species of herpetofauna (41 reptile and 51 amphibian species) were documented.Of these, the 16 new species – which include chameleons, tree frogs, caecilians (worm-like animals) and snakes – are believed to be endemic to the Nguru Mountains. The little cold-blooded creatures are now the toast of the international herpetological community.One of the new arrivals, a forest toad belonging to the genus Nectophrynoides, is said to be the largest species found in that genus. The toad, which appears in a range of colours including yellow and green, black and orange, and red, has yet to be given a scientific name.Other discoveries include a new species of tree frog with red eyes, which was added to the genus Leptopelis, and a burrowing toad with a distinctive long snout belonging to the genus Probreviceps.The study was made possible through international collaboration between Frontier, a UK-based NGO dedicated to safeguarding biodiversity, the University of Dar es Salaam, Italy’s Tridentine Museum of Natural Science, and the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group.Other interesting zoological developments in Tanzania include the discovery in 2005 of an entire new genus of monkey, and the new species of giant elephant shrew that caused a sensation in January 2008. The Kipunji monkey, listed as critically endangered with barely 1 117 individuals remaining, is under serious threat from both poaching and the degradation of its habitat.Africa’s shrinking forestsAfrica’s forests, especially lowland forests, are shrinking because of human development. Although the South Nguru region has now been established as a biological treasure trove, it also is home to 56 villages, many of which depend on agriculture as a source of food and income.Crops include sugar and rice, bananas, yams, sweet potatoes, maize, coffee and cardamom. As a result, cultivated land is encroaching ever further into formerly pristine forest areas.“It’s really important that these forests are protected from further agricultural degradation,” said Owen, “as the montane forests of Tanzania hold some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world.”Menegon and Doggart warn that the Nguru ecosystem is already under threat from fire, logging, gathering of wood for fuel, and clearing for agriculture. But organisations such as Frontier and the Tanzania Forestry Conservation Group are taking swift action to halt forest degradation.Working with local communities and stakeholders, they have proposed a series of strategies which include reducing local dependence on unsustainable agricultural practices, such as the current method of growing cardamom. The situation is delicate as cardamom is a popular cooking spice and an important cash crop for highland farmers.“The programme represents an opportunity to reverse the current trend of forest loss and degradation,” the scientists wrote. “To succeed, it will need sustained commitment from the government of Tanzania, civil society organisations, the local communities and development partners.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus on firstname.lastname@example.org.Useful linksSouthern African HerpetologyActa Herpetologica“The Nguru Mountains of Tanzania, an outstanding hotspot of herpetofaunal diversity”.Museo Tridentino di Scienze NaturaliReptile databaseFrontierTanzania Forestry Conservation GroupEastern Arc mountains
Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in a pre-dawn operation by security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Sunday.“On a credible input, a cordon and search operation was launched at Shopian’s Hend-Sitapur area. The hiding militants fired and, in the ensuing encounter, both of them were killed. Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, was recovered from the site of the encounter,” said a police spokesperson. The police identified the slain militants as Javid Ahmad Bhat from Kulgam’s Redwani and Adil Bashir Wani from Kulgam’s Waripora.“These LeT militants were wanted for carrying out attacks on security establishments. Bhat had a long history of militancy-related crime, including planning and executing terror attacks. He was also responsible for recruiting youth from adjoining areas of Kulgam,” said the police.Bashir, police sources said, was a fresh recruit and had gone missing recently. Bhat took to arms in 2017. Hundreds of locals attended the funeral of the slain militants. As multiple rounds of funerals were held, locals said militants also attended one of the funerals.Protests over rape Mainstream political parties and separatist groups on Sunday condemned the alleged rape of a minor girl in Bandipora and demanded exemplary punishment for the perpetrators. Protests broke out on Sunday at a few places against the incident, with people demanding immediate exemplary action. At Khomeini Chowk, protesters clashed with police who had to fire tear gas darts to quell them.