He furtherargued that the Ombudsman failed to prove that he favored the press club overany other beneficiary since it was Legarda who selected the project for herPDAF. The P500 thousand was for theconstruction of the IPC building in Barangay San Pedro, Molo district. “I have always believed that in theend the truth will set us free. God is good,” according to Treñas who revealedthat this dismissed graft case was his first in his long years in publicservice. “I thank the Almighty for my acquittalin the Iloilo Press Club case,” stated Treñas. According to the Office of the Ombudsman,Treñas should have not authorized the release of the fund as the press club wasnot an accredited non-government organization of the city government. But the mayorargued that there being no Notice of Disallowance from the Commission on Audit,there was no basis to say that the issuance of financial assistance to the IPCfrom Legarda’s PDAF was a transaction that could be described as illegal,irregular, unnecessary, and extravagant. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN Treña, who was in Manila yesterday,announced his acquittal through text messages sent to city hall reporters. ILOILO City – The Sandiganbayandismissed the graft complaint filed against Mayor Jerry Treñas for the allegedmisuse of the P500 thousand Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of thensenator Loren Legarda. Treñaswas charged with giving “unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference” to theclub. The PDAF of Legarda (now Antiquecongresswoman) was intended for the Iloilo Press Club (IPC) in 2003 and coursedthrough the city government of Iloilo. Treñas addedthat Legarda had the sole discretion on how her PDAF would be used./PN
Towards the end of May, Challengermode announced a network of esports leagues in Europe titled National Esports Leagues.Aimed at the grassroots level of competition – initially in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and League of Legends – this is a big step forward from the online competitions the company has been offering since 2014.To delve further into the thought behind National Esports Leagues, also referred to as NEL, we spoke to Philip Skogsberg, Co-Founder and CMO of Challengermode about the announcement.Esports Insider: What made you shift focus from online tournaments to regional leagues?Philip Skogsberg, ChallengermodePhilip Skogsberg: This is not so much a shift in focus as an evolution of our mission, and a continuation of our strategy – structuring the non-professional esports ecosystem and making it more accessible to regular gamers. We will still be doing online tournaments (in fact, we are announcing some new community tournaments soon), Challengermode is online and digital-first. With the automated competitive gaming platform we’ve built, it just opens up so many opportunities to do things that haven’t been done before, or at least not at the scale that we envision.ESI: What went into your decision to kick off NEL in Scandinavia and the Baltics?Philip: We considered a few aspects, such as where we currently have the biggest presence, strong partners as well as where we think national leagues can make a bigger impact locally. Scandinavia and the Baltics are also in our geographical backyard, so to speak.“The NEL project is not restricted to the EU, and the idea is to make it global eventually”ESI: When do you expect to run leagues in other European esports hotspots such as the United Kingdom? Will the nation even make it into your program due to Brexit?Philip: We’re launching first in the Nordics but plan on rolling out in other countries including the UK by end of 2018 or early 2019. The NEL project is not restricted to the EU, and the idea is to make it global eventually.ESI: Are there any plans to offer games beyond CS:GO, League of Legends, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds? These three titles are the games currently available on Challengermode itself, so we can see why you picked those for the launch of the NEL.Philip: Yes, absolutely. All the games we will offer on Challengermode in the future will be included in the NEL.ESI: Has Riot Games outwardly shown any support towards the NEL at all? It’s well known that they’ve been taking more control over tournaments in recent years.Philip: Challengermode has spent several years building a relationship with Riot, including working with them alongside our partners DreamHack to support the Nordic Championship [now part of the Riot ERLs]. The NEL is designed to act as a grassroots development bed and stepping stone for structured tournament play within the European region. Up-and-coming talent or even fairly new players can learn how to play in a professionally run and structured environment, paving the way to higher tier league play, including the ERLs and of course the Riot LCS.We have discussed this with members of the European team from Riot Games and they understand that the NEL is not designed to be a competitor to their franchised EU LCS but rather a training ground for fresh talent, as well as an opportunity for players to emulate their heroes and get the ‘Pro Player Experience’ offered by Challengermode.“The pro-level will have a steady supply of contenders that will fuel the ecosystem”ESI: Did you have any specific esports tournaments in mind when you decided on the format of these leagues? I know it was stated traditional sports was part of the model you followed.Philip: We had several goals in mind when designing the structure, primarily we wanted to make it possible for teams of any level of skill to find their place within the competitive scene of their favourite game. Today, if you ask most regular gamers, they have no idea how an online tournament works, or how one would go about competing to become a pro. Compared to regular sports that have established organizations, leagues, local teams and all the rest, esports is far behind. Moreover, the Leagues will be the answer to the question: “How good am I, really?”. It will set the standard for national and regional esports competition.By using a division system and a seasonal structure, a team doesn’t have to win every season to make it worth their while to continue playing. And playing in such a permanent, well-funded and long-term competition, teams and players will be readily able to invest their time and effort into the games they enjoy the most as they know that their efforts will be rewarded. As a result, the pro-level will have a steady supply of contenders that will fuel the ecosystem – from the bottom-up and then back down.ESI: Can you reveal any of the partners that you will be teaming up with to deliver the regional competitions?Philip: DreamHack is the one I can reveal now. We are already in discussions with tournament organizers in several other European countries or regions and have even received interest from countries in South America already.Sign up to our newsletter!
Assuria Insurance Company has opened its latest branch in the bordering town of Corriverton, Berbice, making it the company’s seventh branch since opening up business in Guyana seven years ago.Assuria Insurance Company’s new branch at Corriverton, BerbiceThe company now has branches in Vreed-en-Hoop, Rose Hall Town, Giftland Mall Turkeyen, Parika, Diamond, Linden and Corriverton to go with its head office in the capital city.In April last, the company was given the license to start selling Marine and Aviation policies which are now being offered at all eight locations.General Manager Yogindra Arjune told Guyana Times that Corriverton was the next option for expansion.“We already have a clientele in the Corriverton area so we thought it would be fitting to be as close as possible to provide services we have available to our customers. We have a branch in Rose Hall and that has been servicing our clients in Corriverton but we need to be here [Corriverton] to give the service and to make sure that our customers are comfortable. We also need to grow our clientele in Corriverton.”Previously, the Rose Hall Town branch serviced New Amsterdam and Corriverton.“Rose Hall Town is in the middle of the three towns, that is why we went to the Rose Hall Town first so the next thing we will be looking at will be New Amsterdam. Those areas are where most of the banks and insurance companies are and so we would also like to be there,” the General Manager said.While refusing to mention the investment the company made in opening the Corriverton branch, he said the company prides itself on ensuring that its clients have a unique area and are comfortable while doing business with the company.“Insurance is already a difficult thing to sell and we want to make sure that persons doing so have a comfortable area. Our office has different colours. We think colours bring out the best in people. It does cost a lot more than just opening an ordinary office but we believe our clients deserve the best. When you come, you must be impressed with not just our products but also the surroundings.”In January 2016, Assuria General (GY) Inc was awarded the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System certification from Kiwa Nederland BV. As a result, Assuria has achieved the notable distinction of becoming the first and still the only financial institution in Guyana to be accredited with the ISO 9001:2008 certification which was updated to ISO 9001:2015 in 2018.The Corriverton branch will be managed by Shama Latchman who has 30 years’ experience in the industry. She said it is expected that the branch will make a major impact on the community of Corriverton.The new Manager noted that Motor, Fire and Marine insurance has already done the company well in Corriverton. “I think in the very near future Assuria is going to be the number one insurance company in Corriverton.”
Related posts:Puerto Viejo to host third annual chocolate festival ‘Stop eating Nutella’ urges French environment minister 4 convicted, 3 acquitted in Jairo Mora murder trial PHOTOS: Happy Earth Day, Costa Rica Fifty years ago, cacao plantations dominated the Costa Rican lowlands. By 1984, chocolate trees still grew on more than 19,000 hectares of Costa Rican land, but around that same time the deadly monilia fungus arrived, killing off 80 percent of the country’s cacao plants. Most of the trees were uprooted and replaced with more profitable pineapple and palm oil farms. However, Costa Rican cacao production is on the rise again, and this weekend San José chocolate fans will get the chance to celebrate.On Saturday and Sunday, the Antigua Aduana in San José will host its first Feria de Chocolate. The event will feature talks from chocolate makers, cacao farmers and government agencies, as well as opportunities for tasting and purchasing chocolate. Publicity company PubliCatch is hosting the event, which will feature between 65 and 70 chocolate makers. The majority of the participants use Costa Rican cacao, although some, like the National Chocolate Company, buy foreign crops.While Puerto Viejo hosts an annual chocolate festival, this will be the first national chocolate fair held in the capital.“When we started [our company] eight years ago this was a new trend,” said George Soriano of Sibú Chocolate, one of the event’s sponsors. “Sometimes trends fizzle out, but in this case it continues to grow and it is part of a larger craft food movement in Costa Rica.” (Disclosure: Soriano is a former Tico Times staffer.)From craft beer to coffee and even special Costa Rican snow cones, artisanal foods are having a moment in Costa Rica. Chocolate is no exception, with specialty chocolate makers cropping up across the country. According to Soriano, chocolate-making equipment is more accessible now, as is high-quality Costa Rican cacao.“[Cacao] is more profitable than before,” said Oscar Brenes, the manager of the National Cacao Program within the Agriculture Ministry (MAG). “It would be difficult to return to the levels we had before, but there is definitely more interest in cacao than there has been.”For an in-depth look at Costa Rica’s burgeoning chocolate industry see: Costa Rica’s chocolate comebackAccording to Brenes, the sudden cacao boom can be attributed to a growing global market as well as better crop genetics. Following the monilia plague, Costa Rica’s Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) began developing disease-resistant strains of cacao. After 26 years of development, CATIE was able to develop six strains of cacao capable of warding off monilia. CATIE makes these clones available to small farms for free. Each of CATIE’s clones yields the type of high-quality cacao sought after by fine chocolate makers, a growing market both locally and globally.Aside from its growing profitability, cacao is also significantly gentler on the environment than other crops that thrive in the same conditions. Unlike pineapple, bananas or palms, cacao is generally grown on agroforestry farms, which maintain forest cover. Cacao farms also tend to use fewer agro-chemicals, though most Costa Rican production is not completely organic.Due to both the economic and environmental advantages of cacao, as well as its traditional importance in Costa Rica, MAG is making a push to expand national production. Last year, an executive decree declared cacao production as a matter of national interest, and July 4 will be the country’s first National Cacao Day. Next month, Brenes said MAG will also launch the Sectorial Cacao Promotion Program, which will work to create more cacao farms and improve the national crop’s quality.“If all of us as an industry show that we are dedicated, we will all help put Costa Rica on the chocolate map,” Soriano said.Going there: Tickets for the Feria de Chocolate can be purchased for ₡2,000 (about $4) at the Antigua Aduana on the days of the event or in advance from Britt stores, Sibú Chocolate, Chocolarte, Chocolate Nahua or Chocolates Theo. Facebook Comments