Comment How Arsenal legend Robert Pires kept his team-mates ‘waiting’ on a daily basis Advertisement Advertisement Pires used to keep his Villa team-mates waiting (Picture: Getty)Robert Pires’ Aston Villa team-mates were forced to wait for up to an hour-and-a-half at a time while the Arsenal legend finished his lunch, according to Leicester City winger Marc Albrighton.Pires, who joined Villa from Villarreal in the backend of his career, was playing under compatriot Gerard Houllier during the French manager’s only season in charge. Houllier, the former Liverpool boss, had brought in a rule for the squad that they were unable to leave mealtimes until every player had finished their food – and Pires’ slow eating habits left the players sat twiddling their thumbs, waiting for him to finish.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘On the pitch even though by the time he came to us he was quite slow and wasn’t really the most mobile, some of the stuff he did in training was incredible,’ Albrighton, who was at Villa at the time, told Birmingham Live.ADVERTISEMENT‘He just had the respect of the whole dressing room straight away and absolutely deserved it as well. Not only to be such a good player but after everything he had achieved in his career – World Cup winner, Invincibles team – to still be such a nice person everybody just respected that.‘He was a brilliant guy, such a cool, calm character. I remember one of the rules Gerard Houllier brought in was that we all had to sit at the dinner table until everybody’s finished. Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 2 Jun 2020 9:28 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.8kShares Pires was a slow eater (Picture: Getty)‘No phones, nothing. You had to sit there until the last person’s finished. You can’t get up off your chair or go to your room or go wherever.‘I remember Robert Pires came in and obviously the English lads have got their plates of food in front of them and straight away it’s gone, within seconds.‘That’s just what we were used to. A lot of the lads had a hairdresser or whatever at the hotel.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘So the hairdresser’s upstairs knowing he’ll have a queue because he’s got six or seven haircuts to rattle off.‘I remember Robert Pires came and he was just so elegant in everything he did.‘He just took his time eating and he knew no different to that. That was just the way he was. We could be sat down there for an hour and a half just waiting. That was just him, he made no apology that was how he knew it, he didn’t see anything wrong with that.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Environment, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Following a year with unprecedented rain events and catastrophic flooding, Governor Tom Wolf has announced more than $3 million in grants for projects to help reduce and control stormwater for Pennsylvania communities.“The storms of 2018 showed the devastation that rushing floodwaters can cause for communities,” said Governor Wolf. “In addition to rebuilding what was lost, it is also important to prepare for the future and these projects will help protect communities, and in many cases, reduce water pollution as well.”Grants were awarded for nine projects, funded through the Growing Greener program. Many of the projects involve streambank restoration to repair and restore fish habitat and prevent future erosion. Other projects are for floodplain restoration, which allows stormwater to spread out and slow down, so it can be absorbed into the groundwater, rather than rushing over streambanks.“Growing Greener projects have been instrumental in cleaning up abandoned mine lands, preserving farmland, and protecting and restoring watersheds throughout the commonwealth,” said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell, whose department oversees the grants. “These grants are an investment into improving waterways now and protecting against future flooding for these communities.”Approved projects include:Cambria County: Chest Creek Flood Control Restoration$21,260 to stabilize 300 linear feet of streambank on Chest Creek in Patton Borough.Nanty-Glo Flood Control Restoration:$19,940 to install numerous features in the South Branch of Blacklick Creek to improve flood protection and fish habitat in Nanty-Glo Borough.Dauphin County: Spring Creek Restoration and Best Management Practice Implementation$120,000 to design and permit streambank and floodplain restoration at two sites along Spring Creek in Swatara Township.Conewago Creek Stream Restoration: $738,752 to restore 3,000 linear feet of floodplain along Conewago Creek and tributary in Dauphin and Lancaster Counties.Lancaster County: Chiques Creek Pollutant Reduction Project$99,000 to design and permit 3,040 linear feet of floodplain restoration and establish 8 acres of riparian buffer along Chiques Creek in Manheim Borough.Montgomery County: Hatboro Memorial Park Streambank Restoration$212,101 to restore and stabilize a 900-foot section of a tributary stream in the Hatboro Memorial Park in Hatboro Borough.Schuylkill County: Mill Creek Flood Plain restoration$325,000 to restore floodplain and reduce flood impacts along Mill Creek in the Borough of Port Carbon.Washington County: Washington Catfish Creek Upper Watershed restoration Project$145,000 to reduce sediment runoff and control stormwater, as well as stabilize 1,580 feet of Catfish Creek to prevent flooding in the city of Washington.York County: Fox Run Floodplain Restoration$1,493,742 to restore 4,062 linear feet of floodplain along Fox Run, which runs through several York County municipalities. January 10, 2019 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Announces Grant Awards to Protect Pennsylvania Communities from Flooding
4 Warry Street, Gailes, Qld 4300THERE are not many suburbs in Brisbane where the median price for units outstrips that of houses, but this part of the greater capital city region has prices so good, they’re positively in a timewarp.The suburb of Gailes, about half an hour from the Brisbane CBD, has been producing house sales that are still in the $200,000s – a rare feat that’s now considered impossible closer to the city. More from newsDigital inspection tool proves a property boon for REA website3 Apr 2020The Camira homestead where kids roamed free28 May 20194 Warry Street, Gailes, Qld 4300 There is a long term tenant in place.This home at 4 Warry Street, Gailes, has just been listed as having sold for $231,000, according to data on realestate.com.au – with the price $46,000 more than the owner paid a decade ago.The three bedroom, single bathroom, double car space home is on a 559sq m block. The home was built in 1965.To put it in perspective, the last time Brisbane’s median house price was in the vicinity of the $200,000s was at the turn of century – when it was $249,000. Room to play with.That Brisbane median 17 years ago is what the Gailes median house price is right now, according to property research firm CoreLogic. It currently has the median unit price in the suburb sitting at $330,000 – a figure that’s almost $80,000 more than the median for houses there. A neat functional kitchen.
The apartment featured house-like proportions and luxurious finishes.The living area features an open-plan design that incorporates the kitchen, dining room and the lounge while white marble tiles flow throughout the living areas.There are three balconies to take full advantage of its beachfront location. Agent Evelyne Castaldi said apartments in Reef Royale were tightly held and always in high demand when they hit the market.“It is a quality building in a spectacular and yet quiet location on the beachfront,’’ she said. 6/20 Marine Pde, Miami. 6/20 Marine Pde, Miami.A RENOVATED Miami apartment set to go under the hammer this month is attracting strong buyer interest.Long-time Miami residents Ralph and Ann Cottrill are selling the three-bedroom residence in the Reed Royale. 6/20 Marine Pde, Miami. 6/20 Marine Pde, Miami. 6/20 Marine Pde, Miami. ON THE MARKET The pair bought the apartment in the six-storey tower 21 years ago, shortly after the building had been completed.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa13 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“We wanted to be close to the beach and we were also wanting to be in a building with no holiday rentals,’’ said Mr Cottrill. “Reef Royale only has nine apartments and they were all owner-occupiers, so it was perfect for us.”Now retired, Mr Cottrill said the couple had enjoyed living on the beachfront because there was no through-traffic and they could wander to the Miami Surf Life Club and Piccolo café, which were both less than 200m away. Address: 6/20 Marine Pde, Miami Agent: Evelyne Castaldi and Jeff Burchell, Professionals John Henderson Real Estate Auction: January 22, Mermaid Beach Bowls Club, 6pm Inspections: By appointment
U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp yesterday announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has given green light to the Valley City, ND, to keep and maintain its floodwall. The decision from FEMA is a result of a fix Heitkamp wrote and successfully included in the funding bill Congress passed last month that allowed Valley City to keep in place the existing floodwall.Heitkamp’s provision followed a meeting she held on March 10 with the Valley City mayor, commissioners, and other local officials involved in flood protection efforts during which she updated them about her efforts to try to include her provision in the funding bill.The flood fights in Valley City during the 2009 and 2011 floods – the first and second worst floods in the city’s history – cost $19 million, of which $16 million was state and federal funds and $3 million was local funds.Following those floods, the city has been working to put in place permanent flood protection to keep the city and residents protected and reduce costs.This first phase of the project where a combination of a floodwall and levee were constructed to protect the university area, which includes 79 homes and seven businesses with a combined value of $49 million, is where the FEMA deed restricted lot in question is located.According to the official statement, this part of the city’s comprehensive flood protection effort was completed in 2016 and the city took great care to avoid three other FEMA deed restricted lots in developing and constructing the project.[mappress mapid=”25081″]
by Kurt WheelerThe Cazenovia girls indoor track team completed its 2019-20 campaign last Tuesday with seven girls competing at the New York State Championship Qualifier Meet at SRC Arena.And while none of the girls advanced to next weekend’s state championship meet on Staten Island, the Lakers represented the school well in the elite competition. Chloe Smith led the way for the team, competing in three events. She finished tenth among all runners in Section 3 in the 55 meter dash with a time of 7.68 seconds, just off her season best of 7.61.Unlike other sports, there are no classes for indoor track when advancing to the State Championship Meet. Athletes from schools of all sizes must vie to finish in the top two in individual events or number one as a relay to advance to the NYSPHSAA finals.Smith also competed individually in the long jump, reaching 15 feet, 8 inches, off her season best of 16’10”. Smith rounded out her triple performance by running the fastest leg on the Lakers’ 4×200 meter relay team with a 27.7 second effort. Grace Dolan, Riley Knapp and Savannah Johnson also competed on the relay with Molly Dolan and Madison Jones as alternates. The girls finished in eighth place in the section in a time of 1:54.05, three seconds off their season-best time of 1:51.31.Claire Edwards was also an individual competitor for Cazenovia, finishing 16th in the shot put with a throw of 28′ 1/2″. While short of her best throw of the winter, Edwards still had an outstanding season, earning all-league honors and improving more than two feet in the shot from last year to a personal best of 30’10”.The meet concluded another strong campaign for the Lakers as its finished first among Class B/C/D competitors in six of seven regular-season meets. They also earned second place at the OHSL Championship Meet and finished third at the Section 3, Class B2 Championship.The Lakers earned numerous individual honors as well, including a total of 13 all-league selections. Molly Hart (3,000 meters and Grace Dolan (600 meters) each earned first team honors along with the 4x400M relay of Molly Dolan, Melanie Michael, Ainsly Schug and Peyton Basic.Michael (55 hurdles), Edwards (shot put) and Lili Gavitt (high jump) all earned second team honors along with the 4×200 relay of Smith, Knapp, Johnson and Grace Dolan. Smith was also an individual sectional champion for the team in the long jump.The girls were equally successful in the classroom over the winter, earning NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team status. In total, 32 of the 43 girls on the squad achieved a GPA of 90 or higher during the season.The team honored all of its Seniors at its end-of-season banquet, including Madison Jones, Molly Dolan and Captains Peyton Basic and Ava Hartley.Three of the Seniors earned school awards as Edwards was named “Most Improved,” Johnson received the “Impact Athlete” Award and Smith was recognized with the “Most Valuable Athlete/Career Contribution Award.”Despite losing this exceptional cohort of seniors, the future is bright for the program with 36 girls returning next year.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Tags: Cazenoviagirls indoor track
In a 2016 ACC tournament championship rematch, No. 6 Syracuse (6-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) beat No. 11 Duke (7-3, 0-1) in overtime, 12-11, inside the Carrier Dome. It marked a program-record sixth consecutive one-goal game for the Orange. Syracuse’s senior faceoff specialist Ben Williams had a career-worst day, but SU grinded out its fourth consecutive victory in its sixth straight one-goal game. Freshman Jamie Trimboli wound up and drilled the game-winner 40 seconds into the overtime period.Here are three quick reactions to the game.More late game heroicsSyracuse has won four straight and five of its last six, either by holding onto a late rally or going ahead with a last second goal. Saturday, SU blew a two-goal third-quarter lead but, for the fourth time this season, scored a game-winning goal in the final seconds or overtime. Junior midfielder Brendan Bomberry picked up a ground ball off the faceoff and a few passes later Trimboli scored the winner in his first-ever start.Career-worst at the XAdvertisementThis is placeholder textMost surprising from SU’s first half was Ben Williams’ performance at the X. The senior All-American won just 1-of-7 faceoffs in the opening quarter and 1-of-6 in the next frame. Overall, he had the worst game of his career, giving Duke’s ninth-ranked offense time to play keep-away as the Blue Devils patiently worked to feed Justin Guterding and Jack Bruckner the ball.Guterding scored his first goal of the game shortly after a won faceoff. A minute later, Guterding ran behind the cage and fed Bruckner to give Duke its first lead of the game.The ensuing faceoff resulted in a violation on Williams, giving the Blue Devils another long possession. Brad Smith, after nearly two minutes of Duke ball movement, scored the Blue Devils’ third unanswered goal and his 11th of the season by five-holing SU goalie Evan Molloy. It prompted SU head coach John Desko to call timeout.To start the third quarter, Williams won the faceoff and Sergio Salcido wound up from 15 yards out to bounce in his eighth goal of the season and even the score at six. But that was one of few bright spots in his day. After he lost the first faceoff of the fourth, resulting in a Bruckner score eight seconds later, freshman Dan Varello took over at the X.Possess the rockAt the half, Duke had seven turnovers to SU’s mere two and only four clears to SU’s eight. That’s because the Blue Devils dominated possessions. Throughout the game, even in man-ups, Duke deliberately worked the ball around the outside with no signs of urgency. Even as SU defenders batted at their stick.The tide seemed to change, albeit slightly, after Williams opened the second half with a faceoff win. In the third quarter, SU outscored Duke 3-0 because it had the ball slightly more. Syracuse’s performance at the X didn’t improve, but Duke committed turnovers on each of its last five possessions to end the third. Syracuse took full advantage and capitalized when it did have the ball. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 25, 2017 at 3:58 pm Contact Matthew: email@example.com | @MatthewGut21
The path to the 2014 Big Ten Championship game just got a whole lot easier for the Wisconsin football team thanks to Melvin Gordon.Not only did Gordon propel the No. 20 Badgers to a victory over No. 16 Nebraska and put them in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten West, he set the NCAA single-game rushing record in the process, going off for 408 rushing yards on 25 carries and four touchdowns as Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) defeated the Cornhuskers (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten) 59-24 Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.“It’s a special feeling,” Gordon said. “There’s so many days waking up early, just hard work and sweat and to see it pay off with me and my teammates, going out here and having the success, like I said it’s a great feeling. Words really can’t explain how I feel or how my teammates feel.”The final touchdown and rush of the game for Gordon came at the end of the third quarter from 26 yards out that gave him 408 rushing yards on the day. Gordon’s 408 rushing yards broke TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson’s single-game record of 406 yards that was set back in 1999 against Texas-El Paso.“Every game you want to play great and get your team on board,” Gordon said. “So you never know when a special day comes, but when it does, it’s a great feeling.”Gordon was able to gash the otherwise stout Nebraska defense for four runs of 40-plus yards Saturday. Wisconsin now leads the country in runs of 40-plus yards with 20. Andersen and Gordon both gave credit to the Wisconsin offensive line that paved the way for Gordon’s historic performance.“There were some big holes there,” Andersen said. “Some great opportunities for [Gordon] to get to the next level and when he gets to the next level it’s almost impossible for one person to bring him down and we’ve seen that for his whole career at Wisconsin.”“It showed Melvin Gordon had 408 yards but it should have everyone up there,” Gordon said. “All the offensive line, because they really made it easy for me today. They allowed me to have a lot of one-on-one matchups and it’s kind of been like that all season. Those guys have really been looking out for me and I couldn’t thank them more.”Despite the blowout and Gordon’s record-breaking performance, the game started off in Nebraska’s favor as the Cornhuskers took a 17-3 lead over UW after a Tommy Armstrong Jr. 5-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. The Badgers fumbled twice in the opening frame including one from Gordon that set up the Armstrong touchdown run.But after that the game went all Wisconsin’s way as the Badgers would go on to score 56 unanswered points thanks in large part to Gordon’s efforts on the ground.After the Armstrong touchdown run, Gordon bounced off a 62-yard touchdown run on the Badgers’ next possession to pull UW within seven at 17-10. But on Wisconsin’s very next possession, Gordon fumbled for the second time in the game giving Nebraska the ball back at the Wisconsin 43-yard line.“After the second fumble I was kind of just out of it,” Gordon said. “No running back likes to fumble. It’s probably one of the worst things you can do.”However the nation’s top defense would step up and give the ball right back to the UW offense after Warren Herring jarred the ball loose from Nebraska’s Terrell Newby and Wisconsin’s Joe Schobert jumped on it.Two plays later, Corey Clement found the end zone from 17-yards set – set up by a Gordon 39-yard run – and the Badgers were tied with the Cornhuskers at 17 with 7:21 left in the second quarter.Wisconsin finally pulled in front of Nebraska on the following drive when quarterback Joel Stave found tight end Sam Arneson for a five-yard touchdown pass and UW would enter the half with a 24-17 lead. Gordon finished the first half with 238 yards on only 16 carries to average 14.9 yards per rush, including a school-record 189 yards in the second quarter.After halftime the Badgers came out and dominated Nebraska in the third quarter, forcing turnovers on the Cornhuskers’ first two possessions. While they didn’t score on their first possession of the third quarter, the Wisconsin offense scored a touchdown on three of their next four drives which included a rushing score from quarterback Tanner McEvoy and two touchdowns from Gordon.While they were down in a 17-3 hole early, Andersen did not think there was a turning point in the game for the Badgers that sparked their turnaround. It was simply a matter of sticking to the game plan.“There wasn’t a flipping point for the offense or the defense,” Andersen said. “They stayed well grounded. They fought through it and it was an amazing day to watch as a whole football team.”And of course Gordon certainly helped with the turnaround as well.“[Having Gordon] is a luxury that I’ve never had as a coach, I can promise you that much,” Andersen said. “To see a performance like that was amazing.”The Wisconsin defense clamped down after allowing the 17 early points. At the end of the game, Nebraska only managed 180 yards of total offense while running back Ameer Abdullah had 18 carries for only 69 yards. Armstrong completed only six of his 18 pass attempts for a mere 62 yards. He was also sacked four times while Nebraska turned the ball over five times.It was a defensive performance that came in the national spotlight and one that inside linebacker Marcus Trotter hopes brings well deserved attention to the nation’s top defense. Trotter led UW in tackles Saturday with 12 and had one of the Badgers four sacks.“I think that hopefully after this game we start to get more respect nationally for our defense,” Trotter said. “I think we may be the only defense, number one total defense that never really got respect, ever. So I’m just happy everything worked out.”Trotter’s fellow inside linebacker Derek Landisch was the second of three Badgers to break double-digit tackles Saturday, joining Trotter and Joe Schobert who had 11 tackles. Landisch finished the game with 10 tackles and credits going up against great running backs such as Gordon and Clement every day in practice as a reason why they were able to shut down Abdullah, Armstrong and the rest of the Nebraska offense.“The offensive line played great, the entire offense played great,” Landisch said. “Going up against a freak like Melvin in practice every single day and even Corey. Corey I would say is harder to tackle than Melvin and so going up against those two guys really prepares you.”But arguably the biggest takeaway for Wisconsin from Saturday’s game is that they continue to control their own destiny and now sit alone atop the Big Ten West. After losing their conference-opener to Northwestern, the Badgers are just two victories over Iowa and Minnesota away from advancing to the Big Ten Championship.“It’s a tremendous victory for all of us, every single person,” Andersen said. “Every Badger in my opinion should be so proud of these kids. But it’s a big win. It’s a big victory.“But this game was a lot of fun to be a part of. Thank God I’m here.”
The suspects had attacked the footballer’s aged father, Mr. Wilson Onazi and made away with his ATM cards, some cash and his white Toyota Highlander jeep with registration number JMU 300 AA.Although the robbery had occurred in Jos, Plateau State, they were arrested at the Ajangbadi area by some police detectives led by the Divisional Police Officer, Alim Musa, a Chief Superintendent of Police.When they were paraded at the State Command Headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos, it was discovered that the entire operation was masterminded by the victim’s neighbour in Jos.According to the gang, they had carried out the operation primarily because the victim made no move to help them in their quest for green pastures, adding that they wanted to use the car to celebrate Sallah.The suspects were arrested at the Ajangbadi area of Lagos while attempting to sell off the Toyota Highlander car to a prospective buyer.The mastermind, one Kingsley Davis, said the victim was their neighbour in Jos, adding that he was the one that brought up the idea before others bought into it.His confession: “My team members are my neighbours and friends. We were just discussing when the idea came up. Contrary to what they said, we did not beat him (Onazi’s father) up. We only used the knife to tell him we wanted to borrow his car for the Sallah break.“After the operation, we had left Jos and came to Lagos to meet our contact person. We were on the way when somewhere in Ajangbadi, the police stopped us. The rest is history,” confessed the gang leader.For 26-year-old Ugochukwu Ebuka, although six of them planned the attack, only three of them participated in the operation.He said, “It took us one week to conclude plans of how to carry out the attack. It was Kingsley who brought the information about the house. On that fateful day, we arrived the house around 10am.“Joe knocked on the gate and few minutes later an elderly man emerged from inside the compound. He opened the gate. At first we did not know that it is Onazi’s father.“Three of us tried to force our way into the compound but the man resisted. He appeared drunk that morning so we over powered him. We wrestled him to the ground. We told him we were not going to harm him and that we only wanted his money.“We discovered that the old man live alone. There was no guard at the gate. No cook or wife, but just him alone in a big house.“Joe held a cutlass but we did not use it on him. We asked for money but he said he had none. We searched the seating room. Later we went into his bed room. I think he gave us just N5,000 and his ATM card. We took a bag containing two pairs of canvas on our way out.“We collected the keys of the Toyota Highlander packed in front of the house and drove away. We threw the ATM card away because it was not functioning.“It was Kingsley who organised the operation but he did not participate. Kingsley was angry at the old man because he felt that he was not assisting anybody. He lives alone and never bordered about any other person.“It was Kingsley who also planned our movement to Lagos. He told us that he had contacted someone. When we left the place we hid the car at Feringhana area of Jos to allow the heat to die down. Three hours later we headed towards Lagos.“We arrived Ajangbadi on Tuesday and we stayed in an hotel. We met Osita Ezeana at a drinking joint at Ajangbadi. We told him we have a car to sell. We had not agreed at a price when the police arrested us.”Another suspect, one Joseph Ozo, a graduate of University of Jos, said he was called by the gang because he can drive.He said, “I am a graduate but I was invited into this operation by Kingsley. I followed them for the operation but my job was to drive, which I did after I had collected the key.”The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who paraded the suspects, said the criminals were probably heading to Seme border, Badagry where they intend to sell of the car.Owoseni, who said the suspects and the exhibits will soon be transferred to Plateau State Command for further investigation and prosecution, adding that it was a testimony that policing has no boundaries.He said, “The Nigeria Police Force under the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, is well more positioned.“The police is also poised to ensure that no matter where the crime is committed in any part of the country, the police headquarters has given teeth to bite to the commands.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Chiemelie EzeobiThe five-man gang who robbed the Jos home of Super Eagles and Trabzonspor of Turkey defensive midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi, on Thursday regaled journalists in Lagos on why and how they carried out the operation.The suspects, who were identified as Kingsley David, Ugochukwu Ebuka, Osita Ezeamu, Ali Audu and Joseph Ozo, were said to have raided the Jos home of the footballer three days ago, before they were arrested yesterday in Lagos.
The Antigua and Barbuda government says investigations will be done to ascertain whether any former government minister should be charged in connection with a bribery scandal involving a former United Nations based diplomat.Information Minister Melford Nicholas told reporters following Friday’s weekly Cabinet meeting that the Gaston Browne administration had received diplomatic notes from the United States indicating “that there has been clear breaches of Antiguan law dealing with money laundering and racketeering.“This is certainly a matter that the Gaston Browne administration sees as grave,” he told reporters.In October 2015, John Ashe, the former president of the United Nations General Assembly, pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of filing fraudulent income tax returns and evading tax payments to the US government on more than US$1.3 million he is accused of receiving in bribes dating to 2011, which the US has traced.Ashe, the Antigua and Barbuda diplomat, died while awaiting trial.Court records state that a complaint had been brought by the United States attorney for the Southern District, charging the former diplomat, who once served as president of the United Nations General Assembly between 2013-14 and five others, including a billionaire developer from the Chinese territory of Macau.The complaint alleges that the five, including billionaire Ng Lap Seng, also known as David Ng, paid bribes to the former Antigua and Barbuda diplomat in exchange for “benefits from the UN and the government of Antigua and Barbuda”.Among the allegations are that Ashe “accepted over US$500,000 of bribes” facilitated by three of the defendants — Ng, Jeff C Yin and Francis Lorenzo — in an effort to build “a multi-billion dollar, Serious implications Browne had said then that the incident had “serious implications for the country and that the United States can be assured of his administration’s support”.Nicholas told reporters Friday that while the administration had not adhered to a request from Washington to waive Ashe’s diplomatic status, those people residing here implicated in the scandal might not be so lucky.“Based on what has been uncovered in the United States courts….I think it behooves us to do the right thing to ensure that we too undertake the necessary investigations internally.“As such the Attorney General has been asked to refer the file that we have received from the United States courts to the Director of Public Prosecutions for him to make a determination in respect of where we go from here,” Nicholas said.