Kenin, excited about ‘Daphne’: “My dream come true”

first_imgSofia Kenin lived a contented morning in Melbourne the day after beating Garbiñe Muguruza within the Australian Open ultimate. the American loved the normal picture shoot of the champions of the event, which was held on the banks of the Yarra River. Kenin separated from ‘Daphne’, as the ladies’s event trophy is called in honor of the aussie legend Daphne Akhurst, 5 occasions winner between 1925 and 1930, who died when he was solely 29 years outdated, due to an ectopic being pregnant.“Wow, my dream come true. It has been an unbelievable journey to get to the place I’m immediately holding Daphne”, wrote on Twitter Sofia, who wore a costume designed by native agency Jason Grech, specializing in weddings, which was not broadly celebrated on social networks. Wow !! My dream got here true! It’s been an unbelievable journey for me to get to the place I’m immediately holding Daphne 🏆 Thanks everybody for being there with me each single match, for supporting me, this implies all the things to me ❤️ Really feel so particular on this beautiful Jason Grech costume! pic.twitter.com/NpO4yi8vLF– Sofia Kenin (@SofiaKenin) February 2, 2020“Because of everybody for being there with me in each sport, supporting me, it means all the things to me. I really feel very particular with this costume”. Thus the winner closed his message. After her nice success, she shall be one of many tennis gamers to comply with for the remainder of the season. He plans to play in Dubai, Acapulco, Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros, Eastbourne, Wimbledon, Washington, Canada, Cincinnati, US Open, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Beijing.last_img read more

Psychosis complicates the football agenda in Europe

first_imgAs regards football, skeptical comments arrived yesterday, like Fonseca’s, coach of Roma, one of the 10 teams that could play: “If a match is postponed, you have to postpone all of them,” he said. The CEO of Inter, Giuseppe Marotta, It was more blunt: “If the Council of Ministers orders the blockade until March 8, I wonder how we will manage the next day, considering that they also include teams competing in Europe.” In fact, the Inter calendar, which already postponed the clash against Sampdoria in the last day of Serie A, is particularly affected. If the nerazzurri They will reach the Europa League and Coppa final, they will play up to eight matches from May 3 to 27. Therefore, the fans have protested, especially on Twitter, where one of the trends was the hashtag #campeonatofalseado.The coronavirus also reached Juventus rivals. The Vecchia Signora He has quarantined his subsidiary team after facing Pianese, a Series C team that has four infected. Coronavirus psychosis spreads as fast as contagion. In Valencia, a city that has become the main focus of COVID-19 in Spain with 10 cases, Mestalla recorded the worst entry of the season in the duel against Betis (37,418 spectators) and there was no press conference before and after the game. In France, where there are more than 100 infected, the return of the eighth Champions League between PSG and Dortmund could be played behind closed doors, according to Canal Plus.But the country that is suffering the most from the outbreak is Italy, where the positive ones for COVID-19 are already more than 1,000 and the deceased 29. Yesterday Series A changed its mind: the games that were going to be played behind closed doors will be postponed to May 13, including the Inter-Juventus derby d’Italia, who fight for the title, in addition to Milan-Genoa, Parma-Spal, Sassuolo-Brescia and Udinese-Fiorentina. The decision also postpones Coppa’s final to day 20. The hope is that on March 7, when two weeks of extraordinary emergency measures have been completed, it will be possible to return to normal and open all stadiums. However, exasperation grows and contributes to pessimism, something that is noted in the criticisms aimed at managing the problem.last_img read more

Sports Briefs

first_imgHamilton’s first for the season MONACO, CMC Lewis Hamilton produced a superb drive to score his first victory of the Formula One season with success in a dramatic Monaco Grand Prix here yesterday. The Brit, whose paternal grandparents are Grenadian, started from third on the grid but capitalised on wet conditions and then a flawed pit stop by pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo to take the chequered flag in just under two hours seven seconds ahead of the Red Bull. Force India’s Sergio Perez finished third while Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, was seventh after starting from second. “I’ve had a lot of races, but personally, this feels like the best ever. This feels like the one, in my heart, that I earned,” Hamilton said. Pelle fires Italy to 1-0 win VALLETTA, Malta (AP) Italy dominated against Scotland, but only scraped a 1-0 win yesterday in their penultimate warm-up match before the European Championship, and the Azzurri’s wayward shooting will be of concern to coach Antonio Conte. The main culprit was Emanuele Giaccherini, who missed three golden opportunities in the first half. Graziano Pelle scored the only goal of the game shortly before the hour mark. Eder laid off a superb through ball from Daniele De Rossi, and the Southampton striker curled into the right side of the net from the edge of the area. It was one-way traffic from the start and it took Scotland until the 77th minute to muster a shot at goal. Italy had 13 in the first period alone. Portugal beat Norway 3-0 PORTO, Portugal (AP) Two second-half goals in seven minutes from Raphael Guerreiro and Eder helped Portugal to a 3-0 win over Norway in a warm-up game yesterday for the European Championship. Ricardo Quaresma put the Portuguese ahead with a spectacular dipping shot in the 13th. Missing Cristiano Ronaldo, who played in the Champions League final the previous day, Quaresma was Portugal’s standout player. Portugal gave a composed performance and were mostly in control of the match, though Valon Berisha headed against the woodwork for Norway in the 57th, and the Portuguese left it late to seal their victory. Left-back Guerreiro struck in the 65th with a curling free kick, and centre-forward Eder tapped in another.last_img read more

Ebola, Terrorism Risks Bully Africa’s Growth

first_imgDespite weaker than expected global growth and stable or declining commodity prices, African economies continue to expand at a moderately rapid pace, with regional gross domestic product (GDP) growth projected to strengthen to 5.2 percent yearly in 2015-16 from 4.6 percent in 2014, the World Bank’s new Africa’s Pulse, a twice-yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects revealed.Significant public investment in infrastructure, increased agricultural production and expanding services in African retail, telecoms, transportation, and finance, are expected to continue to boost growth in the region, said the report. This pick-up in growth is expected to occur in a context of lower commodity prices and lower foreign direct investment as a result of subdued global economic conditions.Commodity prices remain highly significant to Africa’s outlook since, as the report notes, “primary commodities continue to account for three-quarters of Sub-Saharan Africa’s total goods exports, and the share of the region’s top five exports in total exports has climbed to 60 percent in 2013 from 41 percent in 1995.””Overall, Africa is forecast to remain one of the world’s three fastest growing regions and to maintain its impressive 20 years of continuous expansion” says Francisco Ferreira, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa. “Downside risks that require enhanced preparedness include rising fiscal deficits in a number of countries; economic fallouts from the activities of terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and Al Shabaab and, most urgently, the onslaught of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.”A World Bank study of the likely economic impact of Ebola, released last month, suggested that if the virus continues to spread in the three worst-affected countries–Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, its economic impact could grow eight-fold, dealing a potentially catastrophic blow to the already fragile states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The World Bank Group is mobilizing a US$400 million financing package for the countries hardest hit by the crisis. The Bank has already disbursed US$105 million to the three countries to fight the Ebola virus which the World Health Organization (WHO) says has claimed the lives of over 3,400 people in the region.Growth trends in Africa slowed notably in South Africa, the region’s second largest economy, due to structural issues and low investor confidence.  The South African economy expanded a modest 1.0 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2014, its lowest growth rate since the 2009 financial crisis. By contrast, economic activity strengthened in Nigeria, the region’s largest economy.  GDP advanced 6.5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, up from a 6.2 percent expansion in the first quarter.Growth also remained robust in many of the region’s low-income countries, including notably Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Tanzania. In Cote d’Ivoire, for example, a strong increase in cocoa production and rice output boosted agriculture growth and helped to sustain the country’s high growth.  Ethiopia’s robust growth continued to be supported by agriculture, as well, and by public investment, particularly in infrastructure.Inflation rates edged up in a number of countries, but were more of a concern in the frontier market countries that also sustained large currency depreciations–notably Ghana. In a few cases, including Ghana and Zambia, the fiscal position remained weak due to increasing current expenditures, led by rising wage bills, and in some cases weaker revenues. Large fiscal deficits are reducing fiscal buffers and affecting these countries’ ability to respond to exogenous shocks.Economic transformation will become more critical: in a special study of Africa’s patterns of structural transformation and poverty dynamics, Africa’s Pulse finds that the region is largely bypassing industrialization as a major driver of growth and jobs. Instead, the study says, extractive industries in the natural resources sector and a surging services industry are propelling Africa’s growth. Output shares of manufacturing and agriculture are declining across the region, although most workers – and almost 80% of the poor – still derive the bulk of their income from farming.”Nearly two decades of strong growth is transforming Africa’s economies, but the structural change is not what the world expected. The majority of Africa’s jobs continues to be in agriculture and is surging into services – but not into industry and manufacturing,” says Punam Chuhan-Pole, a World Bank Lead Economist for Africa and co-author of Africa’s Pulse. “The good news is that in Africa this growth in agriculture and the services sector has been more effective in reducing poverty than growth in industry. In the rest of the world, by contrast, industry and services have a larger impact on reducing poverty.”Chuhan-Pole says between 1996 and 2011, per capita growth in services averaged 2.6 percent compared to 0.9 percent and 1.7 percent in agriculture and industry, respectively. She adds that the pattern of growth and economic transformation has implications for cutting poverty rates in Africa more significantly. Increasing agricultural productivity and boosting rural income diversification are important drivers of both structural transformations- by releasing labor from farms – and of poverty reduction.   Investments in rural public goods and services (e.g. education, health, rural roads, electricity and ICT), including in small towns, are fundamental tools for boosting rural economies and jobs.Finally, as the new report notes, “while manufacturing may not provide a panacea, Africa can and should expand its manufacturing base, especially by boosting its fundamentals – business climate, macro-economic stability, reliable and affordable energy, lower transport costs and a more skilled labor force – which will benefit all sectors.”The Bank Group continued its strong commitment to Africa delivering US$10.6 billion in new lending for 160 projects this fiscal year (FY14). These commitments included a new record of US$10.2 billion in zero-interest credits and grants from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries. This is the highest level of IDA delivery by any region in the World Bank’s history.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Police ‘Christmas’ Checkpoints on the Rise

first_imgAs the Christmas and New Year seasons approach, commercial drivers have complained about increasing extortion by police officers who have set up two checkpoints at the entrance to the city of Kakata. During investigations, Daily Observer reporters witnessed police officers from the Kakata Police Detachment assigned at the checkpoints, without fear seizing documents and licenses from commercial drivers under the pretext of carrying out vehicle inspection. And once the drivers had ‘greased their palms’ (paid bribes) with their demands, their documents and licenses were readily returned to them and they were allowed to continue with their journeys.Dasco Mantian, a passenger, told this newspaper that their vehicle was detained and it was later released when the driver paid some cash to the officers at the checkpoint.“We spent two hours at the checkpoint, though the vehicle’s documents, including the driver’s license had no problem,” he said.The Daily Observer reporter also saw several cars ordered to park off the road to go through what a driver said was a process of extortion.“They will deliberately ask for the vehicle’s documents and then a driver’s license. Once they are in the hands of a police officer, the next is paying them to get your legal documents back,” he said.There are four police checkpoints from Kakata to the Bong Mines and Firestone Roads. Two additional checkpoints are located on the main highway to BWI or Gbarnga.Immigration officers are also working alongside the police officers during their inspections.“We don’t grant interviews to press,” an officer, who did not want to be identified, said. “We make sure that there are not two passengers at the front of these vehicles.” He did not comment on allegations of officers extorting money from drivers.But not aware of a journalist on a vehicle, an officer who had insisted that there should not be two persons on the passenger side of the driver, later, after his palms were greased with money, allowed the two passengers to return to their previous position and the driver drove away.Owing to such a practice, drivers have increased transportation fares to be able to cover their losses, a driver told the Daily Observer.One of the drivers told this newspaper that the fare has to be increased, because of the increased number of checkpoints and the demand from police officers for money.The pavement of the Monrovia – Ganta highway brought the cost of transportation down from L$1000 to L$600 in taxis, which has now increased to L$700.Buses were taking passengers for L$350, but now L$500; and passengers who travel on the National Transport Authority (NTA) bus pay L$400.“Are we still fighting war?” a lady traveler who appeared tired asked. “Why are all these checkpoints on the roads? What are they looking for?” Despite these checkpoints, another group of police officers in a vehicle patrolling the highway deliberately created mobile checkpoints targeting commercial drivers.Interestingly, the police don’t target private vehicles and vehicles owned by international NGOs.Meanwhile, an official at the Liberia National Police (LNP) in Monrovia said while the LNP is not aware of the report, it will carry out investigations to ascertain the veracity of the claims by commercial drivers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“We can bring accidents down to zero”, Minister Scott tells Linden stakeholders

first_imgOSH month of observancesVarious stakeholders from across Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) on Friday marched in observance of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Month 2018.The month of observances aims at creating awareness of safety and health by improving the safety and health of young workers. Stakeholders drawn from the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), Linden Hospital Complex (LHC), Linden Mayor and Town Council (LMTC), Linden Electricity Company Inc (LECI), among others, marched from Casaurina Drive in Mackenzie to the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground, where the event culminated.Addressing stakeholders, Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott, reminded stakeholders of the commitment towards implementing and promoting the United Nations 2017 Strategic Goal of the Decent Work Agenda, which reflects occupational health and safety in a meaningful way. The minister also pointed to the important role youths play in implementation of occupational health and safety. He noted that there were multiple deaths last year due to carelessness, moreso in the instance of mining pit collapses, as he stressed the importance of creating the right environment for safety at such workplaces, and the need to obey laws governing workplace safety.“It will reduce accidents…and accidents can therefore be prevented. We can bring accidents down to zero. We need to have respect for occupational health and the rules… Once we get that through, we will have no accidents; and if we have any, it will be miniscule”, he said.The minister added that, more importantly, accidents go further than just causing injury and death, there is also suffering for the nation, as families’ lives can also be transformed. “We have to spend money on every single person that goes into the hospital”, the minister added as he pointed out that while public hospitalization is free in Guyana, it comes at the expense of taxpayers’ money. The aim, he said, is to have the stakeholders involved as leaders for occupational health and safety, and he urged employees to become part of workplace safety committees.He also congratulated stakeholders present at the function, noting that they made a conscious effort to be there.The minister urged employees to spread the word that Guyana is committed to the development of a greener and safer environment.Meanwhile, the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) was awarded for fielding the largest contingent, while the Guyana Forestry Commission was awarded “Best banner”.last_img read more

Hope Estate discontinues legal action against farmers

first_imgRice land woesThe management of the Hope Estate Limited on Thursday withdrew legal proceedings against 18 rice farmers, who were dragged to court by Government for failing to pay a unilateral increase in land rents.Attorney Anil Nandlall along with the relieved rice farmers from the Hope Estate outside the Cove and John Magistrate’s Court on ThursdayHope Estate Management, which leased plots of rice lands to farmers at Hope Estate on the East Coast Demerara, is claiming an increase in rent for these lands by some 300 per cent per acre and also seeking to repossess the lands from those farmers in arrears.The matter was being heard before a Rice Assessment Committee, established by Agriculture Minister Noel Holder as a tribunal in the matter, at the Cove and John Magistrate’s Court.According to lawyer for the rice farmers, Attorney Anil Nandlall, on the last court hearing (October 26) and on Thursday, raised several technical legal objections to the proceedings filed, submitting that the proceedings were incurably bad.“I requested either that the company withdrew the proceedings, or that the Rice Assessment Committee dismiss them. The company opted to withdraw the proceedings. This has brought nearly two years of legal battle to an end,” Nandlall said.Nandlall said this decision has brought nearly two years of legal battle to an end and the rice farmers will now be able to return to their normal lives and continue their work.Earlier this year, the Government had given notice of its intention to repossess land being leased by a number of these farmers at Hope Estate, ECD, for falling behind in their rent last year. In 2015, the farmers were paying $3000 per acre but in the ensuing years, the rents were increased to some $15,000 per acre. The farmers have since been complaining of the burdensome hikes, saying that it will be hard to pay.In a letter seen by Guyana Times, farmers were instructed by Attorney and Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) Chairman Omadatt Chandan to “quit and deliver possession” of their land. But these requests resulted in these farmers and their legal representatives taking a stand.In one case, Khemchan Sukhlall, a tenant of De Hoop, Mahaica, was ordered to hand over 16 acres of rice land situated at Nooten Zuil… all within one month of receiving the notice. The notice, dated January 16, 2018, was signed by Chandan who identified himself as an agent of Hope Estate Coconut Industries Ltd.Back then, Nandlall, who had visited several of the farmers alongside fellow Member of Parliament Dharamkumar Seeraj, had issued a warning to the Agriculture Ministry via letter; stating that the farmers are protected by the Rice Farmers (Security of Tenure) Act. Section Five (1,d) stipulates that a notice to eviction cannot be issued outside what the Act permits.Nandlall had informed the Ministry that he instructed the farmers to ignore the notice since the law gives them a regime of security of tenure. He had informed the Ministry that its letter is not only premature and precipitous, but it flies in the face of the Act.“In short, rents chargeable for rice lands cannot be increased and a tenant of rice lands cannot be removed from possession except by the procedures outlined by the Act. We are not aware that any such procedures have been initiated or undertaken,” Nandlall had stated.Nandlall further explained to Guyana Times at the time that these farmers have been in possession of their land for several years. These lands, he noted, provide the only source of livelihood for them and their families.Meanwhile, Government in August issued a summons for a total of 32 rice farmers however not all of them were served.In 2016, the Government in a well touted deal had arranged to export rice to Mexico. The Agriculture Ministry subsequently disclosed that 17,000 tonnes of paddy were shipped to Mexico in a deal said to be worth some US$17 million (GY$3 billion), and 43,000 tonnes more will be shipped to the Central American country over the next few months.However, the days of farmers getting premium rates for their paddy crops have since passed, following the end of the PetroCaribe (rice-for-oil) deal which was cancelled by Venezuela in 2015. Under that arrangement, farmers accrued some $9000 per bag of paddy, but this has been reduced to between $1800 and $2500, depending on location.last_img read more

Australian terror suspect gets 9 months

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – A U.S. military tribunal sentenced an Australian to nine months in prison Friday after he pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism – in the first conviction at a U.S. war-crimes trial since World War II. A panel of military officers had recommended a term of seven years, but a section of the plea agreement that had been kept secret from the panel capped the sentence at nine months for David Hicks, who has been held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay for more than five years. Under the deal, the confessed Taliban-allied gunman will be allowed to serve his sentence in an Australian prison, but must remain silent about any alleged abuse while in custody. Hicks, the first detainee convicted at Guantanamo Bay, appeared relieved as the judge, Marine Corps Col. Ralph Kohlmann disclosed the agreement. Asked if the outcome was what he was told to expect, Hicks said, “Yes, it was.” Hicks told Kohlmann earlier Friday that he agreed to plead guilty because prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him. Speaking in a deep voice, Hicks said he faced damning evidence taken from “notes by interrogators” that he had been shown. Hicks expressed regret for his actions in a statement read by his lawyer, Marine Corps Maj. Michael Mori, who described his client as an immature adventurer who had tried to enlist in the Australian army but was rejected for lack of education. “He apologizes to his family, he apologizes to Australia and he apologizes to the United States,” said Mori.last_img read more

Africa Cup of Nations: A troubled build-up

first_imgSupposed to be in Cameroon…Egypt, seven-time winners of this competition, stood in for Cameroon after the central African country was deemed by African football’s governing body, CAF, to have fallen too far behind in its preparations.Not surprisingly, Egypt faces an uphill battle to be ready in time, especially as the format has been expanded from 16 teams to 24.The locations of the teams’ training camps, as well as the issue of visas for both the delegations and supporters from across the continent, will only be clarified “after the draw”, says Nathalie Rabe, head of communications for CAF.Signs of discord in EgyptOne expert with knowledge of the organising process told AFP that CAF recently “reprimanded” the Egyptian organising committee, accusing it of failing to coordinate its efforts and of making vague statements to the media.Rabe declined to discuss the reports of rows between CAF and the local organisers and insisted that preparations “are going well”.Egypt put forward a provisional list of 10 stadiums, of which six have been chosen to host games. Three are in Cairo, and stadiums in Alexandria, Suez and Ismailia round out the list.“The biggest worry now is the quality of the stadiums and the pitches… but they should be ready for the tournament,” Hatem Maher, a sports journalist for Ahram Online, told AFP.Boon for tourism?It was widely assumed that Egypt’s decision to host the tournament at such short notice was motivated by a desire to attract tourists back to the country.Visitor numbers to Egypt have dropped since the Arab Spring revolution of 2011 which led to the resignation from the presidency of Hosni Mubarak. There was also the 2015 bombing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai with the loss of 224 lives, and the country is mired in an economic crisis.Egypt’s tourism ministry, however, denies that a special plan to attract tourists has been put into place for the tournament.“Egypt’s decision to organise the competition was only aimed at showing the world that the country was capable of doing so,” Maher said.Another Egyptian journalist, Mahmoud Diaa, from website Goal, said the tournament was a great opportunity for the country to improve the image of his country.“Unfortunately so far we haven’t seen any indication of this happening, except for the fact that the stadiums are being renovated,” he said.Salah, Mane, Mahrez – stars on showWhen the action does begin, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane, who lines up for Senegal, are expected to lead the cast of Europe-based stars on show.African Player of the Year Salah and the host nation will be seeking to bounce back from their disastrous 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Pharaohs’ choice of a team base in Chechnya was disputed from the start and they failed to win a single point as Salah struggled, clearly still labouring with a shoulder injury he sustained in the Champions League final against Real Madrid.Mane, 27, has had a barnstorming season for Liverpool, driving the club to the top of the Premier League and scoring crucial goals in their charge to the Champions League quarter-finals.Senegal have a rugged side, also featuring Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, that narrowly failed to reach the World Cup knockout stage last year.Herve Renard’s Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria and holders Cameroon are also among the top seeds for the draw. However, there are dangerous sides below them, such as Algeria, who can call on Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez and a host of other European-based players.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Cameroon are the Africa Cup of Nations holders, having won the continental title for the fifth time in 2017 © AFP/File / ISSOUF SANOGOPARIS, France, Apr 11 – The draw for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations takes place in Cairo on Friday in a country that was only handed the task of organising the tournament in January.Egypt faces a race against time to be ready for the June 21 kick-off.last_img read more

8 acquitted in boot camp death

first_imgBy midafternoon, about 150 people – many from nearby Florida A&M University – were protesting the acquittals outside the state Capitol. They chanted, “No justice. No peace.” Several black legislators also expressed outrage. Anderson was black; the guards were black, white and Asian. The jury was all white. “Ninety minutes of deliberation for a child’s life, a child who we saw beaten to death on videotape over and over again?” asked Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami. “Ninety minutes and not guilty. That’s un-American. That is racist, discriminatory, bigotry.” The verdicts devastated the boy’s family, who had wanted the trial conducted outside this Florida Panhandle county. His mother, Gina Jones, stormed out of the courtroom. “I cannot see my son no more. Everybody see their family members. It’s wrong,” she screamed. “You kill a dog, you go to jail,” said the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump. “You kill a little black boy and nothing happens.” Defense attorneys dismissed that the case was about race, citing the guards’ racial diversity. Rather, they said, it was a local case tainted by outside political pressure to convict the guards. Anderson, hit by the guards after he collapsed while running laps, died a day later at a hospital in January 2006. Then-Gov. Jeb Bush was besieged by complaints of a coverup in the case and protesters camped out in his office for two days last year. “There was this perception that we were a bunch of bobo heads up here in Bay County,” Waylon Graham, the lawyer for ex-guard Charles Helms, told Court TV. “And I don’t like that kind of highhandedness, and what we did, we basically showed them that we know how to take care of business here in Bay County. We know what to do, and it was time for them to go home.” Defense attorneys contended that the first, disputed autopsy on the boy had it right all along: Anderson died of natural complications of undiagnosed sickle cell trait, a usually benign blood disorder common in blacks that can hinder blood cells’ ability to carry oxygen during physical stress. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Martin Lee Anderson’s parents have been convinced ever since they saw the videotaped confrontation that the seven former guards, and a nurse who watched but did nothing to stop their blows, killed their 14-year-old son. It was equally clear-cut to the guards: They were just doing their jobs at the military-style juvenile camp, responding the way they were trained to when it appeared a young offender was faking illness to avoid exercise. Though the video may have shocked outsiders, they said it wasn’t their actions that killed Anderson, but a previously undiagnosed blood disorder. Across the street from the now-closed camp in this conservative community, jurors in the Bay County courthouse needed just 90 minutes to acquit the eight defendants of manslaughter. Despite the silent video that a prosecutor said screamed “in a loud, clear voice” that the defendants killed the boy last year, the jurors also didn’t find enough evidence to convict them of lesser charges of neglecting the teen. “I am truly, truly sorry this happened. Myself, I love kids,” said ex-guard Henry Dickens, 60. He added that Anderson “wasn’t beaten. Those techniques were taught to us and used for a purpose.” FLORIDA: A guard said the techniques used to beat the 14-year-old after he stopped running were “for a purpose.” By Melissa Nelson THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PANAMA CITY, Fla. – To both sides, and ultimately to the jury, the case of the teenager who died after boot camp guards punched and kicked him was open-and-shut. last_img read more