While Guyana has made some progress in addressing societal issues, much more needs to be done in key areas such as domestic violence and legalising same-sex relations.This is according to British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn who was at the time speaking at a reception at his residence in honour of the 92nd birth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II.According to the UK diplomat, even with progress being made in some areas, challenges still remain.“Domestic abuse and child abuse is still a problem. Over my three years here, I have heard much talk about it but yet it still happens and that should be a shamePresident David Granger joins British High Commissioner Greg Quinn and his wife to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 92nd birth anniversary on Thursday evening, as Minister of State Joseph Harmon and Director General at the Foreign Affairs Ministry Audrey Waddell look onon all of us – especially those who know this happens, who see it happen and who do nothing to help the victims. There can be no impunity from prosecutions if a crime has been committed, no one is above the law… And I was happy to see the first Pride parade in Guyana on June 2. I encourage all to work towards the decriminalisation of same sex relationships. Everyone has rights and it is time that the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) community received the rights they deserved,” Quinn posited.He further stated that Guyana’s positive improvement on the World Press Freedom Index this year, noting that journalists’ rights cannot be taken for granted and they should be allowed to operate free from restrictive legislations.Quinn also spoke of the need for a collaborative effort to curb the “dangers that exist in the modern world”, referring to the recent piracy attack off the coast of Suriname.On this note, the British High Commissioner reflected on areas in which the UK has helped to develop in Guyana, particularly with regards to Security Sector Reform (SSR).“The past year has also seen the bedding in of significant UK support to Security Sector Reform… [But] the work being done under SSR is only part of a broader relationship we have combating serious organised crime through a wide range of assistance… There is also over £61 million of DFID (Department for International Development) expenditure committed to Guyana over the next five years. This is focused on developing infrastructure and improving health facilities,” Quinn detailed.Additionally, he noted that the UK is working with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to pave the road from Linden to Mabura Hill and construct a bridge at the Kurupukari crossing. This project falls under the multimillion-dollar UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF), from which Guyana is among nine countries in the Region to benefit.Against this background, President Granger lauded the relations between Guyana and the UK, saying that it will further be strengthened over the coming years as they collaborate in various areas.“The UK, through the Department of International Development, has provided assistance to Guyana in the fields of agriculture, aquaculture, disaster-relief, education, economic competitiveness, governance, law enforcement, trade facilitation, water supply, judicial service reform, public sector reform and security sector reform,”According to the Head of State, as Her Majesty steps down as Head of the Commonwealth, she leaves behind an excellent environmental legacy in the form of the ‘Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy’ – a network of forests conservation projects under which Guyana has dedicated the Kanashen Protected Area, located in the Rupununi, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), spanning almost 7000 square kilometers.Britain’s ties to Guyana were initiated in the Convention of London by which the Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands formally ceded the three colonies, Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice, to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1814 in the reign of King George III. The colonial ties were severed 52 years later when Guyana became independent under Queen Elisabeth in 1966 but cordial relations continued.
As we get ever closer to the release of the next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie this November – Doctor Strange – the Marvel publicity machine hasn’t made any major announcements since giving their enthusiastically received San Diego Comic-Con presentation. Instead, the newest happening in the MCU comes from a somewhat unexpected source: Vin Diesel’s Facebook page.In case you haven’t stumbled across something on the internet from Vin Diesel’s Facebook page before, know that the Fast & Furious and Chronicles of Riddick star will occasionally break actual news there. Othertimes, he’s wildly entertaining or genuinely positive, though confusing.It seemed like a good time for Vin Diesel to take to social media, even if news about Avengers: Infinity War isn’t what anyone was expecting. There’s been a little bit of celebrity drama surrounding Vin Diesel during the past few weeks. Apparently on the set of the newest Fast and Furious movie, Fast 8, the star and Dwayne Johnson did not get along.The public first got wind of this when Johnson took to social media to talk about a “candy ass” castmate. A few days later, the gossip kicked up a name: Vin Diesel. It’s unclear exactly what was happening between the two (apparently something with how long Vin Diesel takes in his trailer, maybe?), but when Diesel went Live on Facebook, people rushed to view.After talking about how he had wrapped shooting, commenting on how beautiful the weather was and praising his Facebook fan collective community, Diesel started talking about his first Marvel meeting when he had a picture taken in front of the cover for an Avengers comic. Then (about 20mins and 40 seconds in) he said “Now the Guardians will be included in Avengers: Infinity War and that’s incredibly exciting.”This is the first confirmation that we’ve heard that the Chris Pratt lead team from James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy and next February’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 will be in Avengers: Infinity War.The next Avengers movie will be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo (who directed Captain America: Civil War) and written by the writers of that film, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. When it was announced, Avengers Infinity War was split into two movies: Part 1 on May 4th 2018 and Part 2 on May 3rd 2019. Since, the title “Infinity War” has been shifted to meaning just the first movie and the fourth Avengers movie will be retitled.The Russo brothers say that Infinity War won’t be a two part story like, say, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Instead Infinity War will wrap up the trilogy of Avengers movies and provide some “new beginnings” that have remained vague. Right now, Markus and McFeely are working on the third draft of Infinity War for a November production start date.Vin Diesel recently wrapped not only Fast 8 but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It sounds like he will have a month free from franchise filmmaking before finishing Guardians post-production audio and doing pre-production on Infinity War. Just how big of a part will Vin Diesel play in the Infinity War Groot portrayal? It’s hard to say. It seems like Groot is miniature-sized in Volume 2, but who doesn’t want to see a full sized groot take on an enraged back-from-space Hulk, right?
Mantra Group is the largest accommodation provider on the Gold CoastOne year until the Commonwealth Games and tourism hopes run highWith one year to go until the start of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Mantra Group Chief Executive Officer Bob East is predicting Queensland tourism will hit a record high after the Games.Mr East said reputation built up during the event will help to attract record numbers of tourists to the state.“The Commonwealth Games will provide a terrific platform for promotion and profile, showcasing Queensland to would-be visitors from further afield,” said Mr East.“With just one year to go, the world spotlight is already on the state and what we have to offer.“This is our time to shine, to showcase our state and its many attractions, and position Queensland as a key and highly desirable destination.“The Games gives us an unprecedented opportunity to take tourism to the next level.”Mantra Group, Queensland’s largest accommodation provider, will play a vital role in the visitor experience during the Games.“Tens of thousands of room nights will be required for the event and demand for accommodation at our twenty-three Gold Coast properties during the Games is at an all-time high,” he said.“Our Northern New South Wales, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast properties are already benefiting from the overflow.”With Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville all hosting official events, Mr East said all four markets will enjoy renewed international and domestic interest in their leisure tourism offering before, during and after the Games.“Extensive team business has caused the average length of stay at our properties to increase substantially in the lead up to and during the Games,” he said.“In 2018, we’re predicting a strong uplift in occupancy year on year.”Mr East said, despite some rooms being committed to the organising committee, people will still be able to book accommodation at Mantra Group properties for the event.“Customers will have a number of choices when booking their Games accommodation, such as online at mantrahotels.com, through our reservations team or direct with the property.”The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will take place from 4 to 15 April 2018, bringing more than 100,000 visitors, athletes and officials to the state.It will be the biggest event in Australia over the next decade, with up to 1.5 million spectators expected to attend, providing a ground-breaking estimated $2 billion economic boost to the state.The event has already kick-started investment on the Gold Coast with a new light-rail system and the planned $200 million airport expansion. This capital investment, along with the actual Games themselves, will leave a significant tourism-marketing legacy and benefits are already being realised across the city and state.Already, nearly 12,000 delegates have registered for 29 sport-related conferences and meetings on the Gold Coast as a direct spin-off from the Commonwealth Games.About Mantra GroupMantra Group is the leading Australian-based hotel and resort operator. Mantra Group’s portfolio consists of 127 properties with more than 21,000 rooms in properties under management, across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii. Operating three well-known and trusted brands – Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree – Mantra Group operates the second largest network of accommodation properties in Australia (by room number). The Group is positioned to offer both leisure and business style accommodation ranging from full-service city hotels and self-contained apartments to luxury resorts and retreats. The Group successfully listed on the ASX in June 2014 and in its first year as a public company was elevated to the ASX 200: www.mantragroup.com.au; www.peppers.com.au; www.mantra.com.au ; www.breakfree.com.auSource = Mantra Group