LONDON (AP):Oscar scored a first-half hat-trick as Chelsea cruised to a 5-1 victory at second-tier MK Dons to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup yesterday.Oscar tapped into an empty net in the 15th minute after a defensive blunder, but the Dons soon levelled when Darren Potter beat Thibaut Courtois with a heavily deflected shot from the edge of the area.Costa and Eden Hazard squandered easy chances before Oscar drilled home Chelsea’s second in the 32nd minute and then smashed in a superb third just before the break after a 25-yard (meter) run that started over on the left touchline.Hazard converted a penalty after the break and Bertrand Traore added the fifth as Guus Hiddink’s side made sure there was no risk of a cup upset.”If you play the big, big games like Arsenal, Man U, Man City, etc, the concentration is always high, automatically,” Hiddink said. “But these games, you have to be well prepared mentally, and I think we did well in the first half – although we were not finishing it off in the first 20 minutes.”Hiddink, who has engineered a solid recovery by the Premier League champions since replacing JosÈ Mourinho in December, paid tribute to match-winner Oscar.HAPPY PLAYERS”He’s playing with a smile on his face, and that’s what I like very much with the players – when they know their obligation – and also defensively, these guys know their job to do, and they do it … . It’s good to see.”Chelsea’s next opponent in the competition will not be such a pushover as the Dons, after Hiddink’s side was drawn against Premier League title favourites Manchester City in the last 16.Everton also advanced yesterday, beating fourth-tier Carlisle 3-0 in a match where fans were given a warning that racism would not be tolerated at the stadium, following a report of abusive language.The alleged incident happened after Everton opened the scoring in the second minute through Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone, who is black.A public-address system message warned fans that racist abuse would not be tolerated, and local police issued the same message on Twitter, asking anyone with information to report it.”I thought it was dealt with in a very good manner,” Everton manager Roberto Martinez told broadcaster BT Sport.Aaron Lennon, who lined up Kone’s tap-in at the far post, made it 2-0 in the 14th with another close-range strike.Ross Barkley put the result beyond doubt in the 65th with an impressive curling shot from the edge of the area that took a slight deflection.Everton are away to Bourne-mouth in the fifth round.
Following a meeting hosted between the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and its affiliates on Monday, the body has come to a resolution that the combination of poor policies, ill-judged statements and paucity of significant new investments has caused it to lose confidence in the Government.According to the body, in a statement on Thursday, continued growth and improvement in Guyana cannot continue if investors’ confidence continues to bePSC Chairman Eddie Boyereroded. And it noted that “the trajectory in which the country is heading at the moment does not inspire such confidence.”“Participants noted the decline of the economy. Among the concerns are the crippling new taxes for the mining sector and the institution of Value Added Tax on necessities. The members of the business community present expressed a lack of confidence in the manner the Government is managing the economy.”“This is reflected in the flight of capital from Guyana and the lack of significant new investments in the last two years. Real estate values are dwindling, property for sale inventory is on the rise and wealth is eroding rapidly.”The body called for the Government to create an enabling environment and to increase its engagements with the business community. This, it noted, was to facilitate the creation of employment opportunities, ensure wage growth andSARA head, Professor Clive Thomas“measures to increase the wealth of all Guyanese”.SARA BillOther items on the agenda were the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) Bill, the parking meter contract, the rule of law, and the state of the economy. The PSC noted that the SARA Bill, Bill No 3 of 2017, delegated too much power to the SARA Director.“While the consensus of businesses is that there is a need for unlawfully appropriated assets of the State to be recovered, it was felt that the SARA Bill provides too much unchecked power to the Agency. The Director of SARA supersedes the Courts, the Commissioner of Police and the Commissioner General of GRA.”“The Bill will impede business progress as it allows for harassment and political victimisation of legitimate businesses. The Bill allows staff of the Agency to arbitrarily look at private accounts and financial information of citizens without due process. This Bill should be recalled and amended to be consistent with the constitutional rights of citizens.”Parking metersThe PSC has always been a staunch critic of the parking meter project agreed to by top officials from the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) and a foreign company. The meters have been consistently boycotted; however, with the result that businesses have reported a drop in sales.Coming out of its meeting, the PSC reported that members of the business community present were demanding that a Commission of Inquiry be set up to investigate the parking meter initiative.The body said that clarity must be provided as to the feasibility studies done, the nature of accountability for the revenues, the role of Government in each stage of the project, the tendering and approval process, and the extent of a legal review of the contract.However, it was noted that given the “obscurity” of the process, consensus was reached that the contract should be rescinded in its entirety.JudiciaryThe PSC also stated that allegations of political involvement in the judicial system were noted with great concern. It emphasised that there must be a separation of the Government and the Judiciary, as well as the role Government plays to ensure full autonomy and adequate financial resources to maintain such a system.“There is need for Judges to be appointed at all levels, especially at the Court of Appeal and the High Court. In addition, the presence of one Commercial Judge to handle the thousands of cases annually is inadequate. This needs to be addressed,” the PSC also added.Recently, President David Granger stated that his Government deserved an “A “grade for the work it has done since coming into office in 2015. This self-assessment has not been well received by sections of society and the Opposition party.