Windies almost bottom of Test table DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC): Lowly ranked West Indies have experienced an 11-point slide and are in danger of replacing Bangladesh at the bottom of the table in the ICC Test team rankings. Bangladesh are breathing down the necks of the West Indies Test side, trailing them by just eight points, according to the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings, which included the annual update, released yesterday. West Indies have retained eighth position, but have dropped from 79 points to 65. The gap between the Caribbean side and ninth-ranked Bangladesh has been slashed from 29 points to just eight points. The ICC says with the annual update the results from 2012-13 are no longer included in the calculations and outcomes from the 2014-15 series are weighted at 50 per cent. Meanwhile, Australia have opened up a six-point gap over India at the top of the rankings, while India now lead third-placed Pakistan by just one point. Wade ‘honoured’ to be Prince’s favourite player MIAMI (AP): Dwyane Wade says he’s feeling “all kinds of emotions” after hearing that he was Prince’s favourite basketball player. The Miami Heat star took to Twitter after hearing Prince’s comments in a 2012 Australian radio interview the late pop icon conducted with model Damaris Lewis. Wade tweeted that he knows he has fans and supporters around the world, but “hearing Prince say those words was an ultimate compliment”. Prince died last month at his Minnesota home at the age of 57. Bahamas FA backs Haven against FIFA ban NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC): The Bahamas Football Association (BFA) has thrown its support behind Lionel Haven, a former executive member of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), who has been slapped with a five-year ban by FIFA, football’s governing body. “Lionel has worked with the BFA for a number of years,” Sealey said. “He was a dedicated and committed general secretary, who helped us achieve much of what we are being credited for today.” Haven, also a former Bahamas Football Association’s (BFA) secretary general who has denied any wrong doing, was slapped with a fine of US$3000 in addition to the five-year ban. FIFA’s ethics committee says Haven has failed to disclose information on cash payments at a CFU event in 2011. “We are confident and satisfied that his involvement in this, is as he stated,” said Sealey. “I spoke to him immediately after having reported it and I’m satisfied that he had no involvement in this and we stand behind him.” The ban stems from the so-called cash for votes controversy, in which Caribbean football executives were handed US$40,000 stuffed in envelopes at an upscale hotel in Trinidad ahead of the 2011 FIFA presidential election.
Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing has reached epidemic proportions in Africa’s coastal waters, the Africa Progress Panel (APP), chaired by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reports. “And West Africa is conservatively estimated to lose US$1.3 billion annually” due to illicit activities in the fishing and logging sectors which are causing tremendous damage beyond the financial costs. “This plunder destroys fishing communities who lose critical opportunities to fish, process and trade. Another US$17 billion is lost through illicit logging activities,” says APP.“Natural resource plunder is organized theft disguised as commerce. Commercial trawlers that operate under flags of convenience, and unload in ports that do not record their catch, are unethical,” Mr. Annan said, adding that these criminal activities compound the problem of tax evasion and shell companies. The Africa Progress Report 2014 calls for a multilateral fisheries regime that applies sanctions to fishing vessels that do not register and report their catches. The report also calls on governments around to world to ratify the Port State Measures Agreement, a treaty that seeks to thwart the poachers in port from unloading their ill-gotten gains.Mismanagement of natural resources by African governments have stifled growth and development and steered much needed economic empowerment out of reach of the true owners of those resources – the African people. Corruption schemes by government functionaries in charge of resources threaten grounds for due diligence and regulation of concessionaires that have legal interest in Africa’s extractive industries. Out of US$ 100 billion lost globally in illegal logging every year, Africa is losing approximately US$17 billion. West Africa alone is expected to lose US$1.3 billion out of a global US$23 billion from illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. In Liberia, an apparent go-slow in the mining sector and a recent pullout by Sesa Goa from Liberia’s controversial Western Cluster iron ore reserve, while BHP Billiton and China Union are yet to show progress toward productivity, stalling the flow of much needed projected revenue for the country.APP insists that with greater resource revenue, African governments have the opportunity to develop more effective taxation systems – and spend public money more fairly. For example, 3 per cent of regional GDP is currently allocated to energy subsidies that principally go to the middle class. That money should be diverted into social spending to give the poor a better chance of escaping the poverty trap.As well as losing money through natural resource plunder and financial mismanagement, the APP report continues, Africans miss out on money from abroad, not only when aid donors fail to keep their promises but even when those in the African Diaspora send remittances home to their families. It is estimated that that the continent is losing US$1.85 billion a year because money transfer operators are imposing excessive charges on remittances.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)