RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would abolish the death penalty. If passed into law, the measure would mark a major policy change for a state that has historically carried out numerous executions. The Democrat-controlled chamber approved the bill on a 21-17 vote Wednesday. It came after a lengthy, emotional floor debate. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has said he supports a full repeal, and a House version of the bill is advancing in that chamber. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Virginia has executed nearly 1,400 people in more than four centuries, more than any other state.
THE National Library in Georgetown yesterday received eight laptop computers, compliments of Pele Football Club’s Alumni to boost their Literacy programme for the youths of Guyana.At a simple ceremony yesterday at the Library’s computer centre, chairman of Pele FC’c America Alumni, Dennis Carrington, presented the donations to the Chief Librarian in the presence of other staff members of the facility.Also present were the Alumni secretary David `Doggy’ Chan and treasurer Patrick `Labba’ Barton, a former national player, who represented Guyana at the international level.Speaking at the handing-over ceremony yesterday, Carrington emphasised the fact that education plays a pivotal role in a child’s upbringing and stated that when he and other members of the Alumni were around 12-14 years old, they did not have the benefit of enjoying Information Technology and Communication (ITC) facilities, but yet, “a lot of us turned out to be doctors, teachers, lawyers and nurses,” Carrington stated, adding that opportunities that members of the Alumni did not enjoy as youths, the organisation wants to give the youths of Guyana to enjoy those opportunities.Carrington also related that the Alumni will be staging a three-day programme beginning at 09:00hrs on Tuesday at the Carifesta Sports Complex and will be catering to approximately 50 youths, who, at the end of the camp, will be presented with backpacks and school supplies that will assist them (youths) during the new school term.The Pele FC was founded by former national player and coach Lennox `Mullen’ Arthur, after Arthur, a former midfield player left Santos FC and decided to form Pele, using the name (Pele) after Brazilian great `King’ Pele and this move attracted a number of youth players drawn mainly from schools throughout Georgetown.Among the notable players that joined were Clive `Oiler’ Watson, son of the club’s first president the late Frank Watson, who was an aircraft pilot, but sadly, Frank died in an aircraft crash in 1973, co-piloting a Cessna aircraft.Others players that the club attracted are: Terrence Archer who served as the club’s captain from 1985 to 1992. Archer also captained the Guyana national team for a number of years and was an outstanding defence player.Other outstanding players that represented the club and went on to represent Guyana at the international level were Wendell Manifold who captained the team with distinction for a number of years, Patrick `Labba’ Barton, Ashton Taylor, Gordon `Ulitimate Warrior’ Braithwaite and Terry Nichols among others.Two years after the club was founded in the Albouystown YMCA building, Pele FC became a dominant force on the local scene and subsequently won local tournaments at all levels of the sport.In the early 1970s six of the club’s players received scholarships to Clemson University in the United States.A few years later, those players who received scholarships to Clemson and a few others who migrated formed the Pele Alumni in the U.S. which is currently chaired by Dennis Carrington.Every five years, they return to Guyana and contribute not only to the development of Pele FC’s members, but also to other clubs and youth organisations with an aim of keeping youths involved in sports while encouraging Guyana’s youths to secure a sound education.Current president of the club Robbie Rambarran, Carrington and Alumni secretary Patrick`Labba’ Barton will be among other Alumni members handing over the computers to the National Library.