A duo from the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, a West African country, found themselves before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on Friday and were remanded to prison for illegally entering Guyana.The men – Ifra Diallo, 25; and Moussa N’Digue, 29, denied the allegation put to them by the Magistrate when they appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.The charge against the French speaking men alleged that on May 21, 2018, at Springlands, Berbice, they entered Guyana by sea and failed to present themselves to an immigration officer.Ifra Diallo and Moussa N’Digue at the Georgetown Magistrates’ CourtsAccording to the prosecution’s case, the two arrived by sea from Suriname. On the day of their arrest, they were caught by ranks at Charity, Essequibo Coast, and when a request was made for them to present their passports, they failed to do so.As such, they were arrested and following investigations it was revealed that they entered Guyana illegally.Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield objected to bail being granted, noting that the men are flight risks as they are not citizens of Guyana.Bail was refused, and they were both remanded to prison to return on May 30.
Despite improvements in recent years, quality of life in Los Angeles County remains far from good and the region faces a bleak future unless it can launch broad reforms in everything from education to housing, according to a report released Wednesday. The benchmark study by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles is the first for the region and compared local, state and national indicators in education, the economy, health and public safety over the past five years. With a score of 10 signifying a good quality of life, Los Angeles County got a rating of just 7.32. California overall scored 8.08. “Although a region of great wealth and roughly one-third of the population of California, Los Angeles County is behind the state in every part of the index,” the report said. Henry Cisneros, former secretary of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, agreed with Villaraigosa and said the county’s future hinges on major changes. “Educational improvements are an emergency situation in Los Angeles,” Cisneros said. “Unless there are improvements, we are faced with an ugly scenario, and the impact will not just be felt here. It will be felt everywhere.” The report cited figures showing only 60 percent of high school seniors graduate on time, with only one in four eligible for higher education. It also showed just 12 percent of ninth-graders are proficient in algebra, while only about 30 percent of third-graders are reading at grade level. “There have been improvements in educational achievement over the past few years, but we are still far behind in adequately preparing young people for the 21st century economy,” the report’s authors wrote. Middle class flight Villaraigosa attributed some of the findings to the large immigrant population in the area. But he said it also reflects changes in a local economy in which the middle class is being driven out of the city. “It is not just taxes and housing that keep people from staying in Los Angeles and threaten the middle class,” Villaraigosa said. “It is all these factors of schools, public safety and health care that are affecting us.” Elise Buik, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles, said the index is important in providing a broad picture of life in Southern California and why people choose to stay and work here. “Just as the Dow Jones Index produces a single figure to track conditions in the stock market, the quality-of-life index provides an objective measure for tracking how Los Angeles County is doing,” Buik said. “What people may not realize is how closely these factors are interrelated. Businesses are not going to come and stay in Los Angeles if their employees can’t afford housing. Breakdowns in our health care or educational system directly impact the strength of our work force and overall economy.” The report found 25 percent of all L.A. County residents are considered living at the poverty level – $53,431 for a family of four. And it estimated 170,000 children and 1.4 million adults in the county don’t have health insurance. The survey also estimated that 21 percent of all local adults are obese – up from 14 percent in 1997. If there was a bright spot to the report, it was the region’s crime rate, which has been steadily declining since 1997. Overall crime is at record lows of 649 crimes per 100,000 people, with juvenile felony arrests cut in half. The report, however, did not include recent increases in gang crime. The L.A. area is home to about 40,000 gang members, and gang-related crime last year rose 14 percent in the city and 44 percent in the San Fernando Valley. Villaraigosa said the Los Angeles Police Department has launched stepped-up efforts to deal with gang violence, but he said more will need to be done in the future. No quick solutions The report urged local leaders to look at other cities’ best practices, including efforts to boost children’s health. “What’s interesting is that no one disagrees anymore on the need for health care for children,” Villaraigosa said. “We may quibble about how to get there, but everyone is supporting it now.” The report also offered suggestions on how individuals can help improve the quality of life, including serving as mentors, becoming more involved with local schools, volunteering and becoming an advocate for improvements in the environment, housing and health care. It also has prompted the United Way to develop a 10-year program aimed at reducing the number of homeless and improving literacy and access to capital. Ultimately, the region’s problems cannot be resolved quickly, said Dr. Robert Ross of the California Endowment. “We have to think big but act small,” Ross said. “What we have to do is work through the neighborhoods and local communities to get them involved to address the problems. If we don’t include them, nothing will be changed.” firstname.lastname@example.org 213-978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It found some gains in education and public safety but noted the region’s residents are struggling to get by financially as housing and transportation costs increase and wages remain relatively stagnant. Lack of access to affordable health care and high incidences of several chronic diseases and obesity also leave the county well below quality standards, it said. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the report echoes an alarm he has been trying to raise since his election. “This confirms what I have been saying on the need to change our school system,” he told more than 400 business leaders gathered at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel to review the findings. “We have an emergency situation where we have to get parents and teachers involved and make sure we are providing the education that is needed to succeed in the 21st century. “It is not about preparing our kids for failure. It is about preparing them to do the jobs that will be needed in the coming years.”