…against drug criminalsA couple of decades ago, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, outlined the strategy the US military would be using to go after the Iraq forces in the quest to remove Saddam Hussain from power. “First we are going to cut it off, and then we are going to kill it.” That was it!! You couldn’t be more direct than that, could you?Well, right here in Guyana, our own Brigadier General David Granger, now President of Guyana and Commander of our Disciplined Forces, made some pretty simple and direct statements when he announced his strategy to take on the drug lords here. “There are a few criminal people who are holding us back, and I am going to find them and put them away.” Pressie was in Lethem, where another airstrip had been uncovered – this time with an aircraft that was clearly being used to fly in cocaine and other drugs that were later smuggled into the States.Now we have to notice the difference between the statements of the two generals – Powell used the pronoun “we” – referring to all the US forces, but Pressie said “I”, meaning himself. Now your Eyewitness knows that Pressie – at the age of 78 – isn’t going to be running out there Rambo-style to take out the bad guys. What his language means is he’s taking this Guyanese “war on drugs” very personally.But we have to remember that even with the greatest army, air force and navy the world had ever seen, the US wasn’t able to finish the Iraq war — which for all intents and purposes is still ongoing. In that conflict, the Iraqis were motivated by their nationalistic and religious ideologies that have seen them morph into all kinds of entities that aren’t bound by borders or battle zones. We’re living in an age of “total war”.And it is for this reason it’s unlikely that even Pressie’s more personalised threat will lead to the elimination of drug trafficking through Guyana. In the wars on drugs, the combatants are motivated by one of the most destructive forces on planet Earth today – money-fuelled greed. Money in such quantity that the human mind cannot comprehend so many zeroes following the number 1!The US, with its NSA satellites in the sky, CIA assets on the ground, and Special Forces with helicopters – not to mention local forces in Colombia – weren’t able to win the war on drugs.Why is it that Pressie thinks it’ll be any different here? Maybe he should set his sights on capturing those four escaped killers?…on CSEC subjectsThe kid from Queen’s who just passed TWENTY-FIVE SUBJECTS at CSEC is sure to unleash another round of debate on how many subjects candidates ought to be allowed to write. Former Education Minister Roopnaraine represented the old guard who believed that eight subjects or so were just about enough. Interestingly enough, Roopnaraine was also from Queen’s, and in fact won the Guyana Scholarship that sent him on to Cambridge University.What these folks misread is “dis time na lang time” and kids are much more exposed to a host of other sorts of info that needs to be assimilated. In the scholarly community, they talk about two kinds of intelligences represented by the “fox and the hedgehog”. The Fox knows a little bit of many things – but the hedgehog knows a lot of one thing.The 25-subject-kid put it well…what he did isn’t for everyone, but those who feel they could do it shouldn’t be barred.The 21st century needs as many foxes as it can produce.…on wandering kidsYour Eyewitness just found out that most of the kids who end up at Onderneeming’s ironically named “New Opportunity Corps” were brought in under some archaic English law against “wandering”.Imagine kids being inducted into a course of criminal behaviour just because they “wandered”!!
LATEST STORIES Ferguson (26-3) won his 12th straight fight, the longest active streak in the UFC, after a doctor stopped the fight after the second round after checking on the swelling of Cerrone’s right eye.Cerrone was taken to a hospital with an orbital fracture.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsSPORTSCoronation night?With the win, Ferguson moved into a position to face the winner of the lightweight unification title fight between champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in September.“If me and Cowboy (Cerrone) don’t fight again, I want that title shot. I’ve had that title, I feel that’s why it’s such an emotional roller-coaster. I’ve increased my value after this fight tonight. If Poirier cannot do it, I’ll go to Abu Dhabi (UFC 242) and do it myself, and if (Conor) McGregor wants to dance, I have a tune for him too, so regardless I’ll be ready,” Ferguson said. 3 arrested in Bicol drug stings In the main event, flyweight champ Henry Cejudo (15-2) finished Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) in the third round for the vacated bantamweight championship.Cejudo, an Olympic gold medal wrestler, showed off his striking game in the second round, delivering a series of uppercuts and knees to the face of Moraes.Cejudo carried the momentum to the third round, taking Moraes to the ground and delivering a series of punches before the fight was stopped just before the third round ended.Cejudo defended his flyweight belt against former bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw with a first-round knockout in January. Dillashaw went down to flyweight to chase his second belt, but he was stopped by Cejudo in just over 30 seconds and had his belt stripped after he failed pre- and post-fight drug tests.Cejudo became the fourth fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold titles in two different weight divisions.“I’m not a double champion, I’m a triple champion: Olympic champion, flyweight champion and now bantamweight champion of the UFC,” Cejudo said. “I’m the only person in the world who has all these titles, nobody else. Whether you hate me or you love me, I’m the pound-for-pound king.”In a women’s flyweight title fight, Valentina Shevchenko (17-3) defended her belt by landing a vicious left kick to the head of Jessica Eye (14-7) early in the second round. Eye was knocked out cold, but she was able to recover and walk off on her own power.The fight between Ferguson and Cerrone was the highlight of the card. They had the attention of the crowd, which was equally split between the fighters.The two exchanged blows in the first round. Cerrone landed a jab that put a cut above Ferguson’s right eye, bloodying Ferguson’s face.In the second round, Ferguson went to work on Cerrone’s face, landing a series jabs and kicks, continuing to bloody Cerrone’s face and pounding his right eye. ‘DOJ charges Albayalde, 12 ‘ninja cops’ with graft View comments 3 suspected drug pushers nabbed in Lucena busts Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PNP: Albayalde innocent until proven guilty MOST READ Cerrone (36-12) took down Ferguson with two minutes left in the round, but Ferguson recovered quickly and continued to pound Cerrone’s face.Ferguson delivered a punch just after the bell. It wasn’t immediately clear if Ferguson was penalized.“In the second round, I saw his hands started to drop, my left hand started to land a lot more, he didn’t have too many answers to the kicks, I saw his confidence starting to decrease. And in the end of that round, going through a lot of emotions, just trying to get into it, I let a punch go at the buzzer, I thought I hit him at the buzz, it was on the other side of his face, not the side that was swollen,” Ferguson said.Cerrone, who was alert and ready to begin the third round, was checked by a doctor who immediately put a stop to fight after checking on the swelling of Cerrone’s right eye.Ferguson’s road to the lightweight title might not be that simple. Potential scheduling conflicts could affect the coveted title shot for Ferguson. Nurmagomedov’s agent has plans for his client to face Georges St-Pierre at some point, and Conor McGregor, the No. 3 contender, is holding out for a rematch against Nurmagomedov after he lost to him at UFC 229.Ferguson had the interim title stripped when he wasn’t able to face Nurmagomedov in April of 2018.Saturday’s fight against Ferguson was finalized just one week after Cerrone beat Al Iaquinta on May 4, giving Cerrone less than a month to prepare for Ferguson.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted Tagaytay seminary emptied amid Taal volcano unrest NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption PLAY LIST 02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu It’s a Barty party: Australian wins 1st major at French Open PH Air Force air surveillance radar system project awaits award notice Tony Ferguson, right, punches Donald Cerrone, left, during their lightweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 238, Saturday, June 8, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)CHICAGO (AP) — Tony Ferguson’s path to the lightweight title is becoming clear.Ferguson won by technical knockout after a medical stoppage in a lightweight fight against Donald Cerrone at UFC 238 on Saturday night.ADVERTISEMENT With the crowd and Cerrone wanting more, and Ferguson getting a late hit in, Ferguson wished the bout didn’t end the way it did.“It’s not the way I wanted to win. It’s been a big journey, I don’t think anyone had to go through the kind of stuff I had to,” Ferguson said.Ferguson was back in the cage after a layoff because of personal issues.Ferguson beat Anthony Pettis in October.Saturday’s main card also featured two title fights.ADVERTISEMENT
Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel guard Terrence Romeo didn’t expect much in his return to the floor after battling an inflamed Achilles tendon, but he hopes he can get back to peak form if the Beermen get to the playoffs.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Deandre Ayton shines as Suns pound Knicks MOST READ 11 nabbed for shabu, drug den busted in Maguindanao Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Taal evacuees make the most of ‘unusual’ clothing donations, leaves online users laughing Ukrainian prime minister resigns after recordings published Chris McCullough announces PBA arrival with smashing 47-point night Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia PLAY LIST 00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption View comments Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay Romeo missed San Miguel’s first seven games of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup only making his return in the Beermen’s 109-105 win over NLEX Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.The three-time scoring champion said he’s still trying to get his rhythm back, finishing with just six points and four assists on Friday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“I’m still feeling it out a little bit in terms of my shooting so I have to do a little bit more,” said Romeo in Filipino. “In terms of my health, I’m alright. My only concern is my conditioning because I think I’m just 30% to peak form.”Romeo shot the ball at a respectable clip of 2-of-5 but he was more of a playmaker against the Road Warriors, coming off the bench to relieve Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross. But Romeo is not concerned with the reduced scoring role as he tries to be what the Beermen needs him to be especially with the arrival of Chris McCullough, who had 47 points and 10 rebounds in his PBA debut.“My return isn’t that important, the bigger thing in this game was the arrival of our import” said Romeo. “He’s the one who carries the energy for us, he’s the one carrying us especially on defense.”“He’s scoring is always there, and he’s everywhere on defense that he’s trying to chase every guy who goes for a layup.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted
Dear Editor,Editor, in an earlier letter I have addressed the curious timing of comments made by the CCJ President, Sir Dennis Byron, about the need for substantive appointments of a Chancellor and Chief Justice in Guyana, when he was silent about the same state of affairs prior to 2015. I have also written about his frequent visits to Guyana and comments by the Attorney General, Basil Williams, made about ‘close’ relations between Sir Byron and the Coalition Government – comments that were made by Williams on the corridors of the High Court.I feel it necessary to question linkages between Sir Byron and the Coalition Government, since I have received some feedback after my first letter on this issue and was told that there is no clear linkage between the CCJ President and the Coalition Government other that comments from the Attorney General.Editor, aside from the Attorney General, personalities close to the Coalition Government also have close links to the CCJ President. In 2012, according to a Stabroek News article, dated October 13, 2012, it was Senior Counsel Donald Trotman (Minister Raphael Trotman’s father) and retired Judge James Patterson – current Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission – who presented the petition for Patterson’s grandson, Richard Layne, to be admitted to the local Bar.Richard Layne – whose grandfather’s appointment is currently challenged in Guyana’s courts and could very well end up at the CCJ – is currently the Judicial Assistant attached to Sir Byron, according to his LinkedIn profile. Layne, among other things, prepares legal opinions and advice to the President on matters brought to the attention of the Court.Also, Editor, Mr Layne’s matriculation is another curious matter, given that after his matriculation he served at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and moved swiftly without any experience to his current position. Someone should question how this happened.Editor, it was none other than Sir Byron who talked about an independent and impartial judiciary when he spoke at the Guyana Bar Association last August. But in light of worrisome linkages in Guyana, the question now is – Is there cause to worry? Like I said in my last letter, Sir Byron has not clarified his involvement in local happenings.Regards,Todd A Morgan
– claims he “lost track of time” in GuyanaA Trinidadian designer now faces two years in jail after pleading guilty to forgery and immigration charges at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Tuesday morning.Arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan was Daniel Ali, 32, who admitted to the charge which read that between January 3, 2017 and May 19, 2017, he conspired with persons to forge one Guyana driver’s licence in favour of himself bearing the name of Seelall Madiah, purporting to show that it had been issued by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).In addition, he pleaded guilty to the charge which stated that on March 23, 2017 at the Central Immigration and Passport Office, for the purposes of procuring a passport, he signed a declaration in the name of Seelall Madiah, knowing same to be false.Finally, between June 23, 2014 and May 20, 2017, he failed to comply with conditions subject to which any permit had been granted, that is to say having been permitted to stay from December 24, 2013 to June 23, 2014, he overstayed the said period.Based on the prosecution’s facts, the defendant arrived in the country via the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on December 24, 2013 and was given permission to stay in the jurisdiction until June 23, 2014. It is alleged that Ali visited the Central Immigration and Passport Office on March 15, 2017 to apply for a Guyanese passport and checks revealed that he had overstayed for a period of two years. Moreover, Ali had allegedly presented documents bearing the name of Seelall Madiah, but upon the launch of an investigation it was discovered that his correct name was Daniel Ali.Prosecutor Arvin Moore related that the man was subsequently arrested and charged with the offences.Ali had reportedly told officials that the licence was sold to him by someone he knew only as “Ryan” for some $200,000. He also told the court on Tuesday that he was aware that the licence was fake and not issued by the GRA.When the Magistrate asked him why he overstayed, Ali said, “I lost track of time…”, while readily admitting to the offences and apologising for his actions.The designer was fined $30,000 for overstaying and sentenced to one year each in relation to the conspiracy and signing to a written declaration using a false name respectively. These jail terms will run consecutively.Guyana Times understands that Ali is reportedly wanted for fraud and larceny back in his home country of Trinidad and Tobago. (Paula Gomes)
Bonding would also take us farther away from a much better “something.” If Proposition 1B passes, complacency will follow. Gridlock-weary drivers will be temporarily pacified. Lawmakers will congratulate themselves for showing leadership. And momentum for the real reform California needs will fizzle, because these bonds certainly don’t encourage lawmakers to be fiscally responsible. Over the past three years, state spending has shot up 29 percent. If voters bail Sacramento out by giving our politicians credit cards for essentials like transportation, lawmakers can safely devote more of the general fund budget to their pet projects. If bonds weren’t an option, state leaders might have asked the private sector for help. After all, $25 billion in private sector transportation is currently flowing into other states. In fact, the kind of funding California could attract would probably dwarf what other states are getting. Earlier this year former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta noted, “Every private-sector investment group that we talk to says that California – and Southern California in particular – is the most attractive (road) investment opportunity in America, if not the world.” But if Proposition 1B passes, legislators will ease back into their business-as-usual habits. And when congestion grows more unbearable, they’ll cobble together another bond, and ask voters to give the state’s credit card another swipe. Criticize their new bond and lawmakers will have a familiar response at the ready: “Something is better than nothing.” Ted Balaker is a policy analyst at Reason Foundation, a free market think tank based in Los Angeles, and co-author of “The Road More Traveled: Why The Congestion Crisis Matters More Than You Think, And What We Can Do About It.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Proposition 1B’s “something” is more expensive than it first seems. Because so much money would be spent on debt payments, 1B would cost nearly $2 for every dollar spent. Taxpayers would get a $38 billion bill, but receive only $19.9 billion worth of product. And what would they have to show for it? The real-world impact of 1B would probably be close to nothing. Nearly half of the money goes toward projects that have nothing to do with fighting gridlock, and only $11 billion is tabbed for what can loosely be defined as congestion relief. Of that, $1 billion is earmarked for State Route 99 in the Central Valley, and the remaining funds will be spread across the state. When the dust settles, no one knows how much L.A. will get. Large sums of Proposition 1B money would go toward simply keeping our current transportation system running. Decades from now taxpayers will still be paying for 1B, while puzzled Angelenos look around for all the new infrastructure they thought they’d bought. WHEN it comes to transportation, Angelenos have plenty to gripe about: the nation’s worst traffic congestion, and – with 6 million more people expected to arrive by 2030 – the expectation that those jams will get even worse. Enter the phony fix of Proposition 1B, the $19.9 billion transportation bond. A recent Reason Foundation study revealed that it would take $68 billion in roadway-capacity expansion for Los Angeles to vanquish severe congestion by 2030. Next to that figure Proposition 1B’s promise of $19.9 billion seems small. But isn’t something better than nothing? Not in this case.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The showing of dignitaries – more high-ranking Israeli officials than have been in the United States at the same time since the state’s creation – is a gratuity for support during a contentious past year, Danoch said. During that time, the Iranian president has called the Holocaust a “myth,” claimed the road map to peace starts with the destruction of Israel and has continued to develop nuclear technology. In June, an Israeli soldier was kidnapped by Hamas, and weeks later two more soldiers were nabbed by the Iranian-financed militia Hezbollah. The latter resulted in a 34-day war in Lebanon. Despite some Jewish criticism of Israel’s response against Lebanese infrastructure, North American Jews donated about $300 million in humanitarian aid to Israel, $15 million of which was funneled through the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. “It is a very critical time in the Jewish world,” said John Fishel, president of the local federation. “What happened in the summer made many people aware of a particular vulnerability of Israel and Jews throughout the world. It is a time for us to express our solidarity, and the Israeli leaders want to be here because there was a tremendous outpouring of support during the war.” About 1,000 Angelenos have volunteered to help during the conference, and more than 750 others will serve as delegates. Until August, the theme for this general assembly had been about Hollywood. The United Jewish Communities, an umbrella of 155 Jewish federations throughout North America, planned to honor “the stars of our system,” said Howard Rieger, president and CEO of the New York-based organization. But conflicts in the Middle East compelled Rieger away from puns. “This is a time to deal with reality,” he said, adding that Israeli’s problems are shared by Jews throughout the Diaspora. His organization changed course and picked the theme, “Together on the Frontline: One People, One Destiny.” “Our history would demonstrate that,” he said. “When we think that is not the case, we wake up and find out it is.” email@example.com (818) 713-3634 IF YOU GO The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is hosting a four-day assembly of North American Jewish federations that will begin Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Reservations are required. Call (323) 761-8000 or see www.ujc.org. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Seeking to solidify Israel’s place in the world, more than 4,300 Jewish leaders – including the Israeli prime minister and seven members of his Cabinet – will meet in Los Angeles next week for the annual gathering of North American Jewish federations. In addition to workshops about philanthropy and education, the four-day general assembly at the Los Angeles Convention Center – the first in L.A. in 26 years – will focus on rebuilding Israel in the wake of war, confronting rising anti-Semitism and protecting Jews from Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “And, of course, strengthening the ties between the Jewish community of North America and Israel,” Consul General Ehud Danoch said in a phone interview. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to deliver the closing address Tuesday evening before resolutions are discussed Wednesday.
AFP or licensors Sam Allardyce says Aston Villa have bought too many players this summer and may ‘do a Fulham’And McGinn told talkSPORT that a new contract was actually in the pipeline since the start of the summer.Speaking to Jim White and Natalie Sawyer, McGinn said: “Obviously you see bits and bobs but my intentions were pretty clear and the club were aware of that. I didn’t want to leave this summer.“I feel loved here, I feel respected by everyone – the players, the coaches and I was keen to prove that I could play in the Premier League with Villa.“It’s been an OK start [to my Aston Villa career] but there’s a lot more to come from me. What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas John McGinn has started the 2019/20 season well with Villa 2 latest statement However, it looks like it was a wise move as McGinn played a huge role in helping the Villans getting promoted to the Premier League and even scored in their victory over Derby County in the Championship play-off final.His form was understood to have attracted the attention of other clubs including Manchester United, who were reportedly lining up a £50million bid for the 24-year-old. John McGinn insisted he was always planning to stay at Villa this summer Getty Images – Getty Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:25Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream Type LIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS Matic one of two players for sale with ‘two Premier League clubs’ interested appointed OFF Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta John McGinn has dismissed suggestions he was considering a move away from Aston Villa this summer.The Scotland international moved to Villa Park in August 2018 from Hibernian despite interest from boyhood club Celtic. FAREWELL Redknapp calls Son ‘petulant’, but Holloway says red card for Rudiger kick was ‘soft’ Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ “I was chuffed [to sign a new deal]. The club came to me at the start of the summer and basically said to me ‘listen, we’ve got a lot of work to do and we want to know if you want to be here’ and it was pretty straight forward.“Nothing else crossed my mind, I wanted to be at Villa this season and the club wanted that so they’ve kept the best till last and they’ve managed to get me signed up eventually!”LISTEN TO THE FULL JOHN MCGINN INTERVIEW ABOVE deals rookie error But McGinn put an end to any speculation surrounding his future at Villa by signing a new five-year contract at the club last week.He celebrated signing the new deal by scoring for Villa in their Premier League opener against Tottenham where he also had stats of an 85 per cent pass completion rate.However, Dean Smith’s side lost the game 3-1.Villa have had an incredibly busy summer, buying TWELVE new players in preparation for life back in the top flight. BIG PRESENTS UP TOP 2 John McGinn ‘had a little chuckle’ over Manchester United linksJohn McGinn ‘trains like a demon’ Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff
Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour have been named as the only Scottish players in the British and Irish Lions squad for the tour of New Zealand.Head Coach Warren Gatland announced his squad at a media conference on Wednesday afternoon, with the Glasgow Warriors pair Gatland’s only Scottish picks.Hogg was named Player of the Tournament at this year’s Six Nations after a string of impressive performances led Scotland to their best finish in the competition since 1999.Speaking at the announcement Gatland said he finalised his selections as late as Tuesday afternoon but remains confident the players chosen are more than capable for winning in New Zealand. He said: “There has been some pretty lively debates in terms of finalising the squad so we are very happy with the quality of the squad that we have and very excited about the team we have put together.“This is probably the hardest selection we have had, we think it is a strong squad so as a coaching team we are really excited about the talent and quality of team we are taking to New Zealand.Gatland has chosen Welsh flanker Sam Warburton as captain of the Lions squad, having captained the side during the 2013 Lions tests against AustraliaGatland says Warburton, who becomes only the second man to captain the Lions on two separate tours, was always in his mind and his experience will be crucial when the squad travel to New Zealand. He said: His experience, captaining the team in 2013, he was fully aware his form will have to be good enough to be selected in the test team but i think he is the right man for the job.”There were some noticeable absentees from the squad with many Scottish hopefuls missing out.Finn Russell, Jonny and Richie Gray, John Barclay, Hamish Watson as well as a host of other Scots were all in contention for selection but missed out on a place on the plane to New Zealand.In total the squad is made up of 16 English players, 12 from Wales, 11 from Ireland and two for Scotland.The Lions head to New Zealand to take on the All Blacks with the first test taking place on 24th June in Auckland.Full British and Irish Lions squad:Backs – Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Jonathan Joseph (England), Conor Murray (Ireland), George North (Wales), Jack Nowell (England), Jared Payne (Ireland), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Tommy Seymour (Scotland), Ben Te’o (England), Anthony Watson (England), Rhys Webb (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales), Ben Youngs (England)Forward – Rory Best (Ireland), Dan Cole (England), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), George Kruis (England), Courtney Lawes (England), Joe Marler (England), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Ross Moriarty (Wales), Sean O’Brien (Ireland), Peter O’Mahony (Ireland), Ken Owens (Wales), Kyle Sinckler (England), CJ Stander (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Billy Vunipola (England), Mako Vunipola (England), Sam Warburton (Wales)