Ceferin re-elected unopposed as UEFA president

first_imgSlovenian Aleksander Ceferin was re-elected unopposed on Thursday as president of European football’s ruling body UEFA for a four-year term at its annual Congress in Rome.The 55-year-old immediately promised a dramatic overhaul of European club competitions.“We will work hand in hand with our partner, the European Club Association, to design the club competitions of the future,” Ceferin told delegates.“Club competitions that are in keeping with the times, full of excitement and intensity and open, which will bring a new dimension to European football,” he said.He added that UEFA would do “everything possible” to bring the 2030 World Cup to Europe and that European football’s break- even rule known as Financial Fair Play (FFP) would be updated.“We will make football fairer, we will adapt the FFP rules to establish a new European balance: the initial objectives of FFP have been achieved…..finances are healthier than ever,” Ceferin said.Under UEFA statutes, Ceferin, as the only candidate, was voted in by acclamation – a round of applause – from the delegates of the 55 member associations.Ceferin was first elected in September, 2016 to replace Michel Platini after the former France midfielder was banned by FIFA for ethics violations. Platini has denied any wrongdoing.last_img read more

URP campaigned for a change, not exchange

first_imgDear Editor,When the United Republican Party (URP) campaigned during the last General and Regional elections, one of our mantras was that Guyana needs a change, not an exchange. By now, after just one year, it is the general conscious of the residents and Diaspora of Guyana that we have been duped; we have voted for a change but got an exchange. Except for the cleaning up of the city, the Coalition Government has been embroiled in just about every corrupt scheme that the last administration has been known for. Just look at the latest BK scandals, the parking meter scandal and the refusal of the President to lower the VAT as they had promised. How could the new government just give away tens of millions of dollars to friends and cronies just like that? The PPP did it now the PNC (Coalition) is doing the very same things. Is this the changes that the many Guyanese voted for? Like we have said, Guyana got an exchange when they voted on May 11, 2015. The administrators changed but the unpatriotic mindsets, with the intention to rape the country, remained the same.What is even more disturbing is that in just a few months, this new administration is already competing in the area of skullduggery that the PPP took years to perfect. It is scary to imagine what the APNU/AFC group will do to this country over the next four years and beyond. There seems to be one scandal after the next. And with all they are doing the people continue to suffer.The URP took a team to the Black Bush Polder recently and what we saw and learned were saddening. We saw broken dams and damaged roads. We saw a proliferation of unemployed youths and distraught faces. The farmers were complaining that they cannot get to their farms because of the conditions of the roads. When they approached the representatives for the area, they were told that they will not be assisted in fixing the dams. The farmers are now forced to pay an additional cost to boats, in order to have their fertilizers and workers taken into their farms.Many of the folks we spoke to have expressed that they had decided to move away from the PPP and give the AFC a chance. They are now regretting. One man with deep sadness on his face and a breaking voice, remarked, “We did not expect this! Not this!” The disillusionment of Guyanese is further complicated by the fact that they are absolutely fed up with both the PNC (Coalition) and the PPP.The URP has been traversing the country and meeting with the ordinary man and woman, seeking to find out how we could help alleviate the sufferings in the areas that have been predominately affected over the last several years.The folks in Essequibo, Wales and the Corentyne have been crying out bitterly. From the loss of their jobs in the sugar sector to the stagnation in the rice industry, the hopelessness is stark. Compounding the issue is the fact that the government seems at a complete loss as to where to go next.Instead of easing the plight of the broke and broken citizens, every day the administration is showing their selfish lack of concern, by imposing more and more austere measures on the poor folks. There have now added a tax on the importation of manufacturing materials and goods. This will cause a reduction of growth in the sector, or at least, it will drive up cost which will be passed on to the already financially strapped consumer.Additionally, we were told that Guyanese citizens living abroad will no longer be able to benefit from the old age pension scheme.Editor, please be reminded that the pension is a fixed $18,000 per month. The person imposing the restriction on the overseas pensioners just had her pay raised from $500,000 and it was made retroactive to two weeks after she took office. She is now paid $800,000 plus perks, which brings her government income to over $1.3 million a month. Yet she is concerned about an old man’s and old woman’s meager $18,000.It is obvious that this new government is completely aloof from the needs of the Guyanese people who elected them, and completely ignorant as to how to please their supporters.In 13 short months, this government has run out of steam and is now just drifting along. The PPP was voted out of office because of the same behaviors; they had lost touch with the people, additionally, they had become corrupt.Guyana can ill afford to have governments which take us for granted. Hopefully, next time around there will be real, genuine, change.Yours truly,Vishnu Bandhu,URP Leaderlast_img read more

Lewis Hamilton has 2 championships but just 1 win in Mexico City

first_imgNo need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist LATEST STORIES Hamilton will start Sunday in firm command of the season championship with a 64-point lead on teammate Valtteri Bottas and just four races left. It would take a stunning collapse over the back end of the season for Hamilton not to win a historic sixth career championship and fifth in six years. That would put the British driver in sole possession of second place in F1 history and one shy of the record seven held by Germany’s Michael Schumacher.But those past struggles leave Hamilton downplaying his chances of closing out the championship in Mexico City.“I don’t anticipate it will be Mexico,” Hamilton said, adding his poor outings the last two years here have been “pretty shocking.”“Mexico is generally our worst race of the year because of the way our car is set up and it’s going to be a tough one for us,” he said.Mexico City’s thin air at 7,400 feet (2,255 meters) and the long straight out of the starting grid at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez have favored Red Bull and Ferrari the last two years. And given Ferrari’s power surge and three victories since the summer break, Hamilton points to the Italian team as the favorite Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano PLAY LIST 01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown The federal government is ending its large financial subsidies. New investment from Mexico City business leaders and the local government will keep it on the F1 calendar through 2022. The race will be the Mexico City Grand Prix starting next year.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next He just struggles to win here.Hamilton has just one victory in four years at the Mexican Grand Prix and the last two races were among his worst outings in two title-winning seasons for Mercedes. He finished ninth in 2017 and fourth in 2018 as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen raced away with victories.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4Both of those results were good enough for Hamilton to limp across the finish line as the season champion. He got to parade with the Union Jack flag and pop champagne, but the celebrations missed the extra spice and thrill of a race victory.It could happen again. MOST READ LOOK: Taal Volcano island 2 days after eruption Bates shows his worth down low against Chabi Yo, Tigers DSWD Bicol donates P1.5M worth of food packs for Taal eruption evacuees ‘People evacuated on their own’ Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 village execs nabbed in Bohol buy-bust Hamilton has just one win since the summer in last five races, a considerable drought for him.“I’m hoping for a better weekend but I think it’s going to be very hard to beat the Ferraris with those long straights,” Hamilton said.Ferrari will take the favorite’s role and run with it.“We arrive in Mexico determined to win,” Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto said. “We will be aiming for our sixth consecutive pole, before looking to convert that into a victory.”Hamilton’s lone win here came in 2016 when he was in a desperate hunt to catch teammate Nico Rosberg in the championship. He rallied to push the title chase to the final race in Abu Dhabi, where Hamilton won and Rosberg won the championship.Mercedes once again has the only two drivers who can win the championship, but none of the garage tension and turmoil between Hamilton and Rosberg that split the team in 2015 and 2016.Bottas has three victories, including two weeks ago in Japan. He won two of the first four races of the season, before a midseason slump raised questions whether he would even be retained by Mercedes in 2020. Those ended when the Finnish driver finally got a contract extension in August.There are multiple results combinations that could clinch Hamilton’s championship Sunday if he finishes on the podium and 14 points ahead of Bottas. But any result with Hamilton fourth or lower automatically pushes the championship to next week’s U.S. Grand Prix in Texas. Hamilton clinched the title there in 2015.“Everything’s possible,” Bottas said. “Although I’m realistic as well that I will need to be very lucky, that’s a fact, to win all the rest of the races.”Always a festive atmosphere with some of the biggest crowds of the F1 season, the Mexican Grand Prix will race with a sense of relief. The race had been in danger of ending this year at the end of its original five-year contract. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain waves on the podium after finishing third in the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)MEXICO CITY — For a place that has twice crowned him Formula One champion, Mexico City has not been particularly kind to Lewis Hamilton.The massive crowds adore him and he’s spun his Mercedes through the twisting curves on the stadium course to earn a place among F1’s greatest drivers.ADVERTISEMENT 400 evacuees from Taal eruption take refuge in Mt. Banahaw ‘Gago’ View commentslast_img read more

Claims and Objections doing well with the PLE!

first_imgDear Editor,A careful look at the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) current Claims and Objections work confirms a swift and potent movement towards achieving the production of a very good List of Electors. On October 24, 2019, the Public Relations Department of GECOM reported over 13,000 completed transactions including new registrations, transfers and corrections using a smooth approach acceptable and embraced by most citizens. The results have realised reactions that emphasise the ‘irk’ of PNCR spin dancers at the Elections Commission, others in the Secretariat and leading orchestrators of the Government. There must be no deviation from the rule of law as it relates to necessary steps GECOM has to follow in establishing an acceptable Preliminary List of Electors (PLE). Chair of GECOM, Justice Retired Claudette Singh must be decisive and assertive in preserving the credibility of the process and integrity of the final list towards necessary free and fair elections. There have been persistent moves by PNC Commissioners at the Commission to contaminate or invalidate the results of the updates to the PLE, which GECOM can legitimately do following the end of this activity on November 4, 2019. Mr Vincent Alexander’s proposal to the illegal removal of 20,000 names of persons who have not uplifted identification cards is indecent, absolute rubbish, and tantamount to contempt of court given that the Chief Justice recently ruled to the contrary on this matter. The attempt by the Secretariat to use highly suspicious data from the controversial and unverified House-to-House is troubling and a serious matter of concern. Although the Chief Justice also ruled that it is not illegal for GECOM to utilise a House-to-House approach to address matters regarding the Register of Registrants, it is a known fact that whenever this approach is considered; the basis is a decision to scrap the existing list and to create a new base of registrants. There was absolutely no need to scrap the existing list, which the APNU/AFC and their cohorts deliberately ensured expired on April 30, 2019, using surreptitious manoeuvres. Further, the Claims and Objections approach has proven to be most speedy and effective towards a legal update of the Register of Registrants. It is now public knowledge that without a Chairman of GECOM being in place, Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield took it upon himself to impose a “$4 billion” House-to- House campaign on the citizens of Guyana. In so doing, he biasedly moved to counter and reject the Caribbean Court of Justice’s ruling consequent to the carried No- Confidence Motion, that the President remains in place with the primary function of ensuring that elections are held in three months or within such extended period approved by 75 per cent of members of the National Assembly. Mr Lowenfield’s run-off of the highly controversial House-to-House exercise has achieved nothing but extending the assault of the illegal APNU/AFC Government on the people of Guyana. Chair of GECOM, Justice Retired Claudette Singh deserves compliments for stopping the controversial House-to-House Registration and commencing the Claims and Objections using the Preliminary List of Voters extracted from the Register of Registrants. The Register of Registrants is fully acceptable since its life only ended in on April 30, 2019. Hence, the scrutineers from the APNU/AFC and the PPP/C are busy doing the field visits and verifying all the transactions. However, it is of note that in the Claims and Objections, GECOM’s staff are authorised to use solely the PLE to determine transfers and other transactions. It is therefore only this PLE, which the Secretariat can amend, by addressing the necessary verified changes for the update of the Register. It follows that the suggestion of a merger of information from the illegally conducted and unverified House-to-House is out of the question and must be set aside. While it is clear that the Chief Elections Officer has 7 days after the end of the Claims and Objections period to consider petitions for changes, logical concerns emerge that places any merger in breach of the legal framework. First is the fact that given the timeline taken by the contracted international firm to complete the first batch of the necessary cross-matching of fingerprints, the organisation would not complete the second half within 7 days of November 4, 2019, which signals the end of Claims and Objections. Second, the question as to whether the Secretariat, in areas of dispute, intends to give priority to the international cross-matching over the completed verification by all scrutineers at the ongoing Claims and Objections. I am aware that some GECOM staff were refusing to do transfers and registrations for persons who they claimed registered during the infamous Houseto- House. It took representations from the PPP/C Chief Scrutineer Mr Mustapha before several GECOM Offices corrected these issues. Hence, the GECOM offices are no longer turning back residents, after telling them that the controversial Houseto- House Registration will put their names on the final voters’ list. Some GECOM staff were deliberately confusing residents. Guyanese must be cognisant of the confusion mongers at GECOM. The PNC Commissioners are peddling false news that by Thursday, October 24, the public will be given an opportunity to view the entire list of persons that were registered during the House-to-House Registration exercise that was abruptly halted by the Chair of GECOM. This exercise would be an activity in futility because despite the encoding being completed, the cross-matching is yet to be completed. What would the publication of partial information reveal other than more confusion? Thus, it would be appropriate to conclude that the tactic of the PNC Commissioners is hell-bent on creating situations of confusion to frustrate the electorates and manipulate the process to pave the way for the possibility of an election petition at the conclusion of the already delayed elections in 2020. This Claims and Objections process is good enough to produce the final voters’ list for the March 2, 2020, National and Regional Elections and we must reject the PNC’s procrastination. Sincerely, Neil Kumarlast_img read more

Vehicle crossed centreline in fatal crash east of Chetwynd

first_imgCHETWYND, B.C. — Mounties say that a vehicle crossing the centreline was a major cause of Wednesday morning’s crash near Chetwynd that left a man dead and another person seriously injured.The crash happened on the Hart Highway roughly 18 kilometres east of Chetwynd at around 10:50 a.m. yesterday. Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said that a Ford Taurus was travelling northbound on Highway 97 towards Dawson Creek when the driver lost control in a turn and drifted over the centre line, colliding with a semi-truck hauling hay that was heading southbound.The driver of the Ford, man whose age or city of residence is unknown, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the passenger was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Highway 97 was closed in both directions for just over six hours while police investigated, causing heavy delays for motorists. The road reopened to traffic at around 5:00 p.m. Wednesday.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Leicester star ignores Arsenal and Man United interest and pens new deal

first_imgJeffrey Schlupp has handed Leicester City a major boost by signing a new long-term contract.The 22-year-old impressed for the Foxes last season, helping them achieve Premier League survival, and reportedly caught the attention of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.Aston Villa have Manchester United have also been credited with an interest in the Ghana international, who can operate as a left-back, a left-winger or a striker.However, Schlupp has opted to commit his future to Leicester, penning a deal that keeps him tied to the club until 2019.A statement issued via the club’s official website, www.lcfc.com, read: “Jeffrey Schlupp has committed his future to Leicester City by signing a new contract to keep him at King Power Stadium until June 2019.“The 22-year-old Ghana international enjoyed an outstanding debut season in the Barclays Premier League, which culminated in a double triumph at the club’s end of season awards, where he won the Players’ Player and Young Player of the Year titles.” 1 Jeffrey Schlupp last_img read more

’til Death and beyond

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.But there was some type of delay, so they put the ceremony on the back burner, Veloz said. On a whim, the couple decided to get married on their favorite holiday. “We’ve always loved Halloween and getting dressed up,” said Pasillas in her white mummylike dress as she waited in the lobby. “So, when Tom brought up getting married on Halloween, I said `yes.’ ” As for the groom, who sported a rented black tuxedo and an oversize skeleton mask, it was perfect timing. “There’s no better day than Oct. 31 as a wedding anniversary,” he said as onlookers took photos of the couple. “It’s just a fun thing to do.” • Photo Gallery: Halloween wedding• Video: Halloween wedding NORWALK – Exercising imagination and forsaking the traditional romantic holidays, a Santa Fe Springs couple tied the knot Wednesday dressed in costume. Tom Veloz and Pauline Pasillas, both 36, dressed as a skeleton and bride of Frankenstein as they exchanged vows in front of 23 family and friends at the Los Angeles Registrar- Recorder/County Clerk’s Office. The couple, who have known each other for 20 years, originally planned to get married in a traditional summer wedding when they filed for their marriage license. The couple will have a traditional ceremony next year. In attendance, and also dressed in costume, were the couple’s three children – Christopher, 18, Tommy, 16, and Brenda, 12. “They are such special people,” said best man and longtime friend of the couple Michael Cruz. “They are a one-in-a-million couple.” “This is priceless,” said Kathy Treggs, manager of public records, as she and other employees took images of the couple on their camera phones. When it was time for the pair, who met on a blind date, to get married, the chapel turned into a mini-Halloween party. Deputy Commissioner Fatima Jimenez, who presided over the ceremony, called the wedding original. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “It’s fun and everyone is so happy.” After exchanging two oversized rings fitted with fake spiders, the couple exited the chapel and were off to a Halloween party/wedding reception. “It turned out pretty good,” Veloz said. “Things always seem to work out better on the spur of the moment.” sandra.molina@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Golden Globes winners

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Capote” Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz, “The Constant Gardener” Supporting Actor: George Clooney, “Syriana” Director: Ang Lee, “Brokeback Mountain” Screenplay: Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, “Brokeback Mountain” FILM DRAMA Picture: “Brokeback Mountain” Actress: Felicity Huffman, “Transamerica” Original Score: John Williams, “Memoirs of a Geisha” Original Song: “A Love That Will Never Grow Old” from “Brokeback Mountain” MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Picture: “Walk the Line” Actress: Reese Witherspoon, “Walk the Line” Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, “Walk the Line” Foreign Language: “Paradise Now,” Palestine TELEVISION DRAMA Series: “Lost,” ABC Actress: Geena Davis, “Commander in Chief,” ABC Actor: Hugh Laurie, “House,” Fox MUSICAL OR COMEDY Series: “Desperate Housewives,” ABC Actress: Mary-Louise Parker, “Weeds,” Showtime Actor: Steve Carell, “The Office,” NBC MINISERIES OR MOVIE “Empire Falls,” HBO Actress: S. Epatha Merkerson, “Lackawanna Blues,” HBO Actor: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, “Elvis,” CBS Supporting Actress: Sandra Oh, “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC Supporting Actor: Paul Newman, “Empire Falls,” HBO 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Muroc head retires after long service

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“We bought some property in Florida where my son and grandson are, so I’m looking forward to coaching my grandson in some baseball and playing golf and just relaxing a little bit,” Summerbell said. To replace Summerbell, the board has decided to initially seek applicants from among district employees. So far two have applied, Summerbell said. If no one is selected from among district employees, the search will expand beyond the district. “We agreed to a kind of two-step process. First of all they want to provide in-house people the opportunity to apply and be considered. If there isn’t anyone inside who’s interested or meets the requirements, then they will look outside,” Summerbell said. At Muroc, Summerbell worked first as assistant principal for a short time at Boron Junior-Senior High School. He then became principal at Desert High School on Edwards Air Force Base and then assistant superintendent. He left the district for about nine months to work in a San Diego County school district, then returned in 2004 to take over as superintendent. Summerbell said Muroc has been heavily impacted by changes at Edwards Air Force Base, where the district has three schools and receives federal funding based on the number of military students it has. The district recently has seen fewer students whose active-duty parents live on base due to a reduction in housing for military personnel and a decrease in the military work force. To make up for declining federal aid, Muroc is trying to get more government money based on the amount of federal land in the district. Edwards contains 301,000 acres. “Financially, philosophical changes and decisions made by the military regarding on-base housing and privatization of jobs, which because we are a federally impacted school district, those have had huge financial consequences to the district,” Summerbell said. karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – Muroc Joint Unified School District Superintendent Mike Summerbell is retiring in August after 11 years at Muroc and two years in the top post. Summerbell’s tenure included the refurbishing of schools, budget cuts that led to the closure of Edwards Middle School and the reconsideration of how the district elects its trustees. “I think that in the short time that he was superintendent, he did an excellent job. He did an excellent job prior to that as assistant superintendent,” board President Chuck James said. “I hate to see him go.” Summerbell, a 62-year-old Rosamond resident, said he’s retiring because he’s “getting old” and also because he wants to spend more time with his son and grandson, who live in Florida. last_img read more

More choices for drug care

first_imgMcClellan’s comments came as the Department of Health and Human Services formally announced Friday which plans Medicare beneficiaries will have available to them during the benefit’s second year. The officials said the monthly premium that beneficiaries pay next year will average $24 – about the same as in 2006. Seniors happy with their drug coverage this year – and surveys indicate that most are – won’t have to do any shopping if they want to stay with their plan, said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. “We expect most of them will not want to change. However, we do encourage seniors to compare their current plans with the new offerings,” Leavitt said. Nationally, 83 percent of beneficiaries will have access to plans with premiums lower than they are paying this year, Leavitt said. With the new year, insurers get to update their offerings to seniors and the disabled. Some are lowering their premiums. Others are raising them. Plans are including more drugs on the list of prescriptions that they will cover. Insurers have predicted that some of the lowest-priced plans would become more expensive as the program matured, and some of the highest-priced plans would be less expensive. That appears to have occurred. For instance, Humana offered a plan in several states this year costing just $1.87 a month. In 2007, the residents of those particular states will pay $10.60 a month for the basic Humana plan. The 17 companies approved to operate nationally are: Aetna Inc., Caremark Inc., CIGNA, Coventry Health Care Inc., EnvisionRX Plus Inc., Express Scripts Inc., Health Net Inc., Humana Inc., Long Drug Stores Corp., Medco Health Solutions Inc., Member Health Inc., NewQuest Health Solutions LLC, NMHC Systems Inc., Torchmark Corp., UnitedHealthCare-Pacificare, WellCare Health Plans Inc., and Wellpoint Inc.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 MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsIn addition, beneficiaries can get coverage through one of dozens of Medicare Advantage plans. Such plans offer protection from other medical expenses, such as a visit to the doctor’s office. Many of the new plans are offering coverage that seniors have been asking for, such as no deductible or coverage in the so-called “doughnut hole,” said Mark McClellan, the Bush administration’s point man on Medicare. The doughnut hole is the gap created at the point when beneficiaries have to pick up all of their drug costs. “The new options that are available are primarily options that provide enhanced coverage,” McClellan said. “The number of variations for basic coverage have gone down significantly.” Critics of the program said the benefit is getting more complicated, not easier. “The incredible confusion that persisted throughout this year is about to get considerably worse,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an advocacy group. Beginning Nov. 15, seniors have until the end of the year to enroll in a drug plan. During the program’s start-up, they had about six months to enroll. WASHINGTON – Seniors who complained this year about a dizzying array of choices for a Medicare drug plan may find themselves even dizzier when they shop around for next year. Federal officials announced Friday that 17 companies have been approved to provide Medicare drug coverage nationally. This year, there were nine. As a result, beneficiaries in Oklahoma, for example, will have 57 stand-alone plans to select from, compared to 42 this year. Beneficiaries in North Carolina will have 51 stand-alone plans to select from, compared to 38 this year. New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have more than 60 plans each. last_img read more